Behringer xenyx x1204 usb vs Mackie profx12??

I get way more anal retentive on stuff like this than I should, LOL, but we’re doing a podcast and I really want to make it sound as professional as possible. So we’ve got good condenser mics with pop filters, recording to WAV on a Roland digital recorder, then post-processing in Audacity. I have a Behringer X1204 USB mixer, purchased after a lot of research online from podcasting “pros” and like it except that it appears either the gain function is not working or the VU LEDs are not functioning properly (basically, you have to turn the channel gain up all the way to get any response on the VU meter, and even then you can’t get the gain set to 0 on the VU without shouting close to the mic.) I’ve seen this problem reported by others.

So - I have the option of returning the X1204 for another X1204 and hope this one works, or return it and for a small amount more get the Mackie ProFX12 USB. I see very good reviews for Mackie in general, but I see a lot of reviews saying the USB function results in a lot of hum and noise. While that isn’t something we plan to do much (either input or output) I would like the option to be available.

So - the up and downside of loving technology! :slight_smile: I am stuck as to what to do and have a fairly limited time to make up my mind! Anyone have any suggestions?


good condenser mics

Model names and numbers?

Which Windows and which Audacity— all three numbers?

Since the 1204 is a real mixer, it has three different places to set recording level. A preamp, a channel amp and the main output. Here’s where they are on my mixer.

If you connect the mystery microphone and turn all three of those up, I expect the sound to blow you out of the room. If the microphone demands 48volt phantom power, you should have that turned on, although I expect nothing to happen if you fail that step. Mixer rear: “Phantom On.”

I would probably have picked a simpler mixer. You’re going to be the first two weeks figuring out which features to turn off so they don’t interfere with the production.

If you turn the preamp and channel amp all the way up (far left controls) can you make the channel overload light (CLIP) come on? That’s a good way to divide the mixer in half. If you can get the overload lights but not the mixer main output, then there’s probably something in the pile of special effects, lower right, that’s set wrong.


Thanks for the reply. Mics are MXL 990 condensers. Phantom power is on and confirmed working. Everything is turned to off or balanced. With the channel level turned pretty much all the way up, the main slider pretty much all the way up, no effects, no compression, everything checked via the user guide for setting gain, I have to turn the gain control on the channel pretty much to max to get the VU LEDs to even light up. I have to shout to get it up to 0 db mark. I’ve set it up for testing this, nothing plugged in but the mic, all settings checked, etc. Switched between two mics, tried channels 1 through 4, etc.

I don’t know if the gain is screwed up or the VU meter. I suspect the gain. I don’t know what else to try, I’m not unfamiliar with mixers (played in a band for many years, though years ago) so I know how to basically set it up.

I have the option of replacing it with another 1204, or exchanging it (for a little more money) for a Mackie ProFX12. I’d just swap it for the Mackie but I have read a lot of problems with noise on it’s USB channels (which I don’t use now, I go into a Roland digital recorder, but would like to have that option.)

Forgot to reply to this part: we can make the channel overload/clip light come on but it takes a major effort and gain turned all the way up. Made sure all effects are off, oh, also doing this with Solo mode/PFL on (and also trying it with those off) - same results.

clip light come on but it takes a major effort and gain turned all the way up.

It should be gains all the way up. The preamp control up at the XLR connection and the channel slider. It bothers me when you keep talking about only one control when two are involved.

How about the compressor (COMP)? I can’t make out where to put that to make sure it doesn’t do anything.

Do you have one of those rock band SM58 microphones around? If that doesn’t have enough zot (technical term), then there’s probably something wrong with the mixer.

I wish I knew more about the built-in effects this thing has.


Sorry if I have not been clear. I’ve had the Channel 1 slider all the way up, the gain all the way up, and the main sliders all the way up. Compressor is turned all the way off. All built in effects are off. I’ve double checked every setting on this thing, and followed the userguide to the letter. (user guide: Kennisgeving voor omleiding)

I don’t have any dynamic mics around, but both the mics I am using are brand new, and I’ve tested using each of them. They also check out fine when testing them on a friend’s Mackie mixer.

What do those buttons just above the channel faders do, [MUTE Alt 3-4]. Do they affect the clip lights?

I’m not used to Behringer stuff acting weird like this. Also, I don’t think I trust a mixer with so much talent unless I’ve been using it for a year or two and know what the operating oddities are.


They also check out fine when testing them on a friend’s Mackie mixer.

I got nothing. I wouldn’t expect this is normal. You can Google this mixer model failures or complaints.


Yeah, I left a note on Behringer’s forums and also a note to their tech support. I have seen a couple of reports of this in some reviews on Amazon, and one guy posted a video review with this problem. I suspect I may have just gotten that one in XXX bad units.

I’d actually prefer to exchange it for the same item - but 100% working - but would hate to get another with the same issue. There are some things I prefer on this vs. the Mackie (e.g. you can control the levels to the tape out - I record onto a Roland digital recorder in Wav form, then postprocess in Audacity later - with the main sliders on this unit, whereas with the Mackie the main fader has no effect on the output to the tape out, you have to use a tape out knob; I like at least the option of the compression knobs per channel; the Mackie unit I’m looking at has a lot of complaints about humming/noise in the USB section, etc.) But since I’m exchanging on Amazon, I can’t know until shipping it back and getting a unit shipped back to me.

What I do know now, for sure, is that this isn’t the “normal” functioning for this unit.