Analog Heat Direct-Input vs Mixer Aux Send/Return


another newbie with analog heat here…
using mackie 1402

tempted to put everything into mixer , main outs into heat , plug speakers into heat instead of main outs on mixer.
seems a little risky for some reason i’m not quite sure of.

other option is to only use in directly with a piece of equipment , maybe digitakt > Heat > Mixer >out
i only have 2 aux sends , ideally a reverb , delay. heat seems to be more of a 'glue it all together ’ type thing unless i want particular sounds distorted.

ideas ?


On the Mackie mixers you also have channel inserts for effecting specific instruments, and the Alt3/4 bus for treating a selected group of instruments.


Your problem is you’re using a behringer mixer. Behringer’s are the cheapest crappiest mixers you can get. Using an analog heat with a behringer is like trying to drive a formula one racecar on a dirt road.


In all fairness, Behringer mixers have improved considerably after they bought Midas… AFAIK anyway

I’m almost always using my heat after the master outs of my mixer, but then again I am not using it for crazy amounts of overdrive/dist. The i/o on the heat is balanced TRS so there’s no probs with the interconnects. I feel like using an aux buss with the heat would require a “wet solo” type of deal, and modulating that wet/dry is just too cool not to use.


Well it would make sense to use it after your master outs if the whole point of it is to mimic various forms of amplifier distortion.


The analog heat has no single point in how it’s meant to be used. YMMV obvs


Good day gentlemen. I am brand spanking new here. I followed this thread in hopes I could finally put an end to the mystery of the live board I’m trying to use. It has a Direct Effect In, an Effect Out, an Effect Return, and Aux 1 & 2 IN(only). It’s an old Fender 4212 and trying to get ANY information about it online is about as difficult as getting information on almost all of my gear! But that’s probably because awkward unheard of and rare things ( not just gear) gravitate towards my ainguished disposition. So I’m not surprised one bit. If anybody could please help this novice engineer to understand what the functions of the effects and aux on this particular board are I would be a new man! Here is another question that may sound foolish as well, but what in God’s name do ya’ll mean with all this “Heat” word used in every other sentence? Without knowing what it is, you guys sound nuts! Haha! I know that it’s me who’s nuts but imagine what I’m thinking as I read 'oh yeah I was gettin all geared up and that’s when I realized I needed to push the heat! So I was all up in the heat but I wasn’t getting any signal! Today’s when I realized the heat was hot. So I just shorted tip to ring and that’s when the heat was best. I love my heat! Has anyone tried the heat? Who is the heat? And why is heat heat heat heat? I’m so confused. Haha. Hey I just thought that was funny is all, I totally respect you guys so I’m not being a jerk. Anyways, what’s up?


Hi guys, I buy this mixer Allen Heat MixWizard 3,
and I’m looking for cables to connect my Heat as a send/return .
l thanks


Ordinary 1/4" cables is what you need. If you want to connect the Heat to the master insert (which is what i do, i have the same mixer, recommend it!) you will need 2x Y-cable (aka insert cables).


Hi there, many thanks for the help… so u got the same mixer?

How do u have it connected to work with the Heat ?


On your picture you have the Master Insert in the top left corner, right above the XLR outputs. You need Insert cables for these connections. Insert cables are two mono cables going into one stero cable, but don’t worry about the details.

Step 1: So you take each of the cables and stick one into the Left Input of the Analog Heat, and one into the Left Output of the Analog Heat. Then you connect the stereo end of the Insert cable into one of the insert points.

Step 2: Repeat with Right Input/Outpus etc.

Hope this helps!


I see okok must buy them…

Why not connect the send/return way ?


Hi guys, sorry to resurrect an old topic but I’m looking for a bit of advice. I currently have a bunch of devices connected to a Focusrite 18i20, one of which is an Octatrack, with the Heat on the Cue Outs. Currently, if I want to sample another device connected to the 18i20 I have to either record it into DAW and import to OT via USB, or disconnect from 18i20 and connect to the OT input. Either way seems like a hassle.

