Soundcraft Ui16 Vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 8: 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 Ui16 vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 8.

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 Ui16 and Zoom LiveTrak L 8. 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 Ui16 Remote-Controlled Digital Mixer

I got my hands on the Soundcraft Ui16 Remote-Controlled 16-Input Digital Mixer about a month or two ago, and let me tell you, it's been an interesting ride. This mixer has its highs and lows, and I'm here to give you the full scoop.

The Good: Features and Flexibility

The Ui16 is packed with features that can make any tech-savvy sound person drool. First off, the ability to control it from a tablet or phone is a total game-changer. It makes sound checks a breeze, especially if you're running solo. The mixer comes with a range of inputs and outputs, offering ample flexibility for various setups. The built-in effects, including Lexicon reverbs and dbx dynamics, are top-notch, giving your sound that professional edge.
The mixer's wireless functionality is a big selling point. Although I did encounter some range issues, these were easily fixed with an external router or booster antenna. And hey, the built-in WiFi works decently enough for most situations.

User Experience: A Mixed Bag

Now, the interface… it's HTML-5 based, responsive, and packed with features. But, there's a learning curve, especially if you're new to digital mixers. The navigation can be a bit quirky, often redirecting you to the bootup screen, which can be annoying. And the manual? It's got some errors, so don't rely on it too heavily.

I did try connecting it to various devices. It worked seamlessly with my Android and iOS gadgets, but older computers might struggle. A tablet is definitely the way to go for the best control experience, as phone screens can feel cramped.

Performance and Sound Quality

Sound-wise, the Ui16 delivers. It's quiet, efficient, and the sound quality is impressive for its price range. I've used it in a church setting and for small events, and it's been great in both contexts. It's also surprisingly easy to use once you get past the initial setup.

WiFi Woes and Workarounds

The WiFi issues some users have reported are real. If you're planning to use this mixer actively during a performance, be prepared for potential dropouts. However, if you set your levels and leave them be, like I do, you might not even notice. And yes, investing in a better antenna or positioning the mixer wisely can mitigate these issues.


Overall, the Soundcraft Ui16 is a solid piece of equipment with a few quirks. It's not perfect – the WiFi can be finicky, and the interface has its idiosyncrasies – but the quality and flexibility you get at this price point are hard to beat. If you're willing to tackle a slight learning curve and can handle the occasional WiFi hiccup, this mixer could be a great addition to your audio setup. Just remember, it's more suited for scenarios where constant tweaking isn't necessary.

Zoom LiveTrak L-8

Zoom LiveTrak L-8: The Portable Powerhouse

I got my hands on the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, and let me tell you, it's like having a field recorder on steroids. This thing's versatile and solid – despite some calling it cheap, my experience says otherwise. I've got two of these, and they've held up well.

Professional Features, Battery-Powered Convenience

The L-8 packs features you'd expect from a pro-level unit – backlighted buttons, effects, presets, recording options, and even a battery backup. After 12 months of use, not a single hiccup. It's got a very robust feel to it. Beginners, intermediates, pros – this mixer's a solid buy for all. David Shanhun on YouTube showcases its capabilities well, so check him out for some real-world usage.

Mac Compatibility and Customer Service Woes

Now, it's not all perfect. I've had issues with my Mac Mini M1 – the mixer doesn't always stay connected after a power cycle. Customer service hasn't been a great help either. Bypassing my USB hub with a direct connection seemed to improve things, though.

Pre-Amps and Recording Excellence

What really stands out are the six high-performance pre-amps, each with phantom power. It's tough finding a portable recorder with this quality. The board's layered menu-driven controls can be overwhelming at first, but they open up a world of great recording possibilities. Those 6 assignable Sound Pads with 13 preset sounds are a blast, adding an extra dimension, especially for podcasters.

Great for Podcasting and Mixing

It's not just for recording; the L-8 is a fantastic tool for podcasting and mixing. The phone integration is a nice touch too. As an audio interface, it's a winner – plug it into a USB power bank, and you're set for high-quality recordings anywhere.

