IK Multimedia iRig Pro 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: IK Multimedia iRig Pro 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 IK Multimedia iRig Pro 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.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

Unboxing and First Impressions

The IK Multimedia Quattro I/O is a compact yet feature-rich audio interface that stands out in its class. It's impressively lightweight and efficient, making it a versatile choice for musicians and audio engineers alike. When I first unpacked it, its intuitive control surface, reminiscent of other IK Multimedia devices, immediately struck a chord with me.

Recording and Input Quality

Crystal Clear Recordings with Zero Lag

My initial tests involved recording simple tracks into Logic using a microphone and guitar direct line. The input levels were a breeze to set, resulting in crystal clear recordings with no noticeable lag. The device was instantly recognized by Logic, offering seamless integration. The onboard phantom power efficiently powered my condenser mic, though it required some fine-tuning to achieve the perfect level.

Build and Connectivity

Sturdy Design with Versatile Connection Options

The build quality of the Quattro I/O feels durable, and its provision of MIDI in and out, high-end XLR output, and a variety of power options (battery or USB) add to its versatility. Its compatibility with computers and mobile devices is a significant advantage, making it a great choice for both studio and mobile use. The inclusion of all necessary cables and a tripod attachment is a thoughtful addition, enhancing its usability in live settings.

Standalone Mixer Functionality

Limited EQ Controls, but Stellar Sound Output

As a standalone mixer, the Quattro I/O performs admirably. While it lacks EQ controls on the surface, the quality of sound output when paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals is outstanding. This capability makes it a valuable tool for live performances.

Portability and Power Efficiency

Battery Life and Mobile Device Compatibility

The device's portability is enhanced by its ability to run on battery power when used standalone or with mobile devices. While I haven't fully tested the battery life limits, its performance in this mode has been reliable. The quick response from IK Multimedia support regarding a missing serial number/registration card was impressive and speaks volumes about their customer service.

Pros and Cons

Deep Feature Set with Room for Improvement

Pros: The Quattro I/O excels in its compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport. Its deep feature set, including excellent mic pres, flexible input/output options, and compatibility across devices, sets it apart. Its functionality as a standalone mixer and inclusion of 48-volt phantom power are also noteworthy.
Cons: Despite its many strengths, there are some limitations, particularly for specific uses such as DJ'ing streaming, as some users have reported issues with sound quality and device freezing. Additionally, some users have found difficulties in processing effects on iPads.

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: IK Multimedia iRig Pro or Zoom LiveTrak L 12

The Scoop on IK Multimedia iRig Pro

The moment you unwrap the IK Multimedia iRig Pro, you sense its potential. The sleek design and intuitive controls scream “let's make some music!” It's a compact audio interface that packs a punch – lightweight, yet crammed with features that make it a go-to tool for modern music production. Recording with the iRig Pro
Hooking up this bad boy to Logic and laying down some tracks is like taking candy from a baby. Set your levels, plug in your guitar or mic, hit record and voila – crystal clear sound. And lag? Forget about it. The onboard phantom power keeps your condenser mic humming nicely, although you might need to tweak it here and there to reach audio nirvana.

Build Quality and Connectivity

This is no flimsy toy but rather a sturdy workhorse built for the rigors of portable recording. Its wide-ranging connection options, including MIDI in/out and high-end XLR output, are pure gold. Whether you're working in a recording studio or recording live on your iPad out in the wild, the iRig Pro has got your back. And let's not forget about its standalone mixer functionality. While it doesn't flaunt EQ controls on its surface, hook it up to some external preamps or effects pedals and brace yourself for stellar sound output – a real game changer during live performances.

Power Efficiency and Portability

As far as portability goes, this device is as light as a feather but punches like Ali. You can run it on battery power when going mobile or plug into USB when stationary. Battery life seems solid although extensive testing still needs ticking off the list. A little hiccup arose with a missing serial number/registration card, but IK Multimedia's support team swooped in and saved the day – quick, efficient and downright impressive.

Zoom LiveTrak L-12: A Beast in a Small Package

Now, let's turn our attention to the Zoom LiveTrak L-12. This digital mixer may be compact, but boy does it deliver. After three months of intense use, I can verify that this is an all-in-one solution for both your studio and live performance needs.

Rehearsals, Practice Sessions and Multi-track Recording

The L-12 shines during rehearsals and practice sessions. With easy connectivity options like USB for jamming along with Spotify tracks, integrated metronome, and intuitive recording to SD cards – this little beast elevates your sessions like no other. It also touts MIDI controller compatibility adding another layer of versatility. During low-volume rehearsals, the L-12 is a real MVP. It allows each musician to have personalized monitoring via 1/4″ headphone jacks, thanks to its five independent aux sends. The built-in effects like reverb for vocals are just the cherries on top.

Songwriting Simplified

Got a song idea popping up in your head? The L-12 has got you covered. Its standalone recording capability lets you capture those spontaneous musical inspirations on-the-go effortlessly. And when you're ready to polish those initial ideas, its seamless DAW integration will make your life so much easier.

Live Performances Exemplified

Although it's more suited as a sub-mixer, the L-12 can handle a full show if required. With up to five different mixes for in-ear monitoring and both XLR as well as balanced 1/4″ outputs, this digital mixer leaves nothing to be desired. Plus, recording live shows for later mixing is a walk in the park.


In these pandemic times, music rehearsals have become quite a challenge. But the L-12 adapts to diverse rehearsal setups like a chameleon. Whether you're playing in separate rooms or outdoors, it ensures clear monitoring of all instruments and quick transfer of recordings to your DAW – Logic Pro X, for instance.

The Final Showdown: iRig Pro vs Zoom LiveTrak L-12

Both the IK Multimedia iRig Pro and the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 offer features that can elevate your music production to new heights. However, if I had to pick one – and trust me, it's a tough call – I'd tip my hat to the Zoom LiveTrak L-12. Yes, the iRig Pro is compact, versatile and great for mobile recording. But when you consider everything that this digital mixer offers – from multi-track recording to individual monitoring during live performances – it's hard not to root for it. Although it has some room for improvement (like lackluster compression quality and an awkward file naming system), its strengths far outweigh these minor setbacks. For its versatility in various environments (studio or stage) and comprehensive features at its price point, the Zoom LiveTrak L-12 stands tall as our winner today.