I think everything that we do should have a reason for it. I had my reason when I started with this website (and that is to create the best product review site my country, India, has ever seen). You will read ahead of my own very reason for the blog on this DJ mixer.
So the critical question is why a blog on the Best DJ mixer. Am I in love with it (as a matter of fact, I am, but that’s not the real reason) or I am up for some DJ mixer app or something. The answer is continuity. You after having written article from Guitars to DJ controller, I wanted to produce more of such items.
When you Google about “Best DJ mixer in India” you know, you get absolutely ZERO blogs on DJ mixer with a random blog about DJ controller (which BTW is way less information about our blog on Top 11 DJ Controllers In India | Most Detailed Review Ever, believe me, it is a must-read.)
DJ Mixing is an art form, where a DJ get two tracks and mix them. No, it is not like a sound of juicer mixer!! Remember all those DJ mixer songs, where you unconsciously started tapping your feet. Well, that is an outcome of a brilliant professional from behind.
I agree there are few DJ mixer songs which make you feel constipated, but that is not always the case. So when you mix two tracks, you effectively get a third track.
DJ-ing is about taking an already existing song and changing it in a way that is pleasing to a crowd. So, this can only be done with some very particular kind of types of equipment.
So you need two turntables with a mixer in between. This DJ mixer mixes them twist them, thereby changing them and then giving them out to speakers. One would also need headphone to be able to listen to the song playing.
Nowadays, thanks to automation, one can use the sync button, and it would do everything for you, but I guess that would take the DJ out of DJ-ing, what do you think?
What is a DJ mixer?
In terms of digital DJ-ing, it is a device which you can map to the different vital functions of your software; sometimes, they are made explicitly with receptive software programs in mind.
The core functionality of a mixer will be its cross-fade abilities you want to be able to slide in and out smoothly. You should expect 3-band EQ as a given, to decide how much low high and mid in the mix.
Modern devices can be pretty hardcore pieces of hardware; the capabilities are usually pretty diverse as the DJ mixer market has become a very competitive one.
I was looking for words, to describe this kind of DJ mixer, but there was a review I could not avoid. This is what a customer who had purchased this product, had to say about it:
“The Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK is one of those consoles that could easily become the heart of your live and recording set-up. To my mind, not only is it comprehensively equipped with usefully flexible routing, a musical EQ, really great FX and an excellent audio interface but also it is – despite its complexity – easy and intuitive to operate.”
Signature Multi-Track mixers deliver great-sounding results thanks to high-grade Ghost preamps, pristine Lexicon effects and powerful dbx dynamics. This DJ mixer is a 12 channel (with 14-in/12-out USB interface) and one of the best DJ mixer available.
Let us first start with its anatomy:
Firstly, there is no power switch on this DJ mixer. So essentially the moment you plug this in, the power straight go to the mains.
The 12MTK is a compact, desktop mixer. It has a range of features, including four-knob, three-band EQ with full midrange, three aux sends (one shared with internal FX), Hi-Z inputs and even two mic channels with limiters. All of this stuff, as well as 60 mm faders, in a compact mixer, yet there is absolutely no sense of crowding or limited room.
The channel rundown goes like this:
- Channels 1 and 2 are XLR + ¼-inch with dbx limiters switchable
- Channels 3 and 4 are XLR + ¼-inch
- Channels 5 and 6 are XLR + ¼-inch with Hi-Z inputs switchable
- Channels 7/8 and 9/10 are XLR + stereo ¼-inch
- Channels 11/12 are RCA and USB inputs (also the connection for USB multi-track multi-track) with three-knob, three-band EQ
- All channel strips except for 11/12 have low cut filters. In addition to a stereo master section, two group buses are separately assignable. These are handy for internal sub-mixes. You’d make your gain and EQ settings on the channel strips as normal, but you’d control the overall level of the drum mix with the group faders.
