You are here

Good mixing desk for under £1000?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby smash4686 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:35 am

Hi I'm looking to create a budget I need to build a good studio. I've been looking at mixing desks and I feel I need a 16 (mic) or more channel desk however I keep finding them but they are stereo/USB mixers that only output to 2 channels. I don't mind desks that output only in stereo but I'm finding far too many of them for my liking.

Does anyone have suggestions on a 16 input 16 output (or more) mixing desk for recording for less the a thousand pounds?
smash4686
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby Dave B » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:53 am

So you are talking about a digital mixer yes?

The Mackie Onyx series springs to mind - the 16 channels go down the firewire pipe and it has a stereo return path. Which is pretty much all you need if you mixer is to feed your DAW and work in the box. Digital Village have an 'open box' 1640 for 979 as we speak (/type)

However, there is a wealth of bargains to be had on the s/h market. I happily used Soundcraft Spirit 328s for years (you would need something to accept the ADAT signal but pci cards / adat-fw converters are cheap), Yamaha 02Rs are almost being given away, a mate got an amazing deal on a Yammy DM-1000 recently, Tascam units can take a firewire board ... there's a lot out there and most of it will have been in a clean, non-smoking project room.

But the real kicker here is : are you SURE you need a desk? is it for the look of the thing (a real concern for commercial facilities these days)? or can you not work without one? I ask because these days, a lot of folks are doing away with the desk and just using nice converters / mic pres.
User avatar
Dave B
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2963
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Maidenhead

Veni, Vidi, Aesculi

(I came, I saw, I conkered)


Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby smash4686 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:07 am

Thanks for the reply but I'm not concerned about digital or analogue. I like both in different ways but am willing to go down either route. Now that you bring up the idea of whether I really need one I have started to think. I will be recording bands but I could send the mics straight to an audio interface and use a MIDI controller to control the DAW mixer perhaps.

The Onyx 1640I looks like the best bet out of that list with the 16 mono inputs. I don't really have a need for the 4 stereo inputs that the 1620I offers.
smash4686
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby SafeandSound Mastering » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:08 am

I think I would probably be looking at an Allen and heath Zed series or as suggested an Onyx. The vast majority of these desks have direct outputs, those are your 16 outs, no?

I would personally favour monitoring arrangements from a mixng console (call me old skool )than a software applet on a 16 way/(2 x 8 way mic preamp type audio interface).

Think about whether it's for a fixed installation or if you need mobile I take it you have many inputs on an audio interface of some kind already?

Either this or you are talking 16 digital outs? A bit more info would have been good.

ohhh.... and I like mixers they look nice.

cheers

SafeandSound Mastering
User avatar
SafeandSound Mastering
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1032
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:00 am
Location: London UK

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:15 am

Well... how do you want to use the desk?

Are you looking to record digitally direct from the desk up to a maximum of 16 channels? If so then it probably is a Mackie Onyx with Firewire that you want... unless you can stretch a bit more and get an Allen & Health R16.

But if you want a desk with multiple outputs in analogue then the A & H ZED 420 might fit the bill - available for £749 from Andertons.

Or you might look at the Phonic Digital Mixer... but I'd be a bit nervous about build-quality - never having seen one!
User avatar
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4262
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cirencester, UK

 


Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby smash4686 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:27 am

Personally I would also prefer a mixing console. I'm just used to them. I love the look of the Zed series but like with every mixing desk I look at, I can't get a definate answer on how many outputs it has. This desk http://www.dv247.com/mixers/allen-and-heath-zed-24-live-recording-mixer--48417 for instance looks exactly what I need. Is this outputting 16 channels through USB?

I don't really have more information as this I will base the rest of the gear around the desk. I guess I need

_ 16 ins/outs. Digital or analogue outputs.
_ A dedicated output to a headphone amp or atleast 2 aux sends
_ Mostly be using software effects so inserts aren't a biggy

I think I'm getting confused as I'm used to using a digital desk in the studio, which allows me to flip between inputs from the mic/lines and then inputs from the DAW.
smash4686
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby smash4686 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:30 am

Or you might look at the Phonic Digital Mixer... but I'd be a bit nervous about build-quality - never having seen one!


I used a Phonic Powered mixer lastnight at a gig and I gotta say I hated it. It was cheap but Phonic are in my opinion in the better half of the budget equipment.
smash4686
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:38 am

smash4686 wrote:I love the look of the Zed series but like with every mixing desk I look at, I can't get a definate answer on how many outputs it has. This desk http://www.dv247.com/mixers/allen-and-heath-zed-24-live-recording-mixer--48417 for instance looks exactly what I need. Is this outputting 16 channels through USB?

No. From the A&H webpage on the ZED24:

USB audio flexibility
Getting audio to and from a computer easily is now a common requirement for live sound and music production. The way this has been implemented on ZED is super-flexible and super-easy! No longer do you need to fiddle around the back of your PC to get to the soundcard inputs, only to find that the levels are all wrong and noisy. Just plug in a USB lead to your ZED, select the USB routing on the mixer and the device on your computer and that's it! CD quality audio to and from your PC or Mac. Switches and connection through jack socket terminals provide different send/return configurations:-

Send options:

1) Main Mix Left + Right (Post-fade)
2) Main Mix Left + Right (Pre-Fade)
3) Auxes 1-2
4) Auxes 3-4

Return options:

1) To Stereo 3 channel


... and that USB output is only 16-bit. Many of us prefer to record at 24-bit because of the increased headroom.

The vast majority of USB-equiped desks are two-channel. The ZEDs have some routing-to-USB options, but it's still two-channel.

As we've said, for multi digi outputs from a desk then it's probably the Onyxs, the A&H ZED-R16 or a full-blown digital desk.
User avatar
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4262
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cirencester, UK

 


Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby smash4686 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:48 am

and that USB output is only 16-bit. Many of us prefer to record at 24-bit because of the increased headroom.


Same here.

Too bad about the ZED. I really do not like this whole USB 2-channel business. I can see why that may be all some people need but when you start talking close to £1000 I'd expect more outputs. It looks like to get the desk I want it's going to cost above £1000 unless I can get something second hand.
smash4686
Regular
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby Greg Strutton » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:10 pm

Don't forget, your not just paying for the digital outs. These desks have some good preamps and EQ which justify the cost in my view.

The ZED R16 is £1500, so if you have the grand, why not save a few of months? Will be worth it.

Alternatively, though I have never used it before, Andertons offer 9 Months 0% Finance. Stick your grand down as a deposit and pay the rest off over the next nine months. Job done!
Greg Strutton
Poster
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: Good mixing desk for under £1000?

Postby Dave B » Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:25 pm

I have used the Andertons scheme and it is a good deal. I got a nice Mac Book Pro when I needed one in a hurry and the guys were very helpful. Definitely to be recommended as an option.
User avatar
Dave B
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2963
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Maidenhead

Veni, Vidi, Aesculi

(I came, I saw, I conkered)



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests