After posting about the Roland M-480 console and M-48 personal mixers I got to thinking about other personal mixing options. Mackie recently announced a pretty cool little mixer that could easily be a personal mixing system.
The Mackie DL1608 is a small, 16 input, 8 output (stereo main and 6 aux’s), digital mixer. The control surface is actually an iPad running their software. If you want to check the FOH mix from other parts of the room you simply take the iPad out of the mixer and you can wirelessly tweak levels, dynamics, and EQ.
Now at a glance you might think, yeah, but iPads are expensive! Granted they start at $500 and you’ll need one for each person that is running a mix. But an Aviom mixer is about $450 street price and it’s only a mixer. The iPad at $500 is reasonably priced and now you can use it for other stuff throughout the week. For those on stage once your mix is dialed in close the Mackie app and use the Planning Center app or ProPresenter app to control or keep track of other things.
You can connect up to 10 iPads to the console using a standard wireless router. So you could mix FOH with on iPad and assign 1 aux to each band member, give them each an iPad, and let them control everything themselves. I could see this being perfect for a traveling band or a church that needs to set up and break down every week in a rented venue. Get a split into the console, hand out some iPads, send the mixer outputs to wired or wireless in-ears, and you’re set up without a lot of work.
Lastly the Mackie DL1608 is pretty reasonably priced, $999 at Sweetwater, maybe less through your local Mackie dealer. While I have not heard it myself, traditionally Mackie digital console work well and sound pretty good. We have had both the digital 8 bus and digital x bus consoles in the past and both sounded good. Granted the DXBus had build issues but those have surely been addresses in the DL1608.
At $999, and with the ability to return it if you had a problem or didn’t like it, there’s not a lot of risk here.