Secure shopping

Studio equipment

Our full range of studio equipment from all the leading equipment and software brands. Guaranteed fast delivery and low prices.

Visit Juno Studio

Secure shopping

DJ equipment

Our full range of DJ equipment from all the leading equipment and software brands. Guaranteed fast delivery and low prices.  Visit Juno DJ

Secure shopping

Vinyl & CDs

The world's largest dance music store featuring the most comprehensive selection of new and back catalogue dance music Vinyl and CDs online.  Visit Juno Records

10 Best: Mixers For Home Studios 2022

We pick ten of the best options for those looking for affordable studio mixers, including models from Soundcraft, Roland and Allen & Heath.

With the growing popularity of hardware setups in dance music production, mixing analogue signals is now a key part of many home studios. The easiest solution is usually a small mixer, providing a hands-on way to sum the outputs of your synths, drum machines and samplers.

Here we run through ten of our favourite options, from ultra-basic models through to fully featured consoles with digital effects, built-in USB interfaces and even multi-track recording.

Note that almost all of the mixers on our list are available in other sizes and channel counts, so if you like the features of a particular model but need more inputs, be sure to check the models higher up the same range.

Contents

What to look for

What kind of mixer?

You might fairly assume that the most important question when choosing a mixer is how many channels you need, but we’d suggest looking at it the other way round. Most mixers come in a range of different channel counts within the same product family, but their features can vary substantially.

The most basic mixers on our list do very little more than sum signals together. You might get basic EQ but that’s about it, the bare-bones approach. There’s nothing at all wrong with simplicity if that’s all you need.

Stepping up a level, you’ll find mixers which also feature built-in effects processing, then mixers with auxiliary sends to allow you to hook up outboard effects. You’ll often find built-in audio interfaces appearing around this level, allowing you to record the stereo mix output or even individual channels to a computer.

At the top of the tree, you’ll find mixers with their own built-in recording features. The more simple models just record the stereo mix, but some can even record multi-tracks, allowing you to edit and process your recordings further down the line.

How many channels?

As we mentioned above, most brands offer their mixers in a range of sizes to suit different requirements, typically starting around four channels and going up to 24, 32 or more.

We’d recommend that you avoid the temptation to go for a high channel count just for the sake of it, despite how easy it is to assume that more channels is better. The sweet spot is to have just enough channels for your regular workflow, so that you’re not spending money on channels that you don’t need. If it comes down to the choice of sacrificing sound quality for more channels, sound quality should be the priority.

The best mixers for home studios

allen and heath
The best mini mixer

At the most basic level, an audio mixer is a way to combine two or more signals into one. In the case of musical recordings, that almost always means a stereo output these days, with mono mixers largely consigned to history, barring a tiny handful of exceptions. Allen & Heath’s baby Zed6 is about as simple as it gets, with a four-channel design based around two mono line/mic/guitar inputs plus a further two stereo inputs. There’s very basic two-band EQ for adjusting the tone of channels, plus balance controls to pan the sounds left and right.

The Zed6 is a lot more basic than the bigger models in the range (which goes all the way up to a mighty Zed-436), with obvious cost-cutting and space-saving features such as rotary controls for channel level rather than faders. Nevertheless, it’s a good solution for small setups. At this kind of size and simplicity, it really comes down to personal choice whether a mixer gives the best workflow. Mixing signals in the box might make more sense for some people, so we’d also suggest checking out our 10 Best Audio Interfaces list.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
About as simple as mixers getNo channel faders
Handles all types of signal: line level, guitars, microphones and stereo
Tech specs
SummingAnalogue
Channels4
FeaturesTwo-band EQ
Dimensions249 x 89 x 236 mm
Weight1270 g
Like this? Get more by following Juno Studio here...

Back to top^

yamaha

There’s a bit of a step up in price as we move to higher channel counts, but it’s immediately obvious just how much more capable mixers are at the higher price point. Yamaha’s MG10XU is a good example: nominally a 10-channel design, it’s packed with features that you don’t find on the smaller, cheaper models like the budget Allen & Heath: three-band EQ, 48V phantom power for condenser microphones, audio in and out over USB, more extensive digital effects. Just a glance at the front panel of the MG10XU is enough to see that there’s a lot more going on here, and the end result is a mixer that’s capable of handling medium-sized hardware setups or band recordings with ease.

