TEAC : How are you using it?
Haruka : Originally, I had wanted to make demos for a long time, and I wanted to record the band's sound all at once. When I heard about the M-164UF, I thought, "This would be perfect." I mic the members, input them into the M-164UF and send them to a computer and record.
TEAC : Where do you record?
Haruka : In our rehearsal studio. I take the mixer along with a notebook computer, mic up and record.
TEAC : When making demos, was there something in particular that made you think recording everything at once was better?
Haruka : I had always made demos at home, and then had the members listen to them and record with their mics in the rehearsal studio. We did this many times, but since the groove is important for our band, what we recorded in the rehearsal studio becomes totally different from the initial demo. Recording with the rehearsal studio mics, we could not hear the individual sounds of each member well, so it was not very useful in the end.
TEAC : So, that is why you now use an M-164UF for simultaneous multitrack recording.
Haruka : That's right. We record, listen to it in the rehearsal studio and record again. Since we can even check the precise placement of sounds, we are able to develop songs smoothly.
TEAC : How many channels do you record to the computer?
Haruka : I usually record about seven channels or maybe a few more. We multitrack the drums and record other parts in mono with mics or something similar. My feeling is that drums are pretty important, so I always record at least three tracks. In a song with lots of toms, I will add another tom track, for example. Since the mixer has a lot of channels, we have plenty of flexibility.
TEAC : I am glad that you have been able to make music in the style that you want.
Haruka : Since I like a wide variety of equipment, I looked for other things before. Even though there were mixers that could send a stereo mix to a computer, I was unable to find one that could send multiple tracks. So, the M-164UF was really perfect.
TEAC : So, you do not add sequenced sounds very much?
Haruka : We have never ever done sequencing with our drums. We just record the drums first. That way it's faster. (Laughs.)
TEAC : It doesn't really feel like "recording," does it?
Haruka : That's true. It has become an indispensable piece of equipment for our rehearsals.
TEAC : How does it sound?
Haruka : I like the sound a lot. It is not that I have compared it with other equipment, but nothing seems wrong after recording, you know. The high frequencies are crisp and the individual sounds are distinct, so adjusting tones is easy. The equalizer also works well, and is easy to understand.
TEAC : Are you using the equalizer during recording?
Haruka : Yes, we are. These are not recordings that we are going to make a CD with, so there is no need to adjust the tones in a DAW afterward. We just equalize during recording to get the tones. This is a lot of faster and easier than doing it on a computer.
TEAC : Since it is basically an analog mixer, I think there really are things about it that are easy to use.
Haruka : I am the kind of person who never reads operation manuals. I'm like, "If I do this, it should do this," and it works out. I really think that it is pretty important for equipment to respond properly to what you want to do. I think that might be the best thing about the M-164UF. Oh yeah, I also like the meters. (Laughs.)
TEAC : Well, that's because musicians like meters. (Laughs.)
Haruka : The first time that I recorded, "Oh! The meters are moving…" They're easy to understand and they look cool.
TEAC : So, you still have not looked at the owner's manual?
Haruka : I haven't looked at it. (Laughs.) I guess it probably has a lot of other useful functions, but I already get great use out of it without reading the manual. Oh, we are also using it to study.
TEAC : Study?
Haruka : It's not that I am responsible for the equipment, but the other members of the band don't know anything about this kind of gear. So, at a live performance, they tell the PA man "I want this kind of sound," but they cannot communicate it clearly. So, all the members have been fiddling with the M-164UF mixer as they input their own sounds. They say things like, "So, this is what happens." and "This is what I need!
TEAC : So, you are studying how to speak to the PA man.
Haruka : We can communicate pretty well now. Since we record multi-tracks with all the members every time, our song production is also getting better and we are becoming more knowledgeable about audio equipment. It has been really useful.
TEAC : I am really happy that it is serving you well. Thank you very much for speaking with us today.
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