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Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

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Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby seriousnewbie » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:59 pm

Hello, I have been doing nonstop research, and I can't find anything that matches my needs.
So, if anyone can help me out, that would be great!

I know for a FACT people are going to ask me if I NEED a mixer, no I don't I could get an audio interface. Although it has to have inserts, aux sends, aux rtns, EQ, panning, Line/Mic inputs, and mute buttons, wait a minute...

Alright so here are my specifications:

16-24 channels,

Fully capable of multitrack recording,

at least 2 aux sends and preferably in aux rtn (not mandatory)

Must have inserts, (that's the reason I haven't already gotten the Soundcraft sig. MTK 22)

48v phantom power,

24 bit/at least 48kHz

unpowered

Analog seems to be one is in my price range and what I want in the mixer.

(if there is anything else I remember I will try and edit it into the original post)
Thanks for reading!
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby forumuser840717 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:03 pm

seriousnewbie wrote:Alright so here are my specifications:

16-24 channels,
Fully capable of multitrack recording,
at least 2 aux sends and preferably in aux rtn (not mandatory)
Must have inserts, (that's the reason I haven't already gotten the Soundcraft sig. MTK 22)
48v phantom power,
24 bit/at least 48kHz
unpowered
Analog seems to be one is in my price range and what I want in the mixer.

Not sure I follow your list of requirements. Do you want an analogue or digital mixer? (Just wondering where the "24bit/at least 48kHz" fits in.) And to what does 'unpowered' refer?
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:22 pm

Have you looked at the Tascam Model 24: https://tascam.com/us/product/model_24/feature
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:49 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:And to what does 'unpowered' refer?

I would guess that it means without power amplifiers in this case.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby seriousnewbie » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:53 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:
seriousnewbie wrote:Alright so here are my specifications:

16-24 channels,
Fully capable of multitrack recording,
at least 2 aux sends and preferably in aux rtn (not mandatory)
Must have inserts, (that's the reason I haven't already gotten the Soundcraft sig. MTK 22)
48v phantom power,
24 bit/at least 48kHz
unpowered
Analog seems to be one is in my price range and what I want in the mixer.

Not sure I follow your list of requirements. Do you want an analogue or digital mixer? (Just wondering where the "24bit/at least 48kHz" fits in.) And to what does 'unpowered' refer?
I am leaning towards an analog mixer. By "unpowered" I just mean that it doesn't have power amps. I just want those specs because even if I get an analog mixer the interface still might have to be digital.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby seriousnewbie » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:55 pm

blinddrew wrote:Have you looked at the Tascam Model 24: https://tascam.com/us/product/model_24/feature
Yes I have, it is an option. Although I don't like that it only has 2 inserts, and I believe it has no aux returns.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby forumuser840717 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:14 am

James Perrett wrote:
forumuser840717 wrote:And to what does 'unpowered' refer?

I would guess that it means without power amplifiers in this case.

Ah. :headbang: I always forget about those.

seriousnewbie wrote:I am leaning towards an analog mixer. By "unpowered" I just mean that it doesn't have power amps. I just want those specs because even if I get an analog mixer the interface still might have to be digital.

Double Ah. :headbang:

Have you thought of looking at the used mixer market? There are loads of analogue mixers around, many selling for ridiculously low prices, particularly the older, larger types. There's probably some that would meet your specs.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby seriousnewbie » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:07 am

Have you thought of looking at the used mixer market? There are loads of analogue mixers around, many selling for ridiculously low prices, particularly the older, larger types. There's probably some that would meet your specs.

Yes, I have looked there, and I am still looking there.
I am totally open to looking at an older mixer, Although I am still not sure of any mixers in general that match my specs, if there are any, they all seem to be digital, and tens of thousands of dollars, I mean at this point I am so desperate I could spend hundreds of dollars more. It's just that I really need to know I am getting what's right. I don't wanna have to replace it anytime soon.

Also I apologize for the messed up quotes, I haven't figured out how to adjust it yet, or I have but I messed it up and then got confused.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby resistorman » Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:57 am

Why are the inserts absolutely necessary?
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:10 am

Soundcraft FX16, Mackie 16-4-2, Yamaha MGP16X, Mackie PRO FX22.
All have lots of aux sends, four bus, inserts, but obviously, you have to get a separate interface.
I find a lot of analogue USB multitrack mixers are too compromised regarding facilities and routing. I’d go for a separate interface, you could get any of the mixers mentioned and a Behringer UMC1820 interface and still have lots of change from a grand,
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:35 pm

Beheringer X32 Producer... Simples...
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby CS70 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:41 pm

seriousnewbie wrote:Hello, I have been doing nonstop research, and I can't find anything that matches my needs.
So, if anyone can help me out, that would be great!

I know for a FACT people are going to ask me if I NEED a mixer, no I don't I could get an audio interface. Although it has to have inserts, aux sends, aux rtns, EQ, panning, Line/Mic inputs, and mute buttons, wait a minute...

Er... you have all of that.. in the computer. With an interface, the mixer is either provided by the interface software or/and the appropriate DAW (one following a "mixer" metaphor).
If you want the haptics, you can get a control surface.

