Analog Mixer Vs. Digital Mixer
No matter what kind of music you play, you want your sound to be the best it can be. Several factors are at play that affect your sound and tone, including your equipment and sound setup.
In a sound setup, the mixer is almost always the centerpiece because it's multifunctional. You can connect many things into your mixer, like microphones, instruments and more. Your mixer will take all of those inputs and send it elsewhere, like through a speaker.
Tons of different mixers are out there that all have unique capabilities. But, the main two types are analog and digital. Below, we'll discuss the differences between analog and digital mixing consoles, the advantages to both types and why you may choose one over the other.
Digital mixers, like their name implies, use electronic sound transmission to operate. This type is more expandable, meaning you can connect a greater number of external devices.
A big perk of a digital mixer is that you can preprogram a control ahead of time and pull it up whenever you need it. You can also program a single control to have more than one function, allowing you to have a smaller mixer with greater functionality.
Digital mixers are also much more resistant to external sounds compared to their analog counterparts. This can help give you a much cleaner sound.
Analog mixers work in the opposite way of digital mixers — this type of mixer uses analog sound transmission instead of digital sound transmission.
There are a few benefits to using an analog mixer instead of a digital one. Analog mixers are much easier to operate because they have only one function per control. With digital mixers, you can easily get confused if you can assign multiple functions to one knob or button. The more simple design is better suited for those learning how to use mixers.
Analog mixers are also less expensive than digital mixers. Even though you can often do more with a smaller digital mixer, you're paying for that perk. There can sometimes be a wide gap in pricing between digital and analog, with analog being the much more affordable option.
While both types of mixers affect your sound's tone, some people in the music industry claim that analog mixers have a purer sound. While both types will affect your sound's tone, this take is more of an opinion than a fact.
Which One Should You Pick?
If you're trying to decide whether to go with a digital or analog mixer, just know one is not necessarily better than the other. Analog and digital mixers are both very popular. Since both have their own sets of advantages, it will come down to your personal preference and how you plan on using the mixer.
If you can, find people who are willing to show you their sound setup so you can get a feel for both types in person. Doing so could give you a much better idea of whether analog or digital is the better fit for your own needs and expectations.
At Bananas at Large, we have a wide selection of Mackie digital mixers available. Browse online or visit us at one of our two locations in the San Francisco Bay Area today.