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USB Audio Mixer Interfaces

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:54 pm
by Hossinfeffa
I have a few options here and would like some opinions. I have been thinking I want to upgrade my PC interface. Currently I am running a Yamaha MG-166CX out to a E-mu 0202 PCI card for recording. While this has served me well for many years and I enjoy it, I would like to upgrade to something where I can record each track separately. It works much better for live improvisation like I tend to do.

Now for the options I am considering.. a friend recently gave me his Tascam M-164UF Mixer. Before this I had no idea USB mixers existed so I am quite interested in them. Problem is, I used it for less than 20 minutes before it cut out on me and no longer powers up. I contacted Tascam and they said the labor should be around $90 plus whatever cost of parts to fix it themselves. Not too bad considering I got the mixer for free anyways.

I could go that route, or possibly sell my Yamaha board and find the MG-166CX USB version. This board seems to sell for less than other USB boards, which I find rather confusing since the others don't seem as good. Is there a catch? (Just found out this board only outputs 2 channels for USB.) My last option is bypassing the USB mixer all together and just going for an audio interface with enough channels. I'd like 6-8 channels at least.

Or I guess I could just sell off the Yamaha and broken Tascam board to buy a working Tascam mixer off of Ebay. Thoughts?

Re: USB Audio Mixer Interfaces

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:41 pm
by vicd
How many tracks do you want to send to the PC in one take? sorry, did not notice it's 6-8 (stereo?).
Anyway, you can probably refer to that thread.

...or [search]USB 2.0 mixer[/search]

Re: USB Audio Mixer Interfaces

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:32 pm
by Hossinfeffa
vicd wrote:How many tracks do you want to send to the PC in one take? sorry, did not notice it's 6-8 (stereo?).
Anyway, you can probably refer to that thread.

...or [search]USB 2.0 mixer[/search]
I'll check those out but you also missed my other questions. This isn't a matter of which one to buy as much as it is a "how should I set up my studio."

Reason for that being I had heard once that it is better to buy a separate interface from the mixer because of the A/D converters not being great in the mixers. I guess similar to how I heard preamps in mixers are not as good as dedicated ones unless you spend a ton of money.

So basically am I losing anything by going to a USB mixer or should I keep a dedicated analog one around?

Re: USB Audio Mixer Interfaces

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:51 am
by GuyaGuy
I'm confused. Wait now I get it. Wait no I don't

Re: USB Audio Mixer Interfaces

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:46 am
by Hossinfeffa
A. Would it be better to sell a mixer I got for free that doesn't work to put money towards another or repair it?

B. Is there any features or sound quality I will lose by going from the way I record now to the new USB way?

Re: USB Audio Mixer Interfaces

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:50 am
by Stab Frenzy
Hossinfeffa wrote:A. Would it be better to sell a mixer I got for free that doesn't work to put money towards another or repair it?
Who would buy it if it's not working?
Hossinfeffa wrote:B. Is there any features or sound quality I will lose by going from the way I record now to the new USB way?
You'd probably lose a little bit of noise that you're getting the way you're recording now, but you'd be much better off just using a multichannel soundcard with a DSP mixer onboard. Depending on how much money you have to spend look at the Motu and RME ranges. I have an RME Fireface UFX and it's a very nice interface as well as being a great digital mixer. I've used it to mix live shows on before (controlled from an ipad) and it's done a great job.