please recommend a 2 buss system for my setup

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by ZZTop, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. ZZTop

    ZZTop Guest

    Hello folks,
    I have a nice board for the studio. But I need a small 2-bus mixer for live work. I really would rather have the rackmount stuff. And I really only want a 1 or 2 space rack mixer with stereo outs.

    Here's my setup...
    API3124+
    Vipre
    GreatRiver MP2NV
    So I would rather have a mixer that will alow me to use my external preamps.
    Which rules out the usual Mackie type compact mixers (which are not rackmounted in 1 or 2 spaces) and quite a few others brand names.
    I was looking at the Studio Projects 828, but after talking to Doug at SoundPure, maybe not. It seems that type of mixer would "hurt" the sound because the preamps in the 828 are post on the outputs. As most mixers are.
    So....Doug recommended a Speck X sum. It looks nice. And only takes up a single rack space, it has 16 (or 32) inputs. Which is more than enough. Also he said that the preamps are not really "preamps" but work more like a fader does.
    Does anyone have any other recommendations for a nice live mixer. For this type of use? Or do you own a Speck and what do you think?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Forget Smackie. ATI has a great, VERY clean, high voltage mixer.

    http://www.audiotoys.com/frmst3.htm
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Your portable rig looks quite nice. So I'm a little confused by your question. You need this rackmount mixer to monitor the output of a multitrack recorder? Or you just want to make a stereo recording utilizing the rackmount mixer that's fed by your API 3124 and other 2 preamplifiers for a stereo output to a stereo recorder??

    Is this strictly just for recording or is your intention to also provide sound reinforcement while recording?

    I think any of those 1RU rackmount mixers would do you fine? The ATI has some nice features. The Speck has lotsOinputs for future purposes. The Studio Projects looks quite usable also. Obviously, a couple of those are actually microphone mixers with line level capabilities while one is strictly for line level purposes. Again it basically comes down to what your purpose for these particular units is? A monitor mixer or a recording mixer? What type of recorder do you intend to use your equipment with as you have not indicated any particular recording devices? Why not just purchase another couple of 3124M's? That way, you would have a monitor mixer that sounds like an API console and it could double as 8 additional microphone inputs to a multi-track recorder. I mean you've already spent a bucket of money on a quality front end so don't purchase yourself a lower-cost piece of crap to monitor your signal through. Not that those line level mixers are terrible, they're just not of the same caliber as your recording front end. Just monitoring through? OK. Used as a stereo mixer to record with? Maybe?

    Back to front front to back
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  4. ZZTop

    ZZTop Guest

    First off thanks for the great replies guys/ and gals!
    2ndly I do like the idea of the ATI and meant to mention it as well. Thanks Sheet
    Thanks for the compliment Remy. As far as using it to monitor the outputs of the MDM, yeah that would work in a situation where I'm doing live sound, and I'm also recording the tracks for mixdown later at the studio.

    A little of both, 20% of the time just recording, 20% of the time just live sound work with outboard preamps, and 60% of the time doing live PA setup and recording tracks for mixdown later.

    It's a Mackie SDR 24/96 and it has D-sub connectors. On the in's and out's.
    ...and that's why I am thinking about steering clear of the Studio Projects 828 and all the Mackie and Allen & Heath gear.
    I do not want any lessening of the signal. Or degrade in the signal.

    Here what I trying to do, I would like to get bands to hire me to do their live sound. And since the MDM is easy to track with while I'm doing sound, I wanted to get paid for the live work up front, and come home and mixdown the recording. If the band wants a copy of the mix from their proformance, no problem, just pay me (again) for the tracking and mixing and burning of the disc, and the CD-R is yours.
    The way I see it all these bands have a sh!t sound system and would most likely love what I can do for them on a regular basis. With my high end preamps. But I need a way to connect them at the moment. That will not harm the sound. So I can do some live sound work. And start making some money. But my reputation needs to be a really good one, so I'm trying to do the right thing reguardless of price.
     
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    With what you mention about recording and providing a live PA mix, I hope you realize those little rackmount mixers do not have the ability to give you multiple stage monitor mixes or any kind of equalization which is usually necessary when trying to provide PA sound. So, like any other self-respecting audio guy YOU NEED A COMMERCIAL MIXER. So something like a Soundcraft, MIDAS, Yamaha, God forbid a Mackie, is quite a prerequisite for doing PA. But you already seem to think you know what you want? What makes you think that your signal will be degraded through a standard mixer? If you are recording, you can bypass the mixer but I think you are approaching this in the wrong way?

