A mixing console, also known as an audio mixer, an audio production console, or a mixing desk, is an electronic device used for combining or mixing and routing audio signals from many sources to different destinations or to a single location. The device is used in an array of applications such as public address systems, recording studios, broadcast television, and film post-production, among others.
The music preferences of millennials and the gen-Z population are unique, and they desire something new and different, which is compelling sound and music producers to churn out new music more frequently than before. Music producers are now making, mixing, and storing music. However, with more independent artists coming into the music scene, there are chances of the sound being repeated, which leads to a limited timeline for artists to create music.
The global mixing console market’s revenue is expected to reach USD 8,073.8 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 5.2%.
Manufacturers of mixing consoles are likely to integrate advanced technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things) to make it possible for music producers and sound engineers to remotely control their equipment either via their mobile phones or laptops. For instance, Presonus has StudioLive Series3, StudioLive AR, and StudioLive Classic digital mixers, which enable users to wirelessly control their devices from IOS devices, Android devices, and laptops. This enables musicians to work from a remote location while traveling. Though there are devices that offer remote operation of the equipment, it still needs considerable innovations. Furthermore, there are dedicated music application software, such as the one developed by Ohm Studio, which allows musicians to collaborate and produce music over the internet, even if they are in different locations.
Several companies are carrying out research and development activities to actively integrate AI with music in a bid to provide a better sound experience. For instance, Salsa Sound has launched an automated, innovative system that creates live audio mixes of football matches and is based on patented AI technology belonging to Salsa Sound. Furthermore, Midas Consoles, in August 2019, announced its intention to launch Heritage-D, a 24-channel AI system that offers artificial intelligence-assisted choices for equalizer and music dynamics. Similar developments of integrating innovative technologies such as IoT and AI in sound mixing consoles are expected to result in the growth of the mixing consoles market.
Digital mixers are electronic sound transmission devices that are used to combine, route, and change dynamics of multiple audio input signals using digital computers, which are programmed to process audio signals digitally via an analog to digital converter and send them into the mixer. Digital mixers consist of several Digital Sound Processing (DSP) devices to replace the circuitry used in analog mixers and provide equalization, dynamics-shaping, and complex routing control. Digital mixers offer sophisticated channel equalizers as well as effects and output processing, such as graphics EQs. They often provide advanced routing options and grouping assignments. In these devices, all channels and systems can be controlled through a handful of faders by arranging them in fader layers.
A digital mixing console is more expandable; a greater number of external devices can be connected to the system. It is more resistant to external sounds compared to analog counterparts, resulting in a cleaner sound. Digital mixing consoles find applications in concerts, bars and restaurants, casinos, houses of worship, live entertainment, recording studio, shows, movies, sports activities such as IPL and the FIFA world cup, and others. The major advantages of digital mixing consoles include their ability to save and recall mixers. Apart from this, these consoles reduce wiring and hardware management and cost as DSP systems do not require any distribution systems, rack mount housing, and maintenance.
Broadcast radio focuses on providing broadcast services, whether it is for studio or software, installation, training, or managed services. The mixing console is specifically designed to meet the rigorous demand of the radio industry, as its flexible design allows it to be readily adapted to any ON-AIR applications.
The continuous digitization of distribution infrastructure and the demand for niche content are expected to generate significant demand for broadcast TV in the market. Broadcast TV is the emergence of smart TVs, which offer better viewing quality and comfort, along with bigger and slimmer screens. The increasing use of TVs in various metro and non-metro cities propels the demand for mixing consoles. According to our analysis, 78% of the people in India watch TV in non-metro cities, which supports local market players to invest and focus more on non-metro cities’ consumers. The mixing console market is likely to record lower revenues from TV broadcasting services, whose revenues plunged by around 4% in 2017, owing to a decline in advertising revenue and the high license fees associated with television.
