I need more input.. My first mixer

There are two general options to consider: modern analogue or digital

Modern analogue mixers with 16 to 24 channels have anlalogue channel strips, sometimes up to four sub-busses, analogue master busses, a couple of send/return channels, and multi-channel digital I/O.

Some examples would be:

  • Presonus StudioLive AR16 USB
  • Tascam Model 24
  • Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Allen & Heath, Midas, and Soundcraft deliver very good affordable digital mixers.

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My own experience is that is very handy to have a mixer that can record without the DAW.
It’s even better if it can record multitrack without the computer (as in : oh, this jam is going great, let’s hit the red button and see what happens).
Whatever, I agree with you that having a mixer that is also an interface is very comfortable.

I got the QuPac, that can be found for 800€ second hand, very good value. But I was missing the faders.
So I sent it back, sold a synth and got the Qu24. Amazing mixer, surely overkill for my needs, but at least it can do absolutely anything I need!

A thing you might want to consider is getting a patchbay: one rarely need to record more than 6 instruments at once, I guess. That’s the route I could have taken as well.
Anyway, 24 tracks is pretty convenient, it makes it possible to have extra tracks for FX sends/returns, which is very interesting considering the quality of nowadays insane boutique stompboxes.

If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives to A&H QU mixers, check out the behringer digital mixers. The X32 rack especially seems to be highly regarded in terms of bang for buck.

I have a x air 18 and, very happy with it.
Well built, compressor filter ( and of course eq ) per track.
18 in, 6 auxes, 4 outs + headphones. Recallable scenes. Works standalone. Cheap.

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One of the things to take in consideration would be the way of working with a digital mixer. I mean, you can save what allen and heath names, scenes, so for any track oneself is working on, it can be saved everything, the eq, compression etc.
My first purchase was an analog mixer and I did a really mistake, so when I wanted to start another track and then return to the other one I didn’t know how was the setup for that other track. In my opinion much better to work with a digital one.

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check this thread:

It’s all about the mixers we are talking about.

By the way, I’m not working for allen and heath, I just own a QU32 and I’m very happy with it :sunglasses:


Just my few cents on the Behringer X32 series …

I had the opportunity to talk to a live-mixing engineer, who has some X32, which he also rents out for events. He told me that the mixers indeed have good sound, but also showed some quirks after months of regular use, which he could easily repair by himself.

He told me that he would sell the X32, because they had earned their money and I asked him, if in his opinion the X32 would be something for me. But after I had told him about my gear and music, which also comprises some nice old-school analogue pieces, he said, he wouldn’t use it for it. It would be okay for small events as part of a live show, he told me, but for studio work he would recommend to check out Midas or A&H, or keep using an analogue mixer.

Well, this is only an opinion, but having invested some time myself to understand the differences between various digital mixers in the sub 2.5k price range, it seems to make much sense, what the guy said.

thanks for your thoughts. I personally have zero experience with the X32’s (I use an A&H SQ-5 myself), was just suggesting it since the mixer has also got quite a bit of positive remarks from seemingly happy users.

I know there is a quality diff - one of the reasons I bought the SQ5 - just saying that it seems to be a pretty liked option for the channel count on the low-low.

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I am on analogue and watching the digital market, looking for a small size expandable system with very good sound quality … I think that the SQ-5 would exactly be the digital mixer for me too. Haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

I like the SQ, but due to its relatively high price, I’m not sure I can recommend it over a QU-series mixer, which offer pretty much the same features, more mature OS’es and a lot more reasonable price point.

Having said that, never owned a QU series mixer either :nyan: But I’m jealous of the fully matured OSes those boards have… The SQ is still very much “in development”, although of course the bread and butter stuff is already there and works fine. The dante expansion option is what made me ultimately decide on the SQ, will be buying it eventually. I wanna get onboard this Dante bandwagon - the latencies are insane!

From the specs the basic audio processing of the SQ and Qu are playing in quite different leagues …

sample rate / bit depth / usb rate / internal recording rate

Qu: 48 kHz / 24 bit / max. 48 kHz / max. 48 kHz
SQ: 96 kHz / max 96 bit (int.) / max. 96 kHz / max. 96 kHz

This might make a difference in a recording studio.

re: covering your bases, i have only heard good things about the MTK. that being said, i don’t like the soundcraft sound, personally. I would go A&H over Soundcraft any day. just my taste.

yes, but also to bear in mind is that with the SQ, you have to use 96kHz and only 96kHz. This can be quite taxing in situations where you want to use the SQ as a multichannel audiointerface, for example, as your computer DAW session must be running @ 96k

I do admit the recordings I’ve made on the SQ sound great, but as I cannot A/B the diff vs using “just 48kHz”, its really hard to say how much the higher sampling rate actually improves things. Furthermore, even if everything is running internally @96k, none of the onboard filters or EQs allow manipulating freqs above 22kHz… which IMO is a bit of a missed opportunity. Ideally, I’d like for the EQ freqs to extend to at least 30kHz :diddly:

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I use all manner of digital desks for live sound almost everyday, some are priced at 3 digits and others at 6 digits. The law of dimishing returns works well here. The difference between a €500 and a €1000 mixer will likely be significant and clearly audible. Between a 50K and 100K less so.
It really depends on your needs. If my music was going anywhere commercially, or played at big clubs I would not mix/record on a Behringer or even an A&H, just like I don’t accept them for mixing professional gigs. I Haven’t used every single series and model of A&H, so I may be generalizing unfairly. For my own fun and posting for my mates on YouTube or SoundCloud they are more than fine. I find Yamaha the minimum level to justify moving out of the box and for pro/paid work. They are also well built and hold value if you ever want to sell.

… and oh how I wish I could hear 30K

Yamaha? As in, 01V and pals? Pretty sure the SQ is more than a match. The SQs are basically lower cost versions of the A&H dlive console tech (with slightly lower specced preamps), and dlive consoles cost something like 10-15k…

And you certainly do not need to hear 30kHz, but having the ability to filter freqs between 20k and 30k can still have its uses, especially if you have a bandwidth extending to 48kHz…

May well be, I have only used I-live and Qu from A&H. Both have better functionality and interface than their Yamaha equivalents, but the basic sound quality (pre-amps, conversion, summing) sound inferior to me. For that matter, I would only mix on an 01V in the studio if I could go digital i/o from the DAW, and I really wanted the Yamaha fx. I love working with a mixer over a mouse, but to get sound quality to equal or improve on a daw would indeed require quite an expensive mixer.

I am leaning towards the qu pack at the moment as it being compact is a big bonus.
Would it be correct to go stereo 1 and alt 1 outputs to my stereo delay and the Reverb, feed them into the two stereos in on the back? And then I could send a Snare track to them and the effects record on the two stereo tracks?

I cant tell, I use mixes for external fx, have a look into the manual in chapter 9.7 (channel routing).

I have a qu32 and it’s awesome. I had a qu16 but found a deal on a used qu32 so it was just a few hundred dollar upgrade. It’s a monster though.