What are the differences between using an audio interface or an audio mixer? Which device should you choose if you are looking for something to help you multi track record, produce a live event, stream a video game, or join a video conference from your home studio?

In this video we compare the differences between an audio interface and an audio mixer with a usb connection. We discuss everything that you may want to compare and make recommendations for you based on what you’re wanting to do with this audio interface/mixer.

It’s getting easier and easier to build your own audio studio at home. One question that we get all the time is “Should I buy and audio interface or an audio mixer”.

Quick Answer: An audio mixer takes multiple audio signals and combines them together to create one or more output mixes. An Audio Interface takes multiple audio signals and keeps them separate so your computer can process each input separately.

USB Audio Mixer

Yamaha MG10XU

A USB Audio mixing console is a great tool that will allow you to connect a variety to inputs, mix them, and send the final mix to the computer. 

Audio mixing consoles are especially useful for live performances and other situations where the sound needs to get processed and mixed without the help of a computer. 

Pros of an Audio Mixer

  • Versatility: Can be used for live events or home recording.
  • Inputs: Lots of inputs for whatever you many need.
  • Built in Compression (on some mixers)
  • Built in EQ
  • Built in Effects (on some mixers)
  • Ability to Pan

Cons of an Audio Mixer

  • Large size: Takes up a lot of desk space
  • Not great for multi-track recording 

USB Audio Interface

An audio interface is a device that connects your audio source (mixer, microphone, keyboard, guitar, etc.) to your computer. An audio interface is engineered to take the sounds from your live audio sources, convert them to a digital signal, and send that digital signal to your computer.

Pros of an Audio Interface

  • Portability: They’re generally quite small and extremely portable.
  • Quality: They have a great preamps and audio quality
  • Power: Generally they are USB Powered which makes them very easy to use.

Cons of an Audio Interface

  • Software is required for all effects or processing.
  • Not built for live events/performances

Audio Interface & Audio Mixer Pricing & Specs

Digital Audio Console Pricing & Specs

Topics Covered In This Video

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:45 – Audio Equipment In This Video
  • 1:20 – Pricing
  • 2:12 – USB Input / Output
  • 4:33 – Size
  • 5:28 – Inputs (Microphone , Line, Instrument)
  • 6:25 – Input Gain
  • 6:52 – Monitoring (Blend Knob)
  • 8:11 – Compression
  • 9:00 – EQ / Equalization
  • 10:00 – Aux & FX
  • 10:53 – Pan (Left & Right)
  • 11:24 – Mute Buttons
  • 11:40 – Level Adjustment
  • 12:23 – Multi-Track Recording
  • 12:58 – Live Events
  • 13:27 – Video & Audio Streaming
  • 14:18 – Video & Audio Conferencing
  • 14:40 – Hybrid Events
  • 14:56 – All Types Of Events
  • 16:00 – What Sounds Better?
  • 16:35 – What’s The Best For Vocals?
  • 17:13 – What Is More Popular?
  • 18:22 – What If You Want The Best Of Both? (Digital Audio Console)
  • 19:55 – Summary
  • 20:22 – Final Thoughts

More Information on Audio Interfaces & Mixers

Disclosure: If you purchase an item or service from an outbound link, we may receive a referral fee, which helps to support Kettner Creative.

Jordan Kettner

I consider myself to be half entrepreneur and half A/V geek. I am never content to settle for what is expected or determined by others to be the “industry standard”. Instead, I work extremely hard to break new ground and deliver value to whoever I meet.

My passion for the audio visual industry drives me to create content that will help others learn the best tools and techniques to learn how to setup their home studio.

"Recognizing opportunity is so difficult for most people because it goes around disguised in overalls, looking like hard work!"
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