September 14

Mackie 802-VLZ3 8-Channel Audio Mixer

Many readers of Video Production Tips want advice on setting up a simple video studio.  Once you get the studio set-up, you can crank out a huge quantity of professional-looking videos quickly.  When it comes to saving time, a studio is the ideal way to go, no two ways about that.  This is because in a studio, you edit everything as it is happening live.  There is no post-production editing, which is the huge time zapper in video creation.

An audio mixer is a critical component of any video studio.  All of your audio sources are fed into your audio mixer and the output of the audio mixer is what is recorded or broadcast.  So each and every microphone, plus any CD players, DVD players, etc., will be connected to your audio mixer.

This is a review of the Mackie 802-VLZ3 8-Channel Audio Mixer, which is inexpensive and easy to operate.

Mackie 802-VLZ3 8-Channel Audio Mixer
Mackie 802_VLZ3 Audio Mixer with 8 Channels retails for just under $200.

During the live shoot, the person responsible for audio will control the board, turning signals on and off as needed.   In addition to simple video production, this mixer is also good for small  musical bands.  (Some of the inputs feature  line/instrument switchable inputs for guitarists).  Plus, the 802 VLz3 is small, easy to operate and durable enough for mobile production situations.

The 8-Channel Mackie 802-VLZ3 is a really good yet inexpensive component to choose for a simple video studio.  Eight inputs is indeed enough, it’s simple to use, plus the price ($199.99) can’t be beat.   Even if you use a computer-based system that can handle both video and audio inputs, many people still opt to get an audio mixer and just do their video mixing through the computer.   In part, that’s because having both your video and audio controlled by one computer can get difficult during a hectic live video production where they really need to be controlled by two different people.  Plus, lots of folks find using a mouse-driven audio control is less responsive compared to the easy-to-control up and down knobs found on an audio mixer.    IMHO, that is very true.

The Mackie 802-VLZ3 Eight-Channel Compact Audio Mixer   advertises itself as “an affordable and intuitive mixing environment for home recording, rehearsals, and general mixing applications.”

The 802-VLZ3 has 8 channels total with 2 mono line inputs, 3 stereo line inputs and 3 XDR2 microphone preamplifiers. The mono line inputs are switchable between instrument and line signal, making the mixer guitarist friendly. A 3-band EQ is featured and its compact design is reliable and road-worthy.

Here is a chart listing the specs of the Mackie 802-VLZ3

Total # Of Inputs 8
Mic/Line Inputs 3 x Balanced XLR Mic
2 x 1/4″ Phone Line/Instrument
3 x 1/4″ Phone Line Stereo
Stereo Line Inputs 1/4″ Phone Line L/R Stereo
In-Line Inputs/Returns No
AUX Sends 1/4″ Phone TRS Stereo
AUX Returns 1/4″ Phone L/R Stereo
Inserts 1/4″ TRS Phone (mono inputs 1-2)
BUS (Group) Outputs ALT 3/4 – Stereo L/R 1/4″ Phone
2 Trk Master I/O Main – Stereo L/R 1/4″ Phone and Balanced XLR
Rec – RCA Phono I/O
Monitor Outputs 1/4″ Phone TRS Headphone
EQ Section 3-Band
Solo/Mute Mute and Solo
Channel Level Control Rotary Dials
Trim/Gain Control Microphone Gain
Phantom Power +48V Switched Globally
Metering Stereo Peak LED
Frequency Response 20Hz – 50kHz
Dynamic Range Not Specified by Manufacturer
Signal-to-Noise Ratio -103dBu
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) < 0.005%
Power Supply 13W
Dimensions (HxWxD) 10.7 x 8.9 x 1.8″ (273 x 227 x 470mm)
Weight 4.5 lbs (2kg)


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