Advice for Audio – Best Microphone to Soundboard Upgrade Path!

In my opinion, the best possible setup for streaming audio is through an actual soundboard. This requires a lot of setup and equipment to make work, but it's possible to upgrade your setup slowly with the goal of a soundboard in mind. You don't have to get everything all at once basically.

Here is the best upgrade path I can think of for someone who wants to get to the end game, a soundboard:

Microphone:

Samson Q2U - XLR and USB allowing for use with and without a soundboard. Also has a headphone jack so you can live monitor your voice and get a better idea of how your stream sounds.

Amazon - Black Version - https://amzn.to/3b1bNbx  Grey Version - https://amzn.to/32vBsoO

BHphotovideo.com - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1418977-REG/samson_saq2use_q2u_hh_mic_recording.html

Best Buy - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/samson-q2u-dynamic-usb-microphone/6361715.p?skuId=6361715

Soundcards:

Ugreen USB soundcards with RCA outputs. You will need up to 4 of these depending on your setup.
Amazon - https://amzn.to/2FVLLuF

You will absolutely need GroundLoop Isolators on every single card!!!! As well as one on your Mic Return from the board for Voice chat.
Best for Return Audio Voice chat/ Aux output - https://amzn.to/32xyGiQ
Best for Ugreen Soundcards into the board - https://amzn.to/2YAtedO  For a full soundboard setup get one of these per soundcard you get.

HDMI audio Matrix with Audio Extractor:

This will allow you to capture audio from a game console to your soundboard, as well as give you a splitter for your HDMI.
https://amzn.to/2QsVQRT

Soundboards:

Behringer QX1002USB, Q1202USB, QX1222USB, x1622usb, x1832usb. These boards all offer different features. But the main thing is you want 4 stereo inputs for mixing sources and compression for your microphone which all these boards include. If you are shopping around take care when selecting a product.  Many of the 1202 versions do NOT have compression and do NOT have USB output. Make sure to get the QX1002USB or Q1202USB/QX1202USB at minimum.  (The price on the x1832usb has dropped to as low as $250 please check pricing on all boards before choosing.  This is the board I recommend as it will cover all use cases and let you do everything you could possibly want to in the future).

QX1002USB - https://amzn.to/3qJCeup
Q1202USB - https://amzn.to/3sS7Pgq
QX1202USB - https://amzn.to/31whSJS
QX1222USB - https://amzn.to/3eFGwNH
x1622USB - https://amzn.to/2YD4DoM
x1832usb - https://amzn.to/3aWGZIY - (My Soundboard)

Cables and Adapters:

These are the cables and adapters you will need to connect everything, you will need multiple cables for the sound cards, and if you are using the HDMI matrix you will need the headphone to RCA cable below:

RCA Audio Cable - https://amzn.to/3hKGW5L
Headphone to RCA Cable - https://amzn.to/32sx6yX
RCA to TRS Adapters - https://amzn.to/2FVNMqJ

For a full list of EVERYTHING you will need for a soundboard setup visit my website post here: https://www.thesunnymachine.com/equipment/sound-board-accessories-and-cables/

All that said, the best upgrade you can do right now is starting with the Samson Q2U.

Best,
TheSunnyMachine
(This post includes Amazon Associate Links)

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. MattGoode

    Hey Sunny, I’m wondering if there is a more in depth guide of how one would have their audio set up with this level of equipment. Or even just a diagram showing the connections. Right now I have an XLR microphone to a small USB mixer, and I use a single PC setup for streaming. I’m looking to at least get a ballpark for what I would need to get to full audio output monitoring. I understand it’s probably possible with software like VoiceMeeter, but I’d like to lean away from that unless necessary.

    1. TheSunnyMachine

      I will 100% be making a video on this topic in the future! <3

      1. MattGoode

        I actually have 2 weird addition to make on this, through a strange series of events.

        #1 – buy some sort of power switch to toggle power on and off for the mixer. I found a cheap power button on Amazon that connects between the mixer and the wall outlet. The Q1202USB mixer I got does not have a power button. The only way to turn if on and off is to unplug it.

        I’m kind of a big idiot, so once when I went to plug it in to turn it on, I misaligned the pins slightly and one pin in the power cord broke off. I had to buy a new power supply, so I went to Sweetwater and I accidentally bought the wrong power supply, but maybe not?

        #2 – Sunny, you mention the mixer gives off a lot of heat, which I agree with. The replacement Power Supply I bought from Sweetwater was model number PSU-MX6. The one that came with the mixer was PSU-MX5. PSU-MX6 is slightly less powerful. I was worried some inputs wouldn’t work, or the EQ/compression knobs wouldn’t work, but that’s not the case. So far, I believe I’ve checked almost every input and output and they all work fine with PSU-MX6. The only inputs I haven’t tested are inputs 1-4’s quarter inch inputs because I do not have an instrument to test those with. AND the unit does not get nearly as hot in the top corner where the power plug is connected. So this may be a way to avoid having to run the USB cooling fan next to the mixer?

        Also – DO NOT skip out on the ground loop isolators. I didn’t realize what they were for at first, so I skipped them. There is an absolutely obnoxious amount of electrical buzzing/noise with this setup if you don’t have them.

        1. TheSunnyMachine

          The 1202 is probably the most fragile and my least favorite of the options.

          I still suggest a fan because the capacitors used in these boards are just way too cheap to go without proper cooling.

          Good to know about the replacement power supplies. And YES DO NOT SKIP THE GROUND LOOP ISOLATORS!

          lol.

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