The best digital mixers for 2021

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As we can see in the review section above, a digital mixer is a must have for every music producer, musician, church and generally any person or group who desires more from their musical instruments. These devices not only modify the audio signals of audio sources, but also refine the received signals and send them to output devices such as speakers and amplifiers. Here, we’ll show you what makes digital mixers so unique and how you can choose the best digital mixer that will meet your needs.

Analog Vs. Digital mixers

Today, digital mixers have become the most popular choice among many sound engineers, producers, instrumentalists and musicians. Let’s take a look at some situations where every analog outperforms digital mixers and vice versa.

Price level

Without a doubt, in terms of cost, analog mixers win. This is because they are much cheaper than digital mixers.

Flexibility

Without a doubt, digital consoles win the flexibility contest as they offer a more complete range of compatibility than analog mixers. These digital mixers also come with the ability to pre-program and recall settings whenever they are needed.

Ease of use

While many manufacturers try as hard as they can to make their digital mixers easy to use and learn, you can’t compare their ease of use to analog mixers that require an effortless learning curve. Plus, with the different digital mixers available today, you may have to relearn how to use each new digital mixer you come across; this problem is not important with analog mixers.

Noise

Digital mixers gain in lower noise sensitivity because they are designed to resist noise. However, analog mixers get very loud, especially over long distances.

General Information Everyone Should Know About Digital Mixers

Let’s be honest – music engineering is a complex process that not everyone is a pro. Even the most experienced music producers and engineers consider themselves learners as there is only a plethora of detail in these cool gadgets and the mysterious world of sound frequency management. Here are some things you should master if you plan to use a digital mixing console:

Canals

A channel refers to the path of a signal. First of all, you should know that digital mixers have a varying number of channels. A mixer with a lot of channels can accept more devices and instruments. Typical devices connected to these channels include microphones, musical instruments, preamps, and amplifiers.

The buses

Image bus as integrated circuits through which the outputs of different channels meet. So, like the classic buses that we are all familiar with, the signals of the different channels come out of the mixer output via a bus or a group of buses.

In addition, you should know that every digital mixer has a main mix bus fed by channel faders; this bus sends output signals through a loudspeaker or recorder. Additionally, aux send busses are provided by the channel’s volume control, and these aux send busses are output through an output jack.

It is also possible for the Aux Send buses to act independently of the volume controls; this makes them particularly useful for headphone and monitor mixes.

Groups

When you have a mixer with many channels, it becomes imperative to have a group function. To do this, the channels are divided into groups, and each group of channels can be controlled with a single control using a single fader. Many mixing consoles also have the group mute feature which allows you to mute and unmute multiple channels at once!

Inserts and direct outputs

When you need to add compressors and EQs to each channel, you should consider going for a digital mixer with inserts. These inserts work by simply diverting the audio signal into the effect unit; While this is happening, the audio submix is ​​instantly returned and queued for programming.

The direct outputs only need to send a similar version of the signal created by the preamplifier.

How to choose the best digital mixer?

This section would include factors that will help you choose the top quality digital mixers; we will also answer the questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a digital mixer.

Purpose of digital mixer

When choosing a digital mixer, you must ask yourself where you plan to use the mixer; that means you have to decide whether you want to use the digital mixer in a studio or during a live performance.

Digital mixers purchased for live performance purposes need to be rugged, durable, and portable as they will see a lot of them move around. They also need to support effects like reverb, time-saving delay, and a sufficient number of channels.

Studio mixers must support multiple channels; they should also be easy to use. Finally, the availability of a preamp and connection to external processors are additional crucial features to consider when choosing a digital mixer for use in the studio.

Portability

If portability is important to you, you should choose a digital mixer with less than 16 channels because the bigger they are, the harder it will become to move them around. The mixer should also be sturdy, easy to set up and take down. Some of the best digital mixers reviewed above even feature a metal chassis and magnetic covers that provide extra protection.

Compatibility

The compatibility of the digital mixing console you are about to take home is also crucial in selecting the best digital mixing console for your needs. Check and make sure that the digital mixing console is compatible with the software you know how to use; this will avoid having to learn how to use new software from scratch.

You should also make sure that the digital mixer can connect via USB connection. If Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity is crucial for you, you can also confirm its compatibility.

Functionality

When choosing a digital mixer, make sure the mixer has an easy learning curve. A digital mixer that is difficult to learn is considered a waste of time. But if you’re up to the challenges of a hard-to-master digital mixer, you’ll find mixers to suit your tastes.

Put a pin on your desired digital mixer

Since mixers are complex and very detailed gadgets, you can only buy a sought-after product if you know the basics. If you are a beginner, we suggest that you advance by learning the basics of a DAW and then head to a digital mixer so you don’t get completely clueless.

Regardless, whatever your purchase, be sure to browse customer reviews on each product to put a pin on your purchase. The digital mixers mentioned above are some of the best on the market – as of 2021. We assure you that you won’t regret investing in one of these good boys!


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