Test Drive: The Mackie Micro Series 1202 12-Channel Mic/Line Mixer

 

To the right of the first four inputs are the ¼-inch unbalanced inputs for the four stereo inputs. The left and right channel inputs are separate from each other, and each left channel input can be used as a mono input if desired. If you plug a mono signal into the left input jack, the signal will be routed to both the left and right outputs. You can also plug a mono signal into the left input and a separate mono signal into the right input. This will send the left input to the left channel and the right input to the right channel with the PAN pot controlling the level of one input relative to the other.

Above these jacks are the STEREO AUX RETURNS and AUX OUTPUTS for the two auxiliary busses on the 1202 which enable connection of effects boxes and processors to the mixer. AUX 1 and AUX 2 provide mono sends and stereo returns.

At the far right of the patchbay are the mixer outputs. There are three. The first set is the balanced, stereo, main output. The second is a tape output which taps the main outs and can be sent to your recorder. Adjacent to the tape outputs is a stereo pair of tape inputs which share the AUX 2 circuitry which enables switching between tape playback and AUX 2 signals with the TAPE IN/AUX 2 switch. The third output is the headphone jack which provides a very healthy amount of volume (or unhealthy if cranked too high).

This pretty much covers the patchbay section with the exception of four channel insert points found on the back panel. While many consoles provide channel inserts for each channel, the 1202 provides them only for channels one through four. This obviously helps reduce the cost of manufacturing, and when you think about it, together with the two auxiliary sends and returns, it's easy to get by without insert points on every channel. The insert points tap the outputs of the mike preamps and are before the channel faders and equalizers...which brings us to the channel strips section of the tour.

As mentioned, there are eight channel strips -- four mono and four stereo. The strips each have the same controls and are basically identical except for the fact that there is more gain available on the first four mono channels. At the bottom of each strip is the GAIN control which adjusts the channel's level from off, to unity gain, to +20dB. A detent is provided at the straight up position.

Above the GAIN control is the PAN control. This control works as a normal pan control on the first four mono channels as well as on the last four channels as long as the last four are being used as mono inputs. If stereo signals are applied to any of the last four channel strips, the PAN control acts like the balance control on your home stereo system.

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