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Ideal Home Studio Mixer

Discussion in 'Recording' started by igotnosmoke, May 23, 2004.

  1. igotnosmoke

    igotnosmoke Active Member

    I want to buy a Mixer for my home studio that will be used to record artists in the near future that is capable of achieving professional results.

    Im basically after something small.. I feel that 14 channels would be enough for the time being...im willing to spend about 300-350 (ebay figures lol) any recommendations?

    Judging by most reviews.. Behringer tends to be critised by everyone and Mackie is generally a favourite... what are other options?

  2. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    Soundcraft M12
  3. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Yes, the general opinion is that Behringer is crap. For home studio I think it's excellent, and much of that anti-Behringer stuff is, I think, hype. I have a Behringer Eurorack 1204 mixer, and I'm completely happy with it for what I'm using it for. I also recently bought a pair of Behringer Truth monitors because within price range, they were way superior to the other products.

    But I'd say if you're in the 300-400$ price range, I would probably be looking at Mackie mixers - they're well known and reliable and generally accepted (unlike Behringer). Figure out what exactly you need - do you need inserts, how many buses do you need, channels, etc, picture how you're going to set up your home studio.

    Don't always believe those reviews. If you get the chance, try the stuff out yourself. That tends to be the best way of determining what is good and what is bad.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    There are no mixers in that price range that are truly "capable of achieving professional results."

    These days the best way to "there" from "here" is to use top grade mic pres and compressors to record and mix in a DAW while using an inexpensive mixer to monitor your inputs and mix cue mixes..

    This (please click here) is the best deal I have seen for a smaller console in the past 2 years. Keep in mind that this is really not that small, it does weigh a lot and will require ongoing maintenance. However, this is a very good sounding desk, designed by MCI as a "remote" console ... BTW, the chips for the mic pre on these consoles can be upgraded to the Hardy 990 op amp very easily ...

    This is a great board at a very good price with lots of features if you can afford perhaps $300 every few months for the maintenance.

    Sorry, it's not hype. I personally have no reason to slam their stuff other than it is usually a ripped off design, implemented in the cheapest way possible. I personally don't give a rats ass if someone buys the stuff or not, it makes absolutely no difference to me. The main problem with their gear is it is cheap designs, built using robotically stuffed, surface mount technology and very poor quality control. We have reports of users having this gear catching on fire in the rack! To boot, IMO this stuff usually sounds like ass! It may work well in a personal home studio setting where it is turned on once a week and used for a couple of hours but it will not hold up under constant use 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week.

    That is great. If it works for you, that is hard to argue with. I have to admit that some of their stuff looks very cool ....

    I agree that no one should purchase anything soley on the basis of any one review... I read them all and then seek out the opinions of people who have used the gear. I then listen for myself and after I have purchased, if I decide it sounds crappy, I return it asap..
  5. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    *lol* Mine hasn't caught fire yet, but maybe that's a miracle - it tends to be turned on much of the time. Also, on my budget (which probably isn't much different from others), I really can't care if something is a rip-off other products built in China using the cheapest components, as long as it works, and this far it seems to. It's a good start, and if one can't afford better it really IS a decent home studio mixer and not nearly as lousy as many people claim. Sure there is a ton of better products out there, but you're gonna pay for it. It's my experience that you get a lot of value for your money when buying Behringer, but it's also cheap as hell.

    That's undoubtedly the best approach. I had almost settled on buying a pair of Tapco S5 monitors based on some positive reviews from well established magazines and review bases - until I heard them and realized that they're among the most horrific monitors I've ever heard.

    Having one piece of quality gear (like a good mixer) won't do much good if the rest is ordinary budget gear. Everythinig has to be the same high quality, and if it's not, but rather some home studio budget standard quality like, for instance, M-Audio or Behringer or cheap cables, then the money could probably be given out much better elsewhere.
  6. Barkingdogstudios

    Barkingdogstudios Active Member

    You can pick up an Alesis 32 mixer on EBay for $400USD. The nice thing about it is that it's a 32 channel mixer the size of a 16 channel mixer, you switch between monitor and record (or mic/lin and tape) with a button on each channel.

    Mind you, I'm only using mine as a headphone monitor mixer but my drum teacher actually recorded his live album using it and it sounds pretty good.

    I only have one piece of Behringer equipment and it sucks (headphone amp), I wouldn't buy anything else from them. If any manufacturer ever embodied the "you get what you pay for" adage, it would be Behringer. As I tried to explain to one of my former band members who was all excited when he picked up a Behringer power amp for $250 USD, it will probably perform just fine until you really need to drive it, then it's true nature will reveal itself. The headphone amp I have has done exactly that. It's fine at low volumes but I have yet to hear an artist say "could you turn my headphones down?".
  7. Todzilla

    Todzilla Active Member

    I bought a Behringer 16 channel single space rack mixer for my keyboards. I figured it would be noisy, but I needed a cheap way to mix lots of keys at once, knowing I would track them in the studio bypassing the Behr.

