Small Mixers

Discussions about things that aren't synths, but are related to music production, like recorders, mixers, effects, etc.

Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:33 am

What kind of mixers do folks use for synths? I've got a Behringer ten-channel mixer. It's crammed with features, but it produces this consistent little crackling noise. I think I can get by with something small (six-channel, maybe), ideally with an effects loop. The main requirement is quietness.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Sacred Synthesis » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:15 am

I use a Mackie 1202 VLZ3. I've used this mixer for about five years now, and I find it exceptional. It has an effective three-band EQ, and is very quiet. It's also quite simple in design - which is important to me - with no built-in effects, but it does have a stereo effects send, which is where I insert my Lexicon MX 300. I can get six stereo channels out of it, or else, four stereo and four mono. At times I could use another stereo channel or two, but keeping the instrument set up limited only to what the Mackie could handle has become something of a standard for me. The Mackie is also built like a tank - metal, solid, and quite heavy. I'd highly recommend this mixer to anyone who wants a simple, direct, sturdy, and clean-sounding mixer.

http://www.mackie.com/products/1202vlz3/
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:14 pm

Thanks! The Mackie 802 is definitely on my short list. The Behringer served me well when I was playing in a band and needed to mix instruments live. But now I want to do some recording, which I haven't really done for years, and the shortcomings of a cheap mixer are suddenly apparent. At this point, I have the instruments I want, and it's time to pay attention to recording.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Bald Eagle » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:25 am

If you are going to be recording maybe you should consider an audio interface. I use a MOTU 896 and love it. MOTU has less expensive versions too. Plenty of I/O. Nice PC based mixer software. Can also be used standalone if you want.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:58 am

Audio interface isn't a bad suggestion. But if there's one area in which I'm a total Luddite, it's DAW. I sequence on an MMT-8 and record audio (so far) into a Tascam DP-004. The MMT-8 because I've used an MMT-8 for 25 years (yikes!!) and it's like an extension of my brain at this point. I'm pleased with the Tascam's quality, but I expect to upgrade some day.

I've tried various DAWs used by friends (Ableton Live, Cubase), and I've never felt comfortable enough to pull the trigger on choosing one. I use a computer all day at work, and music is a way for me to get away from that. I do use Finale, but that's a whole different world.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Paul Dither » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:58 pm

I use a Mackie 1202 VLZ4. Although it's its successor, I'd say the same about it as Sacred Synthesis said about the VLZ3.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Leviathant » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:17 pm

Currently I run everything into my M-Audio ProjectMix IO. I've got a patch bay that's normalled in such a way that my most frequently used gear is always running to the eight channels in the ProjectMix.

Having said that, I did just buy a Sound Workshop 1280b, with meter bridge and upgraded internals. It's my experimental venture away from mixing in the box. It cost a bit more than a Mackie 1202 :| Literally picking it up tonight from the studio that was selling it.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby natrixgli » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:42 pm

I also have the Mackie 1202 VLZ3 and not only does it sound great, it has very flexible routing for it's size and price range. The AUX bus is what drew me to it, it's nice for sending channels to a device like a sampler, recorder, etc.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Razmo » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:28 am

I've had very good experiences with Mackie mixers. They usualy give plenty of routing options, are not overly expensive, and have a quite nice sound in general.

I've come to like the ONYX series best though, so I can recommend any of those. The old brand of them without built in firewire are just as good as the new ones with firewire in my opinion, and the old brand have become quite inexpensive on the used marked lately.

Personaly I'm using a Mackie ONYX 24.4 analog mixer. 20 mono channels, 2 stereo channels, 2 AUX stereo returns and 4 sub groups. This works nicely for me, though I quickly run out of channels :roll: ... have been thinking about getting the 32.4 several times actualy, but it seems to not be in production anymore unfortunately.

Besides this mixer, I just ordered a Behringer RX-1202 mixer for use exclusively with my JoMoX AiR Base 99 drummachine's individual outs, but I don't know how good this sounds yet... but if it's as good as the Behringer RX-1602 I'll have no complaints.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Sun Aug 31, 2014 6:23 am

I'm looking at the Alesis MultiMix 8 (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MM8USBFX).

I've always been pretty pleased with Alesis's stuff. They've never used the best stuff, in terms of knobs and sliders and chasis, but the electronics inside are usually pretty good. The MultiMix 8 is (roughly) the same price as a Mackie 802VLZ, but has effects and can double as an audio interface. I might try my hand at DAW again.

I'm still weighing the rock-solid-build-quality of the Mackie versus the flexibility of the Alesis.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Razmo » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:53 am

I just redicided on the Behringer RX-1202.. I did not like the sound quality of this, so I ordered an old used Mackie LM-3204... they are pretty cheap, but typical Mackie "build like a tank" line mixers with 16 stereo channels.... there really is nothing like it available today, and it's the perfect companion to anyone who wants to mix many stereo and mono synths together, but still have a bit of EQ and AUX sends. And if you're lucky to find an expander for it, it can have 32 stereo channels... you can "polychain" these beasts as many as you want.

