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Microphone Month

Yamaha n12 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • from Ca, United States February 9, 2012Music Background:

    If you are a Cubase user You must own this!

    I have been using the N12 as my studio work horse for over 2 years now with Cubase 4 and 5, and I could not be more pleased. The sound quality is outstanding, the morphing compressor is amazing, and the seamless integration into Cubase is unmatched.
    The EQ is very musical while the preamps are transparent and the on board reverb gets the job done well
    If you use Cubase this is the only interface youll ever want.

  • from June 15, 2011


    This is an impressive product. It sounds truly great for the money -- better than anything in its class near its price range, and the drivers work great for low-latency performance. The integration with Cubase, in particular, is simply superb, although it can just as easily be used with ProTools 9, for example (although without some of the cool remote control features as of this writing). I've also tested it with Reaper and Sonar without problems.

    I mainly use it with Cubase 6 on Windows 7 x64, along with a Steinberg MR816 and the total features with this combination of gear are stunning. I couldn't put together features and sound quality anywhere near that price range as of this writing. And just coming close to this combination a few years ago would have been impossible. I'm very aware of the current crop of digital mixers, but so far nothing still sounds as good at this price point and has such great integration with Steinberg products. But don't let it's Steinberg-advantage detract from your decision if you choose not to use Cubase/Nuendo, and prefer to work in PT, Logic, etc. This is a stellar device regardless of DAW choice... but if you are a Cubase user, you get some nice bonuses. The DAW remote control section works beautifully in Cubase and has been very handy.

    Also, after owning the n12 for a while now, I did have one technical issue. I contacted Yamaha and they were quick to respond. I received two phone calls from them to help out. They were helpful, and took the time to answer my questions, even though it turned out that my N12 was no longer under warranty (Ahhhh!)... so I took it upon myself to try to fix it. Crazy idea, but I figured I might was well give it a shot before sending it in to them to get fixed by a certified service center.

    So I insanely took the entire thing apart to look for loose wires, or see if I had spilled something that might cause the issue, etc... as I took it apart, I noticed how well designed and well-built it is. Physically, this thing is very solid, in and out. It should last for years. Anyway, after I took it apart, I noticed a loose wire! Somehow it had come loose -- maybe during a recent move I might have jarred it loose! It had survived some rough physical handling, so perhaps that was what happened. So I snapped the cable back in properly, re-assembled the N12, and wow - it worked perfectly again! Totally shocked and happy with the result.

    I expect years of continued service from this, and even when this thing has been discontinued, and/or when Yamaha stops supporting the driver, it can still act as a great standalone mixer. All in all, probably one of the best gear purchases I've ever made.

    At this point, I'm sold on the Yamaha/Steinberg collaboration, and will be very enthusiastic about future product releases. I'd likely buy the N12's successor in a heartbeat. Although, I'm not sure they could improve on the N12 at this price.

  • from Los Angeles and Dubai April 28, 2011Music Background:
    Broadcast and Recording Engineer, Semi-Pro Musician.

    What a board

    This is a great board. Mine came with Cubase AI5 which is great. However, I use Presonus Studio One with it and I have no reason to ever step foot in a studio again. Presonally, I found what works for me is to record the tracks in Studio One (the N12 Multitracks beautifully. I don't sense any latency). Then my final mixdown goes back into the N12 as 2 tracks and that is where the N12 spanks the competition. I use the N12's Morph Compressor and the Rev-X reverb to polish the mixdown. Unbeliveable results.

    The faders don't have memory or are they motorized. I downloaded the track sheet from Yamaha and record my settings. Ohh No!!! I have to use paper and pencil..gee, how analog!! :)

    Dollar for Dollar this is the best deal. Buy this board with the Pro Version of Studio One and you will come out cheaper that buying the competions board. Heck, you'll have money left over for Studio Monitors. By the way, the N12's control room section rocks. You don't have to to buy a monitor controller cause it's already on the board. And you can do 5.1 surround sound recordings with the right DAW.

    I love this board!!!

  • from Huntington N.Y.USA September 24, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Awesome Mixer /Great work flow

    The n12 is a great sounding mixer on it"s own,but when you mix it with cubase ai4 it blows me a way.In my studio i record a lot of acoustic tracks ,mainly real drums .typicaly i will use the 8 awesome sounding pres on the n12 for my drum kit ,sometimes i record with eq,compression,and reverb sometimes not. the cool thing is ,after you record your drum tracks in cubase ,you can bring those 8 tracks back into the n12 and mix them analog style with compression eq and what not ,sounds awesome kudos to yamaha! jz

  • from Salt Lake City, UT December 4, 2007Music Background:
    Serious Hobbyist

    The N12 mixer is awesome

    I just received the N12 last Friday and am very pleased I bought this mixer. The preamps in it are absolutely fabulous and in this price range would be very difficult to beat, if not impossible. The pre's are not "colored" like a lot of top end pre's but lean more to "transparency" but with some nice low end to them. Excellent low, mid and high frequency response is what you get with these preamps. Vocals sit really nice in the mix with a nice stereo image. Vocals come right out in front with these preamps too! Acoustic guitars come through very clear. Add a little Morph compression and you get nothing but great sound.

