Live and home studio mixers are essential to the MI retailers. There's a huge range available at a variety of price points.
A technical, jargon-filled, minefield for many, live and home studio mixers are nevertheless an essential part of the retail...er...mix....
Wharfedale Pro (IAG - 01480 447707)
The Wharfedale Pro range starts with the Connect series, which begin with the 502 (£39) and the 502USB (£49). The best selling rack mountable (rack mount kit included) mixer is the SL824USB, boasting FX, full duplex USB and eight mic inputs for around £259.
Monacor (01908 217100)
The MMX-1282USB from IMG Stage Line offers value for money with a wide variety of features. The ten-channel audio mixer with 12 inputs includes a DSP effects unit with 100 different effects and a full duplex USB interface to allow simultaneous recording and reproduction. Other benefits include adjustable stereo AUX return inputs and FX send outputs, control room function, and +48V phantom power. It retails around £259.95 including a three-year manufacturer warranty.
Adam Hall (01702 456305)
Similar in its compact size to the LDLAX1002D, but with four microphone and four stereo line inputs, the LDLAX1202D boasts 12 inputs and impresses with its ease of operation despite its small dimensions. An integrated DSP effects engine with 100 presets makes this compact console the perfect control station, both on stage and in the studio. It retails around £103.99.
It features high-quality premium microphone amps for maximum dynamics and minimum feedback, and three-band tone control, plus a switchable lowcut filter in the microphone channels. The DSP effects engine spans a wide range of reverb, delay and multi-effects; alternatively, an external effects device can be connected via an AUX channel.
Roland (01792 702701)
Unlike analogue mixers, the 24-bit/96kHz M-16DX offers high-resolution EQ, scene memories and EDIROL’s innovative Room Acoustic Control. The M-16DX works as a front-end for a digital audio workstation (DAW) and can also be used for live mixing. It’s a 16-channel all-digital mixer with 24-bit/96kHz internal processing; has a USB 2.0 audio interface for computer multi-track recording; all 16 inputs plus stereo main mix are available as individual audio streams on a DAW it’s compatible with all major Windows and Mac OS digital audio workstations.
Focusrite (01494 462246)
Control 2802 is an analogue console and ethernet-based DAW control surface in one. Precision analogue audio architecture delivers a big studio sound, while Control 2802 demonstrates versatile routing capability, with cues and auxes available to provide up to 32 mix inputs and a DAW-integrated two-part in-line-style channel. An ethernet-connected HUI control layer allows DAW operation right from the console.
Stagg (EMD - 01293 862612)
A recent addition to the Stagg catalogue, the firm has five new mixers retailing between £95 to £214.
The SMix 2M2S F UK is £95 and is a multi-channel stereo mixer with 1-2 mono and two stereo input channels
It has a two-band EQ for each input channel – a low-noise discrete mic pre-amp on microphone inputs, headphone/monitor output, peak indicator on each mono channel, 48V phantom power for condenser microphones and built-in delay effect.
The SMix 4M2S UD UK multi-channel stereo mixer is £214 with 2-4 mono, two stereo input channels and a USB input.
There’s a three-band EQ for each mic channel, low-noise discrete mic pre-amp on microphone inputs, headphone/monitor output, 10dB attenuator on the stereo channels, auxiliary input and output, 48V phantom power for condenser microphones, FX processor and USB interface for MP3 playback and selection.
Allen & Heath (Audio-Technica - 0113 277 1441)
Among Allen & Heath’s range of live and recording desks (which includes the new GLD digital system and popular iLive touring models), the ZED series offers a comprehensive solution for MI retailers.
From the compact, easy-to-use ZED 10 through to the flagship ZED-436 four-bus model, the ZED series desks are competitively-priced and designed to offer superb sound quality and flexible feature sets. The Xone range of pro-oriented DJ mixers also holds appeal to sections of the MI audience and is used by some of the world’s most respected DJs, including Andy C, John Digweed and Sasha.
Studiomaster (JHS - 0113 286 5381)
JHS has recently taken on the Studiomaster pro audio range, which includes a number of professional quality mixers. The Studiomaster C3M (£165) and C3X (£209) compact mixers are ideal for solo acts and duos, karaoke, and as part of small installations. Both feature 12 inputs – four mic and four stereo – balanced inputs and outputs and two auxiliary sends, while the C3X also features an array of delays, reverbs and other FX.
The Studiomaster Powerhouse 1000X Series of lightweight, powered mixers features four models, from ten to 18 channels (priced between £599 and £679) and with up to 1,000 Watts of audio power available. Ideal for bands and solo artists, they’re rugged and durable, with DSP effects and a nine-band EQ.
Meanwhile, the Studiomaster Fusion+ Entertainment Console (£339) is a complete mixer for karaoke, clubs, solo performers, duos and sound installations. The Fusion+ offers three mic channels and four music channels and, thanks to its FX DSP, is a complete professional entertainment console.
