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AG06 Audio Interface/Mixer – $199
PROS: Small size, good price, plenty of I/O configurations.
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Interfaces have gone from desktop-sized to smaller than a laptop, and Yamaha’s AG series brings their history of quality and versatility to a small package that packs in a lot of functionality.
Despite its small size, it’s well packed; sporting 6 inputs, it’s meant to be a companion to a computer or an iPad, and isn’t much larger than an iPad. Channels 1 and 2 have XLR & 1/4” TRS connectivity and are meant for instruments and microphones, with pads to handle hot signals.
There is some dedication here though; Channel 1 has phantom power, and Channel 2 features a special switch for guitar (including an amp simulator). Channels 3 and 4 use 1/4” TRS connections, and 5 and 6 use RCA connections. There is an Aux Input, as well. On the output side there are monitors, stereo outputs as well as headphone outs. The layout and functionality are akin to a standard mixer, so it’s super easy to connect and get up and running. It runs on USB power, which is also its main interface connection.
With an easy plug-and-play feel, and familiar mixing board ergonomics, for musicians who don’t want to adapt to new hardware, this is a godsend. The features aren’t overly complicated, and it interfaces with an iPad or computer like butter. Even for the non-musician, this works great for podcasting or basic audio production needs. It does come with a copy of Steinberg’s Cubase AI as well, so it comes equipped with equally easy–to-use software for recording. With 32 audio tracks, plenty of VST plug-ins, audio looping support, and MIDI, it’s a great complement to the mixer. Not a fan of Cubase? It works just as well as an interface for other audio recording software packages (GarageBand, Studio One, etc.).
Size-wise, it won’t take up a ton of desk space, and might even fit in a laptop bag. With a low street price of $199, it’s worth it for any musician who might get scared thinking about interfaces, to check one out. And for those podcasters who want to up their game, it’s a no brainer. It’s not often that there’s a device that can cover a lot of applications well, and be reasonably priced at the same time. This new unit from Yamaha comes highly recommended.
Inputs (Mic Preamps): 2 x XLR
Inputs (Line): 2 x XLR/TRS (Combo), 2 x 1/4″
Outputs (Main): 2 x 1/4″
Headphones: 1 x 1/4″, 1 x 1/8″ (Headset)
Phantom Power: Yes (2 Channels)
Computer Connectivity: USB