Yamaha MG10XU vs Zoom LiveTrak L-8: Detailed Mixer Comparison and Buying Guide (2024)

You're ready to make a big purchase, but you're having trouble deciding between these two powerhouses, the Yamaha MG10XU and the Zoom LiveTrak L-8.

Trust me, I know how difficult that decision is… especially if you have no plans on whipping out that dreaded return postage label!

You know how the saying goes, buy right, buy once! Or something like that…

Either way, I've got you covered!


I've broken down the good, the bad and the ugly of these babies, so providing you have a clear idea of exactly what you plan on doing with it, you will have a clear idea on which one is best for you, by the end of this article.


Let get into it…

Yamaha MG10XU vs Zoom LiveTrak L-8

At A Glance:

Yamaha MG10XU


Yamaha MG10XU Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Good sound quality.
    • Intuitive design if you're familiar with mixing boards with onboard effects.
    • Effects are limited to one at a time or a preset mix which is suitable for basic sound needs.
    • Great layout and appearance.
    • No noise when turning the power switch on or off.
    • Reliable performance and durability.
    • Good connectivity features.
    • Capable of 24 bits / 192 kHz resolution.
    • Excellent audio preamps and phantom power for the microphones.
    • Can be used as an audio interface for digital in and out.
  • Cons:
    • The power cord is not neatly coiled up and can become a trip hazard.
    • The power supply is large and located in the middle of the cord, which can be inconvenient.
    • The grounds on the balanced mic cords are not ideally oriented for using 90angle low profile balanced outs.
    • No USB cable included.
    • Previous unit had a driver and set up disk, this one did not.
    • Cubase AI software is difficult to download and set up, and the link in the user guide did not exist.
    • The Yamaha drivers were not easily accessible and required extensive web search.
    • Shipped only in the factory printed retail box which was scuffed, causing concerns about potential damage.


Zoom LiveTrak L-8

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Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Pros & Cons

  • Pros:
    • Portable, battery capable.
    • 6 Dedicated Microphones
    • 2 Flexible channels for sound pads, phone inputs and such
    • More control over recording set up because you can adjust individual channels
    • On Board Recording via SD Card
    • Small and light
    • Excellent mixer with sliders
    • Excellent recorder
    • Multiple ways to plug stuff in
    • 4 headphone outs
    • Great for podcasting
  • Cons:
    • Not the easiest to incorporate as a Interface for the computer.
    • Micro USB instead of USB -C
    • Need to download drivers from ZOOM's website to use it with your computer
    • 80 ohm headphones do not perform their best, even at max volume they are at most running at half the volume
    • Cannot seem to handle deep bass very well, noticeable popping distortion when hitting loud low frequence notes
    • No effect out/send, unless you put effects BEFORE you plug an instrument into the board you are stuck with the onboard effects only
    • No onboard compression

Key Differences Between The Yamaha MG10XU And The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

Yamaha MG10XU vs Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The main differences between Yamaha MG10XU and Zoom LiveTrak L-8 are primarily found in their specific features, number of channels, and use cases.

Firstly, one of the key differences is their number of analog input channels.

The Yamaha MG10XU offers a total of ten analog input channels, while the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 comes with eight analog input channels.

While both mixers have six mic inputs and six line inputs, the Yamaha has four additional outputs making it a versatile choice for smaller setups and home studios.

Another notable distinction is found in their core functionalities. The Yamaha MG10XU stands out for its exceptional sound output quality and user-friendly interface.

This mixer is equipped with a USB interface, which allows for direct connection to your laptop or computer – a characteristic that could be particularly useful for those who frequently engage in recording sessions.

In contrast, the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 serves not only as an audio mixer but also as a multitrack recorder – essentially providing an all-in-one solution ideal for podcasters, musicians or those needing mobility or fieldwork capabilities.

Users often highlight this device's flexibility as it couples Zoom's well-known audio performance with the versatility offered by mixing consoles.

To summarize:

  • The Yamaha MG10XU
    – Has ten total analog input channels
    – Excellent sound output
    – User-friendly interface
    – Direct laptop/computer connection via USB.


