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Screwy Mackie1202vlz mixer ??? ...or is it just me ???


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Hey all,


Here is a post I just made in another forum. I thought I would post it here as well and see if anyone could make any sense of it. It is a continuation of a conversation but hopefully youll understand whats going on.



....Now all of a sudden It seems I cant even get the aux send/return effects to even effect the channel going out of Alt 3/4. I can hear the effect in my phones but when I record to Cubase it records dry..... Im lost. I swear one minute Ill have someting working and all of a sudden next time I try it it doesnt work. Im really starting to think that its not me and this mixer (Mackie 1202vlz)is a bit screwy.


Someone please compare if you have one of these. On mine, if I have effects on Aux 1 send/return. My mic plugged into channel 1 and turn channel one down all the way and turn up the Aux one with Alt 3/4 pushed and Alt 3/ connected to Firebox Mic in 1 channels 3-4 pic it up in Cubase. In other words the effects are bleeding into the main outs even with mute/alt 3/4 pushed and of course I have the Aux volume to zero on all the other channels. This just does NOT MAKE SENCE TO ME AT ALL. What is the point of the seperate bus if it bleeds right into the main mix. I can acually record vocals through the mic even with the mic UNPLUGGED OUT OF THE FIREBOX !!! (yes I have the mic set to input 1 in Cubase)


But yet on channel one where the mic is I can hear the reverb from the Aux but it sends it out dry to Cubase. BUT I can record the keys on channel 3-4 of the firebox which is coming from the main outs of the Mackie with effects. Basically it looks like this thing will NOT send effects out of Alt 3/4 but yet it will mix them with the main mix even when you have the Alt 3/4 button pressed ?????? THAT MAKES NO SENCE.


Also if I try to use the Aux 2 ins and outs I get no effects whats soever, HOWEVER if I leave the returns plugged into Aux 2 and put the send back into 1 I have effects......


Either I have just lost my marbles and am complety missing someting simple here (which is quite possible) OR I have a Screwey mixer.... or ???




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I own a 1202. The 1202 has multiple outputs and you can make choices of what goes where in the Output section. Are you using Main Outs or Control Room outs or Alt 3/4 ... and is what is chosen in the Output section correct?


Since you wrote ...Now all of a sudden It seems ... I would think that maybe a jack is not all the way inserted. (I once had a problem on a job where the output jack for a channel 1 insert came out and I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I got the unit home.)


Those few times I had screwy things happen, I simply unplug everything and start again. Whenever something stopped working all of a sudden, I first look for a plug not completely inserted or the associated piece of equipment is not turned on.


Have you actually pulled all the plugs and reinserted them?


Not the answer you're looking for I know.


I would be curious to learn what the problem is.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.


In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.


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Take a look at the 'Control Room Source' buttons. I'm guessing that you've got both Alt3/4 and Assign To Min Mix pushed in. Lose the Assign To Main Mix and part one of your problem is sorted.


As to part 2, there's a few points to consider:


1.Aux Returns only add effects to the main mix, NOT Alt 3-4.


2.Aux Send 2 is always post fader so Alt 3-4, which is kind of a mute button, cannot send a signal.


3. Likewise for Aux Send 1 if the Aux 1 Select button is set to post.


4. Maybe you could use the Insert to send an EFX signal.


5. Look on the Mackie website and there is a modification that they suggest that will enable you to use post fader Aux sends with Alt 3-4. It involves a bit of soldering but if that doesn't intimidate you then it's worth doing. Coincidentally I'm in the process of getting it done for my 1202.


