Customers need special gear to create fantastic podcasts. Or it can be a digital mixing console for live musical performances. The device can be universal to suit different situations.
But one should understand what to purchase to apply the device properly and take the most of it in different cases. What mixers are more appropriate for narration tasks? What type of mixing console is better for live gigs or worship facilities?
It’s important to select the proper gear to meet demands. Pay attention to different categories and budget selecting the right console. There are two kinds of mixing consoles: analogue and digital ones.
Those who are on a tight budget can be interested in the analog mixer that is much cheaper and not so sophisticated as digital device. It’s effortless to understand what to do intuitively dealing with such type of gear. However, analog devices aren’t so flexible in comparison with digital equipment. It will probably suit the demands of your home studio but not enough for professional application.
The choice of the right device depends upon the needs of user though there are other aspects worth considering.
We will start the survey with analog mixer that is often advised for people with limited budget or those who need the device of this kind at home but not ready to spend a lot on it. It offers the range of simple features and will suit the music performers, authors of songs and street musicians. It’s also good for rehearsals and small events. It’s robust and small enough to be placed into the backpack. The consumers use it for acoustic sets or recording of duo and trio bands. It can be a great acquisition for home studio.
- 8 channel device
- 6 inputs
- Phantom power to be used with condensers
- 2 additional channels employed for stereo equipment
- Equipped with high quality components
- Indicators of level of signal
- 3-band EQ
- It is highly reliable with low noise
- Sound signal of studios quality
- Solid build
- Compact and portable device
- Some customers complain of noise
Allen and Heath ZED-10FX
The line is the most popular one among similar products manufactured by this brand. It’s a bestseller. It’s ideal for singers and small bands, sound engineers and production studios. Being a dream of any guitarist, it’s a good solution for home studio. The USB connectivity makes the item very convenient. DAW recognizes the connection at once. 10FX is very flexible, hence irreplaceable for live performance. The most common configuration is when 2 channels are used for vocal sound, inputs 3 and 4 for lead and bass guitar while the first stereo pair is employed for a laptop or keyboards.
- 2 channels
- 2 AUX on each channel (1-FX, one is available for sends)
- 3 band EQ with mid-range filter on mono channels
- 2 band EQ on stereo channels
- Integrated FX processor with 16 algorithms that can be applied
- 48V phantom power making the sound warmer and more transparent
- Impressive flexibility
- Noiseless performance
- The sound is excellent
- Audio interface is only stereo.
Mackie Pro FX12v2
Those who need the analog gear for smooth work should select this product. This is an analog mixing console for versatile use.
It includes a range of characteristics required for live recording delivering studio sound.
- Equipped with 16 effects
- 12 inputs
- 6 preamps
- Embedded USB interface, set up easily through PC/Mac
- 100 Hz low cut filter
- 48V phantom power
- 60 mm faders
- 6 low noise mic preamps
- Comes with Tracktion recording software
- Very solid design according to “built-like-a-tank” technology
- There is only one main output
- Line level inputs provide insufficient gain for wireless microphones
This analog console combines everything necessary in one compact portable device. This is a highly efficient mixer equipped with digital effects. It’s a rackmountable item for your home studio and It’s very versatile. It came instead of its predecessor EMX5000-12 model, but offers higher quality and larger functionality. It’s also more convenient featuring more goodies than you can get somewhere else for the price. It’s powerful enough to cope with 2 monitors and 2 mains. The device can be used at home or at smaller churches where instrument tracks are played instead of live musicians for vocalists singing over performed music. Any instrument can be incorporated at any time if necessary. It’s wonderful solution for a small fee and a great option for home studio.
- 8 mono inputs
- 4 stereo inputs
- 12 inputs
- 2 power amplifiers
- Solid build
- 3 band EQ
- Exceptional clear sound
- Simplicity of use
- Effective compression
- Excellent EQ presets
- The possibility to customize own presets
- Some customers think it’s expensive.
Presonus StudioLive AR 16
Mix and record live at your home studio with this device.
