In the interest of full disclosure, I am a graphic artist. Audio is not my forte. So when I knew I had to review the Stanton RM 416 Mixer I called the most knowledgeable audio engineer of my acquaintance. He happens to be a Grammy nominated audio engineer who has worked with most of the major labels and is also my brother. Very convenient for me.
He immediately recognized the brand name “Stanton”. He has used some of their products for 20 years which still work flawlessly. Stanton has a great reputation.
Neither of us are DJ’s but my brother came prepared to answer the main questions for this device. Is the sound good and how easy is it to use?
So he brings his Loftech Model TS-1 to test the audio specs on the Stanton mixer. He calibrated the mixer with the Loftech. Now, I don’t really know what that means, but dials are moving and and sumptin’s about ta be happin’
The Loftech sends out a tone (of 1 KHz) and the Stanton mixer was able to maintain that tone. It “kept the integrity of the signal”. This is a Good Thing. No one wants a mixer that can’t hold a signal.
Next, my brother wanted to see what the frequency range the mixer could handle. He had the Loftech send out the lowest to highest frequency in a sweep from 30 Hz to 20 kHz. Which is remarkable, at least according to my brother.
That’s because human hearing – for a young person with optimum hearing – goes from 16-17 kHz to 30 Hz. In human-speak this means the RM 416 output is pristine and more than capable of holding tones that we want to hear. It can hold the bass tones without distortion and without breaking down the signal. Music played through the RM 416 will get a true deep tone, clear Hi’s and full midtones.
To quote my brother: “It lives up to it’s specs.”
The next step in this experiment was to whip out a mic and plug the RM 416 into my stereo.
The result is summarized in the following quote: “nice clean signal even from a “cheap mic”. I asked what this ‘cheap’ mic was worth and was informed about 100 bucks.
The next part of the Great Experiment was to try switching from my CD player to another audio source. I put a Lily Pons CD in my player and my brother connected his player with his songs from his band. So he was Switching from Classical Opera to Blues Rock and Roll. Wow, that’s some interesting mashing up!
The judgment on this aspect was the ease of operation in switching between the 2 source’s. The mixer comes with a thin manual and of course I let my brother look at it briefly but it’s not like he memorized it.
Both of us agree that we like devices that are laid out very intuitively. Where you can figure it out without a lot of reading. Where everything is laid out very nicely and logically.
The cue feature works very nicely. I gave my brother my Sennheiser headphones so he could hear what’s coming up to be ready for a switch between sources.
For those of you reading this who ARE DJ’s you’ll be happy to know that the Stanton RM 416 Mixer has three phono inputs for turntables – channels 1, 2 and 3.
And there’s four line inputs. (RCA plugs)
and ??sub-woofer output. ??The signal can be sent out to a powered sub-woofers, for example. This is very important in producing that floor rattling Boom! Boom!
The RM 416 has Pro Line out (balanced) and consumer line out (RCA), so no matter what system you have there’s flexibility to plug in. ?There’s Zone out and Record Out.
USB (Standard-B plug)
My brother brought over his MAC laptop for this experiment. After connecting the USB cable from the mixer to his MAC he accessed his Apple preference and had it play a sound file through the USB codex.? Once the MAC recognized the USB connection it sent out this file playing from the computer to the mixer. My brother in this case just picked something from iTunes. Basically the output from iTunes was used as another audio source – ??but you can go in the other direction. Next he used Garage Band to record FROM the mixer. He started up Garage band which immediately recognized the mixer and he started recording. Quote: “And it was simple!!”? I think it happened faster than I was able to type out most of the last sentences. If you are a DJ and are planning to use your computer during a show, this obviously is going to be a piece O pie. At least if you are using a MAC.
The only ‘complaint’
The Cross Fader – That’s the big one at the bottom – had a slightly ‘mushy’ feel. But then again he’s used to working with million dollar mixers. The other faders feel OK or more solid. But that was a minor point compared to the important facts: nice clean crisp sound and wonderful ease of use. I have to imagine that using this in a loud and dark club has to be a dream when all the dial and faders are just where you want them to be.