Finding The Best Small Mixer For Churches
Most of the churches I have pastored have been small. In fact, the majority of churches in America are under 75 members. So the need for a mixer for small churches is quite high. Knowing which one is the best is an important decision that church leaders will face.
In this article, I am going to give you my top recommendation for the best small mixer for churches. I have used many different brands, but the one I think works best in a small church environment is the Yamaha MG10XU
- Finding The Best Small Mixer For Churches
- YAMAHA MG10XU 10-Input Stereo Mixer
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Yamaha’s MG10XU is a small compact mixer with 10 inputs and 7 channels. It is part of the MG series of Yamaha mixers designed for portability, durability, and reliability. These qualities, in our opinion, make it the best small mixer for a church. It has enough inputs for a small church worship team plus a pastor, along with the sturdy construction and small size needed for mobile churches.
Who Should Consider Using the MG10XU Mixer?
Along with small churches using the MG10XU in their sanctuaries, it can also be used in multi-purpose rooms, small event centers, or even as a personal mixer experimenting with home studio recording. Although it does not have all the features that larger, more expensive mixers provide, it has enough features you need to mix the sound from a small group of instruments and musicians.
The price point of this analog soundboard makes it perfect for beginners. I personally recommend that people learn how to mix sound on an analog board before venturing into the world of digital mixing. It helps you visualize the path that the sound takes coming from a microphone, going through the soundboard, and eventually ending up being reproduced by the speakers.
The Yamaha MG10XU works great for online content creators as well. If you want to improve the mix of your video productions, website content, or live streams, this soundboard will do the trick.
In a nutshell, the MG10XU is a great mixer for anyone who wants a small, inexpensive mixer and doesn’t mind the small number of channels.
What Should You Look for in a Small Audio Mixer?
I am sure you realize that a small audio mixer is not going to have the same amount of features and effects available in a larger mixer. However, you should consider some things when considering a small mixer.
- The number of inputs and outputs
- The overall size and weight of the mixer
- What type of equalizer settings and effects does it come with
- How good is the sound performance
Make sure you pay attention to the number of inputs and outputs that the mixer has. How many mic channels, Is there a USB input? Does it have RCA inputs? Do the mic channels have phantom power? What type of mic preamps is being used?
These things are important because things are going to be tight if you are using a small mixer for your audio system in your church. You will need every input it has.
Many mobile churches use small mixers because of their portability. They are small enough to carry around, set up, and tear down weekly. However, you need to ensure you get one well constructed. With a mobile church environment, they will have to endure a lot of wear and tear.
Equalization and FX (effects) settings more than likely will be important to you. You will probably want reverb and delay effects. You will want basic equalization settings. (Tone control for bass, midrange, and treble). Other common settings are preprogrammed settings to mimic a large concert hall or a small coffee shop.
Finally, the overall sound performance of the mixer is essential. You need a mixer that produces a sound that meets your expectation. Although a small mixer may not have all the settings of a larger one, it still needs to give you quality sound. You do not want to have hiss, static, or other sound interference. That is one reason we chose the Yamaha MG10XU.
Why Did We Choose the Yamaha MG10XU Mixer As The Best Small Mixer For Church?
The Yamaha MG10XU, as we noted before, has a great sound. But more than that, it is affordable. It is one of the most affordable small mixers available with this level of sound quality. Because of those two things, we consider it the best small mixer.
Even though it is small, it is still large enough to meet the demands of a live worship team, a small band, or recording in the studio or audio for video productions. Its only drawback is the number of channels and lesser EQ and FX settings.
As you probably know, most small churches cannot afford professional sound engineers. They usually rely on volunteers. Because of that the MG10XU is a great choice because of its simple interface design. Your volunteers will not be overwhelmed with the various knobs and buttons. It is easy to understand for the technologically challenged.
Even though most of the features I have already shared with you make this mixer the best, for me, the durability and size put it over the top compared to other mixers. It measures just 9.6 x 2.8 x 11.6-inches and weighs under 5 pounds. You can easily carry this anywhere or fit it inside a backpack. It makes it perfect for mobile church applications and for use in more than one location in your church.
What We Like and Dislike About the Yamaha MG10XU
First and foremost, we like the price of the Yamaha MG10XU. Coming in around $300.00 or less makes this soundboard affordable for anyone. Any small church can afford this, along with amateur musicians and beginning sound engineers who are getting their feet wet with pro-sound.
Secondly, we like the interface. The knobs, buttons, and sliders are laid out in a very understandable manner. They took the time to think about how to streamline the layout for very easy operation.
Next, the 24 pre-programmed FX settings make this mixer a dream come true. For instance, when you are using this mixer for a live stream, you can set it to the concert hall setting and make your stream sound just like it does in the live auditorium.
Another benefit is the option to connect the mixer with an iPad or iPhone using the Apple iPad camera connection kit. This is an interesting addition to an affordable analog mixer.
What we don’t like is the volume of the sound when connecting to a computer through the USB interface. It comes through quietly, and Yamaha has put a limit on the level of 15 decibels. If you try to crank up the gain, it only lowers the sound quality and causes distortion.
We were also concerned that many of the customers complained that the mixer heats up after long use. They would say that it gets too warm to the touch.
Why Should You Think About Buying This Mixer?
Although the Yamaha MG10XU has a couple of drawbacks that we noted, it is hard to question the performance of this mixer. That is why we have listed it as the best small mixer for a church.
This mixer will work great for a large number of uses. It is probably not best for large auditoriums with many musicians. You will just run out of inputs. But it shines if you use it for what it is designed for.
It is durable and rugged with its metal chassis. That durability is perfect for mobile church applications.
Just remember that it is a small mixer. It has 4 mic inputs and 10 inputs total.
So if you want a durable, rugged, compact, small analog mixer, then this one is for you. We give it our heartfelt endorsement.
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