A mixer for podcasting is a piece of equipment that enables podcasters to alter audio levels, add effects, and produce high-quality recordings with minimal post-production editing.
The device accepts audio input from many sources, alters it in accordance with your settings, and outputs it directly to the recording system on your Macbook, PC, or digital recorder (also see, ‘Best Podcast Recording Software‘).
Podcasters may quickly modify audio levels in some kind of tactile and practical way with mixers, but not all creators will find the tool useful; for some, it may be an extra step that isn’t worth the time or cost.
Even though it’s possible, even simple, to create excellent podcasts without the need for a mixing desk, buying one of the top podcast mixers included in this article will undoubtedly simplify the entire recording and mixing process.
Even while you may not yet have a consistent audience, you are receiving positive feedback and loving the recording, equipment, and overall process.
The fever sets in, as it so often does, and you want to obtain the greatest kit you can to make your podcast stand out (also see, ‘How To Make Your Podcast Popular‘). Naturally, there is nothing wrong with it, and there are a lot of excellent benefits to getting a podcast mixer.
Mixers complicate the entire operation despite their benefits. Wait until you’ve found a decent balance between quality and dependability. Ensure that people are listening to you and that they enjoy the information.
You realize you’re committed to the long haul at that point. Investing in a mixer and taking the effort to understand how to use it are both worthwhile.
A good mixer will serve as the focal point of any recording project, whether it be music, voice, or broadcasting, and they offer considerably more versatility than simply hooking a microphone into a computer.
If you want to record numerous sound sources at once, a good mixer that provides some physical control over the separate levels is essential.
However, if you’re unfamiliar with studio equipment, it can be difficult to figure out what to look out for when choosing a podcast mixer.
Some of the things you’ll really want to ask yourself are the number of connections you will require and what features are helpful for podcasters. (Also see, ‘Best Podcast Starter Kit‘)
We’ll go through some of the features you should keep an eye out for when purchasing a podcast mixer in this article.
We will therefore assist you in locating the best podcast mixer to fit your needs, whether you are a trained professional or an eager novice.
Why Should You Use A Podcast Mixer To Enhance Sound Quality?
When you first start podcasting, you quickly realize how many possibilities there are to find the configuration that’s right for you.
If you appreciate the audio design side of things, you might want to try out various settings to continuously improve your audio quality. Alternatively, you might take a minimalist approach to gear selection.
In either case, it is very likely that you will eventually need either an audio interface or a USB mixer.
Only when using a USB mic and either delivering your podcasts alone or having guests who are at a different location will you not necessarily require one of the two.
An audio mixer or an audio interface (see also ‘Best Audio Interface For Podcasts‘) can accomplish the same task and enable you to capture them onto different tracks if you only need one or two microphones to generate your podcast.
An audio interface could be the most economical choice if you require upwards of two mics and want to capture them all on different tracks.
Let’s first examine both mixers as well as audio interfaces to learn how they function so that we can better understand the situation and make the best decision before we go on to discuss why that’s the case.
How Do USB Audio Mixers Work and What Is a USB Audio Mixer?
A mixer’s basic job is to combine audio signals from numerous sources for output that is normally in stereo format after processing them (e.g., volume adjustment, EQ, and panning) using its input channels.
You can buy both digital and analog USB or non-USB mixers, and there are two different types of mixers: analog and digital.
A digital converter that is included in a USB mixer transfers the audio output to your computer’s USB port.
While digital and analog mixers perform the same function, the arrangement of the settings on a digitally configured mixer is frequently different from an analog counterpart.
Digital mixers do provide more versatility, but at a cost because they are often more expensive. You can typically find XLR inputs, 14″ jack inputs, and combo jacks on mixers, which can support mic, line, or instrument-level audio. (also see, “What Are XLR Interfaces‘)
Although they may appear scary, audio mixers use a lot of repetition. When you understand how each of the channels works, you have practically mastered how the entire mixer works.
How Do Audio Interfaces Work?
An audio interface could be compared to a sophisticated, top-notch exterior soundcard for a PC. They connect to computers most frequently using USB ports, however Thunderbolt connections are also available.
