The MGP Series is an ideal analog live desk for today, notably packed
with unique new features and creativity-inspiring digital functionality.
MGP Series, especially the 24-channel MGP24X, is an ideal affordable live mixer
for most discriminating, budget-conscious users in mid-level club, theater and
house-of-worship (HOW) settings. It does not tether users to consumer
technology (iOS), yet it allows its incorporation in wise ways—as an effects
controller, playback/USB recording device, and so on.
here, the MGP24X is the 24-channel version of the MGP Series featuring 16 mono
inputs with XLR input, TRS input, and TRS insert per channel; four stereo
inputs; comprehensive analog I/O including powered main, monitor and subwoofer
outputs, studio monitor outputs, matrix outputs, XLR talkback input, and dual
RCA stereo I/O. The MGP24X’s digital side is accessed via its top panel,
featuring both USB 2.0 and USB iOS jacks for the desk’s built-in
recording/playback device and DSP control, respectively.
of the box, the MGP Series is strikingly overbuilt, quiet and clean in
operation, and straightforward in design; any experienced user could be up and
running with an MGP in minutes. Thus, Yamaha’s inspired proprietary features
within the MGP Series are the icings that makes this cake so tasty, each
D-PRE “studio grade” discrete Class A microphone preamplifiers have been newly
refined, explains company promotional materials, and they sound crystal clear
and powerful—notably impressive for a mixer at this price, I believe. Each
channel preamp is well paired with numbingly simple one-knob compressor with
signal LED and flavorful three-band channel EQ with “vintage inspired”
frequency curves. Together, the D-PRE, one-knob comp and honestly-good-sounding
EQ gives users a lot to work with per channel.
its digital side, the MGP Series offers some really helpful features. Most
impressive is the Stereo Hybrid Channel—a DSP engine controlled by traditional
knobs and switches rather than accessed via deep GUI-based menus—offering
Priority Ducker, a “no-operator” feature allowing one mic to take priority over
another sound source with adjustable attenuation level; Leveler, a
smoothly-designed auto-leveling compressor; and The Stereo Image, which narrows
the pan balance of a stereo sound source, improving overall sound over a
broadly distributed theater or HOW-based audience.
separate effects processors are also built-in: Yamaha’s REV-X Hall, Room and
Plate reverbs and the beloved SPX multi-effects engine; between the two, MGP
users are far from limited in effects options. Considering the MGP24X’s price
point, these effects notably sound “rich.”
the iOS app-friendly throngs will find ways to incorporate their smart devices
beyond simple recording and playback. Simply dock (and charge) an iPod/iPhone
and the MGP Editor, a free app, allows iOS-wielding users a more detailed,
touchscreen-based GUI to dial in REV-X and SPX effects, Priority Ducker and
Leveler, and more. Further, the stereo bus benefits via a digital 14-band
Graphic EQ (with Flex EQ from Yamaha’s pro CL Series) and digital multi-band
master compressor, both easily used and controlled via iOS.
first employed the MGP24X in two full band rehearsals at a medium-sized club
venue; this allowed us more time to audition effects, EQ settings and
compressor levels. Most striking was how many features were packed into a
numbingly intuitive, seemingly traditional analog desk—and really good features, at that. It’s no longer notable to have
built-in digital effects in your workhorse analog mixer, but to have ones that
sound this good, at this price point, is. Band members, ones very familiar with
the venue and powered speakers in use, commented that this particular house mix
sounded clearer and “stronger” than usual. With the MGP24X at FOH, the
following gig with the same musicians at the same venue proved to be easy, not
to mention one of the best sounding shows I can remember having anything to do
next took the MGP24X to my local church, where we also used it for performances
incorporating lots of open mics on voices, acoustic instruments, and more. This
time, we dove into Hybrid Channel, where the “set it and forget it” ease of
Priority Ducker, Leveler and Stereo Image all came into play. Clearly, Yamaha
both understands and serves the HOW market, where this kind of easy
auto-functionality is truly “value added,” as it all performed as advertised.
It wasn’t hard to give volunteer users a quick rundown of the desk, either; in
these environments, analog design and mentality still rules—something Yamaha
designers obviously understand.
are a number of 24-channel analog mixers on the market today—ones that are
certainly smaller and cheaper—featuring both digital effects and a
USB/iOS-friendly design philosophy. However, the MGP Series is a clear cut
above the majority, proving that the analog mixer still serves many as a true
mixing centerpiece, and one that operates cleanly and intuitively is still a
live mixer’s most important feature.
Yamaha | http://yamahaproaudio.com