Whose has been on the floor for some time can’t fail on recognize the industry standard Shure SM58. It set hard to reach level of performance, durability and reliability.
It sounds good! Believe me the feeling of warm and crystalline voice coming out of this mic is really exciting. I would recommend the SM58 for lectures and speeches and even for vocalist, however I feel that it is not the best choice for a lead singer.
For those looking for main singer mics then the Shure Beta58 will be the starting choice. Anyone coming from a cheap microphone looking for a decent upgrade, then look no further as this is the microphone you want.
Ok but what was actually the sound performance? Well when I first tried the Shure SM58, I found that the voice was well rounded resulting warm and not at all flat like many other mics on the same price category. This is most probably due to the specially tuned mid-range response, which boost the voice granting a smooth and powerful tone.
Altogether the response help to focus the voice and to separate it from the other instruments. The overall cut of ambient noises is very good and complete the performance of this great mic.
When it comes to get the sound you need and just that, the microphone is tested against is ability to discern from sources. Picking up just the source you want isn’t always easy. Most non-pro mic have cannot make much difference if a sound comes from the front or the side of the bulb.
With the Shure SM58 you will have a very strict cone right in front of the mic, where the sound source will be picked up. All that comes outside this cardioid pattern will be discarded, allowing you to have easy recording sessions and strong not degrading signal from your instruments.
Type: Dynamic (moving coil)
Frequency Response: 50 to 15,000 Hz
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (cardioid), rotationally symmetrical about microphone axis, uniform with frequency Output Level (at 1,000 Hz)
Open Circuit Voltage: -74.5 dB* (0.19 mV)
Power Level: -56.0 dB**
Impedance: Rated impedance is 150 (300 actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated low impedance
Polarity: Positive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 with respect to pin 3
Connector: 3-pin professional audio connector (male XLR type)
Case: Dark gray, enamel-painted, die cast metal; matte-finished, silver colored, spherical steel mesh grille
Overall Dimensions: 51 x 162 x 23mm (2 x 6-3/8 x 29/32 in.)
Swivel Adapter: Positive-action, break-resistant, adjustable through 180 degrees, with standard 5/8 in.-27 thread
Net Weight: 298 g (10.5 oz.)
*0 dB = 1 v/ bar
**0 dB = 1 mw/10 bar
Durable and Affordable
The legendary durability of Shure microphones is embedded in the SM58. Even dropping it from 3 meters, multiple times have no effect on the performance of this great mic, although I don’t recommend to do this kind of tests with your mic, as the aesthetic result might not be pleasant for the most!
For about $100 I feel comfortable to say that this is one of the best choice you can have, if your budget is limited.
Getting high quality equipment for your sound is very important. If you are looking for audio mixers, you can find a wide range of products available online. Deciding which is best for you will depend on the needs that you have as well as the available budget for the purchase.
Deciding a specific brand name can be something that is influenced by the cost or by the available features. With any type of equipment, you want to know that it is reliable and will function properly. Making the decision for a specific brand should not be influenced really by personal preference if there are other choices that are better suited for the job.
When you need to find high quality equipment for your music, you need to first set a budget for the purchase. Because this tends to be a high cost activity, making sure you keep the price affordable is important. For some equipment there will be a need for a specific cable or something of that nature.
Making sure you are fully aware of what you are getting is important. It doesn’t matter if you are working on assembling your home stereo or creating a studio. Quality is very important to achieve the sounds you are hoping for.
You Should Choose Carefully
Working the music mixing industry can provide you with a wide range of options for creating sounds. Learning how to get the needed equipment will help you with a wide range of different things including mixing, effects and other choices. At the same time you will have access to various cables that you might need for different instruments and other audio equipment as well.
For people who are using this equipment for personal use, there are usually very specific things that they need. You may want a mixer as well as pedals to change the effects of the sounds you are creating. At the same time you might need a specific cable for your instrument that might be hard to find.
Choices for instrument cables can be difficult sometimes. For certain types of instruments, getting the right cable will require going directly to the manufacturer. Others might have a choice for more generic options.
When you need to find audio mixers you will learn that there is a wide range of possible choices available for you. Because there can be a number of styles and brands, you want to select the one that provides all of the features you are searching for. The same is true for effects pedals as well.
