To answer this question, we need to know about home studio features. Our home studio is usually digital and it has feature:
- Using computer as central controlling unit which has plugins and mixer software. This mixer is compulsory software included in all DAWs software. It has powerful functions, simulates external mixer hardware’s functions as well as provide several applications which mixer hardwares don’t have
- If you have external devices such as eq, compressor,… you can also connect them to computer through audio interface and their configuration is easy adapted to mixer software.
Note: The audio quality of a mixing console with the same price as one audio interface, in most cases, mixing console never produces better audio than audio interface. Connecting one bad mixer to audio interface will reduce the audio quality.
If you think that there’s time you have to use many audio signal lines, you should buy an audio interface with many connectors, mic pre-amp ports, and digital connectors. By that way, you can work well in normal conditions as well as unusual conditions and also produce better audio quality than having an external mixer hardware.
Why do I say that the same price mixer and interface and the mixer is never as good as audio interface? You should check the sound through these devices and see for yourself about my saying.
With a small and medium studio and number of tracks need to be concurrently recorded is not very big, mixer software can absolutely do well instead of an external mixer hardware.
With bigger scale studio, sometimes you need to record hundred lines of sound at the same time. In this case, external mixer will be quicker and more efficient. But, you have to make sure that mixer is high-grade.
In short, computer and audio interface can satisfy all the missions of external mixer hardware!
If a small or medium studio still want convenience and true feeling while working with mixer, follow next part to choose the right mixer.