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Mixer replacement

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1 hour ago, Anka said:

Correct.

It would be great if it had an extra pair of inputs as well in case I would like to plug in my phone or some other device. But that would just be a bonus.

Yeah I would generally advise going one "level" above the bare minimum you currently need for the flexibility and growth that offers.

 

With all that in mind, something like the Scarlett 8i6 should fit the situation nicely.  I have no particular affiliation with Focusrite though and if you or anyone else knows of another unit with similar or better features/quality for less money, by all means go that way.  I'm mentioning them specifically just because I have some personal experience using the hardware and software.

I have been using a mixer to connect my PC to my headphones and speakers, but I am now looking to replace it because the headphone output recently started to only output on the left channel.

My current setup looks something like this:

Inputs:
Mic          --> Mixer (Ch 1)
PC (VoIP)    --> Mixer (Ch 3/4), connected through HDMI audio. Sounds ok, but not great.
PC (Desktop) --> Mixer (Ch 5/6)

Outputs:
Mixer (FX send) --> PC (Mic input)
Mixer (Main)    --> Speakers
Mixer (Phones)  --> Headphones

I would like to connect my Nintendo Switch to the new setup, which I cannot do at the moment because I am out of stereo inputs.

I would also like to keep being able to mix my desktop audio into the microphone output if possible.

 

Currently, I am using an AT2020 XLR microphone and DT880 pro 250 ohm headphones.

I maybe want to change the microphone for something more directional in the future though.

 

What would you recommend as a replacement for the mixer?

It would be even better if I could get a DAC in there somewhere to replace the PC audio because the audio source is a bit noisy if I turn up the volume. Especially the VoIP audio routed through the HDMI audio source.

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It sounds like what you need is an interface, not a mixer.  The wrench in the works with that option though is the second PC, if I'm understanding your setup right.  If that could be worked in though, it would simplify the setup and solve the DAC issue all at once.

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18 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

It sounds like what you need is an interface, not a mixer.  The wrench in the works with that option though is the second PC, if I'm understanding your setup right.  If that could be worked in though, it would simplify the setup and solve the DAC issue all at once.

The two sources marked PC are connected to the same machine. The image might not explain that well enough. That is why I am using the HDMI audio source as well as the 3.5mm output to get two independent physical volume dials for VoIP and music/games.

 

I almost never use the EQ (and if I would like to, I could probably find a software solution), so an audio interface will probably be better.

 

Does the audio interface present several audio devices in Windows so I can send different audio to different sources or how do they work?

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12 minutes ago, Anka said:

The two sources marked PC are connected to the same machine. The image might not explain that well enough. That is why I am using the HDMI audio source as well as the 3.5mm output to get two independent physical volume dials for VoIP and music/games.

 

I almost never use the EQ (and if I would like to, I could probably find a software solution), so an audio interface will probably be better.

 

Does the audio interface present several audio devices in Windows so I can send different audio to different sources or how do they work?

It will show up as one device with many channels.  Each unit is different and some may not offer as much flexibility as others, but the Scarlett 18i20 for example has a companion application that lets you configure all the routing.  All inputs can be independently accessed by your application(s) of choice, and you can send any combination of system audio and input to any combination of outputs.  For example, you could record the mic, have it also pass-through to the headphones so you can hear yourself, and mix the system audio into the headphones as well.  There are much simpler units that would handle that scenario though.  A more complex example (not based on your situation) would be you have 4 mics, studio monitors, and 2 separate headphones.  All mics get recorded separately in software, Mic 1 + 2, plus system audio goes to headphone 1, Mic 4 goes to headphone 2, and just the system audio goes to the speakers.

 

While it would certainly do the job, I think you could get away with less IO.  If I'm counting right, you need 3 inputs (1 mono mic + 1 stereo for the switch), 2 outputs (stereo to speakers), and a headphone jack (which of course is an output but not in the way that matters for counting since it's separate), correct?  Because it connects to the PC with USB, you don't need additional analog inputs and outputs to create that link.

