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Rating and Reviews: M-Audio NRV10 Mixer

24-bit/96kHz on all channels. Balanced XLR mic inputs with award-winning Octane technology. 3-band EQ on each channel. Integrated digital effects processor.

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The Wow Factor
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"Good enough for The Adam Carolla Show, more than good enough for you" submitted July 2, 2010

By a customer from prodigy.net
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician / Podcaster
Music Style: Hip-Hop / Comedy
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Sound: The sound from this mixer is great raw, and it also has a 3-band equalizer on it, so you can make the vocal or instrument passing through it sound as warm or cold as you want. With your EQ properly set, you can make a cheapo $20 Audio Technica dynamic mic sound like it has much more frequency range, putting it on par with far more expensive mics (I know this from experience, it has been tested against my rigorous personal standards). Feature: First off, it comes with power cables for just about every country, so if you're planning on live gigs outside the good old U.S. of A, that's a plus. It also doubles as a firewire audio interface, so you can use this as not only a mixer, but a high-end sound card for recording. In the box are 2 software discs: the drivers for Windows & Mac OSX, and Pro Tools (the M-Powered edition). Sadly, the audio interface will not work with Pro Tools LE. It comes with 2 different kinds of firewire cables (the big one and the little one), and has an extra firewire port on the back of the mixer, which i assume is for stringing another firewire device into, thus only taking up the one port on your computer. Oh, and there are a TON of inputs and outputs on this thing, which, for the price, is a big deal. There aren't many choices when you're on a budget, and need a lot of inputs, and the NRV 10 delivers in a big way. Last but not least, it has a built-in effects processor. I've barely used it, but I've fiddled around with it a little, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I fully expected super cheesy effects, but there are actually some nice, high-quality effects that can be applied without any noticeable change in latency. Ease of Use: Piece of cake. If you have ANY level of experience with computer-based recording, you'll get the hang of things with this mixer in a snap. If you're new to it, you'll get it in a slightly longer snap. Everything on this mixer is pretty intuitive, and the more advanced stuff is covered pretty well in the manual. My advice with this mixer, or really any piece of audio equipment: EXPERIMENT. Play around with things until you find out what your preferences are. As far as equipment like this goes, though, this is a very user-friendly mixer. There are even little dashed arrows on it, that show you what path your audio will take through the mixer, based on what setting you have the source switch set on. Quality: Well-built and DURABLE. It weighs a lot, as far as mixers go (somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 lbs.), which is a huge plus for me, as it makes it feel far more substantial. If you're planning on carrying it around with you in a backpack, however, you might want to invest in some wheeled luggage for the long-haul. All the faders, knobs, and switches feel sturdy, and have some resistance, which makes it easier to fine-tune their positions. Value: Like I said, for this price, it's pretty difficult to find a mixer that doubles as a FIREWIRE (note, NOT USB) audio interface, and has this many inputs and outputs. Awesome score for the price. And, as it turns out, it's actually a very good product. My old audio interface gave me all sorts of trouble with latency, but since I bought this fine piece of machinery, my vocals actually hit the computer BEFORE they come out of my mouth (I'm kidding, but I really am down to zero latency with the NRV10). I labored long and hard over the decision about which audio interface to buy when I upgraded, and the NRV10 won out, not only on paper, but also in practical application. Manufacturer Support: Completely giving M-Audio the benefit of the doubt on this score. I haven't had to contact them, and I don't think I ever will (knock on wood). This mixer seems to be in it with me until the bitter end, and I don't envision having an issue that would require a call to the company. The Wow Factor: It looks awesome in my studio, and classes the joint up quite a bit. I do a podcast, as well as make music, and when people visit the studio for either of those things, they take notice of the beautiful mixing board that sits just right of me, easily within reach of my right hand. It has made my life a lot easier too, as I don't have to do as much to vocals in post now that I have the ability to EQ and add effects on the fly. Overall: This thing is awesome, and more people should know about it. I'm a little disappointed that I can't run my beloved Pro Tools LE with this mixer alone (still have to plug in my good old MBox 2), but other than that, I can't find a fault with this product. I became aware of the M-Audio NRV10 by seeing a picture of Adam Carolla's recording setup for his #1 podcast. I, also being a podcast host and huge fan of Carolla, thought to myself, "Good enough for Ace, good enough for me". I then did some research, and was pleased to find out that, in addition to Carolla's seal of approval, this mixer actually stacked up pretty well against some much higher-priced ones, so I ordered it. It arrived a scant 5 or 6 days later, and my life and podcasting career were forever changed for the better.
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"Avoid M-Audio at all costs." submitted March 4, 2009

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: All
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Sound: AVOID the NRV10 at all costs. I purchased the NRV10 thrgh zZounds a yea ago, and I have been fighting with this awful device ever since; even with a brand new replacement the problems only got worse. The sound degrades in the middle of playback and recording, and sometimes just cuts out and requires a full reinstall of the drivers. This drop/cut happens on *every* program -- as complicated as Ableton Live and as simple as Audacity. I've tried every latency setting, I've tweaked everything on my pretty high-end PC (3.2 dualcore Intel, 4GB RAM), I've even purchased a Texas Instruments firewire card, as that was the only actual advice I got from M-Audio. Nothing worked. Feature: The advertised feature set is pretty good, though it is hard to tell when the thing is so buggy. Ease of Use: Ease of Use was one of the reasons I purchased the NRV10; although it's got some complicated functionality, the thing was pretty much PnP out of the box. Of course, the 'plug' part was fine -- the 'play' part is still an issue. Quality: Very sturdy, smooth sliders, seems to be of quality construction and durability. Value: The NRV10 is a total ripoff considering the heartache and hassle that come with the thing. I wish I had picked any other device. When I consider the big-ticket cost of the NRV10 it hurts my heart (as much as my slim wallet) to think of the wasted money. Manufacturer Support: HORRENDOUS. I had to RMA the thing the first time I had all of these issues, and that was after two months on the M-Audio support site trying to get some answers. After all that time, their answer was simply to RMA the device. Another month later they sent me another one -- there was never an explanation of what was wrong, why it was not working, if the 2nd device was a repair, a refurbish, a new replacement, nothing. I again went to the M-Audio support site to find out some answers, and was told that it was a new NRV10. I responded "Why? What was wrong with the old one?" I got no reply. The issues have cropped up again, I again submitted a ticket to the support site, and I'm now been summarily ignored. The Wow Factor: It is a nice looking item -- but so is Paris Hilton. Who wants the maintenance, headache, and inevitable disappointment for such little return? Overall: Horrible, horrible investment, horrible customer service, a complete waste of money and time. Avoid M-Audio at all costs.
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