How to connect everything? (Confused between mixers and audio interfaces)

Hello all,

I’ve been looking elektronauts, muff wiggler and reddit for the last couple of days but sadly I’m getting more confused evertime. I know this has been asked a couple of times but every suggestion is so personal so I decided to ask mine too. I’d like to have everything connected and play at the same time. I’ve figured out midi clock sync so I have no problem with that. My concern is audio. I both would like to hear them all at the same time and record them to channels on my daw.

Also right now I’d like to apply effects via ableton vst’s (no idea how that’s going to happen though)

Let me start with the hardwares.

Digitakt (master controller)
Laptop and iPad

I was planning to get a Komplete Audio for all those but then again, I can get a zedi-10 mixer for that price?

Let’s discuss, do you have any suggestions?

Edit: another crazy idea came and what if I can trade a4 with octatrack and digitakt with digitone and use octa as a mixer? Never used octa before so no idea if that’ll work lol.

Komplete Audio has 6 inputs so maybe not enough to connect all your hardware if you are using the stereo outs on Digitakt and the A4 which will take up 4 leaving 2?

Generally a mixer allows you to mix audio without requiring a computer, while an audio interface requires a computer. Some mixers can be connected to a computer and also function as an interface.

The ZEDi-10 can be used as an audio interface but only has 4 inputs so perhaps not enough?

The Octatrack can not be connected to a computer as an audio interface, going down that route means you won’t be able to use it with Ableton, unless you bought another interface and connected the OT to it.

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Sounds like you need a multi input audio interface. But through your post it also kinda sounds like you’ve gotta decide what you want to do. It’s difficult to make a suggestion as it seems you are unsure about your set up. It’s never a good idea to just buy equipment for the sake of buying equipment.

Count the number of output you are planning to run into your computer and begin to look for something that has enough inputs to fulfill your need.

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Sound Devices MixPre-10M definitely! Or Midas mr18. I am lost like you, seriously. Wouldn‘t say the mixer is a good solution for you.

I use a focusrite 18i8 audio interface and mix in Ableton… I do this because I want to multi-track in Ableton and apply effects to each track individually.Bbasically I can play all my synths live, and record them all in real time and then edit/EQ/effect each track after I’ve finished my recording. I do all my sequencing on the machines…

I’ve avoided the mixer option as I often hear people regretting summing all their channels through a mixer and recording the master as it’s impossible to edit post recording. I guess a USB or firewire mixer/AI would solve this but it’s expensive…

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It does depend on how you want to mix and what you want to record.

Example: I have an Antelope Audio Orion Studio 2017 - and I do love that thing!!!
But, what I’ve been doing is recording my live setup rig… so I have an SM10 mixer…

depending on what i’m doing - I have the sm10 doing all the mixing, sound fx out/back, and so on… or, if i’m just jamming and want to record everything - not the final mix - i’ll hook up the Orion Studio.

You have PILES of options… just all depends on what you want to do for home, studio, live, etc.

DAW wise, I tend to use Ableton but have also used Bitwig.


the thing i´ve been struggling since months and hoped OB will help me :frowning:

i´ve been working with a komplete 6 for years and it was ok till my gear grow up …

meanwhile i got 3 mackie mixers, two of them with direct outs, which is essential for multitracking and a focusrite scarlett 18i20.

in theory absolutely ok, BUT with a mixer in between the signal chain the record gets always affected by the mixer. in mackie case with overspeaking amps :rage:

so i thought shorten the way directly to the interface and using the outs back to the mixer … this also doesn´t make me happy because of the software mixer and in fact i don´t need a mixer in this scenario and could monitor the stereo sum of the DAW. latency :angry:

there´s one option i haven´t tried, using the inserts as direct outs with every second stereo pair on the VLZ1604, maybe this will solve the overspeaking …

but what if you already used all of your inputs because of 3 elektrons and plenty of modular outputs and you´re using hardware send effects on your mixer? more interface inputs :man_facepalming: and more complex signaflow …

You coild get a digital mixer like qu16 or a mixier with multi out to usb like behringer xenyx (not as bad as theur reputation)
Than you’d have best of both worlds. Mixing without latency, multitrack to computer and in case of qu16 decent quality dynamics and EQ per channel.

Heres a xenyx for a good price