There are times when I mix sound for certain shows where there is only a few inputs required. So, that 32 channel you have is going to be overkill for the job! That is where a "micro" or "mini" mixer comes into play. When you only need to mix a few inputs grab a small mixer and go for it.
One of my upcoming gigs is mixing sound for a local fashion show at a banquet hall. Basically, I will be mixing 6 channels for the show. 1 input for a podium mic, 1 input for handheld vocal mic on stand, 2 inputs for CD player, and 2 inputs for an iPod Nano. For this setup I could use a small mixer with 6 inputs on it to accommodate the mix.
There are so many company now offering "mini" mixers in their product lines at very reasonable prices. Yamaha, Mackie, Behringer, Soundcraft, and Peavey for example. Some of these mixers have things like built-in EFX, one-knob compressors and built-in graphic EQs onboard. More that enough power onboard to handle the simple gigs.
One example of a "micro" mixer is the Yamaha MG82CX. It has 4 mono inputs, 2 one-knob compressors on first two inputs, 1 stereo input with both 1/4" and RCA inputs, built-in EFX processor, stereo outs, monitors outs, 48v phantom power, 2 track send and return RCA jacks, LED level meters and rotary controls for the inputs and outputs instead of faders.
Retailer Long & McQuade music has the Yamaha MG82CX listed on their website for $169.99 CDN. That is a whole bunch of features packed into a mini mixer at a really awesome price.
Recently, I discovered another example of a micro mixer made by Canadian sound manufacturer Yorkville Sound. It is the new, Yorkville pgm8 8 channel mic/line mixer. The pgm 8 is loaded with plenty of features for those smaller gigs. 6 XLR mic inputs, 2 stereo 1/4" inputs, 1 mono input that features a 1/4" line jack with a special switch to change the impedance of the input to accept instruments like guitar or bass directly without the need for a DI box, 7 band, graphic EQ, built-in EFX processor, 2 track send and return RCA jacks, master outs, monitor out, stereo returns, and channel inputs all on faders, and a really cool button that mutes all the channel inputs during intermission breaks.
Retailer Long and McQuade Music has this cool, micro mixer listed at $340.00 CDN on their website. Not a bad price for all the features packed inside. A perfect utility mixer for all those small gigs where only a few channel inputs are required to mix.
Both of these mini mixers would easily fit inside a laptop computer bag or an aluminum brief case for transport. Add a vocal mic with XLR cable, an ipod with cable, a pair of headphones, a few assorted audio adaptors and you will have a really compact Front of House mix setup that you could hookup to any speaker system at the venue. For those simple shows, you can leave the FOH rack at home and travel light.
For more information, you can check out the Yamaha MG82CX and Yorkville pgm 8 mixers on the Long and McQuade website. Here are the links:
Yamaha MG82CX mixer
Yorkville Sound pgm 8 mixer