REQ-mixer advice

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by strngpkr, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. strngpkr

    strngpkr Guest

    Hi all, I'm planning on purchasing an Alesis hd24. What mixer should I get? It's for home studio use- miking electric guitars thru amps, acoustic strings(mandos, banjos, martins), vocals, drums.
    I've been reading some negative stuff about the Mackie 1604. Should I get the Mackie? What else can I get that's around $1000?

  2. Clueless

    Clueless Guest

    I have:

    A Mackie 1202 VLZ
    A Mackie 1604 VLZ
    A Venice 160
    A Venice 320

    Your budget is: $1000

    I would: bump the budget to $1500 and look really hard for a used Venice 160. These boards are made for live work (rental companies are their #1 market), so you know they're made like tanks. As I've posted in numerous other forums, the Mackie's are tricky: they'll make you wonder what's wrong with you. The Venices are sweet: they'll make it really clear where you're good and where you need work.

    That said, if you want to put an offer on either of my Mackies, I'm open to suggestions. If my budget were a hard $1000, and there was no way I'd be seeing an extra $500 any time in the next year, I'd probably look for somebody willing to sell a 1604 VLZ for $700 or so, and spend the remaining $300 on therapy ;)
  3. sapplegate

    sapplegate Active Member

    Mar 5, 2001
    Other options to consider as well:

    Behringer MX9000
    Behringer DDX3216 digital

    Soundtracs Topaz Project 8
    Tascam M2600
    Mackie 8-bus
  4. strngpkr

    strngpkr Guest

    Thanks for the info, an extra $500 would be doable maybe even $1000. Looks like I'll be looking for a used rig. I'm not familiar with Venice products, I've heard Soundcraft might be good, too.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Of all the mixers on the list the Soundtrax is the best with the Tascam being second.I cant comment on the Midas as recording boards though live they are very nice.Mackie probably has better internal parts than the B---ringer the design is very close to the same.(mackie was the original)....Your choice in this will be based on what your needs are.Just buying a 24 track HD based recorder doesnt mean that you need 24 channels, though that would be best.The next consideration is the amount of auxillary sends and returns you're going to need for effects,monitoring,and possibly midi controlled keyboard tracks at a mix.Then you have to decide how many sub-buses you're going to want.Your skill level in mixing will probably determine this.If you dont understand what this means to your needs then 4 subs will probably do,with direct outs on each channel.

    Identifying your basic needs in a console before you shop will allow you to look at many more options than just selecting a 'cheap one' from a catalog.

    Regardless of what you read either here or at other sites, this is a choice that only you can make.Getting feedback is a good thing,yet this will also be subjective to the opinion of the poster and their own experiences and personal preferences.Once you make your choice you have to live with it so its very good to research and if you have the chance,go listen to some different models and brands.

    New is NOT always 'best'.Sure, you might get some kind of limited guarantee,but in most cases,this means packing up the mixer and sendng it off at your expense while your project sits and you fume. There are many very very good sounding desks out there that may not have all the knobs that the newest mixers have, but they have massive amounts of sound compared to the rather puny sound quality one finds in todays boards.SO,this is a choice.....knobs or sound quality!!???

    Its always my recommendation to get something that has a good monitor routing,a couple of effects buses able to be used pre EQ or post,Has direct outs on every channel,has 48 volt phantom power,has a phase switch on every channel,has a pad on the inputs,and has headroom available for mics with a smaller amount of output.

    Sound daunting?Remember that a HD24 recorder will basically reproduce very accurately what you put in it.

    The best sounding older consoles I know of are the Ramsa/Panasonic,Yamaha,Tascam,And older Soundcraft.There are lots of em out there in your price range needing a home and someone to love em.I personally know where theres a Yamaha 2404 in fairly good shape.This is a mixer with very good mic pres.There arent a lot of effects buses but it sounds way better than any Mackie.
  6. strngpkr

    strngpkr Guest

    Thanks Davedog. Helps a lot.
  7. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    We have a 20-channel RAMSA WR-T820 that we want to trade for a Mackie 1604-VLZ Pro, or sell outright to buy the Mackie.

    We need a live performance (PA) mixer (Mackie), as the RAMSA has been replaced by our Aardvark Q10 DAW.

    Other contributors have done tests on the Mackie, and found out the preamps are pretty good, but the summing amps are crap, and that is where the degradation occurs. Our dual Q10 arrangement is far superior to the Mackie for recording, and we mix in the DAW. The 1604 VLZ Pro appears limited to 8 direct-outs, and 8 ins. One should read the specs carefully if desiring to use the Mackie for more than 8 tracks.
  8. buttachunk

    buttachunk Guest

    go with soundcraft or soundtracs. best parts, best designs. both are more modify-able down the road than any of the others... i'd stay away from digital unless you only need it for a short time and aren't worried about recouping your investment down the road.
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