Mackie 1402VLZ4 Vs. Roland VR 1HD AV: 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. Roland VR 1HD AV.

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 Roland VR 1HD AV. 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.

Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

I tested the Roland Video Switcher with audio capabilities for about a month, and here's my verdict: it's a compact powerhouse perfect for those tight on space but needing a robust video and audio solution.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Setting it up was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, the switcher's functionality was impressive. I connected a DSLR, a camcorder, and my laptop as input devices, alongside a 32GB storage device for still images and wave files. The lack of internal storage is a minor drawback, as all images and audio are stored on the external drive. Another minor hiccup is the need for images to be in Windows Bitmap File (.bmp) format, which requires a bit of extra work in conversion.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

I encountered issues with a 128GB stick, but resizing BMP files to smaller than the maximum 1920 x 1200 pixels helped. Also, converting MP3 or MP4 files to wave format using Audacity or iTunes was necessary – a bit outdated, but manageable. It's a bit odd to still be using wave files in today's digital age, but overall, it didn't hamper the experience too much.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

A notable downside is that Roland doesn't include the USB A to B 3.0 cable needed for streaming, so be prepared to buy one separately. The setup is excellent for enhancing Zoom meetings or similar applications. However, don't expect to master it immediately – it requires some practice before using it for critical projects.

Reliability in Various Settings

The switcher has proven itself in different environments. From church services to educational settings, it's been reliable and easy to use. The build quality is solid, and the ease of streaming video and sound is commendable. However, there have been some issues post-software update, with the mixer crashing during live streams, which is something to watch out for.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

When I faced connectivity issues with my iMac, product support was helpful in resolving them. Despite a few initial hurdles, I'm enjoying the switcher a lot. The ability to upload custom sound files and music adds a personal touch to the output.

Overall, this Roland Video Switcher is a great tool for anyone needing a compact, yet feature-rich, video and audio mixing solution. It's versatile, though it comes with a few quirks that require some workaround. But once you're past the learning curve, it opens up a world of creative possibilities.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1402VLZ4 or Roland VR 1HD AV

The Mackie 1402VLZ4: A Look at this Compact Mixer

Well, well, well, here we have the Mackie 1402VLZ4, a compact yet potent piece of AV equipment. This analog mixer has been part of my musical journey for a hot minute now, and I must say, it's got some serious chops. Despite its compact size, this soundboard packs quite a punch when it comes to sound quality. The music production capabilities are top-notch; that pristine Mackie sound you'd expect is present and accounted for.

Usability and Features

The way the monitor mix setup works on this baby is pretty intuitive – great for managing different vocalists or instruments during a live streaming session. However, I did notice a bit of a downgrade in build quality from previous models; the glide knobs felt cheaper than they should.

Endurance Test

One thing that might raise an eyebrow or two is the switch from metal casing to plastic on this model. I mean, sure it looks sleeker but how will it hold up with constant transportation and use in the recording studio? Only time will tell.

Quality and Longevity

On top of all these, there have been reported issues with volume trim pots getting scratchy or cutting out prematurely which can be quite frustrating. Not exactly what you want when you're in the middle of laying down some epic tracks.

The Roland VR-1HD AV: A Compact Powerhouse

On to our next contender – The Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer. This little number is a digital mixer and video switcher all rolled into one. If you're tight on space in your recording studio but need a robust video and audio solution, this is a solid bet.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Setting it up might require a bit of brainpower initially, but once you get the hang of things, it's smooth sailing. You can connect multiple input devices – DSLRs, camcorders, laptops, you name it. But be prepared to put in some extra elbow grease converting files into compatible formats.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

The Roland VR-1HD AV shines when it comes to enhancing live streaming sessions. There's a bit of a learning curve involved but trust me; the investment in time is worth the result. One thing to note though; Roland decided not to throw in the USB A to B 3.0 cable required for streaming so keep that in mind before you dive in.

Reliability in Various Settings

This mixer has shown remarkable versatility, proving itself reliable across different environments from church services to educational settings. However, be aware that there have been reports of software update-induced crashes during live streams.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

Despite its quirks, my overall experience with the Roland VR-1HD AV was quite satisfying. Their customer support was pretty helpful when I hit some snags along the way. Conclusion

After looking at both these beauties closely, drumroll please… The winner has to be the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer. Sure, it has a few quirks, but what mixer doesn't? Its compactness coupled with its rich features and versatility wins the day. The Mackie 1402VLZ4, while delivering quality audio, falls short in durability and longevity. So folks, if you're in the market for a reliable piece of AV equipment that not only takes care of your audio but also your video needs, look no further than the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer.