The Mackie U.420 is a great little 4-channel stereo line mixer, but there’s a lot more under the hood! Out of the box, I was impressed with the construction and feel of the mixer. The knobs in the audio chain are color-coded and the output level is controlled by a big comfortable knob. All the controls have a smooth positive feel and my palm rested nicely on the rubber pad on the mixer’s surface.
Channel 1 has a built in DI so you can plug an acoustic or electric guitar or bass in to record or for a live performance. There is a separate input for a turntable that includes a Mackie-designed RIAA preamp.
Mackie has included 24-bit/96kHz FireWire I/O along with their popular Tracktion 3 audio/MIDI production software. It was a good move to included Rewire 2.0 so that when you connect your Mac or PC the mixer will easily integrate with other software applications with Tracktion 3. QuickTime and Tracktion are cross-platform compatible so sharing and editing video projects is a snap.
Since it takes up so little space, this mixer can be used in a lot of different settings. It’s perfect for small coffee house gigs for a single, duo, or small group where space is tight. The U.420 functions well as a keyboard submixer, or as a keyboard recording station. Connecting your computer to the mixer makes it easy to mix in loops, plug-in effects or any audio file for live performance or for work in the studio.
This mixer offers a ton of value and takes line mixing to the next level at a great price. This mixer will find its way into a lot of live performance and studio settings.