Maker Hart has announced the Loop 8, a beefed up version of the compact Loop Mixer the Taiwanese company has been offering since 2017. The new Loop 8 is a handy 8-channel audio mixer with a built-in audio interface. It looks to be a nice fit for setups involving small gadgets like the Korg volca series or the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators.
As the name suggests, the Maker Hart Loop 8 offers a total of eight channels—four mono channels and two stereo channels. The mono channels have mini jack inputs and each one comes with a different set of features. Channel 1 can supply 48V phantom power or 1.5V plug-in power (an XLR-to-mini-jack adapter is included). It also features a built-in echo effect. Channel 2 seems to have Bluetooth connectivity, while channel 3 can accept a Phono input signal. Channel 4 has a traditional gain control. On each of the channels 2-4, a tone control knob allows for some basic equalization. The stereo inputs come with standard jacks, gain controls and balance knobs. Each channel also has a mute button and a short level fader.
Loop 8, without audio loops
The Maker Hart Loop 8 also features its namesake loop function. But don’t get all excited: This has nothing to do with audio looping. Instead, the “loop” inputs and outputs allow you to cascade several Loop 8 mixers using optional cables. Each unit can then be used to create a different mix of the same input signals. This seems like a handy solution for creating different monitor mixes for each member of a band, for example. But we do think that Maker Hart’s use of the term “loop” is just a tad bit misleading.
What’s promising, though, is the addition of a built-in 24 bit / 96 kHz USB audio interface. While we don’t yet know its exact specifications, it probably lets you send the input signals digitally to a DAW and vice versa. Eliminating the need for additional hardware makes a lot of sense—especially in the context of a small, portable setup.
The Maker Hart Loop 8 is now available for pre-order for 145.99 US dollars.