Mixer Recommendations?

Hello everyone,

I’m looking to retire my ancient FastTrackPro and get something more powerful that fits my budget and reduces my current spaghetti framework. I was considering the Behringer Xenyx mixers, which are rather cheap, have 3-bands equalizer, low cut and compressor knobs, in addition to aux sends/returns which is are handy.

However, all USB-mixers I’ve seen so far show only 1 stereo recording channel in the jackd settings. I’m not sure if this is a Linux limitation or if all mixers are limited to a single stereo output.

Is anyone here using a mixer with 2 or more stereo outputs? Do they exist? What do they eat, where do they live?

Thanks in advance!

Yes they do exist, the Behringer X32 for instance with the default card does. Many USB audio interfaces have digital mixers built in such as the MOTU Ultralite AVB, etc.

What do they eat? Well your soul is one possibility.

Where do they live? The more expensive world of audio.

It just isn’t particularly common on smaller mixers sadly. And even when it does exist you need to make sure that it is still Class Compliant or otherwise supported on Linux.

  Seablade

Thanks for the reply!

Well, Behringer x32 is definitely out of the scope, which is voice+guitar recording. I don’t even have enough place for that beast. MOTU is more portable but with 18i18o and 760€ it is also an overkill… also, does it have aux/fx send/return? It doesn’t look like it does. Ideally I’d be able to have
a) mono output for “dry” guitar
b) stereo output for guitar with effects
c) mono output for “dry” mic
With Xenyx I can send a) though aux send to the guitar pedals and I get b) through the aux return. However they get all summed in the same bus.

I think Soundcraft has some smaller ones, and they claim Linux compatibility. Haven’t tried them yet, but maybe something like that could fit? See Ui12 | Soundcraft - Professional Audio Mixers for instance…

Well, usually things work smoothly in Linux, just literally plug-and-play, even if the manufacturer is not aware. It could be that the Linux default drivers are not prepared to deal with multiple stereo input channels though, I am not sure.

Also I only found Ui 12 it for 300€ which is quite salty for my amateurish budget (Xenyx go for under 200€, for instance) but if that’s the price, well, then that’s the price…

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll look at it more closely!

1 Like

I don’t recommend the Soundcraft UI series (Except for their largest one) as it was originally designed by a different company that Soundcraft purchased, and their preamps were… ‘less than ideal’ to put it mildly. Sorry.

Of course I personally also don’t recommend Behringer with specific exceptions, and the Xenyx is not really one of those though I haven’t dealt with them lately. Sorry, knocking out a lot of the budget market there.

 Seablade
2 Likes

Be advised, the Xenyx series USB 2x2 mixers only record in 16 bit/48kHz, which you may find limiting. The Tascam Model 12 is a USB 12x10 mixer that can record in either 16 or 24 bit at 44.1 or 48kHz. The Tascam also has MCU and FaderPort surface modes, so the controls will likely work in Ardour. I don’t own the device, but on paper it looks Linux compatible. The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10 is a USB 4x4 mixer that is also Class Compliant and more budget-friendly. It outputs 24 bit only at 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96kHz. There is no downloadable software for Mac, and it is advertised as iOS compatible, so it should fully function on Linux. As for your routing setup, you’d need to confirm that with the manual, but the USB source select switch looks like it could do the trick for you. I don’t own this device either, so this is not a recommendation that you purchase it. I’m just letting you know it is out there. I do own a Xenyx 1204FX, but I can’t remember the last time I powered it on. I haven’t performed in a live situation for a very long time.

I have a Behringer XR18 which works well with Linux and Ardour.

It may be overkill in terms of channel count, but it’s considerably cheaper than many other options, so that may swing your opinion.

It also has some nice onboard effects and very flexible routing.

They do a more “tabletop” version, the X18, as well.

If you need physical faders, the XTouch works well.

Note that the XR12 and XR16 in the same range do not have USB audio.