Things Are Changed
Most of us have become huge music buffs today. Music has transformed into a multi billion dollar industry today and because of this the interest in this field has increased. There were times when we were content with listening to a song on our radio or audio cassette player. This has changed so much now. Today we want to go behind the scenes and learn what goes into making a piece of music; which instruments are used, what audio recording equipment is utilized and how the lyrics are written. But that is not it. Many people are even choosing music as a hard core career option today. Due to all these reasons, the interest in the technical side of music has amplified.
For those of us who really want to take up music as a profession or are curious about the technicalities that go into creating a song, knowledge of the various audio equipments is necessary. Audio equipment is any device that assists us in producing, recording or processing sound. This includes guitars, drums, violins, keyboards, recorders, CD players, CDs, cassettes, microphones, radios, headphones, speakers, mixers, i-pods and home theatres. You should know how they work, how they are used and how various sounds are brought together to form a single song.
We Are “Surrounded” by Audio Equipments
Life without audio equipments seems impossible today. They are used in all fields of life, whether it be work or school. At work places many use a microphone, speaker and CD player to disseminate information and also provide recreational activities. Professional studios have a whole range of audio recording equipment from, mixing consoles, amplifiers to instruments like guitars, keyboards and drums. Some offices even have their own studios as a part of their employee satisfaction schemes. Schools require audio equipments for their teaching and recording needs. The right equipment needs to be selected for different requirements.
Selecting audio equipments is a tough job. There are some things that need to be taken into consideration for this purpose. Firstly, you should always buy equipment from a reliable dealer who has previous experience and knows his stuff. Secondly, you should be aware of your requirements, which means that when you are buying audio equipments you should select them on the basis of when and how much you are going to use them. Lastly, you should always purchase branded products. You do not buy audio recording equipment everyday, so be careful about its quality when you are.
The mixing of a number of audio signals is such a common thing to do that one would expect the Net to be riddled with articles on how and why signals are mixed. There are plenty of circuits that show how it can be done, but very little that explains the benefits or drawbacks of any particular scheme.
In the early days, there was little or no requirement for mixing. In most cases, the band or (small) orchestra used one microphone, and the amplified output went straight to air for broadcasts or direct to the cutting lathe for recordings. This was before tape or wire recording was used. Because there was so little need for mixing, very simple schemes could be used. Peoples’ expectations were low too – at the time it was sufficiently amazing that recordings or “wireless” were even possible, so no-one was listening for any of the issues discussed below.
Even though there were issues, there were also ways to ensure that they did not impinge in any way on the listeners’ enjoyment of the programme material. If audio circuits had to be switched, master level controls would be reduced momentarily to minimise switching noises for example. As audio broadcasts and recordings became more complex, simple manual techniques were no longer suitable because of the number of channels.
Many of the earliest mixers may have had perhaps 4 channels at most. Even such a small mixer started to become problematical though. As channels were switched in or out there would be level changes on the remaining channels. Likewise, even adjusting a level control (fader) could cause the overall programme level from other channels to change.
To understand the reasons, we need to look at the circuits that were used (and still are in many applications).
For the novice, it may seem a little silly that we need to use a whole bunch of circuitry to mix signals. Surely if we just connect the outputs of the various sources together they will mix just fine, no? No!
In fact, many people have done just this and managed to get away with it, but it’s purely good luck rather than good management. Consider that most modern equipment uses opamps or other “solid state” output circuits, and these generally have a very low output impedance. 100 Ohms is typical, but some are a little more, others less.
A 1V signal fed from a 100 ohm output (A) into another 100 ohm output (B) will do two things …
Form a voltage divider, so instead of 1V we only get 0.5V Present a total load of 200 Ohms to the driving equipment, causing a current of 5mA to flow between A and B. Few opamps can drive this much current without excessive distortion, and there is no longer any useful headroom. At a peak voltage of 5V (a perfectly normal transient for example), the driving equipment will be expected to provide 25mA. This exceeds the ability of most opamps, so the signal will distort. Needless to say, equipment “B” sees the same problem. Worst case is when “A” has a positive-going transient and “B” has a negative-going transient. The maximum expected current flow can be very high, and opamps will distort badly.
So What Is and What does an Audio Mixer?
An audio mixer is an electronic device that channels incoming audio signals while maintaining control over such effects as volume level, tonality, placement, and other dynamics for music production. In professional sound mixing an audio mixer is sometimes called a soundboard (sound board), mixing console, or mixer.
