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Best Mixer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Anthem, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Anthem

    Anthem Guest

    I have posted some noise concerns of my Alesis Multimixer 8 on another thread. I am still looking for a solution to that, but I have a feeling it's my mixer.

    I am just getting started in recording audio books at a home studio. I have a PR40 mic and some nice Beyerdynamic DT770 headsets, but getting the great sound of my voice (ha!) from the PR40 to the recording program is causing me fits. Again, I think it's my mixer.

    For my type of recording, I really only need 1 level in for the mic, but I doubt they make something that small (4 or 8 I guess is okay if that's as small as they make them).... I am NOT really on a tight budget (around $1000 is probably max, but LESS IS BETTER!), so I'd like to get something that's VERY VERY nice for my relatively simple needs that is as close to ZERO NOISE as possible...

    I would also like more than 3 levels on the EQ since my voice needs, well, some help, and I'd rather do most of the EQ'ing from the mixer.

    I have firewire on my computer, and of course USB2.0... not really sure which is better. Either way, I need a "noiseless" mixer.

    What do you all suggest? And thank you in advance!
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Dumb question: why are you so stuck on having a mixer at this stage? To do a serious book recording, you need to get a strong, clean signal to the medium. A good signal chain:
    Tight-patterned mic>>clean transparent mic pre>>recorder/soundcard.
    You also need to have a proper environment to do this in. All of the EQ in the world will do you no good if you have a crappy room.
    Personally, I tried a Heil PR40 last year, and wasn't really impressed. It wasn't that quiet around my computer monitors, and the 'sound' of it was a bit too hyped at both extremes for a 'natural' sound. I ended up sticking to the E-V RE-20 for many reasons.
    Instead of using a typically mediocre mixer. try a good stand-alone preamp, like the Grace 101. When used with the RE20 in a decently-treated room, this rig will do it without artifacts. If you HAVE to have a mixer, look at the Mackie Onyx line with available Firewire interfacing.
    I believe you when you say that you suspect the Alesis mixer. BUT twisting all the EQ knobs you can grab is NOT the answer, either.
  3. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    it could be a number of things. but i've noticed that those multimix units arent the best.

    but... if you'll be doing this on the computer then you dont really need a mixer.

    i'd say get yourself a preamp and/or 2ch interface. do all your levels, eq, and effects on the computer.

    if you're set on having a mixer, check into the Mackie Onyx line of mixers, particularly the Onyx1220 in your case. great preamps, and firewire to boot!

    also, given the choice between USB and Firewire, go with FW for sure.
  4. Anthem

    Anthem Guest

    Please excuse my ignorance, but I got the mixer because some guy at the music store said I absolutely needed it as a step to get from the mic to the computer. He never mentioned anything about a preamp....

    So, maybe I should change the thread to "what's the best preamp" for audiobook-type recordings! Geez!

    So a mixer isn't needed at all? Sorry for the dumb questions....

    I want to keep this as simple as possible, but with great sound quality.

  5. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    the mixer has a preamp in it (actually it has one for each xlr channel), but for the low price of the mixer, you can be pretty sure it's a pretty lame preamp.

    with a mixer you'd be paying for lots of stuff that you dont need.
  6. Anthem

    Anthem Guest

    Thanks, RSD. I guess I will have to change my search from a mixer to a preamp.

    Thanks for everyone's help with this!
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I think what you need is to hear the Recording.org Anthem?

    Da da da dah, don't listen to the music store dudes. Dudy dudy dude. If they knew dude? Like I know dude. They wouldn't be a music store dude. Doody doody dude. Just listen to us at Recording.orgy. Orgy. Orgy. Orgy.

    All you need is the DBX 286, vocal processor. Other companies have similar units. It contains a quiet, quality Phantom powered, microphone preamp with high pass filter. Limiter. Expander. "De-Esser". EQ. And a Edirol UA-1ex, line level, 2 channel, USB 1.1, audio interface. Total cost, under $500. And Audacity shareware. No mixer needed or wanted!

    That part about your acoustic space....yup, you'll want some wall stuff too.

    Just remember, if your book talks back to you, see a doctor quickly.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  8. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    actually remy, i work at a music store and i know my stuff.

    i suppose that what Remy means is to take everything with a grain of salt if you get advice from a music shop because not everyone knows everything.

    good luck!
  9. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    (Dead Link Removed)
  10. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    what IIRs said is perfect.

    for ease of use and dirt cheap start ... the onyx sattelite.
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Well sure, rockstardave. There are good music store sales guys and there are clueless music store sales guys. Most have the latter. But even with that Mackie Satellite, he'll still have to do his EQ, compression/limiting, downward expansion, in post instead of in real time on the way in. I thought because of his understanding, experience and skill level, he would be better suited with a dedicated vocal processor? I think it would also save him time and frustration? But that's just my opinion.

    In goes the good sound. Outgoes the bad.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  12. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Exactly the opposite: with the Satellite the only thing you can set wrong on the way in is the mic gain. From then on everything happens non-destructively and can be undone if needed.

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