Mackie 1202VLZ4 Vs. Tascam Model 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: Mackie 1202VLZ4 vs. Tascam Model 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 Mackie 1202VLZ4 and Tascam Model 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.

Mackie 1202VLZ4

From My Perspective: The Mackie 1202VLZ4 Experience

Based on what I've seen, the Mackie 1202VLZ4 seems like a real powerhouse in a compact format. Those Onyx preamps it's equipped with? They're known for delivering top-notch sound quality, essential for any professional setup requiring clarity and minimal noise. And let's talk about its build – the thing is sturdy! The solid-steel chassis means it can handle the rough and tumble of live gigs without a hitch.

Control and Versatility

The control room section is something else. It’s not just about turning knobs and sliding faders; it’s about having the flexibility to adapt to different scenarios, be it a live performance, studio work, or on-the-go recording. This mixer isn’t just a tool; it's a professional partner, helping you deliver the best in any situation.

Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212: The Trusty Sidekick

Now, transporting your mixer can be a bit nerve-wracking, right? But the Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212 looks like it’s up to the task. It’s not just a bag; it's a padded fortress for your mixer. Whether you're gigging around town or taking your setup on the road, this bag seems like it can offer the protection your mixer needs.

Connecting with Ease

The inclusion of the Pig Hog Stereo Breakout Cable is a thoughtful touch. It's perfect for integrating modern devices like tablets and phones into your setup. Imagine being able to hook up your smartphone to play backing tracks or intermission music without a hitch. This little cable turns the mixer into a versatile hub, bridging traditional and modern audio sources effortlessly.

Overall Thoughts

Considering everything, from the mixer's robust build and sound quality to the added protection of the Gator bag and the connectivity options provided by the Pig Hog cable, it seems like this package is a pretty solid deal. It’s the kind of setup that can elevate your audio game, whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting serious about your sound.

Tascam Model 12

The Tascam Model 12 is going to require you read the manual a few times, for sure! But once you get past the initial learning curve, you'll find it's a versatile machine, capable of multi-track recording, interfacing with a DAW, and even Bluetooth connectivity.


It's a great choice for those who need an all-in-one device. The Model 12 acts as a smaller sibling to the 16 and 24 channel versions, offering a good balance of functionality and size. Its dual inputs (1 – 10) that accept both XLR and 1/4 inch TRS are particularly handy.


When it comes to connectivity, USB hookups work best when connected directly to the motherboard USB 2.0 sockets, as recommended in the manual. Some users have reported issues when connecting to USB 3.0 ports, so it's something to be mindful of.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is a big plus for the Model 12, with users noting its clean output over headphones or monitors. The Midi In and Out are a great addition, expanding its utility for various setups.

Phantom Power

A slight downside is the global Phantom Power option, which could be more useful if managed by software for each channel. It's crucial to ensure the Phantom Power is off before powering a new unit to protect any connected mics that don't require it.

Software Integration

For those using DAWs, the Model 12 functions well as an interface, though it requires some initial setup. It leaves a lot of room for experimentation and finding a workflow that suits individual needs.

User Tips

Some user tips to consider: the Sub Button on each channel arms the Headphones bus, essential for monitoring. The effects only work if all the Solo buttons are disarmed. And remember, you don't need to press the Play button alongside the Record button when making a track, which is a departure from older tape-based systems.

Overall Impression

While the Tascam Model 12 might have a steep learning curve and some quirks, it's a solid piece of equipment offering great value. It's an excellent choice for anyone looking to step away from complete reliance on a DAW, offering a more hands-on approach to recording and mixing. Just be ready to spend some time with the manual to unlock its full potential.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1202VLZ4 or Tascam Model 12

The Mackie 1202VLZ4: A Compact Powerhouse

Now, let's dive into the world of Mackie 1202VLZ4, shall we? It's like an audio engineer's swiss-army knife; compact yet packing a powerful punch. Those Onyx preamps are no joke – they provide a pristine sound quality that would make any live sound or studio recording shine. And the rugged, solid-steel chassis? Forget about it! This mixing console will outlive us all.

Control is King

The control room section stands out in this analog mixer. It's not just about fiddling with knobs and sliding faders folks; it's about having the versatility to adapt to live performances, in-studio work, or spur-of-the-moment recording sessions. This sound mixer is like your reliable sidekick, always ready to deliver top-notch results.

Protection for Your Precious

For those of you who sweat bullets each time you need to transport your audio gear, take a breather! The Gator Cases G-MIXERBAG-1212 is like a knight in padded armor for your mixer. Whether you're hopping from gig to gig or touring cross-country, this bag will keep your mixer safe and snug.

Modern Connectivity Made Easy

And let's not overlook our friend Pig Hog Stereo Breakout Cable here! This little devil makes integrating modern devices into your setup as easy as pie. Picture this: you're at a gig and want to play some backing tracks from your smartphone during intermission – boom! This cable makes it possible without breaking a sweat.

Moving along now, let's turn our focus to the Tascam Model 12; a digital mixer that's as versatile as they come. Don't be fooled by its complex facade; once you get the hang of it, this bad boy will handle multi-track recording, DAW interfacing, and even Bluetooth connectivity with aplomb.

Versatility Unleashed

The Tascam Model 12 is like the Goldilocks of mixing consoles; not too big, not too small, just right. The dual inputs that accept both XLR and 1/4 inch TRS are like having your cake and eating it too. Now that's what I call versatility!

Connectivity: A Little Heads Up

When it comes to connectivity, stick to the manual’s advice and use USB 2.0 ports for hooking up this music production powerhouse. Some users have reported hiccups when connecting to USB 3.0 ports.

Sound Quality That Hits The Right Note

The sound quality of this audio interface is music to any audiophile's ears. Clean output over headphones or monitors? Check! Midi In & Out for expanded utility? Double-check!

Phantom Power: Use With Caution

A slight hiccup here is the global Phantom Power option which could've been more conveniently managed per channel via software. Remember folks, always turn off Phantom Power before powering up your unit to protect any connected mics.

DAW Integration: A Hands-On Experience

For those who like a more hands-on approach in their music production process, the Model 12 functions well as an interface with your DAW after some initial setup.

Now folks, drumroll please! After careful consideration and weighing all factors such as audio quality, versatility, connectivity, and build-quality, the clear winner here is the Mackie 1202VLZ4. This robust beast of an analog mixer offers a seamless blend of audio excellence and sturdy build. The inclusion of the Gator bag and Pig Hog cable makes this a winning package that's hard to resist. Whether you're a seasoned pro or an ambitious newbie in the audio engineering world, this setup will take your sound game up several notches.