Audio mixers aren’t just a must-have for musicians.
If you’re breaking into the world of streaming, you’ll need a good audio mixer by your side to help mix, balance, and combine different audio sources.
This is especially true if you’re using more than one mic or you’re broadcasting gameplay or other sources of audio.
If you’re starting to explore your options, we’re here to throw one quality recommendation into your list: the Yamaha AG03.
Yamaha is celebrated for its nifty selection of instruments, and the AG03 mixing console is fast becoming another popular choice.
We put the Yamaha AG03 to the test, and now, we’re ready to give you our thoughts.
Here’s our honest review of the Yamaha AG03 and whether we think it’s worth the investment.
What Is The Yamaha AG03 3-Channel Mixer?
The Yamaha AG03 is part of the AG mixer series.
This compact 3-channel mixing console is a versatile, multipurpose, high-res mixer that’s favored by gamers, podcasters, webcasters, and even mobile musicians!
The AG03 supports most dynamic mics, it can be connected to condenser mics, and it has an impressive range of features, which we’ll explore in depth a little later on.
As part of the AG mixer series, the AG03 goes head-to-head on the market with the AG06. So, what’s the difference between the two?
AG03 Vs. AG06
The AG03 and AG06 are both dynamic, compact mixers, and they offer the same basic features.
The main difference between these mixers is alluded to in their names.
The Yamaha AG03 is a three-channel mixer, and the AG06 is, you guessed it, a six-channel mixer.
The AG06 also has an extra ¼”-XLR-combo input for a guitar or a microphone and an extra RCA input.
This extra combo also comes with a few extra options, such as compression, EQ, and reverb options, thanks to its built-in amp simulator.
All in all, the differences between these two mixers aren’t all that groundbreaking.
The AG03 is a slightly more compact model, but it still packs a real punch. Let’s take a closer look at the key features of the AG03, and see if it’s a good fit for you.
AG03 Key Features
This hybrid mixing console is a powerful, all-purpose tool for gamers, music producers, vloggers, and more.
Here are some of the standout features that make the AG03 such a popular choice.
1-Touch DSP Tech
With the 1-Touch DSP Comp/EQ processor, you can guarantee a clean sound with every mix.
With the AG03 1-touch effects, you can create your own unique sounds with artificial reverb and edit the individual parameters of your sound with the DSP modules.
The AG03 will even let you choose between ‘easy’ and ‘expert’ modes so you can find a mode to suit your skills.
The DSP controller is also compatible with Windows and Mac, making it a versatile choice for most mixers.
Different Connections And Controls
The AG03 has plenty of different controls and connections that you can use to mix, stream, or listen.
You can input with phantom or headset input, and you can use professional mics or even computer headsets – this is what makes the AG03 popular for gamers and streamers.
You’ll also have two volume controls to choose from, plus a 60mm volume fader so you can balance background music, your voice, and other signals to find the perfect audio quality.
Loopback Function/D-PRE Mic Preamp
With this feature, you can store or mix all of your instruments, mics, and other signals into live broadcasts and performances with the Loopback function.
The microphone preamps in the AG03 can capture even the faintest noises and details of your source, such as your voice or instrument, giving you crystal clear quality every time.
Cubase AI Workstation
When you purchase the AG03, you’ll get the Cubase AI Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) included.
This is a powerful production tool that will allow you to use the AG03 to create high-quality recordings in just a few clicks.
Compatible With iPad
The AG03 works with iPads 2nd Gen or later.
This means that you can connect your iPad to your AG03 and use apps such as Cubasis to create quality recordings and play back your audio.
High Res Recording And Playback
Thanks to the AG03’s high-quality design, you can record and playback in 192kHz/24bit sound.
If you pair up with the ASIO playback software (compatible with the AG), you can bypass the internal mixer and reproduce the original audio.
This high-quality audio capture is ideal for reproducing older recordings and capturing new ones in great detail.
Here are a few other important things to note about the AG03:
- Can be USB or battery-powered
- Tough metal body that’s durable and portable
- Weighs 800g
- 2.5 Watts
- 5 inches wide by 7 inches long
The AG03: What We Loved?
When we put the AG03 to the test, there were a few notable features that we loved. The AG03 is portable, fun, and high-quality.
It’s ideal for transporting on the go, so if you want a mixer and a digital audio interface in a super-small package, this is the way to go.
We loved how solid AG03 felt – straight out of the box, you can tell this is a dynamic, robust piece of equipment that’s built to last – I mean, it’s not like we expected anything less from Yamaha!
Its channels are just as dynamic, and it’s easy to connect just about anything you want to the AG03, from CD players and phonographs to 8-tracks.
It’s also incredibly easy to add a bit of ‘oomph’ to your audios with Yamaha’s built-in effects, such as the built-in echo effect.
In our opinion, this effect is just-right: it’s not too intense, but it’s just enough to add another dynamic edge to your audio.
For such a little device, we found the built-in loopback to be exceptional.
With the built-in loopback, you can use your AG03 as an input AND output device, and it does an exceptional job at eliminating any feedback or delay.
This is something that can be tough to pull off, especially if you’re using your mixer as an input AND an output device, but this mixer does a great job.
Thanks to how versatile the AG03 is, you can use it with pretty much any audio software you want to.
However, if you’re wanting to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll probably end up using the Cubase AI Workstation that comes with the AG03.
Cubase is a great software, and when paired with the AG03, creating exceptional audio is a breeze.
The AG03: Is It Worth It?
You can think of the Yamaha AG03 as a whole recording studio in your backpack.
With this incredible piece of kit, you can produce high-quality audio for your broadcasts or podcasts with impressive audio every time.
You can add sound effects and background music to your podcasts or live streams, and you’ll automatically achieve a sound quality that can’t be matched by your traditional computer and headset setup.
Let’s also not forget that the ‘D-pre’ preamps installed in the AG03 have been developed by Yamaha to mimic studio-quality sounds – and they definitely do the trick.
This gives you a high-end recording experience in your hands and will allow you to create the most detailed audio tracks imaginable.
It also has a pretty simple setup, and with its two volume knobs, you can easily control your audio content and effects.
With its digital signal sensor, you can add extra focus and clarity to your recordings and add reverb, should you need it.
For such a small device, the AG03 is loaded with features, and it can be used for just about any audio need imaginable.
Although it comes with the Cubase software, you can use the AG03 with just about any recording software imaginable (on your mobile, iPad, or desktop), giving you complete control over your audio wherever you are!
It can also be powered by either USB or a battery, and thanks to its simple layout, it’s easy to control and create professional sound.
Whether you’re creating a podcast, recording a new song, gaming, or streaming, you can create great-quality audio with the AG03.
It’s portable, versatile, and great for anyone on a budget – what’s not to love?
AG03: Pros And Cons
Honestly, it’s tough to find anything not to love about the AG03.
However, to give you more insight into its capabilities, we’ve put together a short list of its pros and cons.
- Great mic pre-amp
- Can control USB input
- Loopback computer audio
- Can be used with almost any recording software
- Cubase included
- Larger footprint than some other USB interfaces
The Bottom Line
Considering the AG03? Yamaha never fails to disappoint, and once again, they’ve done a fantastic job with this model.
Whatever your audio recording needs, the AG03 is ready to get the job done and make your life easier.
We loved the AG03, and we’re confident you will too!