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 Out Insertsort icon DO Gain Control Notes Price It Details
Roland M-480 None None no

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

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Yamaha PM1000 None None no

Circa 1975. XLRs are pin 2 hot.

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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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Yamaha MC3210M no no

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Rane MLM103 On balanced Euroblocks, post-EQ. No no

PRE/post MIX LEVEL DIRECT OUTPUT buttons: “in” position= Direct Output...

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Yamaha PM3000 The INSERT OUT jack serves as a 1/4" unbalanced +4 direct out if nothing is in the IN jack. Insert IN is balanced, insert OUT is unbalanced

From the manual: "INSERT IN/OUT jacks are wired in a "normalled"...

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Midas XL-4 XLR, post-fader. Switchable to pre-fader or pre-insert. Half normalised fully balanced S/R point, switchable in/out and pre/post EQ. yes

"DIRECT O/P" trimpot adjusts DO level, post-fader by default. "PRE FADE...

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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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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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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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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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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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Allen + Heath ML3000 1/4" TRS, post-fader 1/4", TS/RR, post-HPF and pre-EQ yes, via mod

Direct Out (DO) is 0dBu ground compensated line level for connection to...

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Midas Siena 1/4" TRS, impedance balanced, 0dBu 1/4", TS/RR, 0dBu no

Direct Out is post fader by default. Internal jumper has four other...

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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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Mackie 1402VLZ no dedicated direct out. use "first click" on (-10) insert jack. 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

Also known as the Micro Series "MS1402VLZ". See p. 26 of...

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Mackie 1402VLZ PRO no dedicated direct out. use "first click" on (-10) insert jack. 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

See p. 25 of...

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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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Soundcraft Spirit Monitor 2 XLR "split out" (see notes), pre-EQ, pre-fader, pre-input gain 1/4" unbalanced TS/RR, pre-EQ, pre-fader

"Split Out" is simply a y-ed XLR jack connected directly to the XLR mic...

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