Just last week I was at a venue to visit a friend who was conducting an event there. During the course of the event I had to help my friend with connections to the house mixer. And this is the house mixer. It is a Mackie mixer but you can tell from the pic that it has not been taken care of very well. Some might argue that it is just tape on the faders but to be honest, it looks like they bought this mixer and then realised that they needed stereo channels. That is what the “ganged” faders are for…to send two mono channels as a stereo mix
The mixer was also dusty to boot. One thing about dust and electronic devices is that they seldom work together well. Also, some of the gain controls were pretty sketchy and there was a lot of issue setting the gains. Looks like the next time, if I do an event in this place, I would be better off getting my own mixer and bringing it down
Just last night, one of my colleagues told me that the Mackie mixer belonging to a client of mine has issues so it must be sent for repair. Unfortunately, the client needs the mixer for an event today. So we search our store and the only mixer that we have available is a Behringer Xenyx 802. But unfortunately, the Mackie mixer has XLR balanced outputs and the Behringer only has unbalanced 1/4″ outputs. So how do we solve this?
Simple. I asked my colleague if they had any DI boxes in the store. She said that we have a single DI box. So what I do is to make a XLR Y-cable and a couple of 1/4″ to 1/4″ TS phone jacks. I had some spare plugs and XLRs left over so they would do nicely. The way it is going to be connected is:
- 1/4″ to 1/4″ TS phone plug cable will be plugged to the unbalanced output of the Behringer mixer
- The other end of the 1/4″ to 1/4″ TS phone plug cable will be plugged to the input of the DI box
- The output of the DI box will be connected to the XLR Y-cable
- The two outputs of the Y-cable will be plugged into the existing XLR cables
This is the only way this is going to work. Meanwhile, I have to make sure we have a proper mixer with a balanced output. Unbalanced outputs like the one that Behringer has is not gonna cut it these days
A few days back, I was with some friends at a block party in Haji Lane. Haji Lane is a quaint little place in Singapore with all kinds of shops and bars and this place was one of them. I had written an article about the Mackie Thumps before and I did not think that they were great speakers to get but for the money you pay for them, I suppose you get what you pay for, But these Thumps, in that Haji Lane area, were LOUD. But then again, it was an all-vinyl party so it was not the clearest of audio but still, it was loud and clear. I suppose for small block parties ike these, these will have to suffice…and suffice they did!
About a week ago, I was using this mixer at an event. I must say that it was a pretty good sounding mixer but the mixer had some issues with the faders and input gains. I suppose it had something to do with the age of this mixer. But I was pleasantly surprised at how hood it sounded. The even lasted nine hours and by the end of it, I must have discovered about six channels giving issues on this mixer. All this mixer needs is an overhaul and it should be sounding great again
I was walking with my wife at Plaza Singapura a couple of days back and I came across an event being held there. The event company supplied four of these speakers, the Mackie SRM550s. Now, I know about the SRM series from Mackie. The SRM-450s were very popular and I still see some companies using them for shows. These are the new line from them…well, not really new, but you get my drift.
In any case, rhe SRM550 is paired with custom transducers within internally- braced all-wood cabinets. That is pretty good because the 450’s of old used polypropylene cabinets. The SRM550 features what Mackie dubs “High Definition Audio Processing™”, including acoustic correction DSP (Digital Signal Processing) for high-definition sound, plus system optimization tools like application-specific speaker modes. You can see it in the picture above. You can choose from PA, DJ, MONITOR or SOLO. Like the Yamaha DXR Series, it has a built-in mixer so you can use it as such for small roadshows without bringing a separate mixer. Check out the RCA inputs! It also has a feedback destroyer…of sorts. But let me ask you. What good is a feedback destroyer if you want to mount these speakers for say, permanent installs? But there you go.
Features-wise, this is a summary of what it has to offer:
- 2-way, 1,600W powered speaker in an all-wood cabinet
- 12″ LF woofer, 1.4″ HF compression titanium driver
- Built-in DSP for feedback suppression, speaker voicing, alignment delay, and more
- 4 voicings for quick setup: PA, DJ, Monitor, and Soloist
- Built-in 2-channel mixer
- XLR/TRS combo inputs and RCA inputs let you connect microphones and instruments directly for solo use
- Smart Protect DSP protects your speakers from harm
- 60-degree angle when on its side for monitor use
Mackie products are pretty expensive in Singapore that is why the many people gravitate more towards Yamaha. Speaking of Yamahas, I saw that the people who supplied this system used Yamaha MSR400’s for foldback monitors. I wonder why they did not make it an all-Mackie gig. In any case, as I was saying, I would take the Yamaha DXRs over these. That is because I heard these this afternoon and while they were very good, I find the Yamahas to be much better.
Just the other day, I came across a pair of these Mackie SA1521 speakers in the foyer of a shopping mall. Thes speakers had very relaxing music played through them and I must say that it sounded good. It was the usual setup of a pair of speakers in tripods and a flightcase holding a mixer and CD players. I did some research and from what I know, these speakers have been discontinued. A shame really because it seems these were made of baltic birch and have a 133dB SPL output. Not too shabby actually. They also boast 500 Watts of continuous RMS amplifier power (400W LF, 100W HF) so its not too bad although you can get powered speakers providing twice that. More often than not, its not so much the wattage but rather about the clarity and SPL, which tells how efficient a speaker is. Nice speakers. Shame they got discontinued. If you want to read more, more can be found in the Mackie website here.
I had the chance to use this a few days back at an event. Now, one major peeve I have about this mixing console is that each channel does not have a L/R button to send it to the stereo bus. No. There is only an ASSIGN switch on each channel to assign that channel to a subgroup first. Only on the subgroup, there is an assign button to the stereo bus. Bloody irritating. I now know why a lot of times, this mixer comes up for sale in second-hand equipment forums. I did not get the chance to try the effects so I cannot comment on that. I mean, I like Mackie but this CFX12 mixer, I would give a wide berth. It just does not have the flexibility I crave for.