Bastl Instruments is no stranger to quirky takes on musical instruments and now they’re adding a portable stereo mixer to the lineup. The company just announced Bestie, a tiny mixer with plenty of vintage vibes and control options. This 5-channel stereo mixer boasts individual channel mutes and gain boosts up to +20 dB, so it should integrate nicely with a diverse array of instruments, from guitars to synthesizers and beyond.
This is a Bastl product, though, so innovation comes in the form of a built-in stereo distortion and saturation tool. Low-noise preamps accompany each channel, shining a spotlight on any saturation effects you apply. The effects go from subtle to absolute destruction with the twist of a dial. The company says that it will create a “distinct tremolo-like effect” when pushed to the maximum.
Design-wise, the Bestie , the Dude monophonic mixer. The form factor is portable and it is powered by a USB-C connection or four AA batteries. There are five stereo channels, translating to five audio sources, but there is a slight caveat. Just like many ultra-portable mixers like , the Bestie features tiny 3.5mm input jacks.
These jacks offer instant integration with gadget-like instruments, such as Korg Volcas and the like, but you will need an adapter (or five) to connect to professional-grade synthesizers, guitars and just about anything else. Unlike Teenage Engineering’s mixer, however, it looks like there is enough room in the back of the Bestie to accommodate 3.5mm to ¼-inch stereo jack adapters.
There is one other point of mention to separate Bastl’s new mixer from the pack. At $200, this thing is extremely budget-friendly. Compare that to the TX-6’s mammoth price tag of $1,200 and you can see the appeal. There are other mass-market portable mixers at this price range, but none with this kind of unique audio pedigree. The Bastl Bestie stereo mixer is available to demo at this week’s NAMM 2023 conference and is currently available for preorder, with products shipping out in the coming weeks.