mixer/interface for home recording...recommendations?

dkwrnr

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Gentlemen,
I am looking for a suitable mixer-interface (usb) to handle at least 4 mics, to record at home, to my PC. I currently have two overheads and a kick, but will probably add a snare.
I have Audacity installed, but not married to it.
My first attempt was an affordable PYLE pmxu83bt. It's a nice little unit, and I could find my way around it pretty well. However, being a novice at this, I found that it was falling short in a feature I was unaware I actually wanted. Since then I found Audacity does have a feature where it reads the interface you connect to it, and gives you a selection of tracks to work on.
The problem feature I missed is that the PYLE unit has only 2 channel stereo out. I was hoping to be able to work on each mic track separately in Aud, but I am limited to just a stereo mix of the three mics. Left and right only.
My question is, can someone out there point me in the direction of a similar mixer interface, that delivers more than just a stereo out mix? I'm thinking of something like a 4x4, or more, but as always, budget dictates.
Id like to keep it in the $200 range (or less?) as its just a modest setup in my drum room. The PYLE unit was less than 100 bucks. I've been researching but its been a pain because each manufacturer is different in just how they spec how many in, and how many out.
Appreciate any and all suggestions....



DW
 

Drumbumcrumb

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One piece of advice you’ll see again and again is get MORE mic preamps than you currently need. You will add mics, it’s inevitable.

I use this one for a modest home studio, it’s been great. (8) Mic preamps sound excellent, no volume or signal strength issues or anything, everything is simple and straightforward. I can’t say there’s anything I need that it doesn’t do, and I’ve never felt like a more expensive unit would sound exponentially better. It’s really good. I made a simple cradle for it and mounted it under a desk, with 6 cables exiting from the back it’s nice and neat.

 

dcrigger

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Gentlemen,
I am looking for a suitable mixer-interface (usb) ...
I would say first thing to realize is that you are most likely not looking for a mixer at all - you are wanting a USB audio interface with 4 or more mic inputs.... basically make sure it say... four (or more) mic preamps... not just inputs, but mic preamps.

I have a feeling at that price point - you are going to a few 4 mic pre units, sandwiched between a bazillion 2 mic pre units and then 8 mic pre ones starting jus above that. I agree that the 2 mic pre units are worthless to you. I would only suggest really thinking about buying a 4 input unit, if 8's are just a bit more.... Because while it is true you might not grow out of a 4 input, it also isn't likely...

At least, that's the way it turned out for a lot of the rest of us.... :)
 

drums1225

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Like David said, do yourself a favor and get a USB interface with 8 preamps. When (not if) you decide you want to add close mics to fatten up your toms, you'll wish you had gone for the 8 pres. For reference, I have 10 mics on my 6 piece kit: one on each drum, plus hi hat, 2 overheads, and bottom snare.

I've had a (1st Gen) Focusrite 18i20 for 7 or 8 years; it's been as solid as a rock and I've made some nice drum recordings.
You can grab a used 18i20 for around $300 and it will be an upgrade in quality and a huge upgrade in quantity from what you have now. And it's easily expandable. The software control for the 2nd and 3rd gen is better, and the specs are slightly improved, but you can decide if the bump in price is worth it.

Actually, here you go. (1st Gen) Focusrite 18i20

https://reverb.com/item/44632050-focusrite-scarlett-18i20-usb-2-0-audio-interface.

I'd offer $275 +$25 shipping, and boom, for $300 you could have a good quality interface that you're unlikely to outgrow unless you get really serious about recording. And even then, the ADAT optical ins and outs allow you to expand and/or upgrade your preamps by adding an additional unit with ADAT out.

If you insist that you won't expand (you will), the Scarlett 18i8 is the 4 preamp version.
 

DanRH

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I believe anything over a two channel interface will not work on Audacity. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
 

The Texan

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Save up and buy a Mac and a decent interface. You will want 8 preamps. When i first started I tried using a PC and it was a royal pain in the ass and wasted so much time. Once you start recording it is a bottomless pit.....
 

dkwrnr

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I believe anything over a two channel interface will not work on Audacity. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
I have seen a video with a guy using AUD working with 8 channels, I believe it was a MOTU unit, and he explained how to get AUD to read the interface. Had to set playback and record to your same device. He was using a MAC though....
 

SteveParadis

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One piece of advice you’ll see again and again is get MORE mic preamps than you currently need. You will add mics, it’s inevitable.

I use this one for a modest home studio, it’s been great. (8) Mic preamps sound excellent, no volume or signal strength issues or anything, everything is simple and straightforward. I can’t say there’s anything I need that it doesn’t do, and I’ve never felt like a more expensive unit would sound exponentially better. It’s really good. I made a simple cradle for it and mounted it under a desk, with 6 cables exiting from the back it’s nice and neat.

