Soundboard: Which is the best for you in 2021?
In today’s article we are going to talk about a sound mixer. We will list the best ones on the market today for you, explain a little better about them and tell you what you need to consider when buying yours.
The mixer (or mixer) is an operational audio center. It receives the various sound sources such as the sound of the microphone and each musical instrument, which can be separated, mixed or undergo processing changes.
For those who are starting, the mixer can startle at first due to all the colored buttons, displays, LEDs and dozens of inputs and outputs. But we will simplify everything for you.
First, the most important
- To achieve a great result, it is necessary to learn more and more to use all the existing functionalities, but this is completely achievable.
- The first thing to consider before purchasing a mixer is how many channels you will need to record. Will only voice and guitar, a microphone be recorded or will there be other instruments?
- The prices of a sound mixer can vary a lot, and the recommended ones start at R $ 300 and can cost over R $ 3,000, depending on the context in which it will be used.
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Best Sound Mixer Models: Our Recommendations
Looking for a mixer to equalize the beats and have a sensational party? Here are some of the best models on the market. You will surely find one that fits your needs.
- Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer
- Behringer Xenyx X2222 USB mixer
- JBL Proaudio SX 1202FX mixer
Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer
Mixer Xenyx 110V – 802, BehringerRead user reviews
R $ 819.90
Buy on Amazon
The Behringer Xenyx 802 mixer has four input channels, these being two monos and two stereos, and an auxiliary post-fader send on each channel. Ideal for both studio and live, with this mixer you can control all your audio channels easily.
For input sources, it has two Xenyx microphone preamps, two double ¼ ”stereo input channels and CD / tape inputs and outputs with RCA connections.
The outputs are ¼ ”and are ready to send the mix to the system and studio monitors. The perfect mixer if you need an easy and efficient way to mix your sound!
Behringer Xenyx X2222 USB mixer
Mixer XENYX X2222USB 22 Channels BehringerRead user reviews
R $ 3,599.90
Buy on Amazon
The Behringer Xenyx X2222 USB with its 22 channels, 8 mono and 4 stereo outputs, noise free, superior fast response and low power consumption, was developed to perform well in live presentations and also give you all the tools you need to do recordings with incredible high quality sound.
Offering a lot of modernity when it comes to connectivity to personal computers, its audio / USB interfaces are built-in and free from any inconvenience.
It also features preamps for Xenyx microphones, single potentiometer compressors for the studio (on all mono channels) and recording and editing software. With the USB mixer series you can build your own music career!
JBL Proaudio SX 1202FX mixer
16-channel mixer – JBL Proaudio – SX 1202FX USBRead user reviews
R $ 2,134.13
Buy on Amazon
This JBL mixer, the darling of portable speakers, is the Proaudio SX 1202FX.
With 16 channels, stereo audio mixer and multiple connections, it also has USB for media player, independent volume controls, besides allowing to combine sound sources in order to add them in a single output signal.
Put all the beats together, mix them, synchronize them, make everything a single sound, pleasant for those who are at the show or at the party. This is the function of the sound mixer, and if you need one to run your events, this Buying Guide will answer questions that will help you choose the best model. Here we go?
With a quality and well used sound mixer, your audience will love your parties. (Source: Free-Photos / Pixabay)
What is a mixing console and what are its advantages?
The mixer, also called a mixer or audio console, is designed to capture all the audio signals it receives and mix everything into one. Even though it is a digital, analog, amplified or virtual sound table, the function remains the same: to mix all the sounds received by it.
The advantage of a mixing console is that you can play and record different types of sound signals (such as a microphone, a guitar, a guitar, a drums, and so on), treating these sounds the way you prefer – being able to process them them individually – and mix them into one product.
Analog or digital mixer?
The most common patterns used to adjust the table are the level (volume), the gain (amount of amplification), the equalization (low, medium and high) and the effects (such as reverb).
There is also the old question: analog or digital, which is the best option? When it comes to this issue, you rarely get to one answer or the other. But below you can see the main differences between the two and choose the one that best suits your needs:
|Voltage||Accepts direct voltage from a microphone or direct input box||Converts the voltage to a digital signal|
|Control||Allows you to have control in your hands where each controller affects a particular parameter||Stores photos of the table state configuration for easy recall|
|Effects||May have dedicated equalizers and built-in compression||Variety of effects included in the software|
|Size||Generally larger as they have dedicated faders, inputs and equalizers for each channel||Compact as they are capable of using a set of controls for multiple channels|
|Sound||Built-in and defined sound||Bit-treated sound|
There are different functionalities with the same objective. The main difference is that the analog mixer has a voltage directed through its circuit, and the digital mixer has digital audio information.
The analog mixer has evolved, making some installations more practical, converting pure waves into digital signals and thus creating a more modern mixer format.
What is each button for?
Other features that the sound table has are all those buttons that we come across right away and may well scare at first sight. But don’t be afraid: let’s clarify what they are and what they are for!
For an excellent result it is necessary to learn to use, more and more, all the existing functionalities. (Source: Pexels / Pixabay)
The table channels have two connection possibilities for each of them: one with XLR connector for microphones, and the other with P10 connector.
The microphone inputs specifically already come with a preamp because the audio signal played is very low, needing an increase until it reaches an audible level on the mixer.
The channel strip is all the way that an audio signal travels through a channel on the mixer.
During this path the signal can go through several types of processing, such as compressor, equalizer and more. Below you will see the controls you will find on the channel strip.
Controls how much of the audio signal is pre-amplified, which can make the table gain more or less of that signal.
The audio signal, which has already passed the gain control, this time can be modified generally in three different bands: treble, mid and bass, with a dedicated button for each one.
