I wanted to buy a USB audio interface to use at home when working on the backing track for MBI Winds. Our winds group uses a multi-speaker setup (currently 3 channels) that I wanted to be able to easily replicate at home without pulling out 2x 100-pound speakers and a 32 channel mixer 😅

So many choices!

I started by looking at interfaces on Amazon, starting with the hugely popular Scarlett and the Behringer 4-channel units. I asked around at work because lots of folks like to use USB audio interfaces for podcast mics, or simply to get rid of headphone noise induced by their computer’s main board. After asking my list went from 2 to 6 units.

Then I found myself on Sweetwater looking at their expansive list of USB audio interfaces (over 200 😲).

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Before we get into Mixer Hell I want to talk about what is currently consuming my life: MBI Winds. It’s a brand new WGI Winds ensemble put on by Minnesota Brass – sort of like an indoor marching band, but just the horn line. Our first contest is in one month and we still have open positions for flute, clarinet, saxophone, baritone & tuba. Here’s more about our 2023 program and how to join: https://mnbrass.org/2022/11/2023-winds-show-announcement/

For this new ensemble we have audio equipment (computer, mixer, powered speakers) that are used for our backing track – non-winds sounds and percussion. Since this is a new ensemble with a limited budget, I took the approach to beg & borrow as much equipment as possible.

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