If you have a new home recording studio, you will surely need either a mixer or an audio interface. Yet, you can’t spend for both mixer and audio interface. You only need one of these two to make your recording possible. Hence, more often, you are confronted with a choice between a mixer and an audio interface.
To solve this dilemma, many manufacturers of mixers have begun developing mixers with multi-channel audio interfaces. This type of mixer is often referred to as “mixerface.” The mixerface incorporates the functionalities of a mixer and an audio interface in a piece of equipment. So, if you don’t want to choose between a mixer and an audio interface, you might as well opt for a mixerface. The good thing about the use of mixerface is that it doesn’t necessitate much cabling.
You have different options when it comes to mixerface, and you might get confused because of these many choices. Hence, we have listed here the top mixers that come with audio interfaces for multitrack recordings at your home studio and live performance.
Choosing the right mixers with features of the audio interface requires you to consider several factors. You should consider, for example, the physical size and I/O placements of the mixerface. You should also consider automation, connectivity, and on-board processing. Here are your top options of mixers with an audio interface in the market today:
1) Yamaha MG10XU
Yamaha has been here for almost a century. It has been bringing in innovative products for the consumers. One such product is the Yamaha MG10XU. It is a 10-channel USB mixer that is popular with consumers. It also features 3-band equalizers on its every mono channel.
The Yamaha MG10XU features a high-pass filter to ensure a crisper and cleaner sound. Moreover, it is equipped with many great features like those of a high-quality op-amp, single knob compressors, and in-built SPX effects.
The Yamaha MG10XU features very compact mixing consoles. Its models come with 6 to 20 channels that are perfect for different applications and users. It also features an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
You can shape your sound with its flexible design and solid construction. You can use it for recordings and live music settings. And it can deliver a high level of sound quality that is unequaled by many brands.
The Yamaha MG10XU comes with hidden Class-A mic preamps, and these preamps make this audio mixer a top audio mixer. These quality preamps determine the direction that your mix would take. It also determines how good your sound is going to be.
The D-PRE preamps make use of an inverted Darlington circuit that consists of two cascading transistors. The configuration of these two transistors and circuitry offers great power along with a lower impedance.
The Yamaha MG10XU comes with build-in SPX digital effects. This makes the use of effects very polish and professional. It also features a digital multi-effect processor that offers a very comprehensive suite of digital effects that are easy to edit. With this processor, you can enhance your mix, add depth to your speaking engagement, and breathe new colors into your live performances.
The Yamaha MG10XU has the dimensions of 244mm by 71mm by 294mm or 9.6 x 2.8 x 11.6 inches. Hence, it is not bulky.
A lot of sound engineers like the Yamaha MG10XU because of its outstanding 10-Channel USB mixer. It is indeed a substantial investment if you want a mixerface for your home recording studio. You will appreciate its high-quality sound, its superb built-in SPX effects as well as its robust chassis.
2) Allen & Heath ZED-12FX
The Allen & Heath ZED-12FX packs a lot of power and tech in such a very small frame. It is perfect for live performances and concerts. It is also suited for your home recording studio. It features a 22 x 18-inch solid body and weighs around 22 pounds. Being lightweight, it is easy to carry around anywhere you will use it.
It comes with four auxiliary channels. On top of it, it has a semi-parametric EQ and USB in/out that facilitate the capturing of stereo recordings. You simply need to plug into your ZED to a USB lead. Then, choose the device on the computer and the USB routing on your mixer. It also offers a CD-quality audio signal from your PC or Mac and vice versa.
The ZED-12FX features a 12-channel mixer with 6 line or microphone inputs and four auxiliary sends. It also features 6 channels with preamps. These six channels allow you to connect to direct input boxes or line inputs.
The ZED-12FX comes with a DuoPre pre-amps that feature two-stage design. Each stage comes with a carefully controlled level of gain. Its gain range is +69dB that allows for greater control of signal level.
Another great functionality offered by ZED-12FX is its smooth action faders. Its smooth action faders at 100mm come with two headphone sockets (one 1/4″ and 1/8″).
This mixer, of course, is a mixing desk. Yet, its 24-bit effects are very impressive. You can tinker with its reverbs, delays, chorus, and flangers to get your sound right. You can also get the hang of this mid-range mixer as you continuously tinker with its onboard facilities.
3) Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX
The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a robust and easy-to-manage analog mixer. It comes with a high-quality 4 x 4USB interface. It is a great multi-model FX unit that is a favorite choice of recording artists and musicians. Moreover, it is versatile enough to enable you to achieve your creative aspirations.
The ZEDi-10FX incorporates a 4in/4out (studio quality), 24-bit/96kHz USB audio interface. You can capture multitrack recordings from a mixer and transfer the recordings to your computer without necessitating the use of extra equipment.
It features an exceptionally low level of noise as well as a massive headroom. It features a signature analog depth and warmth. Furthermore, it also comes with a suite of reverbs, special multi-model FX, and delays. If you are a guitarist, you will surely love its ZEDi-FX’s mono channels. These channels feature DI high impedance inputs that allow you to plug without hassle your guitar into your mixer. So, you don’t need to carry separate DI boxes. You can set the USB output source in different ways to level up with your workflow.
And it also comes with the Cubase LE software along with the Cubasis LE app. Cubasis LE allows you to record, edit, and mix audio signals easily.
However, it appears to be the larger version of the ZED-6. Yet, it comes with three noteworthy additions. These additions include those additional effects, iOS support, and the USB interfacing. This is, of course, a mixer that is pretty much a plug n’ play mixer.
4) Yamaha AG03 3-Channel Mixer
The Yamaha AG03 3-Channel Mixer is a compact mixer that you can operate using a mobile battery or USB bus power. It can provide you with a robust mobile setup that you can easily pack inside your backpack.
Yamaha AGO3 features a high-quality design that gives you a 192kHz/24-bit sound sample. This allows you to reproduce even the subtle nuances of your recordings. You can use the ASIO compatible software to bypass its internal Kernal mixer so that you can reproduce the original sound faithfully.
The sound quality of Yamaha AG is perfect for reproducing the purest sound of your analog recordings when you save your recordings on your computer. Its loopback function combines your tracks for recording to your software for streaming. You can even plug it to your iPad. Moreover, it is class compliant. This means it is compatible even with Apple’s second-generation iPad. Thus, you can readily create a high-quality recording.
You can playback likewise your recordings using music apps that are iOS compatible. The AG03 model also features volume knobs along with a 60-mm fader on the panel’s front part for easy manual control of your background music and voice. Thus, if you are looking for a compact small mixer/interface, you should consider the Yamaha AG03.
5) Pyle PMXU83BT
If you want a beginner board that is reasonably priced, you can consider the Pyle PMXU83BT. This mixer is designed for multi-use. It is best for use by DJs and sound engineers. It is also great for use by musicians and club performers. Moreover, you can use it in venues wherein a quality sound reproduction is needed.
The Pyle PMXU83BT is a compact mixer that features 8 channels, 2 stereo 1/4-inch RCA jack sockets, and 4 XLR jack inputs. Its in-built mic preamps offer 48V phantom power when needed. It can produce around 64dB of gain.
Its three-band EQ can operate on all channels for monitoring as the indications when the audio is reached its peak level. Each channel is capable of accessing the 16 effects that come with the DSP effects engine. If you utilize the effects used from outside sources, and the built-in A1/4″ send-and-return feature will handle these effects.
It also comes with a USB port that connects to your computer. You can also use this USB port for MP3 files from your flash drive. It also features a stereo headphone connection that comes with gain and control. This connection also comes with 1/4″ stereo outputs that you can use for speakers or recording device. It also features illuminated LED displays for allowing smoother monitoring of activity and performance.
The Pyle PMXU83BT is also Bluetooth-enabled. Hence, you can stream music from your device using this mixer. In summary, it can be considered as a reliable mixer that offers user usability for both beginners and intermediate users . Despite its great features, this mixer is still within the affordable range.
You don’t need to choose between a mixer and an audio interface. This is because there are already mixers that come with an audio interface, and they are called “mixerfaces.” Thus, you only need to find the right “mixerface” for your needs.
The use of a mixer with an audio interface, of course, saves you from using a lot of cables. It also facilitates the transfer of music recording from the mixer to the computer. A mixer/interface makes it easy for you to send audio signals from your computer to an input on your mixer. With a mixer with the built-in audio interface features, you’ll have a mixer that moves knobs and faders in your DAW.