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Help with a modest mixing setup Condenser Microphones
Old 22nd August 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 
samwinston123's Avatar
 

Help with a modest mixing setup

I want to go OTB for mixing at home, and I need some guidance with my gear selection. The two paths I am currently contemplating are:

A: A more expensive mixer (Toft ATB) and lower quality compressors (RNC's and RNLA's)

B: A cheaper mixer (A&H GL2400) and some nicer compressors (Summit, Distressor, 1176, etc.)

I've been researching this for at least a month now and decided on many different solutions several times, but I haven't been able to commit myself. I keep second guessing my decisions. I've seen many favorable reviews of the GL2400 here and it seems like a sound choice, but I'm worried that it will be a "save now, pay later" situation. I've worked extensively with the 80 B, so I am really smitten with the idea of the ATB, but it's a hefty investment at this point, and it's hard to tell if the hype is justified. So I need some advice. My budget is about $5-6000. I want a 16 channel board with usable EQ's and a few channels of hardware compression (software comps can make up the deficit). I'll mostly be tracking in the studio, so the pre's don't have to be stellar, but they should at least be usable. I also need a good quality 8 Ch ADAT D/A for my 002r.

Here is a song from an album I just recently finished mixing ITB.
The Lonely Forest - Nuclear Winter
This was done for my friends who couldn't afford any studio time. It was tracked in a nicely sized, mildly treated garage with my own equipment (S20, DBX 386, Digimax Lt : Mk012's, NT2000, AT3035's, 57's) and then mixed in PT with a few Waves and URS plugins. This is the first project I've mixed at home in a long time and I enjoyed it so much that I want to keep doing it here. The problem is that I don't really like mixing ITB. The magic just isn't there for me. I'd rather be doing it analog, even if it's not the most top-notch equipment.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Will you be using the mixer preamps? A lot of the cost of an expensive mixer will be in the mic preamps, which you may not actually need.

If you are just mixing line levels, the effect of the better mic preamps doesn't make as much difference.

Personally, I would invest in the high-end compressors and skimp on the mixer. Buying mid-level gear is frustrating because you know you can do better, and ultimately you will trade up, haemoraghing money all the way.

Also - if you tire of OTB mixing, the high-end compressors will still have much to add to your tracking and mixing.

I can't say i've looked, but somebody must have made a passive line level mixer that could do OTB summing. A bunch of faders/pots and resistors should work. A passive eq section would be cool, and in theory should be about as simple as a guitar amp tone stack. I don't see any need for gain, because if you have 16+ line level DAC's mixing down to one, attenuation should be the main requirement.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
No contest.

I'd get the Allen & Heath.

While the GL2400 is bottom of that line, it's still IMO a pretty solid piece of kit. Surround it with great outboard and the only reason things will suck is because the humans driving it suck.

I also think that possibly, the A&H might be of better quality then the ATB. They've been designing & building mixers for a long, long time...decades. Toft has had some issues in the way past and while the ATB is a 'new' venture, given the build quality of anything & everything from cheese graters to guitars coming out of China, I'd avoid it like the plauge.

Picking veggies out of a field one day... building audio gear the next?!

I've done many live shows & broadcast mixes with "bigger" A&H desks like the 3300's and up... never have I had a complaint about 'em.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

add me to the chorus, the better compressors will take your game to the next level. what's your budget for a console? i'd look at a solid 90's era desk like the soundcraft 6000 or trident 65, they're stupid cheap for what you get, they're reliable and easy to service, and tonally they'll step on anything a&h is making.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 22nd August 2007
  #5
we have a modified trident 65 up for sale.

ups..
Old 22nd August 2007
  #6
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samwinston123's Avatar
 

Alright, so say I'm going with the A&H. It's the option I've been leaning on more heavily lately. That would give me a budget of roughly $4200. What are some options for compressors? I've mostly worked with Distressors, 1176's, Summit, DBX160, etc. So I'm not very familiar with some of the newer/more obscure products that are out there. I'd like some cost effective suggestions. I'll probably end up getting an RNC/RNLA rack. Should I look into a 500 series lunchbox?
Old 23rd August 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
stuntbutt's Avatar
 

I've never used an ATB, but I am on my second A&H (GL2200/GL2400). I think the A&Hs are fantastic boards for live sound. However, I have noticed that they don't sound all that fantastic with line level signals. Comparing a CD through the simple "2 Track Return", which is just a volume pot, and the "Line IN" on two channels is a bit discouraging. Even with the EQ bypassed it sounds noticeably degraded through the two channels.

