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Great River MixMaster 20 Folks! Summing Mixers
Old 12th September 2017
  #1
Great River MixMaster 20 Folks!

Hey all,

I'm heavily considering the MixMaster 20 and wanted to see if everyone is still loving it. Most of what I'm reading on here is pretty old surrounding the product. Should I be putting other things in my consideration set for the money? i.e. the RND 5060? Anything else?

I'd love to hear more from users who have mixed on both.

Thanks!
Old 20th September 2017
  #2
Gear Head
I am loving mine. I purchased it new around 1 1/2 years ago. Summing is great, pres are great, easy to use and set. Saves lots of space -- I have it in a sterling modular plan a desk. With a patchbay I am easily able to incorporate my extensive outboard gear and add inserts for channels 1-4, master section and channels 8-16 (inserted between my da and the input on the mixmaster). Sends work nicely for adding reverb while tracking or other effects. Basically no regrets at all and Dan from great river has always been enormously helpful and responsive to any concerns or questions I've had including replacing a power cable because of the ergonomics and layout of my desk. And all for half the price of an API the box or similar spec'ed options. However, I have not mixed on a 5060 so I definitely cannot offer a comparison.

The three considerations I would suggest for evaluating the options if the great river is heavily on your radar are these: how many tracks do you want to record at once. I have no issue doing four at a time if needed although with three metric halos and a bunch of other pres I can do much more but it's easier to just monitor the four main inputs on the great river. Second is your need for faders compared with the knobs used on the great river. Again personally as much as I like faders it is not a deal breaker for me but some would prefer a long throw fader for all the channels as opposed to knobs and a master fader.
Finally the look -- while the great river is very classy and professional looking, if your clients are expecting a traditional appearing console with lots of faders taking up an entire desk then looks matter and the great river may not check that box.
Old 20th September 2017
  #3
Well said.

While sonically it is one of the best things out there, I think on a functional level for many engineers it either has too many bells and whistles, or not enough. When I had mine, I really only needed Summing. I would have rather had more of the channels having the extra transformers, with none of the Sends, monitoring, or Pres. Many of the people that needed more Console features Felt the mixmaster just didn’t have quite enough of what they needed to replace a console. But for the studios that are in the middle of those needs where the mix Master serves their purpose it is amazing. And I think the number of studios that fit the workflow of The mix Master is increasing

And I will second that Dan is one of the best in the industry to work with. He spent plenty of time on the phone with me while I was setting mine up, was prompt to both answer the phone and also in sending things through email, and he knows his stuff.

Even if someone only needs it as a summing device, that in the preamps are worth the price alone. It really does sound like great consul even if someone only needs it as a summing device, that in the preamps are worth the price alone. It really does sound like great console. If Dan ever made a larger desk version with 16 or 24 channels with faders I think API would have a strong contender. And if he made a 16 Channel summing only box with say eight or all 16 channels with the extra Transformers It would really eat into that market as well. But as is, i I have very few complaints about that box.
Old 21st September 2017
  #4
mpr
Lives for gear
 

I also have had an MM20 for 3-4 years now. The sound is never overbearing because the headroom is MASSIVE. You cannot get the MM20 to collapse the mix unless you come in stupidly hot. It has a very high end sound to my ear, but with a touch of class A weight that can be controlled by how hard you drive it.

I never hesitate to run even the most pristine recordings thru it because it will not change the inherent tone, but only add to it with a subtle depth (and very very slight transient control). If you are expecting a heavy handed tone shaping box, this isn't it.

Does it sound like a Neve console? Yes and no. The Neve barks back when pushed and will limit transients while the upper mids will growl with limiter type restraint. The Neve has a heavier and thicker sound that may or may not work across all recordings (especially on the back end). The MM20 also has a thick sound, but the thickness will not become overly obvious as you stack 20 channels thru it, so I do not hesitate to run purist jazz or even classical thru it.

I use it for stem mastering only these days, ideally 4 monos and 8 stereos. The four monos go thru input transformers and this does add a little extra depth/heft to those stems: kick, snare, bass and lead vocals. I find this helps preserve a sense of space for those instruments as they fight it out down the middle with the stereo pairs. It is subtle at first but the more you use the box, you will begin to spot what it does immediately.

From the few times I have used them, the pres sound expensive with a firm low end, flat mids, and clear, sheeny highs. If you had a console full of them you would likely chuckle at the smörgåsbord preamp approach. Ive told Dan he would have an insanely good tracking and mixing console should he ever be crazy enough to go LFAC.

