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1RU 8x2 mixer Mixers (Analog)
Old 10th September 2007
  #1
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Question 1RU 8x2 mixer

Who can recommend a sonically good small (ie 1RU) unit to mix stereo feeds and rough CDs of live multichannel recordings. 8 channels is usually enough. I want something better than a Mackie. I noticed Ashly has one for a street price around $520 USD.
Old 10th September 2007
  #2
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mixerguy's Avatar
good question!

I'm interested too....
Old 10th September 2007
  #3
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ATI 8mx2 is probably the best sonic option

The Ashly is a good unit though. I had four of the previous model (LM308) and they always sounded nice.
Old 10th September 2007
  #4
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Studio Projects makes the SP828 which gives basic 8 --> 2 mixing functions. It doesn't have EQ or anything, just levels and panning, and I don't think it accepts stereo inputs. It's really designed as a preamp that also has mixing functions, but I've used it as a mixer just for monitoring/rough 2 mix purposes and it works fine for that. It has a dedicated headphone out too, which comes in handy.
Old 10th September 2007
  #5
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packagebear's Avatar
 

the rane sm-82..

SM 82S Stereo Mixer
Old 12th September 2007
  #6
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Thanks for the great suggestions. Time to research my options.
Old 12th September 2007
  #7
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnjazz View Post
ATI 8mx2 is probably the best sonic option

The Ashly is a good unit though. I had four of the previous model (LM308) and they always sounded nice.
I'm with you on this one.

ATI 8mx2 is an awesome product.
Old 12th September 2007
  #8
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I have two Ashleys - using one as a control preamp in my studio rack, and the other in a remote rack. 508's if I recall correctly. They do a fine job, but they are not high end. They are unbalanced in and out, but with some kind of pseudo balance arrangment. I'm not sure the specs on the ATI are any better. The only thing I've found which could really be called High End is the Dangerous Audio summing amp. But it's 2U and uses a wall wart . For sure, the Ashleys are way better than older Mackies. From what I can determine, Rane is basically for installed locations, and not all that good, either.
Old 12th September 2007
  #9
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rmx16's Avatar
 

X.Sum Line Mixer

http://www.speck.com/xsum/xsum.shtml

Peace
Old 12th September 2007
  #10
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springer's Avatar
 

Along these same lines I was looking at 1RU units for headphone mixer for tracking purposes only with a HD24XR and think I will go cheap with..
Behringer RX1602. Should be fine for my purposes... I cannot see plunking $1500 for headphone mixer. Good Luck.
Old 13th September 2007
  #11
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+1 for ATI!

The ATI is sonically the best option in a good 8x2 in 1 RU.

From someone who spent thousands trying to figure it out, don't learn the hard way. It's a WAAAAY more expensive education.
Old 13th September 2007
  #12
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ATI 8MX2

I recently bought one of these. There was a problem in packing/shipping, so it's in FedEx claims land (sucks, BTW).

For the few days that I had it, I was able to run it through its paces, and it really is a great product. There's a lot going on inside that 1U box.

Here's a link to a review from Rip Rowen and Bill Park (ProRec):
Articles - ATI 8mx2 Preamp / Mixer

I think Rip nailed the sonic description of the mic amps.

I'm looking forward to jamming with this thing...eventually.
Old 13th September 2007
  #13
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I stand corrected on the ATI; forgot that it was a preamp, too.

But Michael was asking about a 1RU 8x2 mixer in the $500 price range. Isn't the ATI up close to $2,500 or $3,000?
Old 13th September 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Brook View Post
But Michael was asking about a 1RU 8x2 mixer in the $500 price range. Isn't the ATI up close to $2,500 or $3,000?
He didn't state a budget originally (although by commenting on the price of the new Ashly, he may have implied a funds limit...)
Old 13th September 2007
  #15
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Does Allen & Heath still make the GR-1 or did they discontinue it? That was a pretty decent 1RU mixer, but the preamps aren't anything in the same realm as the ATI.

For the job you're doing, I use a Presonus M80 all the time, 'cause I have one sitting around. But it's 2 RU.
Old 14th September 2007
  #16
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Open the link below to see a little comparison table I put together on the products you've suggested...

I'd sure like to know if you think my scoring of sonic quality matches your own experience. I numbered sonic quality 1-5 with 5 = best and 1 = Behringer.

COMPARATIVE SUMMARY


ATI 8MX2 surprised me enough to make me reconsider everything. It's a stereo 8 channel line mixer AND simultaneously gives you 8 mic pre direct OUTs. Sonically excellent and worth the price for all it can do. The most intelligent routing design I've seen in anything this small.

Dangerous Mixer is a pure line mixer that's expensive but sonically excellent. No headphone, no features.

Speck X.SUM is the most attractive line mixer because it has 16 stereo INs and good sonics. Just basic I/O for only $100 USD per channel.

Studio Projects SP828 is a well-featured 8x2 mic/line mixer with OK sonics under $1,000 USD.

Ashly LX-308B is sonically and feature-wise like the Studio Projects but line INs are stereo and the 2 mic pres aren't phantom. Less money and surely a bargain option if you want 8 stereo line inputs.

Rane SM 82S has 8 unbalanced line inputs with RFI filters to deal with noise. Main OUTs are balanced. Has sends and returns. No headphone. I think Ashly is clearly the better tool for about the same price.

Behringer RX1602 has 8 balanced stereo line INs, one send without a return. Headphones. At this price it's a great option for confidence monitoring. I wouldn't record through it.

I didn't research the Allen & Heath GR-1. Just peeked. Combo of mic and line inputs, 6 in all. Weird routing options don't easily make sense. More for AV installation than studio or portable recording.

I also didn't research the Presonus. Looks worthy but expensive no line mixing and merely OK sonics. I'd save some money and go for Studio Projects which has both mic and line mixing.

THE WINNERS

I'll go with ATI, Speck or Ashly depending on how much I find in the piggy bank. ATI is simply amazing. It'll do two or more jobs at once. For line mixing the Speck is best with great sonics and 16 stereo inputs. The Ashly has 8 stereo inputs for a lot less money and sonics good enough for live mix feeds.
Attached Thumbnails
1RU 8x2 mixer-1ru_mixers.png  
Old 14th September 2007
  #17
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Remoteness's Avatar
ATI is the joint -- you get a lot of features, great sonics in a very small package.
Old 14th September 2007
  #18
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- if you can't afford the ATI (like me), keep an eye out for a Gaines Audio LM-2/S:

http://www.gainesaudio.com/Legacy%20...xer%20Info.pdf

It's a great little 8 X 2 that has served me very well over the years. I also have two Gaines MP-2 pre's that I built from kits, an OS 2 sine wave oscilator and one of their level matching boxes - all discontinued. I think Gaines was doing the Ashly manufacturing for seveal years - they (he? John Gaines, I think) are still in business with a wide variey of level matching gear:

http://www.gainesaudio.com
Old 14th September 2007
  #19
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BTW,

The 8MX2 can easily be configured (2 ways) for separate speaker/monitor volume control and headphone volume control for your DAW returns. This is, actually, what finally sold me on it.

Once configured, the "Master" pot controls your speakers, and the "Monitor Level" pot controls the headphones -- and you don't even need to buy an expensive D-sub fanout to do it!
Old 14th September 2007
  #20
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Jimbo, thanks for recommending this box! It's now on my list of must-haves because it is one of very few tools, like CraneSong HEDD 192, that works as well as any single-purpose tool, but also gives you brilliantly conceived and truly useful extras. It's a world class live mixer in 1RU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
The 8MX2 can easily be configured ... for your DAW returns ... and you don't even need to buy an expensive D-sub fanout to do it!
Question: Are you using the 2TR returns for DAW monitoring? I ask because it looks to me like a D-sub fan is required for multitrack returns.
Old 14th September 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
Jimbo, thanks for recommending this box! It's now on my list of must-haves because it is one of very few tools, like CraneSong HEDD 192, that works as well as any single-purpose tool, but also gives you brilliantly conceived and truly useful extras. It's a world class live mixer in 1RU.
You welcome, but, to be fair, my first ANYTHING with the 8mx2 was due to Steve Remoteness' zealous recommendation of all things ATI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
Question: Are you using the 2TR returns for DAW monitoring? I ask because it looks to me like a D-sub fan is required for multitrack returns.
Yes. However, the 2TR returns normally only route to the monitor out on the 8MX2. In order to get them routed to the mix bus, and controllable by the "Mix Master" pot, you have to set the "2TR Return" jumper to be a direct inject to the mix bux. You can find this in the manual. With this approach you just need two TRS cables running out of your DAW interface to the "2 Track Return" inputs of the 8MX2. Once you do this, and set the jumpers accordingly, you can control your monitors and headphones separately, as I mentioned earlier.