  • The Zoom LiveTrak L-8″
    – Has eight total analog input channels
    – Functions as both an audio mixer and multitrack recorder
    – Ideal for podcasting, music production, field work.
Specifications Yamaha MG10XU Zoom LiveTrak L-8
Channels 10 channel mixer 8-Channel digital mixer ( 6 combo, plus 2 TS inputs )
USB Yes Yes
Effects SPX digital effects No
Preamps Discrete class A D PRE amps with inverted Darlington circuit No
EQ 3 band EQ and high pass filters No
Noise Control Eliminate unwanted noise No
Compressors 1 knob compressors No
Chassis Rugged, impact resistant, powder coated metal chassis No
Noise Level Equivalent input noise 128 dBu, residual output noise 102 dBu No
Dimensions 244 millimeter x 71 millimeter x 294 millimeter (9.6×2.8×11.6 inches) No
Recording No 12-Track simultaneous recording, 10-track playback
Mix-minus function No Preventing audio feedback from dial-in guests
Sound Pads No 6 assignable sound pads, with 13 preset sounds
Power Supply No Battery operated with four AA batteries or a USB power supply

What You Need To Know About Yamaha MG10XU

The Yamaha MG10XU is a 10-channel mixer that comes with USB connectivity and SPX digital effects.

That means you can connect it to your computer and use it to make neat sounds or add special effects.

It's got a pretty cool feature called studio grade discrete class A D PRE amps, which makes your bass sound deep and rich, and your high notes soar smoothly.

You also get a 3-band EQ and high pass filters, so you can tweak the sound until it’s perfect for you. These features also reduce unwanted noise, making your mix cleaner.

For the musicians out there, this mixer comes with 1 knob compressors which helps make guitars livelier, bass lines punchier, snare tighter and vocals cleaner.

This Yamaha mixer is built to last with an impact resistant metal chassis coated with powder which keeps it looking good as new even after extended use.

It measures about 244 millimeter wide by 71 millimeter tall by 294 millimeter deep (that's roughly 9.6×2.8×11.6 inches). So, it's pretty compact too!

Before you start using the MG10XU, remember to check out the user manual to get the most out of all these cool features!

My 1 Month Review Of The Yamaha MG10XU

My 1 Month Review Of The Yamaha MG10XU

Initial Impression

From the moment I unboxed it, the Yamaha MG10XU screamed quality. Its modern look and feel, as well as its robust design, instantly won me over.

Gone are my days of worrying about knocking over the mixing console by accident during intense jamming sessions.

User Experience

After a month of rigorous use, I can conclusively say that this mixer delivers on its promise of sound clarity.

It took me some time to get accustomed to all its features but once I did, it was smooth sailing from there.

  • The SPX digital effects processor is surreal and opens up a whole new world of sound possibilities.
  • The flexible Stereo and group bus assignment feature is top-notch and has greatly simplified my workflow.
  • That said, the standout feature for me has to be the built-in interface with USB functionality.

I easily connect it with my PC for recording purposes without needing additional software or hardware. This alone was a game changer for me.

Durability & Build Quality

The build quality is exceptional; Yamaha has evidently prioritized durability without compromising aesthetics in their design process.

  • The steel chassis exudes confidence with every touch.
  • Not only does it look professional, but it also feels substantial and steady – no flimsiness here.

One minor drawback: I did notice some heat generation after an extended period of use; however, this isn't enough to overshadow all its positives.

The Verdict

Looking back at my one-month journey with Yamaha MG10XU, I'm definitely impressed. Its versatility combined with top-tier performance makes it a worthy addition to any audio setup.

The initial learning curve was steep but once I got past that phase,I came to appreciate all its diverse capabilities.

So, if you're seeking better control over your audio, a streamlined workflow, and an intuitive user experience, this product is definitely worth considering.

What You Need To Know About Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a lightweight, versatile digital mixer ideally suited for podcasters, musicians and beyond.

With 8 channels available (6 combo and 2 TS inputs), you can easily connect a variety of equipment to suit your needs.

One standout feature is its ability to record 12 tracks simultaneously while also offering 10-track playback.

This means you can manage multiple audio sources at once without stressing about missing any detail.

The mixer also comes with a special mix-minus function. What's that all about?

Well, if you have dial-in guests on your show or session, the mix-minus function will help prevent audio feedback from their end.

This means cleaner sound for everyone – and who doesn't love that?

Speaking of sounds, the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 sports six assignable sound pads with 13 preset sounds all ready for you to use straight out of the box.

These can add a little extra flair to your recordings or live sessions.

As a bonus, this mixer comes with two power supply options making it perfect for on-the-go situations.

It runs on four AA batteries or you could just hook it up to a USB power supply if one is available.

All these features are packed in an easy-to-use interface that makes the whole recording process simpler and smoother.

For more detailed information on this digital mixer and its full capabilities, check out the official Zoom LiveTrak L-8 page.

My 1 Month Review Of The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

My 1 Month Review Of The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

Overall Experience

After a month of testing the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, here are my thoughts. First off, it’s an absolute game-changer for anyone in the podcasting or music tracking space.

For me, it was all about finding a balance between quality and ease-of-use. And hey, I gotta say, the LiveTrak L-8 hits right on target.


One thing I loved straight off the bat was how user-friendly this mixer is. It's like they've put some real thought into what podcasters need and created a product that ticks all those boxes.

