Minty fresh Soundcraft 200b 16/4/2 worth the purchase?
I have an opportunity to purchase a 20+ year old ANOS Soundcraft 200b 16/4/2 mixing console for $700. This thing is apparently in perfect condition. Been sitting in the case for over a decade it sounds like. Anyway, I'm running a PF2626, ISA428MKII, ART DMPAII w/matched NOS Telefunkens and an ART PRO VLAII w/matched NOS Mullards. Working on my new progressive/alternative/experimental rock album. Musical tastes consist of Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, Mastodon, Foo Fighters, Hoobastank, Billy Talent, STP, Soundgarden, Jane's Addiction and Tool.
Although I love the transparency of the 428, I really want to take advantage of my NOS tubes and heavily utilize the DMPAII and VLAII on this album. I've heard it is easier to utilize outboard gear (the VLAII plus whatever I may borrow) using a mixing console. I'm completely used to mixing ITB and never used an OB mixer before. Is this console worth purchasing? Will it be a useful addition in recording this album? Will it be best used for mix buss duties? Does it have a "sound"? I'm thinking I may be able to get the price down to about $500. Some experienced opinions would be great. Thanks.
Sounds like a good deal at that price, you seem to be looking for analogue color anyway, analogue boards are very cool to mix on, or use for summing, or just for occasional outboard color, and possibly for monitoring.
Besides the Microphones & Pres mentioned your got any hardware Reverbs, EQs or effects you like to use?
Having 16 faders can make things flow nicely during tracking or at mix down, or a nightmare if you haven't set up things and have to constantly crawl around behind gear and get this into that.... A serious patchbay will be needed so you can get at those busses, inserts, Ins & Outs
do it do it do it do it. however you end up using it - 8 stereo stems, actual 16 track mixing, tracking, split, however, you'll absolutely love this desk. the old 'crappy' soundcraft stuff has real soul, and if you've only really worked itb then prepare yourself for the parting of the clouds moment when you realise how utterly different it is to eq something with hardware. how panning and fx sends become instinctual moves when you're not slavishly watching numbers creep up and down on your daw parameters. but best of all is how much easier it is to lose yourself in nothing more than what you're hearing, once you turn away from the screen and start sculpting the sound with your hands.
don't get me wrong i'd be buggered without instant recall, plugins, portability, etc etc etc. but for sheer fun, for a truly revelatory experience of what making music can be like, buy this desk. you don't have so much outboard that you can't just patch stuff directly into inserts for now. treat yourself to the best hardware reverb you can afford, crank that awesome old soundcraft eq, and become happy.
Well, apparently the mixer comes w/case, power supply and a patchbay thrown in. No idea what the patchbay is like. Haven't seen it. Heard it was HUGE. You make it sound so fun and easy turing! I'll have to figure out how to route everything and integrate this into my workflow if I decide to shoot. I've read it all comes down to the pilot so I wonder if I should just keep my $$$ and stay content w/mixing in the box. I'm a sucker for a good deal though and as edva pointed out analog color might be where I'd like to take this album.
On the flip though, I can get a Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2 digital mixer for like $1.2k through a dealer accommodation. Why wouldn't I just shell out twice the cheese and have all the outboard verb/delay/gates/compressors/etc. on the channel strips that the SL desk has to offer over say this 20+ something special? Does this OG desk got the mojo? Neither has mechanized faders so am I better off dishing out extra duckets for the new school? Thanks.
the presonus is a serious bit of kit no doubt. definitely accommodates all your admin needs in terms of recall, moving faders and so on. obviously it won't add any of the elusive mojo to your work, either by sonic imprint, or tactile engagement.
dude, you want this soundcraft. if you're making a record that calls for some analogue grunt, you will not be sorry you bought this desk. just as a suggestion, you could try something like the following for workflow.......when tracking, crank your pres wide open to induce some harmonic collapse, then trim the signal with the faders to the direct outs into your daw. eq the bollocks out of your signals on the way in. be brave! monitor the stereo output of your daw via the 2 track return. then at mixdown put all your faders at unity, and use 8 pairs of stems, again eqing to the extreme on the desk, and using your fx sends. much easier to recall, plus you can do any fader rides necessary in your software. or you can just go balls out and mix the thing with all hands on deck - fader moves, sends, panning, just like our distant forebears did.
obviously there'll be a little adjustment time - when i first bought a desk i found i was flapping about exactly how much i was cutting or boosting with eq. then i realised that most critical notion - if it sounds good it's right, and managed to stop panicking that i'd turned everything all the way up or down.
oh and one more general rule to be disregarded as necessary.....surgical eq cuts to be done in the daw. just the problematic stuff. then the actual beautification, the tone shaping, to be done on the desk.
hybrid mixing ftw. take your nuts in both hands and BUY THIS DESK!
I think it's a bit pricey but good value.
I like these and think they are underrated by many. They should fetch more than they do but I see them pretty affordable quite regular. If you have the cash and it is in primo shape go for it but I would bet with the age ( and just a guess ), it will need recapped rather NOS or not?
It is a very good board, even more if it has the ground mod and the PSU mod (dead quiet and lotsa headroom). You will also like the EQ. Reccaping it shouldnt be more hassle than my own soundcraft 1s which is just a bit older. I bet there's around a hundred caps in there all very easy to spot and change. If you have more questions maybe PM user Jensenman, he has one in perfect condition and also happens to be a tech.
There's no way I'd take a digital presonus over this, I'd rather stay itb.