I am starting a new podacst. I am considering, as an example, a Focusrite 18i8 audio interface vs a Yamaha MG12XU or an Allen & Health Zed 10 usb mixer. I don't want to get caught up in specific models, or brands. I am just talking about the relative merits of an audio interface vs a usb mixer.

In the past I saw comments about latency issues, and mix-minus issues with audio interfaces. Focusrite indicates that they have resolved latency issues, and that they can replicate a mix-minus configuration through their software. I need to have up to 4 mics, and 1 aux for a mix-minus. I am told that an audio interface can be used for a live broadcast. Right now all of my shows will be recorded, but who know what the future may bring.

I've been researching online what to buy, and all of the podcast gear recommendations focus on mixers, and barely mention audio interfaces, if they are mentioned at all.

When I go into sound stores they almost look at me as crazy for wanting a mixer for a podcast. They strongly recommend an audio interface. Their main argument is that an audio interface allows you to record each input as an individual track so that you can tweak your mix for each input in post. They also say that an audio interface generally has better preamps than mixers in the same price range.

From what the store salespeople are telling me, it seems that an audio interface is a better option. Why do so many podcasters recommend a mixer when the majority of usb mixers only output a stereo mix to a computer, and you cannot edit each input individually?

I am really confused between what the podcasting sites recomend versus what I am told when I visit sound stores. What is the best choice for podcasting? An audio interface like I have mentioned, or a usb mixer, and why should I eliminate the other?

Why are mixers being recommended over audio interfaces on the majority of podcast gear recommendations when it seem that an audio interface is the better option for recording a podcast? Why should I go with a mixer? Can someone please clear this up for me?