Live Streaming and Solo Acts

For church livestreaming or solo acts, it's a breeze to use. It's got way more features than I've tapped into yet, but it's been smooth sailing so far. The effects are usable, unlike many other mixers I've encountered, which is a major plus for live performances.

Recording and Interface Capabilities

As an audio interface, it's top-notch. You can record at 48/32, which is a step up from most interfaces offering a fixed 24-bit rate. The digital recorder is simple to use – just record your gig, pop the SD card into your computer, and drag and drop the audio files into your DAW.
Final Verdict

This mixer is a dream device for podcasters and small bands. It combines mixing and recording in a portable package that runs on batteries or power banks. The preamps sound amazing, making mics like the Shure Beta 58 sound fuller and richer. The only downside? You can use only one effect for all tracks, so no combining effects or using different ones on different tracks. But overall, highly recommended!

Head 2 Head: Soundcraft Ui16 or Zoom LiveTrak L 8

Soundcraft Ui16: The Remote-Controlled Wonder

Let's kick off with the Soundcraft Ui16. This remote-controlled digital mixer has some impressive tricks up its sleeve. It's the audio equivalent of a Swiss Army knife – versatile, flexible, and full of features that any tech guru would appreciate. That Remote Control App Compatibility Though…

The Ui16’s ability to be controlled from your smartphone or tablet is huge – like finding out your favorite band is playing a surprise gig at your local joint. It makes sound checks less of a chore, especially for those one-man-band types. And let's not forget the wide range of inputs and outputs, perfect for accommodating all kinds of setups.

The WiFi Conundrum

It does have a few hiccups though. The WiFi can be as unpredictable as a cat on catnip. There are potential dropouts which could turn a smooth performance into an audio rollercoaster ride. But hey, no one said live sound mixing was easy.

The Soundcraft Ui16 Digital Mixer: Not Just Good Looks

Despite some quirks with the interface, this digital mixer delivers when it comes to sound quality. It's quiet and efficient, and it packs a punch in terms of audio clarity. It's like having an espresso shot – small but powerful. Zoom LiveTrak L-8: Portable Recording Device Extraordinaire

Now let's talk about the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 – the portable recording device that thinks it’s a mixing console on steroids.

Built Like A Tank

The L-8 is as robust as they come – like that tough-as-nails uncle who can fix anything. Despite its rugged build, it doesn't skimp on professional features like high-performance pre-amps, backlighted buttons and a battery backup for those “oops” moments.

USB Interface: To Connect or Not to Connect

The L-8 does have some connectivity issues, especially with newer Mac devices. It can be as temperamental as a diva on tour. But if you bypass your USB hub with a direct connection, you might have more luck.

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Multi-track Recording: A Podcaster's Dream

Where this audio interface really shines is with podcasting and small band recordings. It offers multi-track recording capabilities that make mixing your tracks a breeze. The phone integration is also a nice touch for those remote interviews or call-ins. A Portable Powerhouse

So imagine this: You're at your favorite remote location, and you want to record some sweet tunes – no problem! Just plug the L-8 into a USB power bank, and you're good to go. This live sound mixer is like the superhero of portable recording devices. And the Winner Is…

After careful consideration, I'm giving the crown to… drumroll please… the Zoom LiveTrak L-8. Why? Well, it's like comparing apples and oranges – both the Soundcraft Ui16 and Zoom LiveTrak L-8 are great at what they do. However, the Zoom just brings an extra level of versatility to the table. Its ability to double as a battery-powered portable recording device as well as an audio interface just tips the scale in its favor. It’s perfect for podcasters who need that multi-track recording capability and musicians who need a reliable live sound mixer. So while both are excellent choices depending on your needs, if I had to pick one, I'm going with the Zoom LiveTrak L-8. It's just a more well-rounded performer in my book.