Each of these buttons determines the increase or decrease in these determined frequency bands.
High-pass filter or low cut button
Made to slow down sub bass frequencies, it is ideal to avoid eliminating serious recording interference, such as stepping noises, accidental beats on microphone stands and more.
Effect loop or FX Send
Controls how much audio signal will be sent to the FX Send output of the mixer and out, usually to an external effects processor device, where it is processed and returned to the mixer by another channel via an FX Return input.
Insert effect or Insert
It is not present on all tables, but many have an Insert connection on each channel. It is a two-way stereo connection, made with Y cables, where audio is also output to the effects processor via one channel and then back via the second channel.
Panorama or Pan
This is where you direct the audio to the left or right channel of the table, also corresponding to the sound stage, where you have the possibility to work the audio stereo. With them you can work with musical instruments so that they are audible on certain sides of the music.
In this particular control, the amount of signal that has already been processed by that channel strip that will be directed to the main or Main Out output is regulated . It is there that all the channels of the table already processed are mixed in one product.
Main output, Master output or Main Out
It is this control that plays the sound from the table to the output connectors, which in turn are connected to the sound amplifiers or amplified speakers.
The factors that most influence the cost of sound mixers are the choice of type – is it digital or analog? -, and the number of channels that you think are needed.
Sound tables cost from R $ 300 reais (analog with fewer channels) to R $ 1,500 (analog and digital with more channels). Professional tables, with a large number of channels and features, cost much more than that.
Where to buy?
You can buy a sound mixer online through websitesAmazon and marketplaces.
An excellent idea is to use price comparators and always keep an eye on user reviews.
There is also the option to purchase it physically at stores, although there are generally not many models available at these stores.
Purchasing Criteria: Factors to Compare Sound Mixer Models
Here we will show you what criteria you should keep in mind when it comes time to choose your mixer. With the tips below, it will be much easier to decide which option best suits your tastes and needs. The factors are:
- Types of sound mixers
- Phantom Power
Types of sound mixers
Nowadays digital consoles have evolved a lot and surprise more and more musicians and producers, even conservatives. In the 90s, the differences between the types of sound mixers were enormous, with the sound quality of the classic analog table being much higher than the most modern ones.
Present in weight in professional studios around the globe, the analogue asks for better musicians since it is not possible to leave everything in the hands of the computer.
Many consumers opt for the warm, natural and robust sound quality that the analog sound table gives you, as they enjoy controlling everything with buttons that regulate the intensity of the sound.
- Robust, warm and pure sound from tape recording
- Analog filters are more natural than digital, which need several plugins to achieve the desired sound
- Does not accept plugins to improve the sound, which in digital is offered
- Doesn’t sound like a digital one that has very similar effects on its equalizers
The digital sound mixer, as we talked about here before, was a big technological step in terms of audio production. Its shape is changeable, and with just the touch of a button you can reconfigure the entire mix.
It is also more dynamic and functional as it is easily connected to computers and tablets, faithfully modeling and recreating natural sounds in digital.
- Practical and compact as they use the same set of controls for multiple channels
- They have an audio interface, facilitating the mixing of sound on the computer
- Sound is not as natural and organic as analog
- You need an interface with optical input to receive the signal from the table, since the output is digital
Another important characteristic to be observed when it comes to sound mixers, in addition to their type, is the brand. This makes a lot of difference since the variations from brand to brand are very significant, so you need to be aware.
Brands like Behringer, Wattsom, Mackie and Yamaha are guarantees of professional, high-quality sound.
As stated earlier, one of the great criteria for buying a sound mixer is what you need when purchasing. Do you want to record your band? Control the sound of the church? Are you setting up a home studio?
The important thing is to think about how many instruments and / or microphones are in play. Count how many different audio signals the table will need to input and choose the number of channels your table should have from there.
But be aware: it is always good to have a break for any additional needs. So here’s the thing: if you have a band and use five microphones to record or amplify the drums, two for two guitars, one for a bass and two others for vocal and backing-vocal, there will already be ten in total.
The ideal is to buy a table of 12 channels so that you can meet your needs and still for something extra that comes up. The number of channels a mixer has is also a determining factor in the cost of the mixer.
Effects, effect loops or “FX Sends” is the feature that allows you to share the same effect for all channels (different audio signals received) from the table.
The transformed sound is navigated between the mixer and the peripheral, which can be a reverb. Then you turn the knob according to how much you want to affect that channel with the effect.
Essential for those who record voice, because it is necessary for the vocalist to hear himself and in a good and clear way. That is why it is ideal to have complete control of the volume of other instruments and everything is even better with a reverb.
Super recommended for those who have a home studio, subgroups are a way to separate channels from the table … into subgroups!
With them you can form groups of channels of your choice and decide what to do with them. Since each subgroup has its master, you don’t need to edit one at a time.
With the equalizers, the audio signal of the channel can be transformed into bands such as treble, middle and bass, so the table has buttons that will regulate the gain or attenuation in certain frequency ranges.
Today, with the existence of home studios and HD recordings, they are no longer essential as any pro recording software comes with an equalizer.
But there are still situations where it can still be very useful, like cutting an unwanted subwoofer or adjusting some other frequency. Ideal for those who record drums and recordings of other instruments other than the guitar, which is usually already processed.
Phantom Power is the type of power required for condenser microphones.
We recommend for all those who wish to record, at least, professionally, since in recordings like this condenser microphones end up becoming indispensable.
If you happen to have an eye on a table that does not have Phantom Power, you can still use a preamplifier since most of them have this type of power.
Even if it seems superfluous to beginners, a good headset is essential for analyzing and monitoring without the interference of the surrounding sound. Considered indispensable items, do not forget to note this in your purchase.