Hope this is of some help,



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Thanks guys for your input,



It is/was definatly not a jack not fully plugged in issue. Perhaps because I have done so many test plugging things in and out and pushing buttons and doing 5 second recordings that I confused actually just hearing the effects via Alt 3/4 out vs. hearing them recorded


I do know what your saying though, just last night while experimenting with different channels I quckly noticed that the output of channel 1 Mic on Mackie was considerably lower then the others. I did test after test and was convinced that that channel preamp was shot. So after frantically looking for my warranty papers planning on calling today, I then realized I had forgot that I had my EQ as an insert to channel one, which of course effected the output level. I thought man I'm an idiot, thank God I didnt makde the warranty call :)


Anyways, as Changearound pointed out, and also someone else pointed out as well in another forum:

"1.Aux Returns only add effects to the main mix, NOT Alt 3-4" ... so apparently I never heard the effects recorded via Alt 3/4 outs. What I 'must have' heard was just the effects 'bleeding over' into the mix, which is something you definatly don't want.


My initial goal was simply to just be able to sit down and practice, without having to turn on the computer and all the software and click on this and that and adjust this and that before I could even practice. ---, Then when I wanted to record 'then' fire up the comp and software. (without having to re-route half my cables for recording) --- perhaps I wont be able to quite get it setup 'that' conviently


My setup at the very moment (which seems to be the suggestion I see everywhere) is:


Mic into channel 1 of Mackie and keyboards into 5-6 of Mackie. Main outs of the Mackie to in 3-4 of the Firebox and Alt 3 of Mackie into FireBox Mic 1 in. Firebox to comp via firewire. and Control outs of Mackie to Monitors (M-Audio Bx8a's)


On channel one of Mackie I have my DBX 231 eq inserted (no problems there) and...(where the problem started) my TC Electronics M300 reverb/effects through Aux 1 in/out.


Now this is where in my very newbie opinion there is a basic design flaw. It seems to me that if for instance I am using the mic to go out of Alt 3 and of course have the mute/Alt 3 button pushed on channel 1 AND turn up the Aux 1 on channel 1 AND have the Aux 1 TURNED DOWN on all the other channels that should tell the effects to go to Alt 3 ONLY.... NOT to the main mix... other wise it seems to defeat half of the point of the individual Aux 1 & 2 volumes on EACH channel. This way if you dont want effects on the Alt 3/4 outs simply DONT turn up the Aux1 on that channel. --- am I still not 'getting something' here ???


What someone else pointed out was simply unplugging the effects returns out of Aux 1 returns and plugging them instead into available channels and sending them to Alt 3/4 ... I just did this quick and It seems to have sovled the ENTIRE problem. It actually makes it the way I pointed out it should be and gives you effects option on ANY channel; via main or Alt 3/4 outs. The only downfall of this setup is you lose two channels for instruments. I have plenty of extra channels though so its not an issue with me.


Changearound, thanks for pointing out the mod on Mackie's site however my mixer is still under warranty and Im not so sure ripping into it like that is a good idea in case I need to use the warranty. Soldering though is not a prolem, I do it all the time.


Now, (keeping in line with the optimal recording dry method) Id just like to figure out how to set it up to 'hear' the effets while recording but NOT recording them, and then how to add the hardware effects afterwards..... possible ????



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How about sending the signal from your M300 to the Tape Input on the 1202. If you press the Tape button in the Control Room Source section then you'd 'hear the effects while recording but not record them.'


The only drawback would be that you couldn't control just the M300 level from the 1202.

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I have the main outs of the Firebox going into the tape ins of the mackie to hear play back from the comp.


I just realized that the M300 has spdif as well as the Firebox. Im new to spidif, but it seems I might be able to incorporate this to my advantage.


Im still trying to figure out how to add hardware effects to the dry recording in Cubase LE. It would be nice to be recording it to a different track while playing/recording it. That way not only could you hear it live while playing/recording, if you liked the first take, youd be all set.

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Ya I do look there as well as a handfull of other forums. However, in all honesty I have found so far, that I seem to learn the most from the guys and gals in this forum. Also the responce to questions here is usually faster then from other forums.


This forum has sort of become my 'learn to be a musician Bible'


...many thanks to everyone in here.

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