About a year ago I got to have a quick drive of what I now consider to be one of the best compact digital mixers on the market. It’s been a while since I got my hands on a QSC TouchMix, but this month I got to test the TouchMix-8, the newer, more compact version of the larger 16-input console. This thing is going to change the way we look at compact mixers, because QSC have somehow managed to squeeze a digital mix engine into a housing the size of what one would normally expect of a compact analogue mixer. This thing is outrageous!
BACK ON THE HORSE
Having not used one of these mixers in over a year — and not really learning the capabilities of it back then either — I felt pretty confident in firing this one up without any need to refer to the user manual. Of course, this is not advisable, but you only live once and it was late on a Tuesday night; nothing else was going on. So, it didn’t take me long to remember why I had fond memories of the bigger brother. The TouchMix-8 is designed to work with you, not against you. It is a piece of cake to set up and program; it actually makes some analogue mixers look a little confusing. This device dispels the myth that you need a degree to operate a digital mixing console. Put simply, even the drummer could make this work.
What I really love about this is the flexibility you get from the compact design. There are 8 XLR inputs along with a pair of stereo inputs as well. This will certainly take care of a lot of performers in today’s live music scene. Best of all, the rear of the unit offers 6 individual outputs, all on balanced XLR connections. You can program these to function as you please, so a master pair can run you front of house, a balanced recording pair is an option and of course, balanced outputs for foldback sends, meaning you can simply run XLRs to your powered wedges at any length without the worry of signal loss or interference. Of course, you can set up presets for different venues or ensembles and applied EQ and dynamics to all input and output sends too. You could not ask for more in such a compact device, especially given that is ships with its own custom carry case too. Stop looking; this is the digital mixer you should be using.
For more details on QSC products, head to tag.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Super compact digital mixer design
Intuitive design for fast a learning curve
Comes packaged with carry case for unit and power supply
No need for additional breakout cables or peripherals
Plenty of signal output options for a range of applications
Slightly cramped touchscreen workspace