Thanks for post
as recorder a Pro tools tdm daw ,
an analog tape machine will be nice but out of budget (unfortunately..)
as compressors i made some test
and if the track have to be keeped clean , better a tdm plug in
no "hi-end" compressors in my room (unfortunately..)
anyway i checked some dbx and drawmer on few tracks
like drums , bass ,keys,...
and sometime they can be good , sometime not,
hearing with attention they are a "bottle neck"
(E-lab distressor included)
checked with output from 888-24 direct to distressor than to the input
of active monitors , no desk between .
about eqs i'm trying to equalize with some tdm eq
but very very no satisfaction ...
probabily the "poor" mackie eq sound (only a bit , but) better ...
... and alwyas a "bottle neck" ...
(checked also Behringer 9000 desk eq ... ,
of course neve , ssl , etc... desk and outboard are another planet
but "bank crack" too...
Originally Posted by RiF
To answer your questions, it could be helpful to get some more insight in your complete setup, because the mixing console is just one piece of the whole picture. It provides EQ, faders and panning but there's still compression, fx like delays/reverbs/other fx and automation which is not convered by the console.
What are you using as a "tape machine"? A DAW? A hardware multitrack recorder?
Where do you want to apply compression? In the box before sending the audio out to the console?
Or do you have hardware compressors? If so, how many?
Do you have hardware delay/reverb units?
Do you have hardware sound modules? If so, how many?
What is a typical set of tracks for the music that you want to mix?
It's different if you're working with singer/songwriter (e.g. 2-4 tracks of vocals and acoustic) type of tracks or a typical rock band (see KRStudio's post) or an 80 dance/pop scenario.
The answers to these questions will help us giving more precise answers to your questions about fx-returns, count and use of busses and channel count.