I would like to record multiple separate channels on my computer. I.e. such that each input in the breakout box is exposed as an separate input to the audio software.
It seems like a lot of breakout boxes mix all inputs down and only expose it as 2 channels(stereo left/right) over USB. I've found a few that seem to imply that they support more, but the nomenclature seems to vary a lot, and reading the technical specifications doesn't clarify things.
For example, I've seen a couple that list "USB 4-in/4-out" which implies it exposes two stereo inputs to the computer(or 4 channels from computer to mixer but I'm not concerned with that). But if the box has more physical inputs than 4, looking at the manual doesn't clarify how you control which inputs get mixed down to the 4 usb channels.
Another device, the http://www.alesis.com/multimix8usb20 states "10-direct outputs to your computer for recording", which implies it gives the computer access to 10 seperate channels to the computer, but as far as I can tell from reading through Q/A on Amazon this is not the case and they are mixed down to a stereo channel: "This mixer is not a multi-track recording mixer/soundcard, but you can record up to 2 independent channels (left and right) at once, and using recording software such as..."
So in either case it leaves a lot to the imagination, or is outright misleading.
How can I deterministically determine how many actual inputs are exposed to the computer?