The Mixer Output Guide

Courtesy of Silent Way Remote Audio Recording and Audio Equipment Rental.

Audio mixer inputs are well documented, but output specifications are buried in manuals. This guide to the poor neglected output describes direct outs, inserts, hidden mods and more.

There are two ways to do a live recording: use a mic-splitter with dedicated mic preamps, or hope that the direct outputs on the house board don't suck. House direct outs are risky if they're post-fader/EQ, inaccessible, bad mic pres etc. Whether you call it a console, mixer, board or desk, plan ahead with this list. Your contributions and corrections are encouraged.

TS/RR: tip=send, ring=return. A "first click" insert is a semi-direct out: an unbalanced 1/4" TS plug inserted half-way will send signal without interrupting it to the mix bus. Plugged all the way in, it is a direct out which interrupts.

Sort the list by clicking on a header. 79 mixers matched current criteria.

Make Model Direct Outsort icon Insert DO Gain Control Notes Price It Details
Crest X-Eight 1/4", post-EQ, post-fader, post-mute (ground-compensated) Separate 1/4" send and return, TRS

Insert send can be used as a post-HPF, pre-EQ output. A TRS plug in the...

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Yamaha PM4000 1/4", post-fader (internally switchable to be post-pad, post-gain, pre-EQ, pre-HPF) Separate TRS jacks, switchable post-EQ/pre-fader OR pre-EQ/pre-fader via "Insert Pre" switch no

Matrix and group outs are XLR. See page 89 of...

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Yamaha PM3500 1/4", post-fader, pre-mute (internally switchable to be pre-EQ and/or post-mute) Separate TRS jacks, switchable on/off via "Insert" switch (also internal switch chooses pre/post) no

The matrix and eight group outs are XLR. See page 34 of...

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Soundcraft K2 1/4", post-fader, switchable to pre-fader if aux 8 is in Direct Out mode 1/4", Pre-EQ yes

Aux 8 knob on all mono channels are switchable to become gain control...

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Yamaha M2000 1/4", switchable pre/post EQ, switchable pre/post fader ? yes

Aux 6 knob is switchable to become gain control for DO post-EQ/post-...

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Soundcraft Vienna 1/4", switchable pre/post EQ? 1/4" yes

Aux 8 knob is switchable to become gain control for DO. (A seperate "...

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Yamaha LS9-32 16 analog "omni" XLR outputs plus card slot

The Yamaha LS9-32 has 32-mic/line inputs, 16 analog "omni" XLR outputs...

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Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 16 ch on DB25 pre-insert balanced 1/4"

Built-in FireWire for "up to 32 channels of recording and up to 18...

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Avid Venue SC48 16 stock or 32 (option) XLR "stage outputs" (multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader 16 stock or 32 (option) XLR "stage outputs" (multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader yes

Formerly branded as Digidesign. Comes stock with 48 female XLR "stage...

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Yamaha PM5D 24 "Mix" outs on XLR, +4dBu; 8 matrix outputs on XLR, +4dBu. "Direct Out" configurable via software at any point to any output patch. Yes, on separate TRS jacks, +4dBu (PM5D only, not on the PM5D-RH). Post-HPF, configurable via software to any point after that. Note: insert on/off switch.

Two versions: PM5D (Manual Head Amp for input sensitivity and phantom...

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Yamaha LS9-16 8 analog "omni" XLR outputs plus card slot

The Yamaha LS9-16 has 16-mic/line inputs, 8 analog "omni" XLR outputs,...

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Avid FOH Rack 8 balanced TRS outputs (multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader 8 balanced TRS outputs, 8 balanced TRS inputs (multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader yes

Formerly branded as Digidesign. This provides 8 inputs on TRS, 8...

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Roland RSS M-400 8 XLR outs, presumedly selectable as direct out or insert out 8 XLR outs, presumedly selectable as direct out or insert out

Most inputs and outputs are via Roland's proprietary REAC (Roland...

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Mackie Onyx 24.4 DB25, balanced, post low-cut, post insert, pre EQ 1/4" unbal, post low-cut, pre EQ, pre fader, pre mute, TS/RR no

This 24-channel mixer has twenty mono input channels/faders and two...

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Mackie Onyx 32.4 DB25, balanced, post low-cut, post insert, pre EQ 1/4" unbal, post low-cut, pre EQ, pre fader, pre mute, TS/RR no

This 32-channel mixer has twenty eight mono input channels/faders and...

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Mackie Onyx 1220 DB25, Post-Gain, Pre-Insert, Pre-EQ, Pre-Mute, Pre-Fader 1/4" unbal, post-lo-cut, pre-EQ, pre-fader, TS/RR, on ch 1-4 only. Tip is Lo-Z, Ring is Hi-Z. no

DO is also sent to FireWire if mixer has optional...

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Mackie Onyx 1620 DB25, Post-Gain, Pre-Insert, Pre-EQ, Pre-Mute, Pre-Fader 1/4" unbal, post-lo-cut, pre-EQ, pre-fader, TS/RR, on ch 1-8 only. Tip is Lo-Z, Ring is Hi-Z. no

DO is also sent to FireWire if mixer has optional...

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Mackie Onyx 1640 DB25, Post-Gain, Pre-Insert, Pre-EQ, Pre-Mute, Pre-Fader 1/4" unbal, post-lo-cut, pre-EQ, pre-fader, TS/RR, on ch 1-16. Tip is Lo-Z, Ring is Hi-Z. no

DO is also sent to FireWire if mixer has optional...

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Avid Stage 48 depends on card configuration, outputs are multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix, switchable pre/post fader depends on card configuration, outputs are multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix, switchable pre/post fader yes

Remote I/O unit for...

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Panasonic DA7 Digital only 1/4" send-return unbal TS/RR, +4 10kOhm, pre-EQ, pre-fader no

Insert is pre A/D converter. DO is digitally routable to card slots....

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