Best Small Mixer for Live Performances (2019)

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Finding the small mixer for live performances can be difficult because there are so many good choices you can go with.

We are reviewing 5 of what we think are the top small mixers to help you get started in your choice. 


Best Small Mixers For Live Performances: Reviews

1. Mackie ProFXv2 Mixer

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Mackie ProFXv2, 8 A-B Box, 8-channel (PROFX8V2)
  • 4 low-noise Mackie Vita mic preamps add life to any input
  • ReadyFX effects engine with 16 effects including reverbs, delays, and choruses

This Mackie mixer is small, portable, and fairly affordable, with lots of features and high-quality sound, which should be more than good enough for live shows.

Review

The Mackie ProFXv2 Mixer features 8 separate channels, so you can connect a whole lot of audio equipment at once, more than enough for a few performers or a band to work simultaneously. The ReadyFX system provides you with 16 different effects for some great versatility.

It also comes with a 7-band EQ for tuning monitors or mains. It comes with AUX inputs, inputs for venue 70 volt systems, and more. It does not consume much power, it’s very easy to set up, is fairly affordable, portable, and it comes with a ton of effects and input options.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Allows you to connect many sources at once
  • Great range of effects
  • Small and portable
  • Moderately priced

Cons

No USB interface for recording (as advertised)

Best For

If you need to connect a lot of audio equipment to a single mixer, and don’t want to spend too much, the Mackie ProFXv2 Mixer is a good option.

2. Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Hybrid Compact Mixer

Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Hybrid Compact Mixer/4x4 USB Interface with FX
  • 4 in/4 out USB audio interface (24-bit/96kHz)
  • Cubase LE software included; Cubasis LE app included

Here we have a slightly more expensive option that is very durable, has a number of inputs and outputs, and lots of effects too.

Review

Something that is very convenient about the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Hybrid Compact Mixer is that it is so small and portable. It’s very lightweight, easy to transport, and can be set up virtually anywhere.

It comes complete with 2 guitar DI high impedance outputs, 2 stereo inputs with TRS jack sockets, 4 mic/line inputs with separate XLR and TRs jack sockets, and it even comes with a 4 in/4 out USB interface. 

In terms of versatility, which also goes for the wide range of special effects, it’s one of the better available small mixers. Overall, we think that the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX Hybrid Compact Mixer is a high-quality option, maybe not the best, but it definitely holds its own.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • High level of durability
  • Lots of effects
  • Very compact and portable
  • Produces high-quality audio

Cons

Some channels may have a hissing noise

Best For

If you want a mixer that is really small and compact, but still has all of the features you would need for a small performance, then this is a good way to go.

3. Yamaha EMX5014C 14-Input Powered Mixer

Yamaha EMX5014C 14-Input Powered Mixer
  • 12 inputs: 8 mono and 4 stereo
  • 6 inputs have built-in compression

This is a much larger, much more expensive, and much more versatile mixer for you.

Review

The Yamaha EMX5014C 14-Input Powered Mixer has 14 inputs, which is a lot; even if you have a 5-person band complete with instruments and mics, you should have more than enough inputs to work with.

Keep in mind that 6 of the inputs have built in compression. It features a rugged console-style design that is made with high-quality and very durable materials. 

The dual 500-watt power amplifiers make a big difference in terms of sound quality. The bottom line is that the Yamaha EMX5014C 14-Input Powered Mixer is expensive, but has literally everything you need for a great live performance.

Pros

  • Can handle a full band setup
  • Extremely versatile
  • Tons of effects
  • Super durable
  • Still quite portable

Cons

Very expensive

Best For

If you need a professional and large setup for a full scale live performance, and have some extra cash to spend, the Yamaha EMX5014C 14-Input Powered Mixer is probably great for you.

4. PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI Active Integration Digital Mixer

PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI Active Integration Digital Mixer
  • 24 channels with Class A XMAX mic preamps, line inputs, analog inserts, and direct outputs for flexible connectivity
  • Dual Fat Channel signal processing on all 24 input channels and all buses, with 4-band parametric EQ, compressor, gate with sidechainable Key Filter, limiter with variable threshold, and more—all with A/B comparison

This PreSonus StudioLive mixer is not exactly small, but with its large size also comes unrivalled functionality, much better than that of any of the other options we have reviewed.

Review

The PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI Active Integration Digital Mixer may be expensive, but it is a real studio-quality option. It has a total of 24 channels, which means that it has more than enough channels for pretty much any live show you could ever hope to perform. 

It has more features than we care to list here today, but what you can be sure of is that the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI Active Integration Digital Mixer has more inputs and outputs, more effects, a higher level of durability, and better sound quality than anything else we have looked at today.

That said, it’s expensive and definitely not the most portable option around. 

Pros

  • Extremely versatile
  • Many effects
  • Tons of inputs
  • Superior sound quality

Cons

  • Large and bulky
  • Super expensive

Best For

The PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI Active Integration Digital Mixer is best for large-scale performances, for people who need something super high-quality and versatile, and for people who have the money to spend on high-grade audio equipment. 

5. Mackie 1604VLZ4 16-Channel Compact 4-Bus Mixer

Mackie 1604VLZ4 16-Channel Compact 4-Bus Mixer
  • 16-channel mixer featuring Mackie signature high-headroom/low-noise design
  • 16 boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps

This particular mixer is another one that is ideal for small-, medium-, and large-scale performances.

Review

This mixer comes with a total of 16 channels, so you have more than enough connections to work with, even for a full band, guitars, mics, and all. As advertised, it truly is built like a tank, and although it’s a bit big and heavy, it’s one of the more durable and long-lasting options out there.

In terms of effects, customization, and everything in between, for the price, you really cannot expect any more out of it. What we definitely appreciate is the high-quality sound which it can produce. 

Pros

  • Awesome audio quality
  • Wide array of effects
  • More than enough inputs
  • Great quality for the price

Cons

May be a bit pricey for you

Best For

The Mackie 1604VLZ4 16-Channel Compact 4-Bus Mixer is best for anybody looking for really high-quality audio and for anybody who needs to be able to connect a lot of equipment to a single mixer. 


Conclusion

As you can see, what it all comes down to here is the number of effects and channels which you need.

Once you figure that out, and what your budget is, you are then one step closer to choosing the best small mixer for live performances for your needs. 

About the author

Glen

My name is Glen. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. I love reviewing audio equipment and solving audio related problems.