Mackie 1402VLZ4 Vs. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: 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. Soundcraft Signature 22MTK.

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 Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. 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.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Everything The Product Sales Page Doesn't Tell You About The Soundcraft Signature 22MKT

I tested the Soundcraft Signature 22MKT for a couple of weeks. I know, not that long, but it's been a revelation every day.

I work with a local piece band and they've been able to lay down live recordings in one take, capturing everything onto separate tracks in the DAW.

The ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously has been a game-changer in this respect.

Sound Quality and Support

Warm, Analog Sound

The sound quality is exactly what we were looking for. The mixer provides a broad, balanced frequency range, delivering that warm, analog sound.

Plus, the onboard effects buses allow for creative mixing. Not to mention, the support from Soundcraft has been exceptional, both before and after purchase.

Who Is The 22MKT For? Not Beginners

Difficult Setup and Poor Documentation

I always have to give the good, bad and the ugly… so here it is:

It's not all smooth sailing. Setting up the mixer with Windows was a nightmare, with no useful online resources.

The manual was no help either. It's a great board for those who know what they're doing and know their way around boards, but I can definitely see how for a beginner, it would be a steep and frustrating learning curve.

Early Impressions ✅

Impressive Functionality

In the early days of testing out the 22MTK, I was impressed with its routing capabilities, especially to outboard gear.

The onboard Lexicon effects are a bonus, and the ability to use DAW plugins during live play is a huge plus. However, the lack of an on/off switch and inserts is a bit puzzling.

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

Some Quality Concerns

Unfortunately, I soon ran into issues with channel one having low gain and a hum. This was unexpected, especially considering the mixer hadn't seen much use.

While the mixer is generally sturdy, these issues do raise some concerns about its long-term reliability.

Perfect for Specific Needs

Ideal for Unique Applications

This mixer was perfect for running a mic through guitar pedals. Its small footprint and built-in effects make it versatile for creating unique sounds. It's a solid choice for those needing a compact mixer with good functionality.

Soundcraft 12MTK: A Better Choice For Beginners

I know I have kind of shifted between the 12 and the 22 and thats because they are pretty much the same thing, you either need the extra channels (22MTK) or oyu don't (12MTK).

But the like its big bro, the Soundcraft 12MTK offers good sound quality and is fairly lightweight. The preamps are notable, as is the mid-range EQ. However, there are significant design flaws, like the problematic gain ratio and the lack of an on/off switch, which can be frustrating. It's a good mixer overall but be prepared for some quirks.

Head 2 Head: Mackie 1402VLZ4 or Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

The Mackie 1402VLZ4: A Compact Powerhouse

Design and Build

Our first contender is the Mackie 1402VLZ4, an audio mixer that strikes a chord with its compact design. This 14-channel mixer is sleek and cozy enough to squeeze into those tight studio spaces. However, it does feel a bit different from the earlier VLZ3 models. The glide knobs, for example, feel like they've been thrifted down a notch. But hey, in the world of audio engineering, it's the sound quality that counts and this little guy didn't disappoint.

Usability and Features

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 knows how to keep things smooth. Its monitor mix setup is straightforward and user-friendly – a plus for those who dread complex EQ settings. The first monitor mix links up with the monitor master while the second pairs up with the slider control – a nifty feature for managing different input/output channels.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: A Beast in Disguise

Creative Capabilities

On to our second contestant – the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK, an analog mixer that makes your creative juices flow like never before! It's every band's dream come true, allowing you to record up to 22 tracks at once directly into your PC-based recording console.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, this digital mixer doesn't mess around. It delivers that warm analog sound we all crave in our studio equipment. Plus, its built-in effects processors are just what you need when you want to get creative with your live sound.

The Verdict: And the Winner Is…

It's a Tough Call, but…

Choosing between the Mackie 1402VLZ4 and the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is like choosing between two delicious audio engineering treats. Both mixers have their strengths and weaknesses.

The Mackie 1402VLZ4 impresses with its compact design and intuitive usability. Yet, it raises eyebrows with its shift to a plastic case and potential durability issues. On the other hand, the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK shines with its creative capabilities and warm analog sound. However, it can be a nightmare for beginners due to its complex setup and poor documentation.

But there can only be one victor in this audio interface battle. And drumroll please…the winner is…the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK!

The deciding factor here is versatility. The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK not only provides superior sound quality but also offers greater flexibility with its USB connectivity and multiple track recording capabilities. It may have a steep learning curve, but once you've mastered it, you'll have a powerful mixing console at your disposal.

So if you're an experienced user looking for a mixer that lets you unleash your creativity, then the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is your best bet! But if you're just starting out or prefer something more compact and straightforward, then consider giving the Mackie 1402VLZ4 a spin.