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mixer for a reel to reel?
Old 7th December 2019
  #1
Gear Head
mixer for a reel to reel?

hello world

i am in the market for an analog mixer to use to record with my teac 4 track reel to reel. i say analog because i am looking to definitely emphasize the warmth and delightful inadequacies of the reel to reel sound. lo-fi is the certainly a good keyword here, but i'd also like to make sure it's technically compatible with both a 4 track recorder and an 8 track reel to reel recorder (i'm anticipating buying an 8 track reel to reel machine in the very near future). i'd like to be able to playback my recorded audio on the machine, tweak the eq knobs on the mixer and hear the change in the monitors, if that makes sense. in other words, i want a mixer that syncs up with my machines so that i can briefly do real time mixing pre-daw phase.

that being said, i suppose i'm in the market for an 8 channel mixer? perhaps even one with more channels? any and all advice and/or hate is welcome
Old 7th December 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
Budget?
# Aux sends to outboard
# desired buss quantity
Phantom/channel on/off or all on off ok?
talkback system?
Just 2 speakers?
Headphone system?
Digital outs/External converters Or true old school analog?
Desire preamp color or clarity?
Have a preferance on EQ style? SSL, NEVE, EMI, etc

Just asking for a mixer will give you varied results. Please be a bit more specific.

Besides summing and signal splitting, to me an analog board is just a bunch of EQ's
EQ's on a mixer come in flavors ranging from 5$ to 500$ per channel.

The real kicker here is that in the long run you will be sending to the signal to the digital world for editing, mixing...on down the line. Tape gives a nice sound texture and is nice for forcing musicians to capture tracks fast including the punch in process. Then dump to digital. In the mean time, the mixer is for monitoring. Let's assume reverb and other effects sends/returns and two aus's used for monitoring besides the main monitor que and mains.

Say all that's right.

Your looking for a 12+ channels mixer with real quality. Down to budget.

I suggest looking for old school Soundcraft, BIG, Neve, SSL, Studer, EMI, etc... and start hunting for good deals. They are out there to be had if you are willing to replace caps & Power supplies.

The 8 and 12 channel formats boards go for much less than the 24+ channel monsters. And most of the time they can be shipped easy.

For new....there are a few threads here about the new stuff

Last edited by elegentdrum; 7th December 2019 at 03:45 AM..
Old 8th December 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Digiplex's Avatar
 

Well if I have 8 tracks I may end up with 16 by the time I process/mix it. I’d look a a 24 channel console as a minimum and then you have room when you get a 2”
Old 8th December 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by haunted3 View Post
hello world

i am in the market for an analog mixer to use to record with my teac 4 track reel to reel. i say analog because i am looking to definitely emphasize the warmth and delightful inadequacies of the reel to reel sound. lo-fi is the certainly a good keyword here, but i'd also like to make sure it's technically compatible with both a 4 track recorder and an 8 track reel to reel recorder (i'm anticipating buying an 8 track reel to reel machine in the very near future). i'd like to be able to playback my recorded audio on the machine, tweak the eq knobs on the mixer and hear the change in the monitors, if that makes sense. in other words, i want a mixer that syncs up with my machines so that i can briefly do real time mixing pre-daw phase.

that being said, i suppose i'm in the market for an 8 channel mixer? perhaps even one with more channels? any and all advice and/or hate is welcome
In the world's top studios, you have to pay extra and reserve the analog tape recorder.
Old 8th December 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Oh ..as for a mixer, look around for a Biamp 1282 ..a simple live mixer, and old, but has good sound imo. There's three sizes, 8802, 1282, 1682.
Old 9th December 2019
  #6
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Budget?
# Aux sends to outboard
# desired buss quantity
Phantom/channel on/off or all on off ok?
talkback system?
Just 2 speakers?
Headphone system?
Digital outs/External converters Or true old school analog?
Desire preamp color or clarity?
Have a preferance on EQ style? SSL, NEVE, EMI, etc

Just asking for a mixer will give you varied results. Please be a bit more specific.

Besides summing and signal splitting, to me an analog board is just a bunch of EQ's
EQ's on a mixer come in flavors ranging from 5$ to 500$ per channel.

The real kicker here is that in the long run you will be sending to the signal to the digital world for editing, mixing...on down the line. Tape gives a nice sound texture and is nice for forcing musicians to capture tracks fast including the punch in process. Then dump to digital. In the mean time, the mixer is for monitoring. Let's assume reverb and other effects sends/returns and two aus's used for monitoring besides the main monitor que and mains.

Say all that's right.

