Mackie Mix Series Mix8 vs Zoom LiveTrak L-8: Comprehensive Mixer Comparison and Buying Guide (2024)

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Mackie Mix Series Mix8 and the Zoom LiveTrak L-8.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

You know how the saying goes, buy right, buy once! Or something like that…

Either way, I've got you covered!

I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.

Let get into it…

Mackie Mix Series Mix8 vs Zoom LiveTrak L-8: Comprehensive Mixer Comparison and Buying Guide (2024)

At A Glance:

Mackie Mix Series Mix8


Mackie Mix Series Mix8 Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Great for mixing together 3 devices for monitoring or output without any audio noise.
    • High quality despite the slightly high price point.
    • Has all the useful features needed to mix your audio together for monitoring or output.
    • Requires hardly any tuning once set up correctly.
    • Compact and doesn't get too warm, so no need to unplug when not in use.
    • Works perfectly out of the box once settings are adjusted.
    • No distortions or audio interference.
    • Easy to set up, great for entry-level users.
    • Has plenty of Headroom to work with when set right.
    • Has phantom power, suitable for powering a Bluetooth receiver.
    • Compact and portable, great for traveling.
    • 3 band eq is nice and simple, often preferred over the eq on powered speakers.
    • Perfect for adding more flexibility to a powered speaker or having a small console for live streams.
  • Cons:
    • Price point may be high for some users.
    • Only allows for 3 devices to be plugged in at once.
    • Controls both L and R audio at the same time on the device you slot into, which may be inconvenient for some users.
    • Doesn't have a power switch, which may be a concern for some users.
    • May require purchase of a few adapters and extra cables for certain uses.
    • Is not a powered mixer, so you will need an amp and speakers or a powered speaker.
    • May need to download the manual for a more detailed understanding of the device.
    • Only has 1 aux send, which may not be ideal for stage monitors.
    • If more channels are needed, may need to upgrade to the Mix 12 or another console.


Zoom LiveTrak L-8

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Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Portable and battery capable.
    • Has 6 dedicated microphones.
    • Offers 2 flexible channels for sound pads, phone inputs and such.
    • More control over recording setup because you can adjust individual channels.
    • On Board Recording via SD Card.
    • Great for running a podcast.
    • Small and light.
    • Excellent mixer with sliders.
    • Multiple ways to plug stuff in.
    • 4 headphone outs, a standout feature.
    • Works well with various mics and inputs.
  • Cons:
    • Not the easiest to incorporate as an Interface for the computer.
    • Uses Micro USB instead of USB -C.
    • Needs to download drivers from ZOOM's website to use it with your computer.
    • 80 ohm headphones do not perform their best, even at max volume they are at most running at half the volume.
    • Cannot handle deep bass very well, noticeable popping distortion when hitting loud low frequency notes.
    • No effect out/send, limiting for vocalists who need to add effects.
    • No onboard compression, a key feature for spoken audio.

Key Differences Between The Mackie Mix Series Mix8 And The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The main differences between Mackie Mix Series Mix8 and Zoom LiveTrak L-8 are several.

Mackie Mix Series Mix8 is an 8-channel mixer known for its performance, sound quality, and rugged reliability. Its key features include:

  • A compact design built with high-quality components.
  • An affordable price point which makes it a feasible option for many users.
  • The presence of phantom power, making it suitable for condenser microphones that require an external power supply.

Comparatively, the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, also an 8-track mixer recorder, offers unique capabilities such as:

  • The ability to save up to seven show “scenes” that can be recalled at the touch of a button – useful in live performances where quick adjustments might be necessary.
  • The provision of 6 Mic inputs while Mackie provides 4, thereby offering more recording options.
  • The availability of combo jacks line inputs in addition to regular 1/4″ TRS line inputs.

Your choice between these two mixers will likely depend on your personal needs and preferences.

If you're seeking an affordable option but don't want to compromise on audio output quality, the Mackie Mix Series Mix8 could be your perfect match.

However, if you need advanced features like multiple scene settings or more mic inputs – perhaps due to frequent live performances or podcast recordings – then investing in the more versatile Zoom LiveTrak L-8 may prove beneficial.

On a conclusive note, both mixers have received positive reviews across various platforms indicating their capability to meet user expectations in both home-studio and professional environments.