That’s a good point! It’s inevitable.
 

TPC

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Save up and buy a Mac and a decent interface. You will want 8 preamps. When i first started I tried using a PC and it was a royal pain in the ass and wasted so much time. Once you start recording it is a bottomless pit.....
Agree about the 8 pre’s. And if there’s a chance you’ll want to record your band live, 16 is handy. ;)

Regarding PC/Mac, I’ve used a PC for decades (Cubase, Studio One) with no issues. I’ve also used Mac with ProTools, also no problem.
 

The Texan

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Agree about the 8 pre’s. And if there’s a chance you’ll want to record your band live, 16 is handy. ;)

Regarding PC/Mac, I’ve used a PC for decades (Cubase, Studio One) with no issues. I’ve also used Mac with ProTools, also no problem.
I tried Pro Tools on PC with windows and it was horrible
 

TPC

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^Agree, that’s not the best match. If one were tied to ProTools I’d definitely recommend a Mac. Other DAWs though work great on PCs.
 

drums1225

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Choice of platform became largely irrelevant for home recording 20 years ago. If you have a PC it's fine. If you have a Mac, it's fine. If you were starting from scratch, and building a computer solely for recording, an argument could easily be made to go with a Mac (or not).

I've used Cubase on a PC since 1993 with no problems. From what I've heard, Pro Tools is not a great match for Windows; to me, it always seemed like an odd choice for a Windows user.
 

mydadisjr

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Like David said, do yourself a favor and get a USB interface with 8 preamps. When (not if) you decide you want to add close mics to fatten up your toms, you'll wish you had gone for the 8 pres. For reference, I have 10 mics on my 6 piece kit: one on each drum, plus hi hat, 2 overheads, and bottom snare.

I've had a (1st Gen) Focusrite 18i20 for 7 or 8 years; it's been as solid as a rock and I've made some nice drum recordings.
You can grab a used 18i20 for around $300 and it will be an upgrade in quality and a huge upgrade in quantity from what you have now. And it's easily expandable. The software control for the 2nd and 3rd gen is better, and the specs are slightly improved, but you can decide if the bump in price is worth it.

Actually, here you go. (1st Gen) Focusrite 18i20

https://reverb.com/item/44632050-focusrite-scarlett-18i20-usb-2-0-audio-interface.

I'd offer $275 +$25 shipping, and boom, for $300 you could have a good quality interface that you're unlikely to outgrow unless you get really serious about recording. And even then, the ADAT optical ins and outs allow you to expand and/or upgrade your preamps by adding an additional unit with ADAT out.

If you insist that you won't expand (you will), the Scarlett 18i8 is the 4 preamp version.

Another vote for the Focusrite Scarlett...

I have an acoustic duo and we do a stereo room mic setup so we only use two mics.

I wanted to expand and have 4 or 5 mics running (wanted to mic the amps, etc), so I got a Yamaha USB mixer (10 in, 2 out). The Yamaha just sounded harsh after the Focusrite. We fought with it for about 60 days or so, went back to the Focusrite with two mics.

We use PC, no problem.
 

dsop

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Save up and buy a Mac and a decent interface. You will want 8 preamps. When i first started I tried using a PC and it was a royal pain in the ass and wasted so much time. Once you start recording it is a bottomless pit.....
I feel the exact opposite. Windows is the way to go.
For interface, I highly recommend Roland's Studio Capture (12 XLR inputs). For recording software, Cakewalk is powerful, fully featured, and reminds of the days of analog with its interface. For a few years now it's been completely free too.
 

The Texan

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I feel the exact opposite. Windows is the way to go.
For interface, I highly recommend Roland's Studio Capture (12 XLR inputs). For recording software, Cakewalk is powerful, fully featured, and reminds of the days of analog with its interface. For a few years now it's been completely free too.
Windows might be the way to go but with Pro Tools it did not run good at all
 

TheBeachBoy

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I bought the Zoom R16 about 10 years ago and it's been great. Just recorded our band last week at a gig (each of us got two channels - instrument and vocals). I might buy a second one (or the R8) to daisy chain so I can run my drum mics separate. I primarily use it in my home studio connected to my PC via USB and it's nice to have 8 channels. I may upgrade to a Scarlett or Clarett, but for now it's a great device and handy being able to also record directly to an SD card, which is nice at gigs or impromptu writing sessions.
 

Lazmo

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I bought the Zoom R16 about 10 years ago and it's been great.

….but for now it's a great device and handy being able to also record directly to an SD card, which is nice at gigs or impromptu writing sessions.
“record directly to an SD card” for sure, that is a huge bonus.
 


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