Analog Mixers with USB multi-i/o support in Linux?


In searching I see a large number of threads on supported USB Linux Audio interfaces, I have one of them (Presonus1818VSL) but am looking for something more specific…

I want an analog mixer with USB multi-i/o that is supported in Linux, I have an original 16ch. Mackie ONYX series with Firewire that used to work all day long at 128fpp with FFADO but it is dying, the monitoring section is dead and it outputs have become internally noisy, nobody wants to even look at it for repairs and I’m sure it would be cost prohibitive if they did. I like good solid hardware, don’t care about digital onboard effects and DSP and want to able to monitor with ZERO latency, this board will be built-in and staying in the studio so I don’t care about remote operation and running with iPads and Tablets etc. After capture all mixing and automation will be done in Ardour or Mixbus so I don’t want or need a control surface.

Essentially I want to replace my 16channel ONYX with a comparable quality 16ch USB Analog Mixer that is well supported in Linux. I see some posts on the internet about Presonus Firestudio but they seem to pertain to older FireWire models not the newer USB ones. The Behringer x32 is too expensive and I don’t want or need all the DSP stuff and I don’t think it will do direct hardware monitoring. I have 16channels in my patchbay so I specifically want 16 channels or more.

Suggestions? Success stories? Advice appreciated!

Just to follow up, having done a couple of sessions now the StudioLive AR16 works great with Ardour/Mixbus, the channel preamp trim gains are a bit puzzling in that they overload in Ardour significantly before the led turns red on the mixer itself but that is just a matter of setting the levels carefully from the DAW meters. No latency hardware monitoring is absolute heaven and the Presonus ‘Superchannel’ monitoring with Bluetooth capability is a really handy feature, especially if you want to show the band a song to learn or just play music without physically connecting your phone. I used to have a separate PA in the rehearsal room and recording interface in the control room and now I can do everything through my patchbay with the StudioLive and setting up a Live recording literally just takes a few minutes. The pre’s are very quiet and I get a few rare Xruns even at 256fpp (not that latency is that important with hardware monitoring).

Anyway, I would highly recommend the AR16…

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I ended up buying the Presonus StudioLive AR16:

It fires up in Qjackctl with 18 inputs and 4 outputs available. I’m using AV Linux with the 4.9.76 kernel so it doesn’t appear to require a new cutting edge kernel, I went with the AR16 because it came with rack mounts and I wanted to put it in my existing rack and 12 XLR inputs are sufficient. Haven’t had time for much recording yet but the most exciting news was that the multi-usb i/o is working!

Thanks again for the replies and suggestions…

How about Presonus StudioLive AR16 USB?

I haven’t got the mixer and I’ve never used it so I am a little reluctant to suggest buying it, but I remember I once helped a member of this forum setting it up:

It seems to work fine with Linux, it is not too expensive and the customer reviews are favorable, maybe it is worth checking.


Thanks! I had missed that thread, I wonder since the AR16 works if the bigger AR22 would work, I would hope if one was class compliant the other would be…?

It seems that all devices from the AR line share the same technology (so if AR16 works, AR22 should work too) and somewhere between the lines it can be read that they are class compliant, although no official support is offered by the company (as they say: use it at your own risk):

The best thing to do is to grab a linux laptop and visit a store that has a Presonus desk in stock and test it there. Or to buy it from a web store that has good return policy.

The one I was looking at a while ago was the Allen and Heath GS-R24m

Of course that is a bit expensive for most people I suspect.

And then you come to the point of, what about using an analog mixer to a seperate USB IO. That way you don’t let one dying affect the other?


We use a Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK (the MTK part is important in the model designation, without it you just get a stereo send via the USB). I use it to do multi-track recording + monitoring and it works well. I haven’t tried USB sends other than for the click track, but it should support sends and receives on all channels.

Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions!

The largest music store chain here ( has a good return policy and carries all the major brands so maybe I’ll try a few, the Soundcraft and Presonus both look like good candidates. I will report back once I buy to confirm and let others know how it worked out…