13 Best Unpowered Recording Mixers

List Updated September 2020

Bestselling Unpowered Recording Mixers in 2020


Behringer Xenyx X2222USB Premium 22-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with USB/Audio Interface

Behringer Xenyx X2222USB Premium 22-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with USB/Audio Interface
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020
  • Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
  • 8 state-of-the-art, phantom-powered XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
  • 8 studio-grade compressors with super-easy "one-knob" functionality and control LED for professional vocal and instrumental sound
  • Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs with semi-parametric mid band for warm and musical sound
  • New studio-grade FX processor with 16 editable presets including reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, pitch shifter, multi-effects, Tap function and storable user parameter settings

Mackie PROFX8V2 8-Channel Compact Mixer with USB and Effects

Mackie PROFX8V2 8-Channel Compact Mixer with USB and Effects
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020

Behringer Xenyx 1204USB Premium 12-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer

Behringer Xenyx 1204USB Premium 12-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020
  • Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
  • Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound. Maximum input level+12 dBu @ +10 dB gain Maximum input level 30 dBu

PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB 14-Channel hybrid Performance and Recording Mixer

PreSonus StudioLive AR12 USB 14-Channel hybrid Performance and Recording Mixer
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • 4 mono and 4 stereo channels, each with 60 mm level fader, pan, mute, PFL solo, high pass filter, and 3-band semi-parametric EQ (mono channels: sweep able mid band)
  • 2 instrument inputs, 12 balanced line inputs, 8 balanced mic inputs with Class A microphone preamps, and 2 insert points
  • 1 stereo Super Channel with RCA inputs, 1/8-inch stereo input, switchable SD/USB stereo playback, and Bluetooth 4.1 input
  • 14x4 24-bit/96 kHz, USB 2.0 audio recording interface; record every channel plus the main mix
  • 2x2 SD recorder (record main mix); supports SD and HCSD up to 32 GB

Behringer Xenyx X1222USB Premium 16-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with USB/Audio Interface

Behringer Xenyx X1222USB Premium 16-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer with USB/Audio Interface
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020
  • Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
  • 4 state-of-the-art, phantom-powered XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
  • 4 studio-grade compressors with super-easy "one-knob" functionality and control LED for professional vocal and instrumental sound
  • Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
  • New studio-grade FX processor with 16 editable presets including reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, pitch shifter, multi-effects, Tap function and storable user parameter settings.Phantom Power : +48 V Phantom

BEHRINGER XENYX 1202FX, Black

BEHRINGER XENYX 1202FX, Black
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020
  • Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
  • 4 state-of-the-art XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
  • Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
  • Studio-grade stereo FX processor with 100 awesome presets including reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, pitch shifter and various multi-effects
  • FX send control per channel for internal FX processor and/or as external send

Mackie 402VLZ4, 4-channel Ultra Compact Mixer with High Quality Onyx Preamps

Mackie 402VLZ4, 4-channel Ultra Compact Mixer with High Quality Onyx Preamps
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020
  • Brand: Mackie
  • Product Code: 402VLZ4
  • 4-channel mixer featuring Mackie signature high-headroom/low-noise design
  • 2 boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps
  • Improved RF rejection perfect for broadcast applications

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB16x2 Performance and Recording Digital Mixer (SL-1602 USB)

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB16x2 Performance and Recording Digital Mixer (SL-1602 USB)
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020
  • 8 mono and 4 stereo channel inputs with 60 mm faders (12 faders)
  • 4 auxiliary Buses (Pre/post-fader send) and 2 internal FX Buses
  • On all channels and buses: 3-band semi-parametric EQ, compressor, limiter, downward expander
  • Stereo, 31-band Graphic EQ on the main bus
  • 18-In/16-out USB 2.0 audio interface (24-bit/44.1 kHz and 48 kHz) records all channels and main L/R mix
  • Studio One Artist DAW included
  • Studio Magic plug-in bundle included

Soundcraft GB8 32 Professional 32-Channel Mixer Console

Soundcraft GB8 32 Professional 32-Channel Mixer Console
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020
  • GB30 mic preamp
  • 4-band GB30 EQ
  • Individually switched 48V phantom power on every mono input module
  • 4 Full-feature Stereo channels
  • 8 Aux sends (all switchable between pre/post fader operation)

Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Xenyx Mic Preamps and British EQs

Behringer Xenyx 802 Premium 8-Input 2-Bus Mixer with Xenyx Mic Preamps and British EQs
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020
  • Premium ultra-low noise, high headroom analog mixer
  • 2 state-of-the-art XENYX Mic Preamps comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
  • Neo-classic "British" 3-band EQs for warm and musical sound
  • 1 post fader FX send per channel for external FX devices
  • 1 stereo aux return for FX applications or as separate stereo input

PreSonus StudioLive AR8 USB 8-Channel hybrid Performance and Recording Mixer and Accessory Bundle w/ 16GB + Cables + Fibertique Cloth

PreSonus StudioLive AR8 USB 8-Channel hybrid Performance and Recording Mixer and Accessory Bundle w/ 16GB + Cables + Fibertique Cloth
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020
  • Mix and record live shows, studio productions, band rehearsals, podcasts with 8x4 24-bit/96 kHz USB audio interface plus built-in 2x2 SD recorder
  • Features two mono and two stereo channels, each with a level control, pan, mute, PFL solo, high-pass filter, three band EQ, and a mic input with a Class A preamp and 48V phantom power
  • Unique Super Channel lets you connect four stereo analog and digital sources at once, switch between SD/USB stereo playback, and stream wirelessly with Bluetooth 4.1
  • 2 instrument inputs, 8 balanced line inputs, and 4 balanced mic inputs; Capture live-recording software and Studio One Artist DAW included
  • Handy accessories in the Photo Savings bundle include a Fibertique Cleaning Cloth and professional-quality cables

