USB Audio Interface vs. Mixer

If you are always on the lookout for tools to record your voice, keyboard tunes, or guitar, then you should try exploring an audio interface that allows you to record in the home environment. Now let’s understand first as to what is an audio interface and what does it do?

What Is An Audio Interface? What Does It Do?

what is an audio interface

An audio interface is an essential device you need if you want to make high-quality audio recordings like playing the guitar, singing a song, or podcasting on your computer without taking any professional assistance. So whether you are a singer, a guitarist, a voice-over artist, or a podcaster, the audio interface is your go-getter equipment. It is essentially the device which is placed at the heart of the typical home-recording system.

To be very specific, you connect your audio interface to a computer or iPad usually via USB cable, a thunder-bolt, or high-end power cables like less loss and firewall depending upon the device, and with the right adaptor or appropriate Leeds, you can also record straight onto your iPad.

This interface has various inputs on the front which is suitable for connecting microphones, guitars, or digital piano, so you can make all sorts of high-quality recordings and is very versatile. This interface has also MIDI input and output so you can control your virtual instruments.

You can not only do a high-quality recording but also a high-quality playback. You can connect headphones, or studio monitors to look back at your work. You are recording an analog signal from your microphone, the instrument is converting it into a digital signal and outputting an audio stream which can be stored or edited on your computer. Now you can play the audio using the interface on your headset or speakers.

best audio mixer for streaming

A good audio interface is aided with XLR inputs for mic, in-built preamps, and control settings to set the signals to a decent level without distorting the sound waves. If you want to hear one track at the same time, queue up another track (for instance, adding vocals to a track in the background), and you should be able to hear your voice through the headset without any delay.


  • Movability: The majority of audio interfaces are very handy and small in size that can easily be fit into a bag. This is a big advantage if you are always on the go.
  • Higher sound quality
  • Mostly powered by BUS


  • It doesn’t have an equalizer to balance the sound
  • It has fewer control functionalities in comparison to a mixer
  • Unlike an audio mixer, it can’t be used for live performances

What Is A Mixer?

computer audio mixer

As the name implies the audio sound mixer allows you to mix different inputs of sounds that you hear in live productions or recordings for example guitars, microphones, guitars, drums, mix them all to come out from one output which is the main speakers or the headphones, Audio mixing desk mixes various sounds, balances the sounds so that one sound doesn’t overpower the other sound and signals to the output device using an equalizer.

An audio mixer has various control systems called the channel strips. This versatile device is best suitable for musicians and gamers. Some mixers have a built-in audio interface that allows recording on your pc using a software.

Advantages of a Mixer

  • This device has more control systems
  • It can be used effectively for live performances
  • It streams without latency/delays

Disadvantages of a Mixer

  • Huge and bulky in size
  • Has several knobs and faders, making it complicated to use
  • Costly
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Difference Between The Mixer & Audio Interfaces

mixer to audio interface

Mixing console takes multiple inputs, mixes them into one or more output signals whereas an audio interface works as a middle man between the input and output device, it converts the analog signal into a digital one so that the device it is attached with: say a computer or an iPad can interpret that signal.

Streaming On Mixer

In the first step, you need to sign up for a free account. Open the website and sign in, then create a Microsoft account.

You need to have a stream key to broadcast on the mixer. Go to the Mixer homepage and click the broadcast dashboard. Click on stream setup and select the streaming software you will use. You have to copy your unique key code or store it locally for keeping it safe. Do not share your key with anyone.

Guidelines To Stream On PC

audio interface or mixer for podcasting

Most streamers use a PC for broadcasting their gameplay, and mixer is quite easy to use.

  • Enter your stream key:
  • Go to the auto-configuration wizard tool, choose to optimize for streaming, click next
  • Setting up Video: select base or canvas resolution. This is what you will be watching on the monitor, and not precisely be the same as the actual stream.
  • Select -Service you would like to use.
  • Select mixer, which has two options, FTL & RMTP.

FTL means Mixing faster than light technology. This reduces delay in a big way when a viewer comments on whatever is happening on stream.

We recommend you choose mixer FTL for real-time & interactive experience with the audience.

  • Paste your stream key in the Box and leave hardware encoding & estimate bitrate with bandwidth test ticked.
  • You can now connect to your mixer account.

Now the time has come to launch the game for streaming in OBS studio. Go to the sources panel at the end of the program and click the + button, then choose Game capture in the popup menu. Enter a suitable name, click Ok and then choose the Capture specific window option. By using the Window menu to choose the game you are having and click OK.

mixer vs audio interface

Configure Audio

Let’s quickly check the audio. The audio mixer section is to the right of the sources panel.

Make sure Desktop audio is enabled to broadcast game audio. There are other devices in the Audio mixer section at the end of the program. Put the speaker icon to mute other sounds.

How Do I Stream On A Mix Using Xbox One?

Broadcasting on a mixer using an Xbox one is easier. To use this app you must have a Microsoft account and Mixer account linked to each other.

When you are playing the game on the console, you follow these steps:

  • Press Xbox button on your controller to open the guide
  • In the broadcast tab choose: broadcast your game.

There Are Few Simple Steps To Start With:

  • Naming your stream
  • Set up your audio and camera( in case you are using kinect or a USB webcam)
  • Start broadcast

How To Stream On The Mixer With OBS?

  • Go to File > Settings
  • Click on the “Stream” tab
  • Click on the “Output” tab, choose output mode in the drop-down
  • Select Apply and say Ok

Download OBS (Open Broadcasting Studio) software on your PC. You can stream your game using this software. Once you have downloaded the application you should follow the steps given below:

Final Stake

Audio Interface is recommended for creating home recording studios and since it is easy to use, amateurs can also try recording their vocals or tunes with ease. Unlike mixers, the audio interface doesn’t have too many knobs or sound faders. It is not a complicated device and is less expensive. Mixers are not only expensive but very bulky to carry. Mixers are best suitable for pro-gamers or for performers who often go live.