Traditional audio mixers are physical pieces of equipment with inputs for instruments; digital devices such as drum machines, auxiliary line-ins, and microphones. Mixing technology is also available via software, but requires an advanced sound card that features instrument inputs. Alternately, one can transfer pre-recorded tracks to a computer for use with audio software.
Modern digital audio mixers are made for both professional and nonprofessional use, covering a wide range of quality and price. Studios commonly use a dedicated audio mixer, while in the nonprofessional market, an audio mixer is often coupled with a digital recorder. The least expensive, non professional models feature 4-track digital recording with built-in mixer. Additional channels add to price, all else being equal, with high-end models featuring 24 channels.
A good audio mixer also features panoramic potentiometers otherwise known as “pan pots.” This control places an audio track to the left, center, or right within the mix to create a full stereo image. Traditionally, vocals are centered, with lead and rhythm guitars taking up opposite ends of the mix, and drums filling the background. This builds an acoustical environment, as if the band is surrounding the listener. Keyboards, percussion and other instruments are also carefully placed within the image. In some instances a drum roll or lead riff might “slide” or “roll” (pan) from one stereo channel to the other for effect, creating a sensation of movement.
Sound, audio or recording technicians or engineers, use recording and sound editing equipment to mix and record audio. Mixing engineers must typically have experience working with audio electronics and computers, and should have a strong communication skills. If you feel you have what it takes and you are not already a professional you may like to watch the video below.
All channels have three-band EQ, with the same shelves and low-cut as the 402, but with the addition of a fixed-Q mid range centered at 2.5 kHz. With 15 dB of boost or cut, you can still go overboard if you desire. Three of the channels can take mic-level signals via XLR, and the first two can take instrument-level and have insert points as well. All channels are capable of taking line-level via TRS. Wouldn’t be enough to buy a Mackie 802-VLZ3? Moreover, there’s a pre-fader solo function for all input channels. All these additional features allow the bigger 802-which is still a tiny mixer-to be used for more complex recording and mixing tasks as well as for live sound. However you may need less horsepower for a fair price maintaining the quality and the crystal sound, if that is so then you should have a look to a Mackie 402-VLZ3 instead.
What the Manufacturer Have to Say
Fully pro, fully featured
A completely pro mini-desk, the 802-VLZ3 delivers a comprehensive set of mission-critical mixing tools. Five full channel strips let you easily get your hands on your mix, while bright 12-segment stereo meters allow for ultra-accurate metering. The dedicated Stereo Return channel lets you connect external components, such as effects units or mp3 players, so you can incorporate your favorite sounds or prerecorded material into your tracks. You also get Hi Z inputs on channels 1 and 2 for recording instruments such as electric guitar and basses direct—no external gear required—and phantom power is provided for your studio condenser mics.
The PFL solo function lets you easily set your gain to perfect levels, and high pass filters allow you to cut low frequency rumble—100Hz and below—on channels 1 to 3. The 802-VLZ3 also gives you essential engineering features including separate control room volume and phones knobs. And thanks to our clever engineers, the “mute” button actually serves a dual purpose— signals from muted channels are secretly routed to the Alt 3-4 outputs and also into the Control Room section, ideal for creating submixes, previewing channels, or creating a “mix minus” for broadcast applications.
Ultra-compact, sleek, rugged chassis
Now you can have your pro mixer, and fit it in your workspace, too. The 802-VLZ3 features a tight, low-profile design that fits the most modest—or congested—of areas perfectly. Like all VLZ3 mixers, the 802-VLZ3 is built like a tank, too. Our legendary solid-steel chassis can take the kind of abuse that would turn our competitors’ flimsy boxes into twisted chunks of debris. Instead of cheap, unsealed potentiometers, we use co-molded pots, which offer substantial strain and impact relief.
By design, our control knobs ‘ride’ just above the surface of the chassis, so if something falls onto the mixer, the impact is transferred from the knobs to the chassis—not to the potentiometers or circuit board. Finally, we use thick, horizontally mounted fiberglass PC boards to eliminate the potential for damage and brace them with a shock-absorbing support structure. And not only is the 802-VLZ3 tough, but it can be flexibly positioned, thanks to a bottom panel that lets you easily mount an optional mic stand adapter with just a few screws. Attach your 802-VLZ3 to a mic stand, and you can adjust its height and angle to suit your unique—or weird—work style.