Fully capable of multitrack recording,

Many analogue mixers are fully capable to do that? Towards a computer, if paired with the appropriate interface (or interface/converter combo), or towards a recording box like the ICE-16 for example or similar.

Digital mixers usually come with the possibility of recording to a high speed SSD drive, like the Samsung T5.. if you don't want a computer, that could be a reasonably path to explore.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby forumuser840717 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:14 pm

How about a DDA Interface? (That's the name - it's called "Interface", it isn't an interface in the computer sense.)

Nice quiet, neutral tending to slightly warm mic/line pre with P48, Pad, Polarity switch and HPF
Very useable 4-band EQ - 12KHz HF and 50Hz LF shelving and two sweepable mids, EQ in/out switch
6x Aux sends on 4 knobs.
Aux 1 knob cab be switched to instead control the level of the channel's balanced direct out (on TRS)
Routing for Mix, 1-2, 3-4
Pan
Channel on
PFL
Fader with adjacent small (5 Led) meter

Every mono channel has a direct out, switchable pre/post fade (in Pre-Fade mode there's the option of a level control by re-allocating Aux1 send control), Insert (TRS) and separate mic (XLR) and line (TRS) inputs.

There are also stereo mic/line channels available which, as the name implies, can take stereo mic (with P48) or line signals. These don't have inserts nor or direct outs but they do have two sets of inputs A on XLR and B on TRS which can be selected via a switch on the top of the channel. There are selector switches for Mono from left only, right only or summing left and right and an M/S decoder option. There are no dedicated aux returns on the Interface series but if you got, say, a 24 input version with some stereo inputs then you could use them as stereo aux returns (they can also be switched to mono input).

The mixer has (as standard) 4 groups of one of two types (all with TRS inserts), 8 monitor returns and a basic master section with stereo output (also with TRS inserts) with a mono output following the stereo but with it's own on/off and level control. The 6 Aux master outputs each have PFL, as do the groups, and there's basic talkback (XLR mic input, level control and routing/on-off buttons, on master section), 1kHz line up oscillator, headphone out with level control and monitor speaker switchable between mix out and tape return. There are fairly decent LED meters on the group outs and mix outs.

There's the option of several different input channels and, being modular per channel (only the master section is a single block of functionality), if you need more inputs and fewer groups you can take out the group strips and replace them with up to four more input strips. The two types of group output strips are: Recording (which has tape monitor returns) and PA (which has a small matrix).

It's not too huge (an 8:4:2 (or 12:2) is rack mountable (there is a rack mounting frame version but they're not common) and they come in 8, 16, 24, 32, 40 input versions (all assuming 4 goups). They're also quite easy to work on and maintain.

OK, it doesn't have the character of a vintage Neve or other big name mixer but it's clean and quiet with decent preamps and EQ and costs less than the tax on the maintenance bill for a vintage Neve! If you can find one in good, clean condition and don't mind spending a bit of time with a can of cleaning spray to give any grubby/noisy controls the once over, they're a cheap way to get a reasonable amount of functionality in a quiet and nice sounding console.

Typical prices I've seen in the UK are around £200-£400 for a 16:4:2 and around £250- £500 for a 24:4:2. However, I did recently buy an 8:4:2, in a flightcase, with power supply, in filthy but completely undamaged and working nicely condition for £30! It worked fine but looked awful, however that was purely cosmetic, down to a layer of dust and scuzz, but there were no dents, sctatches nor wear to the silk screened printing. Instead of keeping it as a project to while away the long winter evenings, I spent a few otherwise wasted lockdown days cleaning and servicing the thing and ended up with a nice little mixer for the price of not many cups of coffee (unless I cost the time spent cleaning and servicing it!).

Oh, and it also came in versions badged by Dynacord and EV. All the same mixer, just different branding. The Soundcraft Delta consoles are also more or less identical in all the key facilities.

Find one at the right price and you could afford to add some kind of useful computer interface. If you got something RME then you get to use their TotalMix digital mixer/router which is a surprisingly powerful thing.

Or there are any number of old Soundcraft, DDA, Allen & Heath, or other analogue mixers which would cover your requirements. And probably several budget digital ones too. I've seen a few Yamaha DM1000s sell for under £1000 and with the state of the £ these days you're probably not far off that.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby resistorman » Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:34 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Beheringer X32 Producer... Simples...

Doesn't have inserts, that's why I asked about them. If the inserts are for efx, the onboard stuff in the X32 is pretty dam good.
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Re: Great multitrack mixers for under $1k?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:09 pm

It does have 6 analogue aux I/O which can easily be configured as inserts though and can, fairly cheaply, be equipped with another 16 inputs and 8 outputs (giving 38/22 analogue I/O) which can also do duty as inserts. Or look for a used full sized X32 which should come in not too much over budget. The only real downside of the X32 is the lack of combi sockets on the inputs but the XLR mic inputs are perfectly happy to accept line level signals, you just have to be careful of feeding 48V spook juice to a synth output or something.
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