In this tutorial, we show you exactly how to connect an Audio Mixer to a USB Audio Interface for recording, live streaming, or video conferencing.
If you’re looking to record your stereo mix from an audio mixer, it can be beneficial to connect your audio mixer to an audio interface. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps you’ll need to follow to connect your audio mixer to an audio interface.
Quick Answer: To connect your audio mixer to your audio interface use balanced 1/4″ cables or XLR Cables to connect your stereo output into the inputs on your audio interface.
If you already have an audio mixer, you’re eventually going to want to connect that mixer to your computer so you can use it for podcasting, voiceover work, video conferencing, or home recording. Sound mixers (also called soundboards or audio mixers) let you control the volume and effects of each microphone or instrument input separately. Audio interfaces translate the analog sound from the mixer into digital computer signals. It makes sense to combine an audio mixer with an audio interface to get the best of both and allow yourself to record.
Related: Audio Interface vs Mixer – What do I need?
Connect Audio Mixer to Audio Interface
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Follow the steps below to connect your mixer to your interface for home recording.
- Setup Your Audio Mixer & Inputs
Connect your microphones, line inputs, etc and make sure that you have your mixer setup as per normal.
- Connect Balanced 1/4″ Cables from you audio mixer output to the inputs on your audio interface
- Keep the inputs on your audio interface turned all the way down.
Since you’re sending a line level signal, you don’t need any help from the preamps on your audio interface.
- Connect your audio interface to your computer
- Connect your Digital Audio Workstation (Audio Software) to your audio interface
- Press Record
What About XLR?
Why do we recommend using balanced 1/4″ cables instead of using XLR Cables?
Audio interfaces generally accept three different types of inputs:
- XLR Input – Mic Level
- 1/4″ Input – Line Level
- 1/4″ Input – Instrument Level (usually by clicking “instrument” mode)
We recommend using 1/4″ cables because we connect the line out from the audio mixer to the line input on the audio interface.
When you connect XLR from your soundboard to your audio interface, you connect a line-level source into a mic level input. For this reason, you will discover that the signal comes in really HOT to your audio interface. You can still make it work by reducing the master output of your audio mixer to ~10-15%, but this isn’t the best solution.
COMBO: Audio Mixer with Interface
There is another option: An audio mixer with a built-in audio interface like the Yamaha MG10XU. These soundboards combine the functionality of an audio mixing board with the connectivity of an audio interface. You plug microphones and instruments into the soundboard, then plug the audio mixer straight into the computer’s USB port.
Related: Audio Interface Vs Mixer
Equipment For Connecting Audio Console to Interface
- Yamaha MG10XU Audio Mixing Console: https://currentprice.io/mg10xu
- Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone: https://currentprice.io/shure_sm58
- Presonus USB Audio Interface: https://currentprice.io/audiobox
- Balanced 1/4″ Cable: https://currentprice.io/trs_cable
- XLR Cable: https://currentprice.io/xlr_cable
Comparable Equipment That May Interest You
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface: https://currentprice.io/scarlett_2i2
- SSL 2+ Audio Interface: https://currentprice.io/ssl2_plus
Connect Audio Mixer To Audio Interface Chapters
- 0:00 – Introduction
- 0:09 – Equipment Overview
- 1:05 – Connect USB Audio Interface to Computer
- 1:54 – Line Level Output
- 2:23 – Balanced 1/4″ Cables / TRS Cables
- 3:19 – XLR Cables
- 3:58 – Connecting Microphones & Setting Gain
- 5:16 – Panning Microphones
- 5:39 – Connect Interface to Garageband & Test
- 6:30 – Final Thoughts