The 4 Best Synth Mixers – Reviews 2019

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Why get a synth mixer? After all, people who record as a hobby might be used to plugging their synth directly into their computer and doing any mixing right on there. Maybe you’ve tried a mixer with synthesizers before and found the sound lacking compared to getting it directly from the source.

The truth is, not every mixer is going to be able to handle the range of frequencies, variety of sounds, and multitude of voices you can play on a synthesizer. If you use the right mixer, it can be incredibly helpful, especially if you’re playing synth with a rock band or other ensemble. Some synth players even like using them live, not just in the studio, to make sure their best sound makes it to the speakers. Whether it’s bound mostly for the studio or the stage, we’ve got something here that’ll be right for you.

Here are our recommendations for the 4 best synth mixers on the market:

Behringer Xenyx X1204USB Premium 12-input Mixer

When you want a piece of high-quality sound equipment at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with Behringer. Consistency and value are their hallmarks, and their Xenyx line of mixers is a key example of this. There are a lot of models in the Xenyx line, but the X1204USB is our favorite for synthesizers because it’s the best 12-input mixer you’ll find for this price.

The studio-level compression on the Xenyx is perfect for lead synth players. The effects processor is pretty advanced, with 16 presets including classic effects like delay and reverb. The EQ is equally classic, giving you standard 3-band control and adds a lovely warmth to the tone.

The sound quality is high here, too. The preamps are superior to what you’d find elsewhere in the price range, using the same advanced technology as the company’s more expensive models. Xenyx mixers offer a huge dynamic range and are impressively transparent, enhancing your tone without limiting it just like a mixer should. As a synth player, you’ll love what it does for your sound, both live and in the studio.

XENYX 1204USB Premium 12-Input 2/2-Bus Mixer

Allen & Heath ZED-12FX Mixer

Allen & Heath makes some of the best mixers you’ll find period, regardless of what kind of instrument you’re working with. When it comes to synthesizers, the ZED-12FX gives you an exceptional sound quality thanks to the DuoPre pre-amps, which give you a massive range of gain and a ton of control over your signal.

The EQ on this mixer uses Allen & Heath’s MusiQ system (see full specs), which is designed to optimize the equalization for individual instruments. This customization is ideal for synth players, letting you easily tailor the balance and tone to your role in the ensemble. It also includes 16 on-board effects that a lot of players will find helpful, minimizing the other gear you have to carry around.

At just over 20 pounds, this is a fairly lightweight option, too—at least light enough you can take it with you to gigs. Sound engineers will be just as happy about the compact size since it won’t take up much space on your desk. If you want the right synth mixer out there, the Allen & Heath ZED-12FX is worth the investment.

Soundcraft Signature 12MTK Multi-Track Mixer

If you’re looking for the synth mixer with the best preamps, the Soundcraft Signature 12MTK is a definite contender. The Soundcraft Ghost preamps are famous for low noise and powerful sound. Combined with the Sapphyre British-style sweepable EQ, it has everything you need to make your tone really sing.

The learning curve is a bit steep on this mixer (see full specs). It’s not the easiest model to set up. If you’ve never worked with recording equipment before, this might not be the best place to start. Once you’re up and running, though, the controls are intuitive and comprehensive.

The Soundcraft 12MTK is designed for a recording studio, but it’s still fairly lightweight. The Lexicon engine powering the on-board effects is good enough you might prefer the sound sometimes to your instrument’s effects. While it’s probably outside of a hobbyist’s budget, professional keyboardists and sound engineers will be impressed by its performance. With that caveat aside, this remains one of the best synth mixers for the money.

Soundcraft Signature MTK Series – Key Features

Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Effects Mixer

  • Mackie Mix Series Mix12FX 12-Channel Effects Mixer
  • Price: $129.00
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  • Price as of 09/18/2019 06:08 PDT
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Looking at more budget-friendly options led us to the Mackie Mix12FX. It’s an affordable mixer that doesn’t sound or feel cheap, with secure knobs and a lightweight but sturdy build. The streamlined interface is accessible for beginners and hobbyists, while the compact design is great for gigging musicians who don’t want to risk costly recording equipment on the road.

The features of the Mix12FX are pretty straightforward. You’ll get a 3-band EQ, low-pass filter, and on-board effects including chorus and delay. It has a decent headroom, although you will get some distortion at extreme dynamic levels. Still, the sound quality overall is impressive, especially considering the cost.

There are little things lacking in the Mackie Mix12FX that limit its versatility slightly. Most of these don’t affect synth players directly, but you’ll want to investigate further if you plan to use the mixer for an entire band. Minor issues aside, the Mix12FX has all the features you need to mix synthesizer lines, at a price to fit any budget.

The Mackie Mix Series – Overview

Buying the Best Synth Mixer: Things to Consider

When you’re shopping for effects pedals or amps, your chosen genre and musical style are the most important considerations. With recording equipment, though, it’s more about balance. The main factors will be your role in the ensemble and the frequencies you want to boost or cut to fit perfectly into the mix.

If you’re primarily a lead player, your lines will usually be higher than the rest of the ensemble, and you typically won’t want the lower frequencies muddying up the sound. You’ll be mostly using the high-pass and low-pass filters, along with a touch of EQ, to bring your lines to the front of the ensemble.

Synthesizers often take on more of a supporting role in the ensemble, however, and mixing those lines can be trickier. If the synth is more of a chordal or rhythmic instrument, you’ll want a solid EQ to boost the mid-range, taking care that the higher frequencies don’t overwhelm the lead lines. Atmospheric synths also take a subtle hand to make sure they’re present without taking over.

Keep in mind you’ll probably be using this mixer for more than just synthesizers. Think about how it will work with the other members of the band, especially if it includes vocalists and percussionists. Get a clear picture in your mind of exactly what you want to do and the choice of the best synth mixer will likely jump right out at you.

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