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Take Your Mixing Game to the Next Level with the Best Audio Mixers
Last updated: 26 Jul 2021
Mixing audio is an incredibly vast and fascinating subject. Creating the best tracks requires the best engineers and mixers. No matter if you're using a digital mixer or a live sound system, you'll need the best equipment in your control room. This article will give you a list of the best audio mixers currently available, so you can narrow your search. We've rounded up the best audio mixers in 2021.
Whether you're recording a large, small, or medium-sized gig, or just for home use, we have put together this article to help you find the best audio mixer for your needs.
It has studio-grade discrete class-A D PRE preamps with inverted Darlington circuit giving you fat, natural-sounding bass and smooth, soaring highs
It has a 3 band EQ and high pass filters give you maximum control and eliminate unwanted noise, resulting in a cleaner mix
It features 1 Knob compressors allow easy control resulting in livelier guitars, punchier bass lines, a tighter snare, and a cleaner vocal sound
The MG Series mixers feature a rugged, impact-resistant, powder-coated metal chassis
MG Series mixing consoles feature intuitive user interfaces and an extensive lineup that ranges from 6 to 20 channel models, allowing for a wide range of applications and users. This console’s solid design and flexibility make it ideal for installation, recording or live music applications, delivering unmatched sound quality and reliability.
It has USB, flash drive, and MP3 compatibility for use with a computer PC, flash drive, or Bluetooth device
It allows hassle and cable-free Bluetooth wireless streaming
A high-end mixer with ultra-low noise, high headroom, and ultra-musical 3-band EQ on all channels, with XLR and unbalanced 1/4″ plug with +48V Phantom functionality
This compact DJ Mixer features sealed rotary controls for total dust and grime resistance
It serves well as a quality live-performance mixer, as well as a karaoke mixer
It comes with a new multi-voltage power supply of 100V-240V (+/-15V DC power adapter) ideal for worldwide usage
This Pyle PMXU43BT mixer desk will take your talent to the next level, no matter what your audio mixing needs are. It’s its legendary mic preamplifiers, EQs, and 16-Bit DSP multi-effects processors that have made it the envy of sound engineers and producers everywhere!
The “Go live” desktop rig for online broadcasters allows you to instantly control your audio
With its flexible and intuitive USB-based mixing, it’s easy to get up and running quickly with simple, easy-to-use controls
The EQ, compression, and gate feature of this product produce studio-quality audio
All your favorite settings can be controlled and recalled using its PC app
You can create interactive recordings and live streaming with GoXLR Mini. With GoXLR Mini, you can set up multiple USB audio devices in Windows and control the volume of each app separately. The MIDAS preamplifiers are quiet and versatile, making them an extremely suitable choice for any voice or microphone. Whether you’re a seasoned creator with a multi-PC setup or just getting started, the GoXLR Mini gives you access to all the necessary inputs and outputs.
The Scarlett range’s best mic preamp now comes with switchable air Mode to give your recordings a brighter, more open sound
There’s one high-headroom input for guitars and basses
Clean audio playback is ensured by two hum-free balanced outputs
You can record and mix at up to 24-bit/192kHz using high-performance converters
Easy-to-use quickstart tool to get you up and running
Simple and easy to use, the third-generation Scarlett Solo, offers singer-songwriters a reassuringly straightforward recording experience. As all third-generation Scarlett S models are equipped with 192 kHz/24-bit AD-DA converters, they deliver the same professional sound quality. Guitar players around the world use Scarlett Solo to capture studio-quality sound every single day. You can easily record your music anywhere by connecting your guitar or microphone to the device.
With sixteen total inputs and phantom-powered XLR inputs on channels 1-4, it’s the ideal mixer for musicians seeking a compact mixing console for their studio, podcast, or live sound applications
Studio microphones have never sounded better! This microphone’s high headroom circuitry offers the most dynamic range and ultra-low noise for excellent performance
Added studio-grade processing to all your inputs, including dynamic, ribbon, and condenser mic signals, using a warm, natural three-band EQ
There are four mic input channels with XLR and balanced line inputs, as well as two additional stereo input channels on the mixer. The mixer also comes with a 1/4″ Main, Control Room,
Headphone & Aux outputs for flexible signal routing
There are 256 onboard 24-bit DSP effects from Alesis, including reverb, delay, chorus, and phaser; a footswitch input for switching the effects on and off
The ZMX122FX packs an enormous amount of features into a very compact space, but we took a no-compromise approach where the purity of your mix is concerned. This compact mixer brings the same standard of quality to your performances as our top-of-the-line models. The Alto Pro ZMX122FX has professional-grade mixing features with a go-anywhere attitude.
The Xenyx Mic Preamp is a state-of-the-art phantom-powered preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
An invigorating and musical neoclassical 2-band EQ
The main mix is stereo and there is an output for headphones
You can assign CD/tape inputs to headphone outputs or main mix outputs. The power consumption is 13 watts
Want to play solo at a local coffee shop? Want to get the word out quickly? If you want a simple sound, choose the simply wonderful Xenyx 502, the mixer with all the essential features to provide incredible sound in an intimate setting. Thanks to its 5-Input structure (1 Mic, 2 Stereo) and studio-grade, phantom-powered Xenyx Mic Preamp, the Xenyx 502 mixer delivers premium sound with ease.
