Mackie Mix12FX Vs. PreSonus StudioLive AR12c: 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 AR12c.

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 AR12c. 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 AR12c

Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer: In-Depth Review After Extensive Use

Initial Impressions and Functionality

After over two years of using the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer, I've got a lot to share. Initially, this mixer impressed with its robust features – SD recording, Bluetooth connectivity, and the abundance of free software it comes with. The multi-track software, particularly useful for recording and editing, adds significant value. Its form factor and features like the microphone preamps and USB-C connectivity seemed promising for a range of applications – from music production to podcasting.

Performance and Reliability Issues

Short Lifespan and Quality Concerns

The major downside, however, has been the mixer's reliability. It worked flawlessly for a period, but after 2.5 years, it abruptly stopped working. This was particularly frustrating as the mixer was handled with care and never subjected to any rough use. The lack of durability for a high-end piece of equipment is a significant drawback, especially considering the cost of repair, which can run into hundreds of dollars.

Customer Service Experience

Lack of Support and Warranty Concerns

My experience with customer service was less than satisfactory. When the mixer failed, I reached out, only to be told that it was out of warranty. While this is technically true, the expectation for a quality mixer to last beyond 2.5 years is reasonable. The company's approach to customer service and their unwillingness to provide support or reasonable repair options is a major red flag.

Sound Quality and Features

Excellent Audio but Some Limitations

On the positive side, the mixer's sound quality is excellent when it works. The microphone preamps, while needing to be turned up high for certain mics, provide clear and crisp audio. The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly and the mixer is fairly easy to navigate, even for those new to audio equipment. The inclusion of SD card recording and Bluetooth adds to its versatility, although the SD recording could benefit from more informative display features.

Form Factor and Build

Good Design with Some Build Quality Issues

The mixer's form factor is appealing – it's compact and fits well in various setups. However, the build quality seems to be a concern given the longevity issues I've experienced. The unit feels sturdy initially, but the internal components may not be as reliable.

Overall Experience

Mixed Feelings Due to Reliability Issues

In summary, while the Presonus StudioLive AR Series Mixer offers a range of impressive features and excellent sound quality, its reliability is a major concern. The poor customer service and the mixer's short lifespan significantly overshadow its initial appeal. For those considering this mixer, it's crucial to weigh these factors. The possibility of encountering similar issues and the lack of support from Presonus might be deal-breakers for many potential buyers.

Head 2 Head: Mackie Mix12FX or PreSonus StudioLive AR12c

Let's dive right into the belly of the beast with our first contender, the Mackie Mix12FX 12-Channel Compact Mixer.

Sturdy and Compact – The Mackie Mix12FX

This analog mixer has a solid build, typical of Mackie's reputation for sturdy studio equipment. It's a compact mixer that fits snugly in most personal workspaces without feeling like an oversized elephant in the room.

Input and Output Options on Mackie Mix12FX

Featuring 4 Mic/Line Inputs with 3-Band EQ & HPF, this audio mixer meets most needs for small-scale projects. With the addition of Stereo RCA Tape Inputs & Outputs, it offers more connectivity options than a Swiss army knife.

Mackie Mix12FX Sound Quality and Features

The sound quality? Top-notch! The 3-Band EQ on each channel lets you fine-tune your sound like a maestro conducting an orchestra. The built-in effects are not exactly Abbey Road studio grade but hey, they add some fun to your mix during casual jamming or recording sessions.

Mackie Mix12FX Extras

Now let's talk about those extra goodies. The G-MIXERBAG-1212 Padded Nylon Mixer Bag is as protective as a mama bear with her cubs – perfect for safeguarding your mixer during transport. And that PB-S3410 3.5 mm Stereo Breakout Cable is just so darn handy when you want to connect your laptop or phone to this mixing board.

User Experience with Mackie Mix12FX

The user experience? It's like a stroll in the park. Setting up and operating this analog mixer is a breeze, with clear pan, level, and overload indications on each channel. Plus, it comes with 48V phantom power which allows you to use condenser mics without needing an external power source – talk about convenience!

Now let's turn our attention to the second contender in this audio duel – the Presonus StudioLive AR12c.

Initial Impressions of Presonus StudioLive AR12c

The Presonus StudioLive AR12c initially dazzles with its robust features. SD recording? Check. Bluetooth connectivity? Check. Free software galore? Double check.

Presonus StudioLive AR12c Performance and Reliability Issues

However, all that glitters is not gold. The Presonus StudioLive AR12c started showing some signs of age after around 2.5 years – suddenly deciding to retire early and stop working completely.

Customer Service Experience with Presonus

Trying to get assistance from customer service was like talking to a brick wall. The message was clear – out of warranty means out of luck.

Sound Quality and Features of Presonus StudioLive AR12c

When working, the sound quality is pretty darn good – clear as a summer's day! The multi-track capabilities are user-friendly and intuitive even for audio newbies.

Presonus StudioLive AR12c Form Factor and Build

The form factor is compact and fits well on your desk or live sound equipment setup. But durability seems to be its Achilles' heel.

So, it's time to declare a winner in this mixer showdown.

And The Winner Is…

Despite the Presonus StudioLive AR12c's impressive set of features, the Mackie Mix12FX takes home the crown. Why? It's simple – quality, reliability and ease of use. You can't put a price on peace of mind knowing your mixer won't give up on you when you need it most.

The Mackie Mix12FX is best for those looking for a compact, reliable and user-friendly audio mixer for personal use or small-scale projects. On the other hand, the Presonus StudioLive AR12c might be more suited to those willing to risk potential durability issues for its feature-rich specs. And there you have it folks! When it comes to mixing boards, this round goes to the Mackie Mix12FX!