Specifications Mackie Mix Series Mix8 Zoom LiveTrak L-8
Number of Inputs 2 Mic/Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ, 2 Stereo 1/4″ Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ 8-Channel digital mixer ( 6 combo, plus 2 TS inputs )
Aux Send/Returns 1 Aux Send with Stereo 1/4” Returns Not specified
Recording/Playback Not specified 12-Track simultaneous recording, 10-track playback
Special Features Stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs, Pan, Level & Overload Indication Mix-minus function preventing audio feedback from dial-in guests, 6 assignable sound pads, with 13 preset sounds
Power Supply Not specified Battery operated with four AA batteries or a USB power supply

What You Need To Know About Mackie Mix Series Mix8

The Mackie Mix Series Mix8 is a great choice if you're needing to mix sound from multiple sources.

It has two mic/line inputs, each with a 3-band EQ.

This means you can adjust the low, middle, and high frequencies separately for each input – giving you a lot of control over your sound.

If you need to connect other equipment like keyboards or drum machines, there are also two stereo 1/4″ line inputs.

These too have their own 3-band EQs. And there's an aux send with stereo 1/4” returns that lets you connect external effects devices like reverb or delay.

This mixer also has stereo RCA tape inputs and outputs – very useful if you want to play music from or record to an analog tape deck.

Plus, it shows pan (left-right balance), level (volume), and overload indications so you can monitor your mix easily.

To learn more about this product straight from the manufacturer's website, visit this link: Mackie Mix Series Mix8.

My 1 Month Review Of The Mackie Mix Series Mix8

My Initial Impressions

Just over a month ago, I got my hands on the Mackie Mix Series Mix8. I must admit, one of the key things that drew me towards this mixer was its compact size.

It looked easy to handle and perfect for my home studio, which admittedly isn't the largest space.

Day-to-day Usage and Feel

After some thorough use, I can tell you that this mixer is indeed very easy to use.

The layout is intuitive and straightforward – even for someone who isn't an audio engineer by profession.

It's well-built with a solid metal chassis providing durability. Plus, it has rubberized edges which are not just there for show – they safeguard against any accidental drops or knocks.

The Sound Quality

Now let's talk about the most important aspect – sound quality. If you're looking for studio-grade sound without breaking your bank, Mackie Mix8 might be your best bet.

Over the last month, every recording or live session I've done using this mixer has resulted in clean and clear sound output.

Even when all channels are active simultaneously; crispness of sound was never compromised.

Gripes and Grumbles

However, it's not all roses with this little beast. As much as I love its simplicity, I found myself wishing for more advanced features at times.

For example, EQ controls are quite basic on this unit; only high and low frequency adjustments are possible.

Another thing worth mentioning is that it doesn't come with built-in effects which may or may not be a deal-breaker depending on individual needs.

Summing Up My Experience

All in all though, after spending a good few weeks with it now;

– The compact and durable design

– The superb ease-of-use

– The crystal-clear sound quality

All these factors make Mackie Mix Series Mix8 worth considering.

Nobody's expecting bells-and-whistles at such an affordable price point but if simplicity combined with great performance is what you need then look no further!

What You Need To Know About Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a digital mixer that lets you manage your sound like a pro.

It's got 8 channels (6 combo and 2 TS inputs) which gives you the flexibility to connect different audio sources.

Planning to record multiple tracks at once? No problem! With this mixer, you can record up to 12 tracks simultaneously and play back up to 10.

Ever had trouble with audio feedback from people who join your session remotely?

Well, with the LiveTrak L-8's mix-minus function, that's no longer an issue. It helps prevent any unwanted noise from dial-in guests.

Plus, for those times when you need a quick sound effect or jingle, there are 6 assignable sound pads on this digital mixer and it comes with 13 preset sounds.

One of the coolest things about this mixer is that it doesn't always need to be plugged in. It can operate from four AA batteries or a USB power supply.

So whether you're at home, in the studio or out on location, your Zoom LiveTrak L-8 will never miss a beat!

To get all the details visit Zoom's official page.

My 1 Month Review Of The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

After a month of testing the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, here are my thoughts.

Usability and Design

The first thing I noticed was that the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is incredibly user-friendly and intuitive to use. Within a few days, I felt like I had been using it for years.

The buttons and knobs are well-placed, making it easy to adjust levels on the fly.

The screen is small but bright enough to see what's going on – though I wish it were slightly larger.

Surprisingly lightweight, despite its capabilities – this makes transporting it around very manageable.

Sound Quality

One word: phenomenal. The sound quality that comes from this device is incredible.

But don’t take my word for it; many of my listeners have also commented on the improved audio since I started using the LiveTrak L-8.

I've found that both the preamps and EQ settings help fine-tune recordings to perfection.

Battery Life

The battery life has been another pleasing factor.

