It might look like a simple analogue desk, but beneath the MGP16X’s familiar exterior lies some extensive digital processing.
Yamaha have a long history of building both analogue mixers and digital processors, so when it comes to designing a mixer with integral effects and DSP processing, they’re not short on expertise. Their MGP16X is a 16-input mixer which employs a novel mix of analogue and digital technology. As on so many small-format mixers, the number of mic inputs is somewhat fewer than the overall input count, with the remaining inputs being made up of line-only channels. In this instance there are 10 mic/line inputs; the first eight of these channels have TRS jack insert points, while the last two may alternatively be used as stereo line-only channels. The remaining four inputs are configured as a pair of ‘Stereo Hybrid’ line-only channels, albeit endowed with some extra features. There are four groups.
The MGP16X also features dual on-board digital effects drawing on Yamaha’s SPX and REV technology, digitally modelled analogue EQ, and ‘one-knob’ compression on the first eight mic/line channels. Some less common features are also included: the dedicated stereo channels offer their own bag of digital tricks comprising ducking, levelling and stereo-width adjustment. All this is possible because the DSP is doing far more than simply running effects. In fact, the block diagram doesn’t make it entirely clear which functions are implemented digitally and which are analogue, though the manual implies that all the EQ, the ducking, the levelling and the the effects are digital.
Outwardly, the mixer looks like a typical Yamaha compact analogue desk, with steel panels and moulded end cheeks. It features largely metal construction, measures just 447 x 143 x 495mm and weighs 9kg. Rackmount adaptors are recessed into the end cheeks and, as delivered, these are reversed so that nothing sticks out to give you a nasty surprise. Unbolting them and fitting them the other way around gives you the familiar rackmount format.
From a construction point of view the MGP16X seems adequately rugged, with the knobs set just above the control surface so that any pressure or impact will cause them to bottom out on the front plate rather than damage the PCB to which they are mounted. The internal layout is designed for convection cooling, so there are no noisy fans, and those rack ears make flightcase mounting a simple option. I particularly like the fact that the PSU is internal rather than being a clumsy wall-wart, and because it uses switching-mode circuity, there’s no need to change any settings when moving between countries.