Mixing console has many types, different applications as well as advantages and disadvantages. So, in this part, I will present to you most of popular mixer and pros & cons as well. Here we go!
1#: Analog Mixer
When running, this mixer doesn’t have changing analog to digital step. This type is usually used in live show applications need live sound setting.
- Cheap price, easy to use.
- There’s no latency while running.
- No need for computer to operate.
- Easy to produce noise while running because all of the mixer uses analog components and accessories.
2#: Digital Mixing Console
Have similar look with analog mixer, but operates base on installed software on the computer.
- Cleaner signal because of not producing noise while changing analog into digital.
- Flexible connectors.
- Number of inputs and outputs is big with small size.
- Permits you installing and storing in the computer with your own preset for your own purposes.
- You need to utilize it when buying the new one, read the instruction carefully to use it with its best.
- High price.
- There’s latency when changing analog into digital even though it’s small, several milliseconds.
3#: Control Surface / DAW Controller
Control surface is usually seen in small and medium home studio. It just takes displaying hardware role of mixer software, helps you touch with your hand instead of using mouse and keyboard to work on computer.
For example, pulling feeder up and down in order to increase/decrease sound volume, the feeder in mixer software also runs up and down.
- Combine advantages of softwares and real feel, real speed of hardware.
- High price.
- Cheap one’s turn-knobs, feeder and especially feeder with motor for automatic up and down are easily loosen and broken.
- Is just “metal waste” without computer.
4#: Control Surface + Interface
This is hybrid of mixer and interface, includes recording audio function of audio interface as well as software controlling function of control surface in one device.
- More convenient, lighter than using 2 devices, increasing working speed.
- More elegant feel.
- High price
- A little bit more difficult to learn.
5#: Hybrid Console
Hybrid Console is combination of analog console, audio interface, control surface in one device. Therefore, it has advantages of those three devices aside from the price.
- Combine best features of analog console, flexibility of digital, convenience of control surface, recording and connecting to computer functions of audio interface.
- Preamp, eq, compressor, converter parts are extremely good.
- Can function independently without computer so you can bring it to perform live show or put at home for recording, et cetera.
- Super high price.
- Complicated operation, if you don’t read carefully the instruction, you can’t utilize its best capacity.
6#: Software Mixer
Software Mixer is integrated with all DAW softwares. It emulates functions, displays of analog console hardware as well as being integrated the advantages of digital.
- Easy to use.
- Connecting process is simple and flexible, just a few clicks ahead.
- High flexibility display such as hide or show some parts, functions of mixer on computer screen.
- Permits setting preset (sample figures) and saved in computer for later use.
- Harder to work quickly than using control surface or console hardware.
- In case you have to do a project with more than 100 sound lines, console hardware will be faster.
Depends on your preferences and studio scale. You may or may not need use mixer. With small or home studio, you don’t need to waste your money on mixer, you just need to use mixer software included in DAW.