Top 10 Affordable Mixers 2018

This is our Top 10 Affordable Mixers for 2018 with extensive reviews from our very own industry professionals.  Persuasion Sound has the pleasure of working with a wide variety of affordable audio mixers.  We are frequently asked for recommendations on the best bang for a budget for sound boards, speakers, amplifiers, microphones, and much more.  We hope this helps you with your decision and we have even provided you with links to all boards.

 

1) PreSonus StudioLive

 

PreSonus has pioneered one of the most versatile boards at an extremely reasonable price. Whether you are buying for your church, school, venue, and have recording needs, this board won’t disappoint.  The StudioLive 32.4.2AI is loaded with no-compromises signal processing on every channel, easy store and recall of every setting, high-end converters and preamps, and an integrated multitrack recording interface. This board can do everything a more expensive digital mixer can and more with their StudioOne software. A simple but rare feature is there are no pops or spikes from the outputs when turning ON and OFF.  

 

2) Yamaha

 

Yamaha has engineered quality audio equipment since the early 1970’s and when it comes to a reliable, strait forward mixer, the MG Series is near perfect.  The class A D-Pre mic preamps deliver low noise and high gain inputs which happen to be extremely valuable on a basic analog board.  This mixer is built tough for mobility and made to last. Yamaha also does a great job with testing each board and providing quality control during manufacturing.

The MGP Series is a digital/analog hybrid if you will, that provides extensive signal processing, USB recording capability, and Phone control via the MPG Editor app. This mixer also has D-Pre inputs and provides all the tools necessary to fine tune a mix.  This is a great board for traveling because of its durable design and light weight. I recommend this board if you are looking for an upgrade from a standard analog board.

The TF Series is an evolved digital mixer that I won’t go into much because if you’re buying this board you’ve already done some research. Like many digital mixers on the market you can use a touch screen, iPad, motorized faders, save settings, record, and use state-of-the-art processing features. This is a professional solution that will surely improve ever aspect of your venue’s sound system.

 

3) Soundcraft 

 

Sound craft is a company I have an abundance of faith in.  The EPM Series is a basic mixer with high quality faders, knobs, and GB30 Mic amps. The EFX Series is the same board except it includes the well known 24-bit Lexicon Digital Effects.  I would highly recommend spending the extra $ to get these effects, especially if you are using this board for live music or theater.  This board will sound great and get the job done.

 

Soundcraft digital mixers are actually one of my personal favorites.  The Si Expression has the most dazzling features out of all the digital mixers I’ve come across.  The motorized faders are very smooth, the sound quality is excellent, iPad connectivity was user-friendly, and it’s a firework show of led lights.  Each fader layer lights up a different color to help stay organized when putting in long hours. This board is a wonderful long term option for any venue.

The Ui12 and the Ui24R have the absolute best connection capabilities.  I haven’t found any digital mixer (box design) with better connectivity and functionality power than the Ui Series.  You can connect a monitor directly with HDMI (Incredable!), multi-channel USB audio interface, use up to 10 control devices (tablets, phones, PCs) simultaneously, and you have multiple cross-platform compatibility with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux devices.  For the the price this is an incredible deal, great job Soundcraft!

 

4) Mackie 

 

Mackie has proven to be a trust worthy brand over the years with excellent prices.  The ProFX Series Mixer is an extremely friendly mixer that any sound tech can pick up and mix, without opening the manual. They do offer a USB out for DAW recording.  My favorite function is the GEO EQ on the main channel which is not common on most generic mixers.  This board is ideal for special events, corporate audio, live music, or basic signal management.

The DL1608 and the DL32R are digital live mixer packed with powerful processing capabilities at a decent price.  You will have to depend on a iPad for both but that is really the only way to compact all the DSP processing and have the ability to move about the room to tweak speaker settings.  Stage performers can also connect with their iPad or phone and control their own monitors without disrupting the main mix.

 

 

5) Allen & Heath

 

The Allen & Heath ZED Series is a well designed mixer that has excellent low noise DuoPre mic inputs and 2 Class A FET high impedance inputs.  With the excellent sound quality and durable build, this mixer is fine option for mobile recording.  This mixer also includes a configurable USB stereo audio in/out and has destinated recordable out.

The Qu Series is as good as any digital mixer out there, featuring excellent motorized faders, instant recall, parametric EQ, 5-core ARM DSP processing, 4 onboard FX Engines, and integrated multitrack USB recorder.  Many pro audio dealers sell the Qu board to churches, schools, and theaters because it is truly an all in one board.  Having worked with this board for many types of events, it is a great mixer for anyone looking for a long term option.

 

6) Midas

 

Midas mixers are some of the best in the biz with a high focus on design and sound. The only reason Midas is not higher on this list is because their boards are a little more expensive for what you get.  Many audio engineers prefer Midas over most brands because they are simply high quality.

If you have the budget, don’t be afraid to invest into a high caliber digital mixer like the M32IP.  A live performance and studio recording digital console with up to 40 simultaneous input channels 32 award-winning MIDAS microphone preamplifiers 25 time-aligned, phase-coherent mix buses, and so much more.

 

7) BEHRINGER XENYX/EURODESK

 

Behringer Eurodesk are one of those mixers you’ve seen everywhere because of their slick build, affordable price, general features, and useful effects.  Very handy for live music, business, or special event.  That being said I would not recommend this for professional recording or professional applications of any kind.  The mic gains get awfully noisy when pushed and Behringer may have taken one too many shortcuts with their components.

The Behringer X Series is a simplified digital mixer with fast navigation ability. You can save settings,  record on USB at 24bit (in stereo only), fully process audio, and includes great effects.  This is definitely Behringer’s best sounding mixer and great for beginners or intermediate users. There are several limitations to this board but for the price it is worth the investment for churches, schools, or small venues.

 

8) Zoom LiveTrak L-12

 

Zoom is well known for their inovative portable recorders and they have led the industry in that area for quite sometime now.  That is why the Zoom LiveTrak L12 was so intriguing to me.  It is a high quality 12ch recorder with unique mixing functionality. For monitoring there are 5 powered headphone outputs, each with a customizable and savable mix. For recording you have 14 -track Simultaneous recording, 12-track playback, and 14 -in/4-out USB audio interface connectivity.  You wouldn’t expect a scene saving function from such a small mixer but the LiveTrak L12 does it  (up to 9 scenes saved at a time). I would recommend for band usage, professional recording, and small venue applications.

 

9) Alto Professional Live

 

The Alto Professional Live 2404 is very easy to use and affordable. It seems to be one of the best prices I’ve seen on a decent qualtiy 24ch mixer with FX.  Dynamic compression on 8ch, 3-band EQ, 4 aux sends; pre/post switching on sends 1+2, 100 Alesis DSP effects, USB audio connectivity with level control.  I would definitely like to have this mixer in my arsenal, especially for gigs that don’t require much more than a solid mix.

 

10) Samson Mixpad MXP

The Samson Mixpad has sufficient sound quality and is extremely strait-forward to use.   Another affordable option that is hand in most any A/V situation. 12-channel USB mixer with 11 faders and digital effects, six Mic/Line channels with professional quality mix preamps, 99 digital effects with FX level controls on each channel, four stereo channels with dedicated Balance, Gain knobs and high pass filter button, and Onboard phantom power

 

11) Peavey PV

 

 

12) Alesis Multimix

 

 

13) Yorkville VGM

 

 

14) Audio 2000s AMX

 

 

15) Pyle