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General Applications:
 Can I use the XLR mic inputs for balanced line inputs?
Actually, we recommend that you use the 1/4" (TRS) Line inputs for all your line-level, balanced sources. Just use an XLR to 1/4" (TRS) adapter and you're done. Although the mic and line inputs pass through the same preamp, the line input has an internal 10dB pad. There is also a "virtual" pad built into the preamp trim control that gives an additional 10dB of attenuation -- something you may need for those hot, digital multitrack tape returns.

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 How do I record with effects during tracking?
On the 1202 VLZ-PRO or 1402 VLZ-PRO use an Aux 1 Send knob on the Source channel(s) to send the signal via the Aux 1 output to an effects processor. Be sure to assign the Aux 1 Select switch to PRE or this won't work. Return the effects unit output to any unused channel line input. Now mute both the Source channel (dry) and the Effects Return channel (wet). This assigns both channels to the Alt 3/4 output, which is then connected to the appropriate tape track inputs. Adjust the Effects Return channel fader to suit.

If you are using a Mackie 1604 VLZ-PRO, an SR Series, or 8•Bus series console, both the source channel and an Aux (Efx) Return can be assigned to a Subgroup. The Submaster output is then connected to the tape track input. Remember to monitor only the tape return channels so that you hear what actually went to tape. Adjust the proper balance between the source and the Effects Return channel fader to suit.

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 How do I connect my effects device to the aux send and aux returns?
The typical way an effect unit is connected to the Aux Sends and Aux Returns is:

Take a 1/4" (TS) cable and plug into one of the aux sends output. Take the other end of the cable and plug into the input of the effect unit. If your effect device is a stereo unit, plug into the input designated for mono signals (usually the left input). Next, take two 1/4" (TS) cables and plug them into the left and right outputs of the effects unit. Take the other ends of the cables (L and R) and plug into one of the stereo Aux Returns (L and R).

With this configuration it is important to remember the different control points along the effect's signal path: Aux Send sets the amount of signal sent to the effects device. Effects device inputs set the amount that gets into the effect device. Effects device output sets the amount of processed signal sent to the Aux Return. Stereo Aux Return sets the amount of processed signal that mixes with main mix.

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 How do I connect my compressor to the main mix, and my reverb to the vocals?
The compressor is a "serial" processor, which means that it is placed in-line with the signal it is processing.

The signal flows through the compressor, is compressed as a whole and sent on to the next device. It can be connected to the main bus inserts, or the main outputs can go into the compressor inputs and the compressor outputs go to the next device. EQs and noise gates are other "serial" type processors.

The reverb unit is a "parallel" processor and it is connected to the auxiliary Sends and Return buses (in most cases). Turn up the Send on the channels you want the reverb on, and turn up the Return to mix in as much of the reverb as needed to the main mix. The dry signal is heard along with the reverbed signal at the same time; they run parallel to each other. A reverb can be inserted into an insert jack to affect only one channel, but you are still adjusting the mix control on the reverb for the amount of "wet to dry" mix coming out of the channel. The wet and dry sounds are running parallel inside the reverb.

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 Is an insert jack an input or an output?
It's both! All the signal from the corresponding channel, subgroup, or mix bus is sent through this jack. The tip of this jack is an output, which is commonly used to send signal out to a serial processor (compressor, equalizer, sonic maximizer, etc.); the ring is an input which allows signal to return from the processor; and the sleeve is a ground connection. Because the insert jack is an input and an output, it creates a loop, which is formed when a signal processor is inserted between the output (tip) and the input (ring).

The insert jack can also be used as two different types of direct outs.

If a tip-sleeve 1/4" cable is plugged all the way in to the second click, the signal is sent out from the tip (output) of the insert jack and does not return to the ring (input), which breaks the loop and does not allow signal to flow through the rest of the channel. This is referred to as a direct out with signal interruption. if a tip-sleeve 1/4" cable is plugged in only to the first click, the signal is sent out the cable and continues through the channel, since the insert loop has not been broken. This is referred to as a direct without signal interruption.

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 What is the difference between a post-fader and a pre-fader auxiliary send and in what situations would I use either one?
A post fader Aux Send taps the incoming signal from the channel at a point after the channel fader. This means that when the channel fader is down, no signal is sent out the Aux Send(s) on that channel.

Post-fader Aux Sends are generally used as "effects sends," to send signal out from a particular channel to an effects processor. Since the channel fader controls the level of signal being sent to the main mix as well as the level of signal being sent out the Aux Send, when the channel fades down, the level of the "wet" signal follows the level of the "dry" signal. If the level of the wet signal did not follow the level of the dry signal, the effect would still be heard after the channel fades out.

A pre-fader Aux Send taps the incoming signal from the channel at a point which is before the channel fader. So, when the channel fader is down signal is still being sent out the aux send(s)

Pre fader aux sends are helpful for live sound reinforcement situations where the front-of-house console is doubling as the stage monitor mix console. When setting up stage monitor mixes, it is ideal to be able to control the level of these mixes independently from the front-of-house mix. If the position of the channel fader affected the level of that channel in each monitor mix, it would be necessary to constantly adjust the monitor mix (Aux) Sends after changing the level of the channel fader. Or more simply put, when a screaming guitar solo is boosted in the front-of-house mix, everybody on stage would get an earful from their monitor mix.

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 What are PFL and AFL?
PFL and AFL are acronyms that describe a mixer's SOLO function. PFL stands for "Pre-Fader Listen" and allows the user to "solo" or audition the audio in mono at a point in the signal path before the channel fader. Perfect for a live sound situation where you need to dial in an instrument before bringing it into the mix. AFL stands for "After-Fader Listen" and allows the user to solo the channel at a point in the signal path after the channel fader. This is more commonly used for recording applications (the signal is also typically after the EQ and pan controls). The Main Output signal is not affected by PFL or AFL solo functions, though the Phones and Control Room outputs are. On all Mackie mixers, the solo function serves as the preferred way to set input levels.

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 What is "AIR"?
Everything around us as we know it. Sorry. Air is actually a unique equalization circuit that provides an extreme high-frequency boost. It is located on all of the SR Series' submasters. This peaking EQ circuit is located at 16kHz and provides up to 10dB of gain. Great for enhancing acoustic guitars, adding sizzle to your cymbals or bringing your worn-out PA speakers to life!

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 Can I split the signal at the main outputs with "Y"-cords?
Yes! There is more than enough signal strength available at the Main Outputs to drive the high impedance inputs of two devices with no quality loss of the original signal. For example, if you wanted to record the Main Output to a cassette deck as well as a DAT, two "Y"-cords could be used to send an identical signal to both devices. This configuration can be very useful for many applications.

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 What can I do to clean my mixer? Should I put any lube in the fader tracks?

The best way to clean dust off the top of the mixer is to use a wide, soft bristled paint brush (preferably with no paint on it). Simply brush the dust off the top of the mixer; the bristles will easily remove dust from between the pots. We advise against using lubes in our faders. Instead, try using some compressed air to blow dust and debris out of the fader track.

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 I am having a hard time getting my USB or FireWire audio interface working with my PC. Any suggestions on where to start?
Check out our Audio Interface Troubleshooting Guide (.pdf, 105 KB).
 

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