Help me find a basic audio mixer

dimab

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I've got 3 scanners that I want to pipe into a single speaker. All my googling says I need a mixer. Everything I have found seems big, with extra audio effects, basically aimed at music production stuff.
I'm hoping to find a mixer that will
  • take in 3.5 mm (not a deal breaker)
  • output 3.5mm (not a deal breaker)
  • Each input has it's own volume control
  • a master volume for all channels
  • passive or powered
thanks!
 

iMONITOR

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Little Bear MC5 Mini Portable Stereo 4 Channel Audio Mixer Passive Live Studio Console Recording Low Noise (No Power Needed)
$29.99

1622129840897.png
 

bharvey2

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That Little Bear MC5 looks like a pretty basic mixer. I t my be just what the OP has in mind. A few things to consider though:

Most audio mixer are designed to use a very low level or line level input. They aren't designed to have a speaker output drive the input. Doing so may result in wildly distorted audio and even damage to your equipment. Also, impedance mismatch can pose problems as well. Low impedance audio (most pro) is around 600ohms, line level may be around 10K ohms. There are workarounds with impedance matching transformers and it can even be addressed in a "quick and dirty" fashion with voltage divider / resistor networks.
 

dimab

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Little Bear MC5 Mini Portable Stereo 4 Channel Audio Mixer Passive Live Studio Console Recording Low Noise (No Power Needed)
$29.99

View attachment 104234
going to give this a whirl. thanks!
 

dimab

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Please come back to this thread and let us know how it worked. Thanks.
the little bear did exactly what I wanted. it's pretty great and even smaller than I expected.
I also learned that I wanted the mixer to be powered to drive a small speaker. To that end, I'm sending the little bear back, and upgraded to a mixer with a little bit of power output.
this is the mixer with powered output - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08393DLGV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
this is the speaker I'm using - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OFKI5TE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

iMONITOR

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the little bear did exactly what I wanted. it's pretty great and even smaller than I expected.
I also learned that I wanted the mixer to be powered to drive a small speaker. To that end, I'm sending the little bear back, and upgraded to a mixer with a little bit of power output.
this is the mixer with powered output - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08393DLGV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
this is the speaker I'm using - https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OFKI5TE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thanks for the update!
 

bharvey2

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Did you find the manual for this mixer? I did a quick online check and couldn't find one. Form what I could find, there was no guarantee that its output was sufficient to drive speakers directly. You might still need a power amp.
 

prcguy

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I would have recommended something like this. You can plug in 3.5mm to 1/4" adapters in the inputs and output, it has EQ if needed and some other things for $37. Behringer is on the low end of audio mixers but you get very good performance for that price. They have a version of this mixer with built in USB audio adapter that can send all the audio channels to a computer for whatever comes up in the future.
 

dimab

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Did you find the manual for this mixer? I did a quick online check and couldn't find one. Form what I could find, there was no guarantee that its output was sufficient to drive speakers directly. You might still need a power amp.
came with some details, mostly useless, and no mention of power output. but the little speaker now works and sounds just fine compared to when I used a passive mixer.
 

iMONITOR

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I was thinking use a Unden amplified speaker with the first choice of mixer.
 

dimab

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I was thinking use a Unden amplified speaker with the first choice of mixer.
I went through several scenarios, I didn't want to figure out how to power 12v speaker from Uniden, than I looked at external amps with the passive mixer. this USB powered mixer with small speaker fit my needs just right. I wish I did this years ago.
 

bharvey2

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I would have recommended something like this. You can plug in 3.5mm to 1/4" adapters in the inputs and output, it has EQ if needed and some other things for $37. Behringer is on the low end of audio mixers but you get very good performance for that price. They have a version of this mixer with built in USB audio adapter that can send all the audio channels to a computer for whatever comes up in the future.

I've never been particularly impressed with Behringer products. Although, I understand that the Xenyx products are well liked.
 

N1XDS

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When I am streaming or doing recordings I use the TC Helicon GOXLR 4 channel mixer. Yes, I know it's expensive at $499.99 it's one of the best mixers out on the market today. I use mine for gaming and recordings and it works really well with my computer, online gaming and same with the GOXLR app/program you download to help customize and control your audio and etc. Lot of higher end streamers for online gaming and recordings/streaming are switching over to GOXLR its really easy to setup and etc.

GOXLR 4 channel mixer
 

wa8pyr

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Behringer is low end, I would not want to rely on one for mixing a big live concert or live broadcast, but for home use they seem fine.
I've used Behringer for years in the home production studio and never had an issue, it works like a charm. I don't think larger studios or live venues ever were the market Behringer shoots for; the home/small studio stuff is what they have always aimed at.

If I were going to mix down a whole boatload of inputs (ie large studio or live venue) I'd definitely go for something that is aimed specifically at that market. If I were going to outfit a studio these days I'd be hard pressed; on one hand an old analog model from SSL, Neve or API would be nice, but there are so many nice digital consoles out there these days it would be tough to decide. I suppose it sort of goes along with that old "tube vs solid state" argument for mike preamps.

I have been thinking about replacing my faithful Behringer; there are so many slick home/small studio options available for very attractive prices these days (some of which use your iPad as the control surface) that I'll have to put some serious research into it.

And back on topic. . . if I were looking to mix my scanners down into a small speaker, I'd probably go with the line-level audio from the scanners and build my own mixer with some simple buffer amps and potentiometers, then run the output to a good amplified speaker. That way I could customize the whole thing to suit my needs.
 

Ubbe

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A cheap Behringer mixer has everything you will need and the same supplier usually have ready made cables with 3,5mm in one end and 1/4" plug at the other. You have non grounded line level inputs to prevent ground loops that can be used with any speaker out and with the scanners volume control turned down to 1/4 level or lower. You have bass-mid-treble controls, the bass can cut out any annoying subtone, for each input and a master volume output. You can pan each source to set the audio at any place from left to right in the stereo image.

/Ubbe
 

dimab

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it's been about week and a half, this is a great setup and does exactly what I needed. thanks for all the suggestions.
 

majoco

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What Ubbe said +1. Here's my Behringer mixer, 8 inputs from 7 receivers and one laptop - all receivers have modified if necessary to have line level outputs. Small stereo amp drives two speakers and gives great sound stage. I'd like to modify it sometime to reverse the logic of the small lights in the pushbuttons - at the moment they are lit for "mute"

All in one box sml.jpg
 
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