Yamaha 01V96i Digital Mixing Console

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Steve La Cerra

Versatile Desk Excels in Live and Studio Applications


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The 01V96i rear panel

The 01V96i will operate as a DAW interface and controller.

The remaining eight inputs are stereo effect returns 1 through 4. Default surface controls for the returns are minimal: two sets of SEL, SOLO, ON and a level pot. A shift button is used to alternate access between Stereo In 1 and 2, or Stereo In 3 and 4. The same EQ found on each channel is available on the stereo returns. Effect returns can be re-patched (via software) to unused channels, in which case you get the full feature set of every channel and the 100mm fader. Be aware that it is possible to “mult” the effect returns to input channels and the stereo effect return inputs simultaneously.

The 01V96i’s eight aux sends may be routed to the inputs of the internal effects processors or to any physical output. I patched auxes 1-4 to internal effects 1-4 respectively, and auxes 5-8 to external processors via the Omni outs (I’ll take my PCM70s to the grave). This barely scratches the surface of the 01V96i’s ability to route almost any bus to any output or to multiple outs simultaneously.

Let’s Get Busy

The 01V96i was a pleasure to use in a variety of applications, including simultaneous multitrack recording and stereo mixing. Using the 01V96i as a sound reinforcement mixer is a breeze: Plug in your sources, assign them to the stereo bus and off you go. Input metering is minimal but effective; there’s a green LED for signal present and a red LED to indicate 3 dB below clipping. The preamps are quiet and extend low enough in the frequency range to get the rafters rocking. Having used a multitude of Yamaha digital consoles over the years, it was easy to apply dynamics and EQ, assign and edit effects, and just plain get around.

Onboard effects include EQ and dynamics and time-based effects like you’d find in Yamaha’s SPX2000 processor. The REV-X reverb algorithms are wonderful, and the effects library also includes Yamaha’s VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) “premium” effects such as Comp 276 and Comp 260. Under many circumstances, the library effects will be used in send/return arrangement, but the 01V96i has the ability to assign any of the library effects to any input (or output bus for that matter), and once you hear some of them you’ll want to use them on DAW return channels. I used the 01V96i’s preamps to record a drum kit with a pair of Soundelux U195s as overheads, patched the DAW return tracks through the Comp276S and the result was fantastic—smooth compression that tamed cymbals and mellowed the snare drum while letting the toms and kick pop. I’d have been happy to pay for this plug-in. Channel compression and EQ were equally useful for situations such as transforming a horrible-sounding kick drum into well beyond usable.

DAW Recording and Playback

Using the 01V96i as a DAW interface was a breeze. After installing the supplied driver and connecting the 01V96i to our MacBook Pro it appeared as an I/O device in Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Reason Record and the supplied demo version of Cubase AI. Select the I/O in the software, place the tracks in record and start your engines. Input channels can be assigned to 16 direct outs, which then feed the DAW inputs but the DAW feed can be sourced from any output bus, so, if for example, you wanted to mix two guitar mics to the same DAW track, you could change the DAW feed to the mix bus (Bus 1-8, Aux 1-8, etc.) of your choice.

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