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8 bus mixers
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author 8 bus mixers
essex sound lab
Nelson Baboon wrote:
But how good are these really? I've never heard of them before.....how old are these?


I can't speak to either one specifically, other than the generally positive comments about them from others. They seemed to fit the bill (other than the A&H being huge and heavy) from a functionality and price-performance standpoint.

Thought I'd point them out while they're available. I need to do my research as well.

The A&H is tempting as I now have the space for it, but I'm a bit reluctant to spend that much on something that could end up either as overkill or a stopgap depending on what I do in the future. If it's been gone through by a reputable tech, well that's obviously a good thing. Needs to be validated.

The Soundtracs could always make for a cost-effective submixer if I go upmarket at some point. The lack of maintenance info on it makes for a lot of questions, though.
essex sound lab
Nelson Baboon wrote:
I've heard great things about the neotek, but they are super expensive...


An ex-GF of mine dated their former president, so I have an irrational, visceral reaction that would prohibit me from getting one. If I could afford it anyway...
consumed
you're aiming down the sights of something ive been thinking a lot about for years.

ive always been, and continue to be, a hardware guy. ive used mixers almost entirely for line mixing only. ive used many mackie desks over the years (1604, 1202, 1402, 24.4 vlz, 16x8 buss). by far the 8 buss was my favorite because the eq was most flexible, with two sweepable bands, one parametric. however, i never got along with any eq on any of my mackies. through the years i learned never to boost, only to cut.

last year i sold my mackie mixers and picked up an old 20 x 8 ramsa mixer. the sound is noticeably different and pleasing to my ears. the three sweepable eq bands are broad, very non-surgical but completely different in quality to mackie. i sometimes boost frequencies and they dont sound nasty like mackie did. the board is much less of a swiss army knife than the mackies were for routing, but i didnt need all of those possibilities as i added patch bays to my setup.

this might sound kind of stupid, but im always interested in how a mixer clips at the input, and ill play with the eq to see what qualities i can get out of it. i am very familiar with the sound of the mackie clipping at the input...its not bad and can be useful, but it always sounds the same. its very very similar to the sound of the doepfer a-119 overloading.

in contrast, the ramsa has an incredible sound quality when driven up into overload. it is so sweet, a gentle overdrive sound quite a ways up the trimpot that adds a lot of girth and tonal shaping possibilities when the eq is manipulated. it feels like a gentle compression is in play as well.

the ramsa is huge though, and weighs like 100 pounds. im starting to have some problems with it now and it needs to be serviced. and for family reasons, i recently decided to downsize, so ill be selling or storing the ramsa for later use. i needed to get smaller and be able to get a clean recording into the computer quickly.

so i recently picked up a midas venice 160. its only a 4-bus with 8 mono and 4 stereo channels, but the eq immediately blew me away...ive never used anything like it. it has two sweepable eqs, none parametric, but you can get very surgical with it. eq boosts dont sound squawky at all...im still trying to find the language to help describe it so forgive the lack of description here.

overdriving the venice sounds a lot like the mackies did...nothing to write home about. but i am very pleased with the flexibility and overall build and sound quality of the venice. ive found that i can live without a meter bridge (as i used and loved on my ramsa and 8 bus mackie). they are not essential unless (i imagine) you are monitoring very dynamic signals and need to see stuff that might be hiding low on the board while recording (im thinking microphones here).

/ramble
Soy Sos
Those large format boards are interesting, sometimes contain higher grade components, but are literally huge and heavy. How many channels do you actually need and does it have to be 8 bus? I toyed around with the idea of a
older console for a while with Neotek, Toft, Trident....etc and settled on the 14x4x2 Allen and Heath and a 6 space lunch box with API, Purple and Speckand lots of patch bay. The A+H isn't super fancy, but it's clean and suits my needs perfectly. I'm very glad I went in this direction.
Ranxerox
Nelson Baboon wrote:


I might be able to fit the soundtracks if I move some other stuff around.

But how good are these really? I've never heard of them before.....how old are these?


I used to have this precise model of desk. They came out in the early 90s and were mostly sold in the UK - original retail price was £14,000!!! It sounded great, but was a bit noisy.

-EQs were very good - not surgical, but effective and pleasing to the ear; sort of 'crispy' sounding, if that makes any sense.
-The channels are separate circuitboards connected by ribbon cables- basically these are exactly the same channel boards as they used on the modular 'Megas' series mixers.
-Faders were a bit cheap feeling, but also cheap to replace if they failed.
-6 auxes, aux 1 fixed pre-fade. Good channel facilities overall.
-Dedicated bus outputs and inserts, plus the channel direct outs could also replicate the bus outs, which was handy in some recording situations.
-Mine was the one with on-board MIDI mute automation, controlled by a Zilog Z80 processor on-board. I never used it much, but it was good for capturing mute 'snapshots' which you could dial up during a mix.
-There was another version that had full automation via VCAs on every channel - the SOLO MIDI, it was called...

