I am planning to buy my first mixer and would be grateful for advice. I have a Digitakt controlling my Roland JD-XA synth. The output from JD-XA is connected to the Digitakt so I can sample it but also, by using headphones connected to the Digitakt, monitor both the JD-XA and Digitakt. However, I miss the stereo sound from the JD-XA.
I think I need a mixer with several outputs? On my wishlist:
The Roland output connected to the mixer (R/L)
The Digitakt output connected to the mixer (R/L)
Additional inputs for future synths
The mixer output connected to the Digitakt for sampling, to my amplifier, to a computer (via Steinberg ur22), and to headphones.
Thanks in advance for suggestions.
Get a small Behringer if budget is tight. They really do sound just fine.
Get a Mackie VLZ4 if you want something nice. Especially the 1202 has a nice balance of features, size, and price.
I would buy a Mackie 1202VLZ4. Two aux sends and two stereo returns for external effects (guitar pedals, one delay and a reverb perhaps?)
Might be a bit more channels than you initially need but you get more options ahead.
Hi! I use a Mackie 1402-vlz for my setup. One of the great things about it is the alt out bus, which I have connected to the Digitakt.
This means that whenever I want to sample something I press the mute/alt out button on the mixer and voilà - it is sent to the Digitakt.
There are a bunch of mixers with this functionality, including the Mackie 802, 1202 etc.
ive had the same 1402 for over a decade, its still going strong…
I would recommend a secondhand (or new) Roland MX-1. It would let you connect the JD-XI to one of the four Aira-link USB ports on the mixer. It has 6 analog inputs, two of wich is a stereo channel that you can use to connect the digitakt until Overbridge is released. Then you can route any track from the Digitakt/DAW to any of the remaining unused USB and digital inputs on the mixer. It works as a standalone mixer, but is also a very flexible audio interface for your computer.
I agree with @L4rs3rik
1202 is small but with room to grow.
Works for Dataline!
Also the mono aux sends are ideal for DT’s sampling inputs.
Mackie VLZ’ss are good portable mixers with some interesting features (alt out is pretty great for sampling etups) but for the same price you can get a Soundcraft EPM12, and between the two I’d take the EPM, the EQ sounds really nice for the price and having faders is great.
They both have their strengths and weaknesses but if I had to choose one it would be the Soundcraft for using at home, no question about it. Better sound, nicer form factor. The one big thing the Mackie has going for it is being able to route any track to the alt outs by muting it, so you can easily set it up so that any muted tracks get sent right to the Digitakt’s sampling input. With the Soundcraft you could send the whole mix to it through the control room outputs (risk of feedback) or use the aux sends (this is what I do, it’s just a little more fiddly if you’re sending stereo signals (not an issue with Digitakt since it all gets summed to mono anyhow), but it’s nice to have control of the levels going to the sampler and you also have inserts on all of the mono channels, so you can send a pre EQ signal to your sampler that way, too. The main thing is that the EQ really does sound good on that thing, the sweepable mid band is really useful (the Mackie doesn’t have a mid band at all).
Behringers are totally fine for the price, too, don’t be put off by the naysayers on Gearslutz.
SOURCE: I got an EPM12 a few years ago and then a couple months later I found a perfectly working VLZ1202 in the trash and have used both a lot.
I primarily use an Allen & Heath Zed-14, which sounds great to me. I send one of the pre-fader aux sends to the Digitakt. The EQs are nice.
I’ve also used an old Yamaha MG10/2 forever (discontinued model with pre and post aux sends, not the current MG10 model). That thing is pretty great for what it is and has a small footprint. Looks like they can be had on ebay for around $50.
The best feature of Mackie mixers are their manuals.
I just got a Mackie 1642 VLZ4 and I’m extremely happy with it. Preamps are clean, and the routing (like everyone has mentioned) is excellent. The only complain I have would be the sliders feel a little fragile, however this isn’t really the kind of mixer you are going to be throwing sliders around with. I have mine racked in a DJ style case, so it’s protected in and out of the studio. I didn’t mind getting a mixer without FX since most of the time mixer FX are meh. I have a stack of pedals that I prefer using.
The routing tho…so MANY inputs, 4 aux channels, 4 sub groups, direct outs, inserts, there’s just so much you can do here. I’m using it as the final mixer before monitors/house, but with all the output options I can easily multi track into a DAW using a MOTU 828 mk3 + MOTU 2408 mk2 (giving me a total of 18 inputs).
Prior to this I was using a Yamaha MG12XU which was ite, but severely lacking on auxiliary channels.
11 replies in 6 h, impressive Forum!
Thank you for all suggestions! Many votes for Mackie VLZ4. The mute/alt out-function sounds perfect for Digitakt. And if it works for Dataline…
Roland MX-1 looks impressive, I will read more about that one also.
I own an original Mackie 1402 that I purchased new. I went with that because I was on tighter budget at the time and I wanted something with faders. I did a lot of recording and preforming with that mixer. The I/O was great for the time and I liked that it has some channel inserts. I’ll add that I prefer faders in a live setting.
I also own a 1604 VLZ3 which have no complaints with. I love the better noise levels and additional inputs and routing options.
A short follow-up - I finally got a mixer, a Mackie 1202VLZ4, and I am very satisfied. As many of you wrote - the mute/alt button is great together with the Digitakt. When I want to sample something I press the mute/alt button and that channel is sent to the Digitakt.
Thanks for all answers!
Other than mackie, which mixers have this option?? I spotted the behringer 1202, is there any others??
I thought that Mackies were the only mixers that have this “mute doubles as an extra aux bus” feature, but I see that some Behringers do now, too… Interesting.
in the curse for a tiny mixer now, i never remark the mg 10/2. im after one now…
Second the zed 14, to my ears it sums the tracks really well and I only use a stereo out to my duet.
Another vote for Mackie VLZ here (1402 owner). Sounds really good (better than most other mixers I’ve tried) for the money and it’s versatile enough to expand in the future.