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Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK Vs. Behringer ufx1604
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Soundcraft Signature 22 MTK Vs. Behringer ufx1604
miles_macquarrie
Hello Friends,

I have never asked to do a vs. comparison before, but I'm on the verge of selling my Soundcraft Signature MTK 22 for the behringer and I am hoping for some insight.

I use all hardware with the exception of recording audio. I've attached a photo of my studio for reference. I'm using some sequencers with mpc live being the main hub, a couple roland boutiques, a digitone, which I just got and love so far, and a pretty small eurorack system.

My main musical interests are Minimal Synth (or Minimal Wave or Cold Wave or whatever you want to call it) and electro while I also love experimenting with ambient and all sorts of different styles on the modular.

I've bought an sold a good bit of things in the last few years and I feel really good about my current tools now, except the lack of I/O with the soundcraft.

I like the sound and love the simple group outs which I have a stereo pair going directly to the mpc live's input for really quick and easy sampling or recording from any channel. I also like that you can record (AND SEND) all channels to and from the computer.

I want to start recording to cassette and there are no monitor or tape outs on the soundcraft. I don't really use plug ins and there are no inserts. There is only one headphone output and when recording vocals, the two on the behringer is much more ideal.

The main downfall that I can see on the behringer is that it only sends for channels back from the computer so I would have to mix in the computer, which I think I could get used to.

I know a few other members swear by the Soundcraft here so talk me out of it!

Anyone using the behringer with good results?

Thank you in advance for helping me decide what to do here.

Cheers,
Miles

TechForze
Personally I think that going to Behringer from a Soundcraft is a step back in quality. Also I do not like mixing in the computer.
Have you checked Mackie (VLZ 1642) or A+H (mixwizard 16*)?
hsosdrum
My only experience with Behringer mixers is with one I bought about 16 years ago. I was never satisfied with its sound (the EQ in particular was tinny in the treble and thick in the bass). I replaced it with a Soundcraft and the difference was night and day, both sonically and in build quality. Unless Berhinger mixers have substantially improved in quality over the last 15 years I would look to another brand for the features you need.

And really, what's the point of buying a nice mixer if you're going to have to do your mixing in the computer? Buy a mixer that fulfills all of your needs, not just some of them.
dubonaire
Are you using both sets of group outs? If not you can route everything to one of the group pairs and record to cassette from that pair.

That doesn't solve your headphone issue.

The MTK signal path is primarily designed for using the DAW as a plugin insert host in my opinion. If you don't use it that way maybe consider getting an Allen & Heath ZED series mixer.
Moskowitz
My buddy has a B mixer and I always thought it sounded like crap. I would never support that sweatshop mass produced gear mentality anyways so I guess I am biased.
SoundPool
agreed that you shouldn't step down to a Behringer. if the routing of the MTK doesn't suit your needs and you want to sound like old Absolute Body Control or of similar fidelity why not pick up a vintage board and tape deck or reel to reel? one thing to consider too fidelity wise is you can always step down, but you can't step up after the fact. try out something like a portastudio first and see if for sure you are happy recording everything to that fidelity as your top quality master.

also you talk about mixing- consider if you go direct from a board to stereo cassette you'll be losing out on overdubbing and mixing completely. if you want to actually be able to mix after the fact then you should be looking at old multitrack units like Tascams or multitrack tape for better quality. but keep in mind that tape machines will need tape as well as maintenance, which means $$.

for my purposes the MTK offers the best of both worlds- if I record into reaper and mix on the board and bounce back to a stereo master I view it as working on the mixer more than the computer- once it is set up you can practically ignore the screen completely while mixing and focus on your ear. then once you are happy you could always bounce to tape to get that sound put on the final mix at least.
ramos808
The behringer sounds good from all accounts.

The fact is records all channels separately to USB makes it pretty fun to use

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/behringer-ufx1604
JohnLRice
TechForze wrote:
Have you checked Mackie (VLZ 1642) or A+H (mixwizard 16*)?
thumbs up

I'd say look at http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/wz4-16-2/ It's a little more money then what you have now or the Behringer but may be well worth it?