- Includes 8 mono and 4 stereo inputs
- 60 mm fader
- 2 inputs for instruments
- 1 stereo channel with RCA
- Bluetooth 4.1 input
- A stereo effects engine with 16 effects
- Direct instruments connection (no need to route instruments via external gear prior to their connection)
- Full integration with advanced software
- Great for home application
- Integrated USB
- Sleek looking design
- Convenient for navigation
- Some users noticed small latency
- The faders are cheap
Zoom live track L12
This piece of gear is a combination of many devices therefore it presents wide functionality. It’s excellent for use at home – the consumer buys just one item instead of several ones. It’s universal and used for live sets as well. It’s possible to use it with PC, iOSgadgets creating mixes. USB connectivity makes the device very convenient. It’s a perfect acquisition for your home studio.
- 12 channel device
- iOS compatibility (lightning is required)
- 8 high quality micpreamps with low noise level
- 3 band EQ with mid-range/low-cut filter on each input channel
- Capability of recording to DAW and SD
- 16 inbuilt effects with possibility to customize them
- The device inludes talkback mic
- There are some problems with recording in 96 KHz
Allen & Heath QU-SB
The device is presented in compact rackmountable format. This is an app controlled rack mixer that doesn’t have a usual top panel hardware control surface. The connection is performed via Ethernet. Though the system doesn’t have wireless router, it’s not a big problem in case you’re planning to use it at stationary studio. It can even be wired into your home network.
- 16 line/mic inputs
- 4 mono and 3 stereo outs
- 4 built-in effect processors
- The capability to expand the system up to 38 ins
- USB connector
- Network connector
- The effects are configurable
- Comprehensive digital mixing functionality
- Smoothness of EQ processing
- The design is solid and sturdy
- Excellent for live use
- The system doesn’t have own wireless router.
Soundcraft UI 16
This digital device is easily operated. One doesn’t need technical knowledge to get digitally mixed track done remotely via wireless connection. The control is done with mobile gadget. This is the model with fantastic concept behind it but is its implementation good enough? The customers have a chance to check it. This is a budget mixer with lots of useful features and incredible flexibility.
- 12 ins
- In-built USB media player
- Recording to USB driver
- 2 USB ins for importing and exporting files
- HDMI output
- Cross platform architecture supporting remote control from 10 devices
- 4 band EQ
- Easy control
- Excellent sound
- Transportable thanks to robust design
- Detailed adjustment of sound
- Output channels equipped with low cut filter, compressor and noise gate
- The consumers complain of Wi-Fi dropouts
- Designed with flaws
It’s also a rackmounted device with capability of control from iPad with help of special app. The mixer was made for use at large venues.
- 32 channels
- The inputs are equipped with advanced mic preamps Onyx with wireless control
- Headphone jack
- USB-B interface for computer connection
- Capability of recording to external media
- It’s an excellent solution for home studio
- The recording is performed only at 48kHz.
Behringer X AIR XR18
Compactness and low weight are two huge benefits of this device. Made as a stagebox, this form gives the owner the possibility to place it anywhere he wishes. It’s rack-mountable and this is very acute in the conditions of limited space at home. It’s not a problem to place it even in the smallest room.
It doesn’t have faders, buttons as other devices. The users can work with sound from different points. A standard remote control can be placed anywhere. Forget about running wires. This flexibility is another thing that is highly appreciated by customers.
X Air Series Mixers include four digital mixing consoles. If one form is a stagebox the other is designed as a desktop model with a special stand for iPhone, iPad or some other tablet.
- 18 ins
- 16 mic/line channels, 2 line channels
- 8 outs
- A headphone out
- Midas mic preamps
- Embedded USB interface
- Inbuilt wi-fi router
- The capability to control it from mobile iOS/Android devices
- Very sturdy
- The consumers haven’t mentioned any.
You’ll have to pay more for digital mixing console, but the freedom it gives is worth the money spent. It’s packed with lots of features you will never find in the analog console. Therefore, it gives more flexibility to the person operating it. At the same time, they are more complicated so it takes time for the person to learn to use it properly. For this reason, usually, pro sound people deal with them. The mixing console for home studio is simpler but much depends upon the level of consumer. Technically savvy customers are free to choose what to use. They can cope with digital and analog models without effort.