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Looking for high quality mixer for small studio

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by iani, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. iani

    iani Guest

    I am consulting a group that wants to build a small but professional quality studio. We are going to be recording small ensembles of ethnic and experimental music. It will be equipped with Protools HD3, Prism converters, Brauner and Neumann top of the line mikes, an array of pure vacuum tube preamps, compressors etc, Lexicon top of the line reverb. My question is: What would be the recommended mixer to get as "heart" of this studio? I only have experience with Tascam's DM3200 and DM4800.
    Questions are:
    Would a Yamaha be better?
    What would any more expensive digital mixer have to offer?
    Should we go for Digidesign's Pro-Control or other DAW Controller and forego the mixer altogether, relying on the ADDA and Protools to do the work?

    Iannis Zannos
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I am confused...You have invested in all of this relatively high-priced gear and are asking about what console to use? Hmmm...
    My personal experience is to stay the hell away from Tascam these days. They don't offer good customer service, they drop products after relatively short production runs, and they aren't really competitve in the audio quality department, either. Yamaha has them beat on all of that:
    Reliability, customer service, and bang-for-the-buck quality.
    And in regards to the dedicated console vs. DAW workstation approach, this is a matter you and your "clients" are going to have to work out. I don't see why you would need a "mixer" when you're going with PT and have all of that outboard gear...
  3. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    I do not understand this statement:

    Are you acting as a consultant to them, or are you using them as consultants?

    Either way, whichever one of you is the consultant on this project should already know the answer to your question...
  4. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    And if your consulting , Dont you think you should have all your ducks in arow before you go and hire out as a consultant?
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Guys, guys , guys, no slamming the newbies..... 8)

    Lets assume that all he needs is a name and number.

    Okay. What is the purpose of the mixer? Are we using it to track through? Are we using it as a 'warmer' for mixng the digital tracks? A summing amplifier? When you say high-quality, are we talking Neve level? Used or new? Number of holes in it? Does it need mic pres?

    Theres a lot of questions to be asked when determining such a thing. Clarity in asking such questions will seriously ease off the rankling of the compatriots. :wink:
  6. iani

    iani Guest

    Thanks Dave for being a gentleman, but it's all right. I am a used n00b trying to behave :oops:
    'K now:
    -This studio is being built by a cultural organization in Turkey, and we get some government funding for it not plenty. I am part of the group but not a seasoned sound engineer so I need to build up my expertise to do the job, which is why I write here in addition to asking all friends and acquaintances that I can reach in my part of the world. The rest of the group mentioned are musicians and scholars, not engineers.

    - I am using a DM3200 at the small studio we have where I teach and I am quite used to it. I know the manual is abysmal and so is the panel interface mostly, but it does its job, and so far I have been able to get around and have had no problems. Point is, the Tascam also doubles as control surface for Protools, and as firewire interface. So we can use it as mixer, controller, interface. So we can use ProTools but also Logic or Max/MSP or SuperCollider, for recording but also for other studio work. For the money left in our budget, I think we must go for the Tascam at this stage, because we need to have a dedicated mixer so when volunteer interns come in they have something to work on and learn basic mixer skills. Even the Yamaha is out of our reach or perhaps of my own predilections and priorities at this stage. The only alternative at this stage is to drop the tascam and go for a controller. But it would have to be around 5000$ max.
    Any suggestions?

    - Also I am asking to get an idea of what a decent small studio mixer would be, preferably even above Yamaha level - because we will have to get one at the next stage of our funding, within a year or so, so I want to start orienting myself in this field. I have looked at Neve, SoundCraft SSL etc. but they are all way expensive and mostly oversized. Isn't there anything between Tascam/Yamaha and Neve/SSL? Finally: At this stage I will be looking at any gear that will enable us to get the best sound, regardless of price, so as to be prepared when going for further funding. But the gear cannot be too large as the studio space is relatively small.

    My other big headache is how to connect all the stuff - especially the tube effects - so as to avoid using any of the TASCAM - or other mixer's - converters, while relying as far as possible entirely on the ouboard gear's converters and audio connections. The point is to be able to use the compressors and other effects or processors when recording as well as during editing or finalizing to disc.
    If you know any books or online resources that explain the configuration of such gear for recording / editing / post production that would help.

