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 Modelsort icon Direct Out Insert DO Gain Control Notes Price It Details
Avid Venue Profile

Formerly branded as Digidesign. This control surface has no inputs or...

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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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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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Avid Stage Rack Stock with 8 XLR male outputs, expandable to 48 out (multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader Stock with 8 XLR male outputs, expandable to 48 out, stock with 48 in (multi-use as direct outs, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader yes

Formerly branded as Digidesign. This provides inputs, mic preamps,...

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Behringer XENYX 1832FX None TS/RR inserts on first 6 mono channels no

USB 2-input/2-output audio interface built-in. Aux sends: 1 pre fader,...

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Crest Century LM20

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Crest HP-Eight TRS

"Balanced XLR outs"

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Crest X 20R 1/4" TRS, on first 12 channels, post fader (50 ohms ground compensated) 1/4" TSRR, post-HPF, pre-eq, pre-fader, pre-mute. no

Complex internal soldering mod to make direct out prefader. Aux send...

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Roland M-480 None None no

48 mono input (or 24 stereo in) line-level rackmounted mixer with no...

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Mackie 1402-VLZ3 no dedicated direct out. use "first click" on (-10) insert jack on first 6 inputs. 1/4" unbalanced, post-trim, post-low cut, pre-EQ, pre-fader, TS/RR. Send= 120 ohm low impedance. Return= 2.5k ohm high impedance. no

This mixer has no official modifications. However, previous models...

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Mackie 8Bus Series 1/4" unbal (+4?), post-EQ, post-fader 1/4" unbal, pre-lo-cut, pre-EQ, pre-fader, TS/RR no

All busses have 1/4" inserts. Busses have 1/4" +4/-10 switchable...

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Mackie DL1608 none none no

This is a dock for an iPad with 16 mic preamps. Mic inputs 1-12 are XLR...

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Mackie DL806 none none no

This is a dock for an iPad with 8 mic preamps. Mic inputs 1-5 are XLR,...

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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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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 1604-VLZ Pro 1/4" (+4?), post-EQ, post-fader, impedence balanced, only on ch 1-8. "First click" (-10) insert for ch 9-16 DO. 1/4" unbal, pre-EQ, pre-fader, TS/RR no

The 4 busses have 1/4" outputs. See page 28 of...

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Mackie CR1604 no, "first click" on (-10) insert jack 1/4" unbal, post-EQ, post-fader, TS/RR no

See p. 33 of...

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