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Author Topic: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)  (Read 512 times)

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Offline JiB97

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Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« on: October 26, 2017, 07:57:18 PM »
Ok, first off I want to apologize for that title and my complete lack of knowledge in this area.

Basically, what I am looking for is an 8 (or more) channel "mixer" that can output to my MacBook Pro (via USB/thunderbolt) so I can have control over and record those tracks individually for mixing @ a later date. I've researched a bit but can't seem to find this product in my searches. I've found some Mackie products but in reading more into them it doesn't look like I can have control over all the tracks and the USB output only puts out a stereo mix.  I could be completely mistaken in this assumption, though because as I said I am not very bright and am new to computer based recording.

TLDR: need mixer that outputs 8 individual tracks onto computer for manipulation either on the fly or in future


Thanks in advance!!!
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Offline rippleish20

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 08:02:44 PM »
Recorders like the Mixpre-10T and Zoom F8 can act as USB interfaces, mixers like the behringer x32 there also can fo this...
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 08:53:44 AM by rippleish20 »
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Offline noahbickart

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 09:15:07 PM »
Got a budget, JiB?

Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 09:24:45 PM »
Behringer XR18

Yes its a mixer - but also a USB interface

Midas makes the same product - but has better preamps supposedly.

https://www.music-group.com/Categories/Behringer/Mixers/Digital-Mixers/XR18/p/P0BI8

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XR18
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:27:03 PM by Life In Rewind »
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Offline Nigel Tufnel

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 11:54:11 PM »
Behringer XR18

Yes its a mixer - but also a USB interface

This is my vote too. Keep your eye on the Behringer (Music-Group) eBay store as they often have them at a discount.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BEHRINGER-X-AIR-XR18-18-Channel-Stage-Box-Rackmount-Digital-Mixer-Warranty-/172114571311?hash=item2812d3f02f

I use mine to capture audio for local bands when we do video sessions at work. I can provide the bands with monitors using the XR18 aux outs and still pull in each channel into a mac mini I have rack-mounted. Works great and I get to mix in post using Reaper. The preamps are labelled Midas and they do sound pretty clean.


Offline JiB97

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 07:22:17 PM »
Got a budget, JiB?

hoping to keep it under $500



thanks for the links so far guys, this is a good starting point.


http://tinyurl.com/Mackie-ProFX12v2
this is something I'd looked @ too but read somewhere that it doesn't output individual tracks, only a stereo mix to record. is that true?
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Offline jefflester

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2017, 06:40:52 AM »
If you are primarily doing at-home / studio recording, buy an 8-channel interface.  I have a Focusrite interface and recommend them highly.

If you are primarily doing remote / on-location recording, buy an 8+ channel standalone recorder like those others here have recommended.  These devices will be much more stable in the field and less error-prone than a computer-based system.  Yes, some of these function as a computer interface as well, but I woudn't even bother with that during recording.  Just record to the dedicated device and dump it to your computer for editing later.
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Offline Life In Rewind

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2017, 08:49:03 AM »
Do you really want a "mixer" or just an 8 channel interface?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/focusrite-scarlett-18i20-2nd-gen-usb-audio-interface/j35222000000000?pfm=item_page.rr1|ClickCP?pfm=ac-a

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/presonus-audiobox-1818vsl-18-channel-usb-interface/h77214000000000?rNtt=8%20channel%20USB%20interface&index=14

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/tascam-us-16x08-usb-audio-interface/j13884000000000

There's really not much difference - but with the Behringer XAirs - you get wi-fi control...a bunch of built in effects.

Plus the Behringer X Airs have a huge user base. Good Facebook group.

And they are TINY! - 18 channels is about the size of a loaf of bread! You can lift it with your pinky.

And ULTRANET - for monitoring, headphones (with other hardware)

Knobs? Forget Knobs!!!

Recommend download the XAir control software called XEdit and look around.

http://www.music-group.com/licencePopup?mediaCode=P0BI8_MGMEDIA_M-AIR%20Apple%20AppStore%201.5&url=//itunes.apple.com/us/app/x-air/id896725230?mt=8

There are also apps for mobile devices - both android and iOS - and excellent 3rd party apps.

Take note though - only the 18 channel model offers multi-track recording - the others only record stereo to USB

Also - Behringer just released a card for the X32 that allows SD Card recording - finally!!!

Wouldn't be surprised if something similar for the XAirs comes along.
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Offline JiB97

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Re: Laptop based multi-track interfaces (recommendations please)
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 07:58:39 PM »
Do you really want a "mixer" or just an 8 channel interface?

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/focusrite-scarlett-18i20-2nd-gen-usb-audio-interface/j35222000000000?pfm=item_page.rr1|ClickCP?pfm=ac-a

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/presonus-audiobox-1818vsl-18-channel-usb-interface/h77214000000000?rNtt=8%20channel%20USB%20interface&index=14

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/tascam-us-16x08-usb-audio-interface/j13884000000000

really either may work for my needs. a mixer may be overkill, but i have more experience running 4-12 input mackie boards, just never recorded all channels into my laptop individualy before. only ever taken stereo feeds out.
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