Once again looking for live mixer...

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by vttom, Feb 28, 2013.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Ah, well, there are there are things suited for a job and things not very suited for the job, and what I was talking about was the Peavey powered mixer range. The point about powered mixers is that they are designed expecting to go out on the road, and so are (usually) mechanically more robust than their home studio non-powered counterparts.

    You either put mechanical concerns ahead of audio quality or you say you want the best audio quality for the money and then take care to package whatever you come up with. It would be a shame to end up with a flimsy mixer that was also not of the best quality.

    In sonic terms, the A+H ZED-22FX you mentioned is streets ahead of the Peavey. If you can stretch to that plus a good road case for it and then add powered loudspeakers (and powered floor monitors if you need them), you've got yourself a good-sounding rig. However, the A+H is not the only one in that class and there may be others you should consider, as the contributers here have been saying.
     
  2. vttom

    vttom Active Member

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    Sep 24, 2009
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    Vermont
    I'm now thinking the A&H ZED-22FX is going to be the winner, here. I've found it for sale online with a promotional discount that brings the price down nicely.
     
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't judge road worthiness of a mixer based on the presence or absence of an internal power amp, and I wouldn't want to tie my mixer choice to my amp choice. It makes a ton more sense to put the amps in the speakers so they can be properly matched and have precise protection circuits. The result sounds better and weighs less.
     
  4. vttom

    vttom Active Member

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    Sep 24, 2009
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    Vermont
    Personally, I like having the mixer and power amp in 1 place plugged into the same electrical outlet and 1 signal cable to each speaker. If I use powered speakers, I have to run a signal cable to each one and find an electrical outlet near each speaker, or I have to run an extension cord to each speaker in addition to the signal cable.

    That said, I'd find self-powered speakers really useful if I could feed them with a wireless signal.
     
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    The extra power cabling is a minor disadvantage of powered speakers, and you can get paired signal/power cables to make that less problematic. (No, the power doesn't put noise into the signal. It's standard practice among serious providers.) Or get a power stringer, an extension with outlets every eight feet or so along its length.

    Also, you can string multiple speakers together on one signal without having to worry about loading down an amp.

    But the most important thing in my view is not tying your mixer to your amplification. I see that as the least optimum option despite the apparent convenience.
     
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

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    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    These are the kind of "paired signal/power cables" bouldersound is referring to, and they can greatly simplify your set-up. Standard 3-prong 15A male Edison plug and XLR female on one end - an IEC female and XLR male at the other.

    pa_cables_03_1_1.jpg

    As you have noted, there are advantages to having the mixer and amplifiers on the same electrical circuit. [as long as that one circuit provides sufficient amperage] Plugging a powered speaker into a receptacle on the other side of the room makes you more susceptible to ground loops - or worst yet, a burst of sparks in a moment of spontaneous welding.


    The first time in anyplace, I use something like this:

    391-150_h.jpg
    to make sure some amateur electrician didn't wire the receptacles incorrectly.

    All of your stuff will be tied together via the XLR shields & ground, ONE disastrously wired AC receptacle can result in a shower of sparks and potentially damage a lot of your interconnected equipment - OR GET SOMEONE KILLED. I saw someone else do the spark-thing once and that was enough for me. So if I'm running the mixer at the back of the room there is an AC cable all the way up to the amp-rack to insure they are on the same circuit. Over the years, my receptacle tester has saved me from damaging my own system, as it has revealed every conceivable wrong combination you can get with 3 wires - in commercial / institutional buildings you would expect to be up to code. Yes, even "Hot and Ground Reversed". *see shower of sparks/spontaneous welding.

    On a related note: The kind of amateur "electrician" who will do a wiring job for the club-owner in exchange for X number of beers... is NOT the kind of electrician you want doing any wiring for you.
     

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  7. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

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    Location:
    Pacific NW
    I recently did a show with my band at a venue that had the A&H MixWizard 16 as a house mixer. I'm a fan. Loved the 4 monitor mixes and the two separate efx mixes. The EQ was responsive and accurate and long throw sliders always make me happy. That said I am piecing together a small portable rig to work a duo/trio in various venues for some week-night fun and dollars. I bought a Soundcraft E12. Its a very simple board....2-bus mains,two aux buses and two stereo channels. There are no aux returns, however, but I always return efx to a channel, but if you have keys of multiple numbers then it isnt a good fit. It does have 100mm sliders and is robust in build. I also bought one of the new Crown class D amps. An XLS 1000 for monitors. 11lbs and plenty of power for my needs. Its the small amp in the line. So now a pair of powered speakers and a couple of stands and I'm good to go for this little PA. Quick in and out. Quality sound and I can use it as a rehearsal rig in the studio.
     