- It has a master line balance for output, i.e., XLR balanced outputs
- High-Performance: 12-input small format analogue mixer with onboard effects and multi-track multi-track USB recording and playback
- 14-in/12-out ultra-low latency USB playback and recording interface*
- Iconic: SoundcraftGhost mic preamps with ultra-low noise performance
- Renowned SoundcraftSapphyre British EQ with sweepable mid-bands per channel
- Lexicon Effects: Engine featuring award-winning Reverbs, Delays, Choruses and Modulations
- DbxLimiters (High-ratio Compressors) on input channels
- Switchable Hi-Z inputs for guitars, basses and other instruments
- Hi-Pass Filters (low-cut) and 48V Phantom Power on all mic channels
- Comprehensive Soundcraft GB Series audio routing with Auxes (flexible pre/post switching) and subgroups with switching and dedicated outputs
- Smooth premium-quality faders
- Robust metal construction for tour-grade build quality and reliability
- No power switch on this DJ mixer.
This is one of the best DJ Mixer available in Indian markets today.
Most mixers (including the Signature Series) offer far more than that. A variety of features allow the DJ’s to shape the mix, and use routing options to provide the additional conveniences used in audio mixing applications, such as external effects sends, stage monitoring outputs, independent headphone monitoring, and digital inputs and outputs.
- Mix Faders
Faders make it easy to see and adjust relative levels. They allow you to visualise the mix.
- Input Choice
All different microphones and instruments cater for with mic, line, and Hi-Z input types/selections, including 48V phantom power for powered (condenser/capacitor) microphones. The gain control allows you to optimise the input level in DJ mixers.
Examples include the high pass filter on input to reduce unwanted low frequencies or the three-band EQ.(Equaliser) used for tonal ‘shaping’ of the source.
- Dynamic Processing
This is audio processing that affects amplitude (volume). The Signature console includes a Limiter on selected channels, which will prevent the input signal going too high, which would in turn cause distortion.
- Output options
As well as mixing all the input (source) channel into one Master Stereo output, you can send particular channels into additional group outputs, or create several different aux (auxiliary) mixes of all channels to send to an FX (Effects) processor or stage monitor, for example. The headphone output allows the operator to listen to the whole Main Mix or a selection of channels via the Solo System.
- Solo / Monitor System
The single system allows you to listen only to particular channels or busses through the headphones output, so you can focus on a particular source without changing the mix.
Also read: Best Full Body Massage Chair In India | Most Detailed Research With Buying Guide
- Internal FX
FX (Effects) processing such as reverb, delay, chorus, phasing, and many others can be incorporated into a mixing console so that you don’t have to invest in ‘outboard’ equipment or use up valuable physical inputs and outputs.
- Digital inputs and outputs.
Digital I/O is necessary to work with digital audio systems and computer-based Digital Audio Workstations. This DJ mixer uses a USB interface for either 2-channel input/output (main or Aux 1-2 output), or for multi-track multi-track input and output (MTK versions) with the USB inputs able to individually replace the input channel source for a flexible ‘tape return’ path.
For example, the MTK functionality could use DAW plugins as insert processing on selected input channels. There are lots of ways to use this feature.
The below-mentioned diagram clearly explains to you all the essential parts in a DJ mixer.
This DJ mixer has industry-standard input and output. This represents almost all the Input/Output configuration across all the Soundcraft DJ mixer.
- AUX (Auxiliary) Output
An output bus made up of the summed Aux contributions from input channels. In other words, the AUX1 output mixes all input channel signals, with levels controlled by the AUX1 controls on the individual input channels. Auxiliary mixes are used for many purposes – alternative mixes for monitoring, processing by external FX units, and more.
A ‘Balanced’ signal (Balanced Line) is one where the signal is split between two conductors with the same impedance/impedance to ground.
At a differential input, the differences between the two conductors amplified, so any noise acquired between output and input is rejected (common-mode rejection).
- GRP (Group)
An output bus made up of the summed contributions from any inputs routed to the Group. For example, all inputs with their 1-2 buttons pressed will be added to the GRP1 and GRP2 mixes. The pan/balance control determines how the signal is proportioned between Group 1 and Group
High Impedance. Guitar pick-ups generally have
‘high impedance’ outputs and therefore require a significantly higher than usual input impedance when plugging them directly into a console (straight from the guitar plug – not via an amp or a microphone). Hi-Z Inputs provide this. On the Signature console selected inputs have Hi-Z input switches to accommodate Hi-Z sources.
