Mackie 1402VLZ4 Vs. QSC TouchMix 8: 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 1402VLZ4 vs. QSC TouchMix 8.

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 1402VLZ4 and QSC TouchMix 8. 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 1402VLZ4

I'll be honest, I only bought the Mackie 1402VLZ4, a 14-channel compact mixer, to test it out and review, but here's what I think…

First Impressions

Right out of the box, the mixer's design caught my eye. It's sleek and not as bulky as some of its counterparts, making it a good fit for smaller spaces. The build, however, felt a bit different compared to the older VLZ3 models. The glide knobs, for instance, seemed a bit on the cheaper side. Despite this, the sound quality didn't disappoint. It's that clear, crisp Mackie output I've come to expect from their mixers.

Usability and Features

Functionally, this mixer does its job well. The monitor mix setup is simple and intuitive. Especially useful was the way the first monitor mix worked with the monitor master and the second with the slider control. This distinction is great for managing different vocalists or instruments. The mixer’s sound is good and quiet, which is a plus for recording or live settings.

Durability Concerns

A notable change from previous models is the move from a metal to a plastic case. This shift might raise some durability concerns. I can't shake off the feeling that it might not withstand the rigors of frequent transportation or heavy use.

Quality and Longevity

While the overall performance of the Mackie 1402VLZ4 is commendable, it's hard to ignore the change in quality over the years. There have been some issues with the volume trim pots becoming scratchy or cutting out prematurely, which can be frustrating. It seems like a step down from the legendary durability Mackie mixers used to boast.

QSC TouchMix-8

I Got My Hands on the QSC TouchMix-8: Still Impressed

I got my hands on the QSC TouchMix-8 when it first came out, and man, it's still a game-changer. This little beast replaces racks of EQs, compressors, and gates. The best part? Everything's super easy to access. You don't need a cheat sheet for menus because there's no annoying digging through sub-menus. Plus, the noise level? Ridiculously low, perfect for on-location gigs or filming.

Power and Portability

If you're thinking of going mobile with this mixer, keep in mind the AC adaptor is proprietary, supplying several different voltages. While you won't need a gas generator, rigging an outboard battery means getting a 12-volt, 17-amp AGM battery and a mini sine wave inverter. Trust me, this board's powerful enough to lay down all your tracks on an optional SSD drive for processing through your favorite DAW.

Touch Screen: A Mixed Bag

Now, let's talk touch screen. The sensitivity can be a bit frustrating at times, and the graphics could use a higher resolution, especially for the RTA. An LED screen update would be nice, particularly for outdoor gigs.

Reliability Issues

One thing to note – there have been a few issues with the aux sends and the board freezing up. I've also noticed some lag when moving the virtual faders on the built-in touch screen, which can be pretty annoying. But remember, no mixer is perfect.

Sound Quality and Effects

The sound quality? Spot on. The effects are top-notch, easily rivaling other portable digital consoles in this range. The mic pres are good, and the compressor lets you dial in precisely. It’s a bit bright, but the dynamics are stellar.

Overall Verdict

Despite its few quirks, the QSC TouchMix-8 is a fantastic, powerful mixer in a compact package. It's got big power and a small footprint, making it a solid choice for those needing a robust feature set in a portable design. Just be prepared to deal with that touch screen and keep an eye on those aux sends.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1402VLZ4 or QSC TouchMix 8

Mackie 1402VLZ4: Compact and Capable

This Mackie 1402VLZ4 is a nifty audio mixer that manages to pack a punch despite its compact size. It's a solid choice for any audio interface, especially for those with smaller spaces to work with. The build does have its quirks – the glide knobs could use an upgrade, but they still do their job well.

Usability and Features

This soundboard is pretty intuitive when it comes to monitor mix setup. A huge plus if you're managing multiple vocalists or instruments live. And let's not forget about the sound quality – it's clear, quiet and perfect for both recording and live sound mixing.

Durability Concerns

We can't ignore the shift from metal to plastic casing in this model. While it keeps the mixer lightweight and portable, one might question its longevity, especially if you're constantly on the move with your professional audio equipment.

Quality and Longevity

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 has some room for improvement in terms of durability. Issues like scratchy volume trim pots could be a potential buzzkill over time.

The QSC TouchMix-8: Power-Packed Performance

Now, let's dive into the QSC TouchMix-8. This portable mixer replaces racks of EQs, compressors, and gates – all while keeping noise levels impressively low. This bad boy makes digital mixing console dreams come true with no confusing sub-menus to navigate.

Power and Portability

Going mobile with this mixer is a breeze, just remember, the AC adaptor is a bit specific. But once you've got that sorted, this board's powerful enough to record all your tracks on an SSD drive for processing through your DAW. Talk about a compact powerhouse!

Touch Screen: A Mixed Bag

The touch screen can be a tad finicky and could benefit from higher resolution graphics. But hey, it's still far better than squinting at tiny buttons under bad stage lighting.

Reliability Issues

There have been reports of the board freezing up and some lag with the virtual faders – not exactly ideal during a live gig. That said, no piece of professional audio equipment is perfect.

Sound Quality and Effects

The sound quality on this live sound mixer is top-tier. The effects are ace, the mic pres are solid, and the compressor lets you dial in precisely. It might be slightly bright for some tastes, but we can't deny its stellar dynamics.

The Champion: QSC TouchMix-8

After careful consideration between these two titans of audio mixing gear, I have to give it up for the QSC TouchMix-8. Yes, it has its quirks (looking at you touch screen), but it offers powerful features in a portable design that's hard to beat. Whether you're laying down tracks in a studio or setting up for a live gig, this digital mixing console takes the cake. The Mackie 1402VLZ4 puts up a good fight but falls short when it comes to durability and build quality. So, for those needing a robust feature set in a compact design, the QSC TouchMix-8 is your champ.