I bought an Alesis MultiMix8 USB. I had my AT2020 condenser mic in channel 1, and flattened stereo (mono) output from my Yamaha keyboard/synthesizer. At first while testing it out seemed like a good setup. However after connecting the headphones or the monitors a very pronounced hiss was present on all tracks. At first I thought it could've been then USB cable, changed it to a new one, and no dice. Then thought it could've been the xlr cables, switched them and again, no change. All tracks had the same pervasive hiss. Then I decided to take the computer completely out of the equation and I could still hear a substantial hiss through the monitors and headphones even when I wasn't playing any instruments/voice. I tried Audacity's noise reduction tool (which is phenomenal, btw) and got rid of the brunt of it; however, the background hiss on all tracks was a little too much for my neurosis to stand. So, I'm returning the Alesis mixer but that leaves me 'upstream and without a paddle'. So, in the iterim I'm going to bite the bullet and get a replacement hoping the vendor will refund me the money for the Alesis mixer.
While I know that recommendations can be and are subjective in nature what would you guys recommend for a sub-$200 mixer? So far my research has directed me to look at these:
Yamaha MG82CX 8 Input Stereo Mixer with Digital Effects
Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface Featuring Two Focusrite Pre-Amplifiers, Saffire 6 USB
Mackie 802-VLZ3 8-Ch. Compact Recording/SR Mixer
All see like really good alternatives and within my price range, but I'm open minded to any other suggestions. Your input is much appreciated.