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Thread: Audio Interface vs USB Mixer for Podcasting?

  1. #1
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    Audio Interface vs USB Mixer for Podcasting?

    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?

  2. #2
    Administrator andrewzarian's Avatar
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    Hey Welcome to the forum. Before I can suggest what would work best for you give me a little info on what type of podcast you will be recording. Will you have guests, Skype calls and things like that?

  3. #3
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    The podcast will be mainly an interview show with guests over skype, in person, or on the phone. I want to have the guests record their audio on their end as well if they are remote.
    Last edited by hipspy; 10-28-2015 at 11:31 AM.

  4. #4
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    There are good things that can happen by using both.
    Last edited by Dana; 11-15-2015 at 04:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    I'd recommend the mixer.
    I thought that an audio interface would work, and got a Behringer UMC202HD. Not a high end one I understand, but...
    All I wanted was to be able to record quality audio with two mics.
    The audio interface I find is no different than having two sub powered mics plugged in to the PC.

    Maybe you'll have better luck with a more expensive audio interface, but the preamps on the Behringer were supposed to be decent and I find the volume of either a dynamic or condenser mic is way too low. Regardless of phantom power.

    I think there's a reason most info online focuses on mixers, and I think it's because they are the best option.

    Good luck! I wish someone would have steered me towards a mixer first.

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