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Am I able to use my USB mic and an analog audio interface at the same time? I have just purchased a USB to start my home studio, and planned on soon getting an interface.

Should I ditch the idea of an analog interface and just buy USB, or should I buy the analog interface which would be good for another mic and an instrument?

I am unaware of the sound/tech differences between the two.

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The short answer is probably not easily. Technically it would be up to the software that you use. But every DAW software that I can recall using only allows 1 audio input device at a time. That is, in the settings for whatever recording software you use, you'll be asked to pick between either the audio interface or the USB mic.

If you happen to use Mac OS X, there may be a way through the use of an aggregate input device and/or Soundflower. So you'd then have a new "virtual" input device with 2 channels, one for each of your real inputs.

But honestly, I'd probably just pick one or the other. Check what kind of latency you get with your USB mic. Some of them induce quite a bit of latency as I understand it. If that's the case then take the opportunity to upgrade to an interface that gets better latency and probably has a better preamp. Or if the USB mic is working for you, don't worry about it, just use what works.

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A USB mic is a microphone and a soundcard combined. A DAW will only work well with a single soundcard, or with soundcards that are expensive enough that you can synchronize them via master/slave clock lines. However, those soundcards (and/or A/D converters with lightpipe output) usually have 8+ inputs already.

So for anything short of podcasting, stay away from USB mics. You won't manage to get them properly synchronized.

Sometimes mixers with digital output are an option nowadays and can have a reasonable number of inputs. Be sure to check out and understand their specs, though. For best results, you want to record all inputs separately (right after gain stage) and some cheaper mixers don't give you that.

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