While some audio interfaces do offer distinct XLR and 14″ jack inputs, most have at minimum one input in the form of an XLR-1/4′′ combo.
A 48-volt phantom power button and a headphone outputs connector are also included for audio monitoring.
Regarding the topic of audio monitoring, a good user interface will provide you the option of direct or indirect monitoring.
An audio interface doesn’t have as many switches and faders as a mixer because its main function is to turn analogue input audio signals into digital signals and transfer those signals to your computer.
After that, your DAW would handle any processing.
An audio interface has a major advantage over a mixer when you want to record several inputs on different channels.
You have only a maximum of just two channels to work within your DAW because the majority of mixers only produce a stereo signal.
On the other hand, audio interfaces allow you to send every input to your DAW on a separate channel, giving you far more flexibility when it comes time to modify your podcast.
The 6 Best Podcast Mixers On The Market
#1 Rode RodeCaster Pro
It’s only fitting that Rode, one of the leading manufacturers of podcasting mics, would also provide a top-notch podcasting mixer. Because it was created expressly for the medium of podcasting, this mixer is all-in-one the best mixer for podcasters.
Four excellent mic preamps guarantee that every voice is captured clearly, and we especially enjoyed the Bluetooth capability that lets you record phone interviews straight away.
The device’s eight programmable pads also let you playback pre-recorded noises, making them ideal for including some applause.
The RodeCaster Pro is essentially an all-in-one podcast recording system designed exclusively for podcasting, in contrast to a few of the other podcast mixers on this list.
You can unwind and concentrate on capturing your act because everything is recorded at the scene and kept on an SD card. Highly suggested.
- Simple to use
- Everything you need in a single box
- Rode is a reputable company
- You might not require 4 inputs
#2 Zoom Podtrack P4
While using a dedicated recording studio (also see, ‘How To Create A Podcasting Studio‘) is often the obvious and best option for creating a podcast, there are many instances when you may need to record at several locations.
This podcast mixer is nearly ideal for these situations since it is battery-powered, has 4 XLR inputs, and also can record to a laptop through a USB-C connection or straight onto an SD card. Zoom is the current king of field recorders.
Although the audio fidelity is only 16-bit/44.1kHz, we nevertheless call it almost excellent since for the large majority of users, that should be sufficient.
Though it might not be the focal point of recording studio equipment, pro users shouldn’t discount it because it’s quite useful as a reserve or for use in other locations. Also a great price.
- Compact size
- Battery operated
- Compatible with iOS
- Audio fidelity is not professional-grade
#3 Yamaha MG10XU
Owing to its MG series, Yamaha has established a solid name in the under $£300 mixer market. Due to their dependability and transparent sound, these small, feature-rich mixers are common in rehearsal spaces all over the world.
This podcast mixer is a great option for a novice podcaster, according to our research. Ten input lines, comprising four XLR inputs, are included, along with a number of effects, including a stylish one-knob compressor that we found to be useful.
The MG10XU is a really good option, but if we were picky, we would have preferred the USB output to deliver individual tracks rather than one summed stereo mix.
- Best-in-class for the pricing range
- Speech compression works nicely
- USB audio interface only produces one stereo track
#4 Yamaha AG06
Not all recording studios are built around a laptop or PC. For those of us who favor a more mobile approach to content creation, tablets and iPads today are more than adept at recording, editing, and creating high-quality audio.
You have everything you require for mobile podcasting with the Yamaha AG06, featuring ample connectivity choices that include microphones, computers, smartphones, and anything else you can imagine.
In terms of longevity, Yamaha hardware typically outperforms its price—take a check out their Pacifica electric guitars, for instance.
As a result, we have no hesitation in recommending the AG06. This is a good small mixer for podcasting that will hone your skills, while a Bluetooth connection would have been wonderful for recording interviews and the like.
- The versatility-enhancing loopback function
- Numerous connections
- The cherry on top would have been Bluetooth
#5 Behringer Xenyx 1002B
Everyone and their dog seems to have an opinion about Behringer, and while the company occasionally harms itself with its inflammatory marketing, it’s simple to overlook what made Behringer the successful business that it is today.
