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confused about this mixer

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confused about this mixer

Postby pancake_lizard » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:44 am

Hi, I just received this audio mixer that I bought on amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Mackie-Mix-Mix8- ... 276&sr=8-1


this is my first mixer as I'm new to music production. I'm confused because there are 6 channels "even though it says 8" and what I don't understand is how they group lines 3/4 and 5/6 on the same channels, how can I control the volume of my individual instrument when they group 2 on the same channel? Sorry if this is a noob question I can't test it right now anyway because I don't have any input cables. Thanks for the help.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby innerchord » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:10 am

Input 3/4 and 5/6 are designed for stereo instruments and the like. If you need individual control of six sources, you really need a mixer with at least 6 mono channels.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby pancake_lizard » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:14 am

I see, well I have 4 instruments that I want to plug into the mixer. Can I just plug a single 1/4 inch line into each of the 4 channels then?
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Funkyflash5 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:34 am

Yes, just use the left input of each stereo channel (3/4 and 5/6)
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby MOF » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:56 am

Yes, just use the left input of each stereo channel (3/4 and 5/6)
I don’t think that will work. If you leave the pan potentiometer centred then the sound will be on the left channel only (unless the left channel routes to left and right by default until a right channel jack plug is inserted), if you pan hard right I think there’ll be a level drop and it won’t be possible to pan it extreme right.
Stereo pan pot’s are for correcting the balance of the stereo image, not extreme image shifting.
The best route for getting a central image with some panning ability is to have a Y cord from the instrument to both inputs of 3&4 or 5&6.
I may be wrong of course, I’m working from memory here.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Arpangel » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:34 am

When buying a mixer these days you have to be familiar with the sales lingo.
To make mixers more appealing manufacturers in the low/mid price range always make it seem like there are more channels than there really are, for instance a "1602" would be 8 mono channels and 4 stereo channels, so in reality you’ve only got 12 workable channels that have access to full EQ, aux sends etc.
Be very wary of this, and always make sure you dedicate a full single channel for each instrument.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby N i g e l » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am

My rack mixer is an RX1602 configured as 8 stereo inputs mixed to 2 stereo outputs !

plugging a mono source into the Left channel only, will route the signal to both R & L channels. The pan pot can then pan the mono signal to anywhere in the sereo field.

Same with my big Yamaha MG.

Mixer manuals Ive read are generally very good with not only lots of product info but connector wiring to.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Arpangel » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:44 am

N i g e l wrote:My rack mixer is an RX1602 configured as 8 stereo inputs mixed to 2 stereo outputs !

plugging a mono source into the Left channel only, will route the signal to both R & L channels. The pan pot can then pan the mono signal to anywhere in the sereo field.

Same with my big Yamaha MG.

Mixer manuals Ive read are generally very good with not only lots of product info but connector wiring to.

Great for stereo synths etc, but the description is still a bit of a swizz.
That really is stretching it a bit, as you’ve only got essentially eight independent channels, in my book it’s definitely an 8-2.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:52 am

MOF wrote:
Yes, just use the left input of each stereo channel (3/4 and 5/6)
I don’t think that will work.

Panto mode on: OH, YES IT WILL!

The left input signal is normalled to the right input, so plugging in to just the left socket will provide a 'dual-mono' signal through the channel path and it will behave just like another mono channel strip.

The manual is here: https://mackie.com/sites/default/files/PRODUCT%20RESOURCES/MANUALS/Owners_Manuals/Mix5_8_12FX_OM.pdf
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:56 am

Arpangel wrote:Great for stereo synths etc, but the description is still a bit of a swizz.
That really is stretching it a bit, as you’ve only got essentially eight independent channels, in my book it’s definitely an 8-2.

I agree it could be clearer if it said 'Stereo 8-2' rather than 16-2, but you can't really blame the manufacturers for assuming their customers have a basic level of understanding, common-sense and numeracy.

With the astonishing ease of access to full product literature online these days there really can be no excuse for not being fully aware of a product's capabilities in advance of purchasing the thing.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Arpangel » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:41 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Great for stereo synths etc, but the description is still a bit of a swizz.
That really is stretching it a bit, as you’ve only got essentially eight independent channels, in my book it’s definitely an 8-2.

I agree it could be clearer if it said 'Stereo 8-2' rather than 16-2, but you can't really blame the manufacturers for assuming their customers have a basic level of understanding, common-sense and numeracy.

With the astonishing ease of access to full product literature online these days there really can be no excuse for not being fully aware of a product's capabilities in advance of purchasing the thing.

Purchasing even what we would call "basic" audio equipment is a potential mine field for people new to recording, reading the literature is essential, but first, you’ve got to understand it!
If I was starting out, places like this forum, friends, Youtube etc would all be first on my list, and until I was sure I’d keep my wallet in my pocket.
I think there are distinctly different situations in which people buy gear, someone that has a job to do, like pod casting, making a demo, and that’s clearly the end result, the gear is a means to an end, and they only want to know what they "need" to know, unlike us Hugh, and others here, who’ve had a lifelong interest in all things audio.
But recording as we all know is a very technical field, and you have to study it and put in the time, it’s not instant gratification, that’s what I would say to anyone starting out.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby MOF » Wed Jun 24, 2020 2:37 pm

MOF wrote:
Yes, just use the left input of each stereo channel (3/4 and 5/6)
I don’t think that will work.

Panto mode on: OH, YES IT WILL!

(unless the left channel routes to left and right by default until a right channel jack plug is inserted)
I did insert a caveat Hugh. ;)
I’ve got a mixer like that that I don’t use anymore and couldn’t remember (or be bothered to switch it on to find out at such a late hour) how it would function. I wasn’t sure how the pan pot’ would work i.e. extreme left and right or just limited movement about the centre.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:19 pm

MOF wrote:I did insert a caveat Hugh. ;)

You did...

I wonder how much help it would have been to the OP to know that it might or might not work, though... ;)
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:49 pm

There is no legend screen printed on the mixer like there is on my 1202VLZ and it's not very clear in the manual, no mention in the paragraph about line inputs only a mention in the "Bal/Pan"section which I missed first time I looked.
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Re: confused about this mixer

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:19 pm

I agree about the lack of panel labelling and ambiguous wordings in the manual -- although the function is implied in a few places... but as always, the easiest, most accurate and fastest way of figuring stuff like this out comes from the block diagram which shows the stereo channel normalling very clearly:

mackie Mix8 block.png
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