Korg introduced its SoundLink hybrid mixers, which MusicRadar touted as exhibiting “serious design pedigree,” in early 2020. And indeed, the new, compact offerings, available in both 24-channel (the MW2408) and 16-channel (MW1608) iterations, are full-on head-turners.
The creation of mixer guru Greg Mackie in collaboration with preamp perfectionist Peter Watts, the new models boast a hybrid digital/analogue design along with new “low noise, high-headroom HiVolt mic preamps, Mute Groups (allowing for calling up of different combinations of channels) and “Musician’s Phone” (a one-knob boost of the complete mix into a musician’s individual track), among other premium features, making them one of the most enticing and inventive fresh designs on the market.
But don’t just take our word for it – witness ace guitarist Sarah Longfield discuss her experiences with both the MW2408 and MW1608 in her own home studio.
“I was very excited when I was given the opportunity to try them out in my studio and see how they would incorporate into my workflow,” Sarah says, adding that the SoundLink “offers a unique analogue/digital signal path, as well as Greg Mackie’s practical design and features that make it super-easy and intuitive to use.”
How easy and intuitive is it? “Literally, the manual is like one page,” Sarah says. “So that’s amazing.”
The features, however, are extensive, with 24 or 16 channels divided into eight mono and eight stereo, all with XLR mic and 1/4-inch TRS line inputs on the rear. There’s also four stereo subgroups (hence the ‘08’ in each model’s name) complete with eight 1/4-inch outputs, as well as 20 of Korg's ultra-realistic 32-bit digital effects (10 at once with recallable parameters), studio-grade DSP, premium components and plenty of EQ options for serious sound sculpting.
Overall, Sarah says, the SoundLink is "a really practical mixer for a variety of applications," adding that the "true eight-bus configuration with group outputs makes it great for recording as well as live mixing."
What are some of Sarah’s favorite features? “The LCD is super-easy to navigate and surprisingly deep,” she says, pointing out that "there’s also a lot of options for gates, limiters, reverbs and delays."
What’s more, she continues, “I really enjoyed the preamp created by Peter Watts. I think it’s very clean, natural and warm and has a lot of headroom, and offers a unique graphic EQ which gives you access to 31 frequency bands with just nine controls. Pretty sweet.”
Pretty sweet, indeed.
For more information on the new SoundLink MW2408 and MW1608, head to Korg.