Mixing board opinions

Opinions anyone?

I have a small project studio that I am thinking of upgrading.
I presently have a TASCAM 1/2 " 8 channel reel to reel and a presonus firestation. I’m going to add a 24 channel HD recorder to track on. I will be able to move the files to n-track to use as a DAW for editing, I’ve always maintained an anaalog signal path for mixing, outboard hardware effects, etc.

Presently I have a Behringer UB2442 as my recording/mixing desk, but will need to expand to a 24/48 format mixer to do the same routing. I’ve been looking mainly at three mixers amd would like to get some opionios, good or bad, about them.

Mixer 1: Behringer MX9000 $1300.00 - New Only-
Mixer 2: Mackie 24/8 (Meter Bridge option?) $2700.00 new $1500.00-2000.00 used
Mixer 3: Soundcraft GhostLE24 (Meter Bridge option?) $4500.00 new $2000.00-3500.00 used

I would rather spend the extra money on outboad gear/mics than a mixer but am worried about the summing circuits in the mixing buss and possibly some durabilty issues withe Behringer. I’m am custom building Neve,Jensen and API preamps little by little so the board pres are not as much of an issue, but it will be a while before I get to EQ to match each channel, so I’ll be using the board for the foreseeble future. Maybe I’ll build 1 or 2 channels of Pultec passive for special applications, I’m not as sure about that right now.

Well opinions, anyone??

If your budget will permit, I’d recommend one of the British designs…Soundcraft or Allen & Heath.

Mackie and Soundcraft are no slouch boards. Either would work IMO, Allen and Heath are great too. Don’t over look Yamaha either.

It’s hard to beat Mackie in my book!

Bubba, does Yamaha make a 24/48 x 8 board?
I haven’t found one yet. I’m looking for a mix 'B" or 24 channel rec/mix switching with 8 bus.
Thanks,

Quote (deadfingers @ Sep. 09 2004,11:10)
I have a small project studio that I am thinking of upgrading.
I presently have a TASCAM 1/2 " 8 channel reel to reel and a presonus firestation. I'm going to add a 24 channel HD recorder to track on. I will be able to move the files to n-track to use as a DAW for editing, I've always maintained an anaalog signal path for mixing, outboard hardware effects, etc.

Presently I have a Behringer UB2442 as my recording/mixing desk, but will need to expand to a 24/48 format mixer to do the same routing. I've been looking mainly at three mixers amd would like to get some opionios, good or bad, about them.

Mixer 1: Behringer MX9000 $1300.00 - New Only-
Mixer 2: Mackie 24/8 (Meter Bridge option?) $2700.00 new $1500.00-2000.00 used
Mixer 3: Soundcraft GhostLE24 (Meter Bridge option?) $4500.00 new $2000.00-3500.00 used

I would rather spend the extra money on outboad gear/mics than a mixer but am worried about the summing circuits in the mixing buss and possibly some durabilty issues withe Behringer. I'm am custom building Neve,Jensen and API preamps little by little so the board pres are not as much of an issue, but it will be a while before I get to EQ to match each channel, so I'll be using the board for the foreseeble future. Maybe I'll build 1 or 2 channels of Pultec passive for special applications, I'm not as sure about that right now.

Well opinions, anyone??

The Soundcraft Ghost is the best sounding of any of the options you mentioned. It is sensitive to power supply voltages for lowest distortion though, so there is a mod out some people install to boost the DC rails a little. Even a Variac on the AC line is said to be helpful.

Yamaha makes all sizes. They used to make really crappy gear, but they got over that. :) I really like their MG12/4 & 16/4 small-format mixers; much better than similar Mackie or Berry gear because they’re truly 4-bus: you can mute a channel without sending it to the “alt bus”. That REALLY helps, even in relatively small setups.

But you’re talking about a large format mixer, and the Mackies should have all the necessary knobs in that case.

I haven’t had the pleasure of using any Soundcraft or A&H.

Quote (deadfingers @ Sep. 09 2004,15:29)
Bubba, does Yamaha make a 24/48 x 8 board?
I haven't found one yet. I'm looking for a mix 'B" or 24 channel rec/mix switching with 8 bus.
Thanks,

Hrm, I think they only offer a 24x6 board in the MG series ( I think). Have you looked at their large format mixers? Look here. I am no Yamaha expert, jut saying they are worth a look based on my experience with them always being well made.

Bubba,
Looks like they are phasing out the large format analog desks according to the link you supplied. Quite a few of the items are already discontinued, that’s too bad. I have reservations buying something expensive that is being phased out (parts and service issues). It’s not so bad if you know there are other pieces out there like it, but these are also from the era when Yamaha made questionable mixers.

I had also considered a Soundtracs Topaz (used to be made in Wales), but they are discontinued, too. Analog desks seem to be sowly fading into the sunset.

Thanks for the lateral thinking, though. It was worth doing the research.

I have a soundtracs solo24 going into an alesis hd24 and I love it. I live 45 mins from a pro sound guy who can work on my solo24 if need be.Best part is I picked the board up on ebay for $600.00. It blew my mackie sr24/4 that I used to have away. The eq section is relly good. To my ears it is really comparable to a soundcraft ghost. The build is not as good as a ghost. I also have a ghost running into a motu 24i/o so I have been able to make my own comparisons. I also bought the alesis fireport for dumping my files into the computer and mix with the ntrack 24bit version and am getting excellent results. Let me know if you would like to hear some samples I can email you an mp3. Good Luck http://www.slingblademusic.com

Yeah,
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the soudtracs Topaz mixers, soundwise. I even went to their homepage because I thought I might be able to pick one up new, but all they have is digital, with a page saying that the analogs are now supported by a company in China.