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Re: Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:03 am

I've totally given up on Behringer. It's not even on my radar, as I'm not sure they are even capable of producing a low-noise mixer.

The Mackie looks awesome, but my studio is minimal and always will be. I'm almost--almost--at a level where a Mackie 402VLZ would suffice, but that seems too ascetic. Almost. Huh...
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Razmo » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:57 am

chysn wrote:I've totally given up on Behringer. It's not even on my radar, as I'm not sure they are even capable of producing a low-noise mixer.

The Mackie looks awesome, but my studio is minimal and always will be. I'm almost--almost--at a level where a Mackie 402VLZ would suffice, but that seems too ascetic. Almost. Huh...


Behringer is usualy at hit or miss experience... some of their products are actualy very decent, and extremely good if you take price into account... the 1202 was a miss though, but funnily enough, their RX-1602 is a hit... sounds very transparent and crystal clear... unfortunately it's too limited for my usage because it does not have enough AUX sends, or any EQ.

Also their ADA-8000 (and newer ADA-8200) are really really good devices... I also have their TRUTH B3030A monitors and these sound really good as well.

So if ever considering Behringer, just google for reviews to find out if it's good or bad... the biggest problem can be to find any reviews at all though.

But I'm certain that Alesis is just as good quality, if not even better.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:48 pm

Well, I went with the Mackie 802. It's big enough to do whatever I want to do, but not too big, and it enjoys consensus praise that's rare among any kind of product. Thanks, everyone, for the input!
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby dslsynth » Sun Aug 31, 2014 5:58 pm

Sounds like a good choice, chysn! I have been looking at it myself as well. But currently no gear shopping so I have to stick with my Tapco Mix100 distortion unit. . o O ( :shock: )
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby chysn » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:58 pm

dslsynth wrote: I have to stick with my Tapco Mix100 distortion unit.


Um... I guess you always need to admire functional versatility in a piece of equipment.
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby dslsynth » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:55 pm

chysn wrote:Um... I guess you always need to admire functional versatility in a piece of equipment.

Maybe said expression is has just a little touch of humor? Its certainly not a Mackie and while its fine enough and not too bulky. And the sound quality? Well I mostly used it with recording via my computers microphone input so...! . o O ( :o )
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Razmo » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:25 pm

dslsynth wrote:
chysn wrote:Um... I guess you always need to admire functional versatility in a piece of equipment.

Maybe said expression is has just a little touch of humor? Its certainly not a Mackie and while its fine enough and not too bulky. And the sound quality? Well I mostly used it with recording via my computers microphone input so...! . o O ( :o )


Tapco is in fact Mackie ;) ... it's a name they brand a series of cheaper mixers under as far as I've read...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TAPCO

Greg Mackie was the founder of Tapco... he's also the founder of Mackie :)
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby dslsynth » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:05 pm

Razmo wrote:Tapco is in fact Mackie ;) ... it's a name they brand a series of cheaper mixers under as far as I've read...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TAPCO

Greg Mackie was the founder of Tapco... he's also the founder of Mackie :)

Yeah I know. But maybe these designs had to have a different name for some strange reason!?

;-)
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Re: Small Mixers

Postby Razmo » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:23 pm

dslsynth wrote:
Razmo wrote:Tapco is in fact Mackie ;) ... it's a name they brand a series of cheaper mixers under as far as I've read...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TAPCO

Greg Mackie was the founder of Tapco... he's also the founder of Mackie :)

Yeah I know. But maybe these designs had to have a different name for some strange reason!?

;-)


You mean, that it had to have that because it was crap'ier quality? ... maybe, I don't know, but according to the Wiki he designed Tapco before he designed Mackie... but of course that does not mean they do not use the other name because of the quality... afterall there must be a reason, otherwise I see no point in releasing gear in two different names.

Still... quality is a relative thing. Some prefer old SSL and Neve... say they are superior... I just think they have a different sound, and some seems to like that sound... some people hate Behringer, but they make many decent products anyway. Many praise old vintage synths for their dirt at grit... it should be like that with mixers as well.

I just ordered that LM-3204... should be in the mail tomorow, and that's an older brand of Mackie than my current ONYX 24.4 console... I admit I'm a little nervous if the quality seems worse to me than the ONYX, but I have to test it out because the small rack format, chainability and stereo configuration REALLY would be perfect for my kind of use... I may even sacrifice a bit of "quality" for changing to this, just for the simplicity and features of this mixer.

If I can just find an expander for it, I'd have 32 stereo channels in 10 units... not a very good way to stop GAS I'm afraid... what to do with all these unused holes :? (no dslsynth... input jacks... in a mixer... not women sockets :lol: )
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