The 1604-VLZ3 is a beautifully constructed 16 channel mixer that is fully analog. There are 16 mic preamps on this mixer as well. I have used this mixer off and on at the studio for about 3 years now. The preamps are the high point of this mixer. They are very good and give you a high quality sound with any microphone you use with it. The sound will be clean and crisp but at the same time the frequency range is wide giving you lots of warm and full sounding low end for your recordings. At the studio that I use this at, we have it ready to record anything from vocals to recording drum tracks. No matter what you use with it, it gives us a great sound quality.
There was not a set up process involved when setting up this Mackie Mixer. I have used a few other mixers in the VLZ3 series and all of them are pretty good but for some reason I like the 1604 the best and plus the price of it is so affordable you can afford to have it at your home studio to record anything you want.
The EQ section on the 1604 is very good, it surprised me with how in depth you can get with shaping your sound right form this analog board. There are low cut filters pan controls, aux sends and inserts on each individual channel on the 1604.
Overall this is one of the best and most affordable analog mixers that I have ever had the privilege to use. It will be your work horse and handle all of your recordings. The downside is that this mixer is pretty big and heavy for it to be just a 16 track mixer. I don’t see this unit being very portable, which is the reason a lot of people won’t get this type of mixer anymore.
The Mackie 1604-VLZ3 is a 16 channel analog mixer that has 16 different microphone preamps and split monitoring. The preamps that come on this mixer are by far its best feature. They are clean and quiet, they generate little to no noise. The design of the 1604-VLZ3 is nothing to really look at, it is big and bulky but has a clean design and easy lay out to work with. It is very rugged and made for the road, it can take some drops with any worries because it seems be made of solid materials that will not break. When we purchased ours it did not come with a case or a cover, and being that it cannot be racked we knew that we needed something to protect it from everything so we went out and purchased a case for it. They make a case that is specifically for the 1604-VLZ3 and it cost around 25 dollars.
The EQ on the 1604-VLZ3 is very good, each channel on it has its own 3 band EQ. We use the EQ sections a lot to get the sound the exact way that we want it. I have used a lot of analog mixers over the years but on the 1604-VLZ3 we are able to get the exact sound we are looking for.
The 1604-VLZ3 has 16 high headroom inputs and 8 direct outs with 4 auxiliary sends. It has an extended low frequency response and a low cut filter. If you are looking for a high quality well made analog mixer, look no further because the 1604-VLZ3 is a machine!
You can purchase this today and know that it will still work for you 10 years down the road. The preamps are excellent and very quiet and the EQ on every channel was perfect for us. I just wish it was rackable.
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PeterCocteau's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
- Is the rack?
yes (it would seem that the rails are not present in all the boxes ...)
+ Possibility to reorient the block connector under the console (during a racking)
- How many lanes, bus, auxiliary sends, returns ...)?
16 mono channels with inserts (8 channel direct outputs available)
6 aux sends (2 to 4 pre or post to post)
4 Aux returns
insert on the master
- What type of connectors (RCA Jack, XLR ...)?
all inputs and outputs are balanced and unbalanced Jack, entries are lined XLR (for microphones), + input and output types in CAR
- The equalizer:
3-band sweepable mids + low cut filter
(All the exact specifications are available on the official website Mackie)
a console very well designed on paper, the possibility of different signal routing are very practical and allow as much studio work that live ... true happiness ...!!
Here begins the worries ..... but I have already stated why I had bought this console:
Being an old fan of Mackie (CR1604 old console plays HR824 + home) I was looking to replace my old CR1604 15 years and making the soul by the famous and beautiful new 1604Vlz3.
The old CR-1604 is well known in electronic music production, it was used to mix many songs, legend same as the first 2 albums were made daft punk on a CR1604 or even 1202 (little sister range).
For the CR1604 sounded good: good momentum, good terrain, and low EQ could successfully make purring bass and low mids. Finally a console with a dynamic character a little "roots" which was pull out the electronic beats.
I therefore replace my old with the new CR1604 1604Vlz3 and there was the drama:
what happened to my bass and my low-mid?? I have fine tweaking preamps and EQ, there is nothing to be done, the sound seems flat without any consistency ... the dynamics of my songs is nonexistent ... more I have the feeling that the different channels mix badly ...
Let's be honest, for the small group that wants to repeat or young artist who wants to try their hand, the 1604VLZ3 is sufficient and very correct .. but it will prevent those who want to make the "final" at home ...
I used for 2 months and I finally sold to buy an old CR1604 in working order.
The 1604VLZ3 is a great product on paper, but it served by its Chinese manufacturing (buttons fragile ...) Finally, despite all the arguments of Mackie on the background noise ultra-low (since the onset of VLZ) is far to provide the dynamics of the old models that were playing at the time in the same price range.
In short quality Mackie console is over .. this sounds very average as the Yamaha or Soundcraft ... I have been very disappointed with the choice of this brand.