Soundtracs were a mid-level professional manufacturer, similar to DDA or Amek. They started to make more 'pro-sumer' mixers towards the end of the 90s (the Topaz series), then abandoned analogue studio mixers altogether and started making high-end digital live-sound boards (the Digico series).

I got rid of mine because it was too big - about 3.5 feet deep, and almost 5 feet long, there are considerably smaller 8-bus desks out there. It ate up the 'sweet spot' in my studio and left me nowehere to put my other gear within convenient reach while still being able to monitor properly.

If you don't need a big desk with loads of inputs for performing maximal live mix-downs, then why go the 8-bus route?

If you don't mind my suggesting, why not consider a smaller 4-bus desk instead? The Amek BCII or Soundcraft Delta desks are fairly ubiquitous, but smaller and more practical, while still offer decent quality, track-count, and the benefits of proper faders, modular construction and subgroup mixing. Just a thought.
essex sound lab
Ranxerox - thanks for the personal insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the Soundtracs. Really appreciated.

The unit for sale on eBay is a Solo Logic which I believe has the automation and VCAs on each channel, based on my brief research.

Seems like a pretty inexpensive way to get a mid-level desk, subject to caveats about age and possible condition...as well as the heft factor that you cite.

But yes, clearly a very different beast than a compact mixer with subgroup mixing and good routing.
Johnisfaster
lessavyfav wrote:
My dream is every piece of gear always routed to any processor at any time...


patch bay?
essex sound lab
Johnisfaster wrote:
lessavyfav wrote:
My dream is every piece of gear always routed to any processor at any time...


patch bay?


Does anybody else find this pithy retort humorous when placed immediately next to Johnisfaster's avatar?
Nelson Baboon
I got used to having each of the 8 buses of the speck plugged into my metric halo 2882. That's the main reason.


Ranxerox wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:


I might be able to fit the soundtracks if I move some other stuff around.

But how good are these really? I've never heard of them before.....how old are these?


I used to have this precise model of desk. They came out in the early 90s and were mostly sold in the UK - original retail price was £14,000!!! It sounded great, but was a bit noisy.

-EQs were very good - not surgical, but effective and pleasing to the ear; sort of 'crispy' sounding, if that makes any sense.
-The channels are separate circuitboards connected by ribbon cables- basically these are exactly the same channel boards as they used on the modular 'Megas' series mixers.
-Faders were a bit cheap feeling, but also cheap to replace if they failed.
-6 auxes, aux 1 fixed pre-fade. Good channel facilities overall.
-Dedicated bus outputs and inserts, plus the channel direct outs could also replicate the bus outs, which was handy in some recording situations.
-Mine was the one with on-board MIDI mute automation, controlled by a Zilog Z80 processor on-board. I never used it much, but it was good for capturing mute 'snapshots' which you could dial up during a mix.
-There was another version that had full automation via VCAs on every channel - the SOLO MIDI, it was called...

Soundtracs were a mid-level professional manufacturer, similar to DDA or Amek. They started to make more 'pro-sumer' mixers towards the end of the 90s (the Topaz series), then abandoned analogue studio mixers altogether and started making high-end digital live-sound boards (the Digico series).

I got rid of mine because it was too big - about 3.5 feet deep, and almost 5 feet long, there are considerably smaller 8-bus desks out there. It ate up the 'sweet spot' in my studio and left me nowehere to put my other gear within convenient reach while still being able to monitor properly.

If you don't need a big desk with loads of inputs for performing maximal live mix-downs, then why go the 8-bus route?

If you don't mind my suggesting, why not consider a smaller 4-bus desk instead? The Amek BCII or Soundcraft Delta desks are fairly ubiquitous, but smaller and more practical, while still offer decent quality, track-count, and the benefits of proper faders, modular construction and subgroup mixing. Just a thought.
Pentachoron
Don't know if you take into consideration where a product is manufactured, but I believe all Mackie gear is made in China, and perhaps the majority of Toft's products are also made there. A couple of years ago I started looking into the Toft ATB 16, until I saw it was made in China. I'm really not interested in paying $5000 for an 8 bus mixer assembled via labor exploitation, and the resulting uncertainty in materials and workmanship quality. But semi-politics aside, as a member wrote above, he wasn't impressed with the quality of what he saw in one Toft mixer when opening it up. In my experience, once Mackie was bought, and shipped production to China, the quality of various models went down noticeably.

As of at least a few years ago, I believe some, if not most A&H mixers were still made in the U.K.
Nelson Baboon
ugh.....

maybe I'll just go all software and sell my analog gear. So much less to think about.
Nelson Baboon
Somewhat anticlimactic, but I decided to try cavalryband's sony mixer (see page 1 of this thread). the worst case is that I don't like it and I will have more $ to spend this winter if I want to remedy that, or simply upgrade. But it very well might be perfect for my deviant usage.
ersatzplanet
I have Mackies in my studio. I used to work there so got them cheap. They are all older ones though. The newer ones are pretty sweet and of course some of them can have the audio interface built right in. The Onyx Series can stream 16 channels at once to your DAW via firewire. There has always been the comments that Mackie mixers are sterile sounding but that just means flat to me. The Onyx mixers are supposed to have "British style" Perkins EQs in them too, whatever that is supposed to mean. I think you may have to go to a store with a portable player and some very familiar tunes on it and just compare mixers yourself. The different sound qualities of a mixer are very subjective. I can attest to the build quality and durability of Mackie mixers though. You pick one up and you can immediately tell they are very solid units.
-James
Pentachoron
Nelson Baboon wrote:
Somewhat anticlimactic, but I decided to try cavalryband's sony mixer (see page 1 of this thread). the worst case is that I don't like it and I will have more $ to spend this winter if I want to remedy that, or simply upgrade. But it very well might be perfect for my deviant usage.


