Need advice on good live mixing desk
dan_gribble
Thread Starter
#1
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Need advice on good live mixing desk

Hi guys, although I'm old hat at gigging, I'm new to live mixing scenario as it's now fallen on me to take the sound engineer responsibility of a new covers band I'm playing in.

We are in the process of getting an HK Audio elements PA system (it's a top end spec one), and we have around £1000 left of our budget to purchase a mixing desk.

The previous band I played in used a Mackie CFX22 (V1) and although I know technology has moved on, I really liked the facilities available on that desk. I'm aware though that new mackie gear has had some quality and reliability issues & I've been advised that an Allen & Heath Zed22fx or Mix Wizard 16:2 would be the way to go.

I guess what I'm asking is are there any other really good alternatives for around that price that would incorporate around 20 channels (at least 16 xlr) with 4 sub-groups, effects & if possible a graphic EQ. The Allen & Heath desks don't offer all of those on one console. Apologies if this has been covered before, but any advice would be hugely appreciated.
#2
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #2
Gear maniac
 

The Allen and Heath analogue gear is pretty impressive for the price. I've never seen a small mixer sub 1500 sound that good.

No analogue console wil have a built in 1/3rd octave graphic eq, you are much better off with an external graphic eq.

Might be able to find a VeniceF 24 or U 24 used in your budget range, although I really have no idea what used gear is priced your side of the pond.
Quote
1
#3
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #3
Gear maniac
 

These two are quite popular

Behringer X32 and the Presonus 32.4.2 are very popular and offer tons of features. I own a Presonus 24.4.2 and love it.
#4
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #4
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattrick View Post
These two are quite popular

Behringer X32 and the Presonus 32.4.2 are very popular and offer tons of features. I own a Presonus 24.4.2 and love it.
And both are way above OP's stated price range
#5
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #5
Gear maniac
 
Soniferous's Avatar
 

Behringer X32 can be had for about $2400 without much difficulty. You'll have to excuse us - when we see British pounds we think "oh that's $2.5 each" we've forgotten the GBP has lost value during the recession.

The Behringer desk is pretty superior to the Presonus one when it come to live work. There are a lot of confusing LEDs and the mic pres gains aren't stored in scene memory, along with a whole host of other non-user friendly features in the Presonus vs the Behringer.

If you can scrounge up the dough it's a great little board - 32 channels, 16 bus, 8 groups, very decent mic pres (they bought Midas, as well as Klark-Teknik and had the new acquisitions join forces to make this desk). Full EQ/dynamics on every channel, plus on all busses, full digital effects rack, with the returns, 6 aux outs, it sounds pretty darn good. and it's easy to use. It also doubles as a 32 I/O Pro Tools (or other DAW) rig. We use it to record concerts live.

There are some disappointing features, currently doesn't support clock input. And though it does have two headphone jacks, it seems to add some irritating HF noise to the HP monitor path when both are in use. But if you can overlook these small design oversights, it's a great little desk - it packs all the punch of larger digital desks at 1/10th the price or less.

For the OP:
I would consider saving a little money for a bit and then grabbing this guy. He's what I am suggesting to all my "new engineer" buddies, both live and studio. If you don't have any gear it's a really great solution for a LOT of things as a first purchase.

Imagine saving your setup as a scene so you only have to tweak a little bit to adjust to each room. Recording performances and rehearsals, playing them back as multitracks through the desk - you can do that virtual soundcheck thing, etc..
#6
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #6
Gear maniac
 

That being said, there's been reliability issues with both Studiolive and X32's.

If you think you need full dynamics on every channel the x32 is certainly a reasonable option, but if you are just looking for a rock solid analogue board, the A&H gear is a really good choice.

Used the x32, there's certainly a price to quality tradeoff, but the feature set is pretty impressive.
XJR
#7
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #7
XJR
Gear maniac
 

The Studiolive 16:0:2 is about £850 in the UK and is a bargain if you can manage with 8 mono and 4 stereo channels. The better 16:4:2 goes for about £1600 and gives you 16 mono channels on faders and 2 stereo lines all with dynamics


I like the Studiolives. They are very easy to use and sound fine. The A&H Mix Wizard is mentioned is a good analog desk but needs a lot of outboard, and there's no option to remote mix with iPad or record gigs in multitrack like there is with a Presonus Studiolive or X32.
#8
2nd March 2013
Old 2nd March 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I would say given your budget, a decent used Mix Wiz and a good dual channel 31 band graphic EQ (Klark Teknik, etc.) will do you fine and be similar to the layout of the Mackie, but with far better sound. While the Mix Wiz doesn't have parametric EQ, dynamics and effects per channel, it sounds good and you can add outboard as needed.

