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Multitrack recorder and live mixer board

I want to keep things simple - probably one of the reasons I play acoustic (guitar and mandolin). I want to be able to have a Fostex-like device that will allow me to experiment musically at home and accompany myself on one instrument, while I am playing back another previously laid down track. Simple enough. I say Fostex, because I bought one 20 years ago that died awhile back ago - so I am familiar with them.

I also want something I can take to small venues: coffee shops and small bars and act as a mixing board for 1 - 4 inputs. I will likely only have a couple of mics plugged in: one situated at guitar or mandolin height and another up higher for vocals and fiddle for when I play with another friend. I use a smallish amp.

Therefore, I am wanting something readily available and affordable - used is ok (read eBay). In fact, I am looking at a Fostex MR8 that allows you to download to a flashcard, but it isn't apparent from reading the online manual that it could act as a mixing board.

Please advise and tell me what I should be looking for so that I am getting both utilities.

Thanks immensely.



Scoobie Sun, 11/26/2006 - 08:48
Get yourself the Mackie Onyx 1220.

Great little live mixer for small venues. Plus with the firewire card and the software that comes with it. You'll be able to do what you are asking about.

If not wanting to use your computer for recording,
The Sony MDM-X4 mini-disc recorder will work also. I use to use a mini-disc for getting idea's down while out on the road.


Member Sun, 11/26/2006 - 17:40
I owned the Fostex Mr-8 for 2 years, its a nice unit but very limited. For example you could only use two inputs at once, and the recording time is short on the stock compactflash card. Now I have the hard disk version of the Mr-8, its quite nice, with 4 inputs and 4 track simultaneous recording, you could also mix some inputs with it like you want to, just arm the tracks you want and press record and you can hear those tracks mixed without even recording. (to record you need to press the record and play buttons at the same time) Its nice, but will set you back at about 350, twice that of the older unit. Good luck

bahed Sun, 11/26/2006 - 18:46
Matt (or anybody really):

A couple of things. I think I can get a hold of one that's in perfect condition for about $125 - so, although it's not the perfect device it may work well for my needs AND be affordable. Are there not like 2 Gig flash cards available anymore - so that should add some flexibility. Two simultaneous recording inputs probably won't be a problem.

Finally, my main concern: for small performance venues, say I had two input signals running into the MR-8 during the live performance, can I mix this/these signal(s) and then output them as one or two signals (possibly stereo) through monitors(s)?

Oh yeah, does the MR-8HD have a phantom power input for condenser mics ?


Member Sun, 11/26/2006 - 19:43
Yes, you could mix those inputs and even add some reverb or delay if you like, and you could run the stereo outputs on the Mr-8 into some monitors, although keep in mind these monitors will need to be powered, if they aren't you need to buy an external power amp. Sounds like the Mr-8 will be a good choice for the price you found it for, plus you can always over dub more parts and mix to a stereo track and eventually transport that to a computer.

If all you want is to mix signals and record to the mr-8 you could also get a cheap mixer for more options later on.

Oh yeah and yes you could always upgrade to a larger size flash card.