Advice on external mixers for the mac

Hardware & Accessories

Hello all:
I realize that there are all kinds of various external hardware devices out there for the Mac, and I am looking into getting one. I also realize that quite a few people in this community have said devices. I am wondering what kind of mixer would be the best. I have a MacBook pro 2017 model. of course, it only has USB C. I do have the proper adapters to go from C to USB 2, but I would prefer a mixer that would support USB C. What devices deliver the most in accessibility? I want to use it in order to digitize audio, and I also need it to support external mics such as the Blue Yeti. Thoughts? Thanks.



Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Saturday, November 25, 2017

The answer partly depends on your intended uses. For example, I compose and produce music using logic Pro X on my MacBook Pro, together with a focusrite Clarett 4pre digital audio workstation, A few microphones, and a midi keyboard . If you were only intending to record the SpokenWord, such as making podcast, you do not need something as elaborate.

So, I need a device which will allow me to do the following. I am not exactly a musission, but here it is.
1. I need to be able to plug in external devices such as CD players, MP3 players, and even a tape player.
2. I have a USB blue Yetti microphone, which I use for recording. I need a device which will support that.
3. I need a device that has some basic volume/EQ controls as well.
4. I have a usb midi controller for my djay pro app. It needs to support that.
I won't need anything crazy advanced like a mixer with 20 columns and 50 rows of buttons and knobs. *laughs* That said though, I am not looking for a beginners device either. However, if it would grab me a beer from time to time, that would be greatly appreciated. Lol...

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Sunday, November 26, 2017


I still don't know what it is you want to do with the device you are looking for? Make podcasts? Produce or compose music? Send voice messages with sound effects? Just goof around with audio?

At any rate, if you want to plug your CD player, tape player or MP3 device into your 2017 Macbook Pro, all you need are adapters. I have several USC/USBC - Thunderbolt (or whatever they’re called) adapters that work fine for my own CD player and MP3 device. Also works for my 88 key midi piano, my external typing keyboard (for its number pad), my external hard drives to back up my laptop using Time Machine, and for connecting to my Focusrite digital audio workstation. On the Focusrite, I plug in microphones (up to a maximum of 4 on my particular model), set gain levels for each by turning knobs. Also, into the Focusrite I plug in the connection to my Macbook pro, and plug in 2 external speakers. The Focusrite has a volume knob, but the Macbook Pro also has keyboard volume controls for the system generally and separate commands for voiceover in particular.. Mac Operating system high sierra has system preferences for input and output that allows you switch between internal and extermal microphones and speakers.

As for EQ, you have a choice of some pretty expensive devices, but if you’re only doing voice, you don’t need them. You probably wouldn’t need them anyway unless it’s for live performances. Instead, you can use Apple’s garage band or logic pro x, or simpler apps for music and voice which are discussed in this AppleVis web site’s app recommendations. Just take a stroll through the Mac app music category. You will find apps such as audacity which are widely used by blind people.