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Your thoughts on these mixers ... Mixers (Analog)
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Talking Your thoughts on these mixers ...

Hello Everyone,

I am going to purchase a mixer to test for DAW summing much more than for recording with its micpre's.

This is not and I am not at all concerned in a debate of ITB vs OTB summing.
I memtioned summing because the mixer's micpre performance is not a make or break for my use.


Narrowed down to:

A List:

Mackie Onyx 1620 not 1620i

Soundcraft GB2R

a 1998 Soundcraft Delta DLX in great condition.

B list:

Mackie 1642 VLZ3. Not really in the running because it seems it does not have an EQ hardware bypass switch.

Prefer mixers with:

2 sweepable mid bands and EQ hardware Off switch

XLR out for the main versus only TRS.


The micpres may not be at all importanat to me becuase I will for the most part use line inputs. The comments about the Onyx having colored pres has peaked my interest to audition.


As far as summing and not using the pres, will there be much of a difference in headroom etc between these units?

If you have other suggestions, please post.

Thank you for your efforts!
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Save your money. If you have any doubts go read the thread by Paul Frindle and see what he hs to say about analogue summing, he was one of the original designer of the SSL 6000, SSL Axiom and the Sony Oxford.
Old 4th September 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Hi Roland


Thank you for the reply.

I am after the different sound that results when processing hardware EQ, comps and FX through a mixer versus through the ADDA of my converters and summing in the DAW computations.

The compared sound chains are:

DAW-DA-mixer(with hardware EQ, comps etc applied)-recorder (or record to disk).

versus

DAW-DA-(extanal hardware) EQ-AD-DAW(summing)-DA-recorder (or record to disk)



I have tested with borrowed mixers to record evidence for myself how the two different paths create sounds that are completely different.

This is not and I am not at all concerned in a debate of ITB vs OTB summing.

I memtioned summing because the mixer's micpre performance is not a make or break for my use.

Paul Frindle's comments seem to be in the context of discussions of which summing is better or equal etc. ... all of which is of no concern to me.

The two chains sound different and that is what I will explore.


Need assistance from those who who have used the mixers in my list.

thank you for your efforts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
Save your money. If you have any doubts go read the thread by Paul Frindle and see what he hs to say about analogue summing, he was one of the original designer of the SSL 6000, SSL Axiom and the Sony Oxford.
Old 4th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Tom Higgins's Avatar
Does summing through ANY mixer still give the same benefits of OTB summing as summing through a Neve/API/SSL/etc..? I'm not talking about the mixers' own sound but rather how people say that the mix 'gels' together more easily?

Old 4th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
AlexK's Avatar
 

As far as the Mackie mixers goes, I've used pretty much all the small ones and thought they all sounded lifeless and boring. They also tend to sound quite 'mushy' and the EQs can get harsh when you push them up. They're better than Behringer, Alesis, Samson etc... stuff but it's still pretty bad TBH.

I think I've used one of those Soundcraft GB2Rs before (I recognise the look of the board, unless there's one which is visually very similar then I have used the GB2R). A lot cleaner than the Mackie, and generally far nicer to mix on, but still bland and lifeless. Nothing that would make me want to use one over mixing ITB.

As far as the EQs go, they're pretty much useless in all the above. What use is a sweepable mid if you can't adjust the Q? It's like only having one kind of screwdriver...

I haven't used one of those Soundcraft Deltas, so couldn't comment on that desk.

I wouldn't think about summing OTB until you've got a board + converters which are actually worth listening to. You'll hear differences straight away with summing OTB on one of those cheap little mixers, but it won't be for the better/
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Without going the route of comparing ITB vs External Summing.

Two points your posts raise, firstly Summing is usually just that, not a question of using outboard EQ/effects/compression etc. From your original post you don't mention using any additional hardware units, so I am assuming you are talking about what is available on the consoles mentioned above, themselves.

Secondly I would raise the issue that these are all seriously "budget" boards, none of which have a "reputation" for serious quality, particularly when you get into the discussion of their EQ's etc which are at best, basic. Most of these type of boards usually have a poor reputation for headroom, particularly when mixing numerous sources.

That you might get a differing sound by going this route, I don't doubt. The likelyhood is that I would expect you would get a noticeable drop in audio quality, depending on your point of view and what you are trying to acheieve this, I suppose, might be something you wish to achieve?

In Pauls article, I did see that he refused to pass comment on those manufacturers that make dedicated summing boxes, however, he did make it quite clear it wasn't a product that he would produce.

