- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
PROS: Great sound, light weight, intuitive controls.
CONS: Might be too much for the average band.
A lot of artists don’t put enough thought into their stage gear beyond their amps, mics and pedals. One of the most criminally overlooked aspects of your gig is what your audience is actually hearing, and that’s where powerful, clear speakers are your best friends. Meet your newest besties, the DLM series from Mackie. We tested out the DLM12 and the DLM12s sub, and they come with our highest recommendation.
2,000 watts of clean power at your fingertips, are you kidding me? In action, the 12-inch model and sub we tested quite nearly (literally) blew us away. And the best part? You’re not just booming out volume at the cost of clean audio. All those watts ensure that no matter what the venue, you can crank the speakers to 11 and still get undistorted, pure sound from your stage mix. More watts mean more clean headroom, and that’s a great thing.
The speakers themselves are surprisingly lightweight considering all the technology that’s packed in there, which can save you quite a few trips to the chiropractor down the road. We especially dig the integrated digital mixer built right in, which features some handy on-board fx, EQ, delay and feedback-destroying settings. The bright OLED screen is easy-to-read even in darker venues, and the memory settings may come in super-handy when returning to problematic venues in the future. Just dial in your settings, save, and call them up any time.
So they sound amazing, you’re not sacrificing quality for volume, and there are even built-in system controls via an on-board screen. Are there any downsides? Well, as amazing as the DLM system is, and as killer as it becomes when you add the DL1608 iPad-controlled mixer, for some bands it might just be overkill, especially considering piecing together an entire system can set you back a few bucks. We’re recommending this for working touring bands or artists that need to provide their own sound setups at non-traditional venues, or even as an installation upgrade for venues, churches and other institutional settings. Touring bands will get great use out of the system, just be sure to make room in the bus.