I saw this tiny Behringer 302USB mixer at a client’s place a couple of weeks back. The thing that caught my eye was how tiny it is. Granted, its small size is the attractive part of it. Another thing is the fact that it has a great preamp, according to Behringer. The XENYX 302USB apparently gets its name from the XENYX mic preamps. XENYX preamps apparently offer 130 dB of dynamic range. So that is something pretty good.
Not only that, with the included bidirectional stereo USB audio interface, you can connect directly to your PC or Mac computer via a single USB cable. Now any signal source you connect to the mixer can be recorded directly to your hard drive using software like the one I always use, GoldWave. You can also use Audacity too and a whole scope of others. And get this. This mixer can be powered by USB power from your USB socket on your PC or laptop. This mixer also provides Phantom Power to your microphone. I always wonder how they do that with a mixer like this that just powers itself via USB power
You can find out more about the mixer here at the Behringer website. I like it but the only thing I have no use for are the RCA outputs. Granted, I can hook this up to a passive DI box, but I would rather find a mini mixer that has balanced outputs.
I installed the mixer at a client’s place yesterday. basically, he had a digital audio processor that went tits-up. That audio processor was the heart of his system and you know when the audio processor dies, there goes the whole PA system. So he comes to me and asks what solution can they have. I said I will think of an answer and the thing that came to my mind was…get a small mixer to use in place of that audio DSP while it is being repaired. And the mixer I chose? The Yamaha MG10XU
The mixer is an analogue mixer and is the successor of the MG82cx, the very same mixer that I have. Just like my MG82cx, it is well-suited for small, portable rigs and also for the big system at my client’s place. It is relatively inexpensive and has outstanding sound quality. Just like the MG82cx, this mixer has onboard digital effects, switchable phantom power, a pad switch, one-knob compressors, EQ, and LED metering,and so forth.
It took some time to hook up this mixer and remove the old DSPs but I managed to do it. We had to daisy-chain the inputs to the amplifiers though. It is not something I like to do but a quick fix was needed and this was the quick fix! After hooking up a wireless mic to it, and the only source which was an iPod Mini, the mixer worked fine and sounded absolutely crystal clear. Oh and I did I mention that it has a USB connection that you can connect to your computer? With that, you can use it as an audio interface and record your mixers by downloading Cubase, which is available as a free download.
Looks great. Maybe I should start getting more of these mixers for my clients. Once again, Yamaha saves the day!
A few days back, at a wedding, I was the DJ. It was my cousin’s wedding and all the guests had a great time. many thanks to my DDJ-WeGo and my MacBook for providing the music. But there was a bit of a problem. At one point in time, I noticed that the right channel of the mixer had no levels. So what I did was to fiddle with the RCA cables that connected my controller to my DI box. That did not do anything except to add more static to the system. I then checked my gig bag and noticed that I only had one stereo RCA to RCA cable. The only other cable in the gig bag was an RCA to mini-jack cable.
After kicking myself not not practising what I preached, I decided or rather, vowed, that I would get one of those RCA to minijack sockets like the one pictured above. This would serve two purposes. One, if my RCA cable ever gave out again, I could use this in conjunction with my RCA to minijack socket as a way to connect up to the house mixer. Since I did not have another cable, I turned both the PAN knobs on the Yamaha mixer (which my stereo DJDI was connected) to centre, giving it a mono signal.
In any case, I finally found out what was wrong. One day after the event when I was keeping my stuff away, I decided to test all my cables. My cables were all ok with no problems at all. So I suspect that it had to be the house mixer. I was a bit surprised that one of the channels that was used for my DI box was missing a PAN knob. I suppose it was faulty or must have been damaged, hence the dropping sound. But in a way, the silver lining in the dark cloud was that I bought this cable pictured above too…one day later!
