Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain
Can somebody explain the differences between powered and unpowered mixers, and how they relate to drums. My main purpose is to be able to mic my kit and record myself.
I'm so lost in all this mixer stuff I don't even know where to begin. Understanding the pros and cons of powered vs. unpowered would be a great start.
Powered means you can run speakers, unpowered means you need the power to run speakers. We usually prefer unpowered mixers because I like to keep my power separate - and besides, you gonna need more power anyway.
But in your application, it doesn't sound like you need a powered mixer because you're not running speakers to get your sound into the house. If you're just recording yourself, and listening through headphones, or even small self-powered speakers on your desktop, then you do not need a powered mixer.
If you want a good primer on mixing consoles, do a search for the Mackie guide to small mixers (not sure of the title) but its a fairly well-known booklet and even though it's selling you on Mackie mixers, the theory is good that can be applied to most all analog mixers. That would be a good place to start because it's not written for engineers, it's written for guys who know nothing.