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Discovered! New 24 channel, 6u rack mixer for £300
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lampmeister
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26th November 2006
Old 26th November 2006
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Talking Discovered! New 24 channel, 6u rack mixer for £300

Hey people,
Judging by a few recent threads (and my own situation) there are a reasonable number of us location recordists who are looking for a small rack mixer with lots of line inputs. Well, after crawling round the web searching high and low I've come across a solution which is cheap, flexible and has all the features I need to monitor up to 24 channels in a live recording situation. It isn't something I've heard anyone else suggest.
[cue drum rolll........]

2 x Alesis 12r - http://www.alesis.com/product.php?id=35

Circa £150(uk) each. No need to jump into bed with the ***** of Behringer or hunt down a 1980's Roland M-240/480 with crackly knobs. And seeing as they have 2-track stereo ins and outs there's no need to use up 2 channels chaining them together.

I think I can feel a plan coming together........

David.
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26th November 2006
Old 26th November 2006
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mean you for monitoring?
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26th November 2006
Old 26th November 2006
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Indeedy.
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26th November 2006
Old 26th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lampmeister View Post
And seeing as they have 2-track stereo ins and outs there's no need to use up 2 channels chaining them together.

I think I can feel a plan coming together........

David.
Hi.

I'm also looking for a small monitor mixer. Nice suggestion you have there.

I was at Alesis site and it seems like you can only listen to either two track OR master so I think you'll have to use the stereo aux return instead. Correct me if I'm wrong.

/Cojo
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27th November 2006
Old 27th November 2006
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You could be right Cojo. Darn. Anyway, still seems a pretty neat and tidy solution to me - less than half the size of my Yamaha O1v, which I'd still use for live direct-to-stereo recording, but I just don't want to carry the O1v to multitrack jobs and plug it all in when I get there and unplug it all when I leave. Not an efficient way of working.

Cheers,

Dave.
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27th November 2006
Old 27th November 2006
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I was searching for something like that untill I realized that the solution is not that compact in the end: I mean, to get 24 ch monitoring capability you'd have to link 2 of those, which is a good 6 RU in my rack...considering that I also have pres and recorders...the situation gets pretty bulky, that's why I've abandoned the idea of a rackmount mixer and pointed my aim toward a small digital mixer like the Yamaha 03D. For less than 16 ch recordings I can get by with the Ashly or other similar models by other brands, which are all 1RU and can be configured as 8 mono or 8 stereo inputs (I know, not the best flexibility, but it's workable), for bigger gigs I'd have to lug a bigger rack around with the 2 Alesis, so that's about the same as using a 03D in it's flight case, but it would allow more flexibility control and options (I know, it costs more, but ebay is the answer for that ).
Anyway, it's really nice of you to point that out, a few months back I would've seriously considered it.

L.G.
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27th November 2006
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Hi Lorenzo,
Yes, 6u still isn't small enough.
The way I run my system I have my mic-pres in a seperate rack next to the stage and digital snake to the recorder rack. This means my recorder rack has more space as the pre's/converters/etc are accomodated elsewhere. 2 small/medium size racks are certainly more manageable than 1 big one.

Cheers,

Dave.
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27th November 2006
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Yes, I understand what you mean, I simply tried to arrange my rig so that everything is already connected and I have to spend minimum time cabling units (you know, sometimes you just have the time to put up your mics and turn the power on before downbeat...but so is the life of mobile recording ), so I have a 12 RU with all of my equipment already wired. I just carry a separate one holding the backup recorders when I'm doing live gigs, so I'd deal with just the mixer case...but anyway, I totally understand your point, it's just that fitting another 6 RU in my rig in vertical direction would force me to buy an Empire State Building like rack , and fit it in the trunk of my mini suv...by myself at 3 AM in the morning after a gig...I let you immagine the funny picture...

Cheers

L.G.
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27th November 2006
Old 27th November 2006
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I just use mic pres that provide the monitoring function for me. That way I can fit everything into a six space rack: the HD24 and the three eight channel mic pres.

The SP828s have turned out to be very good general-purpose mic pres, and they provide a simple mix bus with level and pan controls. They also provide a solo function and can be chained together so that all 24 channels can be monitored together. The solo bus gets chained as well. It's really a nice little package for this purpose. Each channel has independent phantom, pad, and polarity switches.

http://www.studioprojects.com/sp828.html

The only real drawback is that it is awkward to reach the XLR mic inputs since they are fairly deep inside the back of the rack.

