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suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

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suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:34 am

(Sorry but this is just one of those shopping threads)

I'm on the lookout for a new submixer for my live keyboard rig.

I need something that is...
- Small (preferably just with knobs for levels, rather than faders) so I can plonk it on top of a keyboard
- Sounds Good (this rules Behringer out, right?
- I'm more interested in flexibility with FX sends and returns than in lavish EQ
- not fussed about built-in FX

I rather like the look of the Allen & Heath ZED-10
http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/Products/pages/ProductDetails.aspx?catId=ZEDSeries&ProductId=ZED10

It's petite, their stuff always sounds excellent...
The aux sends are a *little* bit limited, though - only two, and one is set to Post-fader, the other-pre, you can't switch them - and a bigger downer is there's no dedicated FX returns, so I'd need to use up channel strips for that... of which there are only 6 to begin with.
(The bigger A&H mixers have more channels, but faders, so are too big)

Anyone have any other recommendations for petite mixers?

I'm also wondering if I might be best just getting some kind of 1U rackmount mixer thing with level knobs only and no EQ at all? ... but I would still need at least 2 aux sends.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby The Elf » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:47 am

I like my humble Rane SM82.

1u, 8 stereo line inputs, 1 aux send (which may be the weakness for your use), a stereo aux input and stereo expansion inputs for a second mixer (that I use as an additional synth input). I can sub-mix 10 stereo synths this way.

It's a simple and relatively clean mixer. The front panel controls consist of a volume knob, a send slider and pan slider per-channel - and that's it.

TBH I'm after another, if I can get it for the loony price I paid for this one!!

The newer SM82S does away with the hateful external power supply.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:55 am

Yeah, I need at least 2 aux sends really -
I'm always trying to be sensible and bring as few synths to gigs as I can get away with -
but doing so makes the FX I have all the more crucial (to provide flexibility of sounds) -
so at the moment I have a space echo and a phaser, and it really helps to be able to phase one thing and not another, whilst space-echoing both (for instance)... otherwise the whole rig just goes into a big swooshy phased mess
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:44 am

http://www.mackie.com/products/mixers/

An interesting pick and mix filter widget-thingy.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:49 am

Except maybe I was lucky the last time I looked at this, it doesn't seem to filter very effectively now.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:59 am

shufflebeat wrote:http://www.mackie.com/products/mixers/

An interesting pick and mix filter widget-thingy.

interesting (although it doesn't actually work on the rubbish browser I'm saddled with at work!

I've always been a bit ambivalent about the sound of Mackie EQ. It reminds me of the sound of recording on ADATs in the 1990s (which is to say, rather sterile). But designs change...

Doesn't look like their faderless mixers have enough Auxes for me until this one http://www.mackie.com/products/1202vlz3/index.html which is 14" across so too big to fit on top of my mellotron beside my Cat.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby shufflebeat » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:24 am

I was toying with the idea of getting a dedicated monitor mixer at one point to cater for ever growing demands for separate monitor mixes onstage (from direct outs). I didn't pursue it in the end because I couldn't find anything with 8ish in and 4ish aux out.

I'd have thought there was a market for something like this but; yet again, the world thinks it knows better (sigh).
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:45 pm

I have a little Samson mixer for my 808

http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/mixers/mdr-series/mdr1064/


It seems quiet (certainly compared to the Behringer it replaced) it has a smallish footprint, but admittedly it isn't the smallest in the world, 2 sends, some basic EQ, but it is three bands. I managed to get mine on eBay for about £100 (new), but they seem to be between £130 and £200 on the net.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar05/a ... dr1064.htm
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:05 pm

It's a nice blue colour!
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby Richie Royale » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:36 pm

Aux 1 is fixed Pre only whilst Aux 2 is fixed post.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby ef37a » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:51 pm

Hi Feline 1,
I will not hear a word against my ZED10 (FX, usb) but I think you are being a little harsh and hasty in condeming the Behringers. For sure the mic amps are not up to A&H mark but you just seem to need line levels? I very much doubt that you or anyone else could tell the difference between the two mixers handling line level signals (with the proviso that the A&H almost certainly has higher ultimate headroom but then watch your levels!)
The ZED 10 has one FX send and one Monitor send per channel. You also wanted small? For its facilities the 10 is not that small. Have you looked at Soundcraft?

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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby arkieboy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:53 pm

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul05/a ... rx1602.htm

Seemed to be good enough for Paul: I have one and it does what it says on the tin. I haven't noticed any sound degradation problems. Only one send though ...

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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:13 pm

I've used a lot of different budget analogue mixers, cos I did a few years stint as a band's live sound guy and so we'd get a different make every pub or club that we turned up in... I never liked the Behringers. I also have three crap "Eurorack MX0n" ones of theirs - they are crap, they do degrade the sound, the EQ sounds pants, and the normalling always fails after a couple of years. But they were also cheap

Haven't looked at Soundcraft's current offerings yet - I've had a Spirit Folio since the 1990s and remain rather fond of it.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:16 pm

arkieboy wrote:<a href="/sos/jul05/articles/behringerrx1602.htm" target="_blank">http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jul05/articles/behringerrx1602.htm</a>

Seemed to be good enough for Paul: I have one and it does what it says on the tin. I haven't noticed any sound degradation problems. Only one send though ...

