Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

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Frank_Jaegr
KVRist
38 posts since 22 May, 2017

Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:59 pm

Looking for an inexpensive solution, I hate how connectivity is so finicky today..


I was wondering if a USB mixer has all the features of a standalone without the need of drivers or finicky stuff.. would like to use it live and to record

My focusrite pro 40 only works with my Mac nowadays which is lame

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BertKoor
KVRAF
10642 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 am

Frank_Jaegr wrote:Looking for an inexpensive solution
Me thinks this is the root cause of your problems. Cheap gear comes with crappy drivers that never get any updates.
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Frank_Jaegr
KVRist
38 posts since 22 May, 2017

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:13 am

I wouldn’t saying buying a Saffire Liquid 56 back in the day means I’m cheaping out.. but the reality is that Audio interfaces are almost redundant in certain ways, mostly the ways that make it redundant (ie becoming a paper weight vs a usb mixer which can still function after)

Sucks that my interface only works with my MBP because it handles FireWire connectivity so well.. unlike my 3.0 USB ready PC which crashes because it has 3.0 ports..?

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Michael L
KVRAF
2361 posts since 25 Jan, 2014 from the End of the World as we Knowit

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:27 am

You don't need to choose.
Get both:
a mixing control surface with motorized faders, and
a class-compliant audio interface
:hug:

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GaryG
KVRAF
5689 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Kent, UK

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:50 am

Frank_Jaegr wrote:I was wondering if a USB mixer has all the features of a standalone without the need of drivers or finicky stuff..
Most 'usb mixers' (especially inexpensive ones) are just an analog mixer with a usb audio interface built in and will still need drivers. If it uses drivers from the manufacturer then it could still be redundant someday if they drop support. However, if it's a relatively modern device then it may be class compliant so doesn't need proprietary drivers that you need to install. More and more are CC so they can be used with ipads etc (don't want to miss out on that growing market).
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Kaine
KVRAF
1764 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:23 am

Latency and performance on the class compliant stuff is normally pretty lousy though, this from experience is applicable to the solutions used in USB mixers too.

So is the Saffire 40 100% known not to work under Windows 10 / on modern hardware, or it just isn't working on the setup you have there? What Firewire card do you have in there that it isn't working on?

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nix808
KVRAF
3597 posts since 22 Jul, 2006 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:52 am

A USB mixer is not a bad way to break IMO. Mackie gear is good->
http://mackie.com/products/profxv2-series

The hangup I mentioned in the other thread of urs is that they don't have a 5-pin MIDI port
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Acid Mitch
KVRAF
1865 posts since 5 Oct, 2005

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:05 am

Kaine wrote:
So is the Saffire 40 100% known not to work under Windows 10 / on modern hardware, or it just isn't working on the setup you have there? What Firewire card do you have in there that it isn't working on?
There is a known problem with via chipsets.
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... 10-upgrade

sprnva
KVRian
1291 posts since 16 Jan, 2013

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:09 am

One thing to check with USB mixers is how many channels they output over USB. Some only send a stereo mix back to your DAW rather than seperate outputs like your audio interface.
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jdoo
KVRist
418 posts since 23 Dec, 2011

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:31 am

sprnva wrote:One thing to check with USB mixers is how many channels they output over USB. Some only send a stereo mix back to your DAW rather than seperate outputs like your audio interface.
I use a Yamaha MG10XU, which has this 'limitation'. Here's the bottom line (for me) though. I don't often want to pull multiple simultaneous audio inputs into my DAW. It's not that I wouldn't welcome the capability.. but it's rare, that I want to record audio on multiple channels live. Typically... it just doesn't come up that often.

That said - the Yami MG10XU has been a great mixer/interface for my keyboard setup. I use it to mix hardware synths and vocals to Logic Pro, and it's been great.

Frank_Jaegr
KVRist
38 posts since 22 May, 2017

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:56 am

Right now I'm using a Syba Texas Instrument PCi card.. actually, I used Focusrites online checker and it's confirmed working on their own OS checker and Chipset checker utility. The problem on Windows 10 seems that my interface doesn't wanna stay locked and simply clicks and pops while the Mixcontrol says it is simply disconnected.

I was thinking of just buying an MPC live for it's built in audio interface and for the ability to mess with a built in sampler and sequencer.. just not sure if that's a smart move. I'm actually going to downgrade from Windows 10 down to 7. At the moment I just don't have enough money to make the switch to another interface so hopefully Windows 7 is a stable environment for my interface until I can save up enough for that or another interface (probably)

Most midi gear is moving to USB so I'm not worries about the missing MIDI ports

Septimon
KVRist
246 posts since 8 Mar, 2008 from Berlin

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:20 am

Correcct me if I‘m wrong, but as far as i know, there aren‘t too many (if any) usb mixers with low latency Performance.

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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
4708 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:44 am

Another thing top watch out for is if the mixer outputs phantom power for mics (if required) properly - i.e to the usual 48v level. One forum member recently bought one of the Behringer Xenyx little ones only to discover it only output 15 volts...

Kaine
KVRAF
1764 posts since 4 Nov, 2004 from Manchester

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:49 am

Acid Mitch wrote: There is a known problem with via chipsets.
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... 10-upgrade
Yeah, I was thinking it was probably the XIO 2200B chip, but same logic applies.
Frank_Jaegr wrote:Right now I'm using a Syba Texas Instrument PCi card..
Syba doesn't mean anything to me I'm afraid, I was fishing for the controller chipset used upon it. As has already been noted, a number of solutions that used to work, no longer do on current hardware/OS combinations. If your on a PCI card, then I'm not going to be overly surprised if the chipset is long since legacy and support may have been killed in an update.

The description you're giving us about the card and interface failing to sync, is exactly the symtom I would expect in this situation.

Winstontaneous
KVRian
1384 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: Is it better to buy an interface or a usb mixer nowadays?

Post Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:53 am

sprnva wrote:One thing to check with USB mixers is how many channels they output over USB. Some only send a stereo mix back to your DAW rather than seperate outputs like your audio interface.
Good point, also some class-compliant (driverless) USB mixers only work at lower sample rates/bit depths. 44.1 is OK for me, but 24+ bit is essential for serious audio work.

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