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redhand001
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#1
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
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Mixer advice needed

I am looking at getting a mixing desk for my home studio and need some advice. I am currently recording everything into Logic through my audio interface and am looking to be able to run a couple of synths and my MPC through the desk.
I am working almost exclusively on electronic music mostly deep house. I was recommended the Mackie 1604 for this kind of sound. Anyone have any other suggestions?
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3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
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mackie onyx or an old/new soundcraft board.
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3rd March 2012
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The new small mixers do not have any "kind of sound". You should aim for quality, low noise floor and great sounding EQs and preamps.

I've got Allen & Heath ZED10 and it's phenomenal for my needs. Its built quality is top notch, it's very quiet and it's got very nice sounding EQs. On the downside, it's very limited with not too many inputs. But it's just perfect for me as I don't have or plan to have more sound sources than it can handle.
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3rd March 2012
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i'm in the same boat... i definitely think mackie mixer is the way to go 1402, 1642 or 1604 depending on your needs/budget... no need to get the onyx series if your happy with your interface, besides i've heard horror stories about mackie drivers especially on mac.

btw, i think OP might have been recommended the original 1604 CR which is a well known mixer for house/techno as it does deliver a sound when the preamps are pushed. beware though they are getting old and unreliable (i passed on 2 that were faulty and now looking into the more recent vlz series)
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3rd March 2012
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Mackie onyx 1640i or A&H zed r16.. if that's above your budget, get an old 1640 with the firewire board.. The flexibility in terms of routing is really worth it!
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3rd March 2012
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I had suggested the onyx, and some one pointed out to go with the vlz series if you don't need the interface functionality. the onyx is still a great mixer even if you don't use the firewire, but I see the point.

since the dude doesn't need firewire, I would suggest a used mackie onyx 1640, about the same price as a brand new 1220i.
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3rd March 2012
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i'm curious what does the mackie onyx 1640 have better than the 1642 vlz ?

edit: just read this on sos review:

The VLZ3 series compares favourably with most analogue mixers in the same price range. If you are looking for alternatives for comparison, Mackie's Onyx series offers similarly good quality, but with a much more coloured, warmer sound. For transparent-sounding preamps like those of the VLZ3, you should check out models by Allen & Heath and Spirit.
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3rd March 2012
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I just prefer the layout and the sound of the onyx. if you want the super clean vlz, then thats the better choice obv.
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3rd March 2012
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budget????
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3rd March 2012
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I have a VLZ-series Mackie. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The sound quality is no good, particularly the EQ. It doesn't sound good when overdriving the gain either, which is a huge minus in my books.
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3rd March 2012
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hmm i'm leaning back towards the onyx now..maybe even the small 820i just to warm up synths & drum machines. i guess those perkin eq's mackie touts about make a difference, but what about the onyx preamps, how do they sound overdriven?
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3rd March 2012
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I haven't really experimented enough with overdriving the mic-pres to comment, but the allen and heath boards probably do a little more for warming up or mild coloration of synths and drum machines than the onyx does. the trade off is noisier preamps, but the zed14 which is $200 less than the onyx1220i, has 4 aux sends which is nice, although I personally wouldn't need that. and I personally hate how they leave out the midrange EQ knob on the stereo channels on A&H boards. The Allen & Heath Zed 14 is a great deal I think. The mixer part alone of the zed 14 and 1220i are comparable. If you throw in the fact that the onyx boards have the multi-track firewire interface, it becomes a great buy in my book, because you are getting 4 mic pre firewire audio interface for $200 essentially.

one more thing: I prefer the size of the 820i/1220i for live use over than A&H boards. While those two mixers I mentioned are very comparable, the A&H is a few inches bigger in length and width.
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3rd March 2012
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i know i was just inquiring about the 1220i in another sub-forum, but i heard nightmare stories about the drivers (it works perfect for some, not at all for others) and mackie isn't exactly well known for audio interfaces.

i'm now leaning for mbox pro + mackie 820i/1402vlz

A&H sounds nice but i'm really a sucker for mackie mixer design (mute alt3-4 etc)
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3rd March 2012
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I am using a 1604 VLZ PRO since 6 years in my homestudio and it suits my needs. The Preamps are clean and lownoise. The mixer gives me enough routing possibilities. It has 8 direct outs, the 4 groups have direct outs as well. I don't use the EQ's when recording, because I've got better EQ Plugins. Very useful as well are the Inserts, if you want to use a Compressor during recording. I have 6 channels of highend pre's for Vocals, Guitars a.s.o. but the Mackie comes handy if I need more channels, when recording drums for example ....
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#15
3rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
i know i was just inquiring about the 1220i in another sub-forum, but i heard nightmare stories about the drivers (it works perfect for some, not at all for others) and mackie isn't exactly well known for audio interfaces.

i'm now leaning for mbox pro + mackie 820i/1402vlz

A&H sounds nice but i'm really a sucker for mackie mixer design (mute alt3-4 etc)
yeah, I also like the mackie mixer design myself too. the audio interface is just a temporary thing, I will eventually upgrade to a real interface when I upgrade my computer.
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3rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanax View Post
btw, i think OP might have been recommended the original 1604 CR which is a well known mixer for house/techno as it does deliver a sound when the preamps are pushed. beware though they are getting old and unreliable (i passed on 2 that were faulty and now looking into the more recent vlz series)
This is actually very true. A lot of records have been made on those mixers butI think more were made on the VLZ series. Its only recently I kind of realised how many people used these mixers and yes they do have a particular sound about them. A 16 channel VLZ can be picked up really cheap these days.

Must also mention that I do like the sound of the Onyx as well. Way better (ie warmer) sound than what I got from a previously owned Allen+Heath Zedr16. What a disappointment that was. To be honest I think all the newer Allen+Heath stuff is way over rated. DJs creamed themselves over the Xone range. I had one of them as well. Another disappointment.
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3rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceacademy View Post
This is actually very true. A lot of records have been made on those mixers butI think more were made on the VLZ series. Its only recently I kind of realised how many people used these mixers and yes they do have a particular sound about them. A 16 channel VLZ can be picked up really cheap these days.

Must also mention that I do like the sound of the Onyx as well. Way better (ie warmer) sound than what I got from a previously owned Allen+Heath Zedr16. What a disappointment that was. To be honest I think all the newer Allen+Heath stuff is way over rated. DJs creamed themselves over the Xone range. I had one of them as well. Another disappointment.
Nice to hear a different perspective on the A&H stuff, everyone seems to be creaming over the Zed and Xone stuff.. I also prefer the Onyx... though the xone:42 is one ballsy DJ mixer to be sure.
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3rd March 2012
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Or the Mackie LM3204 ??
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3rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceacademy View Post
To be honest I think all the newer Allen+Heath stuff is way over rated.
yeah, my roomate got one.. it started to smell bad after a couple days (that certain electrical burning smell).
Went back to GC to return it... guy came out with a replacement.. before he could even open the box my friend smelled that smell.

He got a new Mackie Onyx instead.

I personally like my Yamaha MG 16/4.
Nothing special and took it for granted for years.. but the more mixers I use.. the more I like it.
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3rd March 2012
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I havent used your Yamaha MG mixer but I am in no doubt it has some soul because Yamaha have made some pretty funky sounding mixers in the past. Ones that get lost below the radar but are secret weapons for the karma of the music. Theres one particular Yamaha mixer from the 80s which is highly rated and can be bought quite cheap. But sorry I cant recall its name.
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3rd March 2012
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I had a VLZ 1402 too. It was quite decent compared to Behrerehrrhigner crap but.... the preamps and eq are much less than that of a serious mixer, and it has NO HEADROOM. and it has a sound, which comes out when pushed.
That means you only got a small dynamic range to work in. if that's ok with you, they're handy little problem solvers with good routing possibillities.

budget??????????
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3rd March 2012
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please go ahead and share what you feel is a serious mixer?

i don't know OPs budget but by his mackie suggestion we're gonna assume he isn't looking for a SSL

(also we're talking for mixing house music not a live orchestra)
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3rd March 2012
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just IMO but id take an a&h or soundcraft over the mackie

at very least you get individual pcb's per channel so if something goes wrong you can whip it out and keep working . the mackies are 1 big single surface mount board which is very difficult to fix

having had a 1604 and 1604 vlz even a lowly zed or mixwizard is much better in terms of eq , noise , crosstalk and headroom . zed r16 would be perfect with fully parametric eq on each channel and firewire . if you can afford it.
#24
4th March 2012
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Soundcraft M8 or A&H Zed 10? The M series, you get what you pay for or it is overpriced?
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4th March 2012
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Logic is a paradox, one of the antonyms of Logic is intuitive. and that's what actually is, non-intuitive. i always thought Logic was intuitive.
but seems people are crazy, and Logic is not intuitive.
Recording Arts, and any other form of Art is intuitive.
so there is a dilemma of mixing Logic with arts.
Davinci mixed Logic with Arts, successfully. Are you Davinci? jajajajajaja
redhand001
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4th March 2012
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I really like the sound of the Mackie Onyx series but, as others have mentioned i'm a bit worried about the compatibility with my Mac OS (currently Snow Leopard but will probably upgrade fairly soon).
Also I've just been offered a Mackie 1604 VLZ really cheaply. I would combine it with my Motu 828 mk2.
Any thoughts?
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4th March 2012
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if you've already got a 828 it's a little bit silly getting the onyx since you are paying for the FW interface, and like i said there are compatibility problems especially with lion where the onyx apparently goes bezerk. so i'd go with the 1604, i'm going that route myself the more i think about it!
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4th March 2012
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hmm thinking of getting a mixer myself, reason being i don't want to keep looking at faders on my computer and changing volumes, i like to use my ears but i feel I'm using my eyes to much. i think a mixer will help with this, am i correct in saying the equalisers built into a soundcraft mixer or mackie mixer etc are sufficient to create a good mix? i would just need to buy a compressor and effects units? and 24 channel mixer means i can mix 24 tracks?
#29
4th March 2012
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analog mixers are generally considered warmer than digital mixing in sound, well more musical at least. many classic edm ep's & albums have been produced on a simple mackie mixer including daft punks first album (homework). obviously hands control on faders & knobs is a bonus as well. you can sure add compressor & fx unit, or route the mixer to your audio interface and post process in your daw..


btw, anybody familiar with the soundcraft spirit m series?

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=24
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4th March 2012
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my 2c

never mind any of the low end mixing desks like yamaha, mackie, behri, etc - I went through the whole gamut myself including a onyx 1640i and mackie 32x8 to end up itb.

for me i found all those low end mixers to degrade the sound in a bad way. unless you're dead set on having that smeary mushy sound, i'd suggest you invest in a bigger interface or at least a patch bay. so if you want to patch something dirty a patch bay would make life easier.

i too use logic and find it superior to anything analogue i've used - the recall and automation is worth it alone.

if the OP had a room full of synths and racks of effects I could understand a analogue desk to tie it all in.
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