A mixer is at the center of your studio or PA setup, and a quality piece of equipment can adapt to changes in instruments, speakers and amps as your collection changes and expands. Whether you already have your own amps or powered speakers or are just looking for ultimate flexibility for future additions to your setup, an unpowered mixer is a solid investment that can last for years of recording and performances. And where better to look for this integral item than from Mackie, a world leader in audio gear.
If you're just starting out and are looking for a compact, affordable unit, the Mackie VLZ4 Series 402VLZ4 4-Channel Ultra Compact Mixer is a great buy. Featuring 2 Onyx mic preamps with extended frequency response, this portable mixer boasts a 2-band EQ and phantom power for condenser mics. The sealed rotary controls are designed to resist dust and buildup, while the steel chassis is rugged for durability and has an attractive powder-coat finish.
A touchscreen junkie looking for a more versatile unit, however, will find it in the Mackie DL806 8-Channel Digital Live Sound Mixer with iPad Control. This ingenious mixer supports up to 10 iOS devices at one time so multiple engineers can work from a single mixer, and there is no set FOH position so you can wirelessly mix from anywhere. The digital interface is easy to master, while the selection of factory and user-definable presets make setup simple.
When only professional sound and options will do, the Mackie Onyx 24.4 Premium 24-Channel Analog Live Sound Mixing Console is a truly special, adaptable mixer that's up to the task. The boutique-quality preamps offer a huge dynamic range and excellent radio frequency rejection to deliver superior sound. Meanwhile, the 4-band Perkins EQ on every channel provides warmth and the giant, 12-segment LED ladders handle the main output, compression and limiting for ease of use.
Whether you're a recording or performing novice or a seasoned pro, the selection of Mackie unpowered mixers is varied enough to make your feel like a kid in a candy store. You're sure to have no trouble finding the right mixer for your needs.