So... How do you know what to buy? Looking for pieces of gear that incorporate the essential elements of large scale consoles can be key in picking the right equipment. Check out our list below and you'll find some of our favorites for getting the job done right.
While other small mixers miss out on quality, the Mackie 402-VLZ3 brings four channels of reliable sound with high headroom and low noise design. Packing the punch of two XDR2 preamps and premium EQ, there is a simplicity to the rugged design of the 402-VLZ3 that makes it quintessential for demos of all shapes and sizes. At just under $100, you can't go wrong with this pick if you're just beginning to do demos.
Designed by famed console maker Malcom Toft, the Toft Audio ATB Series Console is unique as it features the same EQ of the Trident Series 80 desk. Condensing the magic of this legendary console into a four channel mixer means its primed for big time studios, as it includes 10 inputs, four pre amps and two mix busses with outputs.
With high marks for ease of use and versatility, the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI is a state-of-the-art mixer that can be integrated with many of the latest recording software programs. Due in part to the mixers Fat Channel, a combination of the average console's compressor, limiter, gate/expander and EQ, the StudioLive 16.4.2AL compacts the capabilities of a large board into this affordable mixer.
Building off the back of the DM-24, Tascam DM-3200 is a reliable piece of studio equipment for any size room. Featuring 32 channels, 16 auxiliary returns and impressive DAW control, this digital mixer comes in under $2000 and features both EQ and compression on every channel. Amazing software integration and extremely flexible routing opportunities.
Owning a Neve console is the dream of most engineers, producers and studio owners, but it's not always in the budgetary cards. When it comes to mixers under $8000, the Neve Designs 5060 Centerpiece answers the call, giving you the sound of Rupert's classic consoles and an update of technology. When teamed with a 5059 mixer, this small piece of gear offers 24 tracks of Class A summing that is completely compatible with DAW software.