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Software based digital mixer Mixers (Digital)
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Software based digital mixer

Hello, I am looking for a solution, a software based digital mixer. The main goal is to teach students to use digital mixers. I understand that there are many DAWs out there that can be used to teach the different steps that an audio mix requires but now days, that more digital consoles are available, I would like to teach the students to use a digital mixer, that is more "live sound" oriented environment than studio editing stuff.

I have found solutions like the waves LV1, but it is on the expensive side, although it has many facilities (and for the purpose of teaching), we need something not that complex.

I have also found Mixbus 5, but the feel and GUI are more "analog" oriented.

If any one knows of a solution, I'll be very grateful.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
You can run the apps for every live console on the market for free. Anything wrong with that?

Other than that, Reason has a good clear software mixer.

The concepts behind mixing are the same whether the tool is analog or digital, for recording or live. You put the signal in, you send it places, you get it out. Nothing analog or digital about that.

So what exactly do you mean 'analog' oriented ??? There's a reason for that, as what other workflow is there ? Ableton? Not representative of what you're after.

Last edited by brew; 1 week ago at 10:24 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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all digital mixers are 'software based'/'analog oriented'...
they can get remotely controlled since the days of yamaha o2r (early holocene), remote control/offline software is for free but often looks a bit different; not sure how useful this is to teach signal flow/theory etc. - or is it about hands-on training? so go grab just any of the digital mixers currently available; price range is from ca $200 to $200'000!


p.s. you seem to be somewhat unexperienced regarding digital desks - how comes you're teaching?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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I will try another way to explain what I want to accomplish: Supposing there is a software, like the X-Air Edit, that I could feed multitrack audio into and works with out any external hardware, all signal processing happens inside the computer. All with a graphic user interface (GUI) like the X-Air Edit (generally speaking: a Digital Mixer look). I am thinking of an X32 "simulator" if you like, but with out the actual mixer.

I need you to be open minded, if there is not such a thing is fine. If the suggestion is to get the hardware: that one is difficult I can't ask every student to get a digital mixer, the school is also having trouble to get multiple digital mixers, but the class has to be taught.

I understand a DAW can manipulate audio, in the same way a digital mixer does. But the environment, the approach is different. For a student that is just starting is difficult to translate an understanding of how a DAW works and apply that knowledge into a digital mixer.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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DAW software and the control apps for digital mixers are very similar. X-Air Edit for PC in particular is very DAW-ish in my opinion. I found working with Reaper with recording helped me transition into working with X-Air Edit for live sound.

That being said, there's a practical difference between live sound and recording. But with either live sound or recording, you can only go so far with software and a simulated experience versus doing it in real time with real people--whichever aspect you are dealing with.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by juanmar5 View Post
Hello, I am looking for a solution, a software based digital mixer. The main goal is to teach students to use digital mixers.
Please take what I'm going to say as a sincere effort to further things for you and your students:

As Brew said above...

I would structure such a course in a "task oriented" format. Using ANY mixer, digital or analog, is merely navigating through the control topology. The basics of gain structure, signal routing, dynamic processing, complementary EQ and FX application are the same regardless of the physical or virtual location of the controls and need to be the primary focus of the learning process.

Last edited by Wyllys; 1 week ago at 04:10 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
The basics of gain structure, signal routing, dynamic processing, complementary EQ and FX application are the same regardless of the physical or virtual location of the controls and need to be the primary focus of the learning process.
You are absolutely right, that is the main purpose. I am just looking, if available, a chance to give the students a closer "experience" to the real deal, in a "controlled" environment. Eventually they would do the live thing, with talent present and all the implications.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by juanmar5 View Post
You are absolutely right, that is the main purpose. I am just looking, if available, a chance to give the students a closer "experience" to the real deal, in a "controlled" environment. Eventually they would do the live thing, with talent present and all the implications.
What's your budget? How do you propose to set up your lab?
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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He already said his budget was less than an LV1.