Could you ask you service friend if the major wear parts (faders, pots, etc) are easily obtainable? That would put them back on the running.

Thanks,
Bill

I have a friend with a studio in amsterdam who told me a couple of weeks ago that he just put new faders in his soundtracs solo24 and it works beautifully. My tech guy informed me that there was a solo board with internal power supply that was really crap and had a bad record for durability. Mine has an external power supply and is probably about 15 years old and it sounds great. I’ll see what I can find out for you.

http://www.slingblademusic.com

I am new to the digital recording scene, but have been around the analog world quite a while. In my opinion, Mackie is worth the extra $$ in both quality and features. I have never had a problem with Mackies or Yamahas, but have at one time or another battled with others.


Bruce

This might be a bit off topic of the original question, so let’s not hijack the tread too much…BUT…

I have a A&H System 8. It’s dead silent…a WONDEFUL mixer with 16 In and 8 Subs. I used it for a while but found I didn’t need it for anything except the preamps and phantom power when recording on the computer came along (n-Tracks specifically, but it could have applied to any other multitrack app).

Before n-Tracks I was using an 8 track tape machine and syncing to MIDI with an Amiga. I needed lots of outboard channels for effects and whatever. Now, it’s all done on the computer. I don’t need the mixer for anything (got dedicated preamps and phantom power). I don’t even use the outboard effects anymore.

How do you use many channels on the mixer these days? Yes, there are MANY legitimate reasons (recording a whole band at once - doubles as a live mixer - submixing many drum mics - etc). I’m just wondering what everyone else is doing. I’m not asking about small mixers for monitoring, but more along the lines of 32/24/16 in by 8/16 out. I know some folks have been looking for those to use with n-Tracks.

Lovely picture of you there, phoo!

I think the big format mixers can be handy if you have lots of gear always plugged in, but that’s a chunk of change for the convenience of not using a patch bay. Other than that, and the other reasons you mentioned, I wonder as well.

But if I had a regular group of guys and used the same space for practice and studio (as I did back in the bad ol’ days), then a large format mixer would be good since it would be easier to switch gears than repatching stuff.

It is amazing what different pespectives can be obtained depending on experience and intended audiences.
LearJeff, I can certainly understand this type of thinking if one uses drum samples or sequenced drums that are brought into the mix using one or two channels. As it stands I record live drums played by real musicians. This requires no less than five mics unless I’m doing an older style “XY” overhead micing for the drums. I track the drums on analog to get some good tape compression going, then bing them into the digital world. Each guitar track is tracked in at least stereo, possible 3 channels depending on the type of music. I’m reluctant to commit to mixing down tracks prior to the actual mix session for obvious reasons, so you see monitoring multiple channels is not optional, as I track outside of nTrack for absolute stabilty during tracking. I use nTrack for post editing only.

I have a 288 point patchbay that assigns my signal path for flexiblity. The mixers I asked about are designed for recording. They are not adapted FOH mixers, therefore they have a dedicated per channel monitor return path. My main concern is signal coloration and eq harshness. I would prefer to havenone of either if possible.

I have really tried to eliminate a mixing desk just so I could put the extra $1500.00 to $5000.00 to good use elsewhere (like mics and outboard gear/ acoustic treatment). The total budget for this expansion is $10-12k that I earned using my studio. I understand that this is not the norm for the average nTrack user. BTW the reason I use nTrack instead of other software is the interface. It is the "cleanest - to the point- " interface that I have encountered yet. Kudos to Antonio for kicking Goliaths butt, software-wise. I wouldn’t touch Pro-Tools for any amount of money.

I asked this same question on the TAPEOP forum and got some pretty good answeres in case anyone is interested. For some odd reason, part of my question got lopped off of my post here… it is shown in it’s entirety on the TAPEOP forum.

Thanks for answering
Bill~~~

:D

I wouldn't touch Pro-Tools for any amount of money.


Yes you would. Heck, I'd eat a bowl of worms and buy a Macintosh and a Kia if I was paid enough to do it. :D :laugh:

OK Bubba, I guess that you’re right when you put it that way.

But I really think that nTrack is a gem of an app. Straight forward and to the point. I wouldn’t change it into one of those swiss army things they call professional DAW apps. It’s whole beauty is the straightforward interface with intuitive operation.

The next best is SAW… really close to the metal, fast and rock solid; but it has spotty ASIO compatability. It won’t even connect to my PreSonus Firestation. I could invest in a Motu 2408 and a 24 IO, but we’re almost up to the cost of a nice 24 channel standalone HD at that point. I can almost get 2 Fostex 24 channels and link the for 48 channels at the cost of that solution. I suppose I could just chuck the Firewire interface and buy a Hammerfall card and ADAT my way in, but I would still need as optical coverter for the Firestation’s connectivity. Jeeze, I just want to record, not troubleshoot gear. The Firestation is the source of a lot of my grief. It will probably remain only as a preamp when all is said and done.

Bill~~~

But I really think that nTrack is a gem of an app. Straight forward and to the point. I wouldn't change it into one of those swiss army things they call professional DAW apps. It's whole beauty is the straightforward interface with intuitive operation.


I got a copy of Cubase with a sound card recently and hate it. What a pain to use. You are definately right on that point.