This is the long, quarter-inch connection most commonly used on the signature console for
line-level inputs and outputs such as keyboards, external FX processors, playback and recording devices, and so on. All Signature-series Jack sockets are ‘Tip-Ring-Sleeve’ 3-pole types. Jack outputs are impedance balanced.
For inputs and outputs, this refers to a line-level signal. This is a higher voltage signal than ‘mic-level’.
Microphone. For inputs and outputs, this refers to a mic level input. This is a lower voltage signal than ‘line level’.
- MST (Master)
Master Stereo Output: The main stereo Group output made up of the summed contributions from any inputs routed to ‘MST’ with their ‘MST’ buttons.
The small line-level connector commonly found on consumer playback equipment. RCA inputs provide for the 15/16 (Signature 16) and 21/22 (Signature 22 / 22MTK) stereo input channels (Playback Channels).
- USB – Universal Serial Bus
Standard serial data connection used by the Signature console for sending and receiving digital audio streams.
The round, three-pin connections. On the Signature console, they are used for microphone inputs and the main stereo outputs.
No major point here!!
Let us first start with the anatomy of this DJ mixer. First of all, it got four mic preamps, all of which has 48 phantom power. It also has a high pass filter, with different gain value.
This DJ mixer has 4 XLR/TRS/TS mono inputs, 3 bands EQ and inputs 1 and 2 also have very simple and effective on knob compression.
The other six inputs are configured as three stereo pairs, three mono inputs, or in combinations thereof. They’re all 10dB unbalanced 1/4” connectors, and inputs 5/6 and 7/8 also have RCA connectors.
Inputs 9/10 can accept signal from the 1/4” connectors, or the USB input for monitoring via a button on the front panel. Shelving EQ at 100 Hz and 10 kHz is also provided.
All the inputs have an FX send to the built-in SPX digital effects processor. This DJ mixer has 24 different effects including reverb, delay, modulation, and other special effects, and routed to the internal FX return channel.
Each effect can be slightly programmed with the Parameter knob, and remember to click (press down on) the Program knob when choosing a different effect. The effects can be enabled/disabled either with a button above the return knob or by an optional footswitch.
There’s also a hardware FX send connector that bypasses the built-in effects, but you’d need to use input channels to return an external effect processor to the signal path.
There are 4 mono mic inputs, which means they can be balanced and single-ended. First two mic channels have compressors, so that makes it a lot easier to use.
The first four input does have phantom power, phantom 48 volt and can also adjust the volume of the microphone with this DJ mixer. Word of advice do not ever play with the gain with this DJ mixer; this leads to clipping like there is audible distortion.
We have effects knob for applying effects at a different level. Bass/mid/treble adjustment can also be found here, quite usual for a DJ mixer.
While you don’t have a dedicated AUX bus for monitoring, most folks do just fine by using the Monitor Out for in-ear or fold back monitors. The built-in effects are great for live performers, and the XLR or 1/4″ outputs allow for connectivity to any house sound console or sound system.
The compressors on inputs 1 and 2 do a great job of quickly adding a little dynamic control for microphones or instruments. With choices of XLR/ 1/4″ and RCA connectors, you’ll have lots of input options. Being able to bypass the effects with an optional footswitch is a nice feature, too.
There are a few things I don’t like about the MG10XU. For example, while the chassis is metal, the sides are plastic. That reduces the weight and the cost but can impede durability. I also expected a USB cable in the box but is not included.
It has 8 mono mic inputs, with another 8 line inputs, making it a total of 16 inputs. IT also has pad switches with it. Except for headphone jack, all inputs and outputs are on the rear panel of the console.
All of the connectors are metal and are mounted directly to the rear metal chassis. The mixer gets powered by a heavy-duty 18 transformer power supply with a locking ring-type connector.
It has 4 aux for effect purpose serving as output. It has got SPX multiple, giving you a wide variety of effects at your discretion.
This DJ mixer has a total of 10 microphone inputs; global phantom power is available via an illuminated switch in the master output section. Channels 1 through 8 have both mic (XLR) and line (balanced TRS 1/4-inch) inputs.
The ten mic/line inputs can provide a maximum microphone input gain of 60 dB or 34 dB of line input gain via the preamp gain knob.
The channel faders can provide up to 10 dB of additional gain. Each of the 10 mic/line inputs has an 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave high-pass filter switch just below the gain knob.
