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Purchasing new mixer - would like opinions.

I'm in the process of researching purchasing a higher quality mixer for both FOH and monitor (one stop shop) than I've been using (Mackie 32.4) and wondered if I could get some comments from any of you with experience with the following brands/models. I am not currently mixing stereo IEMs, and usually only run 4 monitor mixes. Also, most of the contracts I have are for acoustic and or unplugged musicians/bands that tend to run the realm of folk/americana style music. My budget is $5000.

These are the models I've become most interested in purchasing as the upgrade. (32 Channel option) Can some of you fire back with some opinions?

Midas 320
Allen & Heath GL2800, GL3800, GL3300
Soundcraft GB4, GB8

Thanks for reading!
Scott

Comments

RemyRAD Thu, 03/16/2006 - 21:48
The Mackie is absolutely fine! Changing your mixer is not going to get you what you want. Learning how to mix better is the key here. It's called garbage in, garbage out. Everybody wants a magic pill. It doesn't exist. Only competent engineering, experience and expertise is all that is necessary for a wonderful mind blowing sound.

If you eat this piece of cheese, it will make you small.
If you eat this piece of cheese, it will make you big.
Miss Alice in Audio land

moonbaby Fri, 03/17/2006 - 05:00
Well...
Are these other brands being spec'd in the riders you are getting? I mean, the 32.4 will do OK for the music you described. I have used the 24 version many times (used to own a pair), and the output headroom is marginal. This makes it a bit iffy for heavier, more dynamic program material. This is the #1 reason riders these days specifically exclude Mackie, Peavey,and Behringer mixers, in writing.
I own 2 A&H's, my partner has 2 as well, and I mix on a Midas Heritage 3000 every week. There is no comparison in the clarity and transparency that a board with BALLS (+28dBm) brings to the table. In your price range, the Midas Venice is a great choice.

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 03/17/2006 - 05:31
I am not knocking the Mackie (which over the last 10 years has been a great companion) - but there is a difference between the EQ's and Pre's in the boards I'm talking about in comparison to the Mackie. Its not realistic to argue against that. Don't read the post as "I am not happy with my sound." (Quite the opposite.) This is simply "take the next step" time.

The reason I need to upgrade is to have more control, dual sweepable mids, better sounding EQ's, better pre's, more options and routing. There is a reason you don't see "Mackie 32.4" on national touring riders.

Thus - back to my original question. I'm hoping this can stay on topic unlike so many posts on this forum. Please refer to the question on the first post of this topic. . . . and thanks for reading!

Scott

[quote=RemyRAD]The Mackie is absolutely fine! Changing your mixer is not going to get you what you want. Learning how to mix better is the key here. It's called garbage in, garbage out. Everybody wants a magic pill. It doesn't exist. Only competent engineering, experience and expertise is all that is necessary for a wonderful mind blowing sound.

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 03/17/2006 - 05:36
Thanks for keeping on topic! My only experience with any of the boards mentioned is the Midas Venice (a 240). The sound of the board was amazing. The EQ's were so controlled and predictable and the Pre's literally blew my mind. Does the Heritage have a lot of difference (except for realestate) than the Venice series? thanks for reading!
-Scott
(don't forget ART on your exclude list!)


moonbaby wrote: Well...
Are these other brands being spec'd in the riders you are getting? I mean, the 32.4 will do OK for the music you described. I have used the 24 version many times (used to own a pair), and the output headroom is marginal. This makes it a bit iffy for heavier, more dynamic program material. This is the #1 reason riders these days specifically exclude Mackie, Peavey,and Behringer mixers, in writing.
I own 2 A&H's, my partner has 2 as well, and I mix on a Midas Heritage 3000 every week. There is no comparison in the clarity and transparency that a board with BALLS (+28dBm) brings to the table. In your price range, the Midas Venice is a great choice.

moonbaby Fri, 03/17/2006 - 09:29
The Venice is great! The EQ is smooth, the inputs have headroom out the ying-yang, and when you start "stacking inputs", the bus groups and output drivers don't whimp out to where you have to start pulling down faders. A friend of mine bought a Venice for a mobile recording rig and has gotten great direct-out-to-recorder tracks right off the pre's. Much better than any of our A & H's, and my personal experiences with Soundcraft LIVE boards have been less than stellar-little niggling things kept going wrong with them. When you start carting around a "big mixer board" (you have to say that with an Andy Griffith accent!), reliability is a big deal. Some of those Brits still don't get it, IMHO. But Midas does.
As to the differences with the Heritage, it has a cool MIDI-controlled automated muting system, more bells and whistles, and an awesome chrome rail system that carries a clear plexiglass clipboard thing from ene end of the board to the other! How cool is THAT?!?! I have never had the opportunity to compare the 2 side-by-side, but I'll bet the Venice is sonically just as clean as the 3000.
Remy does have a point about properly mixing sound, but there ARE REAL differences in the sound and performance between mixers. That's why she owns-how many?-Neves.PEACE!