Speaking of Dan, he is incredible. He answers the phone himself and will patiently talk you thru anything that comes up. He truly cares and has been a joy to deal with, and is one of the reason I likely will never sell it!
Old 21st September 2017
  #5
I'll say that my main fear is that I'll spend a lot of dough and go through the headache of getting this piece integrated with my setup only to find out my d-box was doing the job just as well. I know the d-box doesn't have transformers or anything, and to me it does nothing to the sound. I definitely do want something that has a sound that will get me the sound of a console, or at least close to the sound of a good console... Will I be let down? Or will I immediately recognize the difference and improvement?

Asked another way, Would 7K put towards a some Harrision 32 EQ's or SSL 611's or a lunchbox full of other outboard make me happier? and just stick to 8 channel summing with the d-box?
Old 22nd September 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
In my opinion adding additional channels of summing via a dangerous 2 buss + and a lunch box or two loaded with well selected units in pairs would get you where you want to be. The 2 buss + adding variations of color and the outboard routed accordingly could be acquired with that kind of dough. The dbox is a superb and flexible monitor controller that you will miss especially if you monitor digitally. Not taking anything away from the MM20 but it sounds as though you may be disappointed if mojo is what you seek. Chandler has a similar box that I believe has a larger sonic imprint. I guess it boils down to what you want, what you need and what you got to spend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
I'll say that my main fear is that I'll spend a lot of dough and go through the headache of getting this piece integrated with my setup only to find out my d-box was doing the job just as well. I know the d-box doesn't have transformers or anything, and to me it does nothing to the sound. I definitely do want something that has a sound that will get me the sound of a console, or at least close to the sound of a good console... Will I be let down? Or will I immediately recognize the difference and improvement?

Asked another way, Would 7K put towards a some Harrision 32 EQ's or SSL 611's or a lunchbox full of other outboard make me happier? and just stick to 8 channel summing with the d-box?
Old 22nd September 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
Dan is the man best service I had. I love the mixmaster 20. Had is more 5 years I think. It just sounds of you do not want color it's not your box. It is a color box i love transformers just give me more of it.i am very happy having it.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
My MM20 sounds great, just a little more weight, a little darker, and little wider than ITB or clean summing. Handles big dynamics really well.

It is a little hard to live without faders, pan knobs and aux sends, though.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #9
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
I'll say that my main fear is that I'll spend a lot of dough and go through the headache of getting this piece integrated with my setup only to find out my d-box was doing the job just as well. I know the d-box doesn't have transformers or anything, and to me it does nothing to the sound. I definitely do want something that has a sound that will get me the sound of a console, or at least close to the sound of a good console... Will I be let down? Or will I immediately recognize the difference and improvement?

Asked another way, Would 7K put towards a some Harrision 32 EQ's or SSL 611's or a lunchbox full of other outboard make me happier? and just stick to 8 channel summing with the d-box?
If you don't have some outboard I might reconsider. I bought it after getting most of my outboard together in terms of plenty of eq's, multiple hardware comps. Then it was a no brainer. But if I didn't have the hardware eq's and comps first I likely would not head first to the mixmaster. At the very least I would want to have a good quality mix bus rig which could be used with the master insert and four channels of comps and eq's for the first four channels.
Old 23rd September 2017
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfarr View Post
I'll say that my main fear is that I'll spend a lot of dough and go through the headache of getting this piece integrated with my setup only to find out my d-box was doing the job just as well. I know the d-box doesn't have transformers or anything, and to me it does nothing to the sound. I definitely do want something that has a sound that will get me the sound of a console, or at least close to the sound of a good console... Will I be let down? Or will I immediately recognize the difference and improvement?

Asked another way, Would 7K put towards a some Harrision 32 EQ's or SSL 611's or a lunchbox full of other outboard make me happier? and just stick to 8 channel summing with the d-box?
Only you can answer that.
I have 8 channels of the SSL and 4 channels of the Harrison in my console and they are wonderful. The GR Harrison are much better quality.

Maybe you should look at a 500 series chassis that sums like a Heritage MCM and get the processors and an impressive stereo buss chain?

Not sure any of this will impress clients though. The thing that impresses clients for me is the amount of space I have and the super high, pitched ceiling in the live room; it was a church. POM's Fairchild MKII turns heads regularly though.....
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