Cheers,

Keith

Hahah, I will strongly second that assessment. I was so frustrated with my Ui-12 that I actually destroyed it with a sledgehammer a few years ago after a bunch of white-knuckle experiences in live sound where it lost connections or the noisy preamps put me on edge. It was very satisfying to kill that terrible machine; I didn’t want to sell it to anyone because nobody should have to live through similar experiences. I spent more than 20 hours trying to get it to connect to an external router and nothing worked despite my following lots of different advice and instructions from Soundcraft, users on forums, everything else. The Ui-24 is a much better machine with real preamps and better connectivity but Soundcraft lost my business forever after my experience with the Ui-12.

I would advise against the Xenyx or any other 16bit interface. It’s just too noisy. 24bit is minimum for a quality result.

You could search for a Yamaha AG03. It’s discontinued but seems to fit your purpose more than any other mixer/interface I’ve heard of.

I was going to ask about Yamaha AG06!
Are you sure that it exposes 3 channels as input? It still has the problem that it has no aux send/return, so I’d need to split the guitar input externally (as in my current setup)

I also forgot to ask: I was under the impression that Xenyx supports 24bits/192Khz, at least some models. I’m looking at Xenyx QX1002USB User Guide and it is mentioned there.

According to the QX1002USB user manual, the internal effects processing is 24-bit/40kHz. The USB connection is 48kHz. The manual does not specify if the USB connection is 16-bit or 24-bit, but given my Xenyx mixer is 16-bit, and the manuals of some other models I have checked also specify 16-bit, it is probably safe to assume this model is as well. If they upgraded this aspect of the mixer for newer models, you’d figure they would point it out in their literature as a selling point.

Regardless, it is still a stereo-in/stereo-out (2x2) USB interface, so it wouldn’t seem to offer the routing options you are seeking. The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10 appears to be the most economical mixer that offers a 4x4 USB interface, but only for the “i” model. The ZED-10 is a 2x2 USB interface. If you don’t need the mixing capabilities, there are less expensive 4x4 USB interfaces available.

It appears Behringer recently released a new mixer called the “Flow 8” that has a 10x2 USB interface that transmits at 24-bit/48kHz (appears a firmware update increases this to 10x4). It retails for less than the ZEDi-10, so it would seemingly be the most economical option now. The product page even mentions Linux, which Behringer typically shies away from doing despite a lot of their devices operating on it:

“All Input signals and the Main stereo mix can be sent to audio applications on a Mac-, Windows- or Linux-based system for recording, editing or streaming.”

That… does sound indeed perfect! Specially with the digital mixer, that would be indeed very handy.
The price difference is also a defining factor, so I ordered a Flow 8. It should arrive this weekend, I’ll post some update if it arrives timely!

Hi,
I was wrong about the Yamahas. They only provide 2 in and 2 out. Hope you’re happy with the Flow8.

Contrary to what @GuntherT said, I’m under the impression that Behringer is the only major brand to care about Linux users at all. For example, they provide Linux Versions for all their Digital Mixer Apps, including their X32 and XR Series. There’s even a special Raspbian Version of XR-Edit.

There are good reasons not to like Behringer, but lack of Linux Support is not one of them.

My post should not have been interpreted to mean “Behringer does not care about Linux users”.

I own a UMC1820 and like it quite a bit. However, it does not come with Linux support despite fully functioning on the few distros I have tested it on. A recent firmware update to the UMC line of devices required a kernel patch, and Behringer’s official response to the matter was they do not support Linux and recommend using Windows or Mac OS (see comments 57 and 58).

https://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=215934

While Behringer has for some time advertised that their browser-based mixer applications function on Linux, the product pages for the UMC, XR18, and X32 devices make no mention that the audio interfaces are Linux-compatible, i.e. ‘they shy away from mentioning this’. That is what my comment meant. Most every other manufacturer of Class Compliant USB audio interfaces also shies away from mentioning Linux, even if their device fully operates on it.

The FLOW 8’s page specifically mentions Linux compatibility and provides a download for what appears to be an update tool for the firmware that runs natively on Linux. This device appears to have true Linux support, which I thought was notable.

1 Like