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.

Audio Mixer to Interface

If you’re looking to record your stereo mix from an audio mixer, it can be extremely helpful to connect your audio mixer to an audio interface. In this article, we’ll walk through the steps that you’ll need to follow in order 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 in order 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.

  1. Setup Your Audio Mixer & Inputs

    Connect your microphones, line inputs, etc and make sure that you have your mixer setup as per normal.

  2. Connect Balanced 1/4″ Cables from you audio mixer output to the inputs on your audio interface

  3. 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.

  4. Connect your audio interface to your computer

  5. Connect your Digital Audio Workstation (Audio Software) to your audio interface

  6. 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 are connecting the line out from the audio mixer to the line input on the audio interface.

When you connect XLR from your sound board to your audio interface, you are connecting 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.

Yamaha MG10XU

COMBO: Audio Mixer with Interface

There is another option:  An audio mixer with a built in audio interface like the Yamaha MG10XU. These sound boards combine functionality of an audio mixing board with the connectivity of an audio interface. You plug microphones and instruments into the sound board, then plug the sound board straight into the computer’s USB port.

Related: Audio Interface Vs Mixer

Equipment For Connecting Audio Console to Interface

Comparable Equipment That May Interest You

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

Disclosure: If you purchase an item or service from an outbound link, we may receive a referral fee, which helps to support Kettner Creative.

Jordan Kettner

I consider myself to be half entrepreneur and half A/V geek. I am never content to settle for what is expected or determined by others to be the “industry standard”. Instead, I work extremely hard to break new ground and deliver value to whoever I meet.

My passion for the audio visual industry drives me to create content that will help others learn the best tools and techniques to learn how to setup their home studio.

"Recognizing opportunity is so difficult for most people because it goes around disguised in overalls, looking like hard work!"
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