These small audio mixer options battle it out for the top spot in terms of size, price and functionality - here's our top 5 options that suit small budgets and big requirements!
A small audio mixer is perfect for musicians with smaller PA set ups, those using backing tracks and studio owners who just want something small to mix their sound with.
These mixers are all under £200 with most of them under the £100 mark and are ideal for podcasters, field recorders, reporters as well as live and studio musicians. We love these as they can provide the control you need for in ear monitoring, provide stunning audio quality when recording vocals and make your live sessions a lot easier to control.
Here’s are some of our favourite small audio mixers in price ascending order.
1. Alto Zephyr ZMX52 5 Channel Mixing Desk - £42.99
First up we have the Alto Zephyr ZMX52 5 Channel Mixing Desk which is incredible value for money at just over £40. We think this is a contender for best small audio mixer as it includes a range of different inputs and outputs for a wide range of uses as well as EQ controls to sculpt your sound.
For under £50 you get a mono channel with dedicated microphone input complete with Phantom Power for condenser microphones. You also get a balanced TRS input and a two-band EQ along with two-track inputs for audio playback, so you can use it to monitor as well. The fact you can play backing tracks or music between sets via the CD/Tape input makes it perfect for DJ’s and bands who need to incorporate music into their set.
The smaller size makes it perfect for those drummers or musicians out there in control of click or backing tracks as it’ll fit in a laptop case or keyboard case with ease.
2. ART USB Mix - Project Series - £93.00
The ART USB Mix - Project Series is the smallest option in our best small audio mixer blog making it a great partner for travelling musicians, those in control of the click, vocalists and producers with smaller setups.
This three-channel mixer features a combi XLR/Line in jack as well as balanced ¼-inch TRS inputs for stereo or mono line-level sources and ¼-inch TRS output jacks that can work with balanced or unbalanced lines. Finally, you have a ¼ inch TRS headphone jack that allows for easy monitoring.
The wide array of inputs and palm sized construction makes it perfect for field recording as you also have independent controls for all inputs as well as control over your main output and headphone monitor. Finally, the Green/Red LED signal/clip indicator allows you to keep control over the mix and the fact you can switch to USB playback for channels 2 and 3 makes it a perfect option for those recording straight to laptops.
3. Soundcraft Notepad 5 Compact Mixing Desk with USB - £93.00
Next up we have the Soundcraft Notepad 5 Compact Mixing Desk with USB which is from the industry standard Notepad range. We think this is easily a contender for the best small audio mixer as you get the professional-grade Soundcraft microphone preamps that have put the brand on the map, in a small, compact mixer for under £100.
You have a combi XLR/Line in jack for microphones and line level instruments which provides phantom power for condenser mics. This makes it ideal for podcasting whilst the Hi-Z button allows you to change the impedence so you can plug a guitar directly into the mixer.
LED lights show you where you’re clipping whilst monitor, gain and level knobs allow you to take control of your sound.
Finally, you can easily record, edit and playback from your Mac, PC or laptop via the integrated USB audio connection.
4. Yamaha MG06X 6 Channel Mixing Desk with Effects - £119.00
We love the Yamaha MG06X 6 Channel Mixing Desk with Effects as it includes world class preamps and (as the name suggests) a host of effects that are perfect for singers and performing musicians.
Within this 6 channel mixer are two Class A D-PRE microphone preamps which bring out the best in whatever you’re recording, whilst the +48v Phantom Power allows you to record with condenser mics.
We love this small audio mixer as it includes 3 reverb types as well as 3 delay types which really add a whole new presence and atmosphere to your sound, especially if you’re a solo performer who is singing and using a line level instrument at the same time.
Considering the price and amount of control, you get a LOT of quality features usually found on desks 3 times the price – so if you’re a producer, solo performer, podcaster or field recorder this is a bargain!
5. RCF F6X 6-Channel Studio Mixing Console - £130.00
Last but by no means least we have the RCF F6X 6-Channel Studio Mixing Console which has been designed for home studio use and small recording sessions. This budget friendly 6-channel studio mixer features 2 combi XLR/Line inputs with pro-level preamps so you can enjoy lush recordings whether you’re recording vocals, spoken word or instruments.
The fully balanced audio path and state of the art EQ puts a world of high-quality sound and expert control in your hands whilst the inclusion of RCF’s PRO DSP FX circuitry offers you a choice of 16 professional quality effects types. Choose from studio quality Reverb, Delays, Chorus, Flangers and Echoes to sculpt your sound and add a world of atmosphere and presence to your sound.
At just just 1.8kg it’s extremely portable and can be easily added to your live and studio workflow. Easily one of the most useful small audio mixers in the world right now for live and studio musicians, podcasters and reporters - bascially anyone who needs control over live and recorded sound.
Shop a full range of the best small audio mixers and more PA essentials over at PMT Online today, or call in to your local PMT store today to try out a full range of options for yourself. Alternatively, call our experts on 0151 448 2089 to speak about your studio mixers and your bespoke recording requirements - we'll help you get what you need!
*Prices correct 2019-06-14