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Mackie ProFX: 2-Channel Professional Analog Mixer with USB

Mackie ProFX review - The Podcast Consultant Blog

If you’re a B2B podcaster adding new equipment to your arsenal, you’ve no doubt heard of the Mackie ProFX series. These are professional analog mixers with USB ports so you can play background music or record audio to a computer.

There are two popular models in the Mackie ProFX series: the ProFX12v3, and the ProFX6v3. We’re diving into both of them here so you can decide which one makes the most sense for your needs. 

If neither makes the cut for your podcast, we explore some alternatives at the bottom of the guide.

For now, let’s dive into everything you should know — starting with a breakdown of key features.

The Mackie ProFX at a glance

Here’s what the Mackie ProFX12v3 and 6v3 have to offer:

Recording MediaUSB ConnectorSampling RateRecording FormatMicrophone Inputs Included ItemsPrice
ProFX12v3You must connect to an external device via USBUSB Type-B192kHz / 24-bit192kHz / 24-bit7The mixer, Waveform OEM DAW, user manual, power cable, USB cable$359.99 USD
ProFX6v3 You must connect to an external device via USBUSB Type-B192kHz / 24-bit192kHz / 24-bit2The mixer, Waveform OEM DAW, headphone adapter, user manual, power adapter, USB cableline-in cord$189.99 USD

With this broad overview in mind, let’s dive into the details.

Mackie ProFX features

To recap, we’re covering two Mackie ProFX mixers in this review: the ProFX12v3, and the ProFX6v3. These are analog mixers rather than digital mixers, which makes for a stripped-down workflow and a more hands-on experience. 

The biggest difference between these two mixers is the number of channels available. You get six channels with the ProFX6v3 and 12 channels with the ProFX12v3.

We’ll dive into more differences later in the guide.

For now, let’s look at the features of both:

Mackie ProFX12v3

Mackie ProFX12v3 - The Podcast Consultant
  • 7 mic inputs: You have access to seven inputs in total, 5 XLR and 2 line level ¼ in.
  • Gain knobs: These are high-headroom Onyx preamps. You can easily adjust your mics with 60dB of gain.
  • GigFX: You can access 24 effects on the built-in sound engine. There’s also an FX mute button so you can turn off all your effects at the same time.
  • Aux cord: Use this to play background music or host call-ins for your podcast.
  • Subgroups: With two subgroups, you can pre-mix channels before sending them to your master output.
  • Compressors: If you need to reduce the dynamic range of your mix, you can use one of the mixer’s four compressors.
  • 2 Hi-Z inputs: These are useful for plugging instruments directly into the mixer.
  • Filters: You have lo-cuts, a 3-band EQ, and effects sent filters.
  • Faders: Adjust the volume of your mix’s output.

Mackie ProFX6v3

Mackie ProFX6v3 - The Podcast Consultant
  • 2 mic inputs: Since these are XLR inputs, you must use compatible microphones or purchase an adapter to connect with the mixer.
  • Gain knobs: Just like the ProFX12v3, you get 60dB of gain.
  • GigFX: You can use the built-in sound engine to adjust your mix before post-production edits.
  • 2 Hi-Z inputs: If needed, you can connect instruments to the mixer.
  • Filters: These are all the same as the ProFX12v3.
  • Faders: Unlike the ProFX12v3, these are knobs rather than traditional faders.

Both mixers come with a software bundle, including Pro Tools, the Waveform DAW, and 16+ FX plugins. You should get a download link for each of them when you purchase your mixer.

We’ll cover what you get later on in the guide.

Mackie ProFX12v3 pros

  • There’s an optional aux channel for call-ins and background music.
  • You have up to seven mics, which is usually more than enough for podcasting.
  • You get a software bundle with every purchase (Pro Tools, Waveform, and 16+ plugins).

Mackie ProFX12v3 cons

  • You can’t record directly to the device.
  • There’s only one monitor out jack, which may be limited to some podcasters.
  • There’s also only one headphone output, which may be frustrating if you want each of your guests to hear their own audio.
  • Some reviewers are frustrated by the mixer’s lack of lighting features.

Mackie ProFX6v3 pros

  • The analog design makes for a simple, streamlined workflow.
  • You get plenty of filters for adjusting your audio.
  • The software bundle offers more value per dollar.

Mackie ProFX6v3 cons

  • You can’t record directly to the device.
  • Unlike the ProFX12v3, there’s no aux channel available.
  • There are no subgroups available.
  • You don’t have access to any compressors for your audio.
  • You have six channels instead of 12.
  • You only have two mics, which may be limiting to some podcasters.
Download the Podcast Launch Guide by The Podcast Consultant

What is the difference between Mackie ProFX12v3 and Mackie ProFX6v3?

The biggest difference between Mackie ProFX12v3 and Mackie ProFX6v3 is the number of mic inputs available. There are seven microphone inputs on the ProFX12v3 and two on the ProFX6v3.

Other differences to keep in mind include:

  • Line inputs: You get six line inputs with the ProFX6v3 and 12 on the ProFX12v3.
  • Aux sends: Unlike the ProFX6v3, you get an aux channel on the ProFX12v3.
  • Subgroups: The ProFX12v3 has two subgroups, while the ProFX6v3 has none.
  • Compressors: There are four compressors on the ProFX12v3, and none on the ProFX6v3.

There are also some similarities to consider. Both Mackie ProFX mixers are analog, which means you can’t record audio without first connecting to a computer. You also need to purchase headphones and microphones separately (unless you already own compatible equipment).

Here’s a chart to summarize this:

Mackie ProFX12v3 vs Mackie ProFX6v3 - The Podcast Consultant

Mackie ProFX hardware

Mackie ProFX hardware - The Podcast Consultant

You don’t get any mics or headphones with your purchase of a Mackie ProFX. But you do get access to download codes for software, including the Waveform OEM DAW.

With the ProFX12v3, you get:

  • The mixer itself
  • A download code for Waveform OEM DAW
  • A download code for Pro Tools
  • Your user manual
  • A power cable
  • A USB cable

You get similar items with the ProFX6v3:

  • The mixer itself
  • A download code for Waveform OEM DAW
  • A headphone adapter
  • Your user manual
  • A power adapter
  • A USB cable
  • A line-in cord

Mackie offers some additional accessories as well, including:

How to use a Mackie ProFX

How to use the Mackie ProFX - The Podcast Consultant

Both Mackie ProFX mixers have a similar setup process.

Follow these 10 steps to record with your Mackie ProFX

  1. Plug your mixer into a power source.
  2. Connect the device to your computer.
  3. Download the Waveform OEM DAW and/or Pro Tools.
  4. Set your gain knobs to zero and activate phantom power (if necessary).
  5. Connect your mic(s).
  6. Plug in your headphones.
  7. Adjust the gain knob and volume fader until satisfied with your mix (or until the level set light turns on for your input).
  8. Add FX if desired.
  9. If you have a 12v3, you can plug your phone into the aux jack to add a call-in guest or play background audio for your podcast.
  10. Hit the record button on your editing software. You’re ready to capture, edit, and promote your podcast.

Want a visual guide? Check out this video to setting up the Mackie ProFX6v3:

You can also watch this setup video of the 12v3:

Alternatives to the Mackie ProFX

Mackie ProFX analog mixers aren’t a fit for every business.

If you are looking for specific features, our complete podcast mixer guide breaks down all of the best podcast mixers. Keep reading to learn about the closest alternatives.

Maonocaster

Maonocaster mixers could be an alternative to Mackie ProFX mixers

Maonocaster’s digital mixers are in a similar price range to the Mackie ProFX series. Both the E2 and Lite models come with sound pads for pre-recorded sound bites. There are also a few built-in FX buttons.

Just keep in mind you still can’t record directly to a Maonocaster mixer. You need to connect your device to a phone or computer before capturing any audio. You also don’t get any editing software with your purchase, which may be a dealbreaker for some podcasters.

We cover the Maonocaster E2 and the Maonocaster Lite in their own separate guides.

TASCAM Mixcast 4

The TASCAM Mixcast 4 may be a suitable alternative to Mackie ProFX mixers

The TASCAM Mixcast 4 is a ‘prosumer’ digital mixer, which means it offers professional recording features at a consumer-friendly price point. There are four XLR mic inputs and an LCD touchscreen so you can record your audio directly on the device.

Although the TASCAM Mixcast 4 is more expensive than the ProFX6v3, it’s similarly priced to the ProFX12v3. You also get podcast editing software included with your purchase, so you don’t have to buy a separate DAW.

You’re welcome to read our guide to the TASCAM Mixcast 4 here.

Behringer XENYX

A good alternative to Mackie ProFX mixers is the Behringer Xenyx series TEST

Behringer XENYX is another series of analog mixers similar to the Mackie ProFX. We recommend two different types: the 802S, and the 1202SFX.

Both of these mixers offer simplified workflows so you can quickly start recording your podcast. You can also visit behringer.com to download software and user manuals, although there’s no additional DAW included with your purchase.

We compared the 802S to the 1202SFX here so you can make an informed decision.

ZOOM PodTrak P8

ZOOM PodTrak P8 is one alternative to Mackie ProFX mixers

The ZOOM PodTrak P8 offers comparable features to the TASCAM Mixcast 4. Along with bankable sound pads and a Bluetooth connection, you can edit your audio via the touchpad.

Just keep in mind this isn’t an analog mixer. If that’s a necessary feature, you may want to look for an alternative.

Read more about the PodTrak P8’s features in our guide.

The bottom line on Mackie ProFX mixers

Mackie ProFX mixers offer plenty of tools to start recording, editing, and publishing business podcasts. While you do need to purchase microphones and headphones separately, the inclusion of a DAW can speed up your production timeline.

If you’re looking for even more ways to expedite your production process, you can turn to the team at The Podcast Consultant. We specialize in done-for-you podcasting services in a wide variety of niches. Whether you need edited episodes or social media assets, we have an on-staff expert who can help.

If you’re ready to delegate your podcast production process, just book a discovery call with TPC today.

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