Midas MR18 Vs. Yamaha MG12XU: Reviewed & Compared

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: Midas MR18 vs. Yamaha MG12XU.

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 Midas MR18 and Yamaha MG12XU. 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.

Midas MR18

After thoroughly testing the Midas MR18 for a few months, I'm ready to spill all the details – the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. This mixer is a powerhouse in a compact package, perfect for both live sound and recording. Here's the full breakdown for anyone eyeing this mixer.

Sound Quality and Performance

Right off the bat, the sound quality is top-notch. The MR18 delivers a pristine audio experience with impressively low latency. Whether you're mixing live or laying down tracks in a studio, the clarity and warmth of the sound are remarkable. Plus, the variety of outputs offers immense flexibility, making it a versatile choice for various audio setups.

Build and Connectivity

The mixer is built tough with Neutrik connectors, ensuring robust and reliable connections. This is a big plus for anyone who's had to deal with flimsy ports in the past. The MR18's ease of configuration is another high point. It offers numerous signal routing options, catering to both planned and spontaneous audio needs. The price-to-quality ratio is exceptional, putting it ahead of competitors like the X-Air 18, especially with its superior Midas converters.

User Interface and Software

The software is intuitive and musician-friendly, not overly complicated like some gear designed with tech whizzes in mind. There's a wealth of online resources and user communities, which is a godsend for troubleshooting and getting creative with your setup. As an audio interface, it boasts 18 inputs and outputs, offering ample connectivity for most studio and live situations.

Challenges and Considerations

However, it's not all smooth sailing. While the MR18 is user-friendly, there's still a learning curve, especially if you're not used to digital mixers. It might take a bit of time to fully grasp all the features and make the most out of this mixer.

Also, while it works great as an audio interface, those who are looking for more integrated DAW control might find its capabilities a bit limited. It's more suited for live mixing and straightforward recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

Final Verdict

All in all, the Midas MR18 is a solid investment. It's especially great for live sound applications and straightforward recording needs. The sound quality is exceptional, and the flexibility in routing and connectivity is a major win. Just be ready to spend some time getting to know this mixer inside out. For its price point, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. Just remember, while it excels in many areas, it might not be the perfect fit for those needing advanced studio integration.

Yamaha MG12XU

Compact Powerhouse: Yamaha MG12XU

Surprisingly Small, Yet Highly Functional

The Yamaha MG12XU, smaller than anticipated, delivers on functionality. Perfect for various needs, it's a testament to Yamaha's reliability in audio equipment. The delivery was swift, and the product arrived well-protected and in immaculate condition. A clear choice for those seeking a compact yet powerful mixer.

Optimal Recording with Analog Console

Exceptional Instrument Recording

This mixer shines in analog recording, making instrument recording truly incredible. Its design and capabilities cater to both casual and professional users, offering quality sound recording in a compact package.

Yamaha's Unmatched Quality

Consistent Excellence Across Products

Yamaha's reputation for quality is well-earned, and the MG12XU reinforces this. The brand's consistent delivery of superior products makes it a go-to choice for many audio enthusiasts.

Headphone Output: Room for Improvement

Additional Amplification May Be Needed

Despite the overall impressive performance, the headphone output volume is a notable downside. Users might need to invest in a headphone amplifier, which is an additional cost and somewhat diminishes the mixer's value proposition.

Versatility and Clarity in Mixing

Substantial Build with Intuitive Features

The Yamaha MG12XU offers a versatile mixing experience with clear signal routing, as detailed in the user manual. Its substantial case, smooth controls, and impressive feature set place it above competitors like Mackie and Behringer. This mixer excels in various settings, from live performances to home studios.

USB Interface: A Mixed Bag

Good Analog Mixing, USB Driver Issues

While the analog mixing capabilities are commendable, the USB driver can be finicky, leading to distortions and static issues. However, once the right driver (version 2.03) is installed, the mixer performs flawlessly. This hiccup can be a bit frustrating but is manageable with some technical know-how.

