EPM8 suitable for my needs?
It's been over ten years since I've used mixers, so I'm hoping for some clarification on the EPM8. Primarily I intend to use the mixer to manage audio signals on my PC used for simulation and gaming. Secondarily for music, field recording, etc.
Here is what I'm planning:
1/4" headphones out (L/R) from Sound Blaster ZxR
RCA (speakers) line out (L/R) from ZxR
stereo (front L/R) out from onboard sound
surround (rear L/R) out from onboard sound
...these would equate to line in 1 through 8
onboard front L/R would need a discrete stereo out (no main, or possibly some main), fed to bass shakers = aux 1?
onboard rear L/R same, fed to bass shakers = aux 2?
ZxR headphones L/R need two output paths.
-- to my actual headphones
-- to a central bass shaker, summed to mono
ZxR speakers L/R would be used alternatively to headphones, so could use the same output structure as headphones
Ideally I would like to have the option to mix a little ZxR sound with the onboard sound so that the bass shakers can have some system sound as well as physics data.
some more specific questions:
1) can the aux channels be used independently from the other outputs or is that audio always also fed to the mains no matter what? I would be sending to aux 1 or aux 2 post fader.
6) in order to feed some level from system audio to the front L/R and rear L/R bass shakers, can I just turn the aux 1 and aux 2 pots up accordingly on those two channels (from ZxR headphones out) so that these channels are going to both main and aux 1/2? But if so, how do you send some channels to both main and aux, while others to aux only, and others to main only?
3) for the system sound feeding the central bass shaker, summing would just be panning them both to one side, correct?
4) can I use something like the "Record Outputs" (RCA) to feed system sound to the central bass shaker without any signal I'm sending to aux channels (i.e. main only)?
5) when using stereo speakers, would I just feed that signal to main and then output from "Mix Outputs"? Independent of aux outs?
6) when using headphones, that same main signal would also output at the headphones out, correct? Is this independent of aux outs?
7) would it make sense to try and feed my microphone to the mixer and then to the ZxR mic input on the card? Or just bypass the mixer in that case and straight to the card? I don't need to adjust levels or eq on the mic in this case. (For recording I would be using different microphones, XLR inputs, etc.). I realize I am out of input channels, but would not need speaker and headphones out from the ZxR simultaneously, so have them available.
Does this all seem doable with the EPM8? Is there a better mixer for my needs? In the past I had mainly used Mackies for smaller mixers like 8 and 12 channel, honestly can't remember the brands of the larger mixers...I didn't own them. From what I have read, Soundcraft is a good brand (Harman). I would like the ability to use it for music as well, but at the moment that is secondary.