Multimix Firewire Compatibility

I have been using Audacity 1.2 for digital recording and editing audio plays. I need to be able to work with multiple voices simultaneously, so am buying either an Alesis, Phonic, or possibly a Mackie (cost is an issue though) mixer with firewire. All come with Steinberg Cubase LE, which is not a very intuitive or elegant program I am told, and if possible, I’d like to continue to use Audacity. I am running Windows XP, SP2. Using a Dell Laptop Pentium III with 256 ram for my recording interface and then editing it on a desktop with AMD Athlon X2 5000, 2gigs Ram running XP sp2 as well.

Does anyone have any experience, advice, caveats about using any of these firewire mixers with Audacity?


A member of our old forums used the Alesis Multimix 16, and was able to record up to 16 tracks at once without any problems. The other two will probably work, but you need to make sure that the drivers for the mixer are written to supply that many inputs using 1 device (Audacity can only access 1 device at a time). I would hope most do, but I can’t be certain.

The only way to be certain is to find someone who can prove it, get in touch with the manufacturers (I’m sure they’ll answer an email from a prospective buyer), or go to a brick and mortar store and convince them to install Audacity and test it.

Great. I actually bought an Alesis multimix 8 Channel firewire mixer and am excited about the prospect of being able to use Audacity with it. When I have the system together and working, I’ll post again for those who might have the same questions.

Go into Audacity’s Preferences, the Audio I/O section. Under the menu where you choose the recording device, there is another menu where you choose a number of channels. Set this to the number of inputs you’re currently utilizing on the mixer. When you hit the Record button, you’ll see each source recording as a separate track simultaneously.

The limitation is that the tracks won’t be labeled in any way, so you’ll need to do a little mic tapping/string plucking to see which source is going to which track.

Also, I’ve only gotten this to work with 3 or 4 simultaneous tracks so far. I don’t have anything to plug into the rest of the inputs in the mixer, so I can’t tell you whether or not more simultaneous tracks will still work. When I tried setting the number of channels to 8 or 10, I got my 3 sources each going to multiple tracks (instead of getting a bunch of blank tracks, as should have happened). Hopefully if you have sources plugged into the other inputs, that won’t happen, but I can’t say for sure.

Hope that helps. G’luck.