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Behringer Xenyx Q802 USB good for home recording?

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  • Behringer Xenyx Q802 USB good for home recording?

    So i want to buy an USB interface just to record guitars for my album, right now i have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 but the problem is, it's not mine, it's my friend's and he will need it back next month. I've looked on thomann to see some nice interfaces and i found this

    I know it's probably more than i need but does anyone ever tried it? I want it to run like this: my guitar into mixer's line level mono input, then from mixer main output to my PC's sound card line input (so i can monitor my guitar WITH the effects from my DAW, and of course i will connect the mixer via USB to my PC and use it as an interface).

    I read something that you cannot monitor your guitar with this or something like that. Does anyone knows more about this?

  • #2
    The mixer is fine but you cant use it that way and expect to get quality recordings.

    This mixer has a built in sound card/interface that is superior to your windows sound card.
    First - DAW programs wont even recognize windows sound cards.
    Second - Windows sound cards do not have high speed ASIO drivers
    Third, you can only run one sound device at a time
    4th you should disable your windows sound card and connect your monitors to the mixer. It will then be your external sound card for tracking and mixing.

    If you have hardware effects you want to record you can simply run them between the guitar and mixer just like you would placing pedals before an amp. Or you can put them in the mixers effect loop. (or use the mixer out and run them back into a channel) or use a combination of effects before the mixer and put your time based echo and reverb in the effect loop just like you would with an amp.

    If you want to use software effects its going to be a matter of computer speed.

    What normally occurs when you record is you set the mixer for zero latency monitoring. You hear your guitar going straight to the monitors.
    Inside what you don't here is the signal gets split - converted to digital - then written to the hard drive.
    When you play back tracks the files come off your drive get routed through your daw programs then sent to the interface - converted back to analog and then played back through your monitors.

    You can multitrack this way playing along to the tracks playing back as you record new ones.

    What you are wanting to do is used software effects in real time.

    Either in your Driver/Mixer or DAW settings you can turn off your zero latency monitoring and loop your guitar signal through your daw program and use your software effects.

    You have to look at the path to understand what's going on. Instead of the guitar going straight to your monitors, you toggle the speakers off to only play what's coming from the computer.

    Your path is now >Guitar into mixer > Mixer interface converts analog to digital . Signal is routed through your USB connection> The bus runs the data through your CPU and DAW program (and to the hard drive when you're recording) > The digital data is converted by your software plugins and has algorithms performed (number crunching) > signal gets put back on the Buss > sent through your USB connection> The Mixers converter converts the signal back from Digital to analog> sent through the preamp to your monitors.

    Only then do you hear the guitar.

    None of the items in "that" chain happen instantly like you would hearing the guitar being run straight to your monitors.
    The two digital conversions - the packet transport of data through your USB port - The CPU number crunching when its having the signal changed by the software effects all take time to complete.

    Normally all this goes on in the background - The data gets put into temporary FIFO memory storage till the CPU is ready to process it. When you are trying to run your guitar through software effects you can hear the delay. You may hit your strings and by the time the data comes back out of the speaker it can be anywhere from a second to several seconds.

    What happens when you multitrack is your miss the timing of the notes. You wind up sounding like a drunken guitarist that cant catch up with the rest of the band. This is why most players set the interface for zero latency the add their effect when mixing - or the just use amps mics and hardware effects recording direct so they don't have to deal with the latency.

    What you can do is test your computer. This little program will let you see if your computer is capable of recording at near real time when running effects. A normal reading is around 100us which is too high for most players. If you have a quad computer with solid state drives and maxed out memory running a thunderbolt interface then you can probably get that latency down in the 10~20us range and the latency wont sound like you're playing through a slap back echo with the mix on full echo.

    Different plugins will take more time to process so the latency can vary. Some interfaces will allow you to adjust latency and buffers to maximize the speed but you can run into issues with lost data packets when you override the factory settings. In my experience I find its just not worth the hassle.

    Thing is these software manufacturers tell you nothing about these issues - they are trying to sell software and expect you to know about theses issues. Few computers and interfaces can do that job.

    My solution is simple. I used hardware based effects. I dial up just enough to play comfortably then I add additional effects when mixing. The sound quality winds up blowing away most software effects, at least the amp emulators. Others like chorus echo and reverb plugins can be very good and if you go light on the drive you have plugins to gain it up even hotter.

    You can get a DI for recording as low as $28. I just bought a Joyo AC Tone the other day for $28 and was testing it out tracking last night. It will rip your socks off for tone and drive so there's really no need messing with software effects if your computer is too slow.

    Like I said you can try it but if it doesn't work out there are much better options.


    • #3
      What are you using for acomputer? for a DAW?

      Since you have already been using the Scarlett 2i2, I recommend the PreSonus AudioBox USB interface. They can usually be found new for $100 US so used would be inexpnsive.
      Every worm, every insect, every animal is working
      for the ecological wellbeing of the planet.

      Only we humans, who claim to be the most intelligent
      species here, are not doing that. ~Sadhguru


      • #4
        Too bad you weren't looking about 6 months ago. I snagged a Tascam US-1200 from Musicians Friend during one of their Stupid Deal of the Day sales for $89. Its a 6 channel interface with 4 mic preamps and two instrument/line level inputs.

        When I record solo I often use a drum machine so I need at least 4 inputs. I did have to spend an extra $20 to buy a two channel DI box to use the mic inputs at line level. Wound up working perfectly. They have a 16 channel for about $250 I'm going to grab as soon as I get ahead. I run a 24 channel PCI setup in the studio and the PCI ports aren't being put in computers any more so next computer upgrade will also need an upgraded interface.

        I could track a small band with this 6 channel if I use a sub mixer for drum mics and combine several mics to a stereo input. That would leave me 4 other mics for guitar bass and two vocals or two guitars, bass and one vocal. I could always tap a PA mixer for all vocals too. I figured I could use it for mobile recording. My wife was given a high end HP quad core laptop work station with dual SS drives thunderbolt port, the whole deal. I think its their top model costing over 5K. That thing will smoke for doing mobile recordings with the Tascam.