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Old 01-18-2013, 03:51 PM   #1
hey_joe42
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Audio Interfaces vs mixers with USB output

So my Tascam US-122L seems to be crapping out on me. The line in jacks aren't working anymore, and the one mic jack just isn't working. Got alot of use out of the thing.

Now i'm looking for something to replace it but don't know what the difference between Audio interfaces and Mixers with USB output. I do recording, 2 inputs so far has done me okay, 4 inputs like a 4 channel mixer could get a bit of use as well.

But the biggest thing I used my tascam to jam with at night while my wife sleeps. I work shifts so I'm usually up late at night. A usb mixer would allow me to put my guitar, and the computer in there and then I can jam with my headphones on. But are they good for recording, or whats the differences?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:04 PM   #2
AJScott
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With mixers, say you put 2 instruments or 8 microphones (say for drums) in your DAW they will usually come through as 1 input, and therefore harder to mix. Mixers are generally designed for live use, if you want to do recording an audio interface is the way to go.

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Old 01-18-2013, 05:19 PM   #3
AcousticMetal99
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I think USB ones have 2 outs and 2 ins - as far as I know that can't be swapped to 4 outs sadly. So if you only need to record two channels at a time, it's fine - if you can overtrack parts. Also good for anything live where you want to capture the entire mix.
Depends on the audio input, but a PCI card or whatever can usually take up to 8 tracks at once I think. If the interface runs over USB though, it'll have the same issue as the mixer with USB.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AcousticMetal99
Depends on the audio input, but a PCI card or whatever can usually take up to 8 tracks at once I think. If the interface runs over USB though, it'll have the same issue as the mixer with USB.


Afraid you're wrong here, USB audio interfaces are not limited to 2 input and 2 outputs. I don't know if there even is a limit but there's USB interfaces with like 16 inputs. That's most I've seen.


Don't reccomend getting a PCI card, an audio interface is an external sound card as PCI cards have a habit of suffering from latency/lag.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:34 PM   #5
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There are lots of mixers that do more than 2 channels in, its just usually by the time you find one of these that are good for both studio & live use, you're looking at $1000+ for a 16 channel board.

You can use both an interface or mixer for jamming late at night. You'd just load up a DAW & use an amp sim & backing track.


Edit:

Quote:
Don't reccomend getting a PCI card, an audio interface is an external sound card as PCI cards have a habit of suffering from latency/lag


Actually, PCI Express cards (which most newer cards are) have much lower levels of latency. I know Pro Tools HD, which is run off a PCI Express Card, has about a latency of 2.1ms versus a USB 2.0 interface having around 8.3ms at a 96khz sample rate. Of course, my source is direct from Avid but still. Its just usually a PCI Express system costs way more than an interface to get setup.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #6
Bill43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJScott
Afraid you're wrong here, USB audio interfaces are not limited to 2 input and 2 outputs. I don't know if there even is a limit but there's USB interfaces with like 16 inputs. That's most I've seen.


Don't reccomend getting a PCI card, an audio interface is an external sound card as PCI cards have a habit of suffering from latency/lag.


That's an odd statement to make. I have 4 computers all with PCI cards feeding through a D8B. There's absolutely 0 latency. No lag... straight digital noiseless recordings. You can listen to any of my songs and hear for yourself. The link is in my sig.

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Old 01-19-2013, 01:12 AM   #7
hey_joe42
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One more question as you guys were very helpful. Audio Interfaces... are they the same thing as DI boxes? I'm just trying to figure out my favourite gutiar store online and they seem to have the interfaces in with the DI boxes, but some are labelled interfaces and others DI boxes and I'm not sure if there is a difference. I'm checking out Long and McQuade here in Canada.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:19 AM   #8
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They aren't the same. An interface is meant to record audio to a PC, a DI is meant to switch a signal from high impedance to low impedance (or the other way around, I forget). A lot of Interfaces have DIs built into them but some are kinda meh in quality.
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