USB audio from a USB mixer

I’m setting up a small ( very small) studio and will be recording with a Linux laptop.

The mixer is a Behringer Q1002USB.
There are several similar “podcast” type mixers out there.
While they offer Traxion DAW software I really don’t need all that.
The mixer offers compression, basic EQ, level etc. We are recording voice, 2 mics that is it.
For recording Audacity is ideal. But the interface is the USB from the Behringer mixer.
There are USB drivers for windows available.
No linux resources are mentioned on the Behinger site.
How do I make the USB audio work??
Does ALSA support this already?

Anyone been down this road already?

version of linux Mint 13.04 64bit I believe.

I’ve not tried it, but I notice that the Windows drivers are identical to the Behringer UCA-202 drivers, so it’s a good bet that the USB part is actually the same in both devices. The UCA-202 works on Linux (ALSA).

Ensure that the mixer is connected (via USB) to the computer before you launch Audacity, then select the USB device (probably listed as (hw:1) or something similar) in the device toolbar.

Thanks Steve.
This gear should arrive tomorrow and I laptop ready to go. If I don’t have to fool with windows anything this should go very smoothly as long as USB is working correctly.
This should be a fun little project.
Will update results. :wink:

Well, I’m here to report it seems to work pretty well. :slight_smile:

Only issues are ones I can’t fault Audacity for.
The touchscreen buttons were acting flaky so I plugged a USB mouse in.
Then the USB audio quit quit working. I could select it as the record source but no sound.
It wasn’t until I plugged the mouse into another port it worked again.

The other issue (general to mics and mixers) is I really cannot get the compression on the mixer board to work
I’m using dynamic mics and the general rule for setting the compression is to “turn it up until the red light blinks”
Well, to get this you have to have mic preamp turn up high and track level turn up high and then scream into the mic with the compression set to max.
The levels will peak in Audacity (clip) long before any of this.
I’m kind of new to this aspect of it and I’m wondering this kind of compression isn’t meant for condenser mics, since they are much more sensitive.

Part of the reason I went this route with the mini mixer board was because it did feature compression. I don’t’ want to have clipped output in the recording in the first place. So currently it is simply not working the way I have it setup.
But as far as recording with Audacity, it works and sound really good. :wink:


I’m sure finding if you ask 10 people about mics and compression, you will get 10 different answers.
Many of them are going to be “OH, that brand mic, mixer, cable, whatever, is junk you have to buy [insert their favorite]”.
So asking so called professionals was a waste of time.
Nothing but self-centered opinions.
Had one guy tell me you MUST condenser mics for voice; dynamic mics won’t work. Give me a break! :unamused:

I actually didn’t some research on the differences between dynamic and condenser mics and figured out the issue.
Reset some level settings, everything is working 100% as expected, and getting great sounding recording. :smiley:

Condenser microphones tend to be a bit brighter than dynamic mics, are often more sensitive, and more easily overloaded. That’s not always the case, but often is,

Dynamic mics tend to be more robust, have better rejection of handling noise, better feedback rejection in live applications, and able to handle higher sound pressure levels without sounding bad. Again, not a rule, but often the case.

Large diaphragm condenser mics tend to have lower self noise than small diaphragm condenser mics, have higher sensitivity, and lower sound pressure handling. All else being equal that is true, but there can be a huge variation between different makes and models.

Small diaphragm condenser mics tend to have higher Sound Pressure handling, higher dynamic range and wider frequency response than large diaphragm mics. Again, if all else is equal that is true, but again there are big differences between different models and makes.

Condenser mics need to be powered. That’s a rule that is always true.

Hey Steve, I should have asked you first. LOL!
A very clear and concise explanation.
What the end product for all this isn’t much different than podcasting.
I’m recording and playing, editing at the CD quality rate but what the radio station wants is an MP3.
Still yet what I have recorded so far I sat and listened to with head phones and through my monitor speakers and I’m astounded as to how good it sounds.


That’s exactly how I would do it (but actually “better than CD quality” while working because the Audacity default is “32 bit float, 44100 Hz” rather than CD “16 bit 44100 Hz”).
Preserve the high quality (uncompressed audio) as long as possible and convert to MP3 format as the final step (export a backup in WAV format just in case you need to re-edit at a later date).

Capturing and editing at CD quality if required for a predictable and good quality show no matter how it’s presented to the client. MP3 quality in particular produces sound damage that accumulates and is responsible for many posts on the forum of people who decided to do production with download MP3s and then complain that their new MP3 is either much larger than they predicted, or is a good, small filesize, but now sounds bubbly and honky.

Archive work should always be in WAV or other uncompressed format.

You can increase the quality of the deliverable by using the highest possible quality MP3. Audacity default is 128 Stereo and that’s “good” quality assuming all you do is listen to it, but if the station is going to publish the work on their web site, it’s possible they’re going to compress it again and that can create some serious distortion problems. Deliver in Stereo 256 or 320. In Mono, the quality values double, so that’s another way out. Mono 128 is roughly the same quality as stereo 256.

We had another forum posting from someone who was delivering his show to the station on a thumb drive. This would seem to suggest that anything that would fit on the drive would be OK. The catch was the only place to plug in the drive was the External input of a broadcast CD player which would only accept MP3. My suggestion as above was to get management to provide a better quality connection (not likely as it was a budget-free station), actually deliver on very high quality CD or deliver on the highest possible quality MP3.


Excellent points guys.
I send them a high bit rate MP3 that weighs about 70MB.
Personally I despise the MP3 format. Sonically it is poor. If it must be compressed I use FLAC; but that is unsupported by a lot of players. It is only voice with a one minute musical intro and exit broadcasted over a not so high power FM radio station. Who is going to notice?

Who is going to notice?

You may get noticed if your vocal quality is significantly different from the shows on both sides of you. You may have nailed that with your studio. There’s nothing like a metrobus, trash collection or dog barking in the background to kill your professional presentation. The other thing that can kill you is recording the room. Echoes and reverberation are deadly and we can’t fix them in post production.

This woman will always sound like she’s recording in her mum’s kitchen.

I got rid of that on a temporary basis with furniture moving pads.

One place I worked had a soundproofed conference room.

We would all go to great lengths to record in that room.

Not being able to announce usually surrenders to listening to your own show enough times.
“Do I really sound like that?” [gasping in horror]