The “V” stands for Versatility
Okay, not really, but the 802-VLZ3 is just that—versatile. With its pro features and small footprint, it’s ideal for a variety of applications, including home and project studio recording, sound reinforcement, multimedia projects, field mixing, broadcast use, and post-production work.
Less Really Is More
The 802-VLZ3 gives new meaning to the old adage, less is more. While there are other under-12-channel mixers out in the world these days, none provide the performance or sound quality of the 802-VLZ3. Thanks to its ultra-compact, pro design, you get the low input count you want, the extra space you need, and the quality you deserve—all at an unbelievably low price. Put simply, the 802-VLZ3 is the go-anywhere, fit-anywhere professional mixer, delivering superior sound quality—and unbeatable value.
I was actually quite surprised how such a big sound can come from such a compact mixer. I have had behringer, soundcraft mixers but this one was much more punchier. Lots of headroom, i previously had a mackie DFX 6 which was great but this one was streets ahead of the DFX 6 with crystal clear sounding XDR extended range mic pre’s. Also no noise issues
I use this both for recording as well as for a PA set up. the pre-amp in the 802 really takes things to the next level. I use it with my ROLAND CD 2E CD recorder, & i notice a considerable difference between my current batch of recordings using the 802 & the former ones. I’ve only scratched the surface with Mackie 802-VLZ3 features, but I’m very happy with it so far.
3 XDR2 microphone preamps
8 line inputs (2 hi-Z switchable)
3-band EQ (80Hz, 2.5kHz, 12kHz)
Stereo main mix bus and Alt 3-4 bus
1 auxiliary send
1 stereo return plus RCA I/O
Sealed rotary level controls
Stereo 12-segment LED meters
Control room source matrix
Mic stand mount option
Includes Tracktion 3 Project Bundle music production software
Trying to find a small-format mixer that sounds like the big boys has been near-impossible till now. The new Mackie VLZ series changes all that. Now I know that if I need a compact mixer I would Buy Mackie 402-VLZ3. When I said Big Boys I mean those devices that are way much expensive and have much more horsepower, but this is not the only parameter to look at. I would like a device that for the price it cost can deliver a good performance while maintaining best quality standards.
The 402-VLZ3 is one of this devices, the specs are good and the manufacturer have achieved a superb quality on components used and assembly. The compact mixer don’t let down novices as well professionals users; the pre-amp is great, better than expected, it reduce both hiss and hum and if you need moere channels and features you can buy Mackie 802-VLZ3
It also feels like Mackie already thought of everything: for example, the mixer has screw-on feet, since you might want to remove them to put the mixer on a rack-shelf, and then change your mind later. The sound of Mackie 402-VLZ3is noticeably clear and I personally believe that the mute button present on this device is an essential function. The Mackie also feels much solid in the controls and I like the layout and design, the headphone volume control is 100% independent from the main mix volume control, which I think is the way it should be. What about the price? This is one of the best aspect, doesn’t cost too much but it deliver a quality and performances that are equal to none in his category; I can say that the 402-VLZ3 is one of the best 4 channel mixer on the market!
What the Manufacturer Have to Say
The 402-VLZ3 is an ultra-compact model in the VLZ3 line of compact mixers, specially designed for applications that require fewer inputs but demand professional sound. The 402-VLZ3 is equipped with two mono mic/line channels and one stereo line-input channel, for a total of 4 input channels. The mic/line channels feature Mackie’s XDR2 mic preamps, which deliver pure, clean, studio-grade sound—the kind of quality you’d expect to find in pricey boutique mic pres. They have an incredibly wide frequency range, especially in the low end, and even at extremely high gain settings. They offer incredibly low noise, amazing RFI rejection, and with 60dB of available gain per channel, the 402-VLZ3 can handle inputs ranging from a whisper to a scream. Each mic/line channel also has phantom power, an input Gain control, a Hi-Z instrument switch, a sharp 18 dB/octave, 100 Hz Low Cut filter, 2-band EQ, stereo pan switch and a Level control. The stereo line-input channel simply has a Level control. There is a stereo tape input with its own input Level control, and a stereo tape output for recording. Other features include a ¼-inch stereo headphone jack with Level control, stereo 8-segment LED meters and TRS stereo output jacks. The 402-VLZ3 is the best sounding, most professional ultra-compact mixer in its class. Thanks to its versatile, professional design, you can now get exceptional sound quality and performance in an amazingly small footprint.