    The N12 is a digital mixer but you wouldn't know it when using it. It "feels" analog but then you look at the back of it and there's not a giant mass of cables hooking things up. It's got a simple firewire interface. It's bundled with Cubase AI but I've got it hooked up to Sonar and Reaper as well using ASIO drivers.

    I was able to get the N12 drivers installed with no problem and started with a sample rate of 128 but had some pops and clicks. Bumped it up to 256 and all is good! Cubase AI installed but when trying to register it the server I was connecting to kept giving me an error that I was not connected to the internet. I was connected so I will have to work on that some more.

    Another great thing about the N12 is integration with your DAW software. It does have deeper integration with Cubase but that's too be expected since Yamaha owns Steinberg. It's nice to have some DAW controls right at the mixer and get away from the mouse. I have not explored all the integration with Cubase yet but Yamaha has some nice templates that set up your recording environment included and there's more on their website.

    One thing to remember is the N12 is not a controller in the normal sense. It's a full fledged mixing console and a top notch one at that. The built in Morph compressor is very nice and so is the Reverb. There are tons of routing capabilities but the unit is simplistic in it's design. It's got some real nice monitoring features but I've yet to explore all the capabilities of the N12.

    The build on this unit is rugged! Compared to my famous brand mixer it's in a different universe. My famous brand mixer was picking up noise from the overhead lights in my studio. Not with the N12, Yamaha engineers know something about shielding. The layout of the mixer is simple and you can clearly read all the text, very professional.

    The D/A and A/D converters in the N12 are first class converters, very musical to my ears and combined with those awesome preamps all I can say is WOW!

    At this point I can't think of any cons when buying an N12. I was a little concerned it doesn't have S/PDIF for my amp modeler but I plugged my modeler into a channel insert (which sits directly before the A/D) and then fired up the Morph compressor and I'm getting some amazing sound quality. This compressor is adding a new dimension to my modeler!

    I highly recommend the N12/N8 to anyone looking for top notch sound, great I/O and buss routing capabilities and nice "analog" ease of use with a digital mixer.

  • from Central Illinois, USA August 20, 2008Music Background:
    Home Studio Guy, FOH Live Sound Guy (Yamaha M7CL), Former Orchestral and AFof M Union Hall Musician

    A small Professional Mixer with large console type amenities

    The Yamaha n12 is clearly a great mixer and clearly in a league of its own, price-wise and function-wise.

    There is a ton of positive "buzz" out there in regards to the Darlington circuit based pre-amps and I have to agree that they are quite clean with some very nice character.

    Having the ability to send separate recorded digital tracks back into separate mixer channels for monitoring and modification is great and I definitely like having the ability to connect 3 sets of monitors for A/B/Cing. Having that 3rd "monitor out" on the n12 has allowed me to add the Avantone MixCubes which have been great for my listening and mixing.

    The EQ section provides for a very wide tonal variey and can add some "major" boost if needed and having the transport controls "right there" for Cubase 4 is also a definite plus.

    My only suggestion relative to the n12 is that Yamaha should add a button that would allow you to switch between XLR and TRS "ins" on each channel (1-8) thus allowing the user to leave equipment connected in both the XLR and TRS inputs all the time (ie snake into the XLRs and Patchbay into TRSs). As it currently stands, connecting to the XLR input cancels out the TRS input.

    Adding this switch would more than double the n12's input capacity as well as giving the n12 another large console type function. The good thing is that there an empty space on each channel (1-8) right next to the pad switch where this new XLR/TRS switch could be located!!!

    My only complaint is that owning the Yamaha n12 "forced" me to buy a Creation Station Rack from my very knowledgeable and very helpful Sweetwater Rep, Mark Bruhn.

  • from Wales UK August 18, 2009Music Background:
    Pro musician


    I am reading all these wonderful reviews for the n12 but I have a real downer on it because I already own a lot of outboard kit including a very nice Lexicon. The n12 simply does not have any means of integrating the Lexicon in a post fade situation. Thousands of pounds worth of gear redundant! I shall have to buy something else - but What?

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