I have a band, but several players. Set up is as follows:

1 = Keys

2 = Acoustic

3 = Electric

4 = Bass

5 = Drums?

6 = Vocal Mic

However, this is literally everything. I have a Mac, with Garage band and I have Audacity. I expect that if I wanted to record, what you would do is take the lines from each instrument (ignoring the drums for now), send them to a mixer board, and send the mixer output to my mac, and then use that.

But I believe boards are quite expensive, and I really don't need this to sound great. Is there a way to record all of these with one Mac and no board at all. Perhaps a box or something that you can send everything too, and plug that into the Mac.

For now, I am fine if I lose channels. Simply a stereo or even perhaps mono line is good enough. We can turn down the volume on each instrument for now.

Any ideas here? Oh, and we do not want to record individually!

  • remember that the "single" input on the mac is actually two... left and right.
    – JoshP
    Mar 7, 2013 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


Since you don't need it to sound great, you might just try putting a single USB microphone and position it in such a way that you get a pretty good mix of all the instruments. It may be a challenge to get a good mix, but it is definitely an inexpensive solution using minimal equipment.

Before getting my fancy firewire interface, I used to just put a mic between my keyboard amp and the drum set. When we had a bass player, it didn't matter much where he was. The bass was picked up by the mic at a good level. The recordings came out surprisingly good.

To get clearer sound and more control over the mix, you could try a small mixer. There are several inexpensive 8 channel mixers out there which deliver the stereo mix to your computer via USB. You can get away with a single mic for the drums, but the sound will be much clearer with at least 1 overhead to catch the cymbals and 1 below to catch the kick drum.

Using a single mic to catch it all gives you the least amount of equipment to set up, but may take more time to get the mic positioned just right. Using the mixer will cost a bit more and take a bit more to wire it up, but getting a good mix will be much easier and may well make up for the extra cost and equipment.

  • A small mixer seems like a fine idea. Can you recommend one at a reasonable price?
    – Josiah
    Mar 8, 2013 at 2:10
  • Check here or here for a few choices. Read the reviews carefully to get a good idea of what others like or dislike about the products. Pretty much anything with 8 or more inputs and USB out will work for you. Recommending a specific product is outside the scope of this site. Mar 8, 2013 at 14:44

If you don't want to record individually, your choices are a board or multiple inputs. Multiple inputs is probably the cheaper option. MAudio makes a number of products that would be similar to what you are looking for as an 8 input ADC shouldn't be that expensive.

  • Thanks. Since I am new, could you suggest some product from MAudio. (Not as an ad or spam, but just the right kind of product.) A lot of these things look pretty much the same.
    – Josiah
    Mar 8, 2013 at 2:27
  • 1
    Just go to the M-Audio website or a pro-audio retailer like B&H or Sweetwater and look at the interfaces that have the number of inputs you need and fit within your budget. Specific recommendations are outside the scope of AVP. Mar 8, 2013 at 8:33
  • 1
    A device with multiple audio inputs is generically known as an audio interface.
    – Warrior Bob
    Mar 12, 2013 at 14:44

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