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Best 32/8 recording mixer under 3k.

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by realdynamix, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Not kidding, an ambitiuos young studio owner expressed that his client's, before even considering doing business, ask "How many tracks you got on your board?".

    This is common to a particular culture of Island Hip-Hop. So, I told him I would ask around. I told him to get the best one you can, within your budget.

    Any suggestions?

  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Not a lot of choices. You might want to scout out the used stuff or see what a broker has in the back for an oldie but goodie. Otherwise there is the used market for Mackie, Behringer, Tascam 2600 MKII, A&H GS3200, Souncraft Ghost and mabe a few others I'm forgetting or missing.
  3. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Thanks Gaff!
  4. Clueless

    Clueless Guest

    Man have things changed! I remember when all you needed was two turntables and a microphone!
  5. BarefootStudios

    BarefootStudios Active Member

    I have a Studiomaster 32/8, and find it to be a real workhorse.Sounds great and bult like a tank Listed new about 6000.00. There is a used one on ebay for about 1500.00! Well woth it. Barefoot
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The biggest difference in the plethora of consoles like this available is the amount of aux's and monitor buses.This can be anywhere from two to ten depending on the manufacturer.For pure sound quality, for me its limited to Soundcraft,A&H,Ramsa,Yamaha,TAC,and AMR.There are others especially the mid-frame sizes of the big-boys stuff.Also a premium in price there but worth looking into.
  7. themidiroom

    themidiroom Active Member

    I would think with so much digital recording, a console(if you elect to have one) would only need to have as many channels as you expect to record at any given time.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I would agree with the previous post. These days, the most and cleanest way to get there is to mix in the DAW. All you need a console for anymore is to mix phones and latency free monitoring. Save the dough and invest in great mics, pres and compressors for the "front end".
  9. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :D Thanks for all the input; I relayed this info to him.
    I must admit, the "all show" part of what he desires is a bit strange :?: . I suggested that if you do this, why not get the best within your budget, and really use it? He selected and purchased a Behringer. Apparently, a computer isn't enough flash to impress his clients, and just bought a 2K ornament :shock: .

  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    :!: well.....there ya go.
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I need zero to sixty in four seconds, but I only have twenty bucks.
    Any ideas?
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Things are changing. Now days I myself am more impressed when I walk into a studio and it is lean and sparse. Unless the desk is something in the order of a Neve or SSL, all I want to see is a rack of "front end". Cheezy mixers are not a plus in my pov.

    IMO, the very best value is a Macke SR24 or a SR32. These four bus mixers from Mackie to me, seem to have the best sound of the entire Mackie line. I had a 1604 here to compare to the SR24 side by side and the SR24 was much smoother sounding with much better headroom. All I can figure is the power supply must be better in the SR24's (no science, this is just a guess).

    Another thing I really like about the SR series is that they have 6 aux sends, with the 3/4/ 5 & 6 being dedicated, not switched between the 3/4 or 5/6 sends. The first two aux sends are pre fader and the 3/4 are switchable between pre or post fader. This still leaves the 5 & 6 send for effects sends while you can mix 4 mono or 2 stereo headphone cues.

    There are two pairs of stereo channels also which work perfectly to return the DAW mix into the monitor path. These little mixers are the closests thing to perfect for monitoring exsisting tracks from a DAW while monitoring new tracks with no latency.

    I still would not pass any signal through it however that is going to the DAW unless I had absolutly no other choice. Monitoring only!

    Kurt Foster
  13. Labs

    Labs Guest

    Things are changing. Now days I myself am more impressed when I walk into a studio and it is lean and sparse. Unless the desk is something in the order of a Neve or SSL, all I want to see is a rack of "front end". Cheezy mixers are not a plus in my pov.

    I dunno. I just got mackie 8bus really cheap (400$) for my DAW setup. Its an immense improvement to what i did before, and not just an ornament..

    Not considering actual mixing.
    1. I now have a talkback system that works. (Not just a mic with an on off switch. Guess how many times a guitarist has said something about a vokal performance he probably shouldnt have believing the mic was off)
    2.I now have monitor mixes. I have only done one session since i got it, but the drummer was surprised to hear a yes when he asked to get the drums out of his headphones..Usually small time places dont have that option, (Even larger places here..maybe because the engineers cant be bothered )
    3. I now have all the splitters i want. Just run a bass into one channel. split it to amp/DI etc
    4. I now have a way of just putting tom mics into one channel when their not really needed but the drummer insists to have a huge mic setup. (Will be good on some sessions)
    5. I now have a way of putting mixes onto the desk so musicians can turn a knob/fader or two to let me know what they want at some points (As i said, only one session with this, and the musicians were good, dunno if 5 will be a good idea with everyone)
    6.I now have a monitor fader at my fingertips.
    7.I now have a monitor switch at my fingertips..

    and 8. .....the bling bling effect...noone knows what an SSL is here. hell,,,,i dont even really know..so not just having a comp and a rack of strange stuff, but actually a mixer will bring up the performance of some bands Im sure.