Also used in your price range you may find a Yamaha 01v96. Great digital mixer that's easily expandable to add more mic pre's. I have an original 01v and wouldn't go back to analog mixers due to being able to use faders for effects sends, monitor levels, etc.

Used your pounds will go further. Good luck!
#9
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
  #9
Gear addict
 

going second hand you should be able to get a Mackie 1604 or MixWiz 16 for much less than £1000, spend the rest on a decent flight case and an EDAC multicore which you can leave the tails in the case so you don't have to plug it up every gig.
#10
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #10
Gear maniac
 
440HzMusic's Avatar
 

Having a grand on standby gives you a lot of options both new and second hand.
It also depends very much on how compact a board you need.
Again reiterating what has been mentioned above. Forget onboard Graphic EQ and effects on an analogue board, better to spend money on an external units.
You could get hold of various decent Allen and Heath GL series boards 2nd hand in that price range. Or even a DDA if you are willing to take a gamble on potential power supply issues.
The A&H Zed boards are surprisingly good. Especially the higher end ones.
I have fallen out of favor with Soundcrafts more budget conscious options of late.

I have an SL 24.4.2 which would be ideal.. But out of your budget range.
I have a funny feeling that the 16 channel version must be due a price drop.. as both the 16.0.2 and the 24.4.2 have dropped significantly of late. If it does drop and you could stretch to it, then that would take care of eq, dynamics and effects needs, and save you a fair whack of bother in lugging gear around.
#11
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Mix wizard 16:2
Compact, built in effects that can be modified via midi-USB connection to a computer.
4 band Eq per channel 2 mid band parametric
6 aux sends configurable pre/post
And pre/post Eq
Put a 31 EQ behind it and crossover if needed.
#12
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #12
Gear maniac
 
440HzMusic's Avatar
 

Unfortunately, although great compact desks, the Mixwizards do not have 4 subgroups as specified.
#13
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Cover'd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 440HzMusic View Post
Unfortunately, although great compact desks, the Mixwizards do not have 4 subgroups as specified.
Good point... although depending on intend SubGroup usage, there might be another way to achieve that intention via different ways



I have to confess that I didn't know about the MixWiz series and they do look very appealing

We too currently use 4 SubGroups, but could work around that with other options / features / methods
XJR
#14
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #14
XJR
Gear maniac
 

The Presonus Studiolive 16:0:2 cost less money than the Mix Wizard, does have 4 subgroups, plus 31 band EQs on main outs, 4 aux sends for monitors and 2 for internal effects. You get dynamics on every channel, 16 x 16 firewire recording, Ipad remote mixing ....the list goes on

I like the A&H analog stuff, the GL2400 we have is very good and has a lot more features than the Wizard but that's still not as useful as a Studiolive for small scale pub \ club band mixing in my humble experience

I'm sure the channel strip in the Mixwizard and GL2400 is better in terms of headroom and whatever but when source is a bunch of 58's and 57's going out to a set of Mackie SRM's does it actually matter much ?

I wonder how much longer analog desks will be manufactured for, the digital stuff is getting so cheap now and must be cheaper to build. 25 encoders versus 128 real pots for example
#15
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #15
Gear maniac
 
440HzMusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJR View Post
The Presonus Studiolive 16:0:2 cost less money than the Mix Wizard, does have 4 subgroups, plus 31 band EQs on main outs, 4 aux sends for monitors and 2 for internal effects. You get dynamics on every channel, 16 x 16 firewire recording, Ipad remote mixing ....the list goes on
I'm afraid the 16.0.2 has no sub groups (Hence the 0). Just 4 auxes that happen to be on faders. It also only has 12 mic/line inputs.
A very flexible little desk though and if you can live with 12 mic ins and 4 auxes.
XJR
#16
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #16
XJR
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 440HzMusic View Post
I'm afraid the 16.0.2 has no sub groups (Hence the 0). Just 4 auxes that happen to be on faders. It also only has 12 mic/line inputs.
A very flexible little desk though and if you can live with 12 mic ins and 4 auxes.
Yes sorry your right, no subs on the 16:0:2. I'm using the 16:4:2 and those 4 faders are sub groups on mine but as you say, auxes on the 16:0
#17
4th March 2013
Old 4th March 2013
  #17
Gear maniac
 
440HzMusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJR View Post
Yes sorry your right, no subs on the 16:0:2. I'm using the 16:4:2 and those 4 faders are sub groups on mine but as you say, auxes on the 16:0
I like your optimism!
I have the 24. If there were 4 subs on the wee fella I would buy one tomorrow!

I have actually been looking for a small 4 subgroup mixer for a smallish bar install. I have seriously been considering the 16.0.2 but...
I want to run 3 zones from 1 desk. I still think its do-able with the 16.0.2 with a little bit of outboard graph to help it along. Most of the zone work will just be music playback or TV feeds.. So i reckon it would be manageable on the Auxes stereo linked..

I digress, I shall start another thread when I have the cash in my hand, unless anyone has some input that would also be of help to the OP.
#18
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Soundcraft LX7 16 or 24 gets my vote. Dual swept mids, 6 aux, 4 subgroups, solid build, great sound. If you really want built-in effects there's the FX16 or Yamaha MG24/14FX, but don't count on the effects units lasting forever. Don't get an LX7ii or FX16ii, they're badly made junk from China. The original LX7 and FX16 are made in UK. Mackie Onyx is another decent option. The cheapest dual EQ's I like are the Rane ME60 (2RU) or GE60 (3RU). DBX EQ's are noisy and the other cheapies just sound crappy.
#19
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
  #19
Gear maniac
 

"The Behringer desk is pretty superior to the Presonus one when it come to live work. There are a lot of confusing LEDs and the mic pres gains aren't stored in scene memory, along with a whole host of other non-user friendly features in the Presonus vs the Behringer."

I found this quote earlier in the thread and had to comment. I own a Presonus 24.4.2 which is outstanding and find the above quote misleading and in accurate. The Presonus desks are very intuitive, extremely easy to use and sound great. Yes you have to "learn" how to use it just like you do with other intuitive gear aka Axe FX II as an example as a guitar player. In addition the integration of using Capture software and Studio One DAW makes the Presonus equipment very leading edge for the money. I am not dissing the Behringer desk at all I am sure it is outstanding as well. I don't really think either are bad choices at all especially if you pick one up used.
#20
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
  #20
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattrick View Post
"The Behringer desk is pretty superior to the Presonus one when it come to live work. There are a lot of confusing LEDs and the mic pres gains aren't stored in scene memory, along with a whole host of other non-user friendly features in the Presonus vs the Behringer."

I found this quote earlier in the thread and had to comment. I own a Presonus 24.4.2 which is outstanding and find the above quote misleading and in accurate. The Presonus desks are very intuitive, extremely easy to use and sound great. .

+1

I've got the 16.0.2 which I use for exactly the same purpose as required by the OP, and it's great. I'd never used a decent live mixer before, but I got my head round it in minutes - I honestly couldn't call it non-user friendly. OK so the pres aren't recallable, but if you use the same channels for the same sources every time, you shouldn't have to do much, if any, tweaking. Even if you don't, it doesn't take long to set an input level.

To the OP, as stated, the next model up, the 16.4.2 will give you the four sub-groups, 16 XLRs (although that's all in terms of inputs) and 31 band graphic you need, and although a new one is over budget, prices are coming down, and it's worth considering if you come across a second-hand one.
XJR
#21
7th March 2013
Old 7th March 2013
  #21
XJR
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by littleeden View Post
+1

I've got the 16.0.2 which I use for exactly the same purpose as required by the OP, and it's great. I'd never used a decent live mixer before, but I got my head round it in minutes - I honestly couldn't call it non-user friendly. OK so the pres aren't recallable, but if you use the same channels for the same sources every time, you shouldn't have to do much, if any, tweaking. Even if you don't, it doesn't take long to set an input level.

To the OP, as stated, the next model up, the 16.4.2 will give you the four sub-groups, 16 XLRs (although that's all in terms of inputs) and 31 band graphic you need, and although a new one is over budget, prices are coming down, and it's worth considering if you come across a second-hand one.
+2

The Studiolive is probably the easiest digital desk out there at the moment to use, from left to right it's HP filter, gate, comp and EQ all expressed in LED's so need to use a screen to adjust anything other than changing effects. I certainly got used to it quicker than I did on the LS9

Also digital recall of pre amp gain is pointless unless the source can also be accurately recalled, I mean you might recall the gain you had on a guys mic'ed Mesa rig or whatever for the next time you mix his band but unless he sets his volume exactly as it was before your recall gain isn't valid surely ?
If it's a multi band bash and different amps and singers are sharing channels then it's probably useful but a lack recall for the gain pot wouldn't be a deal breaker
#22
18th March 2013
Old 18th March 2013
  #22
Gear Head
 

As AC2SPL said both the Soundcraft LX7 and the Yamaha MG24/FX are worth looking at.
I used to have a 24 LX7 and it sounded wonderful but sold it when I got my Mix-Wizard as I couldn’t afford to keep both and needed something compact.

I also have used the Yamaha quite a lot when working for a small sound company. It is a good board not quite on par with the good Soundcrafts and A&H desks but I prefer them to Mackies. It also has some of the best sounding on board effects processors but as previously stated it has some reliability issues.

I have also seen a lot of A&H GL series boards go for 1000 or under in the last year.
#23
18th March 2013
Old 18th March 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_gribble View Post
Hi guys, although I'm old hat at gigging, I'm new to live mixing scenario as it's now fallen on me to take the sound engineer responsibility of a new covers band I'm playing in.
Mixing from the stage while playing? That could factor into the console selection.
dan_gribble
Thread Starter
#24
16th April 2013
Old 16th April 2013
  #24
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Hi guys, thanks for the great advice. I decided to abandon the idea of an all in one mixer & ended up buying an Allen & Heath Zed 420. I'm currently looking at external effects units. I'm quite taken with the lexicon MX300.

I need a bit more advice on some good effects units & how to connect them, I guess I should start another thread?
#25
21st April 2013
Old 21st April 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan_gribble View Post
Hi guys, thanks for the great advice. I decided to abandon the idea of an all in one mixer & ended up buying an Allen & Heath Zed 420. I'm currently looking at external effects units. I'm quite taken with the lexicon MX300.

I need a bit more advice on some good effects units & how to connect them, I guess I should start another thread?
...and just when you pull the trigger, the Allen & Heath QU16 is released. Ticks an awful lot of boxes. Although it is a little more coin.

You will enjoy the ZED series though. They are amazingly good considering what they cost.

Just keep in mind, when buying your outboard, cheap graphic EQ's are better off not being anywhere near the system. You need to go for a minimum of a DBX 2231, and even then, that is only just passable.
#26
21st April 2013
Old 21st April 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Cover'd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aisle 6 View Post
...and just when you pull the trigger, the Allen & Heath QU16 is released.
Aww goddamnit! I'd just got really comfortable about not going with a digital mixer and sticking with the classic Mackie too!
#27
23rd April 2013
Old 23rd April 2013
  #27
Gear interested
 
BenjiMasterton's Avatar
 

The X32 is amazing. (for it's price) It sounds perfect for you. With the Ipad and Iphone apps, you can mix FOH from stage with the Ipad and you can mix your own monitors with your Iphones. It's great. It also has excellent outboard, 8 racks. You can have stereo Graphics or Effects on any of them. And compressors, gates and Parametrics on each channel.
#28
23rd April 2013
Old 23rd April 2013
  #28
Gear maniac
 
440HzMusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjiMasterton View Post
The X32 is amazing. (for it's price) It sounds perfect for you. With the Ipad and Iphone apps, you can mix FOH from stage with the Ipad and you can mix your own monitors with your Iphones. It's great. It also has excellent outboard, 8 racks. You can have stereo Graphics or Effects on any of them. And compressors, gates and Parametrics on each channel.
It certainly would be amazing if you could get one for a grand, which is the OP's budget.

That and the fact he's already bought an Allen Heath Zed 421.
#29
23rd April 2013
Old 23rd April 2013
  #29
Gear interested
 
BenjiMasterton's Avatar
 

hahaha, oh I can't find my glasses which is why I must have missed that one!
#30
23rd April 2013
Old 23rd April 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJR View Post
Also digital recall of pre amp gain is pointless unless the source can also be accurately recalled, I mean you might recall the gain you had on a guys mic'ed Mesa rig or whatever for the next time you mix his band but unless he sets his volume exactly as it was before your recall gain isn't valid surely ?
If it's a multi band bash and different amps and singers are sharing channels then it's probably useful but a lack recall for the gain pot wouldn't be a deal breaker
A good point but just to show how 'live sound' can vary, what about a theatrical type performance with tens or hundreds of cues as people come on and off stage, between scenes, as EFX come in and out, etc.? And that type of approach is no longer limited to theatres, you can see it being applied worship, corporate and other applications as well. And with some of those systems run by volunteers or students, being able to recall everything simply can be very valuable.

In the end, whether any potential advantage or disadvantage of any console is really an advantage or disadvantage depends on the situation and you can even have what may be an advantage in one situation be a disadvantage in another or vice versa.
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
ahjteam / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
0
marty lester / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
9
paulneedles / Live Sound
3
smilinjames / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music & Location Recording
3

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.