A console mixer is one of the most important instruments needed to get things done in a recording studio. Analog and digital mixer instruments are used to blend audio signals from various input devices to create a harmonious sound. With console mixers, music producers or artists can control the volume, tone, and timbre of different sounds, as well as dub sound in various languages. Mixing console systems are used in various applications, including pro recording studios, PA/sound reinforcement, and film post-production. A pro recording studio has a separate control room, large live room, and small isolation booths. In a professional studio, a band can play together at the same time, which is an important part of music performance. It is often available with different mixers as per the studio. Digital mixers are usually used in pro recording studios, as it offers remarkable benefits.
The direct distribution channel is managed and organized directly by the manufacturer or producer. Manufacturers of mixing consoles are expected to adopt the direct channel of distribution as they have a niche target audience. Some companies in the market operate through indirect selling, while others employ a variety of indirect distribution channels such as third-party networks, wholesalers, retailers, e-commerce websites, and value-added resellers. The selection of wholesalers and distributors depends on the geographical areas to which they cater, the potential of the market, total sales, and the profit margin that the distributors demand. Sometimes, distributors and wholesalers who have an extensive geographical reach demand relatively higher profit margins as they cater to a large customer base.
In North America, the U.S. is the largest and most influential music market across the globe. The global recorded music industry generated USD 16.3 billion in terms of revenue in 2017. Streaming has become a massive resource of the music industry. Furthermore, the recording industry is expected to witness significant growth and supplement the demand for mixing consoles for better reliability and stability of sound in the region.
Europe has been an active player in the global music industry. Among the top ten music markets of 2017, Germany, the U.K., and France were featured in the list compiled by the IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic industry). These economies have witnessed an increase of around 46.2%, 41.1%, and 24.1%, respectively, based on streaming revenues. However, the overall growth rate in Europe accounted for 4.3% in 2017, which is lower than the growth rate of 9.1% achieved by Europe in 2016. This decline is primarily due to the looming crisis of Brexit, which has caused considerable disturbances and imbalances in trade and economic activities in economies within the European Union and outside it.
Considerable efforts are being collectively undertaken by Europe to promote the growth of music production in economies within its framework. The first initiative was taken by the European Commission in 2015, which works around the welfare of artists in areas such as fair remuneration, repartition, and revenue share for the artists. This is likely to lead to an increase in music production by independent artists, and a considerable amount of market growth can be achieved by mixing consoles from the European music sector, which is responsible for generating annual revenues exceeding USD 27 billion. Under this initiative, over 90 music projects, which include platforms, cooperation projects, and networks, have been funded under the ongoing Creative Europe Program with an approximate budget of USD 62 million in 2018.
The region also has a rich background in conducting and promoting public festivals. For instance, France is particularly popular in holding musical festivals. In the 98 music festivals that France conducted in 2012, traditional/jazz, and electronic/amplified genre held shares of around 27% and 22%, respectively. Other prominent countries that are famous for public-funded festivals are Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Russia, and Poland.
In China, over 72% of the population listens to music. The younger population here spend approximately 16 hours a week listening to music. The Indian music industry is an important source of revenue for the Indian government. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the Indian music industry grew by 24.5% and generated a revenue of USD 156 million in 2018. This is attributed to the increasing penetration of smartphones and low data rates and an increase in the demand for mixing consoles in the region. Asia-Pacific is expected to hold a prominent share in the mixing console market. This is attributed to the growing digitalization and rising penetration of smartphones and the internet.
In Latin America, Latin music is one of the top music genres and experiencing significant growth. The recorded music market encompasses retail, mobile, sales, physical and digital distribution, streaming, industry trends, and strategies. Recording music revenue is experiencing growth in the region. Brazil and Colombia have particularly witnessed an increase in subscription rate to streaming platforms and notable occurrences in Chile, Argentina, and Peru.
South Africa is a major hub for repertoire creation, with its music reflecting the diversity of its people. Presence of choir group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow, and singer and songwriter Simphiwe Dana are expected to upsurge recorded music sales, supplementing the demand for mixing consoles in recording stations.
Some of the prominent players in the mixing console market are Yamaha, Harman, PreSonus Audio Electronics, RCF SPA, AEQ International, Stage Tec GmbH, Mackie, and DiGiCo, among others.