    Sure enough, it is hideously noisy and poorly built. Still, for $99, I am happy with my purchase. I think it's okay if noise, fidelity and quality are not as important as feature set. Seriously though, I am okay with it for this niche purpose.
  8. golli

    golli Active Member

    I have this one: http://

    And I love it.
    I have used Behr.... and some Mackies and The Allen&Heath just sounds better and every thing about it is better quality wise.
    Mackie and Behringer are a disposable design, they use large printboards (like motherboards), that you can only do so much with, maintenance wise.
    The Allen&Heath, however, is designed like the large format mixers you can take out one channel and repair it or exchange it. And the pots are sturdy and exchangeable.

    All Mackie mixers I worked with have had bad pots, stiff or broken.

    But I also hear good things about Soundcraft, I have'nt used one though.
  9. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    Which make gets the nod for sturdy construction and lack of "ongoing maintenance"?
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I have a Macke SR24 vlz that I purchased in the early 90's... still works, no broken pots or faders. I first used it to track and mix with 2 ADATs in the studio and on live remotes. I used it when I recorded the "Nik Turner Space Ritual" CDs at The Great American Music Hall in SF, for Cleopatra Records. The results must have been good, as I noticed they just re-released the CD. The SR24 was then was relegated as a "sidecar" mixer to mix reverb returns when I purchased my MCI JH 636 and it served that function very well for over 7 years...
    It now is used for mixing phones and monitoring my DAW and for the ocasional live gig.. everything still works perfectly. Built like a tank..

    Kurt Foster
  11. golli

    golli Active Member

    The Mackies I'm referring to are the 24 and 32 ch 8bus series:

    The ones Cedar Flat....F... (can't I just call you Kurt??) is referring to are SR type:

    The SR type has all its connections on the back, which I prefer. But they have the 60mm faders that I dislike, with a passion.

    Of course you can get good things from the Mackies but I would not want to spend money on them.
    And the 8bus series are not built like tanks IMHO.
  12. igotnosmoke

    igotnosmoke Active Member

    cheers guys
  13. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I've been looking around a bit, and it seems the Midas Venice and Crest XR-20 are pretty much the top of the heap. And price range, too.
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Yes, please do just call me Kurt. C.F.F. is a screen name "hangover" from my earliest days on RO, before I became a moderator and administrator. Once I joined RO as a contributing editor etc, I changed back to my real name. But that all got screwed up when the forum format changed and I can't change it without loosing my posting history ....

    On the topic, I think the SR series is the best sounding of all the Mackie mixers I have heard, .. even the 8 bus.. I also like that the SRs have 6 dedicated aux sends, no flip or 3/4 - 5/6 selector, six knobs... 4 of which may be selected as pre send ... great for mixing phones.

    I mix in the box so the 60 mm faders are no biggie for me... The SR 24 is perfect for latency free mixing 16 channels of DAW inputs to mains and to phone cues when tracking. Lots of effects ability, even to the phones and it has a provision for a talkback mic.. it is a great master section for a DAW rig. Another plus is the SR24 runs at 0dB level, effectivly bridging the gap between -10 gear and +4 gear.. It really is a very flexible set up ...

    Kurt Foster
  15. Yo Folks,

    I have been using a Tascam TM-D1000 for the past couple of years. Have had no problems to date with this mixer. Bought it used for $250.00.

    This digital mixer has 16 channel / 4 bus, has OK Pre's( I also have one of the higher end Bellari Tube Pre's, RP520)

    This mixer allows you to hook up with/to standard analog interfaces, comes with 8 channels of TDIF in/out( I connect to a Motu 2408 mkII) You can get an optional card to upgrade to an additional 8 digital channels, 16 total or you can get a optional card/adapter for upto 16 channels of ADAT optical. This also has Spidif in/out. Last but not least there is a 2 channel DSP that includes EQ/Comp/Delay/Chorus.

    These are always available on EBAY $200 to $400 depending on what options they have.

    . WARNING WARNING This mixer does take a little time to learn therfore the manuals are a must.

    Let me know what you folks think of this mixer for the home studio? Does anyone else use this mixer?


  16. golli

    golli Active Member

    Kurt wrote:
    Yes that is another thing I hate (the 3/4-5/6 flip thing).
    THe A&H, all have deticated aux send pots, 6 of them.
    I'm wishing I'd have more opportunities to use the SR line.

    Nice talking to you again, Kurt and give my regards to the bass player. :wink:
  17. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    The new Mackie Onyx 1640 has 6 dedicated Aux sends, no flipping.

    It is shipping Q2, and also comes with a 4-band Cal Perkins EQ circuit. Dunno if good or bad, but probably an improvement over the much maligned 3-band EQ.

    They also included individual EQ defeat, and phantom power for each channel. The compromise was direct outs going from TRS to groups of 8 in DB25 connectors.

    Retail price, the Onyx is approaching the Crest XR-20, which I would opt for in that price range.

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