Korg’s SoundLink mixers were unveiled at NAMM 2020 alongside the Wavestate, SV-2 and ARP 2600 and it says something about the clout of the names involved that they weren’t entirely overshadowed by such a hypehogging lineup. Any musician with an interest in mixing tech will know Greg Mackie’s name though, and the fact that he and equally-notable, former Trident designer Peter Watts have had input into Korg’s latest consoles was always guaranteed to turn heads.
In an intro to the manual, Mackie describes the SoundLink designs as combining “analogue’s instant control… with the power of high-quality digital where it counts”. What that amounts to is a mixer design that combines fully analogue channel strips with digital DSP based on Korg’s existing effects technology. There are two models in the range, the 24-input MW-2408, on review here, and the MW-1608, which has an identical feature set but reduces the total input count to 16. Here, the 24 channels are divided evenly into eight mono and eight stereo all of which have XLR mic and ¼-inch TRS line inputs on the rear. The ‘08’ in each model’s name is derived from the four stereo subgroups, complete with eight ¼-inch outputs.
Each mixer channel is equipped with one of Peter Watts’ newly-designed HiVolt preamps, which Korg tout as “low noise, high headroom”, and they certainly deliver excellent quality, bearing in mind the mixer’s price point – which is equally true across both the mono and stereo channels. Beyond this, each of the mono channels is equipped with a switchable high-pass filter, fixed at 100Hz, plus a one-knob compressor. This latter feature is a nice touch, great for controlling dynamically inconsistent vocals and, in our tests, good at beefing-up unpredictable, modulated synth sounds. There’s a handy indicator light showing when the compressor is engaged too.
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