I have been offered a Behringer UB2222FX for a good price. If I get that, I can connect all my devices to that, and then use an aux send/return to send whatever channels I want to the Heat and back into the mixer without having to disconnect anything, correct?

Provided all my gain staging is correct, there should be very little drop in audio quality as opposed to plugging a device directly into the Heat inputs, is that correct?

I don’t mind dropping the $$$ on the mixer, but actually dismantling my current setup and rewiring everything through the mixer is a headache and will eat into my already very limited studio time. I don’t mind if the result will be increased efficiency in the long run, as long as I’m not sacrificing audio quality. I’d hate to get everything up and running and then have to dismantle and rebuild my original rig because the audio quality wasn’t good enough.

Anyone have any experience with this particular mixer and the Heat as an aux send/return?


Your interface has 20 outputs and mixer software. If you want to use what you got you could plug another output pair besides the ones going to your monitors into an OT input pair. Whatever you want to sample you can route from your DAW to the OT, or by using the mixer software if the DAW routing induces too much latency.

You can leave the Heat on the OT cues or you could use a 3rd output pair from the interface and again route whatever to the Heat by using either the DAW or perhaps better the mixer software. You can run the OT cue outputs into another input pair and by using the mixer software route that directly to the Heat, this way your cue outs are still heated but your heat can also accept any signal you route to it from the DAW or mixer software… You can create mixes in the mixer software or DAW and send multiple signals through the Heat or to the OT at the same time…

Lots more variations and alternate routing options can be done by using your current inteface, mixer software, and DAW. It’s too much for me to explain all the way through at the moment but wanted to give you the heads up that there’s a lot you can do with what you got that doesn’t require unplugging and re plugging anything, or buying anything else. Scarlett MixControl section of your interface manual is your friend right now if you want to look into this…


Hi Mike,

Thanks for reply, I appreciate it. I’m well aware that I can route the connections on my current setup in the way you described, and I have done it successfully in the past, but I hate the MixControl software, and I’m in no hurry to attempt it again. I’d rather go the hardware route so I don’t have to boot my computer up and fire up my DAW/MixControl every time I want to jam out. Plus the Behringer mixer will give me a few more inputs - a lot more if I run it alongside the Focusrite - and I could do with them, as I’m connecting and disconnecting devices a lot while recording.

Any insight into running the Heat on an aux send as opposed to connecting a device directly to the inputs? Will there be a difference in audio quality?


Forgive me if this has been covered, I did skim the thread… I think that everything in the signal path affects sound. So, it’s never going to be quite as “punchy” sounding as going direct. It’s the same with guitars, which is why there’s guys out there who will often play with no pedals because there’s nothing like that sound. Maybe with ideal power conditions, the best cables, and the most transparent mixer it would be hard to tell the difference though. I’d say it’s worth a try and if you don’t like it with the mixer you can use it direct :slight_smile:


Another topic to consider: when routing everything through the mixer you will loose the capability to record all single tracks into the computer in parallel/at once (depending on how many outputs the mixer gives you).

IMHO it all depends on your workflow, how many devices you want to run in parallel and the capabilities of the mixer.

And “yes”, you will loose audio quality, too. You’ll need to test it for yourself if it is a problem, because this is quite subjective matter.


I had that mixer for a while around 10 years ago. Solid build. I ran a k station synth, MPC 5000 SH101, future retro revolution and a jomox xbase09 through it. I found the sound quite dull with limited headroom. Sorry to be a negative.

As a heat owner, I tried using it as an insert aux/send return with a behringher XR18 digital mixer but was not very impressed with the result.

I think the general consensus is to feed the direct out’s into the heat for best results.

As you know there are so many different ways to incorporate it into a signal chain both complex and simple. Be ruthless pick 1 and go with it for a while!


I don’t have a heat but I haven’t experienced drop in audio quality using aux sends from my Macke 1202vlz4… At least nothing noticeable…


Thanks a lot guys, good replies and good info. Still on the fence about this but I see that the OB beta has just dropped so maybe I’ll try that and do my routing in my DAW for now.

Thanks again.