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Review: Mackie DL1608, 16-channel digital live audio mixer with iPad control.

Review:  January 5, 2014

By: Anthony Suriano / ASi Music Group

I had been endlessly searching for a small format digital mixer that I could use for smaller jobs & corporate events. I wanted to keep things simple, but still wanted the tools offered by larger consoles and outboard gear such as gates, compression, hi pass filters and good EQ’s.

I had seen the DL 1608 advertised through various vines and literally thought it was a toy and never gave it a second look.  Boy I was wrong!

Recently, during a speaker demo, my Rep used the DL 1608 to demo the various speakers we were interested in. After seeing and touching the little mixer our conversation turned from the speakers to the mixer. Before he left, I made arrangements to have one shipped in so we could test drive it on our time.

While we were waiting for the mixer to arrive, I obtained the “Master Fader” App for the iPad which is available for free download through Apple’s iTunes store and literature content available on Mackie’s site at http://www.mackie.com/products/dlseries/specs/

First impression of the Software: Excellent! I found the software to be very intuitive and easy to navigate. I was quickly able to access any processing I wanted and adjust accordingly. It was a little quirky at first figuring out how to get back to the main screen, but that quickly faded as I learned how powerful this mixer is. Version 2.0 made significant improvements on an already amazing platform.

By the time I received the DL 1608 I was already familiar with the operation and device setup. I literally could have used it on a job! Connecting the mixer to an external wi-fi router was easy and worked flawlessly.

Pros

  • 16 individual channels / onyx pre amps
  • 6 Aux Sends
  • 2x on board high quality effects (reverb and delay)
  • Gates and compression on all channels
  • iPad operation either docked or wireless remote.
  • iPhone or iPod wireless remote for mixing monitors/Aux sends
  • Mute Groups!
  • Channel view groups!
  • Channel linking
  • Aux linking for in-ear applications
  • Graphic Eq’s for all 8 outputs!
  • True 4 Band full parametric EQ on all channels
  • Internal iPad music playback (must be docked for feature)
  • Features 4x Neutrik combo input connectors on channels 13-16
  • Amazing price point

Cons:

  • No external 2 track input for iPod or CD player. Forced to use 2 channels
  • No sub group outputs
  • No Aux output delay for use with speaker delay zones
  • Mixer only utilizes 4 Neutrik combo ¼” / XLR input connectors, in my opinion it should have at least 8.

In summary, this is an amazing little mixer that offers all the tools and the tool box that you would need to mix anything in this format including bands. Simply put… Mackie got it right with their DL 806/1608 series digital mixers.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information on the DL series mixer or would like to purchase one for yourself.

 

 

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