Can anyone recommend a USB mixer without hissing or pops?

At the moment I’m afraid to buy a USB mixer for my notebook. I’ve read several reviews of various USB mixers where they said there was evidence of hissing and or pops in their recordings. I don’t want to spend over $160

I’m wanting a USB mixer (or firewire) with 4 XLR mic inputs, and one that I could use with Audacity and/or Garage Band.

Also, is it true that you can designate different tracks to record only certain inputs from the mixer? What are the limiations to this with audacity, and is it only supported for certain hardware?

You can record multiple channels simultaneously each on their own track with appropriate hardware.

For Audacity 1.3.5 and earlier, the limit was 16 channels. I think that Audacity 1.3.6 has removed that limit so that it is now only limited by the hardware and its drivers.

The important limitations in Audacity are;

  • ASIO drivers are not supported as standard. http://audacityteam.org/wiki/index.php?title=ASIO_Audio_Interface
  • Audacity can only record from one audio device at a time. Some multi-channel audio devices use multiple instances of stereo drivers in order to support multiple channels ad in such cases you would only be able to record 2 channels at a time.

In order to record multiple channels, the hardware must support multiple channels AND it must use a single multi-channel driver.

For recording just 1 or 2 channels, the Behringer UCA202 is a cheap and popular USB interface that could be used with just about any mixing desk, and offers good performance. Similar interfaces are available from Edirol and other manufacturers.