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 Insert DO Gain Controlsort icon Notes Price It Details
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 2404-VLZ3 no, "first click" on (-10) insert jack (post-gain, pre-EQ, pre-fader, pre mute) 1/4" unbal, pre-EQ, pre-fader, pre-mute, TS/RR no

The Mackie 2404 VLZ3 is a 24-channel mixer with twenty mono input...

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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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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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Midas Heritage 3000 XLR, post-EQ, pre-fader. PRE switch makes DO pre-insert, pre-EQ AND pre-mute. TRS, separate send and return jacks, post-EQ. PRE switch makes insert pre-EQ. INS switch engages return. yes

Transformer Balancing Option on DO.

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Midas Heritage 2000 XLR, post-EQ, pre-fader. PRE switch makes DO pre-insert, pre-EQ AND pre-mute. TRS, separate send and return jacks, post-EQ. PRE switch makes insert pre-EQ. INS switch engages return. yes

Transformer Balancing Option on DO.

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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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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 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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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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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 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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Avid Mix Rack Stock with 24 outputs (16 XLR male, 8 TRS), expandable to 40 out (32 XLR, 8 TRS) (multi-use as direct outs, insert, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader Stock with 24 outputs (16 XLR male, 8 TRS), expandable to 40 out (32 XLR, 8 TRS). Stock with 56 in (48 XLR mic/line, 8 TRS line) (multi-use as direct outs, insert, aux, main, group, matrix), switchable pre/post fader yes

Formerly branded as Digidesign. This is a combination of the Stage Rack...

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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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ATI Paragon II Monitor 1/4" balanced TRS Separate send and return on 1/4" balanced TRS yes

Dedicated knob for direct out level on each channel.

From the...

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Midas PRO2 yes

The PRO2 comes in two form factors (the PRO2C is more compact). Eight...

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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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