A good small mixing console?

Hi everyone.

I am about to buy myself an additional small mixing console and have been thinking about Behringer 1002 or Alto S8.
Does anybody has any opinion about these?
Or could anybody recommend something else for the same amount of money (below $150)?
Any information is appreciated.

/Martin

I actuallu have both a Behringer UB-802 (similar to the 1002 regarding specs, but with more channels) and an Alto S-8. In a head-to-head competition the Alto wins, big-time. It has a better overall sound, more flexible routing, well thought-out EQ’s, and IMHO represents a better bang for the buck than Behringer.

I only got the Behringer myself because I uregntly needed a second mixing console, and I couldn’t get hold of a second S-8… - The Behringer collects dust in a closet for the moment.

regards, Nils

If faders are to get any hard use, choose the Alto. The rails on Behringer faders are wafer thin (even they claim to be Alps brand) and the slightest “sneeze” could affect it. This is from experience. I have a MX2442 (24 channel) that has this problem because of heavy use. And parts are very hard to get (in Canada that is) and I had to get another smaller Behringer board from ebay for parts. From that experience, I now have an Allen & Heath G2400 - big difference in quality.

Paul

Yamaha is a great replacement, for very little more $$$, but much more quality, in MHO. They have a 10/2 for 99$, i believe. And ( I think ) it’ll let you monitor, by routing soundcard output back into the board, which the small berrys don’t.

Yamaha also has a mg8/2fx, which gives effects (not useful for me, but you may like it) for 140$.

I recently bought a 12 channel Alesis Multimix Firewire. It’s a good budget mixer that has decent faders, with fair built-in effects, and a firewire interface that allows you to simultaneously record all 12 channels plus the stereo mix, while giving you the stereo mix back for monitoring. After a bit of hassle with the drivers (due to a mistake in the manual, would you believe) it works fine with n-T and my Dell laptop. They do a cheaper 10 channel version too, I think, and a bigger one.
Cheers
TB

Quote (TusterBuster @ June 27 2006,16:26)
I recently bought a 12 channel Alesis Multimix Firewire. It’s a good budget mixer that has decent faders, with fair built-in effects, and a firewire interface that allows you to simultaneously record all 12 channels plus the stereo mix, while giving you the stereo mix back for monitoring. After a bit of hassle with the drivers (due to a mistake in the manual, would you believe) it works fine with n-T and my Dell laptop. They do a cheaper 10 channel version too, I think, and a bigger one.
Cheers
TB

hey guys, i’ve been googling the mixers you speak of. i have an old Eurorack MX802A. i haven’t used it in a while nor have i recorded of late. Before, I always had a problem seperating the vocals and guitar when i record. (i overdub all my parts based on 2 tracks of “live” guitar and vocals)

Can i seperate my 2 tracks of guitar and vocals in N-track with the Mixer i have? or would it be better to get like the Alesis type of mixer with the firewire for easier seperation—of tracks?

i only do 2 tracks at once for my startup. then one track at a time for overdubs.

anyway, i always got frustrated running my mixer into my computer using N-track. what’s the secret of seperating the tracks? or do i need a USB,Firewire out type of mixer? or do i need some fancy module seperater apparatus?

thx for the help… :cool:

Hey JW. The number of tracks that you can simultaneously record depends on your soundcard and your mixer. Most laptop internal souncards record mono only; the 1/8" mic socket might look like stereo but one connector is for power, because most mics designed for PC use need a few volts up 'em. Desktop PC soundcards usually record in stereo. Your wee bijou mixerette has stereo master out, so you can record two tracks. To seperate guitar and voice pan one hard left and one hard right, ensure n-T is recording in stereo, and voila, Robert is your dad’s brother.

If you never record more than two tracks at the same time, this is all you need.

Mixers with a USB interface are limited to two track recording. Mixers with firewire can do more. I chose firewire so I can play a drum machine (four outputs) and two stereo synths with midi (eight channels so far), my guitar with stereo effects and a vocal all at the same time.

One final little point - if you are using the PC internal souncard, the PC souncard control panel usually has a little check box called something like “What You Hear”, which means all selected inputs (CD, mic, wave, midi etc) will be recorded. This means that when you overdub, the signal recorded includes the previous take with the new take. It’s best to uncheck the “What You Hear” box and record onto two new tracks in n-Track. In this way the original take is unchanged, the new take includes only the new sounds, and you can mix them afterwards.

I hope this makes sense. There’s a lot to get to grips with.

Happy plucking and yodelling!
Cheers
TB
when overdubbing, a common mistake is to have

A vote for the yamaha MG series, they have very nice&clean preamps, and are rock-solid builded. With the 10/2 you can have 4 separate outputs, using the inserts of the two first mics-in, and panning Right-Left the 3 and 4 mic ins. Of cours you need a soundcard with more that a stereo input.

Quote (TusterBuster @ June 29 2006,02:57)
Hey JW. The number of tracks that you can simultaneously record depends on your soundcard and your mixer. Most laptop internal souncards record mono only; the 1/8" mic socket might look like stereo but one connector is for power, because most mics designed for PC use need a few volts up 'em. Desktop PC soundcards usually record in stereo. Your wee bijou mixerette has stereo master out, so you can record two tracks. To seperate guitar and voice pan one hard left and one hard right, ensure n-T is recording in stereo, and voila, Robert is your dad's brother.

If you never record more than two tracks at the same time, this is all you need.

Mixers with a USB interface are limited to two track recording. Mixers with firewire can do more. I chose firewire so I can play a drum machine (four outputs) and two stereo synths with midi (eight channels so far), my guitar with stereo effects and a vocal all at the same time.

