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Optimized for the computer-based home studio!
The Soundcraft COMPACT 4 mixer is perfectly suited to many applications requiring simple mix facilities, but it really comes into its own during computer-based recording. It's simple to route an input straight to the record output by selecting the Record button on the channel. The COMPACT 4 is equipped with 2 mic inputs with high-quality mic preamps and phantom power plus line inputs and a DI input for instruments plus stereo inputs for keyboards, CD/tape, or turntables (with RIAA equalization). The DI input matches the input impedance of the mixer to the output impedance of the instrument, ensuring optimum pro-quality audio capture. Zero-latency monitoring while recording is enhanced with a blend control that lets you balance playback with the track being recorded for ideal headphone output for artists and engineers.
We guarantee you'll be knocked out by its incredible performance . . . or your money back!
Reviewed by 12 customers
First, if you are new to DAW recording and you need a mixer, this is the mixer for you. I've set up several DAWs with several different mixers and this one is dirt simple to set up. The sound seems pretty transparent, the eq's are useable problem solvers but i use plugin eq. I guess my only disappointment is the headphone amps--I don't like cans anyway but these don't sound good to me. I have moved from a pc DAW with external soundcard to the simplicity of a MAC using this for to interface with the internal soundcard and it's more than adequate for a simple, 2 in/2 out home DAW.
Needed something small for the desktop home studio recording. The thing has no noise, features for instruments, dj, recording, etc. It was well thought out to be universal and customized to all performers and home recording studios.
Okay, this little mixer has some strange EQ settings. Also, I think it's strange to see the "0" setting on the volume knobs on the 2'o'clock position (when I'm used to seeing the "0" on the 12'o'clock position on other mixers I've used before). Other than these strange markings, this little mixer has been good to me. The instruction manual is funny to read, whoever wrote it has a sense of humor. I especially like the quiet mic preamps, very clean. I also love the convenience of just plugging in my bass or electric guitar directly into this mixer (the DI button takes care of business)--I no longer use any direct boxes to connect my guitar. This mixer freed up some space for me, as far as cabling is concerned. Love it.
It has great sounding class A mic pres. I love the record monitor switches. The d.i. feature is also cool. This is a perfect tool for me for home recording.
I've recently added the Soundcraft COMPACT 4 Mixer to my home studio and it is perfect for my computer based digital set up. Its compact size works great in a small area so if you're cramped for space this one can't be beat. All controls are logically placed and are very easy to access and manipulate. It looks really nice too! This unit has no hum or hiss that you would normally expect and is totally noise free. You can't hear a thing externally or during recording!The COMPACT 4 is so easy to operate right out of the box that it's amazing how quickly you can be up and running. I've recorded acoustic guitars, banjos, keyboards and vocals through this mixer and it has performed flawlessly in all instances. If you are a one man show (sound engineer, musician, vocalist, etc.) this mixer is perfect because you're not constantly changing out cords. Hook up your mic(s), keyboard, drumbox, effects or whatever and your good to go for a very successful, hassle free session.I can't say enough good things about the Compact 4 mixer. If you want pro results on a budget, this board is the one to get!
I ordered this because I expected great sound quality from it and was well pleased. Compared to the best of my other compact mixers, the highs were very close but the low end was notably stronger, with better dynamics - to the point I rechecked the EQ because the difference was so profound. The noise specs were slightly worse than that claimed by some of my other small mixers, but in practice this mixer was noticeably quieter than any of my others. Very nice, even at high gain! I am using this mostly for live applications, for which its layout is a bit unusual. It really is geared toward recording. The key differences are that the monitor function works like a stereo PFL. It is true stereo and pre fader, but has no individual level controls, only a master level. The master output bus can also be sent to the monitor but the record output cannot. Also the monitor bus is the only bus that feeds the meters. As long as you follow the directions and properly set your levels, that works fine, however you don't have clear visibility of the record or master output levels. The dual headphone jacks offer great flexibility. It is basically a four bus mixer, but you assign a channel either to the record bus or master bus, not both. There is no effect send bus but the two mono inputs include insert jacks. The stereo inputs do not have the ability to send a single channel signal to the left and right buses. All 1/4" outputs are balanced. If you are using it for other than recording, I would look at the downloadable block diagram to make sure it will do what you want. For live work, the meters are very easy to read from across the room and the way the monitor bus is set up makes setting input gains accurate and very easy. The meters are actually slightly harder to read up close due to light bleed from one segment to the next, and yes they really are blue, white and red. The red clip indicators latch, though, making clipping very easy to spot. The unit does use an external power supply which one manufacturer has touted not doing however, being 12 VDC and a standard plug, if needed, a replacment could easily be bought at any electronics or music store and even many discount stores. Just ensure you get a 1 amp regulated 12 VDC supply with the correct polarity (tip +). It will specify regulated if it is. The other plus is that if you need to run the mixer off a car regualtor/adapter or any 12 VDC battery for that matter it is trivial to do. That may sound strange but I have needed to do that for some live jobs at churches and parades. Soundcraft plans to offer a battery pack in the near future, which appears will mount in the side panel. That, and to provide protection for the power cord is the only real benefit I see to the large hollow side panels. The mixer itself is very well made, although it is not made in the UK as most previous Soundcraft boards were. The power supply cord that connects to the mixer is a bit flimsy but should be OK and of course is easily repairable if needed. Most of the other mixers I have use either a custom plug or uncommon voltage so this is a welcome change. All in all, this is a great little mixer and a great value.
This is a great mixer for computer Digital Audio recording. Has routing features found only on higher end mixers such as record send and mute buttons and mix sends to headphone and speakers. So no need to plug and unplug wires and connectors. I also use MIDI, so it has routing to record and mix keyboard as well. I'm very happy with this mixer. Have used Behringer and TASCAM small mixers before. This totally outshines those.
Soundcraft didn't follow the herd on this one. It has numerous features that other small mixers don't.You can pretty much route anything to anything, and the level controls for the mix, monitor, record and each headphone are independent of one another.It's quieter than the Behringer UB802 that it replaced, and the RIAA equalization sounds quite good to me on my old vinyl.If I EQ'ed with the mixer I might quibble about the midrange, which seems to be centered at too low a frequency for my taste. But I normally do that on my PC when I'm mixing the tracks, so it doesn't particularly bother me.Overall I'm very pleased.
This is a well designed, ergonomic, user-friendy, and space conserving mixer designed for a computer-based home studio set-up.Since plugging this gem into my Gina soundcard using the recommended RTS balanced cables, my life just got a whole lot easier. Total control in a mini mixer that makes my other one seem like an unfriendly antique by comparison.Perfect and precise controls for monitoring and/or recording straight to soundcard.At the low price that this unit is available for, I highly recommend the Soundcraft Compact 4 Mixer to anyone interested in simplifying the audio input to soundcard dilemma.
For starters, nice packaging. Easy to read manual. Easy to hook up. The Neutrik combo jacks are great. This mixer has everything you need for the bedroom/project studio. Phantom power, push-button DI for instruments, 3 band eq, and other nice features you can read about on the detail page. The mixer is nice and quiet, and is SO SIMPLE to use. The controls are colorful and labeled well also. I'm using this with a Darla card from ECHO and SONAR from Cakewalk. The recording quality is everything I expected from the Soundcraft name. It also looks freakin' sweet. The only complaint I have is there's no power switch. For the price, you cannot go wrong.