This DJ mixer has two different equalisation sections. For the eight mono mic/line channels, Yamaha opted for a three-band equaliser with fixed high and low shelves (10 kHz and 100 Hz) with a mid-band peaking filter (250 Hz -5 kHz).
The stereo input channels have a four-band fixed EQ with the same high and low shelves as the mic channels plus two peaking bands (800 Hz and 3 kHz). Some negatives that should are the lack of EQ bypass switches and direct channel output jacks. Also, the joint headphone/control room monitoring circuit is situated post-stereo bus fader, making independent control impossibility.
Let us discuss the anatomy of this DJ mixer. Starting at the extreme left side corner, you have input level volume, and then across from that, you have your output level volume.
Now, usually keeping your input level at 12’o clock gives you the same volume from your DJ mixer. For the output level, just past 12’o clock, you have the same output level as being input.
One of the customers said:
Can’t begin to express how well constructed this piece of equipment is. Quality and sturdiness radiate from it. Also having an isolator in addition to great adjustable pioneer FXs and a customise-able drum pad is immensely useful. The best feature is the touch/velocity sensitive stop switch. Makes live remixing dynamic and fun! And to be honest, makes it much more comfortable than doing the same thing digitally. It Makes creativity easy while DJ’ing.
Well, we also could not agree more. We are here going to discuss some of the unique features this DJ mixer has to offer. It has a button called quantised effect; it quantises your X pad and your parameters with the tempo selected on the screen. You can also use your auto BPM to detect or try using tap function using TAP function.
Going below the “quantise” button, you have “nudge” (don’t you dare to think otherwise.). It is the beat grid of your X pad that you have been playing. For example, if you create like a loop or a beat with your X pad, you would be able to nudge X pad up or down to get close in time with your input source.
You would find 3 knobs of effects. Namely “low”, “Mid”, “Hi” frequency parameters. These three knobs work in tandem with “Isolator”, “Cut/Add”, “trans/roll”, “Gate/Drive” buttons either as an input source or X pad.
At the extreme bottom left, you would find X pad, which at 9’O clock is an ideal setting. Just beside it, you would find the pitch controller. Right above the X pad button, you would find something which says “Bank”. This DJ controller allows you to have up to four banks of samples which you can export them to an SD card through your computer with using remix card.
Everything great done by Soundcraft is in this DJ mixer. This mixer has 12 microphone preamps with four additional stereo inputs. I know it does not have dedicated 16 microphone inputs (this is available in another model called Soundcraft Signature 22 Analog Mixer).
But if you are playing in a house, small party or something of such sorts, believe me, this would be more than enough for you.
The first four channels have a high ration of DB x limiters which is high ratio compressor units.
This DJ mixer employs Soundcraft’s Sapphyre Asymmetric EQ for perfectly equalising every vocal and instrumental element in a mix with the unmistakable, plus the GB Series audio routing technology famous in thousands of live venues worldwide.
This DJ mixer from Soundcraft includes a wide variety of built-in Lexicon studio-grade reverb, chorus, modulation and other effects and dbx limiters on the input channels. The consoles offer XLR and switchable Hi-Z inputs that enable guitars, basses and other instruments to be directly connected.
Signature Series DJ mixers are available in four frame sizes: 10-channel, 12-channel, 16-channel, and 22-channel while the Signature Series Multi-Track consoles are available in 12-channel (14-in/12-out USB interface) and 22-channel (24-in/22-out USB interface).
Some of its features are:
- High-Performance 16-input small format analogue mixers with onboard effects
- Iconic Soundcraft Ghost mic preamps with ultra-low noise performance
- Renowned Soundcraft Sapphyre British EQ with sweepable mid-bands per channel
- Lexicon Effects Engine featuring award-winning Reverbs, Delays, Choruses and Modulations.
- dbx Limiters (High-ratio Compressors) on input channels.
- 2-in/2-out USB audio playback and recording.
- Switchable Hi-Z inputs for guitars, basses and other instruments.
- Hi-Pass Filters (low-cut) and 48V Phantom Power on all mic channels.
- Comprehensive Soundcraft GB Series audio routing.
- Smooth premium-quality faders.
- Internal universal power supply.
- Robust metal construction for tour-grade build quality and reliability.