Just last week I was at a venue to visit a friend who was conducting an event there. During the course of the event I had to help my friend with connections to the house mixer. And this is the house mixer. It is a Mackie mixer but you can tell from the pic that it has not been taken care of very well. Some might argue that it is just tape on the faders but to be honest, it looks like they bought this mixer and then realised that they needed stereo channels. That is what the “ganged” faders are for…to send two mono channels as a stereo mix
The mixer was also dusty to boot. One thing about dust and electronic devices is that they seldom work together well. Also, some of the gain controls were pretty sketchy and there was a lot of issue setting the gains. Looks like the next time, if I do an event in this place, I would be better off getting my own mixer and bringing it down
I am a very big fan of mini mixers and this Applied Research & Technology (ART for short) came up with one helluva nice and cute one. It basically is a three channel Microphone, Instrument, and Line Mixer. It also comes with a Computer Interface which can be a compact versatile audio interface for your computer that converts analog signals from a variety of audio sources plugged into this mixer, to a digital signal that your computer understands. It can also be used as a standalone mixer through the main mix outputs. The USB Mix, in my opinion, provides a great starting point for personal home studio recording or for anyone wanting to do mobile location recording. I personally would use it as the go-between literally between my controller and the main house mixer. As it is, my gig bag is pretty full with my computer and controller and this will help to take up less space. These are some of its features:
- USB powered, no external power supply needed when used with a computer
- Microphone (balanced XLR) input or instrument (unbalanced 1/4″ TS) input with switchable impedance
- Switchable low noise +48V phantom power for microphone
- Balanced 1/4″ TRS inputs for stereo or mono line-level sources
- 1/4″ TRS output jacks work with balanced or unbalanced lines
- Stereo 1/4″ TRS headphone jack with independent level control for output monitoring
- Independent controls for both sets of inputs, main output, and headphone monitor
- Green/Red LED signal/clip indicator
- Switchable assignment of USB playback to channels 2 and 3
- USB 2.0 compliant
- No special drivers needed with most modern versions of Windows, Mac OS, and Linux
- USB cable, AC adapter, and Audacity recording software included
- Rugged steel case
The plus-point for me is the sheer size of this tiny mixer. The only thing it does not have is the individual tone controls for the channels but I think it is forgivable in this case. In any case, I have always liked ART and the products that they make. In my opinion, they produce great stuff…stuff that really tempts me…like this tiny mixer.
A few weeks back, I got an email from a client asking me to be the DJ cum emcee for an event in ther premises. So I asked them what kind of sound-system they were using? They said they did not know so I asked them again to let me know by taking some pictures. When the pictures came, they literally floored me. The first picture above shows their mixer, located in a rack some distance from the venue. Now…how was I going to do gain-riding on the faders when the event is some distance away from where the event was? The lady that wanted to hire me had no idea. So I said, never mind. How about the wireless mics (which I presumed they had) and how was I going to play my music? Then came the other picture:
They said that I had to play music from this. This, folks, is a VCD and DVD player that _can_ play CDs. But just like the mixer, it is located some distance away from the event venue. I did offer to bring my equipment down because it will make my job a lot easier but it seems that they had a budget. Oh well. I refused the job. And you can see why
I saw someone had posted this for sale in an audio sales group in Facebook and I thought it that it was a mighty fine piece of equipment. First of all, it does not need any power. According to the Rolls website:
The MX42 is a four channel stereo mixer. The unit mixes up to four stereo RCA signals such as CD or cassette players with VCR units, even computer sound cards or MP3 players. All signals are mixed via stereo 100K ohm potentiometers to stereo RCA output connectors. The unit is passive, requiring no power.
These are the specifications of the mixer, for those who are interested.
- Input Impedance: 10K to 47K Ohms
- Output Impedance: 2.5K to 10K Ohms
- Gain: -12 dB MAX
That is great to hear and it will be a great and better way of mixing various audio sources at maybe a small bar or shop. I remember that I used to use a crappy Sony SB-12 back in the day:
This thing is just horrible and after a while, those keys have difficulty in staying down. Bloody POS. But that Rolls mixer looks good. I might get one for bars when I do my installs in future.