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Line Mixer W/Bussing Section
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Line Mixer W/Bussing Section

Hello Slutz!

My studio is based around an 8 track tape machine (very hip, super cool) and capturing the vibe as live as possible. I have a bunch of 500 series modules as the front end, and I am currently using a very cool Quantum QM-128 to route signals (12 channels into 8 busses) into the tape machine. The QM-128 can be a finicky little nugget, and due to it's lack of modularity, can be quite a beast to work on.

Essentially, I just need a 12-16 channel line mixer that feeds into 8 busses.

Does this product exist? If not, how hard would it be to build such a thing? Faders would be cool, but I know they are expensive, so nice pots would be totally fine for my purposes.

Thanks for reading!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
I'm currently looking for something similar (to sum kick and snare channels for drums, as well as mono crush bus etc). Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much out there. The only thing I've found is a line level bussing matrix from Aurora Audio GT10x8 (although I don't believe that was its intended purpose). It has 10 channels that can be routed to 8 busses. It's a little pricey but the only thing I've found outside of picking up a recording console.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
Yeah, that GT10x8 seems like a cool option, but yeah it is pricey, especially considering the features included. Speck just announced they are going to start making the Xtramix again (currently pretty rare and pricey), which might be a good option. I know track counts are massive for DAWs, but I am surprised that there aren't more people in our situation needing some (small format) summing on the recording side.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 
dogears's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
The number of busses is what makes your ask rather difficult. Every bus requires a sum amp, and that's quite a bit of I/O as well. It would take quite a bit of front panel real estate just for the buttons for the routing matrix. We crammed about as much as we could into our summing mixer and it's a 12 into 2+2 - and packed.

You could look at something made for that specific task, like those old Tascam desks or a SoundWorkshop 1280b. I love the 1280s, they're super fun (but also not modular so maintenance is a huge hassle, as you said).
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Thanks for your reply! So, I just bought this console made by Lafont, it was designed for transferring film audio. It’s 19” rack mountable, and is a 24x08. I’ll post pictures of it when it gets in, but it’s seemingly perfect. Like, too perfect. The model is an FTC-84, and it’s hard to find out much about it, which could (definitely) come back to bite me in the future. It was worth the gamble though.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweatboxStudio ➡️
Hello Slutz!

My studio is based around an 8 track tape machine (very hip, super cool) and capturing the vibe as live as possible. I have a bunch of 500 series modules as the front end, and I am currently using a very cool Quantum QM-128 to route signals (12 channels into 8 busses) into the tape machine. The QM-128 can be a finicky little nugget, and due to it's lack of modularity, can be quite a beast to work on.

Essentially, I just need a 12-16 channel line mixer that feeds into 8 busses.

Does this product exist? If not, how hard would it be to build such a thing? Faders would be cool, but I know they are expensive, so nice pots would be totally fine for my purposes.

Thanks for reading!
Might I ask a question? New to the forum and returning to recording after a long time away. I've been digging through posts and keep seeing reference to modularity. As I go back to the 70's, I more than understand the term but has this idea of "lack of modularity" become some sort of new audio dogma? I've been a tech for a long time and consoles I've seen have more issues overall have been modular consoles.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Hey!

As a tech, I'm sure you know more than me, but with my specific console, you have to take the entire thing apart in order to get into any piece. Unlike a modular desk, which would allow me to replace specific problematic pieces/channels. For me it would be better to be able to ship/bring individual channels to the tech so my entire system isn't completely upset.

What issues do modular desks have that non-modular desks do not?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 
A lot of old consoles had issues with the ribbon cable assemblies that connected the modules. This was the case with the Neotek Elite we had at the studio I worked as the operations engineer. So a lot of this will depend on year and what type of ribbon system used.

That said, what kind of issues are you having that requires so many trips to the repair tech? I have a 35 year old non modular console that all it ever needed was a little DeOxit for the TRS insert jacks because the switching jacks would get oxidized from what was simply lack of use.

Also, how is your tech going to power that module outside the frame to test and troubleshoot?

Don't get me wrong, lots of really great sounding modular consoles were made but the choice of which console to buy really should be made on sound not some vague notion of serviceability between modular or non modular design.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
Great points all around. When the tech was working on it, he made a point to tell me the Quantum wasn't easy to service, specifically due to it's lack of modularity. Definitely not challenging you, I am just relaying info.

