A channel strip is a device that allows the output of an audio device to be amplified to a line level and integrated into some other system. It combine a variety of mixing effects within a single interface. These versatile plugins are extremely useful mixing and analysis tools. What is more, channel strip plugins can speed up your mixing workflow. The ability to perform quick adjustments in one place makes mixing fast and intuitive.
The purpose is to have all the essential tools to shape and design the sound of your individual tracks in your music production. So which channel strip should you choose, especially you are on a tight budget? We have got a complete list of recommendations for you (in no particular order):
The ART Pro Channel II is an affordable channel strip that any serious engineer can appreciate! The Pro Channel II gives you the warm tones of a tube preamplifier, the smoothness of an optical compressor, and the flexibility of a console-style equalizer. All together, this combination of powerhouse processing provides you with an amazing degree of control over your sound.
The four-band parametric equalizer has selectable Q for the two sweepable mid-bands. As with all design elements of the Pro Channel, these Q options were fine-tuned by some of the industry’s top studio and live-sound engineers. Likewise, all new additions were made without compromise to the sound of the original designs (Pro MPA, Pro VLA, Tube EQ), which have become standards in professional studios and FOH rigs around the globe.
The Studio Channel’s Class A preamplifier starts with a high-output 12AX7 tube that operates on voltages double that of other preamplifiers in its class. The result is lots of headroom and big tone. Gain and Tube Drive controls enable a wide range of sounds, from transparent and clear to edgy and overdriven. A -20 dB pad, 80 Hz highpass filter, and polarity reverse let you tweak your signals to sit properly in the mix.
From slap bass, to snare drum, to vocals, the Studio Channel’s compressor allows you to record blazing-hot signals with accurate dynamics control. In addition to ratio, threshold, attack, release and gain controls, it offers a convenient Auto Attack/Release feature with preset attack and release curves. The backlit VU meter can display gain reduction or output gain.
The dbx 286s is a full-featured Channel Strip Processor that delivers a studio-quality microphone/instrument preamplifier and four processors that can be used independently or in any combination. The sonically pristine dbx 286s Mic Preamp has all the features you need, including wide-ranging input gain control, switchable +48V phantom power, and an 80Hz high-pass filter to remove low frequency hum, rumble or wind.
Use the patented dbx OverEasy compressor to transparently smooth out uneven acoustic tracks or deliver that classic “in your face” vocal performance that only a dbx compressor can. Fine-tune the Enhancer HF Detail control to add sparkle and crispness to your tracks and make adjustments to the LF Detail control to add fullness and depth to vocals and bass instruments while cleaning up the muddy low mid-range frequencies.
The TASCAM TA-1VP vocal processor was co-developed with Antares Audio Technologies to bring together everything you need for a polished, modern vocal sound, in the studio or live. The rackmount processor includes a microphone preamp, compression, de-essing, microphone & tube modeling and Antares’ world-famous Auto-Tune pitch correction. Perfect for live performance, house of worship or studio use, the TA-1VP brings your vocal sound into the 21st century.
The Auto-Tune module can be set for any level of pitch correction, in a variey of user-selectable scales. All settings can be recalled through presets on the front panel or through MIDI. Balanced TRS input and outputs are located on the rear panel, including a Double Track out for simulating doubled vocals. A S/PDIF digital output is also provided.
With the BlueTube DP V2 dual-path preamp, you get the best of two worlds. Found in many PreSonus products, it has received nothing but raves from users and the media alike. Its tube preamps are beloved for their warm, smooth sound, and the 12AX7 vacuum tubes in the BlueTube DP V2 are hand-selected and carefully tested to ensure top audio performance. Whether you want clean, transparent sound; ear-shredding fuzz; or something in between, you can achieve it with the BlueTube DP V2.
The BlueTube DP V2 offers far and away the widest variety of tone-shaping capabilities of any preamp in its class. Housed in a rugged, half-rackspace case that is built to travel, its rear panel sports two combo mic/instrument inputs and unbalanced ¼” and balanced XLR line outputs.