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.

Makesort icon Model Direct Out Insert DO Gain Control Notes Price It Details
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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Midas Legend 3000 TRS. Also on EDAC multipin (see notes below). TRS, separate send and return jacks. no

Direct Out is pre-fader, but POST-FOH-mute by factory default. Internal...

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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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Midas XL-200 TRS, post-fader, internal solder mod changes it to pre-fader. Separate TRS jacks, Pre-EQ, internal jumper makes it Post-EQ. no

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Midas Venice TRS balanced, on mono inputs only, 1/4" on mono inputs only, TS/RR

Direct Out is post-fader post-EQ by factory default. Internal...

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Midas Verona TRS balanced, "impedance balanced" on mono inputs only, post EQ pre mute by factory default, internal jumper mod for pre EQ/pre insert. 0dBu. 1/4" on mono inputs only, TS/RR, Pre-EQ. "Multi Function" channels are different, see manual. no

DO factory default is post EQ pre mute, internal jumper sets DO pre EQ...

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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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Midas XL-3 See Notes TT patchbay?

The XL-3 has 16 mix sends on each mono channel (8 stereo sends on each...

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Midas PRO2 yes

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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 Series 2 Use Group Outputs, XLR?

NOTE: This 1970's model is a different model than the recent "Series...

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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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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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