The reality is there is no existing perfect solution in that price range, because there's no market for this.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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Harrison mixbus will get you close to what you want though because it is already laid out like a mixer. And I believe they have educational licensing as well, so it wouldn't be a huge investment. I have mixbus and 32c and like it better for mixing than anything else as far as daw's go. I know that on the mixbus forum there are people who speak of having used it as a live mixer, so it could be the best fit for you.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Sorry, but this still seems akin to approaching architecture by studying the newest version of the hammer.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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I doubt you could learn golf by playing it on a computer.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Doesn’t almost every digital live sound mixer offer a wireless control option via a tablet...why not buy a digital console (with this feature) and teach the students how to navigate and operate it on their tablets?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Christof's Avatar
If you just want your students to get to know some of the tools of a mixing desk and give them the opportunity to play around with it individually, using a DAW like Reaper seems to be the easiest way to go. It won't give them the "live-experience" but they could experiment with EQ, dynamics or FX without anyone getting hurt Reaper doesn't cost a fortune (60$ for non-commercial license - and Justin has offered us a discount when we bought multiple licenses). If the students want to use the software for education at home for a short period of time, Reaper is even more attractive (60 days evaluation period). You can also install Reaper on an USB-stick and use it on any PC you stick it into.

I've been doing something similar with some pupils, giving them a 32-track live-recording of one of our concerts (bands, bigband - with all the inherent spill-over etc.). This won't really prepare them for live mixing in the real world with its own real world problems, but at least it's a start. Think of the difference between using a DAW and a digital mixer (user-interface etc.) as a good thing - makes it clear that mixing live is totally different.

Last edited by Christof; 1 week ago at 04:44 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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There is a dedicated software mixer called Software Audio Console by RML labs, also known for their daw-dinosaur SawStudio. I've used it for 8 years with my band, as it was the only way to get 6 stereo aux mixes for less than $1200. There has been an x64 update recently. It's the most flexible mixer and you can use any vst for effects.
Since we were tired of using keyboard and mouse and lugging a Windows rack pc around, I bought a QSC Touchmix. My sac license is for sale now if you're interested.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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I have and am enjoying my Digigrid /Waves LV1 system but I also have a small light rig that I frequently deploy for quick set up. The Allen & Heath QUsb is a small stage box that offers 16 ins and 8 outs with all the processing I generally need and it is controlled with an I-Pad. This is precisely the rig I recommend for your purposes for the following reasons.
1. Street price --less than $1,000.
2. The I-Pad app. is much more intuitive than the qu16-24-32 fixed screens and most all of your students either already own or are very familiar with I-Pads.
a. The necessary fundamentals involved in gain staging starting with one mic and optimal pre amp settings with a DBFS scale then following thru with deck mains to speaker + - 15DB adjustments, are a snap to teach.
b. Understanding and choosing the best application of four precise PEQ filters as opposed to graphic filtering is all right there on the face of the I-pad.
c. FX processing is very easy to audition and manage.
d. Manageable size of the audio gear that can deliver an additional stereo L-R feed of a live performance to a video recorder that will be an essential skill for your students: Today any syllabus for audio instruction that does not include the requisite know how for external audio for Video is incomplete.
3.I recommend the QUsb primarily because the real SR education can become embedded when a student actually takes the gear to the field and encounters failures pursuant to overlooking the importance of on the numbers instruction. There is no substitute for the actual process of setting up and managing a SR system in the field: even one as simple as the QUsb.
Hugh
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Harrison mixbus

RME Totalmix
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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The least expensive path which would give your students the understanding of how different signals can be routed and mixed in a mixer would be Reaper and some multi-track recordings you could get from the web for free.

Reaper is more of a recording tool though, so the typical way that live mixers are laid out will be missing and the students will never get a physical feel for live mixing.

Enter recommendation #2 . Buy an XR18 (or X18). You can get one of these for around $400.00. This will allow you to take the same tracks you used in Reaper, and work with a live mixing application which is more indicative of what a physical console might look like than Reaper. You will still be missing the physical controls in this scenereo, and the XR18's routing capabilities are light years behind that of Reaper.

Recommendation #3 . Buy an X32 Compact (~$1500). This is way way more expensive than the XR18; however, it has a real physical interface with motorized faders, and a much more powerful routing capability including subgroups and matrix mixes. This will also allow you to replay the recorded tracks back through the mixer as input, then use the mixer physical controls to adjust the virtual band in real time. The X32 line has a pretty powerful routing capability, but still not as comprehensive as the crazy things that can be done in Reaper.

Personally, I think that Option 3 would be the best for teaching live sound. A physical interface is hard to beat for "hands on" training.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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In the case of the xr18, you could have a student mix live and have another record into a DAW and then have them switch to get a feel for both aspects.

I'm less familiar with the workflow of the x32 to be able to say much other than there seem to be a lot of x32s in use so learning the x32 should carry over to those systems.
Old 2 days ago
  #20
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MainStage

MainStage is like $30 and is literally a digital mixer that you can customize with all sorts of busses and layers, etc.
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