Soundcraft Signature 22MTK 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: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK 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 Soundcraft Signature 22MTK 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.

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.

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: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK or Yamaha MG12XU

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: A Mix of Creativity and Complexity

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is like the rebel child who's got a heart of gold. Unraveling its charms might take a while, but once you do, it's worth every moment. This digital mixer has been my daily driver for a couple of weeks and boy, has it changed how my band records music! From laying down live recordings in one take to capturing everything onto separate tracks in our PC-based software – this bad boy can record up to 22 tracks simultaneously. It's like having a full-fledged studio recording console right at your fingertips!

Audiophile Heaven with Soundcraft Signature

If you're all about that warm, analog sound (and who isn't?), then the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is your ticket to audio nirvana. It delivers a balanced frequency range that makes even the most discerning audiophile nod in approval. But beware beginners, this live sound mixing desk can be as complex as solving Rubik's cube blindfolded if you're not familiar with mixers. The setup with Windows was nothing short of an enigma and let's not even get started on the manual – it was as helpful as a chocolate teapot.

Bringing Sexy Back to Audio Interface Integration

Despite its challenges, there's no denying the impressive functionality of this mixer. Its routing capabilities are so good; they could give Google Maps a run for its money! Not to forget the onboard Lexicon effects and the ability to use DAW plugins during live play – talk about spicing things up! However, the lack of an on/off switch and inserts does feel like being served a burger without fries.

The Yamaha MG12XU: Size Doesn't Matter

On the other hand, the Yamaha MG12XU might be compact, but it's definitely not short on power. This mixer comparison would be incomplete without praising Yamaha's reliability in audio equipment. Right from the delivery to its functionality, it was nothing short of a rock concert – exciting and exhilarating! It's perfect for anyone seeking a small yet mighty analog mixer.

Quality Recording with Yamaha MG12XU

This little beast shines in analog recording. It makes instrument recording sound so good; you'd think Adele was performing live in your living room! However, the headphone output volume might leave you reaching for an amplifier – and that's like buying a car and then realizing you need to pay extra for wheels.

Versatility Meets Clarity

If versatility was a religion, the Yamaha MG12XU would be its god. Whether it's live performances or home studios, this mixer fits right in like cheese on pizza. The USB recording interface is a mixed bag though – great at analog mixing but can give you some static issues if not set up right. A bit annoying? Yes. But is it something we can live with? Absolutely!

The Verdict: And the Winner is…

After closely examining both mixers, I'm leaning towards the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. Why? Well, despite its challenges with setup and documentation, its ability to record 22 tracks simultaneously and deliver that warm analog sound gives it an edge over the Yamaha MG12XU. It caters to unique applications like running a mic through guitar pedals and its small footprint makes it a versatile live sound mixing desk. The Yamaha MG12XU, although more user-friendly and compact, falls behind due to its headphone output volume and durability concerns. So, if you're willing to climb a steep learning curve for unparalleled sound quality and features, the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is the one for you!