There's no steep learning curve with this piece of gear – if you’ve got even basic knowledge of sound boards, you’ll be up and running in no time.

The Features

Here are standout features that got me:

  • The Sound Pads: Having six programmable sound pads means I can easily add jingles or effects – on-the-fly – during my podcasts.
  • Saving Options: The fact that I can save my recordings straight to an SD card or computer is brilliant.
  • The Mix-Minus: This function prevents echo feedback when doing phone interviews – an absolute gem!
  • Battery Operated: Being able to operate on AA batteries is also super useful if you're recording out in the field so-to-speak.

The Build Quality

Now onto build quality, something that’s important for any piece of hardware handling regular usage.

The knobs and faders felt sturdy enough. Nothing seemed like it would break too easily. However, it could feel more robust – particularly with its plastic finish.

Few Caveats

Doesn't mean it's perfect though…

For example; why just one headphone output? When recording with multiple guests having just one headphone output seems like a missed opportunity.

Also adjustability of pre-recorded sounds volume levels is slightly tricky and could be smoother but nothing major!

In Conclusion…

Considering everything else this mixer has going for it – from its user-friendly design to its solid range of features – these gripes are minor.

All things considered,, after using Zoom LiveTrak L-8 for a month, I'm impressed. It’s clearly designed with podcasters in mind and does its job very well indeed.

I'd recommend this digital mixer to anyone looking to elevate their recording game without breaking their bank or brain.

Who The Yamaha MG10XU Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

Who The Yamaha MG10XU Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Zoom LiveTrak L-8

The Yamaha MG10XU is a perfect choice for individuals who prioritize sound quality, particularly those who perform live or do voice work.

The unit is intuitive and easy to use, even if you're not familiar with onboard effects of mixing boards.

Some of the key highlights that make it an ideal choice include:

Great Sound Quality: One reviewer notes how natural the effects sound particularly on vocal channels. This makes it a great tool for live performances or radio recording.

High Resolution: It offers up to 24 bits / 192 kHz resolution, providing excellent digital versions and capturing all the necessary information in audio recordings.

No Noise: Users have noted there’s no noise when turning the power switch on or off while speakers are on – a small feature that can make a big difference in overall user experience.

Durability and Reliability: Yamaha MG10XU has been rated as more reliable compared to other similarly priced boards. It's built to last without developing scratchy/noisy pots after several months of use.

However, some pain points include an inconveniently designed power cord which could pose as a trip hazard and missing items from package like USB cables & setup disc.

While it does come with some extra features like connectivity options which some may see as unnecessary, most users have found that these don't compromise its core performance or quality.

In terms of home recording needs, this is an ideal product. One user even bought this model twice! It's not only suitable for home recording but also professional gigs where excellent sound quality is crucial.

For more detailed specifications about the Yamaha MG10XU and why it's one of our top picks, check out our post on the best studio mixers.

Although there are minor issues highlighted by some users, its pros certainly outweigh its cons making Yamaha MG10XU an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals in need of superior audio interface.

Who The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Yamaha MG10XU

Who The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Is For & Why You Might Choose It Over The Yamaha MG10XU

Who Is The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 For?
The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a perfect match for podcasters, experienced sound engineers, and interviewers who need a portable and flexible sound board.

It's also ideal for those who want to cut down on post-production work by adjusting their recording setup beforehand.

Why Choose Zoom LiveTrak L-8?

Here are the reasons why you might prefer this product:

Portability: Its lightweight design makes it easy to carry around for on-location interviews or remote podcasting.

Battery-powered: It runs efficiently on batteries, ensuring that your recording sessions are not interrupted due to power issues.

Sophisticated Mixer: The excellent mixer with adjustable sliders gives you more control over your recording setup.

Dedicated Microphones and Flexible Channels: With six dedicated microphones and two flexible channels for sound pads and phone inputs, it offers ample room for customization.

On-Board Recording: The SD card slot allows for convenient onboard recording.

However, there are couple of shortfalls you might consider:

• If you're new to sound boards, the LiveTrak L-8 might seem a bit daunting.

• It may not be the easiest to incorporate as a computer interface.

• Some users have reported that it comes with a Micro USB instead of a USB -C, which they found outdated.

If these shortfalls still fit within your tolerance range – then Zoom's LiveTrak L-8 could be the choice for your podcasting needs.


While this device can be used for music production, it may not fully meet expectations due to certain limitations such as a lack of effect out/send functionality and onboard compression, as well as reported difficulty handling deep bass sounds.

Hence, if music production is your main requirement from a mixer-recorder unit – it's worth conducting additional research before making your final decision.