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3 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

It will show up as one device with many channels.  Each unit is different and some may not offer as much flexibility as others, but the Scarlett 18i20 for example has a companion application that lets you configure all the routing.  All inputs can be independently accessed by your application(s) of choice, and you can send any combination of system audio and input to any combination of outputs.  For example, you could record the mic, have it also pass-through to the headphones so you can hear yourself, and mix the system audio into the headphones as well.

 

While it would certainly do the job, I think you could get away with less IO.  If I'm counting right, you need 3 inputs (1 mono mic + 1 stereo for the switch), 2 outputs (stereo to speakers), and a headphone jack (which of course is an output but not in the way that matters for counting since it's separate), correct?  Because it connects to the PC with USB, you don't need additional analog inputs and outputs to create that link.

Correct.

It would be great if it had an extra pair of inputs as well in case I would like to plug in my phone or some other device. But that would just be a bonus.

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1 hour ago, Anka said:

Correct.

It would be great if it had an extra pair of inputs as well in case I would like to plug in my phone or some other device. But that would just be a bonus.

Yeah I would generally advise going one "level" above the bare minimum you currently need for the flexibility and growth that offers.

 

With all that in mind, something like the Scarlett 8i6 should fit the situation nicely.  I have no particular affiliation with Focusrite though and if you or anyone else knows of another unit with similar or better features/quality for less money, by all means go that way.  I'm mentioning them specifically just because I have some personal experience using the hardware and software.

Solve your own audio issues  |  First Steps with RPi 3  |  Humidity & Condensation  |  Sleep & Hibernation  |  Overclocking RAM  |  Making Backups  |  Displays  |  4K / 8K / 16K / etc.  |  Do I need 80+ Platinum?

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48 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

With all that in mind, something like the Scarlett 8i6 should fit the situation nicely.  I have no particular affiliation with Focusrite though and if you or anyone else knows of another unit with similar or better features/quality for less money, by all means go that way.  I'm mentioning them specifically just because I have some personal experience using the hardware and software.

UMC1820 is cheaper and has a bunch more IO as well as ADAT, probably more flexible if OP is trying to move away from using a mixer.

Sloth's the name, audio gear is the game
My Microphone and Interface tips and recommendations

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12 hours ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

With all that in mind, something like the Scarlett 8i6 should fit the situation nicely.  I have no particular affiliation with Focusrite though and if you or anyone else knows of another unit with similar or better features/quality for less money, by all means go that way.  I'm mentioning them specifically just because I have some personal experience using the hardware and software.

I have looked at the Focusrite Control software used to mix inputs and outputs and it seems works just the way I want it to.

 

12 hours ago, The Flying Sloth said:

UMC1820 is cheaper and has a bunch more IO as well as ADAT, probably more flexible if OP is trying to move away from using a mixer.

I will probably never use more than one or maybe two microphones. I will instead mostly connect externally powered stereo sources.

If I enable phantom power for input 1-4, will I be able to use the other three inputs as line in?

 

Also, I have not been able to find the mixing control software for the Behringer but I expect it to work similarly to the Scarlett and without requiring some recording software, or am i wrong?

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On 8/11/2020 at 11:11 PM, Ryan_Vickers said:

Yeah I would generally advise going one "level" above the bare minimum you currently need for the flexibility and growth that offers.

 

With all that in mind, something like the Scarlett 8i6 should fit the situation nicely.  I have no particular affiliation with Focusrite though and if you or anyone else knows of another unit with similar or better features/quality for less money, by all means go that way.  I'm mentioning them specifically just because I have some personal experience using the hardware and software.

I ended up buying the Scarlett 8i6. I have just set it up and it works very well.

The audio quality is also a lot better now when I can avoid routing it through my monitors HDMI-port.

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31 minutes ago, Anka said:

I ended up buying the Scarlett 8i6. I have just set it up and it works very well.

The audio quality is also a lot better now when I can avoid routing it through my monitors HDMI-port.

Nice, glad to hear it :)

Solve your own audio issues  |  First Steps with RPi 3  |  Humidity & Condensation  |  Sleep & Hibernation  |  Overclocking RAM  |  Making Backups  |  Displays  |  4K / 8K / 16K / etc.  |  Do I need 80+ Platinum?

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