Mobile mixers (battery powered, passive)

I know we have a few discussions going about mixers. There’s the minimal mixers one, a matrix mixers one, a general one about mixers and audio interfaces and there’s even an ongoing discussion about a crowdsourced mixer design.

Still, I think the topic here is distinct enough to warrant its own thread. How do we mix different sources in a situation where no wallwart is accessible?
Of course this discussion originates from a problem I’m trying to solve. I have a new project which involves playing sounds and composing music in the woods. Since I do want to use multiple instruments I need some form of mixing.
But it seems that this can interest more than just me, so let’s exchange ideas, info and approaches regarding this!

So far I have been able to find just a couple of viable options. One of them is purely passive mixers, like this art one here: https://artproaudio.com/product/splitmix4-four-channel-passive-splitter-mixer-2/
and this DJ mixer here: https://www.dj-tech.com/dj-tech-handy-kutz

There’s some battery-powered mixers on Amazon, but first I don’t like to buy from there and second they seem to pretty much suck.

Of course there’s also mobile power solutions like Koma’s Strom which could be used to make non-mobile mixers mobile… and I’m thinking that Volca Mix could be an option as well.

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Also in search for the perfect mobile mixer. Have not find the one I really like. @ klingklangmatze posted TC Helicon Blender in the Minimal Mixers thread and it looks good functionally but doesn’t look nice:)

Bastl Dude is a popular suggestion, 5 channels, battery power https://bastl-instruments.com/instruments/dude

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The Dude is definitely a nice option. It should be pointed out though that it’s mono only.

As for the Blender, that one is actually pretty interesting. I need to check it out a bit more in depth now that you mention it! It does not look nice that is true. And it only has one knob, but maybe it could be an option.

Edit: also I forgot, weirdly, the Blender does not have line outputs.

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I think there is at least very small but still a market for some minimalist/battery powered mixer that is very simple but beautiful and playable. Something like 16n but a mixer. Sadly crowdsourced mixer is a bit on hold as everyone seems to have their own idea of ideal:)

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A topic I am interested in!

I have the Behringer XENYX 1002B, which is a ‘big’, ‘proper’ mixer (with faders, sends etc.) that can run on batteries. I haven’t actually used it outside myself, but its a good fully-featured mixer, though it wouldn’t be an especially light or portable option with 6 of those big D batteries in it.

The Bastl Dude seems to suit a lot of people, I’d like one some day. A cheaper DIY option that I tried is the Rakit Rakimix, which a tiny active (9v battery) mixer. It has quite a few features (4x mono or 2x stereo channels, mute switches, an aux channel) for the size and price. My one doesn’t actually work that well, but I’m pretty sure that’s due to the poor quality of my soldering as Rakit kits are very good in my experience.

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All that said, I agree with the premise of the thread. I see so many lovely ‘minimal’ mixers and wish that they could be used outside / in non-powered spaces. There are lots of battery powered mixer options, but I’ve not found one that checks all the boxes of functionality / usability / portability etc. Not yet anyway…

Maybe of some interest.
Despite the clickbaity title and the actual failure to deliver on it, the last part (if the video does not start there, fast forward to 5:00) tells you a very simple thing about probably any small mixer: you can get a cheap adapter and run them from a 5V battery pack.

How well that works though in terms of battery life and noise and all that, I have no idea.

Almost forgot to mention this one:


Which also ticks a lot of boxes: 3 stereo line inputs (albeit only one with volume control) +1 mono instrument +2 mic inputs. Small, can work as a class-compliant audio interface and even has phantom power. It will run from 4 AAA (which to me is a bit of a drawback, regular AA would have been better) but it can also be powered from a powerpack I guess, since it will also run from your phone’s battery, though the USB cable.

Short note about the TC-Helicon Blender: With the one knob you can control all 6 inputs, you only have to press the corresponding channel button. The device has 4 headphone outputs (which I also use as line outputs). For each headphone output, it is possible to create a different mix of the inputs. It is actually intended for bands. And: There is an app that does all this via bluetooth (iphone/ipad). You can also connect the device directly to your iPad, use it as a soundcard or route all the inputs through iOS apps (keyword: effects). :wink:

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Thanks a lot for the info! That does sound interesting indeed. I don’t think I’d use use any iDevices attached to it, because I’m too fed up with them, but that’s another topic entierly.
Do the headphone outputs have a bit of hiss when you record from them, or are they nice and quiet? I find that sometimes headphone outputs are a bit noisy when you feed them into a line input.

image

these are usually cheap and pretty clean, battery powered.

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So if you want to control particular input you just press button and move the knob or this is possible only in app?

@alexeydemidov Pressing the associated input button causes the button to flash blue, indicating that the level of that input can be adjusted for the currently-selected headphone channel using the big knob (no app needed).

@papernoise The device costs almost 110€. For this price, the sound is absolutely ok, but so don’t expect a high-end product. I like this mixer for small sessions with Digitakt, Model:Cycles, Eurorack, and Norns. I sometimes do multitrack recordings on the Ipad.

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Thanks, looks like really nice device really and no alternatives for that price (or for any price?). Was thinking to buy Zoom h6 for that purpose as well but too pricey just for that.

for $40 you can buy a ticket to Sound Town


two stereo line channels and four mic channels w/ the added bonus of karaoke efects :slight_smile:

edit: oh i thought it was battery powered but it looks like maybe it isn’t. you could use a myvolts ripcord to power it from USB or hack a 9v battery to DC jack cable

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The photo is a bit small so I can’t quite make out the brand/model name, what is it?

That would likely be a solution to make many small mixers mobile… Which is starting to seem one of the best ways to go.

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It is a Realistic mixer. Realistic was the in-house brand of Radio Shack. Often they were licensed designs from bigger companies made more inexpensively. Like their Concertmate 500 that was a copy of the Casio SK-1.
Realistic tape recorders are some of my favorites not to mention the (moog) MG-1 which was my first analog synthesizer.

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Oh thanks! Yes I know Realistic! I had one of those Concertmate 500!

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Three dudes and a passive summing box like DIYRE and record/play LCR instead of stereo. :sunglasses:

Since you mentioned battery in the original post I want to say that I’ve run my entire 3u+1u x 19” modular from a Jackery power bank. I’m sure it could handle whatever backpack-sized mixer you like. This was recorded that way, including powering the camera:

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