I’ve decided to move on from my tinkering with other audio devices and actually get a mixer/audio interface.
I’m currently jumping back and forth between the U-PHORIA UMC22 and the Pyle-Pro PAD10MXU 2 Channel Mixer. They’re both similar in price, but I haven’t seen them on the audio equipment lists that I’ve found here on the forum so I’m unsure if they’ll be entirely compatible with Audacity.
I’m leaning toward the Behringer because I’ve started playing guitar again and the instrument input and volume control would be nice (also behringer is a known audio company), but if someone really doesn’t recommend it I’ll put some more thought into the other one.
Thanks for any info!
P.S. I’ve seen around that the Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 is recommended, but it’s actually more expensive on Amazon right now so it got booted from the list.
Edit: I forget this info might be needed.
I’m running Windows 10 and I’d be using it for recording/monitoring voice and possibly guitar (if I actually get better at playing)
This would be hard. There’s not a ton of difference between them. The form factor is very different. The UMC22 is larger with everything on the front apron. The UMC22 has Midas preamps and the UM2 has Xenyx.
The research would be the microphone preamp quality. Everything else is off the shelf parts and re-arranging the knobs. The preamp quality is only critical with the microphone. The instrument doesn’t go through the preamp. Noise is top priority followed by everything else.
So the Midas and Xenyx preamps are significantly different, beyond just name?
I still have a lot to learn about all this.
I also didn’t realize that the Pyle I linked was actually discontinued, so that one is out.
It’s a bit silly, but I just got a (late) Christmas gift from my g-ma in the form of an Amazon gift card. So for convenience I’m gonna stick to Amazon.
I guess I don’t really mind the preamp quality at the moment, it’s probably far better than my current setup. As well as more convenient with knobs and such.
So I guess it’s gonna be the UMC22, the form factor should work too.
Thanks for the info! I’ll be sure to research the preamp the next time I need a change.
The microphone preamplifier is a big deal. Microphone sound signals are so small, if you weren’t looking for them, you’d swear they weren’t there.
Normal voice signals compete with the molecular/atomic noises the electronics makes. That’s the background hiss (ffffffff) you hear behind a performance in a bad mixer or interface. It’s so much of a problem, noise measurement appears on the ACX AudioBook submission conformance standard.
“Yes, dear. It’s nice you read an audiobook, but it can’t sound like you’re standing in a rain shower while you’re doing it.”
There have been words written about both types of preamplifier, but none of them mention performance. I understand the corporate history, but which one is quieter or better behaved?
Typically, singing or playing an instrument is loud enough with no holes or gaps that nobody can tell there’s anything wrong. Not so spoken word. Every time you take a breath, preamp problems show up. Any solo musical performance may have the same problems.
The only more serious home-recording sound problem is the studio. We can barely help with home noises and we can’t take echoes out of a performance at all.
This performance will always sound like she recorded in a large kitchen.
If you look closely at Behringer’s advertising copy, it says: “BEHRINGER is proud to incorporate a MIDAS designed mic preamp for the ultimate in high-quality audio reproduction in both live and studio environments.”
Midas is a company that has been around for a long time and has gained a reputation for very high quality (and very expensive) mixing consoles. When Behringer refer to Midas pre-amps as “legendary”, it’s not an exaggeration. The mic pre-amps in high-end Midas desks are extraordinarily quiet: The mic pre’s for the classic XL4 desk are rated as -129 dB Noise at +60 dB gain. Of course that does not mean that you will get the same level of performance from a budget level mic pre-amp, even if it is designed by Midas.
In around 2009, Midas was acquired by music-group.com, which also owns Behringer and several other well known brands. Behringer were quick to make use of the newly acquired “in house” expertise, developing / upgrading a number of mixing desks and audio interfaces with “Midas designed” microphone pre-amps. Behringer also released their first digital mixing console around this time with the X32, based on, but much less expensive than the Midas m32. Reviews suggest that the Midas version is better, but at less than half the price, the Behringer does a creditable job.
The “Xenyx” pre-amps were Behringer’s earlier “premium grade” pre-amps, which in my experience provide good performance for the price. The new Midas designed pre-amps are marketed as Behringer’s new flagship pre-amps, though I’ve not had the opportunity to make a direct comparison between Behringer’s older Xenyx and newer “Midas designed” pre-amps.
I’ve not had the opportunity to make a direct comparison between Behringer’s older Xenyx and newer “Midas designed” pre-amps.
And there in one sentence you have the problem. Nobody is saying: “I went across the street just to buy Midas preamps.”
I suspect one above comment is correct: You would be hard pressed to find significant difference between them. I also have no trouble believing one overloads gracefully compared to the other. Once you get down to atomic-level design, you have to go elsewhere for improvements.
“Just look at the colour of these knobs!!”
It’s good not to take that number in a vacuum (it makes my ears pop). The noise value of a carbon composition resistor sitting there on the counter by itself is about that number. So you can design a preamp as long as you don’t use any electronic parts. That’ll crimp your design.
It’s also the reason transformers lasted as long as they did. Near total isolation and impedance transformation at zero noise.
and that in a nutshell is the difference between Behringer and Midas.
The top of the range Behringer console is around $2k US, whereas the equivalent model by Midas is closer to $4k and you can pay upward of $20k for a big Midas console.