The effectiveness of this DJ Mixer can be seen in
the verdict of a customer:
PROFX12V2 is worth its weight in gold. Compact but has almost everything you need for a small live program. Six balanced XLR inputs with Phantom power. Can plugin up to 16 microphones or auxiliaries.
Tape IN/OUT. 7-band graphic equaliser. Effects.
3-band equaliser for individual channels. Break switch to mute all channels
except the Tape (instrumental in a live stage program). And most importantly,
USB in/out. It’s lightweight yet robust built.
I cannot find a single con when I consider the price I paid.
Let us talk a bit about its anatomy. At the extreme top right end, it has a button called Line/HI-Z, which is helpful when it comes to guitar playing.
The gain knob varies from -20 dB to +30 dB with neutral in the mid. It is pretty generic and just below that you have low cut, which is useful if you’ve got some background noise, humming sounds that are coming in it and is a great way to clean up if you have a noisy surrounding.
The next three knobs are all blue and are EQs. Here, you have got your High/Mid/Lows. Yellow buttons are for effects, and the grey button is for tilting left and right. So this way you can define them much more stereo sound if you are recording on it or that sort of thing.
Some of its features are:
- Be sure that the volume of the input is the same as it would be during regular use or you may have to readjust the gain in the middle of a set.
- You can listen with headphones if you carefully turn up the channel fader and headphones level a little
- 6 low-noise Mackie Vita mic preamps add life to any input, ready FX effects engine with 16 effects including reverbs, delays and choruses
- 7-band graphic EQ for tuning mains or monitors
- Aux output for monitor mixes, venue 70-volt systems and more
- 3-band EQ and 100Hz low-cut filter on all channels
The first thing to consider is what kind of a DJ the mixer you want. Mixers are configured differently for different styles; for example, if you use cutting and scratching techniques (skills mostly associated with hip-hop DJing), there are mixers designed where you can adjust the way a cross-fader is used.
Then there are club-style DJs who most likely prefer an elongated cross-fade for smooth, and often longer, mixes – ideal for mixing house and techno.
Scratch DJs is another type of DJ mixer that needs a shorter and faster cross-fade curvature; also, they might prefer a mixer that allows them to reverse the position of the cross-faders. If you are a scratch DJ, then it is also recommended you consider the positioning and layout of your mixer of choice, as occasionally certain controls can get in the way while performing scratch techniques.
If you are a laptop DJ, you naturally lean towards a mixer that would connect to your computer using a USB connection. Also, you may wish to be able to map the controls of your mixer to your DJ software of choice using MIDI, or a mixture of both. Some MIDI controllers also double as mixers, and it is possible to fully integrate an analogue and a digital set up in one unit.
If however, you are a mobile DJ, then you might want to consider the connectivity of your mixer. For example, it might be wise for a mobile DJ to have a mixer that accommodates multiple output connections because you never know from one gig to the next how the sound system in the venue you are performing in is set up. Mobile DJs also need rugged equipment that allows for as much variety of use as possible, including a mic input to address the audience.
The primary function of a DJ mixer is to allow two sources of music to be mixed or blended at the same time. The most basic mixers comprise of two channels with gain, EQ and level controls, as well as the option of sending the signal to the headphone output for cueing purposes.
The gain control is a knob that trims the volume of the signal going into the channel. It is important because no two records, CDs or digital files are mastered at the same volume: to match the input volumes, it is necessary to adjust the gain level.
Most DJ mixers would offer three bands of EQ, allowing you to get control of the low, mid and hi tones of your music. Generally, the EQ is controlled by knobs, but some mixers have small faders and others will offer additional kill switches which totally cut a frequency when implemented.
The final control in a channel is usually the level of the output control which will normally be implemented by a fader. To send the channel to the headphone monitor, use the button that is generally situated above the channel fader. To mix the two channels all you have to do is move the crossfader from one side to the other – this is the most basic way of mixing.
Some channels will allow you to connect more than one sound source, making it possible to integrate two vinyl decks and two CD players into one set up.
Some DJ mixer will feature more than two channels, thus offering the opportunity to mix together multiple sources to creative effect. For club DJs looking to extend the dynamics of their music, there are some DJ mixer in the market with built-in sound FX that can beat-synced to the source music via auto BPM detection or a tap tempo key.