If the Yamaha MG10XU and Zoom LiveTrak L-8 don't seem quite right for you, not to worry—I've also done some deep dives into other similar products that might catch your eye.

Feel free to peruse my posts on the Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs Behringer Xenyx 1204USB showdown, or the comparison between Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX and Mackie Mix Series Mix8.

If those don't do the trick, also check out my analysis of Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX vs PreSonus StudioLive AR8c, or even the face-off between Allen & Heath ZEDi-10FX and Soundcraft Signature 10 Mixer.

There's a wealth of information available to help you make a well-informed decision.


How user-friendly is the interface on both Yamaha MG10XU and Zoom LiveTrak L-8 and how might this impact usability for a beginner?

The Yamaha MG10XU is often praised for its user-friendly interface which makes it a great choice for beginners or those who prefer simplicity in their equipment. The layout is intuitive, with clear labelling and easily accessible controls. However, while the Zoom LiveTrack L-8‘s interface might have a steeper learning curve due to its advanced features, once mastered, it offers greater flexibility especially useful for podcasting or field recording scenarios.

In terms of sound quality, how do Yamaha MG10XU and Zoom LiveTrak L-8 compare?

Both mixers are known for their excellent sound quality. The Yamaha MG10XU has received positive feedback about its clean sound output that's particularly ideal for home studios or smaller setups. On the other hand, the Zoom LiveTrack L-8, well-known for Zoom's audio performance heritage provides reliable audio quality likely sufficient to meet most users' needs especially when mobility or multitrack recording capabilities are required.

If I need a mixer mainly focused on portability because my work requires frequent travel would you recommend the Yamaha MG10XU?

In terms of portability, you might find more advantage with the Zoom LiveTrack L-8. This model has been designed keeping field work requirements in mind and its compact size makes it easier to transport compared to Yamaha MG10XU which may be better suited to static setups like home studios.

I'm working in a small setup but plan on expanding in future; does either of these mixers offer scalability?

While both mixers should serve adequately within small setups such as home studios – if you're looking ahead at expansion then consider your needs closely. The Yamaha MG10XU, though versatile may find limitations as your setup grows beyond 4 mic/10 line inputs that it offers currently; whereas with additional features like multitrack recording capabilities along with mixing functionalities offered by Zoom LiveTrack L-8,, despite lesser input channels could provide added advantages during expansion.

Buyer's Guide: Important Things To Consider & Look Out For When Buying A Mixer

1. Identify Your Needs

As a first step towards finding the perfect studio mixer, you have to take into account your specific needs.

Are you recording a podcast, live music, or some other multimedia project? Depending on your answer, your requirements may differ.

If you're into podcasting, you might find a specifically designed podcasting mixer, such as the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, very useful with its feature-rich and user-friendly interface.

In contrast, someone involved in live sound production may require a more robust and versatile option like the Yamaha MG10XU live sound mixer.

2. Evaluate the Mixer Type

You'll find two main types of mixers—digital and analog.

A key difference between them is how they handle signal processing; an analog mixer uses physical circuitry while a digital one uses software emulations.

The choice between these two depends heavily on personal preference and use-case scenario—analog mixers offer hands-on control with knobs for each function while digital mixers often provide more versatility but can have steeper learning curves.

3. Digital Connectivity Matters: Don't Underestimate USB Mixers

A modern-day studio often requires more than just analog connections; hence, assess the importance of having a USB mixer.

The Yamaha MG10XU stands out not just because it is an excellent audio mixer in general—it also features built-in USB connectivity for easy connection to computers and digital devices.

4. Consider an Audio Interface that Doubles as Mixer

To kill two birds with one stone consider buying a high-quality audio interface that also works as a studio mixer—like the versatile Zoom LiveTrak L-8.

Not only does this device function as both an audio interface and multi-track recorder—which is great when limited by budget or space—it also has multiple inputs for multiple microphones or instruments simultaneously feeding into your recording software.

5. Choose based on Portability Requirements

For folks who are always on-the-go or those situated in spaces without much room to spare, opting for smaller-sized gear could be beneficial.

A compact yet powerful solution like the portable Zoom LiveTrak L-8 allows flexibility without compromising audio quality making it an ideal choice if mobility was top of mind.

6. Look at Number of Channels

Before making any purchasing decisions know exactly how many channels you need.

Typically most studio mixers will have anywhere from 4 to 32 input channels.

For instance if all you need are few inputs then something like the Yamaha MG10XU—a ten-input stereo desktop-style model could be fitting.

7. Examine Multiple Outputs Feature.

Finally don't forget about outputs! Having several options can allow direct monitoring, split signals ,or even create separate mixes—one for listeners , one for performers etcetera.

This would be particularly important when choosing a versatile live sound (performance) or podcasting (live streaming) applications.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

📧 Email Arielle