We show you what to look for when choosing the best mixers for Church sound systems and PA systems
When choosing the a mixer for Church sound systems, there are a few aspects you need to take into account before you make a purchase. So in this handy guide we offer a few insights into what you need to look for and some of our favourite options. For further reading check out our complete guide to Creating The Best Church Sound Systems.
So what is a mixing desk?
Your mixing desk or audio mixer is the operation centre of your entire PA system. This provides you with control over every aspect of your sound system, from volume to the types of effects you may want to use. In addition, your mixer will power any passive PA speakers you have along with any microphones you are using.
An audio mixer will allow you to mix and combine multiple audio sources, such as microphones (both wireless and wired), musical instruments and CD & MP3 players, and send these signals out to your speaker system.
Depending on which mixer you choose, it may be analogue or digital, both of which have their benefits.
An analogue mixer will take the existing signal you have and route it to the PA speakers you need, however a digital mixer will convert the signal to a digital and provide you with far more control, including remote control from iOS/Android phones and tablets. In addition, you may wish to record your sessions, live bands or spoken word tracks for future reference or distribution, which is where a digital mixer really comes in handy.
Best types of audio mixers for Church:
Small Audio Mixers (4 – 8 Channels) – these mixers have a smaller amount of inputs anywhere between 4-8 channels. These are often used for CD players and microphones.
Medium Audio Mixers (8 – 20 Channels) – medium-sized audio mixers are often used in situations where live bands need to be mic’d up or recorded and more control over the EQ is needed.
Large Audio Mixers (20+ Channels) – large-sized audio mixers provide anywhere above 20 channels and are the ideal choice for larger congregations where live bands, multiple speakers and audio sources are needed.
Tips on choosing the best mixer for Church sound systems:
When choosing the perfect audio mixer for your needs, you should take some time to think about the following aspects, as this will dictate the type of mixer you will need:
How many inputs will I need?
Will my live band need to use the PA system?
How loud will I need to go?
Do I need control over the EQ and effects?
Do I need remote control?
Will I record the audio for later reference?
Although this is not an exhaustive list, these are just a few points you need to consider when choosing a mixer. If in doubt, feel free to call our expert PA team for free, no obligation advice on 0151 448 2089.
Choosing the perfect mixer for your church sound system doesn’t have to be a difficult process, so to make it a little easier while you decide, we’ve put together a list of options below that we think work best.
Small Audio Mixer for Church (Approx 4-8 Channels) – Mainly using CD players and microphones
QSC Touchmix 8
The QSC Touchmix 8 is one of the most compact and hard wearing audio mixers available today, and by far one of the best mixers for church sound systems that require a small amount of channels.
You have 8 channels to play with that can accommodate microphones and line level instruments such as keyboards and guitars as well as a selection of AUX connections which are perfect for CD players and MP3 players.
The easy to use, large touchscreen display allows you to sculpt the perfect sound and enjoy perfect sound every time through your PA speaker system and mix each aspect to your ideal settings. The anti-feedback wizard ensures there’s no nasty feedback bursts whilst you’re talking or singing and the full wireless remote capability means you can mix sound anywhere in the room from your tablet or smartphone via the official TouchMix app for iOS and Android (available on the respective app stores).
Want to go bigger? You also have the QSC TouchMix 16 Digital Mixer and QSC TouchMix-30 Pro 32-Channel Digital Mixer.
Medium Audio Mixers (Approx 8 – 20 Channels) – Live band, choirs, multiple speakers
Soundcraft Signature 22 Analogue Mixer
When you need a wide variety of channels and the option to mic up a large number of instruments, different vocalists and want to run CD/MP3 players whilst mixing it all accurately, the Soundcraft Signature 22 Analogue Mixer is a fantastic option.
The Signature 22 provides sound engineers with a wide range of control over all aspects of live sound and is one of the best mixers for Church sound systems thanks to the incredible mic preamps and mixing capabilities on offer. The mic pres on the Signature 22 offer incredible dynamic range and transparency ensuring each channel sounds its best whilst the easy to use Sapphyre Assymetric EQ system provides everything you need to sculpt the sound and make changes on the fly.
Premium quality faders will last a lifetime, the tour grade robust metal construction will ensure longevity and the top-quality components keep the unit sounding great for many, many years.
22 channels with 48V phantom power on all mic channels, onboard effects and 2-in/2-out USB audio playback and recording make this mixer a great option for those who use live bands and want to be able to record everything for later use.
The RCF M18 digital mixer is an ideal live solution for church bands who need to be able to make changes on the fly or sound engineers who want the freedom to move around and mix in any environment.
The key difference between this and other mixers is the fact you don’t actually mix on the unit, but use an iOS device instead. You have 8 Mic Preamp Inputs,10 Line inputs, 1 Stereo Main Outs and 6 balanced Aux outputs on the rear of the unit, but all controls are accessed via your tablet making it a lot sleeker and far more portable. You also have multiple studio grade effects and plug ins at your disposal as well as a world of amp modelling options – ideal for church house bands.
Best for Large Audio Mixers (20+ Channels) – Full drum kits, choirs, multiple speakers, vocalists and sound sources
Yamaha MGP32X 32 Channel Mixing Console
For the larger style set ups that require a greater amount of channels, the Yamaha MGP32X 32 Channel Mixing Console is a fantastic choice, offering superior control and connectivity options for church sound systems.
As the Yamaha MGP32X includes 32 channels, you have a wide range of connectivity options for line level instruments, microphones and Aux connections for MP3 players etc. Functions can be easily accessed through the digital display which allows you to control all the DSP functions. In addition, recording is a breeze thanks to the fact you can record direct to USB – ideal for those churches who want to record performances for later use.
For added mixing options and ease of use, iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch users can download the MGP Editor app and mix remotely on the fly.
Larger set ups
Mic’ing up full bands
Need help choosing your Audio mixer for Church sound systems?
Choosing the right mixer for your church PA system may seem a little daunting at first, so let our team of PA experts help you get the right option for your needs. At your local PMT store, our team are on-hand to help talk you through your options. Simply call in today for free, no-obligation advice and let us find the right mixer to suit the needs of your congregation.
Here at Professional Music Technology, we supply complete, installed live sound solutions for halls, venues and churches and will ensure you make the right choice for your set up, budget and specific needs. Whether you need a complete Church sound system setup, would like some advice on the best PA Speakers for Church sound systems or just need further information on the best mixer for Church sound systems, we’ll help you get the right gear for your needs!
Find your local PMT store or call our expert PA team on 0151 448 2089 and let us help you get the best out of your sound system – we’re here to help!