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8-Channel Audio Mixer with USB
Whether it is for a recording or a performance, a good mixer should be a part of every musician's toolbox. However, mixers can be expensive, but that was before Monoprice got into the Pro Audio business!
This 8-channel mixer features a full suite of input options, including four balanced XLR microphone inputs, four unbalanced mono 1/4" TS line inputs, two pairs of unbalanced mono 1/4" TS inputs ganged together for stereo control, a single USB 2.0 input/output for connection to a computer, a 3.5mm stereo TRS input, and a pair of RCA inputs. The mixer can provide +48V Phantom Power to all four XLR mic inputs.
In addition to the USB 2.0 input/output, this mixer has five additional outputs. The Phones output is an unbalanced stereo 1/4" TRS connection, while the Aux Send and the R and L outputs are all unbalanced mono 1/4" TS connections. Additionally, there is a pair of RCA outputs. The R and L outputs are ganged together for stereo control on the mixer.
- Four microphone/line inputs
- +48V phantom power for condensor microphones
- Accepts 2-channel stereo input
- 3.5mm stereo TRS jack for input from CD or mp3 players
- 2-band equalizer with +/- 15dB adjustment at 80Hz and 12KHz
- RCA jacks for stereo input/output
- Separate headphone output control
- Main L/R stereo output control
- 2-channel, 4-LED level display
- Supports USB audio input and output
- Includes AC adapter for use anywhere in the world (100-265V, 50/60Hz)
- Includes stand-mount adapter
USB cable not included.
4x XLR / 1/4" TS mic/line level
4x 1/4" TS line level
1x stereo RCA line level
1x 3.5mm TRS line level
2x USB 1.1
2x 1/4" TS line level
1x 1/4" TS AUX send
1x 1/4" TRS headphone level
1x stereo RCA line level
|Phantom Power||+48V on all mic inputs|
|Equalizer||2-band ±15dB EQ at 80Hz and 12kHz|
Mic: -20dB ~ +45dB
Line: -20dB ~ +25dB
|Frequency Response||20 Hz ~ 20 kHz ±1dB|
|THD+N (0dBu)||< 0.008%|
Main Outputs: -103dB
USB, RCA, and Phones Outputs: -90dB
Aux Send -85dB
Mic: 2.3 kΩ
Line: 20 kΩ
CD/RCA: 24 kΩ
|Input Power||12 VDC|
|Maximum Power Consumption||11 watts|
|Dimensions||8.7" x 8.3" x 2.7" (220 x 210 x 68 mm)|
|Weight||2.2 lbs (0.98kg)|
Questions and Answers
PROS: Works as expected - both OSX and Win7 detected the input and output devices.
PROS: -Supposed "buzzing" by other reviewers is not present (Maybe was fixed finally?)
-Allows for a plethora of different options of audio input finding the levels and sound you want
-Very dynamic piece of hardware
CONS: -Recorded audio quality sounds much lower when played back from laptop in contrast to how it sounds when headphones plugged directly into device (?)
-Doesn't record in separate audio tracks in Audacity Audio Program
From a hardware perspective, the mixer is very light and very compact. The knobs do not all rotate consistently some are more free than others. I'm not a fan of the layout of the board, especially with regards to the bezel running across the top that splits the EQ controls, but it's clear that these choices were made due to space constraints. The mixer does come with a bracket for mounting to a stand It is surprisingly useful when on the road, and I am a huge fan of it. Overall, I do not believe this mixer would stand up to heavy abuse, but its portability makes it easy to take on the road.
I had three use cases for this device: using it when out gigging, using it when jamming with friends at home, and using it as an audio interface for single track recording. For gigging and jamming, I have no issues with this device as far as sound quality goes. However, the USB I/O is disappointing. When using it with a Linux workstation using the JACK connnection kit, there is a pronounced hum. When using it with the pulseaudio server, the hum is not present. I am unable to isolate settings to resolve this issue. This means that to record with this mixer, I must use a different sound interface. While talking to monoprice support, I learned that it is not recommended to use the USB interface for recording, which begs the question of why it was included in the first place.
For single-track recording, it turns out that neither this mixer, nor any of the 8-track mixers out on the market would suffice while using their USB or 2TK I/O. This and other comparable devices mix the external audio with the instrument input and then send that mix out. This is the opposite of what you need for single-track recording you want the instrument sent out before being mixed so that your new track is isolated. It is not possible to alter this behavior. My workaround is to record the instrument using the AUX bus and monitor the entire mix using the 2TK-IN. This has the disadvantage of not using the USB interface (which is unusuable due to the hum in any case).
All in all I give this device an 8 out of 10. I reduced the score due to the build quality with regards to the layout and feel of the knobs, and due to the issues with the USB audio. Had I known about these quirks ahead of time, I would still choose to purchase this device.
