by Stefan Wyeth | 4,6 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
Best Compact Analogue Mixers

The Best Compact Analogue Mixers.  ·  Source: SSL / Omid Armin / Unsplash

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If you’ve reached the stage where you’re ready to start rehearsing the music you write, you might have thought about adding a mixer to your setup. We’ve selected some of the best compact analogue mixers to expand the possibilities of your studio.

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Whether you create music or produce a podcast, managing multiple live audio signals is part of the game. You might think you can simply get by running everything directly into your audio interface, but mixers provide some key advantages.

For starters, the preamp quality is often far better than what you’ll find on the average budget interface. What’s more, the added bonus of having channel strips at your disposal with faders, EQs, and sends provides a great deal of creative flexibility.

Choosing the best compact analogue mixers

Everyone has their own particular requirements when it comes to audio workflow. So we’re looking at a range of options that can become the central hub of your setup, no matter what that currently looks like.

While some mixers offer versatility with signal routing options, others provide excellent recording front end in the form of channel strips. Let’s take a closer look at what’s available.

Allen & Heath ZED-10

If you’re looking for a basic compact mixer for a podcast, or to connect the various pieces of gear around your studio, the ZED-10 is a good place to start. With 4 mic preamps, 2 stereo channels, 2 aux sends, and metering, you have just enough to get you started.

Moreover, the ZED-10 is light and compact, making it a perfect rehearsal or stage mixer. Adding parallel effects via sends or recording to an external device is a simple procedure, and you can also use it to set up a monitor mix.

Allen & Heath ZED-10

Allen & Heath ZED-10

Allen & Heath ZED-10

Allen & Heath ZED-10

Customer rating:
(208)

Radial Key Largo

Radial Engineering is known for creating practical road-ready products with low-noise circuitry. The Key Largo is an impressive compact keyboard mixer, but it will also serve electronic musicians with drum machines or grooveboxes that don’t require mic inputs.

It provides 3 stereo channels and another stereo pair for USB input, so you can easily incorporate Apple Mainstage or Ableton Live. In addition, the FX loop allows you to add effects pedals into your rig. Overall, a great choice if you can get around the lack of metering.

Radial Key Largo

Radial Key Largo

Radial Engineering Key-Largo

Radial Engineering Key-Largo

Customer rating:
(23)

Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK

The Signature 12 MTK is an excellent budget recording desk with a wide range of connectivity options which makes it useable in many different situations. A compact mixer with assignable buses is surprisingly rare these days.

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So, with the 3 aux sends and built-in effects you can easily rehearse and record small bands and ensembles. In addition, the integrated USB interface allows you to do multitrack recording or run channels out of your DAW and work with them in analogue.

Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK

Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK

Soundcraft Signature 12MTK

Soundcraft Signature 12MTK

Customer rating:
(218)

SSL SiX

If you’ve got a bit more budget to play with, the SSL SiX is probably the most powerful desktop mixer ever designed. The intelligent console-style routing options and a pair of SuperAnalogue channel strips with compression and EQ make it hard to beat.

What’s more, it’s equipped with a simplified version of the famous SSL glue compressor which can be used so many ways. The SiX may be limited in channel count, but it’s certainly expandable and offers an incredible recording front end for your setup.

SSL SiX

SSL SiX

SSL SiX

SSL SiX

Customer rating:
(54)

Dynacord CMS600-3

For those familiar with the old Mackie 8-Bus or Midas Venice mixers, the CMS600-3 offers a similar level of quality. The CMS range is pricey and primarily designed for live sound, but they still provide an awesome solution for home studios.

With 6 quality preamps, 8 3-band parametric EQ channels, and plenty of return tracks, you have the tools to carve your sound. Also, the onboard dual-stereo effects engine is extensive, which adds a new dimension to the overall value of the CMS600-3.

Dynacord CMS600-3

Dynacord CMS600-3

Dynacord CMS600-3

Dynacord CMS600-3

Customer rating:
(33)

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Image Sources:
  • Allen & Heath ZED-10: Allen & Heath
  • Radial Key Largo: Radial Engineering
  • Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK: Soundcraft
  • SSL SiX: SSL
  • Dynacord CMS600-3: Dynacord
Best Compact Analogue Mixers

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4 responses to “The Best Compact Analogue Mixers for your Studio”

    THo65 says:
    2

    I can confirm the good performance of the Soundcraft, using the 22-channel version.
    Additionally I like to recommend the Tascam Model 12.
    Internal effects could be better, but it offers also internal recording and mastering (incl. MIDI). Could be a good choice for semi-professional users.

      John Vandenhoff says:
      0

      I was looking at a Model 12 a little while ago, I ended up with an LX7ii. It’s a bit bigger than I wanted, but I got an awesome deal on it and can’t complain about the quality or colour of the sound it produces. tbh, I feel a little spoiled.

    Craig Buy says:
    0

    i have a notepad 12fx which I think is great but I really think it’s due a new revision that allows all channels to be recorded over usb or at least gets rid of the neeed to run the app to change which channels the computer picks up as 3 & 4.

    i am going to buy another one soon and as I have been mostly happy with my soundcraft I would like one of the MTK models however… 12 is not enough for me and 22 is too big …. please make a 16 channel version preferably with on board multichannel recording to SD.

    in all honesty I thought there would have been more mixer/interface/recorders come to market. everything available now is actually quite old….. Why is this… have these products actually been a bit of a flop ?

      Stefan Wyeth says:
      0

      “All-in-one” products generally aren’t great but the Tascam Model 12 is worth a look.

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