The Mackie 1604-VLZ3 Premium 16-Channel/4-Bus Compact Mixer builds on the legacy of the world’s best-selling mixer, the 1604-VLZ Pro.
Sixteen studio-quality XDR2 second-generation mic preamps, along with redesigned 3-band Active EQ circuitry (with sweepable mids), give the 1604-VLZ3 its greatly enhanced sound quality. All channels feature insert points and line-level inputs for extreme versatility. The unique Rotopod option allows for two different desktop, and three different rackmount configurations. The new multi-voltage power supply allows it to be used anywhere in the world. Ideal for live use, and home and project studios seeking superior performance, the versatile 1604-VLZ3 Compact Mixer is equally at home on the stage or in the studio.
Mackie 1604 VLZ3 Features
- 16-channel ultra-low noise compact mixer with highest possible headroom
- 16 studio-grade XDR2 Extended Dynamic Range mic preamps with:
- Ultra-wide 60dB gain range
- 130dB dynamic range
- +22dBu line input handling
- Extended low frequency response
- Distortion under 0.0007% (20Hz-20kHz)
- Phantom power for studio condenser mics
- 16 high-headroom line inputs, 16 channel inserts
- Advanced DC pulse transformer RF rejection
- 60mm long-wearing logarithmic-taper faders
- 4 Aux sends, level, pan, -20dB/Solo and Overload/Mute_LEDs on each channel
- 4 stereo Aux returns, 8 Direct outs, 4 Group/Bus outputs
- 3-band Active EQ with sweepable midrange
- 18dB/oct. 75Hz Lo-Cut filter
- Control Room/Phones multi-input source matrix
- Balanced 1/4 inch inputs and outputs (except inserts)
- Rack-mountable design with three physical configurations via rotating I/O pod
- Includes rack ears
- Sealed rotary controls to resist dust and grime
- New Multi-Voltage power supply for worldwide use
- Rugged steel chassis
- Includes Tracktion 3 Music Production Software for Mac or PC
While keeping the features and functionality of its predecessor, the Mackie 1604-VLZ3 offers even greater headroom than the original. Mackie could have stopped right then and there, but they’re obsessed with perfection. So they redesigned the Mix Bus and made a few circuitry upgrades to the EQ, giving the 1604-VLZ3 a highly intuitive, more musical feel. Whether you need a live mixing board for club work, or a full-featured workhorse for home and studio recording, you owe it to yourself to check out the new Mackie 1604-VLZ3. You’ll think it’s perfect, too.
Vastly Superior XDR2 Mic Preamps
The new XDR2 (Extended Dynamic Range) second-generation mic preamps are better than ever. They offer incredibly low noise, with individual mic pre THD below 0.0007%, and overall mixer THD less than 0.0025%. With 60dB of available gain per channel, the 1604-VLZ3 can handle inputs ranging from a whisper to a scream, and can even handle hot line-level signals up to +22db, without any added coloration. You simply won’t find preamps this good on any other mixer in this price range.
Don't let its size fool you. The Mackie 1604-VLZ3 mixer is packed with premium features on every channel; 75Hz Low-Cut filters, four Aux Sends, inserts, phantom power, constant-loudness Pan controls, OL (overload) and signal present LEDs, sub and main mix assign switches, and assignable AFL/PFL Solo switch. And since you can never have too many output options, Mackie provided a Control Room/Phones source matrix, Master Aux section with EFX to Monitor, tape outputs, high-volume headphone amplifier, channels 1-8 direct outs, and balanced XLR and balanced/unbalanced TRS outputs.
Three-Band Equalization With Sweepable Mids
High-quality equalization is a must for any good mixer, that's why Mackie didn't cut any corners when it came to their 3-band Active EQs—and why they include them on every channel. Tremendous resources went into optimizing the center points of the channel EQ. As a result, Mackie put the Lows at 80Hz and the Highs at 12kHz. Midrange compensation is handled by a peaking control with a two-octave variable frequency center. This means the Mids can be swept from a low of 100Hz, all the way up to 8kHz—with a boost or cut of 15dB. This gives VLZ3 mixers practical, useful equalization, providing not only sonic enhancement and correction, but also the tone-shaping facility to actually improve the musical nature of the original signal.
With split monitoring, you can use the first eight channels for your sound sources: vocal mics, drum mics, etc. From there, the channels manipulate the sound, but are not assigned to the output section. Instead, they're patched from the channel's DIRECT OUT jacks to the corresponding multitrack input (DIRECT OUT 1 to multitrack input 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, etc.). The signals will now be recorded or passed directly through the multitrack, depending on each track's record-ready status.
The outputs of the multitrack are then patched to the next eight LINE inputs on the 1604-VLZ3 (multitrack out 1 to LINE input 9, 2 to 10, 3 to 11, etc.). Aha! That's why it says TRACK 1
next to channel 9's fader, TRACK 2
next to channel 10, and so forth. These channels (9–16) will be assigned to the mixer's output section, delivering the signals to their ultimate destination, which could be your mixdown 2-track, your control room system, or your headphones—making the 1604-VLZ3 a truly powerful 8-track recording console.
Built Mackie Tough
Every VLZ3 mixer is built tough-as-a-tank. Mackies legendary solid-steel chassis can take the kind of abuse that would turn other competitors' boxes into twisted chunks of debris. Instead of cheap, unsealed potentiometers, Mackie uses co-molded pots, which offer substantial strain and impact relief. By design, there control knobs ride
just above the surface of the chassis, so if something falls onto the mixer, the impact is transferred from the knobs to the chassis—not to the potentiometers or circuit board. Finally, they use thick, horizontally mounted fiberglass PC boards to eliminate the potential for damage and brace them with a shock-absorbing support structure. They’ve survived earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons, so Mackie mixers can certainly handle whatever you throw at them.
Superior Sound Quality
Above all, the 1604-VLZ3 offers superb sound quality, wide dynamic range and headroom, and low noise, so you can create professional quality recordings and/or broadcast-quality soundtracks. Whether you need a high-quality 16-channel mixer for the stage, the studio, or even the road, you won't find a a more perfect one than the 1604-VLZ3.