Tips on buying a mixer for home recording

The digital audio data inside your computer would be converted first to analog by the audio interface then it would be playback to your audio mixing console. The audio mixing engineer can then mix the analog audio signals using the console and apply important analog effects such as EQ, compression and reverb.

Finally the final mix would either be bounced back to hard drive or in a DAT.

If you are using a mixer to do out of the box mixing, make sure it has adequate input channels and the mixing console has a good sound for audio mixing. OF course, this is not a small mixer. You need a large mixing console to do this (some could be very expensive like the Neve consoles).

3.) Buy in the city’s best recording shop for gears. You can also shop and buy in eBay, sweet water and other reputable stores.

4.) Quality is more important the price itself but not too much. I mean if you can afford and you get the quality you want, then go for it. Just do not exceed on buying the most expensive ones but the quality level is just the same.

5.) Check for the number of inputs, Xenyx 502 got 5 inputs (mono), and it is enough for me. The higher the number of inputs the better, but buy only something you need. If you buy many inputs but you use only one most your time. It is wasted.

Mixing out of the box or tracking with a mixing console definitely requires a high number of inputs (16-channels or even more).

6.) Check for warranty.Make sure your product is protected by warranty in case of early damage.

7.) Check for wide applicability and versatility. This means, at the same I can use my mixer to:
a. Record sound
b. Record sound while I can monitor using a lot of headphones.
c. Can shift to headphone or to the loud monitor (there is a switch)
d. Has clipped detector
e. Has trim function ( gain, very important in recording if you are not using a direct box)
f. Stereo main output

This implies that if you are planning to use your mixer for a wide variety of applications, it make sense to buy a fully featured or big mixing console.

8. You should fully understand the manual first before buying anything, to measure its applicability.

Illustration: Best Mixer/Firewire for Adobe Audition- Yamaha 01X or Mackie Onyx 1620

Someone ask me this question:

As a fan of your website, I learn a lot from reading; I want to buy a mixer with firewire to use with Adobe Audition.
My choice is to these two: Yamaha’s 01X and Mackie Onyx 1620.
Can you advise me what I do best to use…Thanks in advance,

My Reply:

First, I am not a user of either of the two nor have any experiences working with them. So use this information at your own risk. The only way I can help you is to supply the facts regarding what would be the best mixer with Firewire interface for Adobe Audition based on the two above choices. OK let’s assess based on the following factors:

1.) Known compatibility with Adobe Audition
2.) Price
3.) Citations from Audio Professional Websites

Yamaha 01x:

Yamaha 01x

Yamaha 01x

Image Credits: Yamaha USA

Mackie Onyx 1620:

Mackie Onyx 1620

Mackie Onyx 1620

Image credits: Sound on Sound

First Factor: Known Compatibility with Adobe Audition

Data with sources

Yamaha’s 01X:
Mackie Onyx 1620:

Results: Browsing through the results, there are only a few users that successfully confirmed Yamaha 01x working well with Adobe Audition. One particular result such as this reported as having successfully integrate Yamaha 01x with Adobe Audition 3 with no real problems. Although the user pointed out that Adobe Audition recognizes that mixer as “Mackie”. However, you can see a lot of successful users of Mackie Onyx 1620 using along with Adobe Audition.

This link also shows another user that successfully integrates the Mackie Mixer with Adobe Audition.

Conclusion: With so many users reporting successful integration of Mackie Onyx 1620 mixer with Adobe Audition- Mackie Onyx 1620 mixer wins the compatibility factor.

Second Factor: Price

The average price of Yamaha’s 01X is around $1000 as I’ve seen on this search result. But on this search result, it looks like this product has already been discontinued. These are also confirmed in these pages as well:

Yamaha 01X mLAN music production studio
FireWire Mixers

And even the official Yamaha page. This makes it hard to purchase this product. I cannot even see it in Amazon and eBay as well as in the Musician friend search page for Yamaha. However for Mackie Onyx 1620i Firewire recording mixer, you can buy it at $821.66 for new and around $550 dollars for used product.

Conclusion: Mackie Onyx 1620i wins in terms of price and availability.

