Recent Changes - Search:

Do you need a mixer?

Do you need a mixer?

By: Jess Smith

When you are setting up a home studio, it's important to purchase the appropriate gear for your studio. If you are serious about audio work, you will want to get the most for your money.

Since most home studio people run on a tight budget and don't have millions of dollars, the task of purchasing equipment can seem overwhelming. So many companies; so many choices; where do you start?

First, it is important to make your purchase based on facts not fantasies. This helps you make an informed decision before you spend your hard-earned money. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do you want to be in the music business? Are you a songwriter? a guitar or keyboard player? A vocalist? Are you a record producer who wants clients to come into your studio and put down their own tracks and let you produce the record?
  2. What kind of audio projects am I looking to do? If I am an independent artist, am I able to get buy with just a pc or Mac, and an audio interface and a keyboard?
  3. What kind of environment do I live in? Apartment or house? Do I have access to a basement or are there rooms which I can dedicate specifically to music tasks?
  4. What do I need, and not need?

The answers to the above questions are the first step in making an informed decision about how much to spend and what to purchase.

Secondly, look for what your equipment must have. How many Ins and Outs do you need? The rule of thumb is always get a bit more than you think you will need. This way you will be able to keep your existing equipment around and expand your rig when the need arises for more inputs and outputs.

Finally, the all important question: What do you not need? Do you really need a mixer? Do you really need 16 channel inputs and 8 outputs? It's tempting to buy something just because your best friend has it and it makes you feel important. But I would be ashamed to spend thousands of dollars on gear that you know you will never need.

A lot of mixing today can be done "in the box", meaning using a computer, an external USB or Firewire audio interface and a good set of headphones or studio-quality monitors. The days of it being necessary to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a pro recording setup are long gone. You can get professional quality audio for less than $500.00. A mixer would be good if you need to equalize your signal before you begin recording your tracks. It is good if you are mixing a band, and you need multiple inputs and outputs for all the band members, or when you are wanting to take your band on the road. Other than that, there really is no need to spend your money on a mixer if the audio interface has all the ins and outs you need and you are able to get buy just fine on a computer with a good professional daw, such as ProTools, Sonar, or Reaper.

Edit - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on August 03, 2016, at 05:58 PM