An additional benefit to this approach is that your monitor signal path is shorter, with no additional summing, etc. than with the multitrack returns approach. Plus, it frees the multitrack returns for confidence monitoring, or whatever other purpose you might want.

I'm sorry; there are other nuances to this approach that I can't really go into here, but once you read the manual, the configuration possibilities should jump out at. you

Good luck!
Old 14th September 2007
  #22
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
Jimbo, thanks for recommending this box! It's now on my list of must-haves because it is one of very few tools, like CraneSong HEDD 192, that works as well as any single-purpose tool, but also gives you brilliantly conceived and truly useful extras. It's a world class live mixer in 1RU...
In all fairness, tnjazz was the first to recommend the ATI product (to you) in this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
You welcome, but, to be fair, my first ANYTHING with the 8mx2 was due to Steve Remoteness' zealous recommendation of all things ATI...
Thanks a lot Jimbo!
Old 15th September 2007
  #23
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Thanks to all recommenders, especially those I missed and dissed by mistaken identity. This exercise gave me excellent guidance for several future purchases.
Old 15th September 2007
  #24
Gear Nut
 

+1 on the ATI 8MX2

I love the 8MX2....it is indeed a sweet box. It does do a ton and keeps me from hauling too much junk around when I've got a small vehicle for a session!

I was nervous about buying one a few years ago because they ain't cheap, but folks here convinced me what a great unit it is and then I took the plunge...then I had to have a second one... ack!

Very handy boxes...

Best,

-dave
Old 27th September 2007
  #25
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What do ATI 8MX2 pres sound like?

So what do the ATI mic pres sound like? Hyper-transparent or more Neve 1073 like?
Old 27th September 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick View Post
So what do the ATI mic pres sound like? Hyper-transparent or more Neve 1073 like?
You should read the Rip Rowan ProRec review I posted a link to (above).
Old 27th September 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
You should read the Rip Rowan ProRec review I posted a link to (above).
Thx. I read it a few weeks ago but forgot what he says about sonic qualities. Just re-read it. He talks mostly about tracking modern instruments.

My primary work scenario is live chamber or classical acoustic music with good microphones. Seems like it's uncolored enough to stack 8 acoustic tracks.
Old 9th October 2007
  #28
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ATI 8MX2 frequency response

Last week I did a frequency comparison between the 8MX2 and my Metric Halo 2882 preamps (both transformerless, and solid state).

I split the output of one mic into both units -- acoustic guitar was the source. I used Metric Halo Channelstrip to invert the phase of one of the tracks, and then applied EQ to null the summed output. While I wasn't unable to obtain a perfect null, I did find that the 8MX2 has a frequency peak of 0.5 dB at 1K with a Q of 100, relative to the 2882. So, relative to the 2882 preamps, the 8MX2 has a slight, broad bell curve to it. Bear in mind that it could be the case that the 2882 preamps are somewhat scooped, and the ATI is actually perfectly flat. However, several people have stated that the ATI has an agressive midrange, and if so, the bell-curve might account for that.

I can't yet comment on anything other than frequency response (e.g., speed).
Old 10th October 2007
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
Last week I did a frequency comparison between the 8MX2 and my Metric Halo 2882 preamps ... I can't yet comment on anything other than frequency response (e.g., speed).
Thanks Jimbo.

My final decision is going to have to wait until later in the year. When the time comes all these great comments and your detailed help will be helpful. I plan to report my findings here of course.
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