The only real downside is that the main level controls are still on rotary knobs – as they are with the A&H – rather than the faders that you’d expect to find on bigger mixers. It does make balancing mixes a little less intuitive and tactile, but if you can live with the compromise it does offer a lot for the money, with decent sound quality and plenty of versatility thanks to its effects and bundled Cubase AI recording software.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
One of the most affordable ‘proper’ mixers on the marketKnobs instead of channel faders
Impressive spec for the price point
Tech specs
SummingAnalogue
Channels10
FeaturesThree-band EQ; USB audio interface
Dimensions294 x 71 x 244 mm
Weight2.1 kg

Back to top^

One of the most unusual choices on our list, the Yamaha AG03 is unconventional in a lot of ways. It’s obvious from the looks alone that this isn’t a typical mixer setup: there’s just one fader for the main microphone channel, and there are unusual connections on the top panel, including a foot switch input (to toggle microphone effects on and off) and a pair of 3.5mm sockets for headsets with microphones.

The AG03 includes a built-in USB audio interface designed to work nicely with tablets and mobile devices as well as computers, hinting at its intended uses for live streaming, podcasting and YouTube content creation as well as music. In effect, the AG03 falls somewhere between a mixer and an audio interface, with neat features like built-in compression, EQ and reverb effects on the mic input. It’s a neatly designed solution for mixing and recording voice, instruments and line level signals.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
Good mix of audio interface and mixer featuresOnly three channels
Clever integration of compression, EQ and reverb
Tech specs
SummingAnalogue
Channels3
FeaturesUSB audio interface; EQ/compressions; DSP effects
Dimensions202 x 129 x 63 mm
Weight0.8 kg

Back to top^

mackie
The best compact all-rounder

Some of the brands on our list specialise in smaller mixers, while others offer home studio models as part of a much bigger range. Mackie falls into the latter category, having produced full-size studio mixers since the late 80s before launching smaller, more affordable options. The ProFX v3 range is the latest incarnation of the brand’s digital mixer range, intended primarily for live applications but just as effective in the studio.

The 10 represents great value for money, with four mono channels and three stereo. There’s three-band EQ, good quality digital effects and bundled ProTools First and Waveform OEM software to get you started with the mixer’s built-in USB interface. All in all, a very solid package for the money.

You can read our full review of the slightly larger Mackie ProFX 12 v3 here.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
Suitable for live use or in the studioKnobs instead of channel faders
Bundled software helps you get started with recording
Tech specs
SummingDigital
Channels10
FeaturesThree-band EQ; effects; USB audio interface
Dimensions302 x 272 x 94 mm
Weight2.2 kg

Back to top^

midas

Midas is now part of the same Music Tribe group that includes Behringer, but the UK brand has been specialising in analogue mixers since the 1970s. Despite superficial similarities to the X2222 from its sister brand, the DM16 employs a very different design philosophy; both are mid-sized mixers at affordable prices, but the DM16 is resolutely analogue as opposed to the X2222’s digital approach. Purists still favour the analogue approach in high-end studio mixers (which can easily cost tens of thousands of pounds) and the same theory can be applied to home studio mixers.

With 12 mono channels plus two stereo, the DM16 is big enough to be versatile for most applications. There are high-quality Midas preamps on the 12 mono channels, three-band semi-parametric EQ, aux sends and 60mm faders. Being analogue, you don’t get a built-in USB interface or digital effects, but we think the compromise is worth it if you prioritise sound quality.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
Analogue purismNo built-in interface or effects
A nice old-school look and feel
Tech specs
SummingAnalogue
Channels16
FeaturesThree-band semi-parametric EQ
Dimensions438 x 370 x 95 mm
Weight5 kg

Back to top^

soundcraft

Another British analogue specialist with a history dating back to the 70s, Soundcraft bears a lot of similarities to Midas. The Signature 12 MTK is a rough equivalent of the DM16, but there are a few notable differences that justify the step up in price.

The big selling point here is that the Signature 12 MTK is a kind of hybrid mixer, with an analogue heart complemented by digital features. So, in addition to the 12 channels (eight mono plus two stereo) with three-band semi-parametric EQ you’ll also find digital effects and a built-in USB interface. It’s a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario, combining the quality analogue summing Soundcraft are known for with the convenience and versatility of digital features.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
Analogue and digital features combineLarge scale format not as portable if you want to take a mixer out for live use
Precise semi-parametric EQ
Tech specs
SummingAnalogue
Channels12
FeaturesThree-band semi-parametric EQ; effects; USB audio interface
Dimensions388 x 113 x 380 mm
Weight5860 g

Back to top^

roland
The best for Roland fans

Roland’s Aira MX1 is probably the most unusual mixer on our list, offering quite a different approach to the more conventional brands. Roland have made a few mixers over the years, mostly under their Boss sub-brand, but the MX-1 takes the most specialist approach, aimed specifically at users of the brand’s Aira and Boutique ranges of synths, drum machines and effects. The MX-1 links up nicely to other Roland equipment, allowing the mixer to act as a central hub and sync effects with sequencers on other gear, but it also offers a range of analogue and digital inputs allowing you to connect any other equipment you have.

