...a USB mixer. About ten days ago, I finally replaced my Windows XP home recording computer with a Windows 10 machine. I needed a new interface, too, because the manufacturer of my old PCI interface, Echo, walked away from the pro audio business years ago. I bought a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Gen. 3 and it's very nice, except for one thing: the headphone output is positively anemic. That's a deal-breaker. I tried to make do with it for over a week, but it just ain't happening. My assumption is that the outputs are short on juice because the unit is USB bus-powered, so I started looking for a mains-powered interface with the features I need. Blah, blah, blah... cut to the chase... Yesterday I picked up a Mackie ProFX6v3 mixer. I know its primary intended purpose is live sound, not recording, but it does everything I need it to do, and then some. It has two mic (Onyx preamps)/line/instrument channels and an additional stereo line-in channel, it feeds the two-channel main mix into the computer at up to 24-bit/192kHz, and it sounds very clean. It also has a 1/8" stereo input channel (5/6) that doubles as a second stereo return (3-4) that can be sent from the computer to the monitors (the primary return, 1-2, only goes to the headphone output, and is controlled by a nice input/USB blend knob). It also has a selection of 24 effects which I'll probably never use. My only complaint is that it seems to be built somewhat less "like a tank" than the old VLZ3 mixer that I used to feed the Echo -- there's more plastic and less metal in the chassis, and the knobs/pots and on-off switch feel less substantial. No big deal -- I have no plans to drive a car over it. So I'll miss the Scarlett's cool "gain halos", but it's now packed up and ready to go back to the store.