Everything stays analog until it gets into the HD24. I've upgraded to the XR version, so the conversion there is very good.

All in all, this has turned out to be an excellent combo for location recording.
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Discovered! New 24 channel, 6u rack mixer for £300-hd24sp828.jpg  
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27th November 2006
Old 27th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilliland View Post
...The only real drawback is that it is awkward to reach the XLR mic inputs since they are fairly deep inside the back of the rack.

Everything stays analog until it gets into the HD24. I've upgraded to the XR version, so the conversion there is very good.

All in all, this has turned out to be an excellent combo for location recording.
Why not consider remoting the XLRs to chassis mounted XLRs or multipin?
Then, you'll have complete access to your rig without hunting deep inside the sucker.

Also, how do you like those pres? Do they stand up to the test?
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27th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilliland View Post
Interesting product.

Quote:
The only real drawback is that it is awkward to reach the XLR mic inputs since they are fairly deep inside the back of the rack.
If there's space inside the rack, get a bunch of short XLR-XLR cables (20 cm or so). Keep 'em connected to the preamp, and connect the mic cables to these short cables.


Daniel
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27th November 2006
Old 27th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
Interesting product.

If there's space inside the rack, get a bunch of short XLR-XLR cables (20 cm or so). Keep 'em connected to the preamp, and connect the mic cables to these short cables.


Daniel
Yeah, or make a groovy XLR or multipin panel for the suckers!

Check this out > steve, wiring racks and organization
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27th November 2006
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Yeah, that's a really neat solution, I thought about a similar setup with 3 ATI 8MX2pres that allow the same mix buss and chaining functions as the Studio Project, but 3 ATIs were a bit out of my budget to start with...
The only thing is that you have a single color of preamp, so that's up to personal tastes, if you like that pre that's the best setup.
BTW, I quote Steve in asking how's those pres? clean, colored, in between, what about headroom?

Thanx for your tip

L.G.
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28th November 2006
Old 28th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Yeah, or make a groovy XLR or multipin panel for the suckers!

Check this out > steve, wiring racks and organization
That's very cool, but it may be overkill for my simple needs. I just need to be able to plug in a typical XLR fantail. Daniel's suggestion of some short extensions may be my best bet. Though an XLR panel like yours would work as well. But sometimes I need to be able to get to the line inputs and outputs, so the simple extension may prove more flexible for my purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
Also, how do you like those pres? Do they stand up to the test?
I've become more and more fond of them over time. I first got them about a year ago, and I felt that they were a good value and a good step up from the garden variety mixer pres that many of us use. But over time I've come to realize that they really are quite a bit better than that. They are not colored - they are quite clean and transparent. They offer plenty of gain, though if you crank them up enough, you will eventually bring up their noise floor. But I've made some very nice recordings with them.

Most of my work is recording live concerts for broadcast. I could point you to a whole bunch of my shows online, but they've all been MP3d (or whatever), so you can't really judge anything from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerax View Post
The only thing is that you have a single color of preamp, so that's up to personal tastes, if you like that pre that's the best setup.
BTW, I quote Steve in asking how's those pres? clean, colored, in between, what about headroom?
My decision on these was to use them as my "base" preamps, and then to augment them with some "character" mic pres when needed. My work is done for public radio, so there aren't any big budgets here. So my "better" pres are units like the Brick and the Hamptone tube pre. Those do definitely offer a different sound from the SP828 - not necessarily better, but definitely of a different character. Tubes and transformers are bound to sound different than Burr-Brown ICs. So I have a very clean and transparent sound as my base, then add the others in when it makes sense to do so.

As for headroom, they seem to have plenty. I've never succeeded in pushing them to distortion. It's a lot easier to get those tube pres to distort than to get the SP828s to do so.

I'll try to see if I can put together a short sample of a recording that I've done recently.
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28th May 2007
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28th May 2007
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yeah I agree the Roland m-480 or better yet the 24 chl version is the way to go if its just for monitoring. Tiny knobs but it sounds great and even has a solo system and lots of echo sends and returns. I've had mixes done live on the roland get released on several CDs over the years in fact.