    Bassackwards
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I agree. Maybe I am misunderstanding something here, but if you expect to record these bands that have a "$*^t sound system", you need to have more than some nice preamps. If you don't have control over the sound system, you are in for a very unpleasant ride. The right board-maybe a Midas or A&H, or Soundcraft- with, say ( 8 ) buses, plus maybe 6 aux sends, and DIRECT OUT capability will give you the control and flexibility that you will need. How many good preamps do you have now? Three?
    Is that what you are going to use to track a live band? How many pieces? You have enough to maybe cover the drumkit. You really don't need all that many outboard pre's IF you choose the right board. I know several regional live sound guys who track right off of their Midas board (and it's just a 4-bus Venice!) and get a really great sound. The Midas have very good, high-headroom mic pre's. Even a small 16- or 24-channel version will give you the necessary channel strips to track a good-sized band, mix their FOH, and have enough control to keep the monitors torqued right. Then you can selectively use your nice outboard mic pres for the "$$ Channels"-stuff like the lead singer, the soloing guitarist, and I'll bet that Great River will make a killer OH pair on the kit. Use your imagination.
    I won't even ask what you were going to do for mics....

    BTW, that Speck is a line level submixer, but the operating levels are geared towards gear like synths and samplers. Our inhouse composer has one to mix his wall of samplers and synths. Clean and simple, but not really geared towards what you are planning to do.
     
  7. ZZTop

    ZZTop Guest

    O.K., I think I forgot to mention that these small clubs I'll be working at are just that, small clubs. So two 15" Mackie speakers are way loud enough. And the guitarist(s) usally play half stacks because anything more would be too loud. As far as EQ...I've gotten great results with a SM58 with an API as the preamp (and there is no EQ on that). On vocals.
    And I rarly use EQ for the most part. But thats just me. Everybody works different. For instance...
    If I'm recording a 4 or 5 man band. I'm not really gonna need to mic the Bass cabinet for PA use, the club is too small for that. And the bass player is already playing a 400W bass head. I will just use the Avalon U5 and send him direct to the MDM. No EQ, no mixing, and no sending him to the PA.

    The drummer will only need 3 to 4 mic's. Two as the OH's and one (or 2) on the kick drum. And same with the drummer, no need to send the OH's to the PA. He's killing the cymbals as it is in this small club.

    As far as the guitarist, just a SM57 and whatever "quality" preamp is left should sound great. Like the Great River. Which once again, I've used with no EQ and it sounds great EVERYTIME.

    There has never been a time I plugged up a Shure mic or/and an Audix mic to the GreatRiver and thought to myself, "Damn this Great River is totally lacking, and needs EQ".
    O.k. that covers the bass player, the drummer, and the guitarist. Now obviously at this point the singer is about all I really need to get on the monitors. Sorry if I made it sound like I am at a REAL club. :oops:

    Basically, these bands need a vocal job. The last band I saw had 200 people in the bar (which is packed), and the mic was a wireless off name pile of dung. It was a Very loud singer and it distorted all night long. I was horrified. So me saying that I will not need EQ, is because the sound will be 300 times better right off the bat.

    If I run those outboard pre's through the pre's on a Mackie, Studio Projects, or something simular, the signal is post (not pre). Which means that the last gain stage was a burr Brown, or an ONYX pre amp. And It cannot be bypassed.
    Thanks for the reply, sorry if I made it sound like I was looking to do "REAL PA work". :lol:
     
  8. ZZTop

    ZZTop Guest

    If I were to piont out that the last bands guitarist I saw was playing a VERY nice Hughes & Kettner Doutone (guitar head with a H&K half stack). And this amp has a RedBox DI on the back of the amp. So if I connect to that I will have a DI on the guitar and a mic on the front of the cabinet. I think that situations like this are fine as far as getting some good tracks for mixdown later.
    3 as in 3 seperate models. The API is a 3124+ which has 4 preamps on it. The Great River is a stereo preamp (two ch) and the Vipre is just 1 ch. Which leaves me with 7 quality pres. Now I have other preamps, but the ones I mentioned are the better ones.
    I'm using all Shure mic's and Audix, I have a couple of KEL's as well.
    Thanks for that reply, moonbaby. I'm still feeling my way through this idea. And trying to buy the right piece for the job. I'm mean if I have to have a mixer, fine. But, I really want something rackmount and small.
     
  9. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    OK. Look at the Ashley line-up of small, rack-mountable line level mixers. They are rugged, quiet, and have great headroom. And Rane has some, too.

    I have not had that experience with Ashly. My previous employer had about 5 of those mixers. I never got "quiet" performance out of any of them. As for rugged, the end caps of knobs pop off easily.
     
  10. ZZTop

    ZZTop Guest

    Thanks again moonbaby. I checked out both the Ashley and the Rane products. And one of the ads says its great for samplers and synth's (like you were saying).
    And that's really NOT what I'm looking for. So...guess I'm back at the Midas, or whatever. :oops:
     
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    One thing I would consider mentioning is that while you have the mic's and pre's covered, and you're mulling this over... don't rule out needing gates and comps for the live stuff... and possiblly effects.

    To me this dictates a more conventional approach by using a true console mixer.

    While a decent 16 channel will do for most small clubs, I would hate to get in a pinch and need 24 or more.

    While not a rabid A&H owner, something like the GL2200 is affordable and should do a fine job... then again, the Venice would be the definite front runner if I was to do it all over.

    Max
     

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