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Yamaha n12 Digital Mixing Studio
Yamaha n12 Digital Mixing Studio

Yamaha n12 Digital Mixing Studio

4.55 4.55 (4 Reviews)
12-channel/2-bus Mixer/FireWire Audio Interface includes EQ and Compressor
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Published by andres_feret on 6th March 2012
User Review
Sound Quality
4 out of 5
4
Ease of use
4 out of 5
4
Features
4 out of 5
4
Bang for buck
4 out of 5
4
Overall: 4 4
Yamaha n12 Digital Mixing Studio

I bought 2 years ago and still use every day. First I was interested in the potential and the classical concept of the mixer. I've used it in several productions and sometimes perform amplification and live mixing. N12 This brings a little of everything, but I think these things are what make it valuable:

- Good Class A pre amps Transparent and versatile enough for something like an RE20 orSM7B. Phantom grouped into channels 1 to 4 and 5 to 8. Hi-Z on Channel 8
- Excellent converters (considering the price) with acoustic Treatment helped me a lot to Understand the balance frequencies. Think of something less than the RME
- Built in EQ Fairly usable for recording and making small adjustments, phase control, high pass filter (80Hz) and pad.
- Drivers stable for both Mac (especially 10.6.8) and Windows (recommended FW TexasInstruments)
- Full integration with cubase. Logic, PT, etc only use transport control (mackie mode)
- 3 separate buses: Stereo, Aux and Rec. You can do a submix or mix OTB. gentlemen obviously not an SSL but i find it interesting to have on hand the concept of mixing without undo something either partially or totally, another approach is always valuable . MOST of times very musical imo!

- The little things that make everything easier: solo level control, built-in Talkback microphone, dimmers and mute button, Control room phone.
- Useful things when recording or live sound: Rev-X digital reverb, very musical and compressor on channels 1 to 8 (Sweet Spot Morphing Compressors)

In summary, you can produce, record, mix and direct sound (also works independently) can even link to a similar (N8, N12 or MR816)
While their sound is not a color particular offers the possibility to insert to add external pre.

For me, the N12 has been mostly a good school to understand more about what is to record and mix. This meant a radical change in the sound and options that usually need a good dose of experience to be assimilated. I'd say the N12 is ideal for your first 10 or 20productions or until your experience teach you to understand and get the maximum potential of each step.

these are the major limitations:

- Only 2 Stereo outputs: ST and Aux Bus
- Only 1 Aux
- The faders do not have memory or Are They motorized.
- 44.1 to 96 Khz.
- You can not bypass EQ
  #1  
By andrew caramia on 6th March 2012
User review
Sound Quality
5 out of 5
5
Ease of use
5 out of 5
5
Features
4 out of 5
4
Bang for buck
5 out of 5
5
Overall: 4.75 4.75
ive hed a yamaha n12 for 3 years now and i love it to death. the only point i have to disagree with the above reviewer is that its not just for beginners or their first few productions- theres a reason these are found in many high end commercial studios tucked away out of sight from their clients who just want to see a huge neve console. the n12 is great tech... something like this would have been unheard of just 10 years ago.
the fact is- if you cant produce world class mixes with this thing, YOU are the problem, not the n12!!! the same applies to the lovely mackie onyx 1640i and a+h fw mixers that i have also worked on.
if you dont need a rediculous amount of inputs, the yamaha N12 paired with the incredible hs80m monitors + hs10w sub (see my monitor review here- http://www.gearslutz.com/board/revie...80m-hs10w.html), a bunch of studio projects 'C' series mics (...if you cant afford neumann), decent accoustic treatment (with good placement knowledge) and cubase will give you a world class recording and production solution that rivals protools hd. yes, i said it. and if you really must disagree chances are you've never really compared the daws or you just want to justify all that $ that youve just blown. if you really must have more pres, chain up another N12 or steinberg mr816 (i think you can stack up 3 of these devices via firewire).
so here are just a few notable ponts to this lovely interface/mixer hybrid...

- can work standalone without firewire
- the pres are fabulous, much better than mackie onyx, a+h, toft. yamaha claim they are the best they ever made, and thats saying something. phat, analog, airy, detailed and characterful? you got it. just dont expect a neve and you will be very happy.
- you can group tracks back into the mixer in STEMS and tweak them individually with eq! noticebly airier mixes result. very much like 'summing' mixers, i bit more 'airy' to my ears (probably because of no analog signal degredation- its all kept in the digital realm via firewire in/out).
- if you have external pres you can bypass the n12 pres by connecting them into the mixers inserts for direct recording.
- cubase control features can also work in other programmes like protools, logic, sonar etc minus a few features. just select 'mackie control' in your daw. however works well and sounds great in all daws.
- it has midi in/out
- you can flip between 3 sets of monitors via 3 selection buttons!!!
- you can access and flip between speakers in 5.1 mode also.
- the eq is based on vintage board designs, and are very effective and surgical. toft eq and mackie perkins eq is arguably better.
- the cubase control is incredible, second to none. does wonders to your workflow.
- you CAN bypass the eq. its not analog eq- the 12 o'clock position is 'off' and kicks in when you start tweaking.
- buckets of headroom, more than you will ever need.
- the onboard rev-x reverb is excellent. not budget sounding at all.
- the onboard compression is very good,and customizeable via software updates.
- the ad/da is as good, if not better than, the overrated RME units that i have used.
- 100mm faders! and nice feeling ones at that.
- the ONLY negitives to this marvelous piece of technology is that it doesnt have spdif or optical ins. but hook up a mr816 interface and there you have it (as well as another 8 of those great pres)!

