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digital mixers

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digital mixers

Postby Nyameye » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:02 am

Hello there, you guys should help me understand this,which of the digital mixers is ideal for professional studio use.is it a good idea to use digital mixer in the studio as compared to analogue mixer.
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Re: digital mixers

Postby James Perrett » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:57 am

For normal multitrack recording there is little point in my opinion. Analogue mixers give you immediate access to all the controls which is great for things like quickly setting up monitor mixes and tweaking any eq at the same time. I find digital mixers take a little more thought and are less immediately accessible.

Your recording software will usually have all the features of a digital mixer built-in so there is little point in duplicating the functionality with an external box.

The one area where a digital mixer might work is where you are mixing live. The ability to store settings and quickly change configurations is very useful. A digital mixer also allows you to separate the control surface from the mixer which means that the long heavy multicore is no longer needed.
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Re: digital mixers

Postby Saxum esse et non provolvere » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:07 am

10/10 V.G. ;)
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Re: digital mixers

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:08 am

As James says, there are benefits in using digital mixers for live sound, but I'm not so sure about in a 'professional studio'.

Most studio operations aren't really about 'mixing', they are about routing signals into a computer, and a good quality interface with sufficient channels is a much more cost effective and efficient way of doing that.

For the act of 'mixing', most are going to be working ITB, and a modest control surface is usually sufficient if you want a degree of tactile hands-on.

That only leaves the issue of setting up monitor mixes, but that too can be done easily enough in the interface controller software (eg RME Totalmix) -- especially if you only record one or two things at a time. larger full band setups can get a bit unwieldy but you can pre-configure basic setups and store them as presets, or you can set up a straight loop-back kind of arrangement and use small analogue mixers in the studio for the musicians to balance their own monitor mixes.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't just assume a mixer is necessary -- it's often not and there may be alternative ways of working that suit the modern DAW workflow much better.

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Re: digital mixers

Postby Ramirez » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:23 pm

I think a digital mixer with built-in audio interfacing can be a great one-stop shop for a studio. If I'm ever in a position too look at a bigger setup, with perhaps two rooms and the space to record a band, I'd certainly be looking at something like the Midas M32R or perhaps the Behringer X32 Compact.

How else would you get your hands on a 32x32 audio interface, good conversion and 16 quality preamps for £2000-ish? And that's before even considering the 'mixer' part of it! Cue mixes (and monitoring FX) become a breeze, it is easily expandable to 32 mic inputs, so you could have an extra stage box in the live room giving 16 more ins and outs there, with only a single Cat5 cable needing to be routed. 8 faders can also control your DAW if needed.

In the studio I would want an additional monitor controller such as my current M-Patch2, or a Drawmer MC2.1, and I can't imagine I'd use the mixer to 'mix' as such (although obviously that could easily be set-up), but as a central hub controlling input channels, cue mixes, talkback and routing in a larger setup - and DAW control too - I can't think of anything that comes close. The smaller ones are also fairly portable, and make great location recording rigs when paired with a laptop.

I have used the Behringer X32 Producer in a makeshift multi-room setup and it was a pleasure.
Unless I'm missing something, they offer pretty much everything that every other interface does (not counting sorcery such as UA's Unison technology), and much more besides. Preamp and converter quality are the only potential drawbacks that I can see (though personal experience as well as things I've read suggests that these are not an issue even with the cheaper Behringers), as well as physical size.

On the other hand, it would make no sense in my current setup, which is in a single room dealing with only a couple of input channels at a given time.

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Re: digital mixers

Postby CS70 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:43 pm

Ramirez wrote:On the other hand, it would make no sense in my current setup, which is in a single room dealing with only a couple of input channels at a given time.

Totally agree, and yet I'd love to have that Star Trek feel at home as well. Mostly useless but feels great! And who knows, you can always get that drum kit in the living room once in a while! :mrgreen:

I see fantastic (and fairly recent) used analogue mixers in good condition going for incredibly little money. Last example was a uber-cool 32 channel (or 48) Studer console, which the guy was basically begging to give away - the final price was like 1/20 of the cost new.

The flip side is that 32 channels of good A/D conversion are very, very pricey.
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Re: digital mixers

Postby James Perrett » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:09 pm

How else would you get your hands on a 32x32 audio interface, good conversion and 16 quality preamps for £2000-ish? And that's before even considering the 'mixer' part of it!

OK - an RME Digiface USB is about £350. Partner that with 4 ADA8200's at £170 each and you've got a Behringer based 32x32 setup for just over a grand. Replace 2 of the ADA8200's with Audient ASP800's and you'll have a very respectable 32x16 setup for about £1800. If you want to avoid Behringer completely then combine the RME with the Audients and a Ferrofish Pulse 16 for just over 2 grand.

The Digiface comes with Totalmix for cue and monitor mixes (though no DSP FX unfortunately).
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Re: digital mixers

Postby Ramirez » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:35 pm

James Perrett wrote:
How else would you get your hands on a 32x32 audio interface, good conversion and 16 quality preamps for £2000-ish? And that's before even considering the 'mixer' part of it!

OK - an RME Digiface USB is about £350. Partner that with 4 ADA8200's at £170 each and you've got a Behringer based 32x32 setup for just over a grand. Replace 2 of the ADA8200's with Audient ASP800's and you'll have a very respectable 32x16 setup for about £1800. If you want to avoid Behringer completely then combine the RME with the Audients and a Ferrofish Pulse 16 for just over 2 grand.

The Digiface comes with Totalmix for cue and monitor mixes (though no DSP FX unfortunately).

I was mulling over these things last week, and a Digiface USB did look tempting (not least allowing me to easily hook my Microsoft Surface into other studios' systems), and the Ferrofish A16 "ADAT edition" seems very cost effective, especially if you wish to incorporate an old school analogue mixer as CS70 mentions above.

However, what you're proposing essentially amount to the same things for around the same costs (admittedly proving my point wrong)- but we're talking 4 or 5 different pieces of equipment (though this could of course be a positive if one thing goes down, or if scalability is important) and we're still not covering DAW control, talkback, hands on control of cue mixes, cable routing and, perhaps very importantly, client 'wow factor'.
OK, DAW control and talkback are easily sorted (albeit with more money and more pieces of equipment). Hand on control of cue mixes is not crucial (and TotalMix is pretty ace), but it is something I like to have when working with other people.

These mixers are, at the very least, a very viable and cost effective solution for a good few common scenarios.
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Re: digital mixers

Postby Wease » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:58 pm

Allen and heaths qu16 is Just higher than the retail price as a clarett 8 pre and clarett octopre it seems...around £1400 give or take...

It's quite tempting you know......I'm in need of an upgrade from my sapphire pro 10/10....and if the Allen and Heath pre's are in the same ballpark as the clarett' then isn't it with a punt??

RME adds £500 to the cost and takes 8 pres away....roughly

Just sayin.... :D
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