Hybrid Mixer vs Audio Interface

Hey Elektronauts

Happy New Year.

I am just looking for a bit of advice/recommendations on hybrid mixers vs standalone interfaces.

I am picking up more drum machines and synthesisers and my current interface (Audient ID44) just doesn’t have enough inputs for everything. I have been looking around and I am unsuccessfully making a decision and just wanted to get peoples thoughts/experiences from people who are using equipment I am looking at. I love the idea of hybrid and not looking at the screen but each device has limitations. I’ve whittled it down to 3.

My dilemma is do I:

  1. Keep my Audient ID44 and get an mic pre-amp and extend inputs via ADAT (looking at the Audient ASP series)

  2. Invest in the Tascam Model 16 (would love to hear some people’s reviews on this as I am conscious on the preamps and EQ’s. Would I regret switching from my Audient)

  3. Go big and invest in the new SSL Big Six.

I have seen a post on the SSL Big Six and there being issues with noise but the concept of the product looks amazing. The Tascam 16 also looks dope but I’ve seen people say Tascam’s architecture is not as good as it once was.

Any thoughts/experiences/recommendations is highly appreciated.

Many thanks,

If you have money, I recommend Allen & Heath Qu series (check the forum discussion on the topic). I just love having faders under the fingers, all the routings, and capacity to record multiple tracks on a USB key without computer.

Search the forum for other advices.
But first identify your needs.
Are Aux (stereo? mono?) important to you?
Physical interface?
How many inputs?

Another thing: it’s rare that you really need everything at the same time.
A patch bay is cheap and makes reworking the studio extremely easy!
Check the discussions about patchbays!

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Hey LyingDalai,

Thanks for the recommendation! I haven’t really looked at the Qu series properly, I’d only really seen the Qu Pac and it didn’t look for me, but since watching some Youtube videos the Qu16 it looks mad impressive and creative. The FX section is insane, and the ability to do mute groups?! Memory recall on faders as well. I wasn’t sure at first glance as I just sold an MPC One as the touch screen and menu diving wasn’t for me. Seems like this doesn’t have much diving at all.

Thanks for showing me this. I have always neglected looking at digital mixers as I’ve liked the thought of having analog EQ and it being able to record post fader which why the Six caught my interest. But the Qu definitely has sparked an interest.

K-Mix has a lot of In/Out (8 inputs and 10 outputs) flexibility and can operate both standalone and with a DAW.

You can also chain these devices together if/when you need to expand.

Could be another option to consider.

Hey Altro, thanks for the recommendation. Definitely looks an interesting bit of kit, definitely forward thinking. Going to be checking more videos on this as I’ve never even come across this before.

The blue version is their latest model. The case is meant to be more robust and not a rubbery material like the original. If you buy a black one second hand, you can replace the enclosure with the new blue one should you wish.

I heard a lot of negativity about the headroom / volume from this?

Ive not experienced that with mine (original). Apparently the Blue version has improved these aspects.

Edit: Criticism may be more from a mic perspective than line in… I’m only using it for line in.

I don’t want to hijack this thread - but I’m also interested in hearing peoples opinions… I don’t have a lot of room , so things like the tascam 12 are out for me, but I really like the hybrid mixer concept. I also don’t have a lot of money…

I also wonder whether going for a small (form factor) audio interface with ADAT breakouts and a patch at would be a way to go. Then I can add - mixer in the middle later if needed.

TLDR: interested in this thread to hear what people do in their setups

I’ve got a Samson patchbay, Scarlett 18i8, and Scarlett Octopre over ADAT. I will probably upgrade my interface soon, but this setup lets me record anything with minimal changes aside from maybe swapping a couple of cables on the patch bay.

I run everything through Ableton and use some plugins on the master to glue, EQ, and limit all of the sounds running through, and it really does make everything sound better.

I use a combination of mic, guitar, bass, a few Elektrons, Peak, and two Nords. This setup works well for me for live jamming, streaming, and dedicated recording.

I don’t use a mixer because I don’t want to imprint impromptu mixing decisions into recordings, and don’t want to try to repair blended audio signals. If I ever see myself playing somewhere aside from my studio, I’d take a smaller setup, some stems, and use my OT as a mixer.

Some other setup might work better for you, but figured this might give some ideas.

For me, a mixer is more about routing. I never use mixer EQ or panning—that’s all for the arrangement in Ableton.

@AnfMusic I have a K-Mix. Headroom isn’t a problem. It’s just fiddly to set the input gain levels is all.

But I’m also looking for ways to add inputs. 2xmono mic/hi-z in, plus 3 stereo inputs runs out quite fast. It’s very flexible though, and all those outs are handy.

Thanks for the confirmation on the K-Mix, going to spend my evening after work debating over even more music equipment :laughing:

After a long year search, what would fit to my personal workflow I found this interesting:

For my workflow I needed a decent mixing desk to combine quite a number of different audio sources, wanted high audio quality, the interface to a computer, and an option to use it as a multi-track recording/playback device without a computer (like an old-school reel to reel machine).

After recognizing that in my studio work I rarly worked with the faders like a FOH guy and that I only adjusted the gains and used the settings during long sessions, I gave up to ask for motorized faders.

The Touchmix ticked all boxes for me and I can work completely OTB and ITB including recording, mixing and mastering. Maybe this desk could be worth a look.

Just for the record … before Allen & Heath SQ-5 was on the top of my shopping list, but it would not support the multi-track recording and playback as I wanted.