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8 bus mixers
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author 8 bus mixers
Nelson Baboon
It looks like i will have some stuff sold, and I would really like to have a 'real' mixing console, to output into my audio interface.

I'd like the flexibility of an 8 bus mixer...

My starting point is a Mackie - these seem to be available pretty readily used....

What exactly am I gaining by going more 'high end' if I am doing pretty much weird synth noise. I am willing to spend more than on the Mackie, but I want a clear notion of what I'd be gaining. I suppose that goal would be flexibility for recording through the audio interface, and capturing the best sound quality. I'm not sure that paying extra for top quality eq is really necessary for my application, but I could be convinced.

Recommendations welcome.
Dunno particular models, but Allen & Heath tend to live around the same prices as Mackies (I think?!) and I've always liked their mixers. Got a good sized 4-bus earlier this year for not too much $$$.
Nelson Baboon
Thanks - some of their mixers tend to live at much higher prices too....but they generally have a very good rep (I think). This is not an area that I know too much about.
the areas of main differences with mixers are pre-amps and eqs quality along with the harder to quantify summing 'sound'.

you probably don't care about the pre-amps. for eqs, i prefer the allen&health over the mackie in the range you are talking about. some mixers handle mixing multiple hot signals better than others. with a lower quality mixer, as the mixer is pushed it starts to sound squashed. some call it muddy. at one time, i would have classified the mackie sound as slightly dark. i haven't used anything they have made in the past 10 years so i don't know if this is a quality that can be attributed to them but i did sell my mackie 8 bus for a A&H GL2200 and was very happy with the upgrade.

if you don't need pre-amps or eqs, a great option is the Speck Ultramix. you can find sometimes find them for pretty reasonable rates used. some don't like that they use knobs rather than faders but it would be a nice fit along side your serge panels.
Nelson Baboon
Curiously, I have an old, original version ultramix. I'd much prefer a console that's laid out on my desk with faders, but my primary reservation with it is that it distorts very easily, and the volume that it sends to my interface is very low. I'd need to pay him to get it all fixed up, but I'm not sure I want to throw money at it.

I've never used a mixer with good eq's, so I'm not sure how useful I'd find them....
I was thinking the same thing about a mixer recently. I'm happy enough routing the synths directly into a Profire 2626 -and can even softsend to a TC M one FX, but I miss the hands on and EQ sculpt of a good old console...and an 8 bus one would be cool for recording non midi sequenced multis simultaneously.
Thing is though, I've set my sights on something way above what I can afford just now. I've used Mackies and Soundcrafts in semi-pro setups but the sound of pro consoles is noticeably a step up.....and there's little point in using anything else if summing is also something you want to do.
This is probably out of your price range too, but have a look at the Toft Audio desks.....the 16/8 comes in about £3000, but there is a 4 channel mini thing that has direct outs on each channel at about £1300.
A boy can dream I suppose.
Nelson Baboon
Well, actually, there are some tofts on ebay at what look like reasonable prices. Once you get into that price range, there are other choices also (allen & heath, others?)

If my $ comes through I could probably do something like this, though a new toft would be just out of range unless I spent everything I had on it.
A Toft isnt an SSL or Audient, but its better than an Allen and Heath - I've used A&H's and they're ok but a Toft has better EQ and a velvet sound quality (if you know what I mean). A+H mixers seem to be aimed more at live sound these days anyway (unless you go up to broadcast ranges).
Wonder if there's any Toft owners here on MW?
Nelson Baboon
hmmm - but there seems to be a class of A&H mixers that is in the same price range as toft. Don't have model #'s in my that what you mean by the broadcast ranges?
I have a soundcraft spirit rac pac mixer which I got pretty cheap used. It is not high fi but it sounds pretty good even running hot and is super flexible. I got it because I was wanting more sub mixes without going over 24 tracks in. It has 6 subs, 2 pre fader and 4 returns, 2 stereo. Last week I saw at my local show what I think is a monitor mixers, a lot are smaller but with lots of sub mix options. My dream is every piece of gear always routed to any processor at any time...
had a look at the website - nah, their latest broadcast desks look like budget jobs, There's only one model that I can see that is aimed at studio recording, and it has AD/DA cards in it. The rest are live FOH or Foldback consoles.
Thing is, I'm sure some of the live consoles are great, but if its pristine analogue signal paths you want, then a studio console is better. Older A&H consoles tend to be a bit hissy as well, from my experience.
I've seen that Toft have the Chemical Bros endorsing their desks, but I wont hold that against them too much evil
(for the record I had a MixWizard at home back in the mid 90's- which was a very flexible desk but developed serious issues after a few years and wasnt worth the cost of repair (Allen and Heath's words, not mine!))
A&H make great sounding desks IMHO. If you can find an older Saber, they are excellent. The new ZED ones are good value.
Mackie I never liked for some reason.
Speck are really good as mentioned by bphenix

I could't work without subgroups. My D&R has floating groups which mean any channels can be group masters and it's very useful
If you can find one used, they are great value. Mine is probably overkill, but I couldn't resist a bargain. Full patch bay, 32 mono channels, 12 stereo channels, 8 aux, full meter bridge and stand in top condition for €3000 can't be sniffed at.
Nelson Baboon
Fuck. I have someone (whom I greatly respect) saying that I should get a mackie or something, and that the difference in sound won't do anything for my insane noise stuff...

On the other hand, I find myself very tempted by: -/290583097296?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a81a2fd0 (though 24 channels is probably overkill, and it doesn't have the meter bridge, and do I really need one, etc)

or faultDomain_0&hash=item2a12bcf0a7

Any thoughts? Sequencers I'm confident about. Something like this, I"m not....
Those Tofts are nice, I know little about this stuff too, but 24 channels is gonna take up a LOT of space, plus you may want a couple patchbays, which means rack space.