Before setting out on a goal to “copy” essentially every classic synthesizer in existence, Behringer was renowned for creating affordable solutions that allowed artists on a budget to get the equipment they required.
The Xenyx is an excellent example of a line that uses this strategy. This podcast mixer is a reliable 10-channel device with everything you require (at a basic level) to get started, and the street price is probably a little north of $100.
- The cheapest method to get 10-channel mixing
- Decent build quality
- The sound quality falls short of the other options on this list
#6 Allen & Heath ZED60-10FX
This podcast mixer may be the best choice for you if you’ve gotten to the point where you’re ready to dedicate yourself to your podcast career and want to make an investment in a high-quality, well-specified mixer.
It has all the connectors, inputs, and outputs you’ll probably need, as well as some strong digital connectivity via Bluetooth and USB. When mixing audio after recording, the USB connection transforms the device into an audio system featuring eight different inputs.
Although this is at the upper end of the pricing range, the features and functionalities you get make up a really attractive package when combined with the excellent quality mic-preamps.
- High-quality build
- Enough I/O for the majority of uses
- More expensive than other options on this list
What To Consider Before Purchasing a Podcast Mixer
Now that you’ve decided to purchase a podcast mixer, the challenging part begins. The selection of mixers available is confusing, and the absurd variety of options and specifications offered for each one doesn’t help make the decision any simpler.
The issue is that audio engineers, who are quite knowledgeable about the technical aspects, are really the target audience for mixers. Because of this, websites that sell mixers prominently display their technical specifications.
As a podcaster, you should be concerned about the following four things:
1. The quantity of channels – the number of inputs you’ll employ in your system. The amount of good quality mics you can use locally is constrained by the fact that many less expensive mixers have only 1 or 2 XLR inputs, especially if they are condenser microphones that require phantom power. Purchase a product that has sufficient channels for growth.
2. FX send or Aux out – You require the FX Send or Aux Out functionality in order to put up a mix-minus arrangement. An audio output socket marked with either as well as a volume control dial with the same label on each channel should be sought out.
3. Faders or knobs as control types? – Cheaper mixers frequently have dials all over the place. For changes like Pan, EQ, and gain that don’t change frequently during a recording, knobs work nicely.
But faders might be useful for your primary volume control. A fader is just a slider as opposed to a knob. Over a knob, faders provide more precise control.
With a fader, you can control the volume of your music consistently and make sure that your recordings sound amazing. However, knobs can work just as well and often enable users to save a little money.
4. Superior inline processing functions – Additional inline features can be what you need if you wish to have controllability over your sound while minimizing post-production.
You should typically expect Equalization (or EQ), a volume control, and perhaps a lo-cut filter as a bare minimum. Additionally, certain podcasting mixers might offer choices for compression or limiter, but don’t discount it just yet.
Best Microphone For Podcasting
Don’t use a built-in microphone on your PC. Starting out with a USB microphone is the simplest option. One or more mics including an XLR output are required if you are recording many persons or if you want additional versatility.
The best mics for podcasting or broadcasting are typically dynamic ones. In general, a dynamic mic will perform a better job than a condenser microphone at catching your speech with more emotion and less background noise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Require An Audio Interface And A Mixer for A Podcast?
For your podcast, you will definitely need some type of audio interface (unless you’re employing a USB microphone). However, you can record your podcast without an audio mixer.
What Distinguishes An Audio Interface From A Mixer?
You can capture and replay sound from and onto your computer by using an audio interface, which transforms analog audio signals into digital audio signals or digital signals into analog signals. A mixer is a processing and signal-routing tool having inputs and outputs for audio signals.
How Do Podcasts Generate Revenue?
The most typical source of income for podcasters is sponsorships. When this happens, the podcast will advertise the sponsor on air. Every episode of your favorite shows certainly contains a few advertisements for them. The quantity of downloads your podcasts receive determines how much money you will receive from a sponsor.
Should I Use Mono Or Stereo When Recording My Podcast?
Even if your episodes feature music at the beginning or end, mono is OK. For the majority of podcasts, mono is a decent option because the download size is reduced and the sound quality will be on par with stereo.
Because mono only uses one channel, what you experience in your left and right ears is identical.