Presonus StudioLive AR16 18-Ch USB Live Sound/Recording Mixer+Mic+Shield+Cables

Presonus StudioLive AR16 18-Ch USB Live Sound/Recording Mixer+Mic+Shield+Cables
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020
  • PRESONUS Studiolive AR16 18-Ch. USB Hybrid Digital/Analog Studio Recording Mixer. Channels and Buses:. 18-channel mixer. 8 mono and 4 stereo channels, each with: 60 mm level fader, Pan, Mute, PFL solo. 1 stereo Super Channel (Ch. 17/18). 2 monitor buses with PFL solo. 1 stereo effects bus. 1 stereo effects return with: 60 mm master fader, Dedicated monitor sends, Effects bypass footswitch jack.
  • Inputs and Outputs:. 2 instrument inputs. 16 balanced line inputs. 2 unbalanced inserts. 12 balanced mic inputs with: Class A microphone preamp, Global 48V phantom power. Stereo Super Channel with: Stereo RCA inputs, 1/8-inch stereo input, Switchable SD/USB stereo playback, Bluetooth 4.1 input. L/R XLR main outputs. 2 balanced TRS monitor outputs. 1 balanced TRS effects output. L/R Control Room outputs with level control. Headphone output with level control.
  • Rockville RCM03 Pro Studio Recording Condenser Microphone Mic+Metal Shock Mount. Aluminum high quality construction. Polar Pattern: Internally Polarized Condenser Cardioid Design. Large diaphragm for smooth, natural sound and low noise. Power Requirements: 48V DC phantom power or computer sound card (can connect to the phantom power channel of your mixer or can connect to your laptop or computer). Uni-directional
  • ROCKSHIELD 3 Large Studio Mic Isolation Shield. Can be used in fixed location. Stand mountable. Provides Vocal Booth Style Recordings with Minimal Footprint. Professional Studio-Grade. Rugged Finish Makes This Easy to Transport. Tri-Pod Foot Design for Stability on Flat Surfaces. 3/8 Die-Cast Metal Threads. Mic Stand with 5/8 Adapter. The shield is made of pure high-grade steel. Number of Panels: 5 pcs.
  • Rockville RCXFM20E-B Black 20 Foot Nickel Plated Female to Male XLR Microphone Cable. XLR Connectors with Internal Strain Relief for Rugged Reliability. 100% Copper Conductors for Enhanced Signal Clarity. 90% OFC Spiral Shield for Effective EMI and RFI Rejection and Flexibility. Length: 20 Ft. Color: Black

Alto Professional ZMX862 | 6-Channel 2-Bus Mixer with 12 Inputs, 3-Band EQ per Channel & +48V Phantom Power

Alto Professional ZMX862 | 6-Channel 2-Bus Mixer with 12 Inputs, 3-Band EQ per Channel & +48V Phantom Power
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020
  • Compact mixer for live sound, mobile A/V, DJ and home studio use
  • (12) total inputs including a wide range of XLR, 1/4-inch and RCA jacks
  • RCA inputs & outputs for connectors for seamless integration of A/V gear
  • Aux sends and returns on 1/4-inch jacks for easy integration of outboard processors and more
  • Ultra-low noise discrete mic pre with Phantom power on channels 1 and 2; compatible with condenser and dynamic mics

5 Home Recording Tips for Loud Guitars

Here are some tips for managing a recording session involving extremely loud or overdriven guitars.


1. Experiment with different miking combinations. Sometimes, a single close mic with a tight response pattern like a Shure SM57 will work great, angled slightly off center to the cone of one of the amp's speakers. Often, it'll sound too...small. If that's the case, try a far microphone, possibly a large diaphragm mic, or even use a combination of both mics (you'll have to correct for phasing issues when you're mixing, but it could be worth it). You might be able to create a really cool effect with a room mic to pick up some natural reverb. After all, there's a reason the guitarist is playing loud. Find out what it is, and make sure that you capture that.


2. Use heavy compression. Loud guitars need big effects to keep them manageable in the mix, so be sure to reign in some of that excess noise with decent compression from whatever program you're using. If you've got a rack effect, that's even better. In my experience, the louder the guitar, the closer the compression ratio should be to what you'd apply to the bass in your song. Experiment for a while until you find the right level. Don't apply too many other effects. If the guitarist is particular about his volume, he's probably very particular about his effects, and even a reverb isn't necessary if you can reproduce the effect naturally through your miking choices.


3. Fade in guitars that are feeding back heavily. You can't just suddenly have them jump in, but the feedback can be distracting; use a gradual fade to get over feedback issues before and after a specific guitar part in a song.

4. Make sure the guitarist is using good equipment. For extremely serious feedback concerns, there may be nothing to do other than check that the guitarist is using new, high quality instrument cables, a decent amp, and distortion or overdrive pedals that aren't ancient and busted up. There may be no other way to get rid of the offensive feedback than replacing some of his equipment. Otherwise, that feedback is definitely going to show up in the mix--and if the guitarist retorts with, "hey, that's just my sound, man," hit the playback button and give him a taste of what his sound actually sounds like.

Do you have tips for recording loud guitars? Post them in the comments section below.

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