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All Things Audio
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Old August 12th, 2006, 09:19 AM   #31
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Baltimore, MD USA
Posts: 2,317
In the smaller format mixers, they saved a few bucks on parts on the front ends. In doing so, there's some distortion added when you plug anything into a line input and have the Mackie input control set across a certain range.

So if you buy an expensive mic preamp to sound better and plug it into the line input, the mackie will degrade the signal. They suggested I try the insert input, which bypasses the problem area, but must be done unbalanced.

The larger format Mackie consoles apparently don't have this prroblem.

I found this by accident when I was reviewing the 16 channel VLZ XDR mixer, When I asked Mackie about what I was hearing, they got back to me and said "Oops!, we missed that!"

In general, Mackie mixers make thing sound harder and brighter. When I put my Revox mixer into semi retirement, I found the Mackie 1604 made everything I had previously recorded sound a lot brighter. e. g. Some of my voice tracks were overly sibilant...and I don't have a sibilance problem.

In general you do get what you pay for. Lord knows, there are LOTS of mackie mixers out tehre. I have one here I use for monitor routing and other non-critical applications. They are great for that, but I would hesitate to use them for critical recordings.

For my studio rig, I go from my external mic pres (GML and Millennia Media) to an outboard RME A/D converter to the optical input of a Digi 002. This bypasses the entire front end of the 002 (which ain't bad, but could be better) and puts really good audio on my timeline. GML and Millennia Media aren't the only good mic pres out there, but thery are very, very good and make a difference with the mics I use.


Ty Ford
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