Good evening gentlemen (and ladies if appropriate)

I actually like Audacity but I do not like having to do everything via a mouse and a PC screen (I was born when we still had a king on the throne in UK)!

Is there any device, means, system (whatever it is called) that I can attach to my pc to use Audacity as one used to with a physical recording system? I am using a Tascam US122 to input microphone and guitar without too much problem. The real nuisance comes when one wishes to adjust volume, panning, effects, etc. Having to fiddle about with a mouse is not an easy thing to do when arthritis etc takes hold.

I wondered whether a USB mixer or something similar would work (ie would it recognise and be recognised by Audacity?) readily. Despite my age, I am quite new to this PC orientated recording so any help which you can provide would be much appreciated. If I have raised this subject in the wrong area/field or whatever, I apologise in advance and will be glad of any polite corrections.

There is a thing called a [u]Control Surface[/u] which has programmable switches, knobs, and sliders to interface with your audio hardware. But, they tend to be expensive and I have no idea if they can be used with Audacity.

Some people do use an analog mixer along with digital audio recording/storage, but without special hardware (multiple digital-to-analog converters) you are limited to two-channels out of the computer.

A USB mixer might work for you but any panning, level adjustment, EQ, etc., is done in real-time during recording. Most of these things are stereo-out so, you can’t change the mix after recording. If you are only recording two channels at once, then it’s not much different from your Tascam except you have the option of blending (panning) and you’ll usually have EQ on the mixer. You could record from your Tascam (or in “direct stereo” with the mixer), then send the analog audio out to the USB mixer for mixing (and panning and EQ, etc.) and then back into the computer via USB.

Another option might be a [u]Portastudio[/u] which generally works stand-alone without the computer (although you should be able to transfer the files to/from a computer). Tascam makes them, and I think Boss & Fosgate make similar gizmos.

If you have the budget (maybe a couple-thousand dollars), Presonus makes some mixers that integrate tightly with their DAW software. If I understand how they work, they are essentially a combination hardware mixer, multichannel interface, and control surface.

They can’t if they use MIDI control as most do - only if they use key strokes. See USB Remote recording gadget? - #4 by steve


Many thanks to you DVDdoug. Your answer has rather confirmed what I was already thinking but at least I now know that it cannot be done. Much appreciation for your reply.