Please forgive a copy-and-paste job from the “other” forum where I asked the same questions.
Marts73’s question/topic about digitizing vinyl got me thinking about it again - and so here we are.
Sorry, I’ve been distracted and forgotten to report on how things worked out.
I looked through everyone’s suggestions and essentially when it came to buying gear things fell into three categories.
Firstly, cheap audio adapters such as the Audio-Technica ATR-2X. There are dozens of them, all look about the same and have one big drawback which is that they are mono. No good for Adrian Sherwood productions!
Next there is a variety of relatively low-end interfaces, such as the IK Multimedia iRig Stream or Behringer UCA20. Generally I felt the problem with these was that they were limited in their features, looking near obsolete in their specs (USB 1!?), or reviews were dismissive of their general build quality. A lot of them were out of stock also.
Top of the pops, so to speak, were near professional interfaces, various models of the Focusrites for the most part. For me, they were on the expensive side and I’d need to buy new cables between mixer and interface. It all became a bit much for me.
However, I eventually had the brilliant idea of looking at the back of my mixer - and there was a USB socket! Wheels began to turn in my mind and I read up on specs, etc. After some period of frustration, I figured out that with one extra cable from Apple @ about $19, some firmware updates on the mixer, and a few other minor software settings I’d be able to send a signal direct from the mixer to the MacBook Air via USB.
And it worked. And I made a short test mix. And since then I’ve done about sweet bugger all with it! So I’ll probably have to figure out the software part all over again when I get back to the job because there appear to be holes in my memory. It was reasonably straightforward however. Mostly a matter of defining inputs and outputs on some MIDI controller that is part of the MacOS.
Thanks again for everyone’s various suggestions. Even though I didn’t use any of them in the end they were very useful in helping me think through the task.
I guess the big lesson was LOOK AT THE BACK OF YOUR MIXER!