Seamless Setup and Reliable Performance

Effortless Integration with Existing Systems

The setup process is straightforward, taking only about 30 minutes to fully integrate with various inputs. Its excellent signal-to-noise ratio and smooth, silent control operation make it a reliable component in any sophisticated audio setup.

Impeccable Packaging and Delivery

Secure Shipping, Excellent Condition

The packaging for the Yamaha MG12XU was done exceptionally well, ensuring the mixer arrived in perfect condition even when shipped internationally. The lack of any humming noise and the smoothness of the long-throw faders are highlights, offering a substantial improvement over previous mixers like Behringer.

Pre-Owned Yet Functional

Value for Money in Used Purchase

Purchasing this mixer used proved to be a wise decision. Despite being pre-owned, the mixer exhibited minimal damage and continued to function effectively, providing significant savings without compromising on quality.

Need for Better Support and Durability

Consider Other Options for Long-Term Use

While the Yamaha MG12XU offers excellent features, its durability and the lack of supportive customer service can be concerning. The mixer may encounter output issues over time, and the cost of repair might outweigh the benefits of keeping it. Prospective buyers should weigh these factors and possibly explore other mixers for more reliable long-term use.

Head 2 Head: Midas MR18 or Yamaha MG12XU

Midas MR18: The Little Mixer That Could

Say hello to the Midas MR18, a mixer that's all about delivering performance and quality with an unexpected dose of versatility. Sound quality? Stellar. Performance? Flawless. This little powerhouse is your trusted companion for both live sound and recording sessions.

Connectivity and Build Quality

It's tough as nails, sporting robust Neutrik connectors that guarantee reliable connections every time. Hooking it up is a breeze with multiple routing options catering to your every audio whim. When it comes to value for money, the MR18 leaves competitors like the X-Air 18 eating its dust, thanks to superior Midas converters.

User-Friendly UI and Software

Here's where it gets even better. The software is intuitive, designed with musicians in mind rather than tech gurus. There's no shortage of online resources too – perfect for troubleshooting or getting creative with your setup. And let's not forget its impressive 18 inputs and outputs that offer ample connectivity for most studio and live situations.

A Few Hurdles Along the Way

But it's not all rainbows and unicorns. Newbies may need some time to navigate the learning curve of digital mixers, while those seeking integrated DAW control might find its capabilities slightly wanting. It shines in live mixing scenarios or simple recording setups rather than complex studio productions.

Yamaha MG12XU: Small But Mighty

Next up is the Yamaha MG12XU – a mixer that proves size isn't everything when it comes to performance and functionality. This compact beast is perfect for a variety of audio needs.

Recording Quality

The MG12XU excels in analog recording, delivering exceptional sound quality. Whether you're a casual user or a pro, this mixer won't disappoint.

Quality You Can Trust

Yamaha's reputation for quality is well-earned and the MG12XU maintains this high standard. However, its headphone output volume could use some improvement, so factor in the cost of a headphone amplifier if necessary.

Versatility and Clarity

This mixer offers clear signal routing and an impressive feature set that puts it ahead of competitors like Mackie and Behringer. The USB driver can be finicky but once sorted out, it performs flawlessly.

Packaging and Delivery

The MG12XU arrives safely packaged in perfect condition. The lack of humming noise and smooth long-throw faders are definite plus points.

Pre-Owned Yet Functional

Buying pre-owned? Not a problem with the Yamaha MG12XU. Even used models deliver top-notch performance without any significant damage.

Durability Concerns

However, its durability over time can be questionable – not something you'd want to hear about your trusty mixer. If you're planning on long-term use, consider other options that offer better support.

And The Winner Is…

After pouring over the details, I have to give it up for the Midas MR18. Despite its learning curve, once mastered, it offers fantastic sound quality, superior connectivity and a better price-to-quality ratio. The MR18 is a solid all-rounder that offers the best bang for your buck, making it the clear winner in this comparison. However, if analog recording and compact design are your top priorities, the Yamaha MG12XU still makes a strong case.