The 4 Best Multitrack USB Mixers – Recording Reviews 2019

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So why get a multitrack USB mixer? Well, mixing and recording tracks with a digital editing software program is for many a lot easier than doing it the analog way, with a board full of knobs and faders. The only problem with this approach is that you’ll still need a way to send analog signals to the DSP. Multitrack USB mixers can take the signals from microphones and instruments, convert them into a digital form, then send them to your computer via USB.

Just like all recording equipment, multitrack USB mixers can run the gamut from under a hundred bucks to well over a thousand, depending on how many channels they have and what kinds of controls they offer. We’ve picked out our favorites across price points.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best multitrack USB mixers on the market:

Mackie DL32R 32-Channel Digital Multitrack USB Mixer

Mackie has been a leader in the audio mixer world nearly since the company’s inception thirty years ago. Their goal is to make professional mixers that are both versatile and affordable while still keeping up with the cutting edge of technology in the industry—and that’s exactly what they deliver with their DL32R.

Now you might be thinking that this mixer doesn’t seem terribly affordable. If you’ve shopped for studio recording equipment before, though, you know the above quoted price is very reasonable for a 32-channel mixing board. Where the “cutting edge” part comes in is that, while the connections are analog, the mixer itself is completely digital, so you can control your signal on an iPad wirelessly from anywhere.

The DL32R (see full specs) has a USB 2.0 interface that can be used either to send your signal to a Mac or PC for editing, or to record straight to a USB drive. The digital signal processor has a 4-band parametric EQ, a high-pass filter, a noise gate, and compression controls—in short, all of your studio needs. If you need a lot of channels and don’t want to be chained to the mixing board, this is definitely the best multitrack USB mixer around.

Mackie DL32R – Using the DL32r as a audio interface for a computer

Soundcraft Ui24R 24-channel USB Multitrack Mixer

If you like the idea of the Mackie above but don’t need something quite that extensive, the Ui24R from Soundcraft gives you the same basic functionality in a more compact 24-channel version. The 24 inputs are broken down into 2 line inputs, 10 XLR connections, and 10 ¼”/XLR combo inputs, with two digital playback channels to round it out.

You’ll get more from this mixer (see full specs) than just the physical inputs, too. It may have the most extensive array of on-board tone shaping tools of all the mixers on this list, including an assortment of different reverb effects and a feedback suppression function. As an added bonus it can also send the signal via wi-fi, letting you control the mix on as many as 10 different devices. If you’re looking for maximum versatility and value, this is your mixer.

Introducing The New Soundcraft Ui24R

Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Multitrack USB Mixer

Even when you have the option of a DAW to do your mixing, sometimes you just want that tactile feel of the knobs and faders on a physical mixer. The LiveTrak L-12 from Zoom lets you have it both ways, with a full array of independent on-board tone shaping controls and USB connectivity.

This is a 12-channel mixer, as you probably assumed from the name. These are broken down into 8 mono and 2 stereo channels, with full XLR or ¼” connectivity. We also love this mixer for live performance since it comes with five headphone outs, each of which can be sent its own custom mix of channels.

Most people want a mixer for recording, and the LiveTrak can do that, too. It not only has a USB audio interface but can also simultaneously record to an SD card. The 16 on-board effects are just the icing on the cake that makes this a truly all-in-one mixing dream.

Introducing the LiveTrak L-12

Phenyx Pro PTX-10 USB Multitrack Mixer

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a multitrack USB mixer. If you only need a couple of channels, the Phenyx Pro gives you four fully-independent input channels with on-board tone shaping and a recording interface for a song.

The PTX-10 is designed for mixing and recording small groups. It includes inputs for high-impedance instruments like electric guitar, as well as an XLR input with phantom power for a vocal mic and standard ¼”, 6.5mm, and 3.5mm input jacks. There’s an on-board delay effect along with 3-band EQ, mute, and level controls for each channel. The color-coded knobs make it easy to learn the controls, even if you’re relatively new to mixing.

The portability of this mixer is maybe its best feature, though. It’s compact enough you can take it on the road, letting you mix and record anywhere with ease. This combination of value and convenience makes it perfect for singer/songwriters, string trios, and hobbyists—anyone who needs full functionality but not a lot of channels. With these limitations in mind, you can still safely say this is one of the best multitrack USB mixers for the money.

Phenyx Pro PTX 10 Mixer Review

So Which Multitrack USB Mixer One Should I Buy?

You’ll probably notice a trend looking at the multitrack USB mixers on this list: as the number of channels goes up, generally so does the price tag (though there are price fluctuations). More than the tone-shaping options or recording formats, the number and diversity of the inputs and channels is going to determine how much you pay. If you’re looking for the best value, a good rule of thumb is to buy the smallest mixer you can find that gives you the number of inputs that you need.

Beyond that, the biggest divide between mixer models is going to be whether it gives you the option of physical mixer controls or sends the signal exclusively to a digital mixing platform. This doesn’t have as much of an impact on the price as the number of channels but is of vital importance from a user perspective. A more streamlined mixing board is going to be more portable, which is a definite advantage for live applications, but if you prefer the feel of the knobs and faders in your fingers, a digital mixer is no substitute.

As you can see, there are a lot of different options when it comes to the best multitrack USB mixers. Hopefully this article has helped you decide exactly what you’re looking for! Good luck!

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