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Mackie 406m Powered Mixer - A Robust Powered Audio Mixer

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Uses for audio mixing boards:


Mackie PPM608
Behind the scenes of the largest production shows in the world is a relatively small piece of equipment that is responsible for receiving, organizing, and distributing all of the sound you hear through the speakers.  The Mackie 406m Powered Mixer is considered a consumer level sound mixer, but it works almost identically to the much larger and
much more expensive mixing boards at your favorite concert, broadway show, or even television show.  Mixing boards are an extremely democratized product.  The way you set up and run a portable Mackie 406m powered mixer is nearly the same as a you would run a Soundcraft Spirit MH4.  The signal from your microphone is run into a mixer channel with an XLR cable, mixed with the other microphones and instruments and then sent out as a single signal to the speakers or PA.  

The Mackie 406m Powered Mixer is designed for people who need 6 channels or less of mixing, and 500 watts or less for their speakers.  People who fall into this category will be “broadcasting” to audiences of 400 people or less.  Most commonly this mixer will be used for a small band playing in restaurants or clubs, DJ’s playing mid-sized weddings, and schools or churches who need to amplify their teachers/pastors to a crowd of a few hundred people or less.  

Powered Vs. Unpowered Mixers

Having trouble deciding if you need a powered or an unpowered mixer?  The distinction is subtle but critical.  To determine if you need a powered audio mixer like the Mackie 406m powered mixer you must first look at your speakers you plan on using.  In order to amplify the sound you put into your speakers, they must “power” the signal using the metric of “watts.”  There are two types of speakers.  Speakers that take an unpowered signal and amplify it internally so it can be blasted at full volume, or speakers that require you power the signal before it is sent through, acting basically just a box with a speaker in it.  

Choosing if you want to use unpowered or powered speakers, and therefore mixer, is entirely a personal choice.  There are disadvantages and advantages to both setups.  However regarding the mixer, you don’t have a choice in the matter.   If you are using powered speakers, then you don’t need a Mackie 406m powered mixer.  Something like the Mackie PROFX112  would work just fine and save you about $400 dollars in the process.  However, if you are using unpowered speakers like the Yamaha BR12 then the Mackie 406m powered mixer is a great combination choice.  

Features of the Mackie 406m Powered Mixer:

The Mackie 406m powered mixer is a power house packed with all of the features you need built in to gig any small to medium sized show.  For starters is has 6 channels of XLR or ¼” inputs with great sounding preamps.  It features separate monitor out power and controls as well as a master mute switch which leaves the tape in playback untouched.  This is great for muting noisy microphones while keeping the background music playing.  In addition to all of the benefits of a normal Mackie Mixer, it also includes an on board effects processor with over 32 settings and adjustments.  

If you are interested in purchasing a Mackie 406m powered mixer, you should know that while it is still available at many retailers, it has been discontinued.  Mackie released an upgraded improvment, the Mackie PPM608 8-Channel 1000-Watt powered mixer which has more power and 2 extra channels.  This addressed the concerns of many Mackie 406m users that the amps were underpowered.  If you are looking for a great powered audio mixer, the Mackie PPM608 is one of the best choices on the market.  



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