A rack mixer is a true universal talent, because whether on stage or in the studio - with these compact mixing consoles you always have all the mids, highs and lows under control. The rack mixer doesn't owe its name to a wrong spelling of the word "rock", but rather to the fact that it fits perfectly into any 19" rack. Wherever space is a problem, DJs and producers all over the world use rack mixers.
Studio Rackmixer : Universal genius with an always open channel
Controller, keyboard, sampler, effect devices, synthesizer, microphone and then maybe an exotic instrument from the last trip to India : Where DJs are hitting, more channels are needed than in the port of Hamburg.
To never get the channel full with such complex routing tasks, studio rackmixers are exactly the right choice. Whether recording, monitoring on separate channels or mixing with or without presets - rackmixers offer you the comfort of their big console brothers.
Rack mixer on stage: A lot for little money
Rackmixers are also a popular tool on stages all over the world, as they allow you to mix an individual mix to the artist's InEar, as well as maintaining full control when the signal is to be banged directly to the PA.
Rackmixers are also particularly popular with prospective sound engineers on a tight budget, as the compact units deliver a sound for their size that is comparable to that of large consoles. Of course, as is often the case, the decisive question is which model you choose, but you'll find really good preamps (that's what it's all about!) already built into cheaper models.
Oh, and if you are one of those people who still have to carry their own equipment, we have some extra good news for you: these things are super light! This is mainly due to the space-saving and economical construction.
Further fields of application
19 inch rack mixers are absolutely all-purpose weapons and have a firm place in many audio settings. Rack mixers are used behind the counters of restaurants and bars, in professional home cinema systems, even in hi-fi applications. At first glance, this may seem like exaggerated technical equipment for an easy-to-solve application - but the fact is that there is hardly any device in terms of size, sound and price that can compete with a rack mixer.
Construction of Rack Mixers
The inputs and outputs of a rack mixer are usually located on the back of the mixer, while the knobs and all other controls are located on the front. The only exception is the input for your headphones, which is usually also located on the front panel. On most models, the area around the knobs is illuminated.
Like all other mixing consoles, rack mixers come in digital and analog versions. Digital mixers are easier to automate, program, and generally deliver an ever-similar sound, whereas with analog mixers this can vary. But it is also a fact that there are hardly any purely analog or digital mixers left, since most mixing consoles are now equipped with digital technology in one way or another, such as circuit boards or processors.