moonbaby Fri, 03/17/2006 - 10:34
Our church replaced a Crest with that Midas. We use it for the youth building now. Sounds and works great. BUT:
It was built before Hartley Peavey bought Crest out a couple of years ago.
Be very careful about ANYTHING that HP gets involved in making. Profit margins and mass production have always come ahead of performance.
A recent purusal of the Crest website reinforced the fact that their gear is basically re-branded Peavey. And recently I read that the entire Crest production facility in NJ had been shut down and moved to Meridian,Ms.
Approach with caution!

sheet Sun, 03/19/2006 - 05:59
sdfcvoh wrote: I am not knocking the Mackie (which over the last 10 years has been a great companion) - but there is a difference between the EQ's and Pre's in the boards I'm talking about in comparison to the Mackie. Its not realistic to argue against that. Don't read the post as "I am not happy with my sound." (Quite the opposite.) This is simply "take the next step" time.

The reason I need to upgrade is to have more control, dual sweepable mids, better sounding EQ's, better pre's, more options and routing. There is a reason you don't see "Mackie 32.4" on national touring riders.

Thus - back to my original question. I'm hoping this can stay on topic unlike so many posts on this forum. Please refer to the question on the first post of this topic. . . . and thanks for reading!

Scott

[quote=RemyRAD]The Mackie is absolutely fine! Changing your mixer is not going to get you what you want. Learning how to mix better is the key here. It's called garbage in, garbage out. Everybody wants a magic pill. It doesn't exist. Only competent engineering, experience and expertise is all that is necessary for a wonderful mind blowing sound.

Absolutely. The Mackie has some big issues. I would not keep it in my signal path if I didn't have to either. It's ok if you have nothing else, or can't afford anything else. There is a HUGE night and day different in preamps between the Mackie and the AH console. Then, there is a HUGE night and day difference between that AH console and the Midas 320. BUT, the 320 is not the most flexible console in the world. It also doesn't have enough facilities to do both house and wedge mixes IMO. But it may work well for you.

The Soundcrafts...I haven't used enough to say. Back in the day, I sold Soundcraft. That kind of did it for me. I now work in a facility that has retired two K2s (which have had their issues as all K2s have), so that did it for me again. Personally, I am not a Soundcraft guy, unless I can mix on a Series5, or something that is beefier construction wise. But, you can call Sound Productions in Dallas, TX and hear how the new Soundcrafts are selling like hotcakes. If you want a kick butt console that is built like a tank, and is all discrete, studio quality, then find yourself a used Soundcraft Delta. MANY, MANY remote audiophile and classical recorders use the Delta. They are a great buy...if you can find one.

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 03/19/2006 - 07:07
Thank you sheet.

Can you give me more detail regarding the comment you made referring to the midas not being as flexible as some options (re: mixing monitors.)

The Midas boards are setup a bit awkward as they felt it necessary to actually label the aux's with mon1 mon2 fx1 fx2 aux1 aux2. I'm not crazy about that. Sonicallly speaking - am I reading correctly that they stand above the others in this $ range?

Any reliability concerns?

thanks for all the posts to everybody who has read this topic . . .
-Scott

sheet Sun, 03/19/2006 - 09:52
sdfcvoh wrote: Thank you sheet.

Can you give me more detail regarding the comment you made referring to the midas not being as flexible as some options (re: mixing monitors.)

The Midas boards are setup a bit awkward as they felt it necessary to actually label the aux's with mon1 mon2 fx1 fx2 aux1 aux2. I'm not crazy about that. Sonicallly speaking - am I reading correctly that they stand above the others in this $ range?

Any reliability concerns?

thanks for all the posts to everybody who has read this topic . . .
-Scott

You need four pre fader sends, and then two aux sends.

I don't like the pots and faders of the 320. I have been in many clubs where they have worn out under one year of heavy use. Of course there were some clubs that any faders would have been ruined by fog, haze, snow machine goop in the air.

Sonically, the preamps are a big, huge improvement over the Mackie. Drums sound bigger. The console doesn't have the phasing issues that the Mackie does. It is clean and full sounding. The EQ is more musical. It is much easier to get what you want, because you are not fighting the character of the EQ itself.

moonbaby Sun, 03/19/2006 - 17:07
For what it's worth, "hazers" have "mucked up" my A&H faders,too. My experiences with the Midas haven't been with
that scenario. I thought that they both used ALPS faders, so...

If audiokid doesn't fix this color scheme change, I'm gonna come up there and kick his Canook butt!

As far as the sends are concerned, I think you will have to LABEL any boards'...same with the A&H...all mine say is 1-6, they leave the details to the operator...No biggie. I had a Delta 32....until it arrived... the forklift went right THROUGH those plastic endplates !!
I was never the same after that!
audiokid!!!!!!!
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