The Mix-Minus function, in particular seems to consume significant power but even then, I've always managed a solid 2+ hours recording sessions, even when not plugged into mains power.

The Recording Experience

Having six independent outputs has made podcasting much easier.

It means each guest can have their own tailored headphone mix with no bleeding or feedback which is a massive plus.

I love how easy it is to record calls directly into one of the channels or streaming out over Bluetooth.

A Couple Negatives…But Just A Few

There's very little about this mixer that has disappointed me, but in our pursuit of honesty here we go:

Firstly, though you can record onto an SD card as well as connect via USB simultaneously – you cannot do so with Bluetooth turned on.

That small inconvenience means you'd need one more cable if you do need both functions concurrently.

Secondly, while simple operations were pretty intuitive to me – more complex things seemed a bit harder due to sparse manual instructions provided by Zoom.

After a month with the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 – things have gone smoother than I would've ever expected from such an affordable piece of tech gear.

I am excited for what future updates from Zoom may bring and would certainly recommend this product for anyone needing mixing/recording capabilities without breaking bank.

This device delivers everything you would expect and then some!

Who The Mackie Mix Series Mix8 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The Mackie Mix Series Mix8 is perfect for those who need a compact yet high-quality mixer.

Whether you're looking to mix your computer and TV audio for streaming or want an introductory mixer that's easy to set up, the Mackie Mix Series Mix8 will meet your needs.

Here’s why:

– The mixer offers noiseless monitoring and output for three devices. This means seamless blending of sounds without any disturbing audio noise.

– Although the price might be a bit higher than some other mixers, the value it provides makes it worth every penny.

– It allows you to control L and R audio simultaneously on the devices you slot in, providing versatility in controlling sound levels.

From a technical perspective:

– The device has XLR / Line inputs for Microphone setup.

– Device 2 (2/3) and Device 3 (4/5) offer Left Mono & Right Mono input options.

– Main Out mixes all three devices to L&R Mono, while Phones lets you use headphones for Stereo monitoring.

One point worth considering is that although the power switch may seem missing initially, there’s no need to worry about keeping it plugged in when not in use.

The device does not heat up significantly, and unplugging repeatedly can lead to potential damage over time.

The Mackie Mix Series Mix8 can prove beneficial if you're mixing down your computer audio and TV audio into one device.

You'd need some extra cables and adapters but rest assured; it’s completely worth it given its amazing performance without any distortions or interference.

If quality studio mixers appeal to you then do explore this one! It gives an edge with its easy setup making it an excellent choice as an entry mixer.

Also, remember this is not a powered mixer; meaning you'll need an amp along with speakers or just a powered speaker.

In case those two additional channels puzzle you on mix 8 – they are located on the aux return as explained in detail online manual proving ample headroom when set right.

The three-band equalizer is another attractive feature of this console.

This provides significant flexibility in adjusting sound frequencies making your experience smoother regardless of what powered speakers are being used.

If portability matters to you then this small mixer would be perfect!

Whether adding flexibility to powered speakers or having a portable console for live streams – the Mackie Mix Series Mix8 stands out amongst the best studio mixers available today due its ease of use and top-notch performance.

Who The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Mackie Mix Series Mix8

Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is an excellent choice for experienced podcasters, interviewers, and sound engineers who require a portable system with a high level of control over the recording setup.

Here's why you might choose it:

Portability: It's lightweight and can be battery powered, making it perfect for on-the-go content creators.

Dedicated Inputs: It comes with 6 dedicated microphone channels and 2 flexible ones for sound pads or phone inputs.

Control Over Recording Setup: It allows you to adjust individual channel settings before recording, reducing post-production time.

Inbuilt SD Card Recorder: You can record directly onto an SD card without needing a computer interface.

However, there are some areas that might present challenges.

The product requires downloading drivers to use it as a computer interface, which isn't specified in the instructions.

The connection point is Micro USB rather than the more modern USB-C.

You might also face some limitations if you're intending to use Zoom LiveTrak L-8 for music mixing or recording.

Some users have noted that 80-ohm headphones may not perform at their best with this unit due to volume restrictions.

Additionally, the device struggles to handle deep bass sounds without distortion unless the master volume is lowered significantly.

Lastly, while it offers built-in effects capabilities, the product lacks an effects out/send feature and on-board compression – crucial elements in music production and spoken audio respectively.

In conclusion:

• If you’re a podcaster seeking portability and control over your sound setup – Zoom LiveTrak L-8 could be your perfect match.

• If you plan on using this device primarily for music mixing or require specific effects features – other options might serve you better.