    Im sure Ill come up with more in time.

  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Oohh factor (or as Gustav said "bling bling"), is a consideration to the uninitiated but anyone "in the know" will understand that the lack of a large control surface or mixer directly in front of the monitors is a real plus.. this is why I myself am more impressed with the lean and sparse look.. Large flat surfaces create undesirable reflections in the "sweet spot". If you are catering to morons then a Mackie 8 bus would IMO, be in order.

    As for the talkback, the SR 24 and SR32's provide these features as well and there are other much less expensive solutions available these days. As for Gustav's comments regarding summing this is something I would not do unless I had no other choice. The Mackies do irreparable damage to the sound IMO and I would do the best I could to prevent any signal I was recording from passing through one.

    Kurt Foster
  15. Clueless

    Clueless Guest

    I second the notion that Mackies do irreparable harm to the sound, but disagree that any console in the room is necessarily a bad one. The right console, for the right reason is, to paraphrase the Henry Ford quote, the right console. Just 'cause Mackie hits a price point doesn't mean it hits the mark (except, as you say, to those not in the know). My approach is: find the right console for the job, and when you do, save up until you can afford it.
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I agree with Clueless that a great console is a good addition to any studio. However these boards cost mega bucks to purchase and keep maintained. Anything in the "affordable" catagory is designed to a price point and will more than likely do more harm than good to the audio. A small mixer to mix phones and monitor through is one thing, but unless you are conseding a Neve, SSL, Euphonix or something like that, IMO it is a waste of money and only creates reflection problems in the monitoring position.

    With the prevelant use of DAW as a recording medium, mixers are built into the program already and any hardware mixer is just redundant. Unless a mixer is of the best pedigree with a sonic signature that really enhances the signal, it will most likely do you more harm than good. Save your dough and buy better mics, pres and compressors for your front end.

    Kurt Foster
  17. Clueless makes some really good points here. With all the talk about DAW mixing Vs. Inexpensive(midas, mackie, soundcraft, etc.) Analog Desk Mixing, it would be interesting to here a mix of the same tune by the same person. One done in the box, and another done on the desk. Could anyone do something like that without letting their bias deliberatly sabotage one methof or the other?

  18. Clueless

    Clueless Guest

    Robert, to answer your question directly, no, I don't plan to try to put together two sorts of mixes for a side by side, in part because any time I spend mixing is really precious to me, and I spend that time mainly for me. Sorry to be selfish.

    Which brings me to a related subject that I posted about some time ago (either here or in a different forum): it's not just about sound, but about time. When I was playing around with the Mackie, it took forever to get stuff to sit right. With the Venice, it was stunning to me how much easier it was to apply a tweak and say "yep, that's it. Next!". If you really want to do a side-by-side comparison, the challenge would be: what's the best sound you can get in 3 hours on a Mackie vs. 3 hours on another setup. That was, for me, the big eye-opener.

    Which brings me to agreeing and disagreeing with Kurt on the outboard stuff. I have a pretty rich outboard setup: ISA 430s, Distressors, Avalon preamp and DI, and even a GML. So far so good. To gain the benefit of that kit in a reasonable amount of time, you need a board that works with you, not against you (or at least stays out of the way). Try doing more than one loop from the DAW through outboards and back into the DAW and you'll know the meaning of latency (and how many different ways a few milliseconds can really mess with sound). Similarly, try summing $25K worth of outboard stuff across a Mackie and you'll know the meaning of not happening. At least that was my perspective.

    P.S. Perhaps I don't know the meaning of latency-free because I'm a loser using MOTU DP instead of Nuendo (that has automatic delay compensation). Is Nuendo really the solution for my problem?
  19. Clueless,
    I have seldom seen a more appropriate nick-name. Don't apologize to me. The suggestion was made for anybody who might be interested in doing something like this. There are quite a few people who are willing, and eager to give back something to the forum. It was not a request asked specifically of you, and I think that's fairly obvious.

  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    An interesting challenge by Robert.....The main problem with this would of course be the preference of the specific mixer.Everyone, even those with access to both mediums, would have a preferential method of working and this would,even with controls, be a skewed result.And without a good listen of the selected material in its raw form, it would be an opinion of one only.Raw tracks mixed to completion is, of course, only a small slice in time and can be done a myriad of ways on any given media and this, to my mind, negates any comparison to the two methods.One is not simply better than the other,but simply a way to an end.The general public does not care about the methods used to arrive at a pleasing representation of themusic they choose to listen to so this point is only important to the engineer.I will agree that a console that allows the user to achieve a sound quickly and one with quality is an important tool to have.I do know that latency in DAW systems increases with the amount of effects and channels used.This would drive me crazy.All of the rest of the "Whats best...Whats better" discussion is simply opinion and preference and should be viewed as such by all concerned.

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