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Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:01 am

ThanosF wrote:I get it that there are no big differences in this price range.
I'm also frustrated by the A&H and Mackie "14 channel mixers" who actually have 6 (!) mono channels, so actually 10 channels. I only need occasionally 1 or 2 stereo inputs. 4 stereo inputs is an overkill for me and it makes me look at higher mixers for 16 channels for no reason. Also Mackie has added a bus path for any channel you choose, which is AMAZING. Can't see this feature in any other mixer on this price category. Weird!

The way channel count is described has always been a bit of a con, you have to examine the spec carefully.
Mackie have this bad habit of cutting off the aux sends if you use the Alt Out on their smaller mixers, AFAIK no other mixers do this.
Routing? My Behringer can route any channel to any output, or combination of outputs.
Mackie and Behringer offer the best and most flexible options regarding routing on budget mixers, Yamaha, Soundcraft, A&H, all have routing restrictions on their smaller mixers.
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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby ThanosF » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:07 am

I just tried this one out. I have a mic on the first channel going out to the Alt Out and that goes into my modular system. Then I tried to use an external delay fx on the AUX send/return. The signal goes through but it's super hot and distorts in a bad way. The fx is barely audible. Super weird. This is not cool, I didn't know about it. I'm wondering if the Yamaha MG16 mixer is a better option. It's the only one in this category I can find (except the Mackie's) that offers ALT OUTs.
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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:22 pm

Arpangel wrote:Mackie have this bad habit of cutting off the aux sends if you use the Alt Out on their smaller mixers, AFAIK no other mixers do this.

It's an inherent side-effect of Mackie's unique Mute/Alt 3/4 o/p system.

It's normal practice on most consoles for any post-fade aux sends to be muted when the channel output is muted, and that's exactly what happens in the Mackie desk. The idea is to kill the channel's reverb send (say) if the channel itself is killed.

However, on the Mackies, because the mute button doubles up as a routing button, if you route the channel output to Alt3/4 you inherently also kill the channel's post-fade aux send. (If the aux output is globally set to pre-fade it still works, of course, regardless of the state of the mute/Alt 3/4 button).

It's not a perfect solution; it's a compromise that provides some handy but basic multitrack routing capability in a live sound mixer without the expense and complexity of a full routing system. For many the extra versatility makes the compromise worthwhile, but for those who want full multitrack routing it's too restrictive a way of working.
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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby tomas » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:28 pm

A few months ago when I looked for a small mixer in that price range, A&H Zed series was the only one I could find with a parametric mid-EQ. It also has a kettle lead (IEC) socket. I’m well pleased with the Zed-10FX. Although launched some 12 years ago, it’s still in production.
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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:33 pm

ThanosF wrote:I just tried this one out. I have a mic on the first channel going out to the Alt Out and that goes into my modular system. Then I tried to use an external delay fx on the AUX send/return. The signal goes through but it's super hot and distorts in a bad way. The fx is barely audible. Super weird. This is not cool, I didn't know about it. I'm wondering if the Yamaha MG16 mixer is a better option. It's the only one in this category I can find (except the Mackie's) that offers ALT OUTs.

Your mic should be clean all the way to the Alt Out, there should be no signal going to your FX unit at all, as the aux has been cut off.
Why can't you use the main mix output? aux sends will work normally with that output.
It's difficult to work out things like this, it sounds as though something is routed wrongly somewhere.
There are work arounds for this aux cut-off issue, insert your effects between the synth and mixer input if you really have to use the Alt Out.
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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby ThanosF » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:21 pm

I'm already using the main mix output to my recorder. Also to be clear, I don't need the fx for the channel that i send to the Alt Out but to the other channels that come from my modular system. I could send the modular signals into the pedal, but that would probably fry it! So that's not an option either. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong here. I'll try again and come back to you. Thnx for the reply!

Arpangel wrote:Your mic should be clean all the way to the Alt Out, there should be no signal going to your FX unit at all, as the aux has been cut off.
Why can't you use the main mix output? aux sends will work normally with that output.
It's difficult to work out things like this, it sounds as though something is routed wrongly somewhere.
There are work arounds for this aux cut-off issue, insert your effects between the synth and mixer input if you really have to use the Alt Out.
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Re: Upgrading my Mackie 802 VLZ4

Postby Arpangel » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:56 am

ThanosF wrote:I'm already using the main mix output to my recorder. Also to be clear, I don't need the fx for the channel that i send to the Alt Out but to the other channels that come from my modular system. I could send the modular signals into the pedal, but that would probably fry it! So that's not an option either. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong here. I'll try again and come back to you. Thnx for the reply!

I'm confused about a lot of things here.
I would use the Alt Out routing to monitor back from my computer, the Main Out to record, I then select both Alt and Main in the monitor section as needed.
You shed light on an important issue, you're using a pedal, if a line signal from a mixer output or aux send is going into that pedal that could explain the distortion you're getting.
You can plug a modular straight into a pedal, just attenuate the output level of the synth!
Your modular must have a mixer, VCA, or attenuator to do this. You can plug anything into a pedal as long as you match the level.
There are lots of good articles in SOS about basic recording techniques, I'm not saying any way is "right" but it is "wrong" if it's not doing what you want it to do.
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