Mackie 1202 VLZ4 : AUX/SEND to stereo pedals?

Hi fellow elektronoauts!

I know some of you also use the 1202 VLZ4 mixer from Mackie, you might be able to help me with the following:

I would like to connect 2 stereo FX pedals (delay->reverb in a chain) to the AUX/SEND so I can send my synths trough them.

If I look at the mixer; I see 2 aux/send outputs (single output), but stereo returns.
Are the AUX/SEND mono? then why are there stereo returns?

How do you do it?
do you use both AUX/SEND outputs as a L/R? and then turn both knobs on the mixer to send L/R to 1 FX pedal (chain)? Or are there better ways to do it?

Thanks in advance and have a nice weekend!

If you connect the Left pedal input to Aux 1 output and Right pedal input to Aux 2 output you could have stereo effects if you used channels 1-4 as stereo pairs.

Channel 1 (left): Aux 1 up
Channel 2 (right): Aux 2 up
Channel 3 (left): Aux 1 up
Channel 4 (right): Aux 4 up

For the stereo channels you’ll need to tuen aux 1 and 2 up (probably to a lower level than for Channels 1-4) and accept that you will be getting both sides summed to mono twice.

I’m also on the lookout for a desk with multiple stereo inputs and stereo effects sends. The best I’ve found is the 1010 Bluebox, or the PlayDifferently Model 1.

I have the 8 channel version of this mixer, and I have honestly had a hell of a time getting the AUX send to work. My unit may be faulty or it could be user error somehow. Anyways, mine only has a mono Aux out, so I send that into a mono pedal and then have a pedal somewhere in the chain that splits mono to stereo and send that back into the Stereo Return. This should work on yours but then again it should work on mine also and doesn’t…so idk

I have a Mackie 804VLZ4 I don’t use anymore but it works perfectly fine with the aux send/return. I used it with my H9 as mono (just plugging the left input) and the stereo outs to the aux return, 100% fine, yours might be faulty, there is not much to go wrong with a simple mono send-stereo return aux…

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Yeah I’m pretty sure that’s the case, unfortunately. I keep trying to convince myself otherwise though because its a bummer haha

I will try this! however what if I want to send a signal of a synth that already has a stereo delay on it (internal effect of the synth) through the aux send 1 to a reverb pedal for instance. Since the aux send is mono, I would lose the ping pong delay effect of the synth, correct?

Yeah I saw the bluebox and model 1 too. Both are interesting

Shat I dislike from the bluebox is all the mini jacks and breakout cables, but this could be seen as a strong feature too if you want portability.

What I dislike from the model 1 is the price hahaha!

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This is probably a dumb question, but you used TS cables on both the Aux out and ST In?

On my 802VLZ4, the whole board favoured the left channel by a couple of dB, which for me rendered the aux return useless as it didn’t have a balance knob. YMMV!

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I would first ask if your pedals are “true” stereo? For instance, many stereo reverbs (like the Strymon BigSky) sum the inputs to mono before processing and only the dry stereo image is preserved. In this case, mono send and stereo return is perfectly fine.

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Yes, I’m pretty sure this is covered in all Mackie manuals. It’s definitely in my 1402vlz4’s manual. They point out that most fx work with mono inputs, even some of the ones that output stereo (which is what apeirophobe just said).

From my manual:

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Mixers like these are most commonly used in live sound applications where the typical use of an aux send would be send signals to a stage monitor.

These little mixers are very useful but not optimized for stereo program material in an electronic music studio.

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I use these:

You could also send a channel’s signal to ALT3-4 and use one of the stereo line in channels as return.

Good luck!

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Yes is that wrong?

No, it’s right :slight_smile:

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With A&H Mixwizard you can jumper-set the aux to be true stereo and not summed
1 left
2 right
3 left
4 right
etc

And I am shocked to hear that BigSky has summed stereo on the input, have to check that out - waste of extra aux channel then.

Most of these smaller studio / live mixers from Mackie, A&H, Soundcraft etc have the same mono Aux outs and stereo returns. Works great with most stereo pedals from Eventide, Strymon etc.
For stereo sends, DJ mixers are probably your best bet. Xone PX5 or 96 maybe, still not cheap though.
Try setting up your Mackie with mono out to stereo in. It will sound fine.
You will still retain the stereo image of your dry signal.

Thanks everyone!
my ideal mixer:

  • mainly stereo inputs (as most synths I own have stereo outputs)
  • also stereo aux
  • easy multitrack recording option (preferably via usb)

Anyone now a mixer that has all these features?

Maybe check some DJ mixers, xone series. Not sure about multitrack recording on those.
For classic mixers maybe Qu-16?
You can multitrack record on many analog mixers with individual outs and external interface

I know tascam and zoom have some mixers with multitrack/usb compatibility