Reviewed: Mackie ProFX12v3 12 Channel Professional Digital Mixer
The humble Mackie mixer has been a mainstay in rehearsal studios and practice spaces since (what feels like) the beginning of time and for good reason. Their intuitive pushbutton routing, rock-solid build quality and unobtrusive, desktop configuration have made them the ideal ‘set-and-forget’ solution for anyone with even a passing interest in sound reinforcement. Mackie make mixers with the civilian in mind and the ProFX12v3 carries on this commitment to accessibility and ease-of-use, but propels it into the modern age with upgrades fitting for an increasingly digital world.
Reviewed: TC Helicon Blender Portable Mixer
In this day and age, musicians face a burgeoning number of problems. Be it with the music industry, record labels or management, the road is littered with countless obstacles looking to impede your success. However, there has always been one glaring issue that has plagued artists since the dawn of time: sensitive neighbours. TC Helicon aims to alleviate all noise-related headaches with the Blender, a multi-channel stereo mixer which promises near-silent jam sessions for the whole band.
Reviewed: Denon DJ X1800 Prime Mixer
Sturdy and built with quality, the Denon DJ X1800 Prime Mixer packs unique features and additions that add to any professional level performance. Again similar to the Pioneer mixer format – it's fairly clean and clear to navigate and has a bunch of extra features without the overbearing, spaceship like, button and knob fest of other professional level mixers out there.
Reviewed: Radial Engineering KL-8 Keyboard Mixer
Radial is maybe the most well-known company for the more practical side of audio, recording and live performance. Their DIs (both mono and stereo, powered and passive) are found in venues all over the planet, their re-amp units nestled comfortably into 500-racks in studios everywhere and the Radial logo often sits unseen in the back-end of studio and live rigs; performing tasks night after night, session after session while flashier gear takes the limelight. Radial Engineering products are trusted, and rightly so. Their ingenious, inconspicuous, faithful products provide musicians and producers of all calibres the routing options that turn their wildest tonal imaginations into sound waves.
Reviewed: Allen & Heath Qu-SB Compact Digital Mixer
There are a lot of compact digital mixers on the market these days, offering all manner of configurations and various interfacing options. They’re really only limited to the physical connectivity on offer, as the software capabilities can always grow with the needs of the user base. Now, I’ll come out and say it right from the get-go: I have seen and used my fair share of various compact digital mixers, but I certainly believe the one that most took my fancy over the last ten years is the Allen & Heath Qu-SB compact digital mixer.
Reviewed: Yamaha SessionCake SC-01 & SC-02
Every now and then, a new device comes along that makes us all stop and wonder why no-one has come up with something like that before. And of course, when a new device like this comes along, it usually opens up new channels of creativity and enjoyment. It is often Japan that comes up with these fun little devices that get our attention and intrigue, and that is certainly the case with the latest offering from Yamaha. The esteemed company has delivered a new concept in practise tools for guitar, keyboard, vocals and just about any instrument that you can plug in. In two brightly coloured devices, the SC-01 and the SC-02 offer us a new way to get together with friends, whilst totally separating ourselves from one another at the same time. It’s time we all took a look at the SessionCake, and apparently we’re invited to take a bite.
Reviewed: ART Pro Audio Tube Mix
More and more gear is touchscreen-enabled these days, which is great for many applications. There have also been several successful takes at tablet apps that function as touchscreen interfaces for DAWs; it’s just how a lot of people want to work today. But admit it - it feels like there’s something missing. The accuracy and real-time feedback of a physical knob on a mixer channel still just works. ART has always been about combining technology and practicality, and the Tube Mix audio interface brings mixers back - way back - to a time when they were finished in wood grain and were all about controls you could actually touch.
Reviewed: Radial Engineering Key-Largo keyboard mixer
The team at Radial Engineering have once again proven that they know how to deliver compact devices that solve issues in your audio setup. It is usually guitar or microphone based devices that they come out with, so it is a pleasant change to see a unit designed for keyboards coming from Radial, as these guys don’t do things by halves. The Key-Largo is a multi-channel keyboard mixer and interface that brings your computer and keyboards together for a seamless live setup. This is, like so many other Radial devices, a very well thought out unit and one that will appeal to a lot of keyboard players.