Mixing desk in order to go more dawless

Hi guys,

ever since I bought my first Elektron instrument (Digitakt) I started enjoying more and more using machines than my DAW. Shortly after, I got a A4 mk2, AR, and have some other little synths laying around.

I realise that I catch myself only using the computer to record the different tracks nowadays over OB, but producing them happens entirely into the electron boxes.

So I have been thinking to go dawless as much as I can - hence this post.

I need a recommendation for a good mixing desk - something that would allow me to input all individual outs of A4, AR, the DT stereo out, and some room for some more mono synths.

It doesnt have to be one with an integrated recorder, i can still record the final mix in Ableton, but if it does have the functionality - it doesnt hurt.

I dont want to spend an awful amount of money, but I hope there are some good options at a max of 800 - 900 €?

I have had my eye on the Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK & Tascam Model 24. Any other suggestiosn are appreciated :slight_smile:


Have a look here, i have one my self and it can record your jams.

I’ve used several mid-to-low budget mixers, and I currently like the Mackie 1202 VLZ4.

It doesn’t convert to digital, but it has several advantages over other mixers I’ve tried:

  • lots of stereo line inputs. Good for Elektron gear.
  • lots of outputs. Two aux sends, an ALT 3+4, control room out, at least three main outs, and inserts on the four mono channels.
  • two stereo effects returns.
  • very, very flexible routing.

Before this I used a K-Mix, but I didn’t like the touch faders, and the i/o is just too quiet, digital and audio.

Your choices were also o my shortlist, but in the end I went for the Mackie, because nothing else seems to have as many stereo inputs, or flexible outs.

thanks for the suggestion Finns, but I am more looking for a hands-on analog kind of thing. Enough menu-diving on the elektron machines for me :slight_smile:

@Mistercharlie: I hear you, thats why i want a mixer with 16+ channels (ideally 22 - 24 channels) coz i want hands on control on each individual out.

I have looked at bigger Mackie models as well - https://www.thomann.de/de/mackie_profx22v3.htm for example. But the advantage of the Soundcraft & Tascam is the audio interface, which can output each channel to a DAW if that would be needed (however, pre-fader which is frustrating)

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id look at older a&h (mixwizard / gls etc) or older soundcraft stuff since they are cheap / flexible and mostly have direct outs which most of the new ones dont

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The lack of a USB interface is the Mackie’s biggest downside. If you don’t mind a lack of stereo inputs, Zoom’s Livetrak’s look good. They have lots of sends, in the form of headphone outputs, and can record to an SD card, as well as to the computer. I would have gotten one of these, but for the lack of stereo ins.

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Same concerns as you, plus it is digital. I want hardware, so that i can push those gains :slight_smile:

I think I am gonna go with the Tascam.

Looking at these 2 as well…
Though it appears the Tascam is NOT bug free…

I had MTK and the pres are not overdriving nicely. There is a treshold above which it crackles in pretty bad way.
On the other hand cheap EPM mixer overdrives nicely (almost like old mackies).

You can find these going cheaper sometime with less channels and they are head and shoulders above new soundcrafts and tascams:


@macinski thanks for the suggestion, I will keep it in mind if I dont like what I bought!

in the meantime I ordered the Tascam Model 24 - I have 30days return policy, so I will make sure to test it extensively and will post feedback @vasidudu . Hope I like it and I do not have to return it!

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it’s pre-fader because the intention is to capture every individual channel and pipe it to your DAW. then you pipe it back and mix down on the desk, recording the stereo result into the DAW. there may be other ways to work with it though, if that’s not what you’re after.


I think much of the advantage of going with the higher-end desks are the quality of (mic) preamps, which may be overkill for us strictly line level electronic musicians. Maybe the routing options too.
People really seem to like that little SSL Six, but as for myself already having a 2i2 on hand and budget went with an A+H Zed14, as I don’t lean too heavily on a mixer for production/sound and dub to live stereo, as you say with E boxes much of the essentials done there.

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Id go with a Mackie 1202 VLZ. I personally have a A&H Z10. Not as many features as the Mackie but it sounds great, isnt too big, and I seem to manage alright with it, so not seeing the need to change it. The A&H eq’s are particularly good.

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I have an SSL SiX. It’s nice. It can be configured to do a lot, The compressors color the sound well. it’s expensive though.

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That’s a beast!

+1 for the Midas Venice.
Considering what you want your mixer to do for you, you can’t expect it to be much cheaper than any ones of your synths. I mean, if it’s just a hobby and money is tight, buy whatever tickles your fancy. But if you have pro aspirations and you are looking for that analog sound and analog workflow, those cheap Tascams and soundcrafts will become your weak link and you will be looking for an upgrade or wondering why your stuff sounded better before you had the mixer.


Hi Yavor,

I’m facing the same decision, I’ve got Moog Prodigy, Rytm mk2, TD3 MO, Typhon and a Neutron, all analogue.

I’m wanting all individual outs of the AR (x8), along with six other line ins from rest of gear, to be routed to a mixer with zero menu diving, plenty effects and DAW control.

Really annoying that DAW is only looked after by Tascam 12 and not the 16 or 24.

Did you end up staying with the 24?

I’m ideally wanting a mixer that doesn’t start digitally biting into the pure analogue signal path, I’d have the 24 but lack of DAW control puts me off. I hate my Mac screen, I hate my mouse hehe!

Any help on which mixer is the purest from anyone would be appreciated, thanks. Reaaaaally wish Tascam 24 controlled DAW.

What kind of control do you want your analog mixer to have over your DAW?

I do have the APC mk2 for control, but the analogue gear sounds get choked-out and ‘neatened’ too much for me through the AI (8i8).

Thing is I’m wanting to break from the APC and go with a dedicated mixer that keeps the analogue signal pure. I can only think of getting a purely analogue mixer alongside the APC (sick of the APC though, prefer just playing synth/drums hardware), was wondering if there’s a mixer that has option of digital/analgue routing, a 16 or 24 hybrid - with decent on the fly effects…

Any of my analogue gear straight to my HS80Ms sounds so full and fat, but through the 8i8 they all sound too neat and choked out.

I basically want a Tascam 24 that controls DAW, I wonder what other mixers tick all the boxes so I can ditch the creativity sapping APC? Im proper punch drunk with searching online.

That’s because you are asking for a lot. You basically want an analog mixer with a MIDI controller integrated into its workflow. I believe SSL make something like that, but at the cost of a small house.

I think you might be mixing a few small problems into one big one:
First, it seems you don’t like the sound of your audio interface- the solution to that is not complicated, without getting into specific recommendations.

Second, you do not like the workflow of your MIDI controller and you prefer playing your hardware directly- Brilliant! ditch the damn thing and play your hardware.

Third- you fancy the sound and workflow of an analog mixer, but you want it to also control your DAW. Tough luck, you can kill two birds with one stone (sound+workflow) but you will need a second stone for that third bird (DAW control)

I would say, find the mixer you are happy with and see if the 18i8 is still a party pooper; if it is, get a better interface. In the end, you still have to record your mix digitally.
Finally, if you still need a different controller after settling in on your new workflow then look for something other than APC.