As far as my console goes, I have only taken it to the tech one time, but after everything was supposedly "fixed", very soon after getting the console back, a few issues arose very quickly. Two faders failed, an EQ is not behaving as it should, and one of the busses is having consistency issues.

Another issue with my console is the i/o is all Molex connectors, which are stinky and bad and plastic and bad (and stinky). I know there are mods I could do to the thing, but I was pretty bummed to spend a couple grand only to have issues pop up very soon after the fact.

I don't want to end up in a "sunk cost fallacy" situation where I just keep dumping money into something that just wasn't built that well in the first place.

So, that's why I am looking into a very specific mixer layout that doesn't seem to be as popular as I was hoping it would be. Like I said in an earlier post, I found this cool 24X8 Lafont FTC-84 console, but there's no documentation on it, and I currently am having trouble sussing out what each EDAC does. I am going to keep troubleshooting and see where it gets me!
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweatboxStudio ➡️
Great points all around. When the tech was working on it, he made a point to tell me the Quantum wasn't easy to service, specifically due to it's lack of modularity. Definitely not challenging you, I am just relaying info.

As far as my console goes, I have only taken it to the tech one time, but after everything was supposedly "fixed", very soon after getting the console back, a few issues arose very quickly. Two faders failed, an EQ is not behaving as it should, and one of the busses is having consistency issues.

Another issue with my console is the i/o is all Molex connectors, which are stinky and bad and plastic and bad (and stinky). I know there are mods I could do to the thing, but I was pretty bummed to spend a couple grand only to have issues pop up very soon after the fact.

I don't want to end up in a "sunk cost fallacy" situation where I just keep dumping money into something that just wasn't built that well in the first place.

So, that's why I am looking into a very specific mixer layout that doesn't seem to be as popular as I was hoping it would be. Like I said in an earlier post, I found this cool 24X8 Lafont FTC-84 console, but there's no documentation on it, and I currently am having trouble sussing out what each EDAC does. I am going to keep troubleshooting and see where it gets me!
I was just asking the question as it seems like people are just buying consoles on the fact that they are modular. In many ways, you are making my point about build quality and that is where "what" matters.

I have a good friend who is just analog crazy. He'll spend a year or so restoring and modifying outboard and tube gear including amps. He has a shed in back of his house he keeps with stuff he has bought and torn apart for parts. For him, it's a passion both for sound and his love of working on hardware.

I will say that electronics is easier to learn than acoustics. I've been getting my brain kicked in over in the studio building forum. Test gear is also super cheap these days used on craigslist. You'd be a good candidate to learn a bit more about circuits and troubleshooting and pick up a couple fundamental bits of test gear. Most of the specialized gear I got rid of but still have a couple of O-scopes, meters, Freguency counter, Audio generator and the handiest piece, a vacuum desoldering station.

I did restoration work with old tube guitar amps years ago where we would recap them and update all the heat worn parts. I've been reading posts where people are doing something similar with old consoles. Don't know if this sounds like you.

I do appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck to you in your search.
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Kronos147's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweatboxStudio ➡️
Essentially, I just need a 12-16 channel line mixer that feeds into 8 busses.
Overkill, but that sounds like my Wheatstone TV-600.

It's modular, and each channel has balanced line ins, balanced inserts, balanced aux sends (4 stereo) and balanced busing (4 stereo groups, with balanced inserts).

I owned 3 at one point. I sold two. I bought one back late last year for some spare parts. I have no idea why, I have so many!



http://www.kronosrecording.com/Wheatstone/

http://www.kronosrecording.com/Wheatstone2/
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
I appreciate your experienced perspective! I am mostly a live sound guy, (regional/touring PA technician and FOH/Monitor guy)(or was before the 'vid), so I don't have the up close and personal relationship with circuits that a lot of actual EE techs have. I have a HUGE amount of respect for you guys. I have built some 500 series preamps from kits, and I loved it.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
That thing is sweet! I have a little room, so I'm always on the lookout for small-format gear.
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Gear Nut
 
Have you considered the SSL X-Desk? Even two of the them cascaded? There is a lot more I/O to it then you'd think at first. I keep thinking about what I'd do if I ever get to the point where I have enough outboard pre's to shrink my footprint with the bigger console. Right now it is mainly used for extra pre's and monitor routing. I keep coming back to it in my sort of little dream setup.
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