Actually, I haven't used one of their ZED mixers but take a close look at the ZED-18 which is the same price as the Behringer
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed-18/

I have an older model MixWizard 20S which I would highly recommend if you can find a gently used one (or be very lucky and find a B-stock/refurb like I did for $400! eek! w00t )
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/mixwizard3-20s/
miles_macquarrie
Thank you everyone who has taken the time to reply here!


dubonaire wrote:
Are you using both sets of group outs? If not you can route everything to one of the group pairs and record to cassette from that pair.


I admit I didn't think of this and why I asked here. Great idea.

dubonaire wrote:
That doesn't solve your headphone issue.

I just looked and there is a splitter for $30.00 seems like an easy fix there, so I'm going to keep this mixer for now.

dubonaire wrote:
The MTK signal path is primarily designed for using the DAW as a plugin insert host in my opinion. If you don't use it that way maybe consider getting an Allen & Heath ZED series mixer.


I saw a post a while back in the "game changing gear" thread where you mentioned that the mtk22 and cirklon were the big changers to your workflow. I'd love to hear a bit how you're using the "insert host" to your advantage.

Thanks,
Miles
miles_macquarrie
SoundPool wrote:
agreed that you shouldn't step down to a Behringer. if the routing of the MTK doesn't suit your needs and you want to sound like old Absolute Body Control or of similar fidelity why not pick up a vintage board and tape deck or reel to reel? one thing to consider too fidelity wise is you can always step down, but you can't step up after the fact. try out something like a portastudio first and see if for sure you are happy recording everything to that fidelity as your top quality master.

also you talk about mixing- consider if you go direct from a board to stereo cassette you'll be losing out on overdubbing and mixing completely. if you want to actually be able to mix after the fact then you should be looking at old multitrack units like Tascams or multitrack tape for better quality. but keep in mind that tape machines will need tape as well as maintenance, which means $$.


for my purposes the MTK offers the best of both worlds- if I record into reaper and mix on the board and bounce back to a stereo master I view it as working on the mixer more than the computer- once it is set up you can practically ignore the screen completely while mixing and focus on your ear. then once you are happy you could always bounce to tape to get that sound put on the final mix at least.


Yes, I love Absolute Body Control and that lofi sound. Good point about being able to step down in fidelity but not up. You and Dubonaire have convinced me
miles_macquarrie
The multitrack direct from mixer is a main need of mine.
I've always wanted an Allen & Heath and the zedr16 looks great, but it is 2k and is 10 years old at this point. I keep hoping that they will come out with a new multitrack usb analog mixer, but each year it doesn't happen.

The zedR16 is the only one that sends all channels to a computer for recording, right?


JohnLRice wrote:
TechForze wrote:
Have you checked Mackie (VLZ 1642) or A+H (mixwizard 16*)?
thumbs up

I'd say look at http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/wz4-16-2/ It's a little more money then what you have now or the Behringer but may be well worth it?

Actually, I haven't used one of their ZED mixers but take a close look at the ZED-18 which is the same price as the Behringer
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed-18/

I have an older model MixWizard 20S which I would highly recommend if you can find a gently used one (or be very lucky and find a B-stock/refurb like I did for $400! eek! w00t )
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/mixwizard3-20s/
dubonaire
miles_macquarrie wrote:
I've always wanted an Allen & Heath and the zedr16 looks great, but it is 2k and is 10 years old at this point.


10 years old doesn't really matter when it's an analogue mixer.
dubonaire
miles_macquarrie wrote:
I saw a post a while back in the "game changing gear" thread where you mentioned that the mtk22 and cirklon were the big changers to your workflow. I'd love to hear a bit how you're using the "insert host" to your advantage.

Thanks,
Miles


If I had unlimited finances I'd have racks of hardware. But I don't, so I use plug-ins as inserts in Ableton Live. I have an Allen & Heath submixing my drum bus into the MTK and I use waves plugs to process that. I send Auxes through an Evenitde H9 as well as the A&H FX. I run my modular through an nw2s:IO into the MTK. I EQ and do live dubbing with the MTK and do some other processing with plugs. I run MTK Auxes through Strymon Big Sky and Capistan, and run both of those back into MTK channels which I can live dub as well.

