#1
will keep this short...

I'm looking to purchase a basic compact mixer (2-8 channels) for studio-quality home recording using my computer, but very few mixers appear to have a USB output. Am I just Googling for the wrong thing? What products are out there that would suit my needs?

Also, if I plugged a guitar and microphone straight into the mixer and started recording, how would each track be recorded onto my computer? Is most recording software compatible with receiving multiple tracks at once through USB?

thank you
#2
To find what you're looking for, try searching for USB audio interface. These devices aren't technically mixers; they manage all the I/O while the computer does the actual mixing.

I picked up a Tascam US-428 ( http://www.tascam.com/products/us-428.html ) for about $120 used. It looks like you could get one for about $200 normally. It has served me well. 4 in and 2 out. I'm no audiophile, but the sound quality is flawless.

As for how it works, any recording software worth it's salt can record multiple tracks independently. If the software supports ASIO (on windows), it will work. I have used FL Studio, Audacity, and whatever the software is that comes with it. On my mac I have used it with Garageband to great effect.

If it is important to you to have the sliders etc., make sure your audio app can accept MIDI control messages. Support for this is kinda spotty, but even if the controls don't work, the audio should still work fine.
#3
Why not go with an audio interface?
The problem with USB interface/mixers is they take all of the inputs and mix them down to a single stereo track which makes editing impossible on the computer...
This little "glitch" is the reason why most people stay away from these products and go with a true interface.

EMU 0404 USB
PreSonus Inspire 1394 (Firewire)
If you only need to record two mics or two inputs at one time you should be fine using USB 2.0 or a small firewire unit. Be prepared to spend around $200 for the interface.

see the UG videos, and read the info in the pinned posts at the top of the board.
#4
Thanks very much for your help guys.

I'm thinking of getting a Tascam US-144. Will this sync with software like Cubase or Audacity and record a mic / line-in guitar on separate tracks? Also, will the quality be pretty much studio quality using something like the 144?

Cheers again.
Last edited by Jake™ at Dec 1, 2008,
#5
Yes it will work fine for your needs and quality will be good.
Yes you can plug mics and instruments into it
Yes you can use Cubase or Audacity with this interface.
Yes it will send both inputs to seperate tracks.

As for how good the final sound is comes down to how well you use the sequencer and mix the song...hardware and software will never be able to do that on its own.

You could have $1,000,000 worth of gear and still get crud results. Once again, it's down to the user to get that great sound.
#6
Quote by Jake™
Thanks very much for your help guys.

I'm thinking of getting a Tascam US-144. Will this sync with software like Cubase or Audacity and record a mic / line-in guitar on separate tracks? Also, will the quality be pretty much studio quality using something like the 144?

Cheers again.



There's no such thing as studio quality for less than £200. Studios have equipment which is worth thousands and thousands.

Saying that, with a decent mic, you will be able to get high quality sounds using that interface, providing you take the time to learn how to use your gear and software properly.
There is poetry in despair.
#7
I have my own home, computer-based recording studio. I use an ALESIS MULTIMIX 8 USB. It's really good its an 8 track audio w/ all kinds of effects. Take a look for yourself, I only paid $99.99 but I think now it's $159.99. here's the link
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.co...-DSP?sku=630166
To answer your question, you need recording software, which comes with it ... well Cubase Le anyway, it's okay to get started.
#8
Quote by MrGuitarMaine
I have my own home, computer-based recording studio. I use an ALESIS MULTIMIX 8 USB. It's really good its an 8 track audio w/ all kinds of effects. Take a look for yourself, I only paid $99.99 but I think now it's $159.99. here's the link
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.co...-DSP?sku=630166
To answer your question, you need recording software, which comes with it ... well Cubase Le anyway, it's okay to get started.


oh yeah, i forgot. forget what the guy above me said, all you need for studio quality beside the mixer, is a good condensor mic. I use the AKG perception 200 here's the link - http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/AKG-Perception-220-Condenser-Microphone?sku=271291
well they dont have it anymore but the 220 is the upgraded version of mine and my mic has great quality. if you have any more questions pm me and i'll make it more clear for you.
#9
I didn't say you couldn't get good quality, I argued that nothing you have below £200 is going to be able to match the sound of a good recording in a pro studio. That's factual information.
There is poetry in despair.