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Recording

Audio interfaces

An audio interface does two things:
  1. 1.
    It converts analog signals created by a mics\/headsets into digital streams suitable for recording.
  2. 2.
    It converts digital streams sent by computers or mobile devices into analog signals suitable for headphones\/headsets and speakers.
If you have a USB mic or headset, the audio interface is built in.
If you have XLR mics, you'll need to buy an audio interface.
Input
Price
Inputs
Interface Type
Phantom Power
$100
2 XLR
USB
Yes

Mixers

I'm Team Audio Interface (or recorder, although you can't do a mix-minus Skype setups with a Zoom H6). But in an attempt to be fair and balanced:
Mixer
  • ☑︎ Physical knobs and sliders are cool and fun
  • ☑︎ If compressor/limiter, useful for live/live-to-tape scenarios
  • ☒ Built-in USB output typically only 2 channels
  • ☒ Built-in A2D hardware typically offers mid-range quality
Audio interface
  • ☑︎ Captures one track per input (easier to process, edit)
  • ☑︎ Typically better A2D hardware
  • ☑︎ Typically supports better sample rates/resolutions
  • ☑︎ Allows for a far more compact setup, easier to store/transport
  • ☒ Clumsier for live/live-to-tape scenarios

Software

iOS

Mixers

Mixer
Price
Inputs
Interface Type
Phantom Power
$230
4 XLR
USB
Yes

Single-enders vs. multi-enders

Example scenarios

One person + USB mic

Traditionally, podcast recording setups included a mixer, whose job is to mix several audio inputs — for example, multiple mics — into a stereo output suitable for recording.
Lately, "mixer-free" setups are becoming more popular.

Processing

(TBD)

Tips & Tricks

  • DO record and save and edit on your primary drive (vs. an external or network drive). You can always copy or move files after.