Recording Console Recommendation

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by fibes, Dec 6, 2001.

  1. fibes

    fibes Active Member

    new york
    I would like some general information on
    mixer/consoles. Is Mackie considered a "Pro" console? I am interested in their SR24 and am confused by other peoples' comments about Mackie. I always thought that they were supposed to good when compared to their competition. I am willing to spend more money if neccessary to get an equivalent board feature wise but with better quality/sonics. I will be using it mostly for tracking drums, although in the future for other things. The preamps must be capable of high headroom ( for the drums) and the EQ needs to be of high quality. I need recommendations on brands that qualify for this along with model numbers. All comments are appreciated.
  2. DownSouth

    DownSouth Guest

    don't get the SR24 get the regular analog 8 bus. Too be honest you can get a digital mixer like the Tascam DM24 or Yamaha 01v with alot of extra features for that price
  3. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Do you have a private email?
  4. Scott Gould

    Scott Gould Active Member

    Pt. Charlotte FL
    The "SR" in the name of the console stands for Sound Reinforcement, as in "Live PA" - it is not designed or marketed as a recording console. The 8 Bus series are Mackie's entry into the analog recording console market. They're pretty good as an entry-level console, though you may be able to do better for the money - it all depends on your individual needs. Is this for a personal studio, or commercial? Demos or large-scale release (or TV/movie post, commercials etc.)? You need to assess what you need the console for, and talk to someone (who does not sell equipment) about what is the best gear for your needs.

  5. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest


    I would be interested in your opinion as well on this. I'm always looking for good ideas as you know.

  6. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Just because it's a SR console doesn't mean it can't be used to record drums. If this is the VLZ version, you're getting the same mic pre's as the recording board. If you then take the send from the insert jack and go directly into your multitrack recorder, there is no difference in the signal path from the 8 bus console. If you need several different cue mixes, the SR allows you 6 discrete aux sends, where the 8 bus can only send 4 at a time from any given channel.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to each board, but as Scott said, it all depends on your needs. Before you make any large purchase, it's best to start with a detailed list of your priorities based on what kind of work you expect to be doing. Not just what you expect to be doing tomorrow, as much as possible try to factor in what you might need to do a year or 3 down the road. It's not just a matter of "how long will it take for this gear to pay for itself?", but "how long will this gear continue to pay for itself" after you got your money's worth out of it.

    Hope that helps.
  7. smokinjokin

    smokinjokin Guest

    If you get the same signal path in all the VLZ Mackies from going out of the insert jack, don't get a Mackie. I have a 1604 VLZ and it ain't crash hot for drums. I've heard worse, but it's not the ultimate, far from it actually.

    I would recommend building up your outboard preamps if your serious about your drum sounds. I use API 312's on just about evrything drum-wise, maybe an Avalon 737 on the kick. Much bigger sound, not as much "crud-buildup" from overdubbing with the same pre.

    While we are on the subject of recording consoles, I ahve been thinking about an AMEK BIG console, but recently have heard a LOT of bad things about them, one comment being I would be beter off with my Mackie! Anybody had experiences they could share about the AMEK BIG?

    I have also stumbled across this little gem: . It looks too good to be true, and as I am about to invest in some outboard fro tracking and love the Neve sound, would anyone have any warnings about these? 8 Channels os Neve pre's for $4500 Australian ( half that for USA! :eek: ) can't be right.

  8. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:

    You are asking for a lot in regards to a sub $4000 console. Probably your best bet is to go with an older Tascam or Soundcraft which are better than a Mackie IMO. The preamps are not the greatest by any means in any of them. The idea is to eliminate the weakest parts of the signal chain first. The most important thing you can do before anything is buy good mics and good preamps.

    Good Mics are probably the most important, because a nice hot output means less gain is used from a cheap preamp. Get a pair of good condensers and a bunch of SM-57's and/or 421's. There are ribbon mics that can be had for cheap also that work very well. If you are overdubbing a lot, get at least a good dual channel mic that you will not outgrow. Decide if you want coloration or clean, and get a workhorse not something that is specialized.

    There are not too many options for getting good overall performance in a budget analog console these days, but even the Mackie EQ (and even running the tape send signal through the board) sounds harsh and grainy to me. Mackie has hyped itself for years as if they invented paint. Like I said though, a good front end is going to give you some light at the end of the tunnel. And if you don't need buses or a lot of features, the Mackie 24x4 is cheap enough to be almost throw away @ $1300. If you want something of reasonable quality with good pre's, eq, and general signal quality expect to pay between $12K-$35K for anything from a Trident 24 to a Neotek Elan or Elite or a Trident 80 series, and throw in a minimum of 20% of your purchasing price for getting it put back to new condition. Best Of Luck.
  9. jalipaz

    jalipaz Guest

    hey dude the craft ghost has great pres and eq, its like 5200 new u can find them used for like 3500 and i like allen and heaths stuff alot just goto their site (i dont know it but do a search to find it) and then decide what best suits ur needs.
    ps: my comp sux and it took me forever to witethis, arrrrrrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!! c?
  10. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    I have also stumbled across this little gem: . It looks too good to be true, and as I am about to invest in some outboard fro tracking and love the Neve sound, would anyone have any warnings about these? 8 Channels os Neve pre's for $4500 Australian ( half that for USA! ) can't be right.[/B ]

    I would also be really interested in knowing about these.