I may have changed this but it looks something like this

ramos808
FireWire is old news though
JohnLRice
miles_macquarrie wrote:
The multitrack direct from mixer is a main need of mine.
I've always wanted an Allen & Heath and the zedr16 looks great, but it is 2k and is 10 years old at this point. I keep hoping that they will come out with a new multitrack usb analog mixer, but each year it doesn't happen.

The zedR16 is the only one that sends all channels to a computer for recording, right?
I do't think that's the only one? hmmm..... At least I know you can get a $300 USB2 option card for the current line of MixWizard boards:
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/usb-audio-option/

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

Plugs Into 12:2, 16:2, 14:4:2 WZ4 Mixers
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz Sampling Rates
24-Bit Resolution
19 dB of Analog Headroom
20 dB of Digital Headroom
20 to 20,000 Hz Frequency Response
Sends 16 Channels to Computer
Returns Two Channels for Monitoring/FX
32- and 64-Bit Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
OS X 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8

The sends are a little different depending on which version MixWizard you have:

WZ 12:2 Audio Routing
Mono channels 1 through 8 (direct out)
Aux outputs 1 through 6 (post level)
Left/right insert sends or AB outputs (post level)+

WZ 16:2 Audio Routing
Mono channels 1 through 14 (direct out)
Mono outputs 15 and 16 (direct out) or AB outputs (post level)

WZ 14:4:2 Audio Routing
Mono channels 1 through 10 (direct out)
Groups 1 through 4 (insert point)
Left/right insert sends or Matrix outputs (post level)

So depending on model you'd be looking at $1200, $1300, or $1649 new cost for a MixWizard4 with USB card.

EDIT: Note that I haven't tried this option card or read any pros/cons on how well it works or not so please research before buying! thumbs up
miles_macquarrie
Thank you for posting that chart! I love seeing how other people have their studio routed and it seems like you've put a lot of thought into yours.

Can you insert an a plug in effect on the master of the soundcraft mtk22 from the computer? I'm thinking a tape saturator plugin on the master would be a good move for me.



dubonaire wrote:
miles_macquarrie wrote:
I saw a post a while back in the "game changing gear" thread where you mentioned that the mtk22 and cirklon were the big changers to your workflow. I'd love to hear a bit how you're using the "insert host" to your advantage.

Thanks,
Miles


If I had unlimited finances I'd have racks of hardware. But I don't, so I use plug-ins as inserts in Ableton Live. I have an Allen & Heath submixing my drum bus into the MTK and I use waves plugs to process that. I send Auxes through an Evenitde H9 as well as the A&H FX. I run my modular through an nw2s:IO into the MTK. I EQ and do live dubbing with the MTK and do some other processing with plugs. I run MTK Auxes through Strymon Big Sky and Capistan, and run both of those back into MTK channels which I can live dub as well.

I may have changed this but it looks something like this

miles_macquarrie
JohnLRice wrote:
miles_macquarrie wrote:
The multitrack direct from mixer is a main need of mine.
I've always wanted an Allen & Heath and the zedr16 looks great, but it is 2k and is 10 years old at this point. I keep hoping that they will come out with a new multitrack usb analog mixer, but each year it doesn't happen.

The zedR16 is the only one that sends all channels to a computer for recording, right?
I do't think that's the only one? hmmm..... At least I know you can get a $300 USB2 option card for the current line of MixWizard boards:
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/usb-audio-option/

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

Plugs Into 12:2, 16:2, 14:4:2 WZ4 Mixers
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz Sampling Rates
24-Bit Resolution
19 dB of Analog Headroom
20 dB of Digital Headroom
20 to 20,000 Hz Frequency Response
Sends 16 Channels to Computer
Returns Two Channels for Monitoring/FX
32- and 64-Bit Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
OS X 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8

The sends are a little different depending on which version MixWizard you have:

WZ 12:2 Audio Routing
Mono channels 1 through 8 (direct out)
Aux outputs 1 through 6 (post level)
Left/right insert sends or AB outputs (post level)+

WZ 16:2 Audio Routing
Mono channels 1 through 14 (direct out)
Mono outputs 15 and 16 (direct out) or AB outputs (post level)

WZ 14:4:2 Audio Routing
Mono channels 1 through 10 (direct out)
Groups 1 through 4 (insert point)
Left/right insert sends or Matrix outputs (post level)

So depending on model you'd be looking at $1200, $1300, or $1649 new cost for a MixWizard4 with USB card.

