Audio Mixer vs Audio Interface | What’s The Difference?

It’s getting easier and easier to build your own audio studio at home. One question that we get all the time is “Should I buy and audio interface or an audio mixer”.

Quick Answer: An audio mixer takes multiple audio signals and combines them together to create one or more output mixes. An Audio Interface takes multiple audio signals and keeps them separate so your computer can process each input separately.

USB Audio Mixer

Yamaha MG10XU USB Audio Mixing Console

A USB Audio mixing console is a great tool that will allow you to connect a variety to inputs, mix them, and send the final mix to the computer.

Audio mixing consoles are especially useful for live performances and other situations where the sound needs to get processed and mixed without the help of a computer.

Pros of an Audio Mixer

  • Versatility: Can be used for live events or home recording.
  • Inputs: Lots of inputs for whatever you many need.
  • Built in Compression (on some mixers)
  • Built in EQ
  • Built in Effects (on some mixers)
  • Ability to Pan

Cons of an Audio Mixer

  • Large size: Takes up a lot of desk space
  • Not great for multi-track recording

USB Audio Interface

An audio interface is a device that connects your audio source (mixer, microphone, keyboard, guitar, etc.) to your computer. An audio interface is engineered to take the sounds from your live audio sources, convert them to a digital signal, and send that digital signal to your computer.

Pros of an Audio Interface

  • Portability: They’re generally quite small and extremely portable.
  • Quality: They have a great preamps and audio quality
  • Power: Generally they are USB Powered which makes them very easy to use.

Cons of an Audio Interface

  • Software is required for all effects or processing.
  • Not built for live events/performances

Pricing & Specs

To see pricing and specs for items mentioned in this article, please visit (amazon affiliate links): 

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