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Digital mixer beckons...

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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Luke W » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:05 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
blinddrew wrote:Once you start wanting more than 8 mic pre-amps then digital mixers start giving you way better bang for your buck in terms of features.

I bought a 24:10:2 Soundcraft Delta mixer a month ago for £325.

I might be mistaken here, but I think people are making the suggestion that in a studio situation then the digital mixer option provides more I/O for the money considering so many offer multi channel interfacing built in. By the time you've added 24 channels of A/D and cable/connectors, you're not going to be so near that £325 price point any more!
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Arpangel » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:36 am

Lots of views for lots of different ways of working. I'm inclined after reading them not to change anything.
My situation....
I'm an amateur musician, I don't do this professionally, there is no return on my investment in equipment. A lot of my gear was given to me free, from friends, stuff that would have been thrown away, I took it and saved it from the dump. Things like my monitors, amplier, and my Motu, my mixer is a cheap Behringer that sounds great and does the job, it cost me £220 brand new, that is also a USB interface.
My total investment in the basic essentials of my studio was £220
So, it actually hurts me a bit to go out and spend probably the best part of £2,000 or even more, on a digital mixer or interface, RME, UAD etc, why!? OK, it may improve my workflow, a bit, but it may not, I may end up not liking it.
Also, Mr Bladder is correct, digital technology is a bad investment, like buying a new car, you loose money straight away, and a new one comes out in six months that everybody wants and you can't sell yours.
I don't have room for a big old mixer, also it's not needed here, my place has been a revolving door for all sorts of vintage gear in the past five years, most of it has gone or is sitting in the basement unused, I got that one out of my system very quickly. I just need the minimum to do what I do, thats the reason why I thought about going in the box, to get rid of even more stuff, but the jury is still out after reading your posts.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:07 am

The thing is you are already using digital kit, your computer and MOTU interface. There is no reason why a digital mixer should become unusable in 10 or 20 years as long as you can keep the computer with the appropriate USB/FW or WHY sockets running. My Mac Pro is 11 years old and hit the OSX brick wall a few updates ago (with El Capitan 10.11) but I fully expect to keep it running for another few years at least. My X32 desk will probably see me out too.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby The Elf » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:25 am

There's no need to spend 2000 quid! If you can get more bang for your bucks than a 350 quid XR18 I'd like to see it! No, it won't give you the tools I'd prefer to have, but you pays your money and takes your choice.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby The Elf » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:26 am

Arpangel wrote:Also, Mr Bladder is correct, digital technology is a bad investment, like buying a new car, you loose money straight away, and a new one comes out in six months that everybody wants and you can't sell yours.
:headbang: This has nothing to do with something being 'digital' or not.

You should have tried selling a MiniMoog in 1987...

And take a look at how long RME's Fireface 800 has been supported. And look at how long the X32 has been around... :ugeek:
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:57 am

The Red Bladder ain't The Pope.

He has opinions... they're not universally shared. They are no more valid or invalid than those of any other knowledgeable and experienced person in the 'audio industry'.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:02 am

Arpangel wrote:Also, Mr Bladder is correct, digital technology is a bad investment, like buying a new car, you loose money straight away, and a new one comes out in six months that everybody wants and you can't sell yours.

You can't treat a hobby purchase as an investment, hobbies are what we spend money on not what we make money from (ok I know we sometimes get paid but what do we spend that money on?). If it pays the bills/makes a profit it's a job :D
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:36 am

But with the right gear it’s a job to get excited about!
Perhaps the advantage of hobby is that one can try each option for a bit and see how they fit without deadline and other pressures. The used market makes that very doable.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Mike Stranks » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:38 am

Arpangel wrote:... digital technology is a bad investment, like buying a new car, you loose money straight away, and a new one comes out in six months that everybody wants and you can't sell yours.

Errrm... VW Golf?
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:47 am

You mention a Motu interface. What model is it?

Provided it has enough inputs you could experiment with working in the box with it and ditching the Behringer (which is likely the weakest link in your chain in terms of preamps, effects and I'm guessing probably only delivers stereo USB output.

Don't take this as pressure, just an alternative way of working that many of us have adapted to and have not looked back.

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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby CS70 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:50 pm

Arpangel wrote:Also, Mr Bladder is correct, digital technology is a bad investment, like buying a new car, you loose money straight away, and a new one comes out in six months that everybody wants and you can't sell yours.

Then buy an used car - but a good one. :D I have a soon 20 years old RME interace which works perfectly. Yes maybe the A/D converters aren't the super-duper ones but nobody's ever managed to tell the difference on

You absolutely don't need to spend 2000 in digital technology! :-)
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby cyrano.mac » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:36 pm

Arpangel wrote:
The Elf wrote:Nothing not to like IMO.

But I'd rather use an RME interface and TotalMix software than a physical mixer - it's much more flexible for recording.

Interesting, I was thinking of that route as well, but it's a bit like letting go of the edge of the swimming pool.....AAARRRGGGHHH! no mixer!
Does the appropriate RME have enough mic inputs though? I need about 6 minimum. And about 8 line inputs.

I'll second Elf's suggestion. Adding that even the smallest RME has 10 to 12 input channels. So no worries there.

You'll need to take some time to learn TotalMix. When I was confronted with it first, I hated it. It wasn't until I got my FireFace 400 and put in some hours to discover all it's possibilities that I learned to love it. Now, I can't miss it. Even when I have an analog and a digital mixer around.

I only use the digital mixer to set up stuff for others who need to control the setup and are a bit overwhelmed by digital routing. They don't fear faders, but often don't like to control TotalMix. I was like that too, years ago :headbang:

There's also DigiCheck, if you're a techie...