EDIT: Note that I haven't tried this option card or read any pros/cons on how well it works or not so please research before buying! thumbs up



Thank you for posting this! I was not aware of the usb card option and will do some more research.
Cheers,
Miles
ablearcher
Sort of off-topic but the above mention of Absolute Body Control got me interested and I checked them out... Holy crap, great stuff!!

And yeah, this is in the strange category of lo-fi that sounds absolutely glorious. Quality analog mixer, nice synths, and a decently calibrated vintage tape machine for sure. Don't know if you can get there using digital in the middle of the chain but if you do make sure to use high quality converters and individual tracking so that you've still got all the nitty gritty good stuff and then just sum it once in the analog realm when you slam it to tape.

this doesn't sound like something recorded though a berhinger to a modern portastudio, thats for sure.
calaveras
I'll add to the chorus of folks saying that Behringer is a step down in quality. I'd also say the same for Mackie. Mackie mixers are good if you do not use the EQ at all. Their mixers are generally clean, reliable and don't add artifacts. But the EQ is just garbage.
Behringer is trying to use the halo of Midas to sell their mixers now. Midas used to make some very good stuff, but I am not sure how much of the Midas heritage makes it's way into the Behringer mixers. I'd gamble not a fucking lot.
If you have the space, and inclination, you might be better served by an older Soundcraft, A&H, Ramsa or Soundtracs. These older mixers are going for a song right now, and they have all the inputs and outputs you could want. On the downside they are often the size of a twin mattress.
lilakmonoke
stay away from behringer mixers ... unless you want to perform seriously lowfi but brilliant techno!

here is one of those pieces of crap in between a portastudio and a mc-909:

tony d
Hi Miles. i'm trying to decide between these 2 and wondered if you did indeed buy the Behringer? If so how do you like it compared to the Soundcraft?
Thanks



miles_macquarrie wrote:
Hello Friends,

I have never asked to do a vs. comparison before, but I'm on the verge of selling my Soundcraft Signature MTK 22 for the behringer and I am hoping for some insight.

I use all hardware with the exception of recording audio. I've attached a photo of my studio for reference. I'm using some sequencers with mpc live being the main hub, a couple roland boutiques, a digitone, which I just got and love so far, and a pretty small eurorack system.

My main musical interests are Minimal Synth (or Minimal Wave or Cold Wave or whatever you want to call it) and electro while I also love experimenting with ambient and all sorts of different styles on the modular.

I've bought an sold a good bit of things in the last few years and I feel really good about my current tools now, except the lack of I/O with the soundcraft.

I like the sound and love the simple group outs which I have a stereo pair going directly to the mpc live's input for really quick and easy sampling or recording from any channel. I also like that you can record (AND SEND) all channels to and from the computer.

I want to start recording to cassette and there are no monitor or tape outs on the soundcraft. I don't really use plug ins and there are no inserts. There is only one headphone output and when recording vocals, the two on the behringer is much more ideal.

The main downfall that I can see on the behringer is that it only sends for channels back from the computer so I would have to mix in the computer, which I think I could get used to.

I know a few other members swear by the Soundcraft here so talk me out of it!

Anyone using the behringer with good results?

Thank you in advance for helping me decide what to do here.

Cheers,
Miles

jahreed
i'm just going to post this here and remind everyone that my mfr refurbed 1604 cost me $450

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/behringer-ufx1604
dubonaire
jahreed wrote:
i'm just going to post this here and remind everyone that my mfr refurbed 1604 cost me $450

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/behringer-ufx1604


Sound on Sound reviews are not much more than product brochures.
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