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Yamaha AG08

Podcast & Live Streaming Mixer By Matt Houghton
Published September 2023

Yamaha AG08

Your computer sees the AG08 as four separate USB audio interfaces, so it can be addressed by multiple apps at the same time...

In recent years the market for podcasting and streaming hardware has blossomed and the latest arrivals to the party are Yamaha. Given that they and their subsidiary Steinberg have been in the mixer, audio interface and digital audio game for decades their presence is hardly surprising, but their AG08 deliberately treads a slightly different path from most competitors: its hardware controls are simpler, more akin to those of an analogue mixer, and there’s no onboard recording facility — the AG08 is very much intended for use with a computer or iPad.

While this means you can do a little less using the hardware alone than with, say, a RodeCaster Pro, Zoom PodTrak or Tascam Mixcast, many will find the controls simpler and more intuitive, and when you wish to dive deeper there’s the free AG08 Controller app for that. Crucially, when hooked up to a Mac or Windows computer or iOS device over USB, the AG08 presents as several separate devices, allowing it to function as a conventional 24‑bit, 48kHz multi‑channel (8‑in/2‑out) audio interface, and as multiple virtual interfaces for routing audio from different apps out to the hardware, before passing a mix back to your computer or out to another device for streaming or recording.

Weighing 2.2kg, it’s portable but has the heft to stay put on its rubber feet even with many cables attached.


Available in a black or white finish, the AG08 has a fairly compact footprint, with angled side panels rising to support a wider control panel on the top. Weighing 2.2kg, it’s portable but also has the heft to stay put on its rubber feet, even with many cables attached. In the box are the AG08, a universal 12V wall‑wart PSU, a 1.5m USB‑C to USB‑C cable (the AG08 can be bus‑powered but the PSU is required for use with an iPad; there’s no Android USB support), a multilingual safety guide, a Precautions & Legal Information leaflet... and a curiously minimal introduction to the AG08 that directs you to the online product page and user manual. Leaflets also provide download codes for some capable software: Steinberg’s Cubase AI and WaveLab Cast for Mac/Windows (there’s a free update to the new v2 for v1 users, by the way), and Cubasis LE for iPad.

On the analogue side, as well as having two mono and three stereo inputs that cater for a range of different sources, the AG08 boasts multiple outputs, on XLRs, quarter‑inch jacks and TRRS mini‑jack.On the analogue side, as well as having two mono and three stereo inputs that cater for a range of different sources, the AG08 boasts multiple outputs, on XLRs, quarter‑inch jacks and TRRS mini‑jack.

The first two of eight rear‑panel inputs are mono, with XLR‑jack combi connectors accepting mic or line sources, and the centre jack for channel 2 doubling up as a high‑impedance (1MΩ) instrument input. The remaining analogue inputs are for three stereo channels: 3+4 are line level on dual quarter‑inch jacks; 5+6 have both RCA phono connectors and a stereo mini‑jack, the latter taking priority; and 7+8, which is mini‑jack only but it’s a TRRS type that serves both as an input and an analogue aux output. This last socket is the only means of connecting an Android phone, and on the subject of phones it’s worth noting that there’s no Bluetooth connectivity, a feature found on many competing devices and whose omission won’t bother everyone but some will miss. There are also two stereo analogue outputs: mix out on dual quarter‑inch TRS jacks, and monitor out, presented on both XLR and TRS sockets. Completing the rear‑panel connectivity are the 12V power inlet and USB‑C socket (USB 2), with a switch to select the power source, and an assignable footswitch jack.

On the top panel, each analogue input has its own channel with a fader and mute switch, and the three stereo channels can alternatively receive stereo USB feeds from a computer/iPad; a switch toggles between the analogue line and USB sources. These channels also have a slide switch to route them to the Streaming bus, of which more later, and channels 3+4 have a high/low gain switch which, effectively, is a pad to accommodate hot signals.

All input channels have a signal‑present/peak LED, which lights red 3dB below clipping, but channels 1 and 2 are more fully featured. These have a traditional analogue mic preamp gain knob at the top, along with switches for +48V phantom power (with status LED), a 26dB pad and, for channel 2, a line‑level/instrument input switch. They also have access to DSP processors and effects. A backlit button engages an EQ plus compressor preset, whose settings can be tweaked using the app. A similar FX button sends the signal to a reverb/delay effect, set using a push‑turn encoder that allows you to switch between reverb, delay or both; again, this is tweakable using the app. Each of these two channels also has its own dedicated effect. For channel 1, that’s a Voice Changer, which has hardware pitch (±1 octave) and formant shift controls but further effects can be added using the software (more on that below). Channel 2 has a button to engage an amp sim: a preset, but the settings by can be adjusted in the app. Finally, four buttons store and load channel 1 presets, so you can quickly recall any detailed settings you make using the app. (Obviously, this only recalls the digital settings — not, for example, the preamp gain or phantom status.)

