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  #1  
Old 06-09-2016, 12:27 PM
Atalkingsausage Atalkingsausage is offline
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Default Interface vs mixer? Am I missing something?

Why would you want something like this:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Focusrit...o-Interface.gc

Instead of something like this:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringe...02USB-Mixer.gc

Im not bashing the Scarlett interface, I actually own one myself, and think its great at what it does. But I was surfing the GC website and noticed that those little mixers, have twice the channels, and way more ins and outs for 50 bucks less. Then I noticed the USB out on the back, and that confused me even more because Initially I thought you might have to run the mixer through the interface in order to covert the analog signal to digital but nope, It looks as though it does that too....what am I missing?

Also, would there be any need to run a pre-amp in front of these?

I'm far from being any sort of recording professional. So I hope these aren't terribly stupid questions. thanks!
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Last edited by Atalkingsausage; 06-09-2016 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:13 PM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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1) The Focusrite is 24 bit, the mixer is 16 bit
2) My experience with less-expensive USB mixers (not just Behringer, I have a Mackie) is that the A-D converters are noisy - a high-pitched whine that is only controllable by keeping the USB output low. As the Behr mixer does not have a separate USB volume control, the volume on it can only be controlled by the main output volume control.

mixers are for mixing. audio interfaces are for recording
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:42 PM
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If you post what your intended use is someone could most likely explain why one device is better suited than the other.

In general, the features of the mixer are optimized for live use (and some capture/record the live show as an extra benefit), whereas the interface is optimized for recording and playback of the recordings and is used in combination with a DAW application running on your computer.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:48 PM
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In terms of quality, you get what you pay for (hopefully). Just my stand alone mike preamps cost many times what these units do. Both units already have preamps.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:52 PM
Atalkingsausage Atalkingsausage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
If you post what your intended use is someone could most likely explain why one device is better suited than the other.

In general, the features of the mixer are optimized for live use (and some capture/record the live show as an extra benefit), whereas the interface is optimized for recording and playback of the recordings and is used in combination with a DAW application running on your computer.
Primary use would be home recording, but I have been toying around with adding another mic or two to my setup, which would require the addition of extra channels. Also, with my current setup (guitar-mic-interface-garageband) I have to turn the levels up to the point of clipping in order get a decent over-all volume level.unless I export the finished project as an MP3 then bring it back into garageband to bring the volume up more. So maybe I would like something with more headroom if thats even possible?

I was thinking having some sort of purpose built physical mixer might increase the level of control I have on my sound, and maybe let me boost my mic level without distortion. But it sounds like thats the opposite of what would happen lol
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:11 PM
RedJoker RedJoker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atalkingsausage View Post
Primary use would be home recording, but I have been toying around with adding another mic or two to my setup, which would require the addition of extra channels. Also, with my current setup (guitar-mic-interface-garageband) I have to turn the levels up to the point of clipping in order get a decent over-all volume level.unless I export the finished project as an MP3 then bring it back into garageband to bring the volume up more. So maybe I would like something with more headroom if thats even possible?

I was thinking having some sort of purpose built physical mixer might increase the level of control I have on my sound, and maybe let me boost my mic level without distortion. But it sounds like thats the opposite of what would happen lol
I looked that those mixers in hopes of getting more channels but you don't actually get all those channels through the USB. All you get is the stereo output of the mixer. From my understanding, they're intended to be used as mixers for live performances first and just happen to have the USB out so you can record your live show. Whereas the focusrite is intended to be an actual recording interface.

Does that make sense?
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atalkingsausage View Post
Primary use would be home recording, but I have been toying around with adding another mic or two to my setup, which would require the addition of extra channels. Also, with my current setup (guitar-mic-interface-garageband) I have to turn the levels up to the point of clipping in order get a decent over-all volume level.unless I export the finished project as an MP3 then bring it back into garageband to bring the volume up more. So maybe I would like something with more headroom if thats even possible?

I was thinking having some sort of purpose built physical mixer might increase the level of control I have on my sound, and maybe let me boost my mic level without distortion. But it sounds like thats the opposite of what would happen lol
If you need 4 preamps and the Focusrite Scarlett series is the level of performance you are after you could look at their 18i8 interface.

However, are you sure you want/need to record more than 2 channels at once? Are you just recording the guitar, or also vocals, or also ?

Regarding your recorded levels, I doubt that your problem is your interface. What mic are you using, and at what distance? Where is the gain set on your interface and what are the record levels shown on your DAW?
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:22 PM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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The audio interface allows you to get two separate signals (guitar and vocal, say) on two DAW tracks. The mixer only outputs a stereo signal of the summed mixer channels. So you couldn't just separately adjust the vocal, or just the guitar or bass or keys or whatever in the DAW.

I just got a Focusrite 6i6 ... great unit.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:45 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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With the mixer you CAN record two separate tracks at one time - with one input panned left and one input panned right - but that's it, you can't record any more than those two separate tracks at one time.

As to your volume issues, you definitely need to look at your gainstaging. You should be recording in the -18DBFS to -12DBFS range, mixing to no more than -9 to -6DBFS. Mastering takes the volume up to the near 0dB range. Don't convert files to MP3 (you lose a lot of digital info) until mastering is complete.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:31 AM
Atalkingsausage Atalkingsausage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
With the mixer you CAN record two separate tracks at one time - with one input panned left and one input panned right - but that's it, you can't record any more than those two separate tracks at one time.

As to your volume issues, you definitely need to look at your gainstaging. You should be recording in the -18DBFS to -12DBFS range, mixing to no more than -9 to -6DBFS. Mastering takes the volume up to the near 0dB range. Don't convert files to MP3 (you lose a lot of digital info) until mastering is complete.
extremely helpful, thanks so much!
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  #11  
Old 06-13-2016, 01:19 PM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Oh, I should have added - you can record more than two inputs at one time, but you're going to have to decide how they are mixed down to the two tracks (left and right) sent to your DAW.
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2017 Taylor 114ce-N
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73 Epiphone 6830E 6 string (made in 71?)

72 Fender Telecaster
Epiphone Dot Studio
Epiphone LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone ($25!)

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