mixer/interface for home recording...recommendations?

Buffalo_drummer

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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.
I second this. Have one the Gen II version and love it.
 

bpaluzzi

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The other nice thing about the 18i20 is that if you outgrow it, you can use it as an ADAT expansion for your next interface. I started on Focusrite (first a 2i2, then an 18i20), and when I moved up to Universal Audio, I was able to keep the 18i20 as 8 additional preamps for my Apollo x4. Now I'm running two Apollo rack mounts, the x4, and I'm still using the Focusrite as additional pres (keep my synths patched through it, mostly)
 

drums1225

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The other nice thing about the 18i20 is that if you outgrow it, you can use it as an ADAT expansion for your next interface. I started on Focusrite (first a 2i2, then an 18i20), and when I moved up to Universal Audio, I was able to keep the 18i20 as 8 additional preamps for my Apollo x4. Now I'm running two Apollo rack mounts, the x4, and I'm still using the Focusrite as additional pres (keep my synths patched through it, mostly)
Exactly, but I went in another direction with the 18i20. I wanted to upgrade from my 18i20 to something with better preamps, but most viable options were Thunderbolt, and my current studio PC doesn't support Thunderbolt. I wasn't able to invest in a new PC and a new interface at the same time, and the choices among higher end USB interfaces were limited, so I bought myself some time and grabbed an Audient ASP880 which pipes 8 channels via ADAT to the 18i20. I use the 8 Audient pres as my primary, and the 18i20 handles the rest, plus monitoring. Next up is to upgrade the interface itself, but not crucial because the Audient is awesome.
 

cruddola

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My advice is to get the next step up from what's calling you FIRST! My niece has a 7-piece Catalina kit and was being called towards a Tascam 4 HR for her recording. She saved up another 400 bucks more and went for the Tascam Model 12 with the Midi instead for her keyboards. It will allow her to expand beyond four on the 4-HR. It fit right in with her Presonus Studio One (the cheapie version) on her Windows 10 desktop computer and she likes that she can do stuff on a stinking SD card without a computer. Buy your second step up FIRST because you WILL need to expand eventually on inputs.
 

dkwrnr

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Thank you all!
I'm getting educated here like you can't believe.
While checking all your posts, I've been researching units behind the scenes.
I've come up with (but not limited to) three:
the Tascam US-4x4 HR, Presonus 6bC-6x6, and the Focusrite18i8.
Of these, what are all your pros & cons.
be as realistic & brutal as you want.....
(feel free to add another to compare...)


DW
 

Johnny K

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I started with a Behringer 4 channel interface, the UMC404HD connected to my PC. It has served me well, still use it. 2 overheads, 1 kick, 1 snare. I use the Ableton Live Lite 9 that came free with it. The upgrade to 10 was free too. Great program for non-professionals. I am not a power user so it works for what I need it to do. I don't record enough to add more gear. I do practice a lot so I get more mileage from a Zoom Q2N-4K recorder. The Zoom is very portable so it works for band practice and gigs.
 

dcrigger

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Also..... usb or optical to the PC.
Is one higher quality than the other? more reliable ?
Are you talking about running optical to the PC's internal sound card? If so, I've never heard of anyone doing that for music production. Not saying it doesn't exist - just never heard of it being used for this.

These days all I hear audio interfaces being described as using as USB or Thunderbolt. Optical is commonly used to expand an existing audio interface - adding a bank of inputs via an external pre-amp box for example.
 

dkwrnr

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Are you talking about running optical to the PC's internal sound card? If so, I've never heard of anyone doing that for music production. Not saying it doesn't exist - just never heard of it being used for this.

These days all I hear audio interfaces being described as using as USB or Thunderbolt. Optical is commonly used to expand an existing audio interface - adding a bank of inputs via an external pre-amp box for example.
Ok. I saw that most of the interfaces had a USB and optical. After checking deeper, you are right, optical is not for PC. Thanks for the clarification.
I finally went with a Behringer UMC1820 off amazon. Has more inputs for future use, and was below my top budget.
I really appreciate all the helpful info from you guys.
 


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