The top‑right section is for monitor control. By default, the mix of all selected sources is sent to the monitor out and two headphone outs. The latter have both quarter‑inch TRS jack and mini‑jack connectors, and for headphone channel 1 only that’s is a TRRS type, so a headset’s mic can appear on channel 1 — potentially useful for gamers wanting to use voice effects. Both headphone channels have a switchable Mix Minus facility to avoid hearing a distracting echo. A stereo six‑segment LED meter indicates the level of the Streaming mix, and a Cue button previews this separate mix over the monitors/headphones. Bottom right are six sound pads. These are pre‑loaded with radio‑show friendly sounds (canned applause etc), but you can record over them using the Shift and Rec buttons, or edit/load samples using the app.

Driving Range

I discovered that you can plug the AG08 into a Mac and use it as a multi‑channel audio interface straight away, but you really shouldn’t: for the AG08 to be properly recognised by the OS and by the AG08 Control app, you must first install the dedicated USB drivers. My M1 Mac’s overzealous security system made this trickier than it should have been, but the AG08 manual helpfully explained how to overcome this problem.

When installed, the AG08 presents to the computer as four separate devices. The first, ‘Yamaha AG08 DAW’, is an 8‑in/2‑out interface, and provides access to all the hardware input channels, with the stereo DAW output fed back at unity gain to the AG08’s monitor, mix, Streaming and aux outputs; you’d choose this one for typical music‑production projects. The other three, which can be accessed by other apps at the same time, are stereo. ‘Yamaha AG08 Streaming / CH3‑4’ uses the AG08’s Streaming bus as its input signal, so you’d use this to feed a signal to your streaming or podcast recording app. Its output appears on the AG08 as the USB source for channels 3+4. ‘Yamaha AG08 Voice / CH5‑6’ uses only the first two AG08 input channels as input sources, while ‘Yamaha AG08 AUX / CH7‑8’ accesses the main mix. The outputs from these are the AG08’s USB source for channels 5+6 and 7+8, respectively.

Once you’ve installed the drivers, the AG08 is seen by your computer as four separate devices — a multitrack interface for your DAW, and three stereo devices that you can use with multiple apps when streaming or podcasting.Once you’ve installed the drivers, the AG08 is seen by your computer as four separate devices — a multitrack interface for your DAW, and three stereo devices that you can use with multiple apps when streaming or podcasting.

The reason for all these virtual devices is to allow multiple apps to send different signals to the hardware on different channels. You can, for example, create a mix of your voice coming in through a mic, the sound from a game on your computer, plus music from a browser on the same machine, and route the result to a streaming or recording app, again running on the same machine. Or you could record a live radio‑style podcast, with two people speaking into mics, and phone calls coming in on Zoom and Skype, and another app providing music, while the result is recorded to your DAW or streamed by OBS.

Control App

You can do all of that using only the hardware controls but most people will want to use the control app too. This communicates bidirectionally with the AG08 over USB and detects the hardware automatically. (If it doesn’t, it’ll run in demo mode, implying a need to check the USB connection or perhaps whether your OS’s security settings have prevented proper installation). There are two main modes: the beginner‑friendly Simple mode is about as far from intimidating as is possible, while Detail mode offers access to all the AG08’s digital processing, effects and routing. In both modes, a Sound Check wizard can help you set appropriate levels. This works well, though a small ‘gotcha’ is that if you’ve pressed the Cue button in you won’t hear the playback test until you set channels 3+4 to Streaming mode or disengage Cue.

While the hardware works as a standalone mixer, the AG08 is intended for use with a computer: the AG08 Controller app provides access to more DSP functions.While the hardware works as a standalone mixer, the AG08 is intended for use with a computer: the AG08 Controller app provides access to more DSP functions.In Detail mode, a main window displays key information for all input and output channels. That’s already more detail than on the hardware, but buttons then open various windows with more controls. For example, in the main window, you can tweak the compressor threshold and ratio using nodes on a graph‑style display, but click the pop‑out icon for the compressor and you’ll find slider controls for threshold, ratio, attack, release and make‑up gain, along with an auto make‑up gain toggle, and a choice of soft, medium or hard knee shapes. Similarly, for the EQ the main page has a graph with frequency/gain nodes for each band, but in the dedicated page you can change the filter type for the top (bell, shelf, low‑pass) and bottom (bell, high‑pass; there’s already a dedicated high‑pass filter) bands, and each band has sliders for frequency, Q and gain.

