Going to Setup a Small studio need advice

Hi, Im currently using cooledit doing single channel recordings, im now looking to upgrade and be able to do 3 channels at once with a mixer Eg a guitar a mic and a bass all at once onto track 1, 2 and 3.(usb) then allowing me to ajust any levels etc, so i was looking at Alesis MultiMix 4 USB Mixer amongst others but im stumped on what devices actually allow me to do this over USB,

Thanks in advance


first - sounds like a software issue not a hardware device problem

secondly - audacity does not do 3 channels at once
if this is a cool edit issue why not try their forums ?

??? i am confused – what is the real problem here ?
what is the issue with usb?
do you mean record one device via usb and two others via your pc sound cards line inputs ?

any mixer or audio interface with usb should do what you need
if they have enough of the right connections for your mikes, line inputs, or DIs -

mixer would let you adjust levels before recording
else you can adjust them in the pc after recording
but a mixer will put all channels on one stereo (or mono) track

but with 3 channels at once you will likely get bleed into
the other inputs from each of the other devices

you could use a 3++ input mixer that outputs stereo over usb
and with right software you could record 3 separate tracks

or you could use 3++ audio interface and mix the three tracks in the pc (assuming the bleed is not a problem)
but with 3 channels at once you will likely get bleed into
the other inputs from each of the other devices

but all three channels are going to come over the usb with these devices. with a mixer you get two tracks stereo or mono
with AI you could get 3 tracks mono with the right software

recall - audacity does not do 3 channels at once
if this is a cool edit issue why not try their forums ?

Alesis MultiMix 4

That should work – just. It’s really a two channel mixer with channels three and four mixed into one stereo fader knob.

Any one of the mixers like this should work because they all push a simple, stereo USB show out to the computer for recording. That’s right down Audacity’s alley.

This is my favorite…


It comes in a USB version although I have the analog version that I plug into my Mac.

That will amplify, control and fade four of anything. Five and six are magic.

This is all simple stereo. If you insist on multi-channel and overdubbing, that’s a lot harder and the hardware requirements change.


hi thanks for the replys,i am looking at trying a whole new setup software/hardware is why im posing the question here, moving away from cooledit as it was to my understanding audacity was able to record multiple tracks at once over usb? i did actually look at the pv6 usb also but was unsure,

but to recap and maybe explain a little better,

i’m trying o record a live band (without drums)
vocals - track 1,
guitar - track 2,
bass - track 3,
all at the same time LIVE over USB MONO tracks of course,

So can this be done with the PV6 over usb 2.0

This is correct provided that the sound card and the sound cards drivers support “multi-channel” recording.

Unfortunately there is little information available about which sound cards will actually work with Audacity for multi-channel recording - I’ll attempt to explain why:

There are two types of drivers (software that allows the computer to recognise and access the sound card) that may be used - ASIO drivers and standard Windows drivers.

The main problem is that most (all?) multi-channel devices are supplied with multi-channel ASIO drivers, but ASIO drivers are licensed in a way that prevents Audacity from being shipped with ASIO support. This means that on Windows, Audacity must use standard Windows drivers (WDM drivers), but while some multi-channel sound cards are supplied with full multi-channel WDM drivers, some have limited functionality when using WDM drivers. The manufacturers rarely (never) say if the WDM drivers for their sound cards support all features of the sound card (including multi-channel recording), or if they only support basic 2 channel in/out. This means that we rely on information from other Audacity users to say if their multi-channel sound cards work with Audacity or not.

There is some information in this topic about multi-channel sound cards: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/multi-channel-recording-in-audacity/15644/1

For people with multi-channel sound cards that cannot record multiple channels with Audacity, the sound card is usually bundled with software that does work for multi-channel recording, so they can use that for the recording. Once the raw tracks have been recorded, the tracks may then be exported in WAV format and Audacity can import these files for editing.

No it can’t. The PV6 USB mixes the inputs and allows recording of no more than 2 channels at a time.
This means that you could have:
Vocals => track 1
Guitar + Bass => track 2
or any other combination, but only two tracks.

Same problem with the Alesis. Internally, it’s just a stereo mixer.

And yes, it’s pretty insane to try and dig past the manufacturer’s hype and find out what you want. You can’t go by the big red Helvetica headlines “Six Channel Sound Board.” The PV6 is a six channel sound mixer – going in.

You have to start looking for little clues, like count the number of sound meters and look at the back of the board and count the Line-Out connections. There are magic phrases like “6x4” – six input channels mixed down to four outputs. Also switching gets a lot more adventurous. You have to be able to assign one microphone to any one of four outputs, so you can’t use simple Left-Right pan pots any more.

Some mixers, and they usually say so, mix down to stereo like any other board, but give you all the input channels on a special USB connection. That’s usually the ASIO business.

It’s also a given that while you’re doing this, you’re only going to do it once per song. You need a seriously grown-up sound desk to do multi-channel overdubbing, although you could add simple instrumentation and vocals by singing to one or two of the original tracks.


Here’s a phrase that pays.

“Full 16x16 FireWire channel streaming for ultimate DAW integration”

That line is in the literature for this mixer…


I would expect all sixteen channels to be managed inside the workstation – both directions.

Audacity will “manage” 16 tracks and if you bribe it with enough chocolate, it will record 16 tracks, but it will only play two. There are not a lot of sound file formats that will manage more than two channels, either. Several formats claim to manage multi-track, but they produce a sound file that nobody on earth supports.



dont forget those “16” channel recorders
that really only record 8 (zoom comes to mind)
record something two times and you get 16 channels for playback

and then there are the ones that add 16 for every spdif or hdmi connector they have

and the others that have a half-brazillion inputs
but only two with phantom power