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Second try at a mixer question

Member for

16 years 8 months
I originally posted this question here, and it was moved to the newbie section, which is fine except for two things:

1-I don't think it's a newbie question.
2-it got no replies whatsoever there.

So I'll give it another shot.

I'm looking for a mixer. My budget is $1K. My intention is to be able to go directly out of the pres, to my rack mounted version of the Delta 1010.

From what I've found so far, Mackie makes a 1604, Allen and Heath make a Mix wizard, and Yamaha make an MG series. All are ±16 channels under a grand.

So really I'm asking if anyone knows which of these is likely to have the best sounding pres, because the rest of the features will be secondary to that. If they all suck, then I may have to sell off a kidney and get something higher end, but this is a starting point.



Member for

16 years 8 months

took-the-red-pill Thu, 11/27/2008 - 15:45
That's the kind of answer i was looking for. Thank Jeremy. The Soundcraft it is.

I'm thinking I'll go to my local music store and see if they'll let me do a shootout with it and one or two of the others. That would be interesting, and eduactional, but at least I now know I can get a decent recording with this kind of dough. Maybe not top notch, but good enough that the gear is not going to be the limiting factor.

Peace brothers.

Member for

15 years 5 months

Boswell Sat, 10/11/2008 - 07:05
It's not clear why you want a mixer. I take it you are wanting to make multitrack recordings, but what are you going to do with the mixed output? The Delta 1010 has 8 line inputs, so you could connect these to the direct outs of an 8-channel mixer, or restrict yourself to recording 8 channels from a wider mixer.

If your main interest is in getting 8 good pre-amps, none of the mixers you mentioned stand out in that area, although the MixWizard is good. If you are looking at Mackie products, try to go for the Onyx range.

However, you may be better off considering stand-alone pre-amps, or even a new all-in one FireWire interface. There are lots of good ones to choose from at around $1K, some with built-in mixers controlled by software.

Member for

15 years 10 months

hueseph Sat, 10/11/2008 - 10:08
Sounds to me like you plan on mixing out of the box or, you're going to two new channels in your DAW. Whatever you do, try to find something with direct outs if you can.

These look decent:

Not much else under a grand that's worth the money afaic.

I'd go with the soundcraft personally.

Member for

13 years 9 months

Codemonkey Sat, 10/11/2008 - 10:50
To beat a mixer's preamps, you need to be spending quite a lot per pre.
However cheap pres are available. Unless you want a mixer to do live sound then all you need is 8 preamps.

If you don't need to do 8 channel recording within the next month, get some now, and some later, when you need them. That way you could spend around $700 just now, and then an additional $700 further down the line.

Member for

18 years

Jeemy Fri, 10/31/2008 - 01:23
Why haven't you considered the JLM TMP-8?

I've got one, they were very highly touted here for a while, the soft limiters can be matched to your Delta's hard clipping limit, and they are cheap, sound awesome, and take up next-to-no space.

That gives you 8 good pres to go with your 8 converters, and if you are mixing in the box, all the extra crap a mixer gives you - EQs, busing, etc, is just that....crap.

Even for the live work, do you really need 8 channels of EQ? Or just 8 faders, i mean TMP-8 is dials, but still.

In fact, I just had a squiz at his website, only for 30s, but he has a new 6-channel mixer that looks amazing for the price, $495AUS.

I bet he'd custom build you something. It all fits into API lunchboxes too.

In fact, wow. JLM has some amazing new stuff. Excuse me for 30 mins and $3000AUS....

Member for

16 years 7 months

pr0gr4m Sat, 10/11/2008 - 12:01
If you are mixin In The Box...why do you need the mixing board. Sounds to me like you just need 8 pre-amps am I right?

If you are willing to go with the pre-amps of the Mackie 1604, why not go for an Onyx 800r?

How's about an Octopre?

I'm just not seeing why you need a complete mixer.

Member for

16 years 8 months

took-the-red-pill Sat, 10/11/2008 - 17:41
Sorry gents, not providing complete information.

I do need to be able to throw the thing in the car and go do the odd live gig, with a band. Otherwise, what you say makes sense, and I would just stock up on stand alone pre-amps.

I was hoping to be able to satisfy my recording habit and be able to do the live gigs as well, hence, multiple channels for live stuff, and decent pres for recording.

I understand they're not going to be fantastic, but I'd like to be able to get the best I can, given the budget.


Am I completely dillusional thinking I can get pretty decent recordings through a $1K mixer?

Has anyone ever done a shootout that might tell the tale regarding which is the best in that price range?


Member for

16 years 8 months

took-the-red-pill Sat, 10/11/2008 - 23:37
Ahh, to define decent...probably like asking 'how long is a piece of string...'

Okay, let's get back to comparisons, and simplify

You are spending ±900-1200 bones, you want to first and foremost record, and get the best sound you can for your money, and you'll do the odd live gig, hence the need for a mixer, tho the live gig thing is clearly secondary to recording quality

would you buy this:

or this:

or this:

or this:


Member for

13 years 11 months

RMB Sun, 11/02/2008 - 06:34
took-the-red-pill wrote: I do need to be able to throw the thing in the car and go do the odd live gig, with a band. Otherwise, what you say makes sense, and I would just stock up on stand alone pre-amps.
For emphasis...

That being said, of the options you posted, the Mackie would give you more flexibility for mixing the odd live thing, and decent enough to feed your recording rig.

Member for

19 years 9 months

Davedog Sun, 11/02/2008 - 12:00
Jeemy wrote: In fact, I have a Mackie VLZ1604 on a shelf, I don't use it. I'll take $300 for it and then you can buy the JLM too and still have $200 left.

This is a GREAT deal.

And the JLM stuff is sonically superior to ANY Mackie product as well as built like a tank.

Member for

16 years 8 months

took-the-red-pill Sun, 11/02/2008 - 16:06
Jeemy sez:

Why haven't you considered the JLM TMP-8?

I sez:

3 reasons.

1-the little guys, like this, don't tend to show up on a Google search, through the 'noise' of the big manufacturers, so I hadn't heard about it.

2-As I said, my budget is around $1K The TMP shows at $2725 AUS. Certainly if I had that kind of budget, there are a whole plethora of hi quality options I could explore.

3-There is no way for me to reasonably do things like aux sends to monitors, and EQ for live gigs. (We could argue about the need for those things in a live gig, but that's another thread altogether.)

Of the options so far that are within my price, I would imagine the best quality would come from that Ashly unit. Anybody seen a review on it?


Member for

18 years

Jeemy Sun, 11/02/2008 - 20:27
OK wait i see what it is.

The module is the mixer module that sits at the RHS of the lunchbox. You'd need 6 pres to attach to it.

So it is indeed a 6-channel mixer, but its as far as I can see, mixing line level inputs from preamps to give a 2-channel mix for headphones or recording.

Its just a wee toy to clamp on the edge of a lunchbox. Forget I said anything, lawl.

Member for

17 years 6 months

Cucco Tue, 11/04/2008 - 04:15
Keith -

Sorry - I know you asked me to reply a LONG time ago and I said I would - I've been so busy, I can't even make time in my schedule to eat sometimes!

As I understand it, you're looking for a budget mixer that has decent enough pres that you can use it as your main set of recording pres (direct feed) but can also be used as a traditional small format mixer for location gigs.

My only experience thus far is with the following:
Soundcraft M12
Mackie 1220 Onyx
Yamaha MG series

The Soundcraft was incredibly versatile and sounded great. The pres are really top notch, especially for the price. Plus the fact that you can take the direct feed with only the gain in the loop while still using the rest of the mixer as a mixer is a great feature. (If I recall correctly, you engage a switch on each channel - once engage, the direct output responds only to gain changes - trim faders, eq, and sends do not affect the direct out - great for recording a raw mix but still bouncing down to 2 track...)

The Onyx has more transparent pres and is also flexible

The Yamaha...well, the only one I've ever worked with is in the process of being replaced for 4 dead channels.

I know the A&H are great boards regardless of price, I just haven't used them. For what you're doing though (if you plan on keeping your 1010), I wouldn't hesitate to get the Soundcraft.