Allen & Heath ZED 12FX Vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: Compared And Rated

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both Allen & Heath ZED 12FX and Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

Allen & Heath ZED-12FX

After using the Allen & Heath ZED12FX for about six months, I think it's a solid piece of gear, especially for those transitioning from basic to more advanced mixing needs. The sound quality is notably clean and clear, making it a reliable choice for both studio and live environments. Working with it, I've found that the preamps deliver a crystal-clear sound, and there’s an impressive amount of gain available, which is a step up from some lower-priced mixers I've used in the past.

Learning Curve and Usability

Although the mixer is fairly user-friendly, I believe beginners might find it a bit challenging at first, mainly due to the underwhelming instruction manual. It's more about trial and error unless you're already familiar with mixers. However, once you get the hang of it, the layout and controls become intuitive. The faders and knobs are smooth and responsive, adding to the overall ease of use.

Effects and Features

The ZED12FX stands out for its effects. The range and quality are commendable for a mixer in this class. It adds significant value, especially if you're into experimenting with different sound textures. However, the dedicated send and returns being 1/8 jacks is a bit puzzling. It's an odd choice considering the rest of the board adheres to industry standards. This might limit some traditional uses, but it's not a deal-breaker.

Reliability Concerns

One of the downsides I've noticed is the question of long-term reliability. I've heard about issues like pre-amps failing just after the warranty period, which can be a major concern if you're planning to use this mixer heavily. While I haven't faced this issue personally, it's something to keep in mind.

Overall Experience

In terms of overall experience, the Allen & Heath ZED12FX has mostly been a positive journey. The sound quality, ease of use (once you get past the learning curve), and the additional effects make it a worthy investment for someone looking to upgrade from a basic setup. Just be wary of the potential long-term reliability issues and ensure you have a backup plan in place.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Everything The Product Sales Page Doesn't Tell You About The Soundcraft Signature 22MKT

I tested the Soundcraft Signature 22MKT for a couple of weeks. I know, not that long, but it's been a revelation every day.

I work with a local piece band and they've been able to lay down live recordings in one take, capturing everything onto separate tracks in the DAW.

The ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously has been a game-changer in this respect.

Sound Quality and Support

Warm, Analog Sound

The sound quality is exactly what we were looking for. The mixer provides a broad, balanced frequency range, delivering that warm, analog sound.

Plus, the onboard effects buses allow for creative mixing. Not to mention, the support from Soundcraft has been exceptional, both before and after purchase.

Who Is The 22MKT For? Not Beginners

Difficult Setup and Poor Documentation

I always have to give the good, bad and the ugly… so here it is:

It's not all smooth sailing. Setting up the mixer with Windows was a nightmare, with no useful online resources.

The manual was no help either. It's a great board for those who know what they're doing and know their way around boards, but I can definitely see how for a beginner, it would be a steep and frustrating learning curve.

Early Impressions ✅

Impressive Functionality

In the early days of testing out the 22MTK, I was impressed with its routing capabilities, especially to outboard gear.

The onboard Lexicon effects are a bonus, and the ability to use DAW plugins during live play is a huge plus. However, the lack of an on/off switch and inserts is a bit puzzling.

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

Some Quality Concerns

Unfortunately, I soon ran into issues with channel one having low gain and a hum. This was unexpected, especially considering the mixer hadn't seen much use.

While the mixer is generally sturdy, these issues do raise some concerns about its long-term reliability.

Perfect for Specific Needs

Ideal for Unique Applications

This mixer was perfect for running a mic through guitar pedals. Its small footprint and built-in effects make it versatile for creating unique sounds. It's a solid choice for those needing a compact mixer with good functionality.

Soundcraft 12MTK: A Better Choice For Beginners

I know I have kind of shifted between the 12 and the 22 and thats because they are pretty much the same thing, you either need the extra channels (22MTK) or oyu don't (12MTK).

But the like its big bro, the Soundcraft 12MTK offers good sound quality and is fairly lightweight. The preamps are notable, as is the mid-range EQ. However, there are significant design flaws, like the problematic gain ratio and the lack of an on/off switch, which can be frustrating. It's a good mixer overall but be prepared for some quirks.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZED 12FX or Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

All In The Details: Allen & Heath ZED12FX

This studio mixer has been a trusty pal over the last six months. It's like that reliable friend who always comes through when you need a hand. The audio interface delivers a clean and clear sound, like transforming your dusty garage into a professional recording studio. Those preamps? They're crystal-clear, with more gain than a weightlifter in bulking season. The learning curve on this digital mixer is like trying to ride a bike uphill – initially challenging but rewarding once you get the hang of it. The faders and knobs are smoother than butter on hot toast, making your mixing experience an absolute delight. The Allen & Heath ZED12FX is not just another pretty face. This live sound mixer boasts some killer effects that would make any audio nerd swoon. But there's one oddity – the dedicated send and returns are 1/8 jacks, which is like serving caviar on a paper plate during a fancy dinner party. There have been whispers in the wind about long-term reliability issues, with some users reporting preamp failures just after the warranty expires – as though they have an expiration date set in stone (not cool). So if you're planning to use this mixer as much as you use your favorite coffee mug, keep an eye out for these issues.

Stepping Up With Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Shifting gears to the [Soundcraft Signature 22MTK](, this USB mixer has been my band's secret weapon for laying down live recordings in one take. It's like having your own personal recording console, capable of recording up to 22 tracks simultaneously! The sound quality is reminiscent of listening to vinyl on an old-school turntable – warm and analog. The onboard effects buses are like an artist's palette, full of colors for you to blend and create your unique sound. However, this mixer might not be suitable for beginners. Setting it up with Windows is as frustrating as trying to fold a fitted sheet – you're going to need some patience. And while the manual should be your guiding light, it's more like a dimly lit candle in this case. The 22MTK offers impressive routing capabilities to outboard gear and the onboard Lexicon effects are like the cherry on top of this audio sundae. But there's one thing that puzzles me – why is there no on/off switch? It feels like using an oven without temperature controls. While it’s generally sturdy, I've already encountered some channel issues. Like a new car that starts making strange noises after a few weeks, these concerns can put a damper on your overall experience. But let me tell you, this mixer has been perfect for my band's specific needs. From running a mic through guitar pedals to creating unique sounds with its built-in effects processor, it's been our Swiss Army knife in the studio.

And The Winner Is…

After comparing these two titans of audio technology, we have a clear winner: The [Soundcraft Signature 22MTK]( Despite its initial setup frustrations and absence of an on/off switch, its recording capabilities are unparalleled. The warm analog sound and flexibility make it stand out from the crowd. It’s like choosing between a plain vanilla ice cream cone and one topped with rainbow sprinkles and hot fudge – there’s just more flavor! This mixer is perfect for bands or musicians looking to record live performances while also experimenting with creative mixing options. Its extensive functionality makes it ideal for those who want more than just a basic mixer. So there you have it, folks! The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK takes the crown in this mixer showdown. But remember, both mixers have their strengths and are worthy contenders in their own right. Happy mixing!