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Phonic PHHB24FW MKII Helix Board Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 15th August 2007
  #1
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Phonic PHHB24FW MKII Helix Board

i need tips about this mixer? pros and cons...thanxXx
Old 17th August 2007
  #2
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My experience with the Phonic Helix 24 MKII

I have used this board quite a bit now (had one for about 4 months) and have recorded rehearsals and gigs with it.

My first comment about this piece is on the Firewire drivers - they work! In fact, they have been painless so far. I use them on a relatively old HP laptop, (AMD Athlon processor 1.5 Gh, 512MB RAM, 5200 RPM drive) and I am able to record all 16 tracks at 24/48 with no problems at all. It'll sit there and record for hours without a hitch. I use Reaper, not Cubase LE. Reaper uses a lot less CPU. I did try recording all 16 at 24/96 and the laptop did freeze up after 10 mins or so, but I'm sure that's the laptop, not the Phonic drivers or the the Reaper software. I'm certain if I hooked it up to one of my stronger desktop systems, it would very happily record all 16 tracks at full resolution.

The analog mixer sounds really, really good. Crisp, detailed, quiet...I was amazed. As a live mixer, it's way up to the task. It probably doesn't compare to a high-end studio mixer, but that's not what I bought it for anyway. It has all the essential routing features and pretty good effects as well. It's all we need for live work, we just fit into 16 channels.

The recordings are very good quality. You can record pre or post via some hidden switches under a panel on the bottom of the unit (don't really know why they hid them that way). I usually record pre and do all the processing at home on the DAW.

It's a great unit at an unbelievable price. The only thing it doesn't do is let you mixdown your recording, but it does let you monitor two channels stereo back from the computer. A small limitation really. I don't want to mixdown on the spot anyway. It does let you record the master left and right from the board along with the tracks, so if you really need to, you could master those two tracks on-site and have a decent recording of exactly what your audience heard.

I love mine and am thinking about a second one. I've tried just about all the other options over the last two years, Presonus Firestudio, Korg D3200 and D888, Roland VS2480, Emu, and more. Had problems with every single one of those products. This is the only thing that has the right price and works well.

While we're discussing budget gear - be sure to check out the Red5 microphones. Another fantastic product for teensy amounts of money.

Hope this helps.
Old 22nd September 2008
  #3
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yes i have this board as well, bottom line is your probably not gonna record anything professional quality with it but for getting scratch tracks, or recording rehearsels its great. it is so easy to use which is why its great for rehearsels just plug and play pretty much and the sound is really good for the price i reccomend it !!!!
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