Third Factor: Citations from Audio Professional Websites

Yamaha 01X

Data are estimates, values can change in time.

Sound on Sound = 3360 results
Home Recording = 137 results
GearSlutz = 246 results
Recording org = 34 results

Total: 3777

Mackie Onyx 1620

Sound on Sound = 2,380 results
Home Recording = 430 results
Gearslutz = 1750 results
Recording org = 82 results

Total: 4642

Conclusion: Mackie Onyx 1620 does have a lot of citations which means it has a lot of users in the audio recording community compared to Yamaha 01X. This makes it possible for you to easily find a support whether it will be in the forum or any audio forum websites.

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Based on the above examination of available data, I can recommend that Mackie Onyx 1620 is a much suitable mixer with firewire support for Adobe Audition. You can buy Mackie Onyx 1620 at Amazon

Note before you buy: You need to read the specs and manual thoroughly and carefully, as it offers useful information whether the number of channels are right for you, or if those softwares included and outputs are compatible with your operating system. It also gives you a glimpse whether the mixer is actually the right one for your recording environment aside from those 3 factors evaluated previously. You can read the specs of Mackie Onyx 1620 here.

Content last updated on October 12, 2012

  • Emerson Maningo

    You are welcome!

  • Marcin Ordon

    Thanks for Tips 🙂

  • Emerson Maningo

    It really depends on your budget, the type of your PC (whether you have USB or Firewire slots), your operating system as well as your usage. I recommend you read the following tutorials very carefully as it helps you select the proper audio interface for your home recording studio:

    About the Behringer mixer with audio interface, I cannot tell whether its suitable for you. I suggest you will read the manuals and examine its features whether that suits your application. Of course, if you want to have a mixer and a audio interface together probably because you need to use a mixer for live sound applications, it make sense to have that one.

    But if you are strictly recording and monitoring music from your computer, this may not be necessary and you might want a pure audio interface. As I’ve said, it really depends on how you are going to use them. Good luck!

  • rodney amaobi

    Hi, I’m wondering on which audio interface to buy and a friend told me about me the Behringer mixer with inbuilt audio interface. Please I would want u to suggest for me if this would be good and stand the the test of time. Thanks

  • Emerson Maningo

    Hi John,
    Yes of course, without a mixer you should be using an external audio interface (USB or Firewire) with a high number of preamp inputs. For example, if you are recording using a Saffire Pro 40 audio interface that has around 8 inputs. You can realistically connect 8 microphones maximum to your audio interface inputs.
    Some engineers find 8 microphones to be too much, and even some engineers in home recording studio are doing the drum recordings using only 3 to 5 microphones.
    So if you find Saffire Pro 40 to be expensive you can look for a lesser priced audio interface with a maximum of 4 preamp inputs.
    Good luck!


  • John

    HEY without mixer. Is it possible to record drums? PLEASE ANSWER 🙂

  • Emerson Maningo

    Hi Justin,
    I just answer your inquiry here:
    I hope my answer will be helpful.


  • Justin Tammelin

    hey man, im trying to make a cheap home recording set up in my room. i am 14 and in middle school, but i am a very talented singer and lyric writer. i just want to know what i’ll need to be able to make some hits. could you please help me?

  • Emerson Maningo

    Hi Cruiser,
    Actually I am using ATP3 Altec Lansing. Really works well if you are mixing in a small tight room. The price is pretty affordable and quality of the sound is superb.

  • Cruiser

    hi there, i was looking for good speakers to go with my Xenyx 502 and I came across your site. As I am extremely low on budget, I was looking for speakers with independent inputs (since you have a 502 u should know what I mean) but in vain. May I know what you use for your speakers?

    I love the 502 by the way, totally value for money. I rigged it as a karaoke machine for now =D

  • Emerson Maningo

    Yeah ok thanks for the comment!

  • R.Kumaran

    Hey bro, I’m doing my home recording . I have Yamaha 16 channel mixer. For a good recording , try to get interfaces like Presonus fire box or Fire Pod. I can get you these things for a good price. Using these interfaces you can do a multi track recording. Which allows you to record 4 or 8 tracks separately in the same time. Later you can edit and do mixing. You can get a studio quality recording.