I wrote this review for Mackie DL16S while I was researching good channel mixers in the market. Churches all over the world are switching to more diverse forms of music technology. This, they do because they want to keep up with the modern world and continue attracting people in large crowds easily. Our church also gave us a go signal for some upgrades. I as the main musician of the church’s band was given the job to install a new channel mixer. Since I was a tech geek already, this didn’t pose much of a challenge for me.
Since our church was using an analog mixer for a long time, I thought it was about time that we switch to more digital technology. This would not only allow us to enjoy better diversity but also allow us to mix and match a variety of different sounds. The mixer that I was looking for would simply take a number of audio sources, adjust its level, fix its frequencies, and produce a lesser number of outputs at one time.
Finding an audio channel mixer for a club or pub is not very hard. The requirements are pretty specific, but with a church, that is certainly not the case. I wanted to invest in a model that everyone in our band would like. This meant that the model should offer durability, but not at the cost of portability. It should also offer efficiency but not compromise on affordability.
As I continued looking for products, I realize that the task was more daunting than I think it would be. One model that I seriously considered was the Mackie DL165. It not only offered me with complete wireless control but also came with a built-in Wi-Fi. This was an excellent feature because it eliminated the need for any long cords or complex installation. However, my search for the right product didn’t end here.
I still had to ask some questions to escape my dilemma.
The first two features were important because I didn’t want to invest in a model that didn’t provide me with an adequate number of mic inputs. I also wanted a band EQ of 3 or higher. As for the budget, the Church did allow me to stretch it a bit, but I was still hoping to find a unit that wasn’t too expensive. And luckily, I soon did.
This 16 channel mixer model is one of the best ones in the market that comes with an integrated Wifi that is suitable for both musician’s individual performance and a band performance. It offers 16 Onyx preamp that is available on XLR connectors. There is also a very delicate and sophisticated signal processing unit that allows for greater efficiency. Another thing that stands out is the 4 EQ band that provides greater compression for each of the 16 channel mixers. Additionally, there are also six VCA’s and around 6 mute groups that give you more control over your performance. However, all these pros would go to waste if this channel mixer wasn’t very durable. The steel construction allows for greater durability and makes it last for a longer time.
Having a solid built is not the only thing buyers look for in such a unit. I also looked for other features. Here are some of the most exciting pros and benefits that I received after investing in this superb design.
This digital mixer comes with 16 Onyx mic preamps that are all efficient in their function. There are also XLR outputs that are fully assignable and include a headphone output as well. The ability to mix and match audio inputs from so many different inputs means that musicians can create truly unique and special music each time.
When you buy this mixer, you also get to enjoy better control via the Android, the IOS, the windows, and the macOS devices. There is also no need for a set FOH position which means that you can use the mixer anywhere anytime. Moreover, Mackie will support up to 20 different devices at the same time which makes it one of the most impressive models in the market.
With its 16 channel mixer and its 4 band EQ, you can expect the unit to have some powerful processing going on. There are 13 output buses along with a 31 band GEQ comp or limited that ensures no delay occurs in the production of the sounds. To top this, you also get access to 6 VCA’s and around 6 mute groups. These, among other things, give you more control over your music.
Regardless of how good the performance of a unit is, without an equally smooth tracking and recording ability, there is really no use of a mixer in a long term setting. I was thrilled to find out that this Mackie unit comes with an excellent 2.0 audio interface that not only reduces utility costs but also ensures you can record the music anytime.
Of all the features that stand out in this model, this one is probably the one people, including myself appreciate the most. This control app is both easy to master and very intuitive which ensures greater convenience. Moreover, it allows for extra fast navigation that comes in handy when you have to perform complex actions. Furthermore, it is very easy to set up this app which saves both your time and your effort.
I am easily swayed by people’s comments, which is why I didn’t want to read what other buyers had said about the model. However, my fellow colleagues suggested that I do because that was the only way to ensure that the company wasn’t making any false promises. When reading through the comments, I realized that almost everyone praised the greater level of control that this model offered. This is ensured by a large number of input and output channels. Moreover, buyers were also pleased with the free pro tools software that is included in the package. After reading all these comments, I was convinced that I was on the right track.
My intuition said that I had already found a model that was most suited to my needs. However, almost everyone I talked to suggested that I compare Mackie to other similar models before making a final decision. I trusted my preferred model to be strong enough to survive this test.
For the sake of clarity, I reduced the features to bullet points so I could reach an appropriate conclusion without having to spend too much time on the process. I chose models with either similar ratings or reviews or models that were within the same price range. I then moved on to my making a comparison table with the top 3 features of each mixer.
Here is an overview of what I concluded.
|Mackie DL16S||Behringer XR18|
|Diverse outputs||Lacks diversity|
|More durable||Less durable|
|16 mic input||18 mic input|
|Mackie DL16S||NOVIK NEO MIXER|
|4 band EQ||3 band EQ|
|Built-in Wi-Fi||Lacks good connectivity|
|Less portable||More portable|
|Mackie DL16S||XTUGA MRV122FX|
|16 channel mixer||12 channel mixer|
|Greater number of outputs||Less number of outputs|
When I bought the model, I didn’t think it would delight as many people as it did at the Church. Everyone who was involved in the upgrades was thrilled to see this amazing mixer that allowed for greater diversity and versatility. However, one thing that surprised everyone was the price of the model. They were all amazed to see how a model so durable and efficient be available at such a low price.
The first time we used Mackie, we were all overjoyed to experience the clarity of the music. It was then that I realized the advantages of good research. Had I not reviewed my model properly or compared it to other models, I would never have reached such a sensible decision.