Mix board selection
February 12, 2007 7:55 PM   Subscribe

I am recording drums into a sound card that allows for eight inputs. What I am searching for is a mixboard that will allow me to do a direct line out from each channel. The main constraint being that it needs at least 8 xlr inputs and an output for each so I can keep each part of the kit on seperate tracks. Finally, it would hopefully be under $500 to acquire this 'magical' mixer. So can anyone make some recommendations?
posted by occidental to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Alesis 32 is what I dream of in this case.
posted by bryanzera at 8:01 PM on February 12, 2007

If I understand what you want, you want an analog mixer, that has at least 8 inputs, and 8 outputs (or submixes).

This isn't as common as 4-output mixers, but it's certainly not unheard of. The search term you probably want to use is "8x8 mixer," or potentially "12x8 mixer" (a more common configuration in my experience). Or more generally, "yx8", where y is the number of inputs you can afford. "8-bus mixer" might also turn up interesting items.

Eight-output mixers are (were?) pretty standard, because 1/2" tape and ADAT both can record eight simultaneous channels. In fact, you might be able to find some very nice used gear if you look around, that was designed for 1/2"-eight-track. (Back in college, I used a sweet Tascam studio board that was a 12x8 modular...if you could find one I bet it would be under $500 these days.)

Just after doing some quick Googling, the bottom end of the price range seem to be matrix mixers designed for adding additional auxes to other mixers, like this, for $350, although I don't think it has preamps. There's not much in the way of new 8-bus equipment that I could find in your price range, because most of them are 32x8. I think used equipment is going to be your friend here. There's a lot of analog studio gear floating around on the secondary market, as people have moved to digital systems, it may take some searching but you ought to be able to find one.

The other thing to think about is whether you actually need 8 full output channels, or whether you could get away with 4 submixes and then 4 unmixed inputs (via the Inserts on the mixer). I.e., use a 16x4 board, and then record from the 4 submixes, and then pick 4 more inputs to record separately, post-fade. In most recording situations, there are generally a few channels that you'll want to isolate anyway -- why waste a submix on them? (You might want to read this thread for more in this vein.) Used 4-bus boards are remarkably cheap, and are just fine for many tasks.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:28 PM on February 12, 2007

I would recommend consider either skipping the mixer entirely or using the inserts. I think the mackie CR1604 and variants have 8 inserts. You could get by with the inserts on a MS1202 or MS1402 + the Main, Ctrl, and Alt busses but dealing with your gain stages will be more annoying. Any mixer you get for < $500 that has 8 outputs is not going to have eqs better than your plugins, so i can't imagine thats what you want. the way in you can manage levels with input gain the pres, which will be before the inserts. br>
What exactly is the reason you want to go through the mixer rather than plugging your eight mics into the eight inputs on your soundcard?
posted by jeb at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2007

So basically you need 8 preamps before the 8 line-level inputs?

What about something like the Focusrite OctoPre LE?
posted by cmicali at 6:02 AM on February 13, 2007

The whole sweetwater pre section
posted by cmicali at 6:04 AM on February 13, 2007

I use the older version of the Behringer Eurorack MX2004A exactly how you want to. Use the FX loop sends from each channel as inputs to your DAW. The key is to only plug the cables in to the sends halfway (or buy stereo-mono male/male cables). The FX loop outputs are pre-fader and pre-eq, so you can use the EQ, pan and fader controls to create a zero-latency monitor mix while sending a clean signal to your recorder.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 7:09 AM on February 13, 2007

This is really weird. A co-worker asked me the EXACT SAME QUESTION today. His name first name is the same as the poster's (according to the poster's profile). He says it's not him and I for one believe him (other askme questions don't fit)

I'll tell you what I told him:

* think you could hack an 8 channel mixer to take outputs from the master level pot or possibly the effect send pot. I'd have to experiment with a mixer to know how well this would work. Possibly the level would be bad, or the output impedance would be bad.

* You'll probably get a good answer on the tape op message board. Try the DIY section or the Gear Talk section.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:24 AM on February 13, 2007

The Mackie Onyx 1220, recommends this page I was at yesterday.
posted by genghis at 10:32 AM on February 13, 2007

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