best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

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best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby bestlegs » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:47 am

Hi all,

I am looking for mixer recommendations for an analog mixer to use with my Tempest, pro 2 (on preorder), volca bass and volca keys. Other that number of channels, is there anything else i should look for? this is my first mixer purchase :D


Also, is it best to get a mixer or should i get a sound card with enough inputs for this? my current sound card only have 4 inputs. I figured I could record the main outs of the mixer through the inputs of the sound card (unless it's equipped with a USB interface). To get individual instruments recorded, i would just record one at a time. tedious, but saves money. Are there any cons to this method? Significant loss in audio quality?


Thanks in advance for the help :mrgreen:
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby Razmo » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:08 am

Well... if you intent on using the individual outs of the Tempest and other machines, then I'd seriously recommend that the channels have EQ and AUX sends if you want to process the individual outputs... prefereably with insert points on the channel for easy insertion of external effects as well. Without this, an analog mixer seems pretty useless.

You could record straight into a soundcard and record in "layers", and do the processing "in the box", but this method has both pro's and cons... it's nice to be able to record the same machine over and over again, and thus not needing an arsenal of synths, but the editability of the recorded material is greatly compromised, as you cannot just move notes about etc.

Unfortunately there are not many rack mixers meant for usage with sythesizers that sport stereo channels, EQ, AUX sends and Insert points at the same time, so the only route to go really, is a tabletop mixer... these usualy has mono channels though, so you'll have to dial in two channels for every stereo synth.

The closest to a perfect stereo mixer for synths that I know off, is the now discontinued LM-3204 from Mackie... but it's old, and has to be bought on the used marked.
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby natrixgli » Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:59 pm

Also if you're planning on hooking the Tempest 1-6 voice outputs to your mixer, familiarize yourself with how the outputs work 'cause it's a little funky. There's a sticky in this thread that explains it. (Personally I leave 'em unhooked unless I'm tracking something with beat rolls or other beat-wide FX in real time)
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby xanax » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:58 pm

Go for a Mackie 1402... you'll have 4 stereo channels for your gear + 6 mono for individual outs. You also have ALT outs that you can connect in tandem to the main outs to your 4 input sound card, and quickly route to via mute/alt buttons for separate tracking..
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby bestlegs » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:34 pm

thanks for the replies. how would you guys rate an Allen and Heath mixer vs. a Mackie? i think i've narrowed it down to a few options:
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed60-14fx/
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1402VLZ4/
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby Razmo » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:48 pm

bestlegs wrote:thanks for the replies. how would you guys rate an Allen and Heath mixer vs. a Mackie? i think i've narrowed it down to a few options:
http://www.allen-heath.com/ahproducts/zed60-14fx/
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1402VLZ4/


It's one of those topics where you really won't get a proper answer... some people like Mackie's better (me for instance), other's like the A&H more. It's like debating Logic vs. Cubase etc.

But in general, I've felt that the Mackie's routing options and configuration fits my needs better than the A&H... but the A&H definitely is not a bad mixer either.

The best way for you to figure it out is probably to buy the one which sounds best to you... and make sure you can deliver it back if it does not cut it for you, and then get the other instead.

But about the Mackies... I've had different brands from them, and the ONYX PreAmps definitely sounds best to my ears... also the British EQ on these sound better to my ears, so I'd definitely suggest to get a Mackie with ONYX PreAmps if you're going for a Mackie... I'm not sure the VLZ4 range has the British EQ though... have not heard it to be able to judge on it... I know though, that older Mackie EQ's were not that good.
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby MiniDX » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:34 pm

Do you really need a mixer ? I use a Roland Studio Capture with the software mixer, and it works even when the computer is turned off.

I have a tempest plugged with all the individual outs + about 8 other synths and i have a pro-2 coming soon.

The sound is great btw.
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Re: best mixer for Tempest and upcoming Pro 2

Postby namnibor » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:17 am

Even though I have tons of inputs and outputs on the audio interface I use, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, even ADAT, and a comprehensive "Scarlett Mix Control Software", I too prefer hardware and have an all hardware synth set-up with racks and keys, I still love to work with "summing rack mixers" and you can find some older, solidly made devices and even new old stock on ebay from time to time that meet all the criteria in having fx levels send/return/eq on each channel and the one I have actually 2 of also was made specifically for keyboardists and at the rear, separate from any mixer functions, they actually have a midi merge with 1 midi in and 3 midi thru/outs and just this one was made by Kawai, the MX-8R. Can be had for $150.00 and absolutely love it quiet, and on one of the two main FX sends you can choose pre/post fader even.

Another one with similar set-up for keyboardists and also 2 rack spaces sized, it just does not have the midi merge on rear like he Kawai, is a new old stock Fostex 2016 Line Mixer.

These mixers have both TR/TRS and RCA input/out choices, so not needing as many adapters for things. I use summing mixes of synths in arrangements where I am not concerned about tracking those particular things as far as creating a midi track as well as an audio track in DAW because I am more than likely using midi sync/clock anyway to keep everything talking to each other.

This way I can fully control FX levels and type on the fly when playing hardware in real time. I went this route because I personally did not want to deal with a few patch bays...just me. Others love 'em. Hope this careful research I did with finding keyboard-centric summing mixers that I can then feed their main out puts to my audio interface helps to some degree.
Oh, I should mention my aforementioned audio interface *can* work standalone as a mixer, however you configure/route things in "mix control software" so such an audio interface, whether it be USB like mine or Firewire, could suit both purposes for your needs.
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