Cerwin-Vega…the company best known for pro audio speakers that has recently been acquired by Gibson…has introduced a new line of mixing consoles: the CVM-1022 (10 channel board priced at $149), CVM-1224FXUSB (12 channel board, $299) and the CVM-1624FXUSB (16 channel board, $399).    While one foot is planted in the pro audio arena, the other is firmly in MI territory.  These mixers are aimed at the working musicians who lug their own moderate-sized sound system to gig, but are designed with the audio quality pro soundmen would appreciate.

 

The name of our review CVM-1224FXUSB in itself is a mouthful, but it attempts to define the more predominate features of the board. It features 12 input channels (in an interesting configuration, which we’ll get to in a moment), stereo main outputs (with both XLRs and balanced ¼” jacks), Stereo Auxiliary Output, digital effects and a USB computer interface. The metal housing hints at Cerwin-Vega’s intention of making this mixer tough enough to face the rigors of the road, while the 7.5 lbs weight makes it easy on the back.

 

 

The CVM-1224FXUSB first four channels have both XLR inputs and ¼” mono inputs with ¼” TRS send/returns for external processing. Channels 5/6 and 7/8 each share a fader and accept either a XLR input or a mono or stereo line input via two ¼” jacks.  Channels 9/10 and 11/12 also share a fader each (for a total of 8 input faders) with stereo inputs for either a pair of ¼” phone jacks or a pair of RCA connectors.  Confused yet?  Yeah, me, too, however this layout proved to be functional in accepting a variety of inputs…including stereo instruments such as a synths or drum machines that’s two inputs can now be tweaked at the same time and controlled with a single fader.

 

Each of the Channels with XLR inputs has a trim control, a peak meter LED and low cut switch in addition to the three bands of EQ, aux send with a pre/post fader switch, effects send and pan controls, and pre-fader listen (PFL) switch that accompany all the faders.

 

There’s a ¼” output for both the effects and auxiliary output with a single stereo auxiliary return, and a set of in/out RCA jacks for an external tape machine or recorder. Both the Aux Return and the Tape input have their own input control.  The tape input also functions as the USB return volume control.

 

The internal effects boasts a 100 presets of various types of reverb (hall, plate, spring) along with echo, chorus and flange…and those effects with reverb.  Kudos goes to CV for including a jack for an optional effect on/off footswitch, so the audience can actually make out what the singer is saying between songs.

 

There’s a fader for the mains and another for the auxiliary output (which can also be routed to the main output) and a separate level control for the headphone and control room output jacks.

 

The CVM-12FXUSB performed as expected in our rough and tumble Jersey Shore cover band calendar of dates in nightclubs and wedding halls without a hitch.  The sound quality of the mic pre-amps did not disappoint, and with the EQ and effects thrown in, the feeling is more “Studio” than “Live Show,” allowing our singers to finesse their performance.  The board also has the ability to handle powered condenser microphones (48v phantom power) so high-end mics can be used for acoustic guitars, pianos and the drummer’s cymbals to catch their distinctive higher frequencies…and with the USB port, the CVM-1224 can be used to record your board mix directly to your computer.

 

The CVM-1224FXUSB has enough features and routing options to handle most bar and wedding band gigs out there where you need to hump your own gear.  If you find yourself playing in a situation where you’re bringing in more speakers and monitors than you carry yourself, congratulations, and this is not the mixer for you.  But if you haven’t reached that place yet, the CVM-1224FXUSB certainly could help get you there.

Originally posted 2012-11-15 20:47:31.