Console & Mixer Reviews

By George Shilling and Russell Cottier

With many years experience working as recording engineers and producers, our review team of George Shilling and Russell Cottier know the good from the bad. In many cases it's a matter of taste, some prefer one EQ over another but we try to provide unbiased and objective reviews of the equipment tested.

AMS Neve BCM10/2 MK2 10 channel mixing console
May 15 2023 10 channel mixing console
AMS Neve BCM10/2 MK2

Neve have been building high-end characterful consoles for decades, the BCM10 being one such desk.

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Audient Zen Analogue recording console
Dec 23 2012 Analogue recording console
Audient Zen

It’s not often you get the chance to review equipment that is named after the editor of the magazine, so the email with the subject “Zen for review” initially led me to some mistaken assumptions.

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API 1608 16 channel recording console
Dec 23 2012 16 channel recording console
API 1608

The 1608 is a small format recording console based on the 1604 which API produced in the 1970s and early 1980s. Although I have never encountered one in the UK, examples in the USA are still cherished and lovingly restored.

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SSL X-Desk Rackmountable line mixer
Dec 23 2009 Rackmountable line mixer
SSL X-Desk

No relation to Monty Python’s Ex-Parrot, nor Nissan’s X-Trail (a derivative of the N-Trail?!), the X-Desk is perhaps an SSL for everyone.

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Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Discrete Analogue Mixer
Dec 23 2008 Discrete Analogue Mixer
Rupert Neve Designs 5088

At 80, Rupert Neve can look back proudly at a career of console design, his CV including numerous models which pushed the boundaries of audio quality and ergonomics.

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SSL X-Rack Mixer Modular rack system
Dec 23 2008 Modular rack system
SSL X-Rack Mixer

I took a look at the SSL X-Rack a while back but back then the only module available was a Dynamics processor.

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Summit Audio TMX-420 Four channel tube mixer
Dec 23 2008 Four channel tube mixer
Summit Audio TMX-420

The TMX-420 comes accommodated within the familiar silver-coloured Summit 2U rack housing. It is built like the proverbial brick outhouse, and weighs a stonking 23lbs. Large black and red knobs and industrial strength toggle switches adorn the front panel.

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TL Audio M1 Tubetracker Small format console
Dec 23 2008 Small format console
TL Audio M1 Tubetracker

Whilst the VTC design has been around for some years and is now established as a successful mid-range/project studio console, TL Audio have toyed with a few different lower-order models over time.

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Mackie 1604-VLZ 16 channel microphone / line mixer
Dec 23 2003 16 channel microphone / line mixer
Mackie 1604-VLZ

Without doubt, Mackie mixers have empowered an army of musicians and DJs to record their efforts with greater control and flexibility than could ever be imagined ten years ago.

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TL Audio VTC In-line console
Dec 23 2003 In-line console
TL Audio VTC

The TL Audio VTC (Valve Technology Console) has been two years in development with designer David Kempson. The ex-Neve project leader was also responsible for the hugely successful (and recently upgraded) TL Audio Classic Valve series.

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