Last edited by stuntbutt; 23rd August 2007 at 12:54 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 23rd August 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

"Toft has had some issues in the way past and while the ATB is a 'new' venture, given the build quality of anything & everything from cheese graters to guitars coming out of China, I'd avoid it like the plauge"


Nothing wrong with the ATB, I have the 24 mixed several projects on it, love it.

China who cares. Listen to all the mixers you mentioned then choose. F&^%ck hype get something and get to work my friend. P.S. the shoes you are wearing might be from China.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
contempo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeStoker View Post

Nothing wrong with the ATB, I have the 24 mixed several projects on it, love it.

China who cares. Listen to all the mixers you mentioned then choose. F&^%ck hype get something and get to work my friend. P.S. the shoes you are wearing might be from China.
some people might care about where a product is made, living conditions, world economy and things of that nature. it might be hard to avoid buying products with a chineese origin these days but it can be done.

anyway, i'd rather have a lessor desk surrounded by piles of really killer outboard then a killer desk with lessor outboard. might be a little wierd to have a mackie 8-buss surrounded by api and the like but it'll beat an old trident or whatever with $100 compressors around it every time.

if you have any engineering skills anyway
Old 23rd August 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
firby's Avatar
 

Hey ! I have a trident surrounded by $100-350 compressors. It doesnt sound so bad.


HA.

It sounds ALOT better than the old Tascam surrounded by the same compressors!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #11
6000 thousand dollar budget would get up a Midas 16 channel and 1 distressor and maybe a Purple Audio M77. The Midas is a good summing mixer, EQ's do what there supposted to and the pre are good also. You ever notice you rarely see a Midas on e-bay? Just a thought.
Old 23rd August 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
contempo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by firby View Post
Hey ! I have a trident surrounded by $100-350 compressors. It doesnt sound so bad.

HA.

It sounds ALOT better than the old Tascam surrounded by the same compressors!
i could believe that!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #13
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ddageek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
No contest.

I'd get the Allen & Heath.

While the GL2400 is bottom of that line, it's still IMO a pretty solid piece of kit. Surround it with great outboard and the only reason things will suck is because the humans driving it suck.

I also think that possibly, the A&H might be of better quality then the ATB. They've been designing & building mixers for a long, long time...decades. Toft has had some issues in the way past and while the ATB is a 'new' venture, given the build quality of anything & everything from cheese graters to guitars coming out of China, I'd avoid it like the plauge.

Picking veggies out of a field one day... building audio gear the next?!

I've done many live shows & broadcast mixes with "bigger" A&H desks like the 3300's and up... never have I had a complaint about 'em.
Where is The AH MADE and the current ownership of AH hasn't been around that long either First it was AHB then part of Harmon and then about 4-5 yrs ago the cuurent mgmt bought it so your argument seams kind of well anti AH as well when you look at the facts!

Roting wise the toft wins for recording plus as an inline you really get twice the input count at mix!

Sonics I like what I have heard of the toft the newer AHs are ok but you got to hear both!, but routing wise and eqs I could live with the toft much longer!
Old 23rd August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
No contest.

I'd get the Allen & Heath.

While the GL2400 is bottom of that line, it's still IMO a pretty solid piece of kit. Surround it with great outboard and the only reason things will suck is because the humans driving it suck.

I also think that possibly, the A&H might be of better quality then the ATB. They've been designing & building mixers for a long, long time...decades. Toft has had some issues in the way past and while the ATB is a 'new' venture, given the build quality of anything & everything from cheese graters to guitars coming out of China, I'd avoid it like the plauge.

Picking veggies out of a field one day... building audio gear the next?!

I've done many live shows & broadcast mixes with "bigger" A&H desks like the 3300's and up... never have I had a complaint about 'em.

Take a wild stab at where A&H boards are built. If your answer is anything other than China than you'd be incorrect(for the most part). Besides it's very high end stuff all the medium to low priced gear is manufactured in China. Just go to the "manufacturing" section of the website, they'll tell you themselves. In fact here's the link. ALLEN & HEATH :: WORLD CLASS MIXERS
Old 23rd August 2007
  #15
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Take a wild stab at where A&H boards are built. If your answer is anything other than China than you'd be incorrect(for the most part). Besides it's very high end stuff all the medium to low priced gear is manufactured in China. Just go to the "manufacturing" section of the website, they'll tell you themselves.
Really?!? Allen & Heath moved most off the builds off-shore??? Wow.

Every desk I've ever touched was built in the UK, including the GL2000's and other little 'club' mixers.

I'll retract my above statment then... all bets are off.

Buy something used!
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