Advice for a new user please

I have an HP Probook laptop and want to get started recording. I currently own a ton of instruments and mics. I also own a Line 6 POD that I can get some good guitar tones from. I guess I need a small mixer that can handle Low-Z mics and the line out of my POD that has USB output for my laptop, right? If I’m wrong, i’m sure someone will share a good inexpensive way to get going. Thanks in advance from Music City USA.

You can get a Mixer with USB or a USB audio interface . Many interfaces have switchable mic/line/instrument inputs.

Does the POD have an analog output? If not you won’t be able to use the POD and the interface at the same time. (You can only record from one “device” at a time.)

Audio interfaces and mixers work with “Low-Z” balanced mics and they have phantom power for studio condenser mics. They don’t work with “computer mics”.

If you get an audio interface, I recommend one that has zero-latency direct-hardware monitoring.

You can get multi-channel interfaces for multi-track recording but Audacity “isn’t great” for recording more than 2 channels at a time.

And most “little” USB mixers only send the 2-channel stereo mix to the USB port, so although you can mix several microphones & instruments (depending on the number of inputs) you can’t record multi-track and you have to mix in real time.

Audacity has no trouble with multi-track mixing if you record the tracks separately but it’s missing a couple of “features” compared to a full DAW.

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