Advice on replacing audio interface. Nauts, can you help?!

So I’ve came to the conclusion that my current audio interface may be lacking in a few areas and I’m thinking of going to something more suitable. I’ve done some research over the past few weeks and think that a traditional 1U rack interface may be just what I need. Here’s the skinny…

My current audio interface is the Yamaha MG10XU, which at the moment does the job, but I’ll list what I like and what I don’t.


  • Simple to use as it’s a traditional mixer
  • Aux can be routed to my Quadraverb as send effect
  • Sounds good enough for my needs
  • Easy to record overdubs or directly from computer audio
  • Can jam all my gear without a computer
  • Recording latency is up to my standard
  • Noise floor seems fine
  • Small form factor


  • Can’t multitrack record, only can record stereo mix
  • On board fx are not so great in my opinion
  • Only room for one headphone output
  • Aux send takes up 2 channels (quadraverb stereo)
  • usb recording the 2 bus doesn’t allow you to use channels 9/10

So at this point the biggest deal breaker is the lack of multitracking capability. I’d like something that ideally sounds as good or better than the Yamaha, has the same standard latency, has set and forgot routing, has all mix channel levels on the front panel, usb, and still allows me to jam without the computer on. Midi integration is not extremely important, as my Digitone acts as a midi brain with a quadra thru going to the other gear to keep it in time.

I’ll be using this with a Novation BS2, Virus C, Reface CS, Digitone, Machinedrum, TT-606, and Alesis Quadraverb. Currently I get 8 input channels on the Yamaha, so some gear runs through others, not a biggie.

Been looking at the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 gen 2 but not opposed to other units (tascam, motu, roland, etc…) budget is $300 - $400. Thanks Nauts!


I’ve been looking at traditional mixers, but I’m stressed for space at the moment. Anything wider than 13 inch will be difficult to fit into my studio space. This ticks all the boxes but price is just a hair higher than my budget, but more important, it’s 17.5 inches wide. Twice as wide as my Yamaha. Looks awesome! Is this what you use @Fin25 ?

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Don’t use it myself, but lusted after one for a while. Couldn’t face replacing my analogue mixer though so never got one.

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you should really look at the likes of rme fireface 400 used.


maybe also look into behringer x-air xr18


I’ve heard great things about the RME interfaces, though would prefer physical level controls for all channels or at least be able to easily adjust levels without having to go in the box. This helps get my levels correct if I am jamming. Then I proceed to boot up the laptop and record.

Technically I could adjust the levels at the source, huh? Lemme do a little more research on this unit.

Edit - just realized this is firewire. I need usb.

Look up for Babyface pro and fireface UC. Both are USB and both offer encoders which can adjust levels from the front of the unit.

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RME looks to be way out of my price range. I’m in the $300 - $400 price range. They look great though, bet they sound awesome!

So far I’ve been back and forth between the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 gen 2 , Motu 828mk3 firewire / usb, or the Roland OctaCapture. The Roland is a little more than I’d like to spend, but looks quality. I’ll have to keep researching! Thanks for all the recommendations so far!

are you on Windows or Mac?

you can always use your mixer as is now (so you have tactile control of levels) and get an interface with as many inputs as possible, then re-patch to it when recording. if you’re paying for something that’s multi-channel and has a tactile surface, it’s more than likely going to be a mixer; and then you could’ve gotten a better quality interface for the same money. meaning, you’re paying for the surface/eq/etc too, instead of just for the best AD converters you can afford.

my approach, fwiw, is to use both. things like Elektron gear that have multiple volume levels within 'em anyway get run direct to the sound card. everything else hits a mixer and then the sound card.

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I’m on windows. I’d like to try and minimize gear, so if I get an interface, the Yamaha has to go. This is due to lack of power outlets, space, and the less amount of items in the signal chain, the better :grin:

In all reality I’m not too worried about the physical knobs for the channel levels. Like you said, most all my gear has so many volume controls internally.

if you must have interface and mixer in one, as that seems to work for you, you should check out the Soundcraft MTK12. it’s a little out of your price range, but they’re common enough you can likely find a deal on a new or used one.

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I actually really like the idea of the sound craft mtk 12 mixing board, the only downside is it’s a little too big for my space. My current mixer, Yamaha Mg10xu is one of the smallest I’ve found with 10 channels.

Maybe the k-mix by k&m could an option? Small footprint, 8in/10out, supports as IF pc/mac/ipad, multi-track & standalone supported, sound qualitywise ok, fx are so-so, price might be a bit above your request. Routing options are also a bit more limited for your purposes.


Seconding the Beringher xr18

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For multitrack recording without a computer, you will need to spend more money, you will get the most feature bang for the buck from behringer, just pick the one wit the features you really need.

fx are always bad at mixers and interfaces of this pricerange, yamaha belongs to the better ones.

my advice is: stick with your yamaha until you saved more money and then buy something decent from rme

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the new 3rd generation scarletts might be a decent solution

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I used to own a Tascam US-2x2 which I replaced with a Behringer UMC 1820 when it broke.

I couldn’t be happier with the Behringer

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agree with this. I’ve owned a Fireface for a decade and adore it. after owning many different interfaces, it simply sounded the best and the drivers are super stable (Apogee sounded great too, but the drivers sucked). BUT I want to say their drivers are less stable on Windows (which OP is on), or am I wrong…?

generally I would say MOTU provides the best balance of good quality converters and number of inputs on the interface and stable drivers for a reasonable price. that said, again I’ve had the same interface for a decade so I can’t comment on all the newer ones!

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