i even had a look inside the n12 to see what was going on inside and i was amazed by what i saw. thick circuits, quality components and well spaced, logical design. great work.
its a real pity yamaha brought out the new 01v mk2 and not a revised and expanded N12. how about an N24 guys? pleeeeeeeease.....
  #2  
By RokkerMan on 4th October 2012
Andrew,

Really enjoyed the confirmation your reviews just gave me to keep my n12 and monitors. It sounds like we have similar systems, which I'm just getting around to setting up. I also have the HS80s and a HS10w sub and a bunch of C grade mics. Would you mind telling me how you've connected your monitors to the n12 and what type of cables you're using to get the best sound? I'm under the impression that I'm supposed to go out from the n12 into the sub and then split into the monitors. Sorry if I sound like an idiot but I'm more of a musician than an engineer and need all the help I can get! I'm planning on running Logic Pro also and hope they work well together.

Really great reviews - thank you!

Joe
  #3  
By dxavier on 23rd October 2012
User review
Sound Quality
4 out of 5
4
Ease of use
5 out of 5
5
Features
4 out of 5
4
Bang for buck
5 out of 5
5
Overall: 4.5 4.5
I completely disagree with parts of "andres_feret" review, which I find set the wrong tone or impression for the N12. It is not something less than the RME conversion wise and I am refering specifically here, to the FF800. For me it is something more and it does not have excellent conversion for the price, it has excellent conversion full stop.

Two things I do agree with are the 2 sets of Stereo outs. This is my only real gripe about this unit. They could have sorted it out, by throwing in some digital connectivity such as a few adat outs. Seems like a missed trick to me. If has plenty of inputs, so if it had adat outs, it would get a 10 on features for me:-) However, I do understand the reason for the limitation. The unit provides 3 pairs of stereo outputs for three sets of Monitors, so this is where the other outputs have gone. I actually love not having to use a separate monitor controller and plug socket for it. I love being able to run PMC's, Questeds and NS10m's off the monitor controller, but it is at a loss of outputs, which I wouldn't mind using for external summing. Fader recall, ok, that does annoy me too. I think this would have added alot to this mixer, but the 44.1 TO 96KHZ?? There are many interfaces with these specifications. It is not an issue and you can bypass the EQ as it is digital. 12 O'clock position is bypassing them.

Oh well, my quick 5 pence is...

- Great Pres with lots of gain and tons of headroom on all inputs
- Monitoring section is a massive plus point for someone with several monitors and due to this, I was able to sell my monitoring controller
- Transport controls too!!
- Fantastic Conversion, over and above that of the RME FF800 IMHO
- Great on board EQ's which are nice sounding and quite useful
- Solid drivers and stability
- Really good sounding EQ's with a smooth vintage curve
- Clear and responsive metering

To get a converter, mixing desk, monitor controller, 8 quality pre amps and a transport controller, of this quality is unheard of. If another company had of brought this unit to market, it would cost alot lot more. Yamaha, with their significant resources, are one of the few companies, that could bring this kind of quality to market for this price. I love it and won't be changing it anytime soon.
  #4  
By tanov on 3rd September 2013
User review
Sound Quality
5 out of 5
5
Ease of use
5 out of 5
5
Features
5 out of 5
5
Bang for buck
5 out of 5
5
Overall: 5 5
Great studio unit

I have two daisy-chained N-12s for 4 years. To be honest the best thing in these mixers is the marketing. Soon after buying them, I started working on DIY outboard preamps, compressors, EQs and now I found the most of the N12 features completely bypassed. I use Trident A-Range pres, SSL buss compressors, Pultec EQs in the inserts. The first time I tried the N12 EQ was when compared it to Pultec analog EQ. In this comparison I also included Sonnox EQ. It was incomparable. Pultec beats all of them and Sonnox beats N12. I never used compressors. Just for some voiceovers to save daw time. Preamps - the only good thing is that they are killer silent compared to all old designs (trident for instance). No noise at high gains. But phantom power filtering is very poor. If you use small diaphragm condenser like c451, you will be blown by 100hz power supply hum. It is workarounded with LDCs, because they incorporate voltage inverters. Other drawback is the outputs count - just one master and one aux with poor converter. My current daisy chain of two n12 is very unstable on windows 7. It was perfect on my old mac mini. BTW Behringer ada8000 has better ADC chips than n12, but I have never tested it. The sound of the converter depends more on overall design and opamps used. These in n12 are good.
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