Ideal for club and venue installations, small bands, live recordings and as a keyboard mixer, the Studiomaster 162BPX 16-channel rack mixer (£409) offers 28 inputs for extreme flexibility. Compact, reliable and secure, it is packed full of DSP effects and other features that make it a one-stop solution for
Finally, top of the range is the MCX medium format mixer series. Ideal for rental hire, as a monitor mixer or for installs, they’re available in five sizes, from 12 to 48 channels. Prices range from £879 to £3,799 and they have all the features required for professional sound quality.
Thanks to its no-compromise approach, the PowerMate 600-3 (£2,148) is suitable for all professional applications in which few channels, yet very high amplifier outputs are required. The concept of the PowerMate 600-3 is based on high power (total output over 2,000 Watts), a wealth of features, great versatility, 200 editable effects, 4 x I/0 USB interface and first class audio characteristics – in a lightweight format (9 kg).
Peavey (01536 461234)
PV Series mixers include Tape to Control Room and Tape to Mix assigns, allowing the operator to monitor an external stereo signal without using mixer channels. Additionally, the mixers' Control Room output sends a stereo master output signal to an external source for monitoring. Mixers are available in PV20 (18 channels), PV14 (ten channels), PV10 (eight channels), PV8 (six channels) and PV6 (four channels); also available in USB.
The firm’s newest range of powered mixers – the XR Series – features the XR 1220 console and rack-mountable XR 1212. Both have dual 600-Watt power amplifiers that can be summed to the main output, or independently power mains and monitors at 600 Watts each. Offers a master section with built-in patented Feedback Ferret digital feedback elimination and a digital effects section that includes a range of reverbs, delays, compression and chorus with preset storage.
Lastly, FX Series mixers feature dual USB ports allowing streaming of digital audio directly to a computer or memory stick. Record your rehearsals, songwriting sessions or live performances directly to a USB drive with no other hardware needed. FX Series mixers are available in 16 FX (16 channels), 24 FX (24 channels) and 32 FX (32 channels).
Samson (Korg - 01908 304601)
Samson offers a range of mixers covering every type of application and budget. For the smaller setup there’s the MDR range, available in four versions of six, ten, 12 or 16 channels. All models have dedicated low-noise mic pre amps via XLR and mic/line inputs via quarter-inch jack. The MDRs all feature a three-band EQ on every channel, as well as aux returns, plus a number of LED indicators ensuring control over the sound. The 12 and 16-channel models boast 24-bit on-board effects, 60mmm channel faders and a four-band EQ on four stereo channels.
At the top of the range is the L series, designed for professional use at smaller venues or the gigging musician. Equipped with all the professional features of a large console, the L series bridges the gap between size and functionality. Available with 12, 20, 24 or 32 channels, all models have four-bus configuration, mic/line channels with studio-quality microphone preamps and three-band swept mid EQ. Also included are four stereo channels with line/mic pre-amps and four-band EQ.
The SM10 is a 1U rack mountable line mixer that provides versatile output routing, ten channels with quarter-inch stereo line inputs, individual +4dBu/-10dBV switches and balance control, making it ideal for various stage or installation applications. It retails at £299.
Retailing at £359, the S-Zone is also a single rack space mixer. It has all the features needed for installations where audio distribution for up to
four stereo zones is required, including four channels/zones with
balanced inputs (two high quality mic and four aux/line), easy to use controls, including individual buttons for zone assignment and a built-in speaker for monitoring.
Soundcraft (Sound Technology - 01462 480000)
Soundcraft’s Si Compact are professional digital consoles with a simple, intuitive interface. There are 16, 24 and 32-input versions, each capable of mixing 40 channels in total and each input is has a compressor, gate, parametric EQ, High Pass Filter and delay.
Its eight, 12 and 20 mono input MFXi mixers feature built-in 24-bit Lexicon processing, delivering 32 reverb, delay and chorus effects. All MFXi mixers include two stereo input channels, along with a two-track record output and a two-track replay input that allows interval music to be easily played from CD, MP3 or other music sources. Soundcraft’s GB30 mic preamp and EQ circuit assure sound quality.
With dual-mode topology derived from Soundcraft’s acclaimed MH Series, the GB8, GB4 and GB2 consoles provide live sound mixing solutions for medium-sized venues including clubs, theatres and houses of worship. With a single button press, any of the first four aux master controls can be swapped with the respectively numbered Group fader, providing the flexibility to work at FOH, monitors, or perform both duties simultaneously.
The GB series features the GB30 mic preamp, which delivers an open frequency response and excellent phase linearity. The GB30 EQ borrows the innovative designs developed for the Soundcraft MH4 console, providing GB users with the benefits of genuine high-end equalisation.