I have a Mackie, CR1604. It was used on tour by BlindMellon to write and use for the guitarist. It's very no frills, sounds fine, but takes up so much space that I rarely use it. I end up using the mixer in the Motus with a CMLabs Motormix running Cuemix 99.5% of the time. The EQ section in my Mackie is kinda "meh". I'd rather have parametric EQs on each channel, but that's only gonna happen by moving over that decimal point on hoe much I spent.

What about a rack mixer, w/o EQs or Mic pres. Although those also seem to be either cheap and almost disposable or super expensive boutique items.

I'd love this thing or something like it eventually:
Nelson Baboon
ah - the fatbustard looks cool.

I really want the ability to easily use faders to bring stuff in and out. A line mixer just doesn't seem convenient for that purpose to me.

The 16 channel toft that looked attractive sold as I was chatting with the guy. Damn. It was really nicely price, and that's likely why.

I might go for the 24 channel. I'll have to look at the dimensions. I might be able to do it by moving some stuff around.
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. Still, a good sounding boad.

If I where to out of the box, I would get an old Studer and have that refurbished. These are high quality, very transparent and good sounding little desks. Little wonder every techno producer in Berlin scans eBay like mad for these little wonders.
essex sound lab
Nelson Baboon wrote:
The 16 channel toft that looked attractive sold as I was chatting with the guy. Damn. It was really nicely price, and that's likely why.

I watched it go last night, and wondered if you were the one that had picked it up. Damn...yes, great price.

I'll be curious to see what you do as I'm weighing similar choices.
Not quite a Toft, but Soundtracs made some very nice 8 bus mixers which go for the same prices as Mackies do. They are generally regarded as far superior though. I have a Soundtracs Topaz 24:8:2 and have no complaints at all. The EQ is very usable and 'warm' sounding. The pres are good but not amazing (good enough for synths and drum machines, maybe not for vocals or anything with extreme detail).

For the money I paid (£500), it's an unbelievable bargain. That's £21 per analogue channel strip. Guinness ftw!
The unit I have, the Sony SRP-V110, is a great mixer. It sports 8-buss sends, 8 aux sends and sweep-able mids. I managed to scoop it up a while back in some corner of eBay, certainly not the music section if I remember correctly. They're not common, not by any stretch of the imagination as they were about $2k and only available via Sony's Pro Audio division. A link to the manual is here. If you're still looking for one, I'd be up for selling mine simply because I've gotta make my setup more mobile.
Nelson Baboon
Don Hassler (whom I greatly respect and is a member here) is telling me that I probably won't notice a difference given the music I do between something like a toft, and a much cheaper thing like a mackie. This is really what I wonder about.

I like to record stuff 'live' and then not add much processing afterwards. I can't see how having some decent eq on the way in can be a bad thing. But I have no experience with good mixing boards, and certainly I've never been in a situation where I can a/b them.

Then you get into shit like this - I should have just jumped on that toft that sold yesterday. The others aren't as good dealwise - there is another for fairly cheap, but it has 'scratch pots'. He says you can just clean them, but then - why doesn't he do that before he sells it? That sounds like bad news to me, but again, this is not something I have experience with...
essex sound lab
Nelson Baboon wrote:
Then you get into shit like this - I should have just jumped on that toft that sold yesterday.

I hear you. I became mildly interested after you posted the link, thought "wow...great price, how can you go wrong?" and then <boop!> it was gone.

The others aren't as good dealwise - there is another for fairly cheap, but it has 'scratch pots'. He says you can just clean them, but then - why doesn't he do that before he sells it?

I find that pretty annoying, too. Same with missing knobs and sliders that are "easy to find". The lack of interest/effort on the seller's part causes me concern about other issues that may have slid. And who wants to buy something that they immediately need to go through hoops to make right?

Here are a couple of more listings that you may find interesting. Not insanely great deals by contemporary measure, but pretty amazing when you consider what you get for your money with older consoles.

Soundtracs Solo Logic 32x8x2 651#ht_500wt_1187

Not sure what your space issues are, and it's likely overkill, but this looks pretty sweet:

Allen and Heath Saber Plus 40 w/ patchbay

Both would be pricey to ship, I would guess. Doesn't keep me from daydreaming though. I'm pretty seriously considering the Soundtracs but there's a lot of questions to ask.
Nelson Baboon
The allen & heath is obviously too big.

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 old are these? The seller doesn't have much feedback, etc....and obviously it would need to be packed fantastically.

Likely if it is a really good mixer at that price it will go quickly, which means that I should research. But then have to leave for work. Damn.
if you haven't looked at them, do check out soundcraft desks. i intern at a recording studio and i've gotten/been forced to try a number of different desks, often when working remote. to my ears the soundcraft boards sound better dollar for dollar than allen and heath, mackie (although the onyx series are nice; i've only used one once), and others. i've never tried toft sad , didn't really like orem, and really like the neotek we have at the studio.

i'm pretty young and inexperienced, but i just thought i'd share my thoughts. my ears aren't golden either, so add a pinch of salt.
Nelson Baboon
I've heard great things about the neotek, but they are super expensive...
i was told we scored ours used, but no it wasn't cheap. it's a pleasure - you can crank the eqs and they still sound musical (+8 @8k baby), and the pres are very good. the chief engineer of my studio told me a story where he was talking to rupert neve who asked him what desk he worked on. neve responded, "oh, very nice console. not as nice as mine... but very nice."
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