Bastl Bestie Is A Portable Stereo Mixer With ‘Sweet Overdrive Character’

Bastl Instruments today introduced Bestie, a new portable stereo mixer that can run on battery power.

Bestie is a 5-channel stereo mixer with up to 20 dB boost, mute switch per channel, and flexible connectivity. Bestie is also a stereo distortion/saturator, with a pre-routed feedback channel that they say can create “juicy, crunchy sounds”

Mixing with Bestie can be pure vanilla, if you keep all the levels left of the 12 o’clock position. But once you start boosting, the sounds can start to fight for dominance.

A dedicated headphone output offers a loudness control with a smooth mixdown overdrive character and a pre/post mute switch, for previewing your channels before unmuting them to the speakers.

Channels 1 and 5 have a flexible connectivity scheme, accommodating 2x mono cable for left and right channels or 1x cable mono to split to both channels or a classic stereo jack.

Channel 3 serves as a feedback channel, which means it routes the output back to the input. If you plug anything into the Channel 3 input, it functions as a normal input channel. When utilizing Channel 3 as a feedback channel, the level before the 12 o’clock position functions as an added distortion and gain. If boosted beyond 0 dB, it will begin to self-oscillate and generate increasingly deeper tones as the channel is further amplified. At maximum settings, it produces distinct tremolo-like effects.

Here’s what they have to say about the feedback loop:

“A big part of the sonic aesthetics of Bastl Instruments and Casper Electronics is influenced by the so-called no-input-mixing technique. This is the technique of routing the output back to the input on mixing consoles and using gain and EQ to create different tones and noises without plugging any signals into the mixer.

However, fascinating outcomes arise when these feedback signals are interrupted by elements such as drums. They interact with the feedback tones and compete for dominance. Bestie is well suited for such experiments and directly encourages you to overload its circuitry and make the signals go ape.”

Features:

  • 5 stereo channels
  • Mute switch with light indication per channel
  • Level control per channel with up to 20 dB boost
  • Low noise preamps with sweet overdrive character (same as Dude)
  • Inputs via 3.5 mm stereo jacks
  • 3.5 mm jack output
  • 3.5 mm jack headphone output with loudness control
  • Pre/Post mute option for the headphone output (pre-listen)
  • Channel 3 is normalized to the output, making it a default feedback channel.
  • Channels 1 and 5 have two 3.5 mm jacks to also accept dual jack stereo or mono signals.

Pricing and Availability:

The Bestie is available now for €180.

12 thoughts on “Bastl Bestie Is A Portable Stereo Mixer With ‘Sweet Overdrive Character’

  1. No panning? What a weird omission. I got the Rolls MX28 as a compact (3 channel) stereo mixer. With left and right out, and two headphones, there’s actually quite a bit of fun routing to be done. The complaint about sound bleeding into other channels only happens at high gain, so that’s more about people not knowing what they’re doing.

    Hard to find little mini mixers like this. Hopefully other companies will pick it up, as I think there’s a market for this. Most compact mixers aren’t really compact.

  2. For anyone looking for a vintage or cheaper alternative I recommend looking into the Boss BX series of mixers, which I’m guessing these may be inspired by. Some of those are also compact and many seem to have a similar distortion character when overdriving the gain on the channels. If mixer distortion is what you seek and size is not an issue then the Tascam MM-1 is a good choice, which is similar to the Boss BX-16 but with added midi muting. Make sure you find one with the correct power supply included.

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