I’m late with this post then, but I’ll go ahead and offer it, for the reference of other members:

I’m not a “MADE IN THE USA!!!” “patriot”, but after spending more time than I’d prefer in the last hour searching for new audio mixers that might possibly not be manufactured in China, this is the best (only) lead I came up with:

http://www.carvinguitars.com/proaudio/mixers.php

Do any members have personal experience with Carvin mixers?
splitpoint
If you want to go low-rent: I've been really happy with my Yamaha RM-800. It was Yamaha's competitor to the Mackie. I picked up the 24 channel version for $400 and it was one of the best purchases that I've made. It's huge, it's heavy, but it's also clean and quiet. Here's the review from back in the day:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1996_articles/apr96/yamaharm800.html
CalvaryBand
You'll enjoy the Sony.

The only thing I've had fail from me made in Japan was constructed ages ago. The Sony was made in Japan like basically all of the stuff in my studio sans some German and American stuff. I have had no luck with Chinese stuff, nor newer Mackie stuff in general.
thetwlo
also, as someone else mentioned the Soundcraft 200b, although older mixers will likely require at least a tune up. The Toft looks great but I heard the early models had some issues, hopefully all better now. As for a difference, for your type of work I suspect you WILL notice a difference over something like a Mackie. They will have a very different character when over driven, of course they'll have a bit of a different character anyway, esp. with the EQ. If you can something with input transformers that will help also, or it's not a bad idea to hit a nice DI first(Jensen/Radial) which will give you more headroom and you can saturate, and then even use the pre-amp(or mixer's pre if it's nice) to add more color.
bphenix
If you haven't found anything yet, you may want to look for the WZ20:8:2.
http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/Products/pages/DiscontinuedProductDetail s.aspx?productId=WZ2082

Rackmount, 20 inputs, 8 bus mixer. I was visiting a friend last week in Seattle and he had one and loved it (he downsized from an A&H GL3).
hbc
bphenix wrote:
If you haven't found anything yet, you may want to look for the WZ20:8:2.
http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/Products/pages/DiscontinuedProductDetail s.aspx?productId=WZ2082

Rackmount, 20 inputs, 8 bus mixer. I was visiting a friend last week in Seattle and he had one and loved it (he downsized from an A&H GL3).


I've got one of these and it is awesome. A lot of mixer in a small package. Only problem with mine is that I tore one of the ribbon cables that connect the back to the desk. It's a weird flat ribbon. Trying to sort that out now...
sonicwarrior
Hainbach wrote:
The Tofts do sound nice, especially for the money they cost. I have looked inside one or two and there where some issues with panel alignment and the way everything fit together. Not very precise.


How long ago was this? Were these Toft mixers from the first batch that is being said to have had build issues (see https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=888703#888703)?

I'm searching for an upgrade on my old Behringer MX-2642 Mixer but I don't want to trade crap with crap and when reading through forums almost everything seems to be crap when you can't spend 50K or don't have the space for an old heavy console. hmmm.....
Hainbach
sonicwarrior wrote:
Hainbach wrote:
The Tofts do sound nice, especially for the money they cost. I have looked inside one or two and there where some issues with panel alignment and the way everything fit together. Not very precise.


How long ago was this? Were these Toft mixers from the first batch that is being said to have had build issues (see https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=888703#888703)?

I'm searching for an upgrade on my old Behringer MX-2642 Mixer but I don't want to trade crap with crap and when reading through forums almost everything seems to be crap when you can't spend 50K or don't have the space for an old heavy console. hmmm.....


That was from the first run that hit Germany, don't know how long ago. I have no idea if they ironed out the problems.
Hainbach
Just had a look at the Toft website - looks like they upgraded the consoles.
sonicwarrior
Great, thanks for the information. thumbs up
calaveras
Thought I'd necro bump this thread as I am going through a similar dilemma.
Part of me want's to get a really clean line mixer like the SSL.
The other part of me wants an old Soundcraft.
The only thing my two personalities can agree on is that my 40+ year old back doesn't want a PM1000 again. Nothing that weighs more than I can carry myself up a flight of stairs.

(I'm mostly just posting because it says page 1 of 2 and I can't get to the 2nd page).
MindMachine
I think an old Speck and Speck Buss 8 (or maybe just a Speck Buss 8) would work. Or Speck Xtramix.
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