We still keep a pair of Rolands around that are linked for 48 track monitoring and occasionally get used when our ATI pres/ mixer won't do because we need pres with memory settings.

The Rolands paired with our Aphex 1788 pres did a festival this weekend in Seattle as a matter of fact.

Mark
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1st June 2007
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Im using the M240R for 2 years now and had the M160 before. It works perfect and sounds pretty good (though I use it only for monitoring and rehearsal/live puposes).

If people have some more rackspace, Mackie has a good rackmixer too (LM3204) and they are pretty affordable nowadays.
Tony Banks from Genesis uses his units for more then 10 years now...
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1st June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilliland View Post
I'll try to see if I can put together a short sample of a recording that I've done recently.
Seeing this thread come back to life surprised me. I was wondering who it was that mentioned the SP828 until I realized that I was reading my own post!

I see that I promised to provide a short sample of an SP828 recording, and that I never followed through with that. So here is a sample of a recording that I made of The Horseflies a couple of years ago using the SP828s. Every signal here - percussion, instruments, vocal, and room mics - all came through the SP828s.

The recording was compressed using high bitrate VBR MP3, so the loss due to data reduction isn't too bad - I think you can get a pretty good idea of the sound (or lack thereof) of the SP828 from this:

http://users.adelphia.net/~gilliland/Gray.mp3

BTW, this was recorded on stage in live performance in front of an audience, so it is perfectly on-topic for this forum.
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1st June 2007
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TOA seem to be one of those companies that makes good solid unglamourous products which can be found on ebay for great prices.

Recently I picked up one of these for just £100. $3,000rrp!!! Rock solid and as it includes 12 mic pres I'd be more than happy to use the pre's for work which isn't too critical.

Bargain me thinks.

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4th June 2007
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I owned one of those Alesis thingies right when they came out for similar purposes.

Big surprise.

I sold it almost immediately.

Imagine that. Alesis gear sucking?
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5th June 2007
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try the xtramix unbalanced version second hand. (about half the price from the balanced one, used)
I fumbled around long enough with lesser rackmixers.
Life is too short for crappy mixers IMHO.
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18th June 2007
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Hi all, very interested in this post

I notice a few people seem not to be monitoring through the recorder,
is this practice more acceptable in a remote recording situation or is it
mainly for space saving reasons?

I have been thinking about this a lot and wondering if there is any
point monitoring through a digital recorder these days as you are not
listening off of disk and therefore so long as you have 100pct trust in your
home made (so you are certain of it's integrity) wiring loom to the recorder is it strictly necessary?

Thanks all.
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18th June 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR View Post
I notice a few people seem not to be monitoring through the recorder, is this practice more acceptable in a remote recording situation or is it mainly for space saving reasons?
Personally, I'd prefer to monitor through the recorder, but I tend to forgo it in the interest of hauling less gear with me. I don't consider it a big deal, as I've never had a recording stop unexpectedly. But there's a first time for everything. Keep in mind that many recorders (like my HD24) pass signal even when they are stopped. So monitoring through the recorder might not let you know if you've had a failure.

The only other advantage that I could see for monitoring through the recorder is that you'd be able to hear what your signals sounded like after going through the converters. But in a live situation, I think that sort of nuance would not be particularly important.
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18th June 2007
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I am also an HD24 owner and am very happy with the machines
performance.

Thanks
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19th June 2007
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We (9 out of 10 times) alway monitor through the recorder.
I want to hear what I got going in and out of that box.
Who knows what could happen especially when you're not monitoring the device.
I also like the fact that I can playback the rehearsal or sound check and tweak the mix until showtime if necessary.

Furthermore, if we (the mix engineer) are not listening through the recorder; we have a dual system running with someone monitoring the recorder while we mix off the stage inputs.

I like the confidence I get doing it this way, but that's just me -- your mileage may vary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR View Post
Hi all, very interested in this post

I notice a few people seem not to be monitoring through the recorder,
is this practice more acceptable in a remote recording situation or is it
mainly for space saving reasons?

I have been thinking about this a lot and wondering if there is any
point monitoring through a digital recorder these days as you are not
listening off of disk and therefore so long as you have 100pct trust in your
home made (so you are certain of it's integrity) wiring loom to the recorder is it strictly necessary?

Thanks all.
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