Also, it's main outs are unbalanced? This seems a rather daft design!
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:07 pm

All Soundcraft's models these days seem to have faders, there's nothing little with just knobs.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby ef37a » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:13 am

feline1 wrote:All Soundcraft's models these days seem to have faders, there's nothing little with just knobs.

Peavey PV 8 (usb, might have to have it). Dinky, yes one master fader but mon and FX sends.

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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:18 am

nice coloured knobs! Only 1 Aux send though :/
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby Goddard » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:57 am

Maybe look for a Yamaha MG-102C. Small, rotary faders and pretty versatile I/O-wise. You might be able to use the channel inserts for feeding outboard fx and/or use the 2-trk ins as returns. Two of the mic input channels can use onboard compression, which worked ok and might also work with line sources (dunno though, never used it that way). Decent eq's. There was also a similar "-CX" range offered with onboard fx, but I never used one of those. Larger models in the range with more inputs used linear faders but offered more buses and aux sends. Only downside ime was the wall wart AC adapter. Out of production now but I still see them out there.

Now, if you have the rack space, Tascam's old MM-1 worked great as a keyboard mixer (plus, MIDI scene recall meant you didn't have to fiddle with things between numbers once everything was set up). Very versatile.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:23 am

I remember now what a ballache it was looking for a similar box in the past. One suggestion that cropped up at the time was switching the aux sends, that is, having an A/B switch or "sweepable" pot on each aux send to choose between FX that weren't to be used simultaneously. All FX returns would stay connected to stereo lines in.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 8:31 am

That http://uk.yamaha.com/en/products/proaudio/mixers/analog-mixers/mg_series_c_models/mg102c/?mode=model#tab=product_lineup looks a real contender, thanks!

Only one aux send, but as you note it has inserts (arguably even easier to use between songs - just repatch the Y-lead on my phaser to a different synth

Yeah and compressors on channels could actually be really handy for taming some of the more ludicrous volume swings of my octave cat!

Far more inputs than the Allen & Heath too...
Also has a mic-stand option!
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby The Elf » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:24 am

This has all reminded me that for my live rig back in the 90s I used a pair of Simmons SPM82 mixers. They were fully programmable mixers with some incredible features, such as per-channel cross-fading, LFOs (could be used for panning, or sent to the mid EQ frequency for pseudo-phasing) and 2 stereo effects sends. They were very cost-effective.

They were a bit fiddly to program, and you had to be careful with your gains to ensure you got good signal-to-noise, but once set up properly you just issued your (up to 64) patch changes and forgot about them. I only got rid of them when synths became programmable and effects-laden enough to not require the features of the SPM82.

One or two of these might be ideal for you - as long as you are prepared to be patient with the fiddly knobs and buttons.

Hmmm... a quick search in the usual places suggests they're rare as fish slippers. Maybe not such a good suggestion after all then!
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:33 am

feline1 wrote: - just repatch the Y-lead on my phaser to a different synth

Might be an idea to use a TS lead to the FX then return on lines in for stereo use.

At last! All that fannying about with 20 different ways to hook up the same piece of kit has paid off.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:41 am

shufflebeat wrote:
feline1 wrote: - just repatch the Y-lead on my phaser to a different synth

Might be an idea to use a TS lead to the FX then return on lines in for stereo use.

At last! All that fannying about with 20 different ways to hook up the same piece of kit has paid off.

Possibly (if I get that Mode Machines Krautrock phaser I've been wanting

Although if the channel insert is pre-Aux send, bring it back in mono means it can still go back out to my Boss fake Space Echo
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby BillB » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:49 am

That Yamaha MG102C looks like a flexible little unit - love the idea of building simple compressors into Ch1/2.

£95 new at GAK and Amazon, slightly more on Fleabay!

Also, take a look here for a good list of guitar A/B pedals - might provide the fx switching you need...
http://www.thomann.de/gb/switch_pedals.html

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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby ef37a » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:23 am

The MG102C still has only one FX send and the daftness of monitor and headphone outs ganged to the same pot!

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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby BillB » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:31 am

Feline - ideally, how many synths (mono/stereo?), going to how many FX, in what combinations?

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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:04 pm

ah! At least 2 mono keyboards going to 2 stereo FX. But that's a bare bare minimum and if I didn't know better it would be more like 4 or 6 keyboards But I try not too cos it just takes too long to transport and set up.
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby DGL. » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:37 pm

If you don't mind a B* prodct then this is quite cheap,n has 2 auxes (albeit 1 pre, and 1 post).

http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_xenyx_1002_b.htm

Image

it does have faders though but as they are next to the eq/send controls it is still as small if not smaller than a knobbed desk.
6 inputs, 3 stereo though only one return (stereo)
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby feline1 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:45 pm

The thing is, I have 3 Behringer mixers already and they sound naff!
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Re: suggestions for a submixer for my keyboard rig... (Allen & Heath Zed-10?)

Postby DGL. » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:02 pm

Reviews on the thommann website don't seem to bad though (if you can understand basic german), and my little 802 is great fof the price paid (ahd an UB-1832FXPRO previously and that was definatly worse)
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