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dalekphalm

Sound guru's - looking for alternative mixer to the Mackie ProFX12v2 that doesn't drop gain by -18dB

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys,

 

We're starting to do a lot more live events at work (Mostly panels and talks, book authors doing live readings, etc) - and we are setting up infrastructure to play the event live in person (analog audio), while also recording to file, and streaming locally to other locations on the internal LAN.

 

For our initial test, we used some random generic mixer with a PreSonus 2-CH USB Interface (Mics and Monitor speakers hooked up to the mixer, and then used tape-out into the PreSonus Interface) - this worked well, but we wanted to simplify the setup (plus the mixer was an employees personal mixer from home). So we purchased a Mackie ProFX12v2 mixer, which had everything we wanted feature wise, but as a bonus, had a USB interface.

 

However, after testing the Mackie, I noticed the USB interface's audio was significantly quieter than the analog audio - I was boosting gain artificially as much as +20dB. After some research, it turns out that apparently Mackie applies a -18dB drop to the gain over USB due to something to do with Digital Interfaces being very susceptible to distortion above 0dB.

 

I can pad the audio by +18dB in OBS (What we use to stream and record), but with a live environment, I'm worried about that just picking up way too much background noise.

 

So now we're kind of back to square one, and we're going to have to use the PreSonus interface again (we have a 2-CH and 8-CH one - though I'll probably just use the 2-CH one and take it off the Tape-Out output).

 

Does anyone know of a Mixer that is comparable in terms of input numbers and features/quality to the ProFX12v2 (in particular we wanted the large number of XLR inputs for mics - we hardly have instruments in-use, and while we have some DI boxes if we need to use a Mic on a 1/4" jack, we'd rather not have to) - that doesn't apply a gain drop to the USB interface?

 

I can still return the ProFX12v2 - I've got about 3 weeks left on the return policy. But without a good replacement (something not significantly more expensive, ideally), there's no point in returning it.

 

If I have to, I'll use the PreSonus interface - but I'd rather have one mixer that can do it all well.


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Interesting, I have the smaller version of that same line of mixer.  It doesn't have a USB interface so I've never noticed this problem.

 

Perhaps one of these?

https://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed60-14fx/

 

It also has effects, a great number of inputs, EQ on basically every channel, etc. and a USB interface that I suspect will not have the problem you mentioned.  We have the smaller version of this and never had an issue with it reducing volume.

 

Edit: unfortunately it does appear to be literally double the price though.  I'll keep looking.

Edit 2: Looks like the Canadian pricing doesn't scale with the US pricing in quite the same way between manufacturers and units.  Here's some units in roughly the same price bracket that have at least 6 XLR inputs as well as USB:

I can't personally attest to the quality or functionality of all of them, but as mentioned we do have an A&H ZED-series mixer and it's always been fine (when I can figure out how to work it lol)

 

---

 

Alternatively, if you're not using every channel on the Mackie, you could run the computer in to one of the analog inputs rather than using the USB interface.  Just needs the right cable which would be ~$10

Edited by Ryan_Vickers
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I second the yamaha and Allen Heath stuff.


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Audio:

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McIntosh C53 pre-amplifier

McIntosh MP1100 phono pre-amplifier

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