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iOS for digital mixing / outboard effects
Old 3rd July 2020
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iOS for digital mixing / outboard effects

I would like to put together a digital mixer system for live production (stream where I talk, sing, and play guitar) and mixing my own tracks. I'm not super interested in traditional analog mixers -- I think software routing on PCs (as in Reaper and VoiceMeter Potato) just makes way more sense in 2020.

However my skills and intended use case doesn't justify the cost nor space for a proper professional solution like an XR18 or X18. I really only ever need a max of 4 mic/instrument preamps, handful of line ins, and 4-6 line outs. If I get good enough / make enough new music friends to need more, I'll have earned the upgrade.

Note that I only need 4 real inputs for what I need to do, but I need additional I/O to simulate buses and effects.

So the current thinking is along a couple lines. Would love to hear what people think. Note (1) I have a strong preference for smaller footprint gear, since my audio gear needs to share space with other hobbies & activities; (2) I'm on Windows so I have a strong preference for going overkill with the number of I/O on my interfaces.
  • buy a multi-track mixer like a Zedi-10 or Livetrak L-8 (the latter being a lot more similar to how my current gear is setup, and I have several pieces of Zoom already that I'm happy with). If I want to put a compressor or FX on a channel, simulate an insert by using a USB IN + OUT to loop it through the PC or iOS device.
  • buy a cheap mixer with some inserts and somewhat more flexible routing (IE Xenyx 1002B or a purely analog A&H), and combine this with a 4x4-8x8 interface
  • go purely digital. Get a mixer-ish MIDI DAW controller and an 8x8 or bigger interface.

Out of these options, I think a combo mixer / multichannel interface is the way to go, because even if I end up not liking this kind of hacky digital mixer workflow, at least I still have a nice physical mixer.

I prefer iOS DAW due to not wanting to fiddle with a computer all the time. At the same time. What is the recommended DAW or AUv3 software suite to achieve this?

Note that I do have some experience with connecting iOS to audio interfaces for amp sims, so have a good idea of the hardware and performance characteristics, & surprisingly annoying limitations (IE, I'd love to set up a 4 cable rig. Should be easy, right? No major amp sim company cares)
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