PROS: Fantastic price point
Adequate sound quality
Very portable (the stand mount is surprisingly helpful!)
CONS: Mediocre build quality
Hum with USB I/O
So the trick is DONT MONITOR USB OUT ON THE MIXER!
I have been able to resolve the issue and tested. I thought it was just the mac, but other USB devices seemed to work fine. It seemed to work fine on my desktop, but I don't think I've actually been pushing audio back out at the same time (monitoring the audio over USB) on my linux box.
I use renoise on the mac and when I turn on the audio out to be the USB, instant hum... I plugged the headphones into the mac directly, and stopped monitoring the audio through the mixer and, amazing NO HUM.
Monoprice responses are stupid, Its not the power, or anything like that. I've even tested with an independent 12v battery supply, hum is still there. It's only the fact that I was monitoring the audio over usb, while recording.
Get yourself a virtual loopback cable software and monitor through the mac's audio out.
PROS: Great interface for a simple setup
CONS: USB hum at 1khz (and resonance), only on my mac! But I have a solution.
I am a electronics guy/computer guy/guitarist who likes to record multi-track recordings at home for personal use. Before buying this unit, I have used multiple other USB audio input devices and bought this because I wanted an adjustable clean USB recording input and the ability to add in all my inputs via a single control unit (and the phantom power for my mics kicks butt).
First let me say that every one of the devices I've used for recording hum when connected to my desktop. However, using my Macbook Pro all my other recording devices get zero hum from power interference, except for this mixer, it still gives me the hum.
With all my other USB audio input devices (Line 6 HD500, POD X3 Live, POD Studio UX2 and Digitech RP-350) I can record one track and listen to it while I add any additional tracks without issue. With this mixer, in order to hear my first track while recording the next track, it plays back the existing track on top of the new track into the new track. Basically re-recording the previous tracks in the background of the new track. This makes it impossible for recording as it muddies up the recording. This looks to be because you have to press the 2TK to MAIN buttons to hear the input and output at the same time, but it doesn't understand that you don't want to re-record what the USB is playing back.
Beyond that it's really nice to have my drum machine, MICs, and amplifies all connected and mixable with this board, but I am unable to usefully record with it.
Cool mixer, not really great for recording. Probably would NOT replace with the same unit if this one dies.
PROS: - Affordable mixer
- Phantom power
- Easy USB recording
- Stand Mountable
CONS: - USB Hum (even using separated power and laptop)
- Pretty useless for recording multiple separate tracks (see review)
Unfortunately, the USB IO on this mixer automatically routes it's output to the main mix, as well as routing itself back in as an input source. This has been discussed by other reviewers.
Unfortunately, just monitoring from another audio source, which was suggested by another reviewer isn't a good enough solution and defeats the purpose of purchasing a mixer that is designed to consolidate audio sources into 1 convenient board for ease of control.
So, with some regret, I had to generate an RMA and return it.
If all you want to do is combine audio sources for live or recording purposes, this mixer would do the trick. It's compact, built well, and has everything you need.
However, if you really need to take advantage of simultaneous Bi-directional USB IO, this mixer does not properly implement this feature without generating a feedback loop. I urge the powers that be to consider revving this model to include a switch that would prevent the output of the USB signal to be sent back through the mixer as an input source, while still allowing it to be monitored through headphones or main outs.
PROS: Compact, light, well built, A great little mixer for basic audio tasks.
CONS: No way to take full advantage of simultaneous bi-directional USB IO without feedback loop.
7 months ago
The majority of the failure comes from the Mac, the mac doesn't allow you to control the input volume from this device (at the computer). Therefore making a almost invisible hum completely noticeable, by using full output volume. If you can control the input volume (at the computer) the hum would be gone. Since you can turn the output levels (main, and input 1 level, and input 1 mic in on the mixer) up way beyond what the Mac can handle. The problem is you can't lower the input (level) at the computer(s internal mixer) itself.
This is probably why I never noticed the hum on my linux computers, because I could control the volume at the computer side, and turned up the outputs which compensated for any digital noise.
The noise is exacerbated by putting a loopback over USB to monitor the output, but turning it off is not the only solution.
It is NOT a power noise issue, tested with a battery supply, and with UPSes. Power noises are if you get a 60hz hum, not a 1khz hum. This is a DAC issue, but shouldn't be as noticeable.
I have only noticed the issue on my MacBook Air.
I'm going to keep testing a bit. I love monoprice products, sometimes they are cheap for a reason. So if I discover any other solutions I will try to post them, right now the only solution I have is to use a throughput device to lower the volume at the computer side, right now trying to see if I can get soundflower to handle this.
PROS: Works great as a simple mixer using XLR cables.
CONS: After a long time not trying it, finally tried using USB connection. High-pitched hum makes this impossible to use, and basically worthless when connected via USB.
Support would be greatly appreciated, but I honestly don't know what else I can do to fix this issue.