Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX Vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 12: 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 ZEDi 10FX vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 12.

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 ZEDi 10FX and Zoom LiveTrak L 12. 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 ZEDi-10FX

Zoom LiveTrak L-12

Zoom LiveTrak L-12: A Multifaceted Digital Mixer

Practical Design, Impressive Functionality

After spending three months with the Zoom LiveTrak L-12, I've found it to be an invaluable tool for a musician, offering versatility in numerous situations. Its compact size belies its powerful capabilities, making it ideal for various settings from practice to live performances.

Rehearsal and Practice Sessions Elevated

Integrated Metronome and Recording Ease

The L-12 excels in practice environments. Its ability to connect multiple devices, such as a computer via USB for playing along with Spotify, is highly convenient. The built-in metronome and easy recording to SD cards are perfect for pinpointing and working on challenging sections. The recording feature is intuitive, simply arm the desired tracks, and you're set.

Rehearsal Powerhouse

Individual Monitoring and Built-in Effects

In low-volume rehearsals, particularly where everyone uses headphones, the L-12 is a game-changer. With five independent aux sends to 1/4″ headphone jacks, it offers personalized monitoring for each musician. The built-in effects, like reverb for vocals, add to the mix's quality.

Writing and Recording Made Simple

Instant Recording and DAW Integration

Capturing spontaneous musical ideas is effortless with the L-12. Its standalone recording capability, combined with the metronome, allows for quickly laying down initial ideas and building upon them. The seamless integration with DAWs for further editing is a significant advantage.

Live Performances and Mixing

Flexible Output Options for Shows

Though more suited as a sub-mixer, the L-12 can handle a full show, especially when using in-ear monitors. It offers up to five different mixes for in-ear monitoring and has both XLR and balanced 1/4″ outputs for speakers. Recording live shows for later mixing is a breeze.

Adaptable for Socially Distanced Rehearsals

Effective for Diverse Rehearsal Setups

The current pandemic has made music rehearsals challenging, but the L-12 adapts well to different scenarios. Whether it's playing in separate rooms or outdoors, it allows for effective mic setups and clear monitoring of all instruments. The ability to quickly transfer recordings to a DAW like Logic Pro X is highly convenient.

Areas for Improvement

Minor Setbacks, But Still a Top Choice

Despite its many strengths, the L-12 has a few areas that could be improved:
1. The compression always writes to the recording and isn’t of the highest quality.
2. The preamps are adequate but not exceptional.
3. The file naming system, while functional, can be cumbersome to navigate.
4. The lack of motorized faders means manual adjustments are necessary when switching mixes.
5. There's no option for individual stereo or mono pairs for monitor outputs in live situations.
Despite these minor issues, the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 stands out for its versatility and comprehensive features at its price point.

Final Verdict

A Robust, Versatile Mixer for Various Needs

Concluding, the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 is an excellent choice for musicians and sound engineers looking for a versatile, all-in-one mixer and recorder. Its strengths in various environments, from studio to stage, make it a valuable asset. While it has some limitations, its advantages far outweigh them, making it a highly recommended tool in the music and recording industry.

Head 2 Head: Allen & Heath ZEDi 10FX or Zoom LiveTrak L 12

A Closer Look at the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX

The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a sound engineering marvel that delivers impressive audio quality. Picture me, sitting in my cluttered home office, stunned by the clean and superior sound this little beast provides. Its 24-bit audio support makes it a perfect match for echo-free conference calls or speech recording. The noise floor is so low, even the faintest whisper can be picked up with stunning clarity. It's like having your ears professionally cleaned and discovering a new world of sound. You can trust me when I say it's a significant upgrade from the Behringer Xenyx 302USB.

The Swiss Army Knife of Mixers

This versatile audio mixer is ideal for various applications ranging from video production work to podcasting. It's user-friendly and offers more than just your average stereo track over USB – with extra I/O and tactile control, it's all but begging to be used in creative ways. The preamps are warm and clean (like freshly laundered sheets), and the converters deliver an accurate and natural sound that would impress even the most discerning audiophile.

A Bargain You Can't Ignore

For those on a tight budget hunting for a suitable home studio mixer, this baby is an absolute steal! Despite lacking some high-end features such as individual channel mutes and channel faders, its fantastic sound quality combined with 4×4 USB connectivity makes it perfect for small live setups or podcasting. It might not have bells and whistles like some expensive mixers, but it certainly punches above its weight class.

A Few Quirks Here & There

But like any other product, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The ZEDi-10FX is somewhat quirky when it comes to USB interfacing with iOS devices, and the routing of USB audio output into the FX channel could use a little tweaking. But hey, nobody's perfect, right?

Not Everyone's Cup of Tea

While I absolutely adore this mixing desk for its sound quality and versatility, some users have reported less than optimal experiences with its sound quality. It just goes to show that audio equipment is subjective and what works for one person might not work for another.

The ZEDi-10FX in a Nutshell

In conclusion, the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is a high-quality compact mixer with an integrated USB audio interface. It's great for teleconferencing applications, webcast streaming, podcasting and more. If you're looking for a superior sound experience without breaking the bank, this one's definitely worth considering.

The Zoom LiveTrak L-12: More Than Just A Digital Mixer

Now let's shift gears and talk about the Zoom LiveTrak L-12. This multi-track recorder has been my go-to tool for three months now and believe me when I say it's as versatile as they come. Whether you're practicing in your garage or performing live on stage, this compact studio mixer has got your back.

A Rehearsal Powerhouse

The L-12 is an absolute beast during rehearsals. With five independent aux sends to 1/4″ headphone jacks, it offers personalized monitoring for each musician (no more “I can't hear myself!” complaints). The built-in effects like reverb for vocals add a little extra spice to your mix.

Recording Simplified

Spontaneous jam session in the middle of the night? No problem. The Zoom LiveTrak L-12's standalone recording capability combined with the metronome allows you to quickly lay down your creative ideas and fine-tune them later. It's like having your own personal recording console, ready at a moment's notice.

Live Performances Made Easy

When it comes to live performances, this live sound console can handle it all, especially when using in-ear monitors. It offers up to five different mixes for in-ear monitoring and has both XLR and balanced 1/4″ outputs for speakers. With this audio interface, you can record your live shows effortlessly for later mixing.

The Perfect Tool for Socially Distanced Rehearsals

In these pandemic times, musicians have had to adapt to unique rehearsal situations. Whether you're playing in separate rooms or outdoors, the L-12 enables clear monitoring of all instruments and quick transfer of recordings to a DAW like Logic Pro X.

Quirks & Caveats

While the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 is a powerhouse of features, it does come with a few quirks. The compression isn't top-tier and always writes to the recording; preamps are adequate but not exceptional; the file naming system is functional but can be cumbersome; there are no motorized faders or individual stereo/mono pairs for monitor outputs in live situations.

Wrapping Up: The Zoom LiveTrak L-12 Takes the Trophy!

After close inspection of both products, I must say that despite some minor setbacks, the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 emerges as the clear winner. This digital mixer offers a versatile and comprehensive feature set that makes it an invaluable tool for musicians and sound engineers alike. From studio to stage, its flexibility and capabilities far outweigh its limitations. The Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX is an excellent mixer in its own right, but when it's showtime, I'll be reaching for my Zoom LiveTrak L-12.