Whether you’ve created content or consumed it in the past, you have some exposure to the world of streaming. With the advent of the internet and the associated accessibility, streaming has become more mainstream than ever before.
There is a significant amount of variation in the kind of content that people stream. Podcasts, music, and videos are common examples. Even Netflix, which has become a giant in the media world, simply boils down to video being streamed from a web-based platform.
The kind of streaming being discussed in this article is a bit different, however. It speaks to your streaming of live content over the internet. This could be on numerous platforms, such as Twitch or YouTube. Of course, after you have created your live content, it is typically made available for your viewers or listeners to enjoy on-demand.
Before you decide to start streaming, you need to ensure that you have the correct equipment. Production quality is key if you want to keep people interested. Think of the streaming platforms that you consume content from.
The chances are that the sounds and visuals (if present) are crisp and allow for engagement. If you want to create the best quality streams and to retain an audience, then you need to invest in the equipment that you need to yield a similar quality.
An audio mixer is one of the chief pieces of equipment that you need in this regard. Using a mixer allows you to fine-tune the output that goes out to the stream. Therefore, below is a review of three of the top audio mixers that you can use for this purpose.
Pyle Professional Review Review
Pyle is a name that is synonymous with the production of top-quality audio equipment. There are various microphones, speakers, etc. in numerous applications that are all manufactured by Pyle. This mixer is yet another in a line of well-built products for the audio world.
- ✓ The mixer has a durable composition, which lends itself to immense longevity
- ✓ The unit is very versatile in terms of the various applications that it is useful for
- ✓ This is one of the best mixers for streams that need to take advantage of numerous audio channels, as this unit is built to support it
- ✗ Supporting numerous channels means that the level of customization available for each is not as in-depth as it could be
- ✗ Speaker connections limit you to quarter-inch jacks
A common format in many streams is to have multiple persons take part in the hosting festivities. With a single source of audio, a mixer would not be needed. However, using singular sources is not feasible when you have a musical output, your voice output, and potentially one or more other people present.
The Pyle professional mixer offers light customization for each audio channel. Whether the stream focuses on music, events, or podcasts, this is a professional quality audio mixer that has you covered.
The workflow of the system is as simple as it gets in terms of connection. Of course, some reading, learning comma, adjusting are necessary if you intend to use the system like a pro. What you should know for now is that the various audio streams are connected to your mixer, which you then connect to the man PC.
This audio mixer can support up to eight channels, which means that you can simultaneously manage audio and equalizer levels of eight different sources. There is a downside to this, however. While customization is built into the audio mixer’s design, some level of compromise must be made on this to support a greater number of channels.
As this offering from Pyle has so many channels, the level of customization that you can get with each is not the best. However, don’t let that discourage you from picking this one up. If it wasn’t a superb offering, then it would have no place in this review.
Remember that this is a unit that can be used for numerous applications, as you contemplate your purchase. Additionally, like most other Pyle products, there is an immense durability factor built into the design. This is something that you are likely to have for years without ever needing to replace it.
Creative Sound Blaster K3+ Review
The next mixer is designed by Creative, and it is one of the most customizable units that you can get your hands on. This unit is the inverse of the Pyle offering reviewed above. While it supports only two audio channels, the level of customization that you can achieve for each of the said channels is anything but basic.
- ✓ You are free to customize your audio production in many specific ways
- ✓ The build quality is a durable one
- ✓ Studio-grade production quality is offered without the need to pay the studio-grade price
- ✓ There are nine different reverbs effects for you to enjoy
- ✗ Only two channels are supported, which means that you are limited in the number of sources that you can manage
- ✗ The options available for using small sound effects are not intuitive
Apart from the customization options, this is a very powerful mixer to have at your side. It also gets bonus points for being well built with durability in mind. No matter how long your stream may be, you can trust the Creative Sound Blaster K3+ to maintain a high standard of audio quality throughout the production.
Have you ever listened to a stream that seems to have studio production quality? Some streams are created by people who have access to studio-grade equipment. Others do not have such equipment and still manage to achieve that kind of sound. Well, you can join the ranks of these people, as this mixer is one that gives the feeling of a recording studio.
In terms of customization, there are adjustable knobs included with nine reverb effects. With that level of customization, you could achieve a sound output that is nothing like the original if you so desire. Your highs and your bass are easily customizable, and the best part is that this can all be done in a non-disruptive way.
Gaming streamers are especially affected when they must pause or minimize their games to adjust their sound levels. With the K3+, this becomes a non-factor, as adjustments can easily be made on the fly.
Even if you wanted to take part in a karaoke-style game, you could do this, as this mixer allows for a connection to your phone. Of course, with the customization alluded to above, you can take the said karaoke experience to the next level.
GoXLR Mixer Review Review
The final entry to be reviewed is the GoXLR mixer that is made by TC-Helicon. In terms of customization features and the sheer amount of power provided by a mixer, this is one of the top devices that you can get your hands on as a streamer.
- ✓ The device allows for tremendous customization
- ✓ The number of channels provided for use is perfect for most streamers
- ✓ The controls on the user interface are not ambiguous, which makes for a great user experience
- ✗ Though the number of streamers that need more than four audio channels is low, those who do cannot use this device
- ✗ This is one of the pricier mixer options
It has mixer, voice sampler, and sound effect capabilities included. While it is a unit that can be used for many different applications, it was intended to be used by streamers. It also sits at a great midpoint in terms of audio channels. Many streamers can get by with one or two audio channels. However, there are many of them that require a bit more. The GoXLR mixer has four channels, which is adequate for most streaming applications.
Along with those four channels comes immense customizability. Thanks to the design and the power of the device, you can maintain high-quality streams for hours to come. Apart from reverb effects, you can modify voices with HardTune, megaphone, pitch shift, echo, gender-bend, and robot effects.
Additionally, the user interface makes for a simple experience. Of course, there’s a bit of practice required before you become a pro at using the device. However, it’s nothing too extensive.
Streaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment today. Whether it’s video game streaming or podcasting, there are many people providing the content, and there are even more who are willing to consume it.
As a streamer, you need to maintain the utmost quality in your productions. A mixer can help you to a great degree in doing this. It allows you to have great control over your various input sources and provide the viewers or listeners with an amazing audio experience.
In choosing one, you must consider the amount of customization available, the power of the device, and the number of audio channels supported. The three mixers reviewed support these things to different degrees. Your choice should be based on the one that fits your specific application best.