Personally the products you mentioned above, I have used some and counterparts of the others and I would say they are all much of a muchness, the GB2 probably has the better EQ. YMMV
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Thank you for the replies.

Has anyone tried the SSL X-Desk?
Old 6th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by phaseshift1 View Post
Has anyone tried the SSL X-Desk?
A friend of mine with the X-Desk loves it. It is pretty clever and has a lot more routing abilities than you'd expect. The monitor section is very full featured for a desk top mixer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaseshift1 View Post
As far as summing and not using the pres, will there be much of a difference in headroom etc between these units?
Headroom isn't a magical mystery and your ruling out pres doesn't make sense--every IO has headroom. Every one of these pieces of gear has a headroom spec number listed in it's manual. Additionally you may find that some have unbalanced IO which will affect your headroom as well when using outboard gear.

For your purposes you may want to consider using the pre's because what you keep stating is that you want a different "sound." Why rule the pres out then? A low budget pre in one of these bottom priced mixers certainly has a "sound." I think you're splitting hairs comparing mixers in this price range and you should just get the one that has the features you require or may in the future.
Old 6th September 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
 

I do not believe you will achieve what you want using any budget analog board for mixing from a DAW's multichannel digital output.

You need high-quality D/A and A/D converters and a first-class analog board. If you don't already have these items or will purchase them, please consider changing to a professional DAW, such as Pyramix. It is used by many classical engineers for quality music editing and mixing. And the cost will be much less than buying the converters and analog board.
Old 12th September 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Thank you for the replies.

There have been flawed assumptions in what my goals are.

It is to experiment ... to hear what happens. Some of the posts that tend in the direction of not to even try, are perplexing to me.

The general sense of the replies is that the listed mixers are crap, no real difference. This does not tell me much. I realize they are low end. The idea was a starting point with gear that could be easily resold if the results were pleasing and a trade up was needed, or if the results were dismal and the gear needed to be dumped ... or, gasp, I liked the results and was going to keep a low end mixer.

How your DAW software, OS and computer hardware are configured can do as much, or more damage to your hard fought for recording than a low thought of mixer.

I do have high end converters, pres, mics etc. ... ended up buying the SSL X-Desk to experiment with.

I would have tried the Mackie Onyx series, the previous version without the built in Firewire card, had not an X-Desk been available at a great price. The previous Onyx models seem to be a great value.



thank you for your efforts
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I use the X-Desk for high end classical recording and mixing. It is a first class mixer with first class sound and has some amazing routing options.
Old 16th September 2011
  #12
I use the Soundcraft Deltas for live location and in the studio for mixing. Of those you listed, it has the best construction and servicablilty, parts are still available from Soundcraft.

It has the best in class CMRR and crosstalk specs, -90 db at 10k hz. It uses balanced discrete grounded base summing, much clearer than other designs and is not limited to the number of inputs assigned.

The ground compensated design means no ground loops and buzzes live.

Mine are extensivly modified with the mic preamps, EQ and sum stages redesigned. The mic preamps are very fast and quiet, they do -133 db EIN at 50 ohms. THD is .0006%. All opamps are biased class A. Bandwidth is 300k hz on the inputs. The coupling caps have been removed for DC low end. Hi mids sweep to 22k hz, low mids down to 50 hz.

The sum stages use transconductance opamps. The bandwidth of the stereo sum buss is 40 mhz. There is no phase shift, 0 degrees. Noise is -110 db or better. There is nothing out there that can match this performance.
Old 20th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I use the Soundcraft Deltas for live location and in the studio for mixing. Of those you listed, it has the best construction and servicablilty, parts are still available from Soundcraft.

It has the best in class CMRR and crosstalk specs, -90 db at 10k hz. It uses balanced discrete grounded base summing, much clearer than other designs and is not limited to the number of inputs assigned.

The ground compensated design means no ground loops and buzzes live.

Mine are extensivly modified with the mic preamps, EQ and sum stages redesigned. The mic preamps are very fast and quiet, they do -133 db EIN at 50 ohms. THD is .0006%. All opamps are biased class A. Bandwidth is 300k hz on the inputs. The coupling caps have been removed for DC low end. Hi mids sweep to 22k hz, low mids down to 50 hz.

The sum stages use transconductance opamps. The bandwidth of the stereo sum buss is 40 mhz. There is no phase shift, 0 degrees. Noise is -110 db or better. There is nothing out there that can match this performance.
+1!
To the OP..when you buy one of these give it to Jim Williams to mod it.. absolutely worth it!

Just my 0.02$,

Bests,

Cheu
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