    The big question remains though: Mixer or Controller? And I need to be able to assess what that entails to make a responsible decision in the months to come about stage 1 (no expensive console), and to know what to go for in stage 2 (possibly expensive console).

    Iannis Zannos

  7. Hey Iannis, my opinion is that depends of what you are looking for...
    agility with the pro tools commands?
    the vantage of the affordable total recall and automation + extra dsp with digital consoles?
    or to mix with that 'killer sound' with a top analog summing mixing??
    well, this is just my opinion, ok!
    sincerely I think controllers something dispensable...
    like a mouse/keyboard 'de luxe'
    doesn't add anything to your sound or your dsp power...
    so, the indecision could be between the digital console and the summing mix.
    well, my passion is analog sound, so if the question was mine, the answer would be clear... a 8816 from ams neve, or a passive folcrom using all your great preamps and analog rig...

    but also is undeniable the great facility of a good digital console...

    well, I don't know if this helps you... but good luck in your mission!

  8. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    oh for crying out loud....get a Mackie Onyx and be done with it already.
  9. iani

    iani Guest

    I feel a Mackie Onyx would be a bit out of place with the other gear I mentioned. It will be quite a task to configure the gear to work with Protools and the Tascam into something that a sound engineer can work with to record and mix. So we'll probably get the Tascam to have something to build and test around, while looking forward to some type of hybrid analog consoles / DAW controllers (e.g. SSL AWS900 or Neve Genesys) for the next stage.

    Iannis Z.
  10. iani

    iani Guest

    Thanks it was helpful, but I think these summing mixers are too specialized for the studio I mentioned. I thing a hybrid console / DAW would be more appropriate, and since SSL and Neve have been building these recently that is the avenue I want to investigate.
    Iannis Z.
  11. Glide

    Glide Active Member

    Wow - What a shame - I have never seen a forum (and I frequent quite a few) where there so many guys that sit and wait to jump on a guy that asks a simple question. When I saw the title of this thread I got really excited about reading it and then just saw an ignorant "pile on" that actually did nothing productive at all.

    Iani - If you find some good information concerning your question someplace productive please private message me with it. I would really like to know what you find out.

  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Well, you are sorta mistaken about the piling on.... No one meant any harm and as you dont have a lot of time here I understand how on a quick glance it would seem so. Iani is obviously a serious gear person and we all want to aid him in his search for the proper combination that fits his budget as well as his needs. He wasnt very clear early-on and he knows that, and since then things have settled. So please dont mistake a communication quark for rudeness. There arent many rude people here.....unless you count me.
  13. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    DDog wrote:

    I figure I've got about >edit< :twisted: posts left before I can start being rude...

    I think my post above was quite logical, actually...
  14. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    And I was simply looking at it from a business point of view.. Dont jump in with both feet before you have all your ducks in a row..They could come back to bite you!
  15. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    To be fair, Jerry, He is working on getting his ducks in a row.

    I personally jumped overboard at the word consulting.

    Sorry Iannis, I was having a bad day.

    I apologize, and offer a Yamaha DM2000 as an example of a good, solid, well built digital console.
    I've never used one to control PT (I think they do), but if you are looking for quality Yamaha's up there running with the big dogs. I've never been disappointed with their products.
    I spent many a long day, and even longer nights mixing live sound on their older PM3&4K desks, and still would prefer one of them over some of their newer competitors that I'm forced to use today...
  16. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    Well I guess I looked at it this way , Im not going to offer Home improvment services and design , if I dont know alll the in and outs of home improvement.

    Iannis original question left me with the feeling that he was in over his head and was looking for a (help me save my ass) answer. Now , after reading his second post, it was more of a indecsion of what console to use,
    which I felt he already knew the answer ..
  17. Glide

    Glide Active Member

    Great stuff Bent, ...Thanks!
  18. natural

    natural Active Member

    well, We've discussed AMEK before and in addition to their 40 input BIG console , they also made a smaller 24input version.
    Good quality and can be found used from time to time for under 8k
    You might want to ck out http://www.soundbroker.com/ for such things.
  19. natural

    natural Active Member

  20. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member


    Very simple and transparent.

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