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Mackie VLZ3 Series Mixers

We know it’s hard to believe, but Mackie has designed a new line of mixers that improves on the legendary performance of the highly acclaimed VLZ-Pro compacts.

Their engineers burned the late-night oil and extracted even more headroom and frequency response from the soon-to-be famous XDR2™ preamps. Then they tweaked the channel EQ for optimal performance and built an even better Mix Bus. After the dust settled, and after some much needed sleep, they unveiled the new VLZ3 Series — mixers with individual mic pre THD below 0.0007%, and overall THD less than 0.0025%. (In case you’re not an electronics engineer, that means they’re incredibly quiet!)

The Mackie VLZ3 Series builds on the features and functionality of previous VLZs, and they sound and look better than ever.

And the new universal switching power supply means you can use these mixers anywhere in the world, without investing your life’s savings in bizarre voltage adapters. The Mackie mixers you’ve come to know and love are now even more perfect than perfect.

VLZ3 Series Mixers Feature:
• New XDR2™ mic preamps - even cleaner and with higher headroom
• 3 or 4-band Active EQ – more musical across the entire frequency range
• Rugged steel chassis with proven Mackie-tough construction

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The Mackie VLZ3 Mixer is a 32 channel by 4 output mixer. You know, recently digital mixers have been all the rage and great news, but everybody needs a great analog mixer. The good news is a lot of digital features have come into the analog mixers. We'll talk about that with the Mackie 3204. But let's first of all look at the basic kind of thing that happens with an analog mixer... You've got input trims... These are the famous Mackie XDR2 input preamps and they are clean. They're linear all the way up to a full gain, so you can crank this thing up and they're going to sound as good with a full amount of gain as they are with a little bit of gain. Now you have an 18dB per octave low-cut switch for microphones at 100Hz. So you just go ahead and depress that and away you go. You cut off all the low frequencies for microphones, vocal microphones. Of course, you don't want to depress that for musical instruments. 20 dB pad, so if you're running a line input in, then the 20 dB pad is what you press in. Now you've got a nice full AUX section here. You've got 6 AUXs that you can use. Some are "pre," the first 4 are "pre," and then you've got the 2 that are "post" for your effects. I'm going to do is jump over to another section here. The Effects Sends can be sent to the on board effects devices. You've got 2 channels here of independently adjustable effects. The effects are, could be Reverb, it can be Echo...but it's all built into the board. You can return that, of course, on your Effects Return. So it's a great value to have this built in. Let's go ahead and swing back here... and we look at the EQ section...You've got High Frequency, Low Frequency, but with Mid-Sweep. Now Mid-Sweep is a really handy feature to have on the console. Because a lot of times if you don't have a sweep, the frequency you're trying to adjust Is just, maybe at the wrong position on the frequency scale. Here, with the frequency adjustment...see how you can just turn that to 2K, or 800K or down to 200K? You can get that mid-frequency exactly where you need it, to take out the resonance of drums or to take out a particular sibilance that you have on a microphone. Then of course you have the Pan switch here. That just moves from left to right. And a mute...nice big mute switch that is easy to press. You can go ahead and mute that channel and shut it off. And you get an overload light and a signal present light. on each channel. You have a "solo" feature so you can listen to each individual channel. Now what are these 1, 2, 3, 4 switches and "Left" "Right?" Well on this mixer...remember we said it was a 32 by 4... well the "4" is the 4 subgroup outputs, and I can assign the channel to a channel "1, 2" subgroup output, and I pan to 2, or I pan to 1... 1 is going to be this side, and 2 is going to be this side... if I'm in the middle I'm sending it to both of them... and then I can go to "3, 4." So, what I use this for is I'll set up channel 1 to be my drum channel. So I'll simply say that this is a kick drum, I go ahead and take the pan control move it over here to the left... and.that's sub-group 1...assigned...and away it goes. So I'll take all the rest of the drum channels and bring them up. Next, I can go ahead and do 3 and 4, maybe my vocal groups, or I can go left to right for say, a pastor's microphone or a tape playback. Let's move over to the subgroup section here... Now, my drums remember were on subgroup 1... and I can assign that to the left or the right. I can listen to it via the "Sol." One of the beautiful features on this is a compressor on each of those subgroups. So on the drums, I can put some light compression on the drums to help them blend into the mix. Let's say on the background vocals... If I had that on Subgroup 3 I could put some light compression on that just to help even the mix out a little bit. So not only do you have the on board effects... but you have built in compression on each of the subgroup outputs. Now the subgroup outputs can be routed to the left and the right, or they can be routed to a computer via USB. So all 4 channels can be selected to be routed, or you can route the left and right main outputs via USB. It's a really handy way to make a simple 4-channel recording that you can come back and do some light editing on, get the music and speech or music and vocal balances straightened out before you go take it to CD or go put it up on the Web. Of course with Mackie you get complete monitoring on the output. And you've got your AUX sends here. The last thing I want to show you that is really really handy are these 4 channels. These 4 channels have a compressor on each of the inputs. So when you have a particular input, maybe a pastor's microphone, you can put compression just on that microphone, rather than on the subgroups like we had before. This is real handy to go ahead and create a smooth mix. So, pastor's microphone...a particular lead vocal... that you want to have a little compression on...So you get a lot of features on this board. 32 channels, a lot of features for a very reasonable price and you don't need a lot of out board equipment. So the Mackie 3204 an outstanding analog console.