Powered mixers are ideal and well suited for live performances by bands and other performing artistes. This is because powered mixers merge effects, cable and amp together with the mixer to form one whole unit. This gear is essential for studio purpose as well and its importance can’t be underestimated.
The mixer helps with panning sounds to either right or left, adding effects and adjusting volumes. It is also used for spacing out tracks. The mixer can help you restore a lost sound in a situation where you can’t hear one of the instruments, say you are practicing with your band for example. If a mixer isn’t used in this situation you will lose total control.
Although a mixer isn’t an equipment that will be moved around too often if it is used in the studio but a live sound mixer on the other hand may need to be moved from time to time even at one venue; say a band plans to use their own equipment or you just want to change equipment. So for these reasons, you should settle for a live sound mixer that is portable, for convenience.
With all these considered, we have created this guide to provide you with enough information to help you select one of the top 5 best powered mixer for live sound.
#5. Alesis Multi Mix 8 USB FX | 8-Channel Mixer with Effects & USB Audio Interface 3.6
The Alesis Multi Mix 8 USB FX is an eight-channel mixer with all the necessary features required for your home studio. It features a MIC input, line input and guitar input. It also has a USB output that makes recording easy and allow playback from your laptop/computer.
It has a phantom power of 40 V; high-pass filters that are switchable and a 3-band EQ. Channels one and two have sweepable parametric mids, 3-band on channels three and four, 2-band on channels five, six, seven and eight.
This compact mixer has built-in effects that allows it function as a computer recording interface making it possible to record and mix separately, or even do record and mix at the same time. It is designed with many features and is also very sturdy and easy to use for whatever kind of mixing. Some of these effects include; delays, reverb, phaser and a lot more.
There is also a LED metering feature for feedback. Its 8 input channel can allow a 48 V XLR MIC. With the EQ controls, you are guaranteed full control over your mix; allowing you make accurate and fast adjustments to the mix.
#4. Mackie PROFX8V2 8-Channel Compact Mixer with USB and Effects
The Mackie PRO FX8 v 2 with low-noise with MIC preamps adds more live to your mix. It comes with sixteen effects that include; delays, reverb and more. It also features a seven-band graphic EQ that is helpful for tuning monitors. It has a three-band EQ and every channel has 100 Hz low-cut filter on it.
The PRO FX8 is a complete, professional set, perfectly designed for solo performances or any small gig. It is budget friendly and gets the job done properly. Other features that come with this mixer include; an additional stereo return stereo playback gadgets, other external effects or your keyboard, a USB I/O, useful for show recording as well as music playback through your computer. Every MIC channel also has a 48 V phantom power and it also comes with a USB sound card.
This is a portable, small board that requires no drivers; it is actually plug and play.
One set back though is that you might experience some noise with the USB, but this shouldn’t be much of a problem because it is quite minimal and also considering the price tag on this mixer, a little setback as this can be managed.
#3. Alto Professional ZMX 122 FX | 8-Channel 2-Bus Compact Mixer with 16 Inputs and 256 On-Board Effects
The Alto Professional ZMX 122 FX is a compact mixer that comes with effects that are suitable for live sound. These effects are also good for home studio use and for the DJ. There are sixteen essential inputs and various ¼ inch jack, XLR and RCA jacks. This mixer also features an ultra-low noise MIC preamp with a phantom power of +18 V; it works with dynamic microphones and condenser.
This model of mixer packs a large amount of features into one small compact space but this does not comprise the quality it brings to your mix and performances. It is designed with features for professional mixing and there is an expanded channel count that is suitable for sub mixes.
With its 256 on-board digital effects, you can add that professional touch to your mix. You get to choose from a wide variety of effects like flangers, room and space delays, chorus, reverb and so much more. This eight-channel mixer also features a 3-band EQ, 2 AUX sends per-channel and a whole lot more.
#2. Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Xenyx Mic Preamps and British EQs
This is an analog mixer with ultra-low noise. It features eight inputs and three-band EQ for that smooth, musical sound. If you have a small gig or a quick announcement to make publicly, the Behringer Xenyx 802 is the right mixer to give amazing sound. It allows you attain high-quality sound, effortlessly, thanks to its 3-band EQ and phantom powered MIC preamps.
One thing peculiar to XENYX mixers is high headroom MIC preamps with good sound delivery. These MIC preamps are very are of standard quality when compared to other more expensive preamps. The XENYX preamps offer 13 db with a bandwidth that ranges from less than 10 HZ to more than 200 kHz.
With these preamps, the Behringer Xenyx 802 provides clear, transparent and outstanding performance that will make you believe your MIC has just been upgraded. This mixer provides you with features that can help improve your talent remarkably. It is also the perfect choice for your live recording and live gig.
Some minor setbacks are that; for a mini mixer, its power supply is quite large, it does not have a rugged and strong construction and so needs to be handled carefully (which shouldn’t be a real problem) and lastly, it doesn’t have an on/off switch, so you have to plug in the mixer whenever you want to use it.
Please note: you are advised to unplug this mixer when it is not in use.
#1. BEHRINGER XENYX 1202FX
This is another BEHRINGER XENYX mixer of great quality and unlike the Xenyx 802 that comes with two MIC preamps, the XENYX 1202FX comes with four MIC preamps. It is a 12 input mixer with multi-FX processor and British equalizers. This FX processor comes with hundred presets that include delay, flanger, reverb, chorus, pitch shifter and many other multi effects.
The XENYX 1202FX is a versatile mixer that is ideal for your live performances. When compared to other brands of mixers, especially the more expensive ones, this mixer can easily hold its own. It also offers 130 db with a bandwidth that can measure from below 10 Hz to over 200 kHz. With the kind of clear performance delivered by this mixer, you may also get an impression that your MIC has been upgraded.
The XENYX 1202FX comes with all the right features that can help you harness your potential, thus upgrading your talent and it comes at a reasonable price. It is a very efficient and reliable mixer that will surely live up to expectation.