Mixing Board Question (Please Read)

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Mike Miller, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Mike Miller

    Mike Miller Active Member

    Hello, im new to the forums and wanted to ask a few questions. Over the past few months I've dedicated alot of my time to music/producing and have put together a home recording studio/setup with a compression booth (It's turned out very nice for what I've put into it). Anyway here is my question I have a 4 channel mixer Mackie 402-VLZ3 Compact Audio Mixer and more Unpowered Mixers at GuitarCenter.com. and dont get me wrong the this Mackie is amazing for the price. It's preamps compare to a $500-$1000 unit, but there is one problem I've realized I need more channels (I was very new to recording when I purchased this). I was wondering would it be possible to buy the very same mixer and run it infront of this mixer so I would have 8 channels (The setup would be VLZ3 output to other VLZ3 input then output to Lexicon then lexicon output to 8 channel headphone amplifer. (For monitors, headphones etc) Any answer or feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    You would be far better off to just by a Mackie Blackbird. It doesn't do you any good to run to 402's in sequence. Or upgrade to a 1640 Onyx. That would give you a mixer with 16 simultaneous channels.
     
  3. Mike Miller

    Mike Miller Active Member

    Thanks, yea I could kick my self for purchasing that I was really new to the whole home studio scene, but what would you say to this. Mackie 1402-VLZ3 Premium 14-Channel Compact Mixer and more Unpowered Mixers at GuitarCenter.com. It's a bit more in my price range around $430.00 The 1640 Onyx is around $1100.00 :/ and sadly I just cant afford that much.
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If you are recording then I'd go with an Onxy board. The preamps are superior in my opinion to the XD preamps in the VLZ series. If this is strictly for PA work then the VLZ series is fine. Just make sure you get as many channels as you need this time.
     
  5. Mike Miller

    Mike Miller Active Member

    Well, I believe I would only need around 8 channels. For what reason would I need more then 8? (If any please point them out) The only reason I need to expand now is to mic drums with around 6-8 mics.
     
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Only you can prevent forest fires. er.....wrong commercial.

    Only you can know how many channels you need and how many you might need in the future. In either case, Onyx series if you are recording and either Onyx or VLZ for general PA work. If you are just looking for sub mixer into a bigger PA board then there are options like the Rane MLM42 or MLM82.
     
  7. Mike Miller

    Mike Miller Active Member

    Thanks alot, looks like I'll be getting rid of all the game systems and paintball guns around here for this thing :p Looked at some reviews of the Onyx and they all seem promising.
     
  8. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    You may not see the need yet, but the channels can be eaten up very quickly if you have enough mics and gear...

    I've found a huge benefit in recording multiple sound sources for a single instrument so I can pick the best one or blend them together in the mix. This can eat up your channels fast!!

    6-8 channels for drums
    2-3 channels for a single electric guitar (mic front and rear of cabinets and a direct signal)
    1 or more for lead vocals
    2 channels for acoustic guitar (mic live acoustic and a direct signal)
    2-3 channels for bass guitar (mic front and rear of cabinet and a direct signal)
    ----
    16+ channels

    ** backing vocals can be dubbed over later and you could use less channels if you record each instrument individually, but then you're resetting the gain structure all the time which is a pain if you got them just right for a specific instrument.
     
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    mdb is accurate in his description of how channel count can blossom. But again, we can't make those decisions for you, only advise to plan for future needs. Buy once cry once.

    As to levels/settings/etc on mixing boards:
    Get yourself a small notebook to keep with the mixer. Log with date and time all your sessions and what went on each stick and what each rotary or fader's setting was. This may seem tedious or unnecessary but this is how professionals learn their gear foremost and are able to repeat settings from past sessions as they add to or remix or even for use as a template for repeat customers. I would also include instrument info and what mic went with what instrument/channel and what positioning was used.
     
  10. Mike Miller

    Mike Miller Active Member

    Thanks a ton guys! The direction given has really helped me.. this forums seems awesome. Anyway off topic, but I found a plugin called Voxengo Voxformer and its only $69.96/USD its simply amazing "Voxformer is a multi-functional vocal channel strip plug-in for professional audio applications." You guys have to check this out for recording vocals!
     
  11. Mike Miller

    Mike Miller Active Member

    Hey guys just wanted to post that I ended up going with a Behringer Eurodesk SX2442FX. I got it for a really nice price at guitar center the list was $600.00 I traded in the old Mackie VLZ3 for $30.00 and got another %10 off for there trade in trade up promotion. The sales man also pulled some strings and got me $75.00 pro coverage for $30.00!
     
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Good luck. You'll want it.
     

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