Your looking for a 12+ channels mixer with real quality. Down to budget.

I suggest looking for old school Soundcraft, BIG, Neve, SSL, Studer, EMI, etc... and start hunting for good deals. They are out there to be had if you are willing to replace caps & Power supplies.

The 8 and 12 channel formats boards go for much less than the 24+ channel monsters. And most of the time they can be shipped easy.

For new....there are a few threads here about the new stuff
thank you for your considerate reply!

my budget falls anywhere below around $400.

the main utility i'd like it to serve is a basic pre-amp or flavor adding (eq) step in the chain. right now i'm almost always using my tascam 246 4 track cassette machine that already has a built in mixer, but i figured a mixer would help make every song uniform and consistent with one another if they were all recorded using the same general equipment. phantom power is a must.

perhaps even an old preamp may be what i'm looking for. i've read where on several occasions a vintage pre amp is the real deal when it comes to a "sound", and pre amps in general seem to provide a signature sound that gives songs a consistent sound.
Old 9th December 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Papanate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haunted3 View Post
thank you for your considerate reply!

my budget falls anywhere below around $400.

the main utility i'd like it to serve is a basic pre-amp or flavor adding (eq) step in the chain. right now i'm almost always using my tascam 246 4 track cassette machine that already has a built in mixer, but i figured a mixer would help make every song uniform and consistent with one another if they were all recorded using the same general equipment. phantom power is a must.

perhaps even an old preamp may be what i'm looking for. i've read where on several occasions a vintage pre amp is the real deal when it comes to a "sound", and pre amps in general seem to provide a signature sound that gives songs a consistent sound.
Back in the 70s many of us burgeoning home recordist using the venerable Teac 3340 would use a TEAC 5 Analog Mixer. Those mixers have some inherent sound and signal path issues though.

Also a Studiomaster Diamond 16-4-2-1 Analog Mixer Mixer was popular - reasonablely easy to do maintenance - which is important for the type of mixer you are looking for.

If you look around you can find a Soundcraft 200b from someone in the $400 - $500 range - and again comes with the caveat that you will need excellent technical skills to maintain these older boards.

And although it is not often thought of - older first run Mackie 1604 mixers have excellent routing - 'okay' preamps and average EQ - are often around $200 - and tend to be relatively maintenance Free.
Old 9th December 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

You really want a mixer that has enough aux busses to feed the recorder. In your case you have a 4 track recorder you want a 4 buss mixer.
How many mics you plan to record with is another story. you probably want a minimum of 4 channels but more would allow you to record multiple players and you can send several mics to a single buss. (You may want to look at some recording history on how it was done back in the day)

For an inexpensive solution, I picked up a Behringer Eurotrack 1204 - Pro mixer for $30 on Ebay awahie back. Its got 4 channels out, 2 main and 2 sub which would allow you to record 4 separate simutaniously. You'd use the stereo A/B outs in combination with the pan knobs to produce 4 independent tracks. The quality of the tracks weren't bad at all but there isn't much room to grow with a mixer if it doesn't have independent aux outs. They do have some larger units with multiple busses plus built in effects which might be good to get you going.

I'd suggest you stay away from buying anything too old Unless you have a background in electronics and know how to service gear. Old doe NOT mean it its going to give you better tone. If anything old gear is beat up and loaded with bugs which have to be repaired just to get it running properly. PA gear isn't typically suitable for recording either. Much of the PA mixers only have stereo outs and maybe monitor sends. Only some of the top end mixers of the day will have aux sends. You're far off better buying something new like Behringer, Mackie, Yamaha, Allen Heath, Midas, etc. which are designed for recording and have the In/Outs to do the job. (8 channels or more plus 4 aux bus) You should expect to spend $200/300 new or half that much for a decent quality used mixer that's hasn't developed issues with the volume pots.

Stay away form anything having scratchy pots. The pots used don't last very long when trying to clean them and its WAY to expensive and difficult to replace pots even if you could find the right made in china replacements. New mixers are disposable, designed to be run till they fail then upgraded to new. Even allot of high end stuff is pretty much designed have the boards with the pots replaced vs replacing individual pots. Finding the right ones and replacing them are a nightmare too. I've done a bunch of them as an electronic tech and you don't earn back the labor costs involved in refurbing mixers that need allot of work. By new and spend your creative time recording not battling old obsolete junk that's seen its day. Gear isn't wine that gets better as it ages, it definitely gets worse and requires more maintainence and if you don't do that work stick with new.

Last edited by wrgkmc; 9th December 2019 at 07:06 PM..
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