Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: WHAT is the difference between an AUDIO INTERFACE and MIXER?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    WHAT is the difference between an AUDIO INTERFACE and MIXER?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    Hello all, this is my first post here:

    Here's a question that's puzzled me for a while. What exactly is the difference between an audio interface and mixer? To my understanding, the audio interface records the sounds from the mic and lets you put the recorded sounds to your computer for editing. But doesn't the mixer do the same thing?

    Thanks for any clarification!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    St.Chuck Misouri
    Posts
    370
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0
    An audio interface is a "box" that you plug your mics and instruments into, and then plug it into your computer via firewire or usb. A mixer is somewhat the same thing, in the sense that you plug your mics and instruments into it, but mixers are used typically for live sound, as most do not have a usb or firewire connection.

    So audio interface is for recording, mixer is for live sound (and can be used in studios on occasion)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago area, probably looking for more coffee.
    Age
    51
    Posts
    8,824
    Thanks
    62
    Thanked 193 Times in 139 Posts
    Rep Power
    16178427
    A digital audio interface is simply whatever interfaces with the recorder (in this case, probably a computer).

    Some mixers have some sort of built-in interface (a converter with a USB or FireWire), most don't. Some interfaces are "dumb" and just pass the digital signal (ADAT or AES cards, etc.).

    Technically, your sound card is an audio interface. Technically...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Ranelagh Tasmania
    Age
    68
    Posts
    7,714
    Thanks
    195
    Thanked 581 Times in 471 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474857
    A microphone produces a varying electrical current.

    An A/D (A = analog, D = digital) converter changes a varying electrical current into a series of '0's and '1's, which is what the computer can make use of.

    An audio interface is a device that has an A/D converter for getting audio stuff into the computer, and the opposite, a D/A converter, for getting stuff out of the computer.

    This is, in fact, what a computer's sound card does.

    An audio interface, then, is no different to a computer's sound card, except that it is designed specifically for recording applications. For example, it can simultaneously do D/A converting while it is doing A/D converting. This makes it possible to record something along with something that you've already recorded and are playing back.

    Similarly, an interface can do a number of functions that are useful for recording, such as offering a range of monitoring functions, allowing simultaneous multi-track recording, or providing MIDI capabilities.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    The land of yobs and chavs
    Posts
    5,384
    Thanks
    288
    Thanked 169 Times in 134 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474856
    An interface generally has ADA conversion, and a mixer generally does not.

    Otherwise, many functions can overlap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Anywhere but here
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,518
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    3344167
    Quote Originally Posted by Supercreep View Post
    An interface generally has ADA conversion, and a mixer generally does not.

    Otherwise, many functions can overlap.
    ADA would be Analog to Digital to Analog.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago area, probably looking for more coffee.
    Age
    51
    Posts
    8,824
    Thanks
    62
    Thanked 193 Times in 139 Posts
    Rep Power
    16178427
    Specifically again, an interface does NOT necessarily have converters. None of mine do... Otherwise, I couldn't choose what converters I'd be using at any given time.

    Some do - Some don't. Of those that do, some might have mic preamps, others will only run at line level. Some of those might connect to other interfaces, some won't.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Anywhere but here
    Age
    41
    Posts
    1,518
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    3344167
    Quote Originally Posted by Massive Master View Post
    Specifically again, an interface does NOT necessarily have converters. None of mine do... Otherwise, I couldn't choose what converters I'd be using at any given time.

    Some do - Some don't. Of those that do, some might have mic preamps, others will only run at line level. Some of those might connect to other interfaces, some won't.
    Yep. I was just explaining what ADA meant.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    The land of yobs and chavs
    Posts
    5,384
    Thanks
    288
    Thanked 169 Times in 134 Posts
    Rep Power
    21474856
    Quote Originally Posted by Supercreep View Post
    generally
    Quote Originally Posted by Massive Master View Post
    Specifically
    I don't think we disagree, sir.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Audio interface, mixer or both??
    By matt_mjb in forum Newbies
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-24-2010, 17:59
  2. Mixer Vs Audio Interface?? Help
    By xowls101 in forum Newbies
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-22-2009, 22:12
  3. Mixer or Audio Interface?
    By David McCrea in forum The Rack
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-12-2008, 05:40
  4. Digital Mixer vs Audio Interface
    By doncolga in forum Digital Recording & Computers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-16-2006, 22:29
  5. Mixer-MIDI-Audio Interface
    By cheywind in forum Newbies
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-09-2005, 19:51

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •