MACKIE 1202VLZ4 any thoughts?


The size was a key factor for me. I figure if I ever outgrow it, I can still use it for recording at a rental studio or for live use.

I’m currently ordering a bunch of cables. The hidden cost of audio production. :sob:


Any bigger and I wouldn’t be thrilled about lugging it around. Eventually if I get a bigger one for studio, I too will keep this for live. And I’ll probably go nuts experimenting with it as some sort of fx mixer router connected to the bigger one… :smiley_cat:


6 posts were split to a new topic: MIDI connectivity for Mac + iOS device + hardware


The Mackie arrived. I absolutely love it. So much nicer in person than it looks on the net and the knobs feel wonderful.


Gr8 thread


I agree, i have the 1202 vlz4 and was not aware of the tricks mentioned in this thread i was only using it vanilla.


Played around with 1202 yesterday. A couple of initial observations.

  1. For some reason I overlooked that there was no instrument level input switch like I had on an old board years ago. Not a problem since I have a couple of Sans Amp pedals. I experimented with running a guitar and bass into the board with my Sans Amp VT Bass DI, and it sounded fantastic, particularly when running another overdrive or fuzz pedal into the San Amp. I usually hate with no reverb or delay, but it actually sound fantastic dry. Nice headroom and handled everything I through at it like a champ.

I want to experiment using some mics on my actual amp, but even going straight into the board with the DI will make for a really nice little recording rig.

  1. I had no trouble running the Strymon El Cap and Flint into the board on the Aux Send - Return. I just scratched the surface though, so this will require lots of experimenting.

I was also able to connect my actual Fender '63 (reissue) reverb tank to board, but the results were not as awesome as I was hoping. It doesn’t sound anywhere near as lush as the Strymon. I’m wondering if this is something that would benefit from a reamp box to solve the instrument/line issue. Unfortunately it would require a bit of an investment to try out. If I get the urge to run my drum machines and synths through other guitar pedals I might take the plunge at some point, but too many things to buy right now, so it’s low on the list.


Yeah, the 402VLZ4 and 802VLZ4 Series have selectable instrument inputs but everything above doesn’t for some reason. Luckily, you have DI boxes. Adjustable gain controls on the mono channels are very useful, especially on some of my old digital synths.


The tank sounds absolutely amazing run into my 1970s Vibrochamp. I spent ages looking for my ideal guitar tone (at Tokyo condo volume) and finally found it with that combination. I’ll definitely be mic’ing that up and putting those Onyx pres to the test!

The tank on the board with synths running through it doesn’t sound nearly as lush. I may be doing something wrong. I’ll keep playing with it.


This maybe because the tank is mono, and digital reverbs are mostly stereo, so you’re not getting the ‘width’ you expect. To get around this you could try putting the tank’s output through a stereo chorus to widen it out.


That’s definitely worth experimenting with. I have the Möbius, so I’ll try running the tank into that and running back into the board in stereo with a wide chorus effect.

Right now I’m running the Flint in mono as well, and it sounds a lot more lush. I wonder if that’s because it does 100% wet. Running the tank into my amp in mono it sounds gorgeous.


Guitar amps are built to impart tone and character to the signal which is also affected by the cabinet, and becomes an overall part of an electric guitars tone. Mixers are designed to be mostly clean and clear… Guitar amps in general have more mid range and “warmth”…
Also the reverb 63 is designed to go between a low impedance instrument (guitar) and a high impedance input (guitar amp), it’s not specifically designed to be in a line level audio loop. It will work, but sound slightly different.
You can probably find some settings in a mixer loop that sound OK, but it will never sound just like through the amp, for that sound you’d want to mic it…
Edit: you’d most likely want to lower the send level from the mixer to the verb as it is expecting an instrument signal which is much lower than line level, on the return you’ll need to crank the gain more as the verb is outputting an instrument level signal, you could also try a DI box from the verbs output to an xlr input of the mixer and see how it sounds, especially if the increased gain on the return becomes noisy…


Good tip about lowering the send volume to try to match instrument level signal, and boosting the return. I’ll try this when I get home tonight. It did seem like I was really slamming the tank and was quiet coming back. This might help.

Like you said though, this was obviously not designed to be run in a mixer loop, so it’s more of an experiment, but I definitely had visions of Lee Perry and King Tubby in mind. :slight_smile:


Hello all. Been following this thread on and off for awhile but now I’m super curious because I’m thinking of getting my first mixer and due to this thread am thinking about the 802 or the 1202. Wondering now if you might advise.

The main reason for it is to have something small for live sets. Live sets will def include the OT and probably the AR plus maybe my small modular, an iPad, maybe some FX boxes and a compressor to top it off.

The work I do in studio is track by track and I rarely end up “jamming” with various gear. But that may only be due to my not having anything exactly to run everything through. I’m not sure.

I don’t have a lot of space to work with which is why I’m leaning towards the 802. However, I know that it’s a bit foolish to not to consider out growing something. I don’t need the direct injects though, I don’t really need 4 preamps (or…maybe OT in studio mode?) If it has sweepable EQs I’d go for the 12 in a heartbeat. I did notice however the PSU socket between the two are extremely different (ther 802 is that awful three prong thing…can I use a regular adapter if I’m in different countries?)

Any advice would be most helpful. Thanks y’all.


I mentioned previously in this thread that the build quality of the 1202 appeared better than the 802 that went kaputt on me after a few years of studio use. And then there’s the wall wort of the 802, which isn’t very nice but not necessarily a deal-breaker, at least for me.

Other than that, for your needs you just have to ask yourself if adding ~3" width and ~1.5lbs of extra weight is a deciding factor for you when touring.

The 802 isn’t exactly expensive, and that’s a good thing. Get one, enjoy it for a while. Beat the hell out of it (not that you would, but hey, life on the road, etc.), and just let it be what it is, your mixer for live use. Replace as necessary.

With the 1202 I have more channels than I personally need. I could’ve easily gotten away with just the 802. But I’m not performing live and appreciate having extra options that I might grow into using someday.



I didn’t see that above. Were you referring to the VLZ4 series?


I just got the 1202 and I absolutely love it. That’s said, it’s more of a studio piece for me since I live in a big city and go most places by train/subway. I’m probably going to start playing out pretty regularly so I’ll probably get something small to throw in a messenger bag to be able to use my Digitakt and a Volca (or two) or small synth.


802 was VLZ3, 1202 is VLZ4. But all fun and different knobs and paint scheme aside, the chassis of the mixer (if that’s the right term) seemed better put together. Who knows, at least in regard to assembly, maybe I had a defective unit? Or maybe the extra weight of the 1202 made it seem tougher?

Either way, I’d recommend either one. And if I played live, I think I’d get an 802 or even a 402 and just use it for that purpose, while keeping a 1202 at home.


Thank you!


hey, considering buying a mackie 1202 vlz4 here and would like to make some things clear to me. I would like to route signals to different spots. Is the following overview correct?

– Channels are send to Main Out, so I have L (#1) and R (#2) as seperate outputs
– Aux 1 as seperate output (#3)
– Aux 2 as seperate output (#4)
– Mute send to Track 3/4 also gives me a L (#5) and R (#6) output

all of these are divided from the main mix so it is possible to route 6 mono signals to different spots, right? thanks!