Separate windows for channel 1 and 2’s effects also provide more options. For channel 1’s Voice Changer, you have finer control over pitch and formant and are also treated to a second Voice Effect option: any one of Dual Pitch (great for ‘Uptown Funk’ style ‘duh doooo do’ backing vocals!); a band‑passed, slightly distorted Radio Voice; a Tremolo; and Pitch Fix, an Auto‑Tune style pitch‑corrector. Meanwhile, channel 2’s amp sim has amp‑style gain, EQ and level controls; there may be better plug‑in models out there, but it doesn’t sound bad. It can kick out some hiss when not in use, though, and I’d quite have liked the option to insert a noise gate or expander; consider this a firmware update suggestion! There are more options for the delay/reverb send effects too: hall, room or stage types, reverb and pre‑delay times, high‑frequency damping and diffusion, and high/low‑pass filtering. At the top of channels 1 and 2 in the main window, a preset menu has useful options for various voices, mics and creative effects but, strangely, you can’t save your own presets here. You can save the current channel 1 settings to the hardware’s preset pads, of course, but a proper librarian that allowed you to assign software presets to these pads would be welcome.

The stereo channels are less tweakable but usefully all have a ducker that can be switched on/off in the main page, or configured more deeply in a dedicated window. They can each be ducked by channel 1, channel 2 or both mics, and you can set the threshold (very useful to avoid breaths close to the mic triggering ducking briefly!), the range, and decay (ie. release time).

For the Streaming output, there’s the Maximizer — a multiband compressor that can help to get vocals up to a more broadcast‑appropriate level when streaming, though I probably wouldn’t record through it. Its ‘tweaking’ window allows you to set to the crossover frequencies, and the threshold, ratio, gain and attack and release times for each band.

Back on the main Detail page, you can specify which signal plays over the monitor output and another page, accessed via a Settings menu, repeats these options and enables you to choose the source (Streaming or Aux) for channel 7+8’s TRRS output, and to link the mix out to the monitor out. This Settings menu accesses various other housekeeping functions too, including firmware updates, footwsitch and Mix Minus configuration, a file librarian for the sound pads, and the ability to store and recall snapshots of the mixer’s digital settings. Speaking of sound pads, a Pad Settings window, accessible in both modes, allows you to load and trim samples, and to choose the playback mode (one shot, hold, or loop), set the level and the send level to a reverb, and to refine the reverb. You can also choose the pads’ backlight colours.

In Use

In use, the AG08 worked very well. I found basic operation super easy, and in terms both of the analogue electronics and digital effects the sound quality is good. Selecting the DAW driver as I usually would for any interface, I was quickly using it for music recording, capturing my vocal through channel 1 and DI’ing a guitar on channel 2, and monitoring the DAW mix on headphones; the headphone amps seemed clean, with plenty of level on tap.

The real raisons d’être of the AG08, though, are live streaming and podcast recording. To test this, I recorded several videos in OBS, in which I captured footage from my webcam and various software screens, while using the AG08 to mix the audio going into OBS, with some sources being ducked by my mic on channel 1. It was all trivially easy to set up. Another test involved sending the Streaming output to my Android phone, assigning the Streaming signal to channel 7+8’s TRRS output. While I’d obviously have preferred proper Android support over USB or perhaps a wireless feed of some sort, this did the job.

When it comes to the processors and effects, there perhaps isn’t quite the range found on some competing devices, but the EQ and compressor sound decent and are easy to tweak, the delay/reverb is useful, and the pitch‑based effects can be a lot of fun. The ‘hidden’ effects accessed through the app allow some really fun sounds to be created and assigned to the preset buttons too. What you can’t do, though, is have effects inserted on channels 1 and 2 for streaming and simultaneously record a dry signal using the DAW driver — you can do that without reverb or delay, but if the compressor, EQ, Voice Changer or amp sim are used, they’ll be printed.


What the AG08 does, it does very well. The multiple USB drivers make streaming a mix of external and in‑the‑box sources a breeze, the hardware sounds good and both the hardware and the control app are super easy to use. Even in the app’s Detail mode you’re never more than a click away from the main screen. There are some things the AG08 doesn’t offer that its main competition (eg. the RodeCaster Pro, Tascam Mixcast 4 and Zoom PodTrak P8) does. There’s no built‑in recording, for example, and with only two mic inputs you’d need to add external preamps for ‘four‑around‑a‑table’ podcast recordings. Also, there’s no dedicated provision for ‘back channel’ communication: unless muted, the mics always feed the streaming bus, so you can’t have a presenter on one mic and a producer offering prompts on the other. And there’s the lack of Bluetooth connectivity I mentioned above.

While that’s quite a list, the importance of those features very much depends on what you want a device like this for. I can’t think of a podcasting/streaming device that offers quite the same feature set. Its screen‑free ease of operation will win many fans, and the app offers more control when needed. It’s also worth noting that, as so often with Yamaha, the ‘street’ price seems to be significantly lower than the official one published on this page!


  • Multiple USB drivers mean several apps can access the device.
  • Simple, intuitive user interface...
  • ...but the app offers greater control.
  • Decent DSP effects/processors.
  • Analogue side of things sounds good.


  • Not as feature‑rich as some competition.


This user‑friendly mixer is unusual in appearing to the computer as several separate devices — while it can put in a decent performance for music production and podcast recording, it excels when it comes to live streaming.


£738 including VAT.

Yamaha UK +44 (0)1908 366700.


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