In any case, understanding your needs and comparing them against these points will aid in making an informed purchase decision regarding Zoom LiveTrak L-8.

If the Mackie Mix Series Mix8 and the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 aren't quite hitting the sweet spot for you, don't worry – I've done tons of other comparisons that might help you find your perfect match.

For instance, you could check out my comparison between the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c and Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer.

Or if Soundcraft isn't your thing, perhaps my post on PreSonus StudioLive AR8c versus Behringer Xenyx 802 will be more up your alley.

I also pitted the PreSonus StudioLive AR8c against Mackie ProFXv3 Series, as well as compared it to Tascam Model 12.

Hopefully one of those comparisons will guide you to your ideal audio mixer.


What is the specific advantage of having phantom power in a mixer like the Mackie Mix Series Mix8?

The presence of phantom power in mixers, like the Mackie Mix Series Mix8, is a significant advantage for users who plan to use condenser microphones. Condenser microphones are known for their sensitivity and great accuracy in capturing sound but they require an external power supply for operation. The phantom power feature on mixers can provide this necessary power, allowing these high-quality microphones to be used without needing an additional external source.

I am often recording live performances with quick adjustments being needed frequently. Can you elaborate on how Zoom LiveTrak L-8's scene-saving feature could be useful?

In live performance scenarios where quick sound adjustments might need to be made regularly, the scene-saving feature of the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 could prove highly beneficial. This unique capability allows you to save up to seven different “scenes” or settings which can then be instantly recalled at a button's press. So if your live performance requires various setups or changes throughout, this mixer would let you switch between them seamlessly without wasting valuable time.

You mentioned that Mackie Mix Series Mix8 is an affordable option while still maintaining quality audio output. How does it ensure good sound quality?

The Mackie Mix Series Mix8 ensures quality audio output by making use of high-quality components. These components contribute greatly towards its proven performance and superior sound quality that it’s known for. Additionally, its 4 Mic inputs and built-in effects help fine-tune your recordings further enhancing its overall sound output.

If I’m into podcasting and need more mic inputs will Zoom LiveTrak L-8 serve my needs better compared to the Mackie?

Yes, if your requirement involves more microphone inputs like during podcasting scenarios where there may be multiple speakers involved simultaneously – then indeed the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 with its 6 Mic inputs, compared to 4 in Mackie could serve your needs better.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Mixer

Tip 1: Determine the Purpose of Your Studio Mixer

The first step in selecting a studio mixer is determining what it's going to be used for. Are you looking for a live sound mixer to amplify your band’s concerts?

Or perhaps, you're in need of a podcasting mixer capable of enhancing your listeners’ auditory experience.

Identifying the type, whether portable or stationary, and its specific function will significantly narrow down your choices.

Tip 2: Understand Your Needs: Analog vs Digital

The world of mixers is vast and varied, from analog to digital variants – each with their unique strengths.

A traditionalist may prefer an analog audio mixer like the Mackie Mix Series Mix8 for its raw and unfiltered sound quality.

On the other hand, if flexibility and numerous sound-shaping options appeal to you, consider going digital with mixers such as Zoom LiveTrak L-8, which also doubles up as a digital audio interface.

Tip 3: Check The Number of Channels

From solo artists looking for a simple recording mixer to orchestras needing dozens of channels, it's paramount that your studio mixer match your demands.

Always consider future expansions; opting for slightly more channels than currently necessary prevents having to upgrade prematurely.

Tip 4: Examine Input/Output (I/O) Options

Vital connections can't be overlooked when purchasing a studio mixer – microphone inputs, line-level inputs for instruments or music players and main outputs are just some examples.

Not every model has identical I/O configurations; choose a product that meets all your connectivity needs.

Tip 5: Consider the Quality of Preamps And EQs

Quality preamps have an enormous impact on sound clarity – they increase signal level from mics or instruments before reaching fader level on the Mackie Mix Series Mix8.

Likewise choosing a studio mixer with high-quality EQs allows better control over tone adjustments ensuring pristine audio output.

Tip 6: Does It Function As A Multi-Track Recorder?

A multi-track recorder enables recording individual inputs into separate tracks simultaneously – this is handy during post-production editing.

Some versatile models like the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 serve both as an excellent live sound bolstering midi controller, and also provide multi-track recording capabilities making them attractive options.

Tip 7: Consider Portability

The size and weight might not be much of an issue if you're setting up in one spot permanently but it's crucial if you'll move around often – think podcasting where mobility could be key!

Lightweight equipment like portable mixers could therefore come in handy when transportation factors into operations often.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle