Digital audio consoles are now the norm in almost every worship environment. From no-knob rack-mounted mini’s controlled with an iPad to Enterprise-worthy multi-screen wonders with dozens of faders, digital rules the day. But how do you know what to look for in a digital desk?

Back in the analog days, parameters were universal and comparison was easy; but now everything is proprietary and confusing. To solve this puzzle, we have taken the salient features, such as local XLR input count and expandability options, and served them up in a handy format (see the chart at the end of this column) to let you choose the best console for your situation. Happy mixing!

Allen & Heath SQ-5

Low-latency (.7mS) and deep processing (96KHz FPGA) give this compact console a big head-start in the race for next generation digital mixers. $2,799
Buy at Sweetwater


Ashly digiMIX18

Innovative EZ-Mode means simple set-ups for any occasion while the small footprint allows it to fit in the tightest spots. $899
US Dealers/Distributors
International Dealers/Distributors


Avid S3L-X 48

Modular design coupled with a modular lay out plus direct Pro Tools archiving makes every show a keeper. $17,000
Buy at Sweetwater


Behringer X32

The standard digital console in churches all over the world. For some, the answer is always X32. $1,999
Buy at Sweetwater


Crest Tactus 64 System

Here is something truly different in the world of live sound: a system made to work with touch, surface, mouse and pad at the same time. Stellar audio rounds out the offering. $8,750
Global Dealers/Distributors


DiGiCo S21 D Rack Tour

Like an entry-level Ferrari: valet parking out front for less. $13,295
Global Dealers/Distributors


Mackie DL32R

One of the first iPad controlled digital mixers and still one of the most useful. $1,799
Buy at Sweetwater


Midas MR18

Perfect for fly dates or any situation requiring excellent sound quality in a compact footprint. $879
Buy at Sweetwater


Presonus StudioLive 32 Series III

Yes, it has moving faders now. But, it also has a 55×55 AVB Ethernet interface and an SD card recorder. $2,999
Buy at Sweetwater


QSC TouchMix-30

24 mic preamps, large 10” touchscreen plus feedback elimination and RTA functions make this one a winner. $1,899
Buy at Sweetwater


Soundcraft Ui24R

Here we have all the Harman brands working together in harmony (ha) to create a small rack-mount mixer with big potential. $999
Buy at Sweetwater


Yamaha TF-Rack

This is a cool combination of rack mixing with a touchscreen. Add in QuckPro presents to get going and the mix happens quickly. $1,799
Buy at Sweetwater


  1. Is there a higher resolution version of the chart at the end of the article? It’s pretty hard to read, and zooming in doesn’t help. Thanks!

    • Dear Bill – I just replaced that image. Word Press still wanted to compress it, but if you select the image, and then zoom you should be able to read it. Tried a few workarounds inside WP and this was the best I could muster. THANKS for your post – MUCH appreciated:) Cheers ~ Doug // [WM]

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