Top 10 Audio Mixers
|Audio Mixers||Inputs||EQ (band)|
|Behringer Xenyx 802||8||3|
|Mackie Mix 8||4||3|
|Behringer Xenyx 502||5||2|
|BEHRINGER XENYX 1202FX||12||3|
|Behringer Xenyx X1204||12||3|
|Behringer Xenyx X1222||16||3|
|Behringer Xenyx 302||5||2|
Audio Mixer Buying Guide
What is an Audio Mixer
If none of the above three models seem to have what you’re looking for, you can still walk away with a very good product by forgetting about the above three and doing some shopping on your own. Of course, when doing so, it’s safe to say you’ll come across different audio mixers of varying quality. Although I may not be able to comment on the quality of every single unit you come across, I can certainly help you decide for yourself just what to look for in an audio mixer through the below buyer’s guide. Keep some of the below considerations in mind to ensure your next audio mixer purchase is a successful audio mixer purchase.
How many channels do you really need?
I can’t stress this enough. Nothing drives up an audio mixer’s price like its level of channels. As such, buying more channels than you need will either have you paying more money or have you sacrificing on the overall quality of the unit to keep your price agreeable. Of course, you really don’t want to see either of these things in your next purchase. As such, it’s important to consider just how many channels you really need if you’d like to keep things at all frugal.
Of course, there’s nothing frugal about buying an audio mixer just to have it go unused, leaving you needing to purchase another one. As such, it’s important not to get too little an amount of channels either. This being the case, you might not want to be too conservative in how many channels you go for. It might be worth getting one or two more than you know you need just to be safe in the future, though any more than that is liable to be a waste.
Who will you be recording?
Some audio mixers can cut back on the amount of mistakes they pick up. For example, newer guitarists who find they still make a whole lot of swiping noises as they change chords may actually prefer a model that doesn’t pick up on every little sound, as this will likely better the finished product through making it sound more clean. On the other hand, such models are considered as being low quality and should not be considered by more experienced musicians. In fact, these models may be downright detrimental depending on your play style, being that they may even distort or mute noises as loud as a very soft finger pick. It’s up to you to decide where your skill level (or the skill level of those you’ll be recording) is and acting accordingly.
What end result are you looking for?
If your answer to the above question was anything but “basic,” you really want to get an audio mixer that has very sensitive EQ controls. These allow you to fine-tune sounds to your taste, much more than a guitar’s settings would allow you to. On the other hand, if you simply want to record one of your songs at demo quality, sensitive controls won’t only be pointless, they might be downright frustrating. Think of sensitive controls like a shower tap that makes the water turn from ice cold to burning hot after being moved an inch. The same sort of thing applies here. When you have a high level of control, though know you won’t use it, all it takes is a slip of the finger to throw things off. What’s more, better EQ controls typically cost more. So, if you’re not using them to their full advantage, why bother?
Types of Audio Mixers
There are two types of audio mixers at your disposal. Which one you decide to go with will all come down to a matter of personal preference; there is no right or wrong answer. Take a look below to see which is best for you.
- Analog – Analog audio mixers give you everything you need to churn out a great sound; no more, no less. As such, they can certainly get the job done, though they do so at a relatively low price. Their downside is their lack of digital display, possibly make them harder to read.
- Digital – Digital mixers are similar, though, as I’m sure you can guess, come with digital capabilities. While they produce a similar sound, they may be easier to read, though harder to learn. They also come at a much higher price relative to their overall level of quality.
It’s up to you to decide which type of mixer is best for you. By keeping all of the above information in mind, you can be sure that you’ll get the best product for your needs with minimal effort. Remember, if you just can’t seem to hit the nail on the head, you can always pick from one of the above three units we covered earlier.