The device has 1 mic/line input with studio-level audio quality
It also features 2-band EQ with clean, precise tone shaping
It is built with phantom power for studio condenser mics and 2 stereo 1/4″ line inputs
It has dedicated stereo RCA inputs/outputs for playback or recording
Its headphone output has a separate volume control
It is a rugged, reliable design built to last, with an extremely compact and portable structure
The Mackie Mix8 is a robust 8-channel compact mixer from Mackie, the world leader in compact mixer design. This device is perfect for applications requiring minimal input, mixing from various sources, and maintaining audio quality without losing any sound.
In this section, you will learn more about what to consider when choosing an audio mixer. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when searching for your next audio board.
What are you using your mixer for?
The best mixer for you will depend on your needs. It is important to find something within your budget that doesn't require too much space but still offers the input and output capabilities you will need if you have a home recording studio.
Many venues, such as churches and gathering halls, can handle a bigger mixer, especially since most of the time, a full band will be plugged in. It is imperative to find a mixer that has just a bit more capability than you need regularly. If necessary, you can add additional musicians or lines, so that you cover most of your essential functions.
What are your inputs?
It is essential to ask yourself how many inputs you will need. Inputs simply refer to the places you plug audio instruments or microphones into so that they will be routed through the mixer. If you need consistent mixing, you must determine the number of inputs you need. There is no one size fits all solution.
Input can also be known as a channel. Channels are any lines that run audio, whether they are mics or instruments. It's a good idea to have one or two XLR inputs. It is best to use an XLR connection for a microphone. You will need a mixer with an XLR input if you intend to run a vocal line through it. The more features and inputs a mixer offers, the more it will cost. When considering quality, there are still a lot of variances.
What are the key features to look out for?
An excellent audio mixer will have an EQ section. It is usually fine to use a simple three-band equalizer. In some cases, however, mainly when you are working with live bands and nuances to mix, it can be helpful to have more detailed EQ options. However, a Graphic EQ would help you get the perfect tone across the board since it has a broader range of frequencies.
A great audio mixer should also include some effects. You will generally end up with a system that costs more when you start adding more effects. However, having digital effects at your disposal can enhance a mix.
Some vocalists prefer to work with a reverb effect. The more options you have to send to different channels, the better! Keyboardists may prefer to have a chorus effect running on their channel. To save money, you should start cutting back on some of the extra features. It might be easier to find a cheaper mixer if the effects are excluded.
Portable mixers are what you need if you want to take them with you. Small mixers are not always the best. The larger mixers can also be roadworthy. Large shows often require mixers to be carried between venues. If you're shopping for a large, portable mixer, you likely know what you need.
In most cases, a smaller mixer will be more portable and easier to move. If portability is important to you, you should choose a mixer with less than 16 channels. Although 16 channels is not a strict rule of thumb, it is the middle ground between compact and beastly mixers. To keep your mixer safe, make sure it is built with protection and a sturdy chassis. Some mixers even have knobs and faders that are very delicate. Don't forget that!
Their size often determines portable mixers. Keep in mind the mixer's dimensions if you have a small area to work in. The last thing you want is for your mixer to show up and not fit in the space that you need it to. The bigger is not always, the better. It simply means it will hold more channels and effects.
The most complex mixer isn't always the best. It's usually best to go with something relatively easy to operate unless you know exactly what features you need.
A sound mixer will have a straightforward user interface that is easy to navigate. Having a mixer with simple controls is essential if you are not a gearhead and only use it for essential audio functions. Its ease of use will enable you to comprehend what is happening on the board and manipulate it the way you need. However, if you'd like to become the next Dr. Dre, then dive right into a more complicated interface and learn by doing.
Your mixer certainly needs to be compatible with the software you're using. If the software doesn't work together, then you'll encounter all sorts of problems when you're attempting to record or run a live show. It is vital to check during your search for a mixer to ensure compatibility with digital mixing DAWs. You must plug it into a USB interface on your computer. Your DAW may not work without a USB interface. Though it's not likely to happen, it's better to be safe than sorry.
You should look for mixers that include good mic preamps. It's one of the most essential features when you're trying to control the quality of your audio. It is easier to filter the sound if a channel has a preamp since you don't need to run your voice through a box that can produce the tone you want. You'll need the best preamps on your control board before you begin recording, so you won't need to invest in additional software.
Audio Mixer FAQs
What is an Audio Mixer?
A mixer is a board into which you can plug mics or instruments, and which you can then send to an external source such as a speaker or recording equipment. You can use them to power live shows or studios to tweak the sound to perfection, so it plays correctly on your MP3 player. It ensures that all the volumes, tones, and effects work together in harmony when they are synchronized. Performing without an audio mixer would result in a sound that is out of balance, and nobody would stick around.
How do I use an audio mixer?
You probably don't know a lot about audio mixers and how to use them if you're reading this article. As with anything in the music world, you have to learn by doing. When using these machines, it is wise to use a little caution before jamming certain chords into openings. Nevertheless, if you start small and do well, you will slowly work for the best boards without too much hassle.
Is it possible to buy a mixer with a USB mic input?
USB interfaces and inputs are not standard in professional mixers. This is because USB microphone connections aren't as secure as XLR or 1/4" jacks. Although USB microphones are ideal when you need to plug straight into the computer, audio mixers have many more features. Some mixers come with a USB interface too.
Jordan and his wife own a small business that they run from their home. With a toddler underfoot, they’ve learned a lot about what equipment and organization helps to keep their business running and their home office setup family friendly.