Mackie Mix12FX Vs. Presonus StudioLive 1602: 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 Mix12FX vs. Presonus StudioLive 1602.

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 Mix12FX and Presonus StudioLive 1602. 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 Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer

After getting the Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer for personal use, I've had some time to really dive into what it offers. This mixer isn't in my studio setup; it's more for my personal, smaller-scale audio projects. Let's break down my experience with it.

Initial Impressions and Build Quality

First off, the mixer feels sturdy. Mackie is known for their solid construction, and this mixer is no exception. It's compact, which is perfect for my needs, fitting nicely into my personal workspace without taking up too much room.

Input and Output Options

The 4 Mic/Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ & HPF are quite handy. They provide enough flexibility for most of my projects, which typically involve a couple of microphones and some line-level devices. The addition of Stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs is a nice touch, allowing for more connectivity options.

Sound Quality and Features

Sound-wise, the Mix12FX delivers. The 3-Band EQ on each channel gives me enough control to tweak the sound to my liking. The built-in effects are a bonus, although I wouldn't say they're studio-grade. They're more than sufficient for adding a bit of flavor to the mix during practices or casual recording sessions.

Additional Accessories

The G-MIXERBAG-1212 Padded Nylon Mixer Bag is a lifesaver. It's great for keeping the mixer safe during transport. As for the PB-S3410 3.5 mm Stereo Breakout Cable, it's been essential for connecting my laptop or phone to the mixer, especially when I want to play along with tracks or incorporate other media into my sessions.

User Experience

For personal use, this mixer hits the sweet spot. It's uncomplicated, making it easy to set up and start using without a steep learning curve. The pan, level, and overload indications on each channel are clear and straightforward, helping me avoid any mishaps during use.

Powering Condenser Mics

The availability of 48V phantom power is a big plus, as it allows me to use condenser mics without needing an external power source. This feature is particularly useful for higher-quality vocal recordings.

Overall Thoughts

In conclusion, the Mackie Mix12FX is a reliable, compact mixer that's perfect for personal use. It offers a good balance of features and sound quality for its size and price. While it might not have the bells and whistles of more expensive studio mixers, it's more than adequate for small-scale projects and practice sessions. The additional accessories like the padded bag and breakout cable only add to its value. For anyone looking for a straightforward, effective mixer for personal use, I'd definitely recommend the Mackie Mix12FX.

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB

After having a little play around with the Studio Live 16 from PreSonus, here's my verdict:

Setup and Software Integration

Straight out of the box, the setup was a breeze. There are tons of YouTube tutorials available that make configuring individual channels for various inputs like mics, drums, and guitars pretty straightforward. The recording software, Studio One, is a gem – intuitive and powerful. I even upgraded to the professional version because of a sweet 50% off deal they were running, and I'm glad I did.

Sound Quality and Recording Capabilities

The sound quality, both live and recorded, is top-notch. There's a certain accuracy in playback that makes the live music sound just as it's being played. The mixer does a great job in capturing the essence of live performance without any loss in sound quality.

Customer Support: A Mixed Bag

While I personally didn't run into major issues, I've heard some chatter about PreSonus' customer support being a hit or miss. One user mentioned an issue with warranty support on a unit just 45 days old, which is concerning. It seems like your experience might vary depending on the problem at hand.

User-Friendliness and Learning Curve

For beginners, this board and the accompanying DAW are a godsend. They're easy to learn and use. Even if you're at an intermediate level, like me, you'll find the Studio Live 16 to be quite adaptable. You can record jam sessions, concerts, and even phone calls with ease.

Remote Access and Portability

A standout feature is the ability to control the mixer remotely via a laptop and router, which adds a layer of convenience, especially in live settings. However, some users might find this setup a bit cumbersome, as it requires extra gear (laptop and router) for remote access.

Overall Experience

Overall, the Studio Live 16 is a great piece of equipment for semi-pro studios, small churches, and clubs. Its integration with Studio One DAW is seamless, and the mixer itself offers a great range of features. However, the learning curve can be a bit steep, especially if you're transitioning from analog to digital, and the remote access setup might not be ideal for everyone.

In short, if you're looking for a digital mixer that feels somewhat analog, has scene-saving capabilities, and offers remote access (with a bit of setup), the Studio Live 16 could be a solid choice. Just keep in mind the potential support issues and the learning curve involved.

Head 2 Head: Mackie Mix12FX or Presonus StudioLive 1602

Mackie Mix12FX: Compact, Durable, and User-Friendly

The Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer sits like a quiet powerhouse on my personal workspace. With its solid construction synonymous with Mackie, this small format mixer is compact yet durable, perfect for any audio interface.

Input and Output Options

The 4 Mic/Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ & HPF are no short of impressive. The stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs give it an edge over a typical analog mixer by providing additional connectivity options. This makes the Mackie Mix12FX a versatile soundboard.

Quality Sound and Handy Features

As far as the audio interface goes, this digital mixer delivers superb sound quality. The 3-Band EQ on each channel allows me to tweak the sound to my heart's content. The built-in effects aren't exactly studio-grade but definitely add that extra oomph to the mix during practice or casual recording sessions.

Accessories that Add Value

The G-MIXERBAG-1212 Padded Nylon Mixer Bag and the PB-S3410 3.5 mm Stereo Breakout Cable have turned out to be lifesavers for me. These accessories not only enhance functionality but also ensure safety during transport.

User Experience: Simple and Smooth

What I love most about the Mackie Mix12FX is its simplicity. Unlike some complex studio consoles, this one doesn’t require you to be an audio genius to get started. The clear indications for pan, level, and overload on each channel are like guardian angels, saving me from any potential audio disasters.

Power for Condenser Mics

The Mackie Mix12FX also offers 48V phantom power—a feature that makes it a perfect live sound mixer. This allows me to use condenser mics without the need for an external power source, which is a big plus for higher-quality vocal recordings.

Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2: A Power-Packed Performer

The Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB is a digital mixer that brings the feel of an analog mixer, and then some more. It offers an intuitive setup process and seamless integration with the recording software, Studio One.

Stellar Sound and Recording Abilities

When it comes to sound quality, this compact audio interface stands tall against its competitors. The StudioLive 16 captures live performances without any loss in sound quality.

A Mixed Bag of Customer Support

Although I haven’t faced any major issues with this studio console, there have been murmurs about inconsistent customer support from Presonus. Still, it's worth noting that experiences may vary depending on individual cases.

User Friendly with a Learning Curve

The StudioLive 16 is easy to learn and use—even for beginners—making it a popular choice among small churches, clubs, and semi-pro studios alike. However, if you're transitioning from an analog mixer to this digital one, be prepared to face a slight learning curve.

Remote Access: A Double-Edged Sword

One standout feature of the Presonus StudioLive 16 is its remote access capability via a laptop and router—a game-changer in live settings. However, lugging around extra gear for remote access might not be everyone's cup of tea.

And the Winner Is…

After a thorough comparison, it's clear that the Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer takes the cake. While both mixers offer great sound quality and features, the Mackie Mix12FX is more user-friendly and less complex than the Presonus StudioLive 16. Plus, its compact size makes it a perfect live sound mixer for personal projects or smaller-scale audio needs. The added accessories are like cherries on top, offering added value and convenience.

However, if you're looking for an audio interface with a more professional feel and don’t mind a slight learning curve, then the Presonus StudioLive 16.0.2 USB could be your pick.