Top positive review
77 people found this helpful
Excellent Portable Mixer
on November 8, 2012
* Small. Easy to take with you or set on a small shelf.
* If using USB, does not need external power supply. Very convenient.
* Easy-to-use, accessible controls.
* Pre-amp power, works well with condenser studio mikes.
* Plug & play with Windows 8. Didn't have to install any kind of driver.
* Variety of input options. Dual track with low/high volume sliders.
* LEDs make it easy to tell whether in the green or red range. Easy to adjust.
* Awesome for those who need a mini-mixer-- and costs the same as a USB-based preamp-only device.
* Free shipping-- gotta like that
* Only one power setting, 15v. That may not be enough for some, but works great with my studio mike.
* Line In / USB buttons somewhat confusing, non-intuitive. However the manual shows exact settings for computer use.
* As with other low-end Behringer mixers has a bit of a hiss that one has to balance out. Can take some fiddling to overcome it.
* It's pretty easy to overpower the computer's input and cause distortion. Start the sound levels at zero and slowly bring them up until it sounds good.
I purchased this for use with my studio mike, which I hadn't been able to use with my computer due to pre-amp power needs. Plugged it in, worked first time, no problems.
This unit is very sensitive. If used with a decent mike can pick up background noises from across a room. With a bit of tweaking, is fine for studio work. I use it for guitar/voice solo live Internet music shows.
Overall, I'm quite pleased with the unit. The only reason I give it 4 stars rather than 5 is because it isn't perfect... but then it's only fifty bucks. For the price, overall quality, ease of setup, range, sensitivity and plug-and-play, I don't think one could find a better unit. Two thumbs up. I don't know how a Pro would rate this... but I definitely would recommend it to those doing recording on their computer with a studio-quality mike above the quality of the average "USB microphones" available on the market. You not only get a pre-amp but a duo-channel stereo volume mixer in the deal. Hard to beat at that price.
ADDENDUM: A few days after the initial review-- I just used the device on a live guitar/voice webcast. No background hiss, very good, clear sound, crisp, no distortion, excellent transmission. Friend recorded a video and the sound was precise and identical to the original performance. Quite pleased with this little mixer/preamp.
HINTS AND TIPS:
Two good hints on this one:
* Another user and I put our heads together and realized one can use a 6-volt lantern battery (or 3 to 4 AA cells), hook them into a USB printer cable and power this via battery. It works great and makes this unit PORTABLE.
* There are reports of this mixer interfering with the way the Windows handles sound. I have found this to be true. It pretty much takes over your entire sound system. For some folks this will be fine. For others, they may not appreciate this. So what I did was uninstall the drivers, remove it from the computer USB (which seems to defeat the purpose, but wait...)... and plugged it into one of those new portable-USB power supplies you plug right into the wall (they're available all over for between $5 and $10). This powers the system without hooking it into the USB system of your computer. What this does is allow you to use the functions of the mixer without altering how Windows handles sound, the programs it uses, or causing problems with programs like Audacity.
You then run a LINE IN from your computer speaker output, a LINE OUT to your computer speakers or headphones, and you can still use microphones or whatever else you want. This is an excellent alternative to using it as a USB device. You are instead powering it from a USB wall-socket and simply using it as a quality mini-mixer (which function it performs very well). That's what I finally did and am still most happy with this device.
In addition by using it in this manner you pretty much eliminate the relevance of what OS you use. You could use this with Windows, Mac, Linux or pretty much anything, because all you're really doing is setting it up as a mixer using standard line-in / out cables. Works very well in this capacity. Gotta love those new external USB power nodes. : )