Small Yet Powerfully Flexible
Though small in stature, the 402-VLZ3 provides an incredible abundance of professional features and mission-critical tools to enhance your mixing experience—and your creativity. In addition to essential features like phantom power for your condenser mics, you get a variety of user options that make the 402-VLZ3 a surprisingly versatile mixing machine. Two switchable Hi-Z instrument inputs allow you to plug instruments like electric guitar or bass in direct—no external gear required—or, disengage the switch to connect line level sources such as keyboards, or CD or mp3 players.
Use the high pass filters on channels 1 and 2 to cut the rumble with the touch of a button. Connect line level stereo gear like DJ decks using the assignable stereo RCA input, and either route to your phones for queuing up, or to your main mix for overdubbing while monitoring back from your computer on phones. Flexibly monitor and record mono and stereo sources using the stereo pan function—when the switch is out, a mono source will be split between the left and right of the main mix equally, and when the switch is in, channels 1 and 2 are hard-panned left and right (perfect for recording stereo mics).
Keep an eye on your levels with the bright 8-segment stereo meters, as well as the responsive overload LEDs that warn you when you’re overdoing it with the gain and/or EQ. No matter how you use it, the 402-VLZ3 supplies everything you need to get the job done.
Ultra-compact, sleek, rugged chassis
Now you can have your pro mixer, and take it with you, too. The 402-VLZ3 features a tight, low-profile design that fits the most modest—or congested—areas perfectly, including your backpack or laptop case. Like all VLZ3 mixers, the 402-VLZ3 is built like a tank, too. Our legendary solid-steel chassis can take the kind of abuse that would turn our competitors’ flimsy boxes into twisted chunks of debris. Instead of cheap, unsealed potentiometers, we use co-molded pots, which offer substantial strain and impact relief.
By design, our control knobs ‘ride’ just above the surface of the chassis, so if something falls onto the mixer, the impact is transferred from the knobs to the chassis—not to the potentiometers or circuit board. Finally, we use thick, horizontally mounted fiberglass PC boards to eliminate the potential for damage and brace them with a shock-absorbing support structure. And not only is the 402-VLZ3 tough, but it can be flexibly positioned, thanks to a bottom panel that lets you easily mount an optional mic stand adapter with just a few screws. Attach your 402-VLZ3 to a mic stand, and you can adjust its height and angle to suit your unique—or weird—work style.
With its professional features and ultra-compact footprint, the 402-VLZ3 is ideal for a variety of applications, including home studio and on-the-go recording, multimedia projects, field mixing, broadcast use, and post-production work.
Less Really Is More
The best-sounding, most professional ultra-compact in its class, the 402-VLZ3 gives new meaning to the old adage, less is more. While there are other ultra-compact mixers out in the world these days, none provide the performance or sound quality of the 402-VLZ3. Thanks to its ultra-flexible, super-versatile, professional design, you get the low input count you want, the extra space you need, and the quality you deserve—all at an unbelievably low price. Put simply, the 402-VLZ3 is the go-anywhere, fit-anywhere professional mixer, delivering superior sound quality—and unbeatable value.
As a headphone amp, the Mackie is superb. It is also very simple to set up, even a novice just need to read the manual a bit and he/she should be able to obtain a nice clear sound and to mix audio signals with no efforts. This thing is everything you’ve come to expect from Mackie mixers, the connectors are robust and solid. Everything has a solid feel. When you buy Mackie 402-VLZ3 be sure to check the manual that’s all you need!
The only weak point I can highlight is that Mackie 402-VLZ3 is not USB or firewire, so you will need a stereo RCA to mini (1/8) cable to connect to your PC line-in. It doesn’t come with any cables, but it does include a downloadable license for Tracktion 3 software.
Sleek, rugged steel chassis
Sealed rotary controls to resist dust and grime
4 high-headroom line inputs
2 XDR2 microphone preamps
4 line inputs (2 hi-Z switchable)
2-band EQ (80Hz, 12kHz)
Stereo main mix bus
Channel 1-2 stereo pan switch
Stereo 8-segment LED meters
Dedicated phones volume knob
Mic stand mount option
Includes Tracktion 3 Basic Bundle for Mac/PC (download required)