Whether you’re in the market for a new mixer or not, this article will outline why you might not need one. You WILL need an interface, however. (Check out our Scarlett 2i2 Gear Review here)

Spending money unnecessarily can hamper your progress!

Recording studios are a great way to get your music heard by the masses.

This may make you think of big mixing boards and wide recording equipment. Most people don’t have crazy expensive equipment in their houses or spare rooms. This is true for most people so you do not need a recording studio. We’ll take a look at what a mixing board does if this answer surprises you.

What is a studio mixer? A studio mixer, or more accurately called an audio console, controls volumes levels of different instruments as well as other aspects like reverb and echo effects during post-production editing sessions or live performances on stage from musicians to singers and speakers alike . It can also be used when creating new sounds with synthesizers when each sound

  • The first step to recording music is choosing the best equipment for your needs
  • What do you need in a studio?
  • How much does it cost to set up a small home recording studio?
  • Do you even need a mixer?

We want to look at why you might not need a mixer below.

You dont need a mixer if…

You have a pop shield and a vocal booth

If you’ve got both, then your mic is already hearing less uncontrolled noise. Add some acoustic treatment to your recording space, and there’s even less background noise to contend with.

Before you even get started with your project, you can already eliminate the need for a recording mixer.

Your audio interface controls multiple mics directly

With some audio interfaces, each microphone input comes with its own volume control. With others, multiple microphones share one fader (and several bands of EQ). With still others, multiple microphones require multi-channel strips. Most interfaces or mixers have this capability built in to the interface or mixer itself, and offer control over your vocals(s) when you’re starting out.

You mostly record yourself playing guitar

If you play various instruments simultaneously, a mixer will be helpful. But if you mostly record electric guitar and need only one microphone, then your audio interface already gives you total control over levels.

You need only one microphone

One of the key advantages of an audio interface over a stand-alone recorder is that it allows you to connect multiple microphones, as well as instruments. But with most interfaces, you can control several microphones just fine – and even adjust their levels individually – within your DAW.

You’re recording in the box (i.e., using software to record rather than physical equipment)

But if you plan on using an outboard interface with your DAW, it’s likely that your interface still has its own volume control(s). And even when recording manually, you rarely need to control the levels for each instrument or microphone individually.

You’re recording solo acoustic guitar

If you want to record yourself playing one instrument live – say, acoustic guitar – there are two ways to go about it without a mixer: 1) Plug your guitar directly into an audio interface and record the track in one pass, or 2) Use a mic preamp to get a better signal and add that to your DAW.

You’re using two microphones (and/or direct input) instead of just one

So why would you want a mixer anyway? Mixers are great for when you’re using multiple microphones and/or instruments. You can record a rock band, sure, but let’s say you want to get the vocals loud without overpowering the snare drum (?!) – that’s where a mixer comes in handy.

Your audio interface has multiple outputs

All good interfaces have more than one output. So even if you’re just working with one microphone, it’s easy to set up a send, route it out from your interface to something like a headphone output. Then you can adjust the send level while monitoring through headphones.

You know how to read a mixing console

Once upon a time, learning how to use an analog console meant memorizing dozens of buttons and knobs that controlled various effects. Today, you can learn all you need to know in an hour or two, even if you have no previous console experience.

Your DAW has built-in mixing capabilities

Most DAWs offer at least some basic mixing possibilities. Even if they’re not as intuitive and easy to use as a modern console, they’re not hard to figure out. And, if you’re just starting out, they’re a very affordable solution.

The best way to learn what anything does is to test it yourself. And this applies to mixing consoles as much as anything else. The best way to learn how a mixer works is to spend some time with the software version.

You don’t need a mixer if you can learn basic mixing without one

If you’re like most people, the first time you stepped into a real recording studio (as opposed to your own home setup), you probably said something like, “Whoa – what is all this? And where do the faders go?”

I mean, there are eight “channels” just for vocals alone. Where else can you possibly fit more tracks?

But if you can learn basic mixing with one track, or even no tracks at all, then a mixer is likely overkill.

You don’t need a mixer if you are using an analog console (including a MIDI controller)

The best way to use an analog console may be to connect it directly to your DAW. And the best way to do that is via MIDI, which can be sent from your control surface or a dedicated MIDI interface.

You don’t need a mixer if you can learn how to use it before spending money

You don’t need a mixer if you already have an amplifier and speaker set up

If your focus is on recording and not setup, but you do have a nice amp or pair of PA speakers with multiple outputs then there’s no reason to bring in another piece of gear to mix down. Most interfaces can handle the recording and playback from a single audio source.

You don’t need a mixer if you have an amp, PA speakers, and multiple input devices

If you already have all those things then I’m not sure why you’re reading this article…but just in case, keep going. If your sound is good enough to use

You don’t need a mixer if you’re using headphones

If you mostly record with headphones, then your audio interface most likely already gives you full control over all volume levels.

You can do most basic mixing without a mixer

The best way to learn how to use a mixing console is to spend some time with one. And the easiest way to find a mixer is by contacting your local music store, as well as professional studios in your area (ask around for recommendations). You might even be lucky enough to have someone you trust who has a recording setup that you can borrow some time with.

You don’t need a mixer if your audio interface comes with preamps and headphone output

If your audio interface came bundled with preamps then you may be able to skip the mixing console entirely . The best way to discover what kind of sound it produces is through direct comparison.

Plug your microphone into one of the preamps and then listen to the difference between the two. After you decide which one works best, record a short clip using both – then listen to the difference again. That way you can pick the preamp that matches not just your voice but also all your recording gear.

You don’t need a mixer if you can learn how to use it before spending money

Whether you need a mixing console really comes down to two simple questions: Does my apartment have room for an analog surface? And do I know what I’m doing when it comes to recording?

If you answered “yes” to both of these then please don’t buy a mixer before you’re ready. Start by plugging your microphone directly into the audio interface and listen to what comes out.

It’s better to make a mistake with an interface than it is with a mixing console because interfaces can be more forgiving when it comes to sound quality problems.

For instance, if you set your gain too high then all you have to do is turn it down. That’s an easy fix! But if you set your gain too high on a mixing console then the sound of the whole song will be distorted – and that could take hours to fix.

You don’t need a mixer unless you’re ready to spend some time with one.

If you already know how to use your audio interface, then there really is no need to use any other piece of equipment. You should already be able to plug in a microphone and have it record without having to worry about interference from the environment or preamps that aren’t working correctly.

You don’t need a mixer if you’re recording voice-overs for videos or YouTube content.

There are many mixers out there that provide great features at affordable prices

One type of mixer that offers recording features is a hybrid tabletop. It looks like a regular mixer, but also has built-in MIDI. Hybrid mixers are generally less expensive than a full console or computer-based digital mixing system, and offer several options for connecting to the internet or recording devices.

The five steps in learning how to use a mixer are as follows:

1) Get an idea of the basic layout of your mixing console

2) Learn about microphone types

3) Test each input to make sure it works

4) Learn how to use the volume faders

5) Adjust the effects and listen to the results.

So, you’re not convinced that your home studio needs a mixing console. But how about this: if you want to create a recording studio that looks like an artist’s professional setup, then you need something like a mixing console.


But have no fear! You don’t need an expensive mixer in order to record quality music back here where most people live! As long as you have some basic equipment (along with a little know-how) then even without all the bells and whistles, this is still possible. So go ahead: close your eyes again and picture yourself using those two things to create new sounds – but this time, put those sounds out into the world for everyone to hear!

If you’d like to read more about how to use your home studio, check out this article on the basics of recording. It could be just what you need!