If you have your own separate FX unit that you would like to incorporate into your set up then you will want a mixer that has FX send and return connections on the rear. If you don’t have an FX unit but are planning to get one, a DJ mixer with and return features will allow you to incorporate it at a later date.
You may also wish to consider the way your source music is sent through the mixer – some units will have a completely analogue signal path while others will utilise digital circuitry.
In the end, the job that needs to be done is to mix various sources of music together – technology should be harnessed creatively, not lazily, and often the best DJs are the ones who do the basics properly. And no mixer will ever help you become a great DJ – that takes practice. Knowing your DJing style and aspirations is the key to discovering which mixer is best for you.
Some of the terms used in this blog on DJ mixer is quite confusing. Therefore we have made a list of glossary which should be useful to you in future as well.
Faders control the level output of their corresponding channel. On most mixers, you can assign any of the fader channels to the crossfader as well as adjusting the fader curve.
Equalisation adjusts the frequency – and therefore the tone – of your music. DJ mixer generally has three-band EQ allowing you to attenuate high, mid or low frequencies for each input channel. Each frequency band is generally controlled by a knob, although some are implemented using faders.
The EQ attenuation range varies between different models of the DJ mixer, and some even have switchable modes to suit different mixing styles, such as isolator and filter. The typical EQ on most DJ mixers offers attenuation from -26dB to +6dB.
Gain control, also known as trim usually sits on top of the EQ controls of each channel. The gain control adjusts the channel input level of the signal so you can balance the volume of your channels before adding to the DJ mixer.
- Kill Switches:
Also known as isolators, allow you to cut high, mid and low frequencies by the flick of a switch. Similar to an EQ with a minus infinity attenuation for that specific frequency band, kill switches can be used to create interesting variations to a DJ mixer.
- Cue Buttons:
The cue buttons allow you to send the required channel signal to the headphone monitor, allowing you to beat match with the music playing through the master channel before you mix the master and cue music together. Some DJ mixers also offer pre or post-fade monitoring as well as split cue monitoring.
- Mic Input:
Mic input allows you to connect a microphone directly so you can address your audience. XLR or TRS (jack) are the standard input types.
- Effects send and return:
These allow you to ‘send’ singular or multiple signals to an external FX processor which are then ‘returned’ to either the master channel or to a specific return channel, and can then be blended with the original dry signals.
- Level meter:
Measured in dB, levels meters either display the input volume for each DJ mixer channel or the master volume output.
The master channel is where all input signals are ‘summed’ and sent out of the master output. It is controlled by the master output volume knob or fader. It usually has a balance/pan control and, on some DJ mixer, it can be switched between mono or stereo output.
- Booth monitor:
While the master volume output controls the volume of the main front of house speakers, the booth monitor is a separate output volume control that attenuates the volume of the monitor speakers used in a DJ set-up. Monitor speakers are essential for DJs to mix with as they offer a direct reference to the music playing and that which is being cued up, and reduces any time delay between audio signals, which can affect beat matching accuracy.
- Headphone monitor:
This section of the DJ mixer is dedicated to attenuating the volume of the headphones and also the balance between the cue and master signals. On DJ mixers that offer split cue functionality, this is where you can switch between hearing just the cue signal in both ears to hearing the cue signal in one ear and the master signal in the other.
- Talk over:
This is a handy feature as it provides an automatic ‘duck’ in volume when the microphone is used. This is a common trick in music production known as side-chaining, where the music lowers in volume when a side-chain input is triggered. This allows more space in the mix, which improves clarity and also prevents the mic channel from having to be set too loud.
- Fader Curve:
Most common on cross-faders, particularly scratch DJ mixer, but can also be found on channel faders as well. Fader curve offers different switchable curves that can be applied to how the fader responds, from fast cut (suitable for scratching) to medium and slow cut (suitable for blend mixing).
So yes, that pretty much it. We have really tried hard to make sure the information on the DJ mixer is accurate and up to date. We have been really privileged to be in the company of some of the best DJs in the city. Their input has contributed to making up of the blogs on musical instruments, including this one on DJ mixer.
Please do rate us on our blog on DJ mixer by writing something in the comment section. Do navigate through our site it is a gold mine of information.