And you can control TotalMix remotely, via any browser, on, say, an iPad. Very useful to keep all your gear out of sight and run it from any place. Backstage, in between viewers, or even from the bar :mrgreen:
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby MOF » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:14 am

digital technology is a bad investment, like buying a new car
I had a Yamaha O3D mixer to allow me to mix, eq etc and stay all digital before “in the box” became feasible. I would have lost some money when I sold it but it was 16 bit and most likely the eq etc wasn’t as good as modern digital desks.
It was reliable and I got some use out of it so you could say it was worth it.
Now I have a home studio, all ITB plus fairly recently I bought a Sound Devices mixer/recorder for my sound recordist work.
If I did live PA sound a digital mixer would be a no brainer for me these days.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:48 am

Bob Bickerton wrote:You mention a Motu interface. What model is it?

Provided it has enough inputs you could experiment with working in the box with it and ditching the Behringer (which is likely the weakest link in your chain in terms of preamps, effects and I'm guessing probably only delivers stereo USB output.

Don't take this as pressure, just an alternative way of working that many of us have adapted to and have not looked back.

Bob

I'm going to do this, I have an external mic pre with 4 inputs on it that I can plug into the Motu, that would leave me 6 line inputs, more than enough for my synths......hang on? I only have one now!
The Motu is also capable of working in stand alone mode, so it's ideally suited really.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Arpangel » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:38 am

I've done it, the problem is there isn't enough I/O at the mo, I've got things like a tape portastudio that I use sometimes, I feed that from the 4 sub group outs on my mixer, it comes in on the tape returns, also, I'm feeding the Motu from the 8 direct outputs of my mixer using its mic inputs, and I'm quite happy with the sound of them it's good enough. And if I want to use my external mic pre that goes straight into the Motu anyway.
That's why I'm still using a mixer/interface combo, also, setting up groups and subs and routing in something like Total Mix is just beyond, I do like to see what's happening at a glance.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:21 pm

Arpangel wrote:That's why I'm still using a mixer/interface combo, also, setting up groups and subs and routing in something like Total Mix is just beyond, I do like to see what's happening at a glance.
TotalMix is even more 'at a glance' than what you have now. One click on an output and you see the *entire* mix for that output, no matter where it is coming from - and for as many outputs as you have available.

I know I won't convince you here, but if you could see it in action you'd be a convert, I'm sure!
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby The Red Bladder » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:44 pm

cyrano.mac wrote:You'll need to take some time to learn TotalMix.

And that's the problem with nearly all these budget-priced nonsense boxes - the manufacturers honestly imagine that I have the time and the patience to learn their system because it's cheaper to produce a half-baked system that requires the user to fathom out how it functions than to design the damn thing properly.

I am sitting in a studio with a large and rather complex 60-frame mixer, seven synths, a Radar and a DAW and a video machine running DaVince-Resolve and you want me to learn something else on top of all that???

I'm working alongside someone who is working against the clock (in Premier) on some TV programme that has to be ready by yesterday - THERE'S NO TIME FOR LEARNING QUIRKY STUFF.

A mixer starts at the top with input select, then gain, followed by EQ, volume-out and routing. Period. Add maybe some 'Recall' and some FX and that's all I expect to see. A nice GUI that looks like a conventional mixer and I would be a happy bunny.

In an ideal world, I could choose between GUIs modelled on conventional mixers, say an SSL G+ or one of the Ameks, maybe a Neve or even a Soundcraft 'Goat'. Or just a very basic no-name mixer, nothing fancy.

In other words, it has to work MY WAY and not the other way about!
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby The Elf » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:04 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
cyrano.mac wrote:You'll need to take some time to learn TotalMix.
And that's the problem with nearly all these budget-priced nonsense boxes - the manufacturers honestly imagine that I have the time and the patience to learn their system because it's cheaper to produce a half-baked system that requires the user to fathom out how it functions than to design the damn thing properly.
You've clearly never used TotalMix... :(

It's really no more complex that it needs to be.
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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Bob Bickerton » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:15 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:I am sitting in a studio with a large and rather complex 60-frame mixer, seven synths, a Radar and a DAW and a video machine running DaVince-Resolve and you want me to learn something else on top of all that???

Well, one hopes you spent time learning how to use that lot - to the uninitiated everything has a learning curve.......

My set-up is just as powerful and efficient than yours for WHAT I DO..... and it cost around 200 quid. Politely I’d suggest it’s horses for courses and most users around here, professionals and amateurs alike, would not have the budget, inclination, space or time to invest in the sort of system you reference.

The Red Bladder wrote:it has to work MY WAY!

Maybe Red’s real first name is Frank?

But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way


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Re: Digital mixer beckons...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:15 am

I have actually used total mix, I used to own an RME UCX about five years ago.
The only reason I didn't continue with it was because it didn't sound right to me, I entered into dialogue with RME but IMO they were less than helpful, talking down and adopting a superior atitide from the start.
I didn't find Total Mix that hard to learn it was OK. I bought a Focusrite after that and all was fine, although Total Mix was clearly the better software.
I'm not going to make a change until interfaces become more user friendly, in the heat of a session I really don't want to have to call up screens and look at mix software on a computer mouse clicks etc etc. All I have to do right now is look at my mixer and see that my M&S rig is plugged into channels 7/8 and my synth is plugged into channel 9 and aux 1 is sending out to my reverb, also, when using an interface in stand alone mode it's like flying blind, you just can't see what's happening a all. I have my Tascam DR100 connected to an output on my mixer too, for those times when I really don't wan't to switch on the computer.
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