|For gigging, recording,
or practice, MixingLink
provides a wealth of
matter what instrument
MixingLink is a mic preamp/DI with mono effect loop,
mixer, and stereo headphone amp. Built into a stomp
box and designed for stage, studio, or a pedalboard,
MixingLink creatively interconnects disparate
audio sources and processors, even with different
operating levels, impedances, and connectors.
As a simple mic/preamp with an XLR mic in/TRS line in combo jack, MixingLink worked well,
providing up to 65 dB of gain to amplify a low-output
Royer R-121 ribbon mic to full, balanced line level for
recording into Pro Tools HD. I found the preamp to
have good headroom, low noise, and similar sound to
small, midpriced consoles.
The Input Gain control, with Hi/Lo level switch,
sets gain staging for both the balanced mic/line
and 1/4" instrument inputs. The XLR output is
switchable between -10dBu DI level or +18dBu line
level, and there are switches for ground lift and 9V
battery/phantom power. The included power supply
is required for 48V phantom power.
All audio signals within MixingLink go to its
headphone amp, which has a separate volume
control: The volume knob doesn’t affect the XLR DI/line output level but does control the level going to
the 1/4" To Amp jack designed to drive any guitar
amp. This could allow you to use the MixingLink to
connect a phantom-powered condenser mic to your
guitar amp in order to sing through it.
MixingLink saved me time and many trips
between the control room and live room to position
microphones. By plugging my Shure SRH940
headphones directly into the MixingLink, I could set
a mic just the way I wanted while hearing the results.
You can also use MixingLink to split and send an
instrument signal to two amps, switch between two
instruments going to one amp,
re-amp a track, or process vocals
through a stompbox.
It also provides a handy set
of features for adding effects
to your input. I set up a Gauge
Precision ECM-84 SDC mic
on a Martin D-28 guitar, and
then sent a line level signal to the control room while
connecting a delay pedal in MixingLink’s effect loop.
Because the guitarist wanted to switch the delay in
and out for certain notes, I set the FX Loop button to
Hold mode: The FX Loop stomp button will work in
Latch mode, or Hold mode, which engages the loop
only when your foot presses the button.
I connected the To FX send jack to an Ogre
Kronomaster delay pedal and returned the signal to
the From FX jack—simple! My guitarist wanted to
refer to a rough mix on his iPhone, so I connected
the phone’s headphone jack to MixingLink’s Aux 1/8"
minijack input. The iPhone output is heard in stereo
on the MixingLink’s headphones but mixes to mono
into the effects loop. This feature could also function
as a track mix input for practicing on phones.
The Aux jack is actually a bidirectional TRRS
(4-conductor) path that sends the same To FX send
signal out and returns a stereo signal from an iOS
device in mono to the effects loop. In this way, I could
blend in one of my IK Multimedia amp simulators.
With the effects loop enabled, there are three
effect mixing modes: Dry+FX keeps a dry signal level
fixed, and the knob sets the effect return level; in Mix
mode the knob works as a wet/dry control; FX Only
mutes the dry signal and the knob sets the effect level.
Overall, the MixingLink is flexible, uses high-quality
parts, and is handy for connecting just about
every piece of musical gear you might have.
signals. Effects loop.
Mono operation only.
Must be tethered to a
wall-wart when using
Barry Rudolph is a
recording engineer based
in Los Angeles.