MACKIE 1202VLZ4 any thoughts?


Also remember that since the aux returns are stereo, you can hook up more line level stuff to the board. During gigs, we usually run my AR into the aux returns of my friends VLZ (not much need for eq with the rytm!)


At last the basedrum and the snare should be eq-ed…


well, different strokes for different folks, I guess. Never felt the need to eq those either, I shape em how I want them to sound in the synthesis stage and that’s it.


Maybe you are right… but the snare isn’t as punchy as expected… i don’t use samples


Ok, well in that case I can understand why you’d want to. But wouldn’t it be better to add snap with something like compression in that case, instead on equing?

No doubt you’re using the exponential oneshot LFOs for adding snap as well? I find using it to control overdrive or volume usually gives more snap to snares. I actually have a few synthetic snares that I find really smacking with this technique!


That’s a good idea, thank you

i use the LFO quite alot on the BD for the “boing”, but on snares i didn’t use it

It is not allways usefull to me to bring the snare directly into face, sometimes it works very well when it’s position is discret in the background. What always work are the claps …they have this kind of sound-body without bring in much energy.

i do however crank in the overdrive for more character but also keep the levels in mind, specially when the initial transients are sharp as hell

But i have other synths too. I could do the mix directly in my MOTU but i’d like to have more control without using a computer


I find the env attack to soften things up quite adequately for the transient, but ymmv as always


for future reference:
pulled the trigger on one. it’s nice and things got a bit more spontaneous as I dont have to set up the OT anymore for mixing needs. (audio levels are much more consistent without having to do much)

the issue I highlighted further up stands true though:
aux2 is post fader and therefore the original send track has to be audible in order to send to aux2.
(I’m still not getting the relation between fader level and aux2 send level though. I can dial down fader quite a bit and after boosting aux2 to max still get a reasonable level through the send. also not quite understanding the "send to aux1-return option. but that’s just me)

out3/4 is amazing as i can send stuff back to the OT to resample - would love to know though how I could send the stereo returns too. from what I gather, only the A&H mixer would do all of the above (roughly twice the price)
the control room send are used to record (tape out would be available too)

the EQ sounds nice to my ears and the sounds appears ‘tidy’. hooked up my jazzbass the other day and the pre-amps really do sound great

good purchase. solid product. super sturdy build. never owned a mixer but it does most of what I wanted and I finally actually use all the gear rather than pondering if I should hook it up and mess up the old setUp.
I also now own a nonsensical amount of cables


Best quote of the week :smile:


yeh - ive been using a 1402VLZ (og) for about 15 years. It needs a good cleaning, some of the contacts have issues every now and then - but thats common in old, very used gear… especially when its always in dusty conditions. its definitely a solid mixer - especially in the overall sound quality… and also how good it sounds when you overdrive the mixbus a bit

probably getting a 1202vlz4 myself sometime soon… and yeh the ALT bus function is essential for fast and efficient recording

mackie is a workhorse brand, never had any issues but then again i avoid their products which are known to be lesser quality (profx series, etc)


I’d take an a&h over a Mackie as far as sonics and eq goes but they don’t always compare feature wise. The zed 10 would be the obvious contender which I have and love for some duties, but not enough sends for you I guess. I loved the alt 3_4 on my original 1402 vlz but I found the mixer noisy, ie, I would directly plug to my soundcard and use less the alt 34 . I believe the newer ones are much cleaner. Unless you want to send a lot of channels to fx also consider using a patchbay to route stuff. I’m hoping digital mixers will come down even more in price as I find my 1402 takes too much space for essentially using it as a line mixer…


Now i did it! The 1642 VLZ4 arrived two days ago at my door! What can i say - i love it!

It gives me the direct control over EQ, levels, pan and aux. It takes quite alot of space and cables but thats ok. What i noticed is some sort of pleasing silver-shimmer over the whole sound and it puts everthing quite forward. To my ears the EQ sounds quite good and it gives me the surgical control over the frequencies when i use my :3lektron:-boxes and other synths. OK … the EQ’s don’t have so much options like the DSP-version on my MOTU, but they sound nicer.

Some reviews on the web pointed out that the mixer sounds clean - as a matter of fact it doesn’t add any color to the sound, they said. But i think this is wrong. I does add a little extra to the overall sound and thats OK.

The mixer itself is a purists dream on budget, no FX, no recording-interface or other digital stuff.

After nearly 12 years i again use a mixer. Back in the old days i’ve used a cheap behringer-mixer with my electribes. I cannot believe my step. :blush:


I’m about to pull the trigger on one of these? How do you guys like the rotary knobs? With the step up to the 1402 for the faders? Hard choice because the smaller size of the 1202 is also appealing.

FYI, I plan to use the effects sends with my Strymon Flint, El Cap, and Möbius and possibly my '63 Spring Reverb tank, and will be using the ALT 3-4 to send sound back into the MPC Live and Digitakt for resampling (once I get these).


I have the 1202 and actually prefer the knobs to the faders which felt less solid when I tried one. Great compact mixer, great sound for the price, built like a tank. Only has two mono aux sends, one can be either pre or post fader, but the second is always post fader…


Thanks. Can you explain the advantages/disadvantages to being pre/post fader? I’m having a hard time envisioning what this means practically speaking. Will this prevent me from running two separate effects chains? I was hoping to put delay/reverb on one send and maybe the Möbius on a second for phaser/filter/modulation, and apply as need.


Post fader, or in this case post knob, taps the signal after gain, low cut, eq, and the level knob. This means when you lower the level of the channel in the main mix, the level to the aux goes down as well. This can be OK for reverb and delay as you most always want to hear the dry signal mixed with the wet fx signal. You will want those fx to be set to 100% wet to be mixed back in. Pressing mute which actually routes to a second alt3/4 output bus, will mute a post aux…

Pre fader taps the signal after gain, low-cut, and eq, but before it goes to the level knob. This means you can turn that channel all the way down in the mix, and still have your signal being sent to aux. This is the only way to get 100% wet effect signal with no dry back into the main mix… Pressing mute/alt3-4 does not affect a pre aux. You would probably want this for filter/phaser and any fx you want to hear 100% wet…

Aux 1 can be pre or post, and also has a master aux 1 level to lower/raise all of the channels that have aux 1 turned up together.
Aux 2 is always post and there is no master level so must be controlled individually for each track…
Both are mono outputs that accept trs or ts cables, the stereo channel pairs get summed to mono for aux output…

I really like this mixer a lot, it sounds really good, is built well, and the size is perfect…
The alt3/4 bus is actually an incredible way to send stuff to the OT, or any sampler. Just press alt3/4 on any channel you want to sample and the signal is dropped from the main mix and sent to sampler, and with the right monitoring set up you still hear the soundz… :totes:


Thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful explanation! I really appreciate it. I might fire off other questions to you once I get my mixer, but I’m sold on the 1202 for my purposes!


This is interesting. Right now I have a 1202VLZ4 in a ‘recording system’ set up, per their handy set up guide:

The audio outputs from a laptop computer are connected to the RCA tape inputs. This allows you to playback your recordings made using the DAW of your choice. The Alt 3-4 outputs are used to feed the inputs to your computer’s sound card. By pressing a mute/alt 3-4 switch, it is easy to set up a channel to record onto your computer.

A headphone amplifer is connected to the headphones output, and feeds four pairs of headphones while a pair of powered studio monitors are connected to the control room outputs.

You can use this setup to record overdub style:

  1. For the track being recorded, route it to the alt 3-4 output, which feeds the computer input.
  2. Monitor just the previously-recorded tracks through the tape input, which will feed the control room/phones.
  3. Since only the currently-recorded track is feeding the computer (through alt 3-4), you will hear the previous tracks you are overdubbing to, but they will not be recorded to each new track.
  4. The control room/phones is fed by a mixture of alt 3-4 (currently recorded track) and tape in (output of your DAW playing back previously-recorded tracks).

With this setup, the alt 3-4 output is fed to my Mackie Blackjack 2x2 audio interface. But I wonder if I added a sampler like a Digitakt, where best to put it in the chain.


Could you touch a little bit more on what the right monitoring setup would involve if you are feeding those tracks to the sampler, but still want to hear the sound?


You just have to make sure your sampler is ready to monitor its inputs being fed by alt3/4…
For example I have a moog into channel 1 and my OT is into channel pair 5/6. Normally the moog is sent to main mix, but when I engage alt3/4, it’s not sent to main mix, it’s sent to outputs 3/4 which feed OT inputs C/D. So as long is OT is setup to monitor its C/D inputs, the moog signal is now routed through OT and shows up on OT channel 5/6…
You can get a scratchy sound if you engage the switch while loud audio is playing, I usually engage during silence. I use alt3/4 to switch between sampling instruments that I play and I’m not playing them when I press the button so I haven’t noticed this much and haven’t bothered to test to see if it’s a scratchy switch or If its just a standard artifact of ripping a hot signal from an analog output and slamming it into another output with a physical switch… I kind of feel the latter since there’s no scratch during silence…