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Mixer for Ableton Live Audio Interfaces
Old 19th September 2011
Here for the gear

Mixer for Ableton Live

Ok, so I'm pretty new to Ableton Live and computer recording, so I am looking to add some more gear to get my "home" recording studio up to par. I find that I am in need of a means to bring multiple inputs into the computer, and I know that a lot of sound cards and mixing board can add a lot of latency, especially if they are low end. I have the need to bring in like 4-8 inputs (guitar, mics, e-drums, etc), so I think an 8 input board would do the trick for me for the foreseeable future. I would like each of this inputs to then output to separate tracks within Ableton, so I have been looking at firewire or USB boards as the appear to work in this fashion (firewire would be superior in my opinion as it will leave my 3 usb ports open for midi devices, and it is currently unused at faster). So, I'm looking for some advice on which boards will meet this need. Here are the key features I see as a need:
- USB or Firewire with separate routing of all outputs to individual tracks
- Low latency
- 8ish inputs
- Cost under $1,000 (preferable under $600)
- Obviously good sound quality
- Small size
- Durable

I have looked at several different units, the one that looks closest to meeting my needs is the "Alesis MultiMix 8 USB 2.0 Mixer", but as I understand it the sound quality and durability of this unit are in question. I have also looked extensively at the Mackie units, like the Onyx 820i, which sounds like it has the sound quality, but I'm not clear if it will route the outputs to separate channels in Ableton or not, nor do I have a clear picture on the latency of any of the units I have looked at. I'm open to any brands, and also interested in advice on features/issues which I have yet to address here.

Thanks in advance for the help, I am looking forward to your input.
Old 19th September 2011
Lives for gear
tvsky's Avatar
you do not need a mixer for this , just a interface with multiple inputs and a couple of pre-amps

lots of options from companies like maudio , rme , focusrite , tascam , echo . the list goes on.

for cheap have a look at the maudio fast track 8r or profire 2626 . the echo audiofire 8 is also great value . rme are more expensive but you could get a 2nd hand fireface 400 in your budget and has probably the best drivers.
Old 21st September 2011
Here for the gear

Thanks for the info tvsky, I had not looked at any of these products, I appreciate the input - it looks like these will likely meet my needs. Would a lot of functionality be gained by using a mixer over an audio interface, or would I just be adding trouble, headache, and expense for myself?
Old 21st September 2011
Lives for gear
ksandvik's Avatar

You really want/need to record multiple tracks for this 6-8 live scenario so an analog mixer won't cut it, unless it's a firewire/USB mixer that sends the different channels into the DAW via the audio digital connection.
Old 2nd October 2011
Here for the gear

I've been doing my research into these Audio Interfaces, and I'm wondering if I can get a little follow up advice. From what I'm reading the 2626 has some software issues, that make me want to steer away from it, the maudio fast track 8r sounds decent, but I'm tending toward a firewire interface rather than USB, so I'm looking at the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 Firewire Audio Interface... This interface sounds really great, but I'm a little confused how it is a 16x8 interface, but only appears to have 4 analog inputs (2 front, 2 in back) - what are the other inputs, and can they be adapted to receive additional 1/4" analog inputs if needed?

The other inputs are listed as [ADAT inputs, stereo SPDIF I/O and 2 virtual ‘loopback’ inputs for routing digital audio between software applications], so if someone could help me understand how those can be used, it would be helpful.

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