Mackie have announced that their popular line of VLZ3 compact mixers has just been joined by two new models: the 2404 and the 3204. Far from simply adding more channels to the existing design, however, these latest arrivals incorporate some neat new features that make them even more suitable for front-of-house, studio and location-recording duties.
Like many of their mixer-making rivals, Mackie have seen fit to shoehorn a USB interface into these latest desks, and this endows them with four-in, two-out computer recording and playback functionality. The four record sends can be taken from the four busses, the main outputs or auxiliary outputs 5 and 6, while a stereo return from your computer can be routed to either the two-track return or one of the stereo channel strips (of which more later).
But that’s not all: the 2404 and 3204 also each have a dual-effects engine built in, which can be fed from auxes 1 and 2. These have 24 presets, including the usual reverb, delay and modulation effects (as well as some combinations, such as chorus and delay). Each preset has one editable parameter, and all time-based effects can be sync’ed to tempo via a tap-tempo button.
Both new models also feature onboard compression on all four busses and on four of the mono channels. The compressors are simple, one-knob affairs, and these presumably work by lowering the threshold while simultaneously increasing the ratio, as the amount of compression is increased.
The channel configuration of the two newcomers is as follows: the 2404 features 20 mono mic/line strips and two stereo, line-only channels, while the 3204 has 28 mono channels and two stereo inputs. Both feature six aux sends plus six stereo effects returns, as well as a built-in talkback mic, which can be routed to auxes 1 to 4, and/or the main mix.
No UK price was available at the time of writing, but to give you some idea, the US price for the 2404 will be $1349.99, while the 3204 will sell for $1699.99.