  11. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Don't forget that Speck Electronics is making a line level console with no pre's around Q2 of 2002. It's bare bones, but if you have a DAW and good outboard gear this is definitely the way to go. There are two camps of thought on whether it sounds better to stay in the computer after tracking to digital, or whether to D/A out of the DAW or HD recorder into an analog console.

    I am convinced for music it's better to do the second. IMO computers are a great link in the chain with their powerful editing capabilities, but regardles of it being a "sample of a sample" I still think it sounds better with the summing of an analog console. The added color of the circuitry can be a good thing also. Mixing through an analog console gives the added advantage of going through fewer conversions also than trying to patch multiple pieces of outboard gear in and out of a digital console. In addition you don't have the latency issue for inserts when it remains in the analog realm.
  12. Mad John

    Mad John Active Member

    Hi Nathan,

    You give some important clues as to what to be careful for in "cheaper boards!

    I completly agree with you regarding the Mackies.

    I just discovered for myself that I can "survive" on this mixer for a while (NO $! :( )

    What it requires is much as you already discribed; complete evasion of all Mackie sends and auxes!!!

    Patchbays (to avoid the undisirable Mackie sound and degration!) are the key here.

    Also avoid those incerts!!

    By avoiding the mentioned areas one can utlilize the area I feel that Mackie does excell , thier boards as TAPE MIXER ONLY is more than satisfactory , in fact except fot the plastic knobs , small features , it makes a decent mixer , as long as you have routed everything but your tape outs to the various line inputs of the mixer.

    Cheers you all! ;)

    Mad John
    Zythu Studios

    "The present day Composer refuses to die!"
    Edgar Varese - 1921

    "Why do you think that is?" - Jon Bon Jovie - 1987
  13. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    I think the Speck might be a little out of price range (probably around $5k) unless that's what you really want and you have the outboard you need. Nice product, looks like, and it'll serve some users quite well, but not for everyone, not at that price. I'm assuming from the initial question, the budget is $2500 or under?

    Console pres in that price range capable of high headroom? I'm stumped. I like my A&H CMC-24, got it used for under $650 (the bigger configuration, the CMC-32, listed for $10,000 in the late 80's) but there is no headroom in the pres. Nevertheless, I'd check out old A&H boards aimed at smaller studios (Sabre comes to mind), as well as used Soundcraft and Soundtracs boards. If the budget is bigger, see if you can get a good deal on a smaller Trident board. There's another thread that mentions modding Soundcraft 600's that might be of interest.

  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Way over budget I fear - Allen & Heath have a NEW console. I saw it at the AES, it looks to be the perfect 'anti mackie'. 24 & 32 channel flavours + a SMALL FOOTPRINT..

    As for 'great pre's for drums' you really can't expect too much from a budget console. What you CAN do to cheer things up (as suggested above) - is to get 2 (kick & Snare) or 4 (kick. snare and stereo overheads) OUTBOARD mic pres for tracking, then use em for every other overdub thereafter.

    HHB Radius make a budget 4 x mic pre that is good.

    Ribbon Microphone Upgrade for MXL R144


  15. Kevin F. Rose

    Kevin F. Rose Active Member

    Fibes, your doppleganger here! Pro is a relative term and then again everything is relative. If I was to look into a board in that range I'd start with a 3500 or 3700 and have it mod rodded. Then again I'm not you even though our names are similar.
  16. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Hey Evil Fibes, do you have a goatee? I concur on the 3500 or 3700 or the 2600 MKII (Tascam's last analog design, so that must mean something). It kills the Mackie in every way...headroom, tone, eq. I've got a excellent condition one that I will be selling with a custom desk in a few months. You could get a beefier power supply and really tighten up the low end for less than $500 too.
  17. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    Mogadore, OH
    I have a Allen Heath GL2200 24 x 4. It seems to be a real improvement over the VLZ Pro I had. Much better eq and the inserts (I use mostly external pre's) sound better to me than the Mackies. I also liked it better than the Soundcraft in the same price range.
  18. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    Mogadore, OH
    It was just under 2K new.
  19. MrKnobs

    MrKnobs Guest

    I just purchased a Tascam DM-24 to replace my aging but venerable M2600. The DM-24 sounds good and is jammed with features in a small footprint. I picked one up for under $2k. I liked my 2600 OK, but the EQ alone on the 24 is worth the swap, not to mention the on-board effects and touch fader automation. The gates and compressors are pretty good too, which will allow me to move some gear from my recording rack to my live rack, if not sell some outright.

    One caveat: not too many have been made yet, and the OS is a bit buggy. Tascam is being super helpful on their forum so far, but you know how these upgrade things go.

    Terry D.

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