One final little point - if you are using the PC internal souncard, the PC souncard control panel usually has a little check box called something like "What You Hear", which means all selected inputs (CD, mic, wave, midi etc) will be recorded. This means that when you overdub, the signal recorded includes the previous take with the new take. It's best to uncheck the "What You Hear" box and record onto two new tracks in n-Track. In this way the original take is unchanged, the new take includes only the new sounds, and you can mix them afterwards.

I hope this makes sense. There's a lot to get to grips with.

Happy plucking and yodelling!
Cheers
TB
when overdubbing, a common mistake is to have

thanks a bunch TB and guys! Great info. i'm gonna copy n paste this, i don't trust my old mind.... :D

i forgot to mention i have a M-audio 24/96 card. it's in another computer i tried using to record before. i'm gonna put it in the one i have now with the built in 6 channel audio.(gonna have to turn the 6ch audio off for the 24/96 card to work--- i think) :O

If you only record two tracks at a time, you don’t really need a mixer. A two channel preamp is the better way to go, better quality. However, if you are mixing down many inputs to two tracks (drums, or multiple performers) then a mixer is necessary.

I also started with a Berry mixer thinking I would be recording many things into two tracks. In the end, i found at most I recorded 2 tracks, my guitar and my vocal, then added individual tracks to the mix after that. I bought an Audio Buddy, and was surprised at the improvement in quality over the Berry mixer.

After some experience doing this, I know rarely recod my acoustic with vocals at the same time, as there is too much bleed form one to the other.

Quote (valrecorder @ June 29 2006,12:34)
If you only record two tracks at a time, you don't really need a mixer. A two channel preamp is the better way to go, better quality. However, if you are mixing down many inputs to two tracks (drums, or multiple performers) then a mixer is necessary.

I also started with a Berry mixer thinking I would be recording many things into two tracks. In the end, i found at most I recorded 2 tracks, my guitar and my vocal, then added individual tracks to the mix after that. I bought an Audio Buddy, and was surprised at the improvement in quality over the Berry mixer.

After some experience doing this, I know rarely recod my acoustic with vocals at the same time, as there is too much bleed form one to the other.

hey valrecorder, so all i need is this? maybe a cheaper one but this is what would plug into my audiophile 24/96 SC?

http://www.zzounds.com/item--PRSFIREBOX

well, it wouldn’t plug into your 24/96. The firebox connects to your PC via Firewire, and is a whole sound interface unto itself. No need for the 24/96. The both perform basically the same duty: convert analog to digital, and then back again.

The 24/96 does this by connecting to the PCI bus via the PCI card. The Firebox does this by connecting to the firewire port, which I think, eventually connects to the PCI bus as well =)

The firebox has the two preamps built in, whereas the 24/96 doesn’t. Standalone preamps (usually) don’t do any of the A/D conversion. It’s usually left up to the sound interface.

In the case with the firebox, both jobs are being done with 1 unit.

Quote (pjk @ June 29 2006,15:22)
The firebox has the two preamps built in, whereas the 24/96 doesn't. Standalone preamps (usually) don't do any of the A/D conversion. It's usually left up to the sound interface.

In the case with the firebox, both jobs are being done with 1 unit.

WHEWWW! you mean, i don't need the sound card after all? i always was thinking that but never actually heard it from anybody else. if no one else chimes in here, i'm gonna plan on getting my mic/guitar interface (a little cheaper one of course).

i think my recording mind is finally getting pulled back together. ???

Quote (valrecorder @ June 29 2006,12:34)
If you only record two tracks at a time, you don’t really need a mixer.


This is quite true. But…

Most of my recording is done either one or two tracks at a time. I’m switching from vocal mic, to electric guitar amp model, to guitar cabinet mic, to acoustic guitar mic, to acoustic guitar with pickup, to DI bass guitar. Every swap used to be a significant time consumer, and tended to disrupt those brief moments when I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had a bit of inspiration. You can use your mixer as a tool to help cut down on this disruption…

I have a wonderful old 8-channel analog Yama mixer that has nice warm preamps. Each of its’ eight channels is set up for one of the inputs I mentioned above (equalization, preamp levels, . effects on channel inserts, etc.), and the cable leading to the input for each is brought out to where I sit. My outboard compressor, etc are all hooked up and ready to go with no fuss. So when I switch from vocal mic to, say, bass guitar direct input, set up time is minimized. No fumbling with cables. Minimal level testing needed. The process of recording is much streamlined. Plus, I have three busses that give lots of monitoring options, and there are analog VU meters, pads to tame overly strong signals, and the mixer’s pre-fader insert patches simplify the use an outboard compressor on the bass and vocal channels. So even though it is as old as the hills, I love my mixer. By the way, I got it for $50 on E-bay.

T

EDIT: JSWGEETAR – Make sure you are not confused about the firewire interface. It is an outboard audio interface that performs the same analog to digital conversion that that your current audio card does. The only difference is that the digital signal travels through the firewire before it goes to the recording software, whereas your current card sends the digital signals more directly to recording software. Some outboard interfaces also include built in preamps, and some do not. If you use a separate mixer like I do, your firewire interface would not need preamps.



T

jw, here’s what I use. plug guitar into one, mic into another. Output goes directly to my soundcard, creating two tracks.

Audio Buddy

There are others that have better quality if you want to spend more.

Keep the soundcard you have, it’s a pretty good one. That means all you need is a preamp, or a mixer. And, yes, as mentioned above, a mixer is convenient as you can have everything plugged in without having to rewire what you are currently recording. Here’s a Yamaha with 4 preamps in it for a little more. I can’t speak to how much better/worse the quality of those preamps would be compared to, for example, an Audio Buddy.

Yamaha Mixer

Good luck and have some fun…