What mixing desk to buy

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by stevepaulsounds, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. stevepaulsounds

    stevepaulsounds Active Member

    I'm looking to get a mixer to connect to my new iMac 2013. I'd like to buy something below £500, ideally around £200-£300.
    I'd like something with at least 8 inputs, but no more than 16, and have the ability to work with DAWs in the way a MIDI controller would. It would be a bonus if the sliders moved automatically. If it falls within my price range, Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 would be good, as there is no Firewire socket or USB 2.0 (I assume USB 2.0 would work but would be slow) on the latest iMac. I do have an adaptor though that can convert Firewire to Thunderbolt.
    Please give me some advice about the best thing out there for these functions.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The way you describe it, you are looking for a control surface (rather than a mixer) plus an audio interface to handle the audio signals. If you are using the DAW to mix, you don't need a mixing function in external hardware. That said, you are unlikely to get a half-decent control surface for the sort of money you mention. There are a few all-in one units such as the Zoom R16, but you are making compromises all round if you go for something like that.

    Exactly what type of control surface would suit you depends on your expected usage and the way you work, but you could try the Mackie Emagic Control Universal.

    As for audio interfaces, you should probably be looking for something that has 8 microphone inputs plus expansion capability, and you say you would like USB3. Well, there aren't many USB3 devices around (yet), but USB2 works in a USB3 socket. Try the Focusrite 18i20.
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Before recommending anything I think we need to know what your goals are. Do you really need outboard mixing capability in addition to your DAW's mixing capability? Do you need to control your DAW with physical knobs and faders? Do you need something that gets signal in and out of your computer? Those are all different functions that may or may not be necessary or included in one product.
  4. stevepaulsounds

    stevepaulsounds Active Member

    Thanks for the help. I'd like a bit more control and feedback over the inputs that you have on a regular audio interface, so a mixer would be good for that. I would like to be able to control the daw with faders that respond to automation. Also I forgot to mention that I'd like a midi input or two also. It would be nice to have that all in one device.
  5. stevepaulsounds

    stevepaulsounds Active Member

    Hi. Thanks for your reply. Can you suggest a few other all in one units please? I'm a bit stumped.
  6. Sjmckean

    Sjmckean Active Member

    You won't need a physical mixer with the Focusrites. You can adjust gain for each input manually on the unit as well as in the DAW mixer. They also come with mixrite software that can be used for direct monitoring with up to 8 discrete outputs on the back of the unit, each can be mixed differently with the mixrite software that comes with it. I have two of these. I love them. You're going to spend a lot of money on a mixer with motorized faders, good preamps, and computer interface to do what you're asking about. Fancy, but not necessary.

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