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Mackie 1202-VLZ3 Reviews

5.0 stars based on 10 customer reviews
  • from Graysville,PA USA June 5, 2012Music Background:


    This is my 3rd Mackie mixer and they just keep getting better, although I don't know how that's possible. Pristine, bright sound and complete control --- it just doesn't get any better. And Jason Koons has the expert advice. Joe

  • from Princeton, NJ May 2, 2012Music Background:
    Classical producer/engineer

    Mackie 12012 VLZ: A Workhorse Mixer in a Small Package

    I need to start with a confession: the ORIGINAL Mackie 1202 was the first mixer I owned, and that was maybe 20 years ago? I still have (and use) that mixer, but needed the new one to go overseas for a series of live choral concert recordings. That is greatly eased by Mackie as it has a 120 to 220 switch on the back. The 1202 VLZ3 has all the power, sound and versatility of the the bigger Mackie's in a small and portable package, with extremely clean and pure sound. Inputs and outputs allowed me to feed my small multi-track unit with the Mackie's direct outs. In short, it was ideal for the purpose, and will now become a general use mixer. This is the 16th Mackie in my classical recording company's mixer suite.

  • from Indianapolis, Indiana April 30, 2012Music Background:
    Composer, Hobbyist


    This is a great Mixer. Very Solid. I use it for sub mixing in my Studio and it does a great job.

  • from Sturgis, MI February 21, 2012Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Feature full and Just what was needed

    This Unit has plenty of inputs for a small group and is light weight enough to be relocated easily. Make sure you purchase enough cables to be sure you have enough to plug things into this board. It even has extra features which we might not ever use but allows for future expansion.

  • from NY, NY December 6, 2011

    Best mixer for the money

    The build is top-notch. Loads of routing options for both project studio and live settings. Sound quality is pristine. Footprint is small and highly portable. This is my 3rd VLZ mixer (others were given up as part of moves and band breakups). I can't say enough good things. It is impossible to be disappointed in the 1202!

  • from East Coast June 3, 2011Music Background:
    Sound design, music production.

    It is what it is.

    It is what it is. What you need it to be. It works. It sounds great for the money. It's the perfect balance of features, sound, build-quality, size and price for this number of channels. It doesn't futz around. It just does what it is supposed to do. In my opinion, the best small format mixer in its price range. The build quality is definitely worth the extra scratch over comparable units. This is a case of "you get what you pay for," and this will do its job unapologetically for as long as you need it to, and take abuse in and out of the studio. A no-brainer.

  • from Toms River,N.J. October 17, 2008Music Background:
    Veteran keyboardist & workstation programmer,recording fanatic & vocalist.

    Exceptional intermediate level mixer

    Had this mixer for a couple of months & I'm loving every minute of it!Great tactile aspect,with it's rock solid build quality,smooth & tight knobs & clear color scheme.
    A very flexible mixer in terms of routing possiblities,as it is the nerve center of my hardware studio!
    ...and of course-best of all,a tremendous amount of headroom with pristine,clean audio quality....this one's a keeper!

  • from Tucson, AZ February 21, 2013Music Background:
    Pro musician / Recording Engineer / Recording Artist / Songwriter

    Great mixer at this price point!

    Have used Mackie mixers for my personal studio since the mid 90's and the VLZ3 models have great mic preamps! Recently downsized to accomodate a smaller space and the 1202-VLZ3 has the features and footprint I needed. Great mixer at this price point!

  • from October 1, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, Hobbyist home studio

    Great flexibility for a small mixer

    If you need 8 mono channels in a small/portable mixer and you don't need built in effects, the 1201-VLZ3 is definitely the way to go. The build quality is fantastic. The silver piece on the bottom makes a good place to stick labels and a good carrying handle, but it can be removed if you need to shorten the mixer.

    I use this mixer to manage a keyboard and a mix of auxilliary percussion (3 mics) into two feeds (Main L and R) for the house. This board is the best option for this application for several reasons. The main outs have both TRS and XLR as an option. The main meters are bigger than most in this price range. Aux send 1 has a master volume control. The stereo/mono line level inputs can be balanced. And most importantly, the mute buttons route the inputs to a separate mix, making this mixer more flexible than anything else in this price range.

    I use aux 1 (pre) for a stage monitor and the alt 3/4 source as a headphone mix. Channels 1-4 are my inputs and Channels 5-8 are all for monitoring. So in Channels 5-8, I mute the channels and use the level controls to adjust the headphone mix and the aux 1 sends to adjust the stage monitor mix. I put the aux send 2 level of Channels 1-4 at unity and feed aux 2 back into channel 6 for an easier way to adjust the monitoring level of all my inputs simultaneously. Since I hard pan my inputs, this lets me listen in the headphones to the relative levels of my inputs without them being hard panned. On most small mixers, you would have to solo to defeat the panning and you would get pre-fader/knob level in the headphones. This mixer allows me to get easily adjustable monitor mixes for both a stage monitor and headphones while preserving my own relative levels. I don't think there are any other mixers close to this price or size that will let you do all that.

    I understand that in a mixer of this class you have to omit some features to keep it small and affordable, but there are a couple things I would rather have even if it means paying a little more or lugging a little more. I would prefer to have a couple LED's added per channel. There is no clip LED or mute indicator. It is not easy to tell at a glance which channels are muted, and having no clip indicators per channel makes me set levels lower than I normally would. Also, while I prefer the mute/alt 3-4 to a simple mute, I would like even more to have 2 mix assign buttons in addition to the mute. You could replace the alt 3/4 functionality with a separate button and make the mute a simple mute. For example, the larger Onyx series mixers have separate buttons to assign each channel to the main mix and/or to sub mixes. For how I use the 1202, I set relative levels of aux percussion instruments with the level controls, but I can't use the mute buttons to take unused instruments out of the house because it would double those unused mics up in my headphone mix. I would rather have buttons for each channel to assign that channel to the main mix and/or to a sub mix. That sub mix could replace alt 3/4 as an option for the control room matrix, which is already assignable to the main mix. You would have to leave the mute separate to be able to take a channel out of both mixes and the post auxes. I don't know how much cost or size that would add to the mixer, but I would have gladly paid $100 more to have those features. As it is, I have to try to remember where the level controls are at and turn them up or down 40 times a gig. Having this feature would also free me to use aux send 2 as a reverb/FX send. Also, it isn't really a standard feature for mixers in this size and price range, but I would love to have sweepable mids and would gladly pay the difference.

  • from Austin, TX September 26, 2012Music Background:
    Producer / Musician

    Mackie 1202-VLZ

    This is an outstanding piece of gear for the money. It delivers as promised. Super low noise, high quality components, plenty of headroom and nice little features make this mixer a very useful tool for working professionals. It is well suited for small jobs and the home studio. My only quibble is that you have to download the manual. I like to get one in the box.

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