Assuming you own at least one or two bits of Roland gear, the MX-1 is well worth a look; it’s a unique approach that really does bring the best out of the Aira and Boutique instruments. A very clever solution.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
A clever solution for mixing and performing with Roland Aira and Boutique instrumentsAt its best when combined with other Roland hardware, so may not work for everyone
Good compact size for portability
Tech specs
SummingDigital
Channels11
FeaturesStep-sequenced effects; tone/filter/EQ; USB audio interface
Dimensions400 x 65 x 264 mm
Weight1810 g

Back to top^

Most mixers stick to a pretty safe formula, but the 1010 Music Bluebox tears up the rule book. It’s a digital mixer in a tiny format, with a touchscreen handling most of the control duties. The Bluebox can mix up to 12 mono signals (or six stereo) via 3.5 mm inputs, with all of the basic features you’d expect from a much bigger mixer: 4-band parametric EQ per channel, pan controls, effects sends and built-in compression, reverb and delay. It’s ideal for any cramped studio, but its tiny format also makes it ideal for taking out for live performances, making it a convenient solution for anyone who drags their studio setup out on the road.

The surprising thing about the Bluebox is that it feels like a creative tool more than a functional object; the quick and intuitive workflow makes it easy to set up effects and routings, while the built-in multi-track recording and overdubbing options help it feel like a halfway house between a mixer and a full-blown DAW. In a live setting, you can use it to play backing tracks while mixing new instruments in real time, allowing you to manipulate and take control of your performances. It’s great value for a unique mixing and recording solution which packs a lot of power into what must surely be one of the most compact 12-channel mixers you’ll find anywhere.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
Compact and powerful digital mixerSome will prefer physical controls to the Bluebox’s touchscreen
Nice recording features
Tech specs
SummingDigital
Channels12
FeaturesMulti-track recording; effects; MIDI (for tempo-synced effects)
Dimensions140 x 130 x 50 mm
Weight450 g

Back to top^

presonus

Falling somewhere between a live mixer and a recording console, the StudioLive series from PreSonus represents an interesting middle ground. The built-in SD card slot allows you to record directly to a stereo file, making this a good choice for anyone who jams their tracks live in real time, without the need to go back and edit later. However, if you need the added versatility of multi-track recording the mixer also functions as an 18×4 audio interface, allowing you to record to the bundled Studio One software (or any other DAW of your choice).

With eight mono channels plus four stereo there are plenty of inputs to play with, all mixed in analogue before hitting the digital converters if required. A real multi-purpose mixer that allows you to work in whichever way suits you best.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
Good all-rounder for studio recording purposes or live useMixers of this size are never cheap
Built-in 18×4 interface for multi-track recording or SD card slot for recording stereo mixes
Tech specs
SummingDigital
Channels18
FeaturesThree-band analogue EQ; USB audio interface; stereo SD recorders; effects
Dimensions480 x 89 x 397 mm
Weight6.4 kg

Back to top^

tascam

Our final selection represents something a little different to the norm. Tascam’s greatest contribution to home recording was the iconic PortaStudio range of cassette-based multi-track recorders, which made it cheaper and easier for musicians to record their work. The Model 24 is the spiritual successor to that idea: it’s an analogue mixer first and foremost, but it also includes a digital multi-track recorder, making it an all-in-one solution for home studios.

Even as a mixer alone, the Model 24 is impressive, with a huge channel count, 100mm long-throw faders and versatile routing. Add the ability to record and process everything in a single box and you’ve got a versatile, user-friendly solution without the need for a computer.

More info/Buy
ProsCons
The spirit of the PortaStudio lives on in a new conceptDefinitely not portable like the old-school PortaStudios
Analogue mixer meets digital multi-track recording
Tech specs
SummingAnalogue
Channels22
FeaturesThree-band semi-parametric EQ; multi-track recording; USB audio interface
Dimensions576 x 513 x 112 mm
Weight10 kg

Back to top^

In summary

The biggest factor to decide when choosing a mixer is how many channels you need to sum together, but there’s more to mixers than that. In our list we have everything from giant mixers all the way down to portable options which could also serve well in a live setting.

What makes things a little more complicated is the way different manufacturers add extra features; it’s actually quite hard to find a mixer which only mixes signals together these days. Instead, you’ll often find effects at a bare minimum, and quite likely some kind of audio interface features. The fancier models on the market now include built-in recording devices, allowing you to record your stereo mix or multi-tracks directly to the mixer itself.

Individual needs will vary hugely, but there’s something to suit everyone here.

You may also be interested in…