  8. vttom

    vttom Active Member

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    Vermont
    Davedog, thanks for the feedback on the Soundcraft EPM12. It looks to me like the EFX12 is basically the EPM12 with one of the AUX buses and one of the stereo channels dedicated to the onboard effects processor. I was very close to pulling the trigger on buying the EFX12, but after looking over my list of audio sources one more time, I decided it was probably 1 channel short of my needs. I'd also like to have a few spare channels beyond what I know I need now for future-proofing. So that's how I came to settle on the A&H 22FX.

    I'm glad you have good things to say about the Crown XLS 1000. The thing that really appeals to me is how light it is. Good to know the sound quality is there.

    That all being said, I stopped in at my local Yamaha dealer that I've done a lot of business with in the past and asked for a quote for the MG206C plus a P2500S. I'll have to see how his price stacks up against the ZED22FX + XLS1000 (especially considering I'd still have to get an outboard reverb unit with the 206C, and lose 1 or 2 of its 4 AUX channels to effects SEND), but thought I'd at least entertain buying local.
     
  9. vttom

    vttom Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
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    Vermont
    Correction...

    I just studied the block diagram for the 206C. It has 4 AUX buses plus 2 stereo group buses (I was under the impression the AUX and the group buses were one and the same). The only effect I care about is reverb on the vocals. So I would send my vocal channels AFL and post-pan to Group 1-2 rather than to the main stereo mix, out the Group 1-2 SEND to an outboard reverb unit, then back in via Return 1, and then finally mix that into the main stereo mix. Without giving up any of the 4 AUXes.

    Additionally, the 206C has built-in compression on 6 channels, the ZED22FX has no built-in compression.

    The price of the 206C + P2500S + external 'verb is comparable to ZED22FX + XLS1000.

    Hmmm....
     
  10. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    If you flip back into shopping for an EFX or MFX, be sure you hear the actual mixer you will get before you buy it. I own an EPM for doing small jobs, and it works like a champ. The EFX and MFX variants on the other hand have had problems, which ultimately led me to dump Soundcraft from the brands I sell.

    With the exception of the FX processor, they are identical in every way to their EPM & MPM counterparts. But after a rash of problems, subsequent returns, re-returns, re-re-returns, and shockingly piss-poor dealer support from Soundcraft I finally threw in the towel. The built-in FX are apparently either poorly shielded or poorly grounded, because every replacement we ran through here had the same humming/buzzing problem - immediately detectable with nothing more than the mixer and a pair of headphones. Of course they didn't believe me when I told them they had a problem, it was only months later there was a very quiet acknowledgment of a design or build flaw. At any rate, I sincerely hope they have corrected the problem.

    I bothered the highly intelligent folks here a couple years ago while I was trying to troubleshoot an uncommonly noisy installation. After weeks of trying to track down every electrical anomaly and rouge EMI source, I finally put my little EPM8 in place of the brand new MFXi20 as a test and the obnoxious buzz went away to almost nothing. There are still real electrical issues in that auditorium/building, but the primary source of the noise was in fact the Soundcraft MFXi mixer. I brought it home and it made the same unbearable noise plugged into my relatively clean electric. An MPM plus an outboard reverb turned out to be the eventual solution.

    FWIW: I was impressed with the Crown XLS series amps. There are only a few other amps that can compete with them in the sense of watts/pound and watts/dollar.

    Good for you, giving the local guy a shot at your business.
     
  11. vttom

    vttom Active Member

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    Sep 24, 2009
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    Vermont
    We've probably dumped close to 10 grand at his store in the last, oh, 15+ years (half of it in our first purchase - a Yamaha upright acoustic piano). Cute family-run business. Over the years they've morphed from a retail store that happens to offer music lessons on the side, to a music school that happens to sell gear on the side. :) The last couple purchases I've gotten the "bro" discount, which is quite nice considering that the online stores like Musicians Friend, Guitar Center, etc., specifically exclude Yamaha from all promotional discounts.
     
  12. gullfo

    gullfo Active Member

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    Old Tappan, NJ USA
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    been a while since i was gigging (playing bass and doing the sound for a 6 piece band - keys, drums, bass, 2 guitars, 1 lead vox + 2 bu vox) - i had the mixer and effects in a small rack, and the power amps in another small one. easy enough to carry w 2 people (~50-60lbs each) and allowed the amps to be close to the main speakers and individual front monitors, and place the mixer and effects near me (or someone else on occasion). power filters in each box, and an audio snake to connect them both.

    today - i'd go with powered speakers to reduce the separate amps and wiring, and a proper digital board (re: reliable) so i could load presets as much as possible, then i could switch around mixes (perfected during practice sessions :)) as needed by calling the preset based on the set list, and tweak the overall system for the room acoustics so the mix is fairly consistent across venues. a small wireless router would be no problem to carry if you needed remote control via an ipad or laptop. a 1U PC in your rack or shelf for a laptop would be easy enough. i could also readily record the performances directly to disk and/or stream to another device.
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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