Whether is was a wedding in the family, a school concert or your first time watching your favourite artist on stage, you have probably been around professional live sound mixers. Also called PA mixers or sound system mixers, if you are in the market for one, we have picked out two popular live mixing consoles, either of which could be the answer to your needs.
Besides the obvious factor of your budget, here are some other aspects to consider before picking which one to buy. Is the mixing console you’re planning to buy for live use compatible with the sound system you are going to use? That’s an important point to consider. Then, checking that its connectivity and sound processing capabilities are enough to handle all the instruments that will be part of the live performance is another crucial factor. Since your EQ needs for a live show are usually simple, control over bass, mid, and high frequencies are typically all that is needed. Though there are diehard analog enthusiasts when it comes to live mixing consoles, when mixing for a live band, digital live sound mixers reduce the amount of gear you have to carry around substantially. Also, they have wireless control options and even apps.Venue SC48 is a digital live mixing console that combines all I/O and digital signal processing into a single console package. User-friendly, portable and affordable, it can re-create the kind of studio-quality sound you desire live with full plug-in support. Even music professionals who have worked with analogue consoles for years will find the SC48 easy to use because rather than being buried in menus, everything is labelled or accessible on the board itself. With very straightforward automation and snapshot interface, the click-and- drag function is great for dragging elements to different points in the order. Another great feature of this console is that you can make parameter changes with the keyboard, mouse, or the surface. Incredibly intuitive, you can easily find each control on the board. The console can handle up to 64 processing channels and easily replace an analog console right in the existing cabling system. It’s a great buy if you’re live mixing for big venues and massive concerts.
If you are looking for a live mixing console for smaller gigs the Behringer X32 would be perfect for you. The pre-amps and overall sound quality might not be as great as other mixing consoles available in the market, but it is a great way to step into digital live-sound mixing without having to sell a kidney or your house. With 32 local XLR inputs and 16 outputs on the rear panel, it can easily be used as a live desk without the need for a digital snake. Nice and compact, you could also use this to replace an existing analogue desk in most cases without replacing a single plug or lead. Not just that, with icons of all the instruments and colours to boot, it is a breeze to colour match anything. If you feel the need to save your mix, scenes, FX settings, or routing for that matter, just get yourself a USB stick and it will be done. From tracking bass overdubs and recording a band live to running live sound, all of it is possible with the X32. At the price you pay for this console there is no alternative that is remotely comparable. Not just that, the X32 even beats certain high-end live-sound consoles from a features point of view.
Armed with this information, you should be able to pick a live-sound mixing console to meet your needs.
I am thinking of hiring a professional sound mixer for my high school reunion this fall. Thanks for talking about the importance of having a mixing console that’s compatible with your sound system. I’d imagine that if you were looking into sound mixing, compatibility would be an important issue to consider.