Treat your online friends and fans to quality audio sweetened by effects with the black or white Mackie M•Caster Live, a portable and space-saving livestreaming mixer that’s purpose-built for getting a good sound in no time, whether you shoot in the kitchen with a DSLR, vlog outdoors on a smartphone, or build intricate productions on your computer. In addition to its “no time for nonsense” operating style, the M•Caster Live offers unexpected extras like RGB lighting and a suite of powerful plug-ins and royalty-free background music and sound effects to turn your stream into your dream.
How It Works
The M•Caster Live serves as a surprisingly small hub to interconnect your recording/streaming device and external gear such as a microphone, an instrument (e.g., keyboard or DJ mixer), headphones, and even speakers. Yes, it accommodates 3.5mm inputs, but it also has a balanced XLR mic input with switchable phantom power. The M•Caster Live is just as welcoming to professional condenser mics as it is to handheld microphones and headsets.
When it comes to connecting the M•Caster Live to your recording/streaming device, there are three methods available with the included cables—USB to a computer, 3.5mm TRRS to a headphone jack on a mobile device, or 3.5mm TRS to a camera.
Considering the possible applications and places where the M•Caster Live may be used, it makes sense why Mackie allows it to be powered via USB (to your computer or a USB battery) or the included power supply. It really is ready to go anywhere, especially if you stash it and the rest of your rig in the sling bag (available separately).
Be Quick About It
Mackie made this mixer for video creators who can’t take on the task of learning the science behind sound production; turn it on, turn some knobs, and turn your attention to being creative. From the top-panel controls to the ports on its sides, the M•Caster Live is labeled with logical icons in place of technical terminology, and it really makes a difference in workflow speed.
Onboard ContourFX, accessible through intuitive knobs―NOT befuddling menus―brings out the best in your sources by enhancing the tone according to pre-configured presets that require no tedious tweaking of parameters. For more drastic sonic manipulation, reach for the StreamFX, which can transform your voice into non-human forms ranging from a robot to a monster and more.
If you want to feature a guest, tap into the M•Caster Live’s phone input to integrate a remote caller. The M•Caster Live automatically routes in “Mix Minus” so the caller won’t hear an echo of their own voice.
When your shot includes the M•Caster Live in the frame, switch on the RGB lighting for visual flair. The LED strip along the bottom of the mixer lights up with your choice of seven colors. Sure, it won’t make the sound any better, but it may elicit an “Oh cooooool!” from your viewers.
After the Fact
Sometimes recording on the go yields audio that’s rough around the edges. Mackie bundles the M•Caster Live with slick plug-ins designed for helping sounds in need of repair—a lifetime license of Accusonus ERA Voice Leveler and ERA De-Esser, plus a 3-month subscription to their All Access Suite, including tools for noise removal, reverb reduction, and mouth de-clicking, along with tons of SFX and music beds. With so many goodies at your disposal, you can spend hours polishing your production, if that’s what you’re into.
There’s much to like about the M•Caster Live and a lot that it helps you do. What would you do with one? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below.