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Crest XR-24 Mixer
#3043390 05/12/20 06:29 PM
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I was cleaning out my garage and found this, in the box, never used. I think it was a review unit Keyboard was allowed to keep and that I eventually took home when I left the California office. (We normally returned or purchased all review gear; adopting an orphan was a very occasional perk.) I’d forgotten I had it, and some folks here may have recently seen my threads about a mixer to route and mix a lot of synths. Anyone ever have one of these? Discontinued, but appears to be built like a tank. The routing is crazy flexible. Direct pre-fader outs on the eight mono channels, stereo line and XLR mic inputs on the stereo channels, and just tons of I/O and send-this-to-that options. All six auxes are selectable pre- or post-fader, in pairs. Separate phantom power switch on every channel. These (unlike the early run of XR-20) were made just after Peavey purchased Crest, and mine is from 2003. You pretty much have to rack-mount it, as all the jacks are on the rear panel, but with a slanted open-back rack, I prefer this as it keeps all the cables out of my way. I'll be reporting on the sound quality here, as it may have issues with age, and for critical recording I’m likely to continue to have as little plumbing in the signal path as possible. But for having all my keyboards wired up and playable, this looks pretty cool. I would love a Speck Xtramix or SSM, which are expensive and hunted to extinction.

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Stephen Fortner
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Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Re: Crest XR-24 Mixer
Stephen Fortner #3043399 05/12/20 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Stephen Fortner
But for having all my keyboards wired up and playable, this looks pretty cool.

Mixers still come in handy smile My approach to having everything wired up and playable is aggregating audio interfaces on the Mac, and using ADAT light pipe expansion to additional audio interfaces for Windows.

There something truly wonderful about not having to patch stuff into a patch bay before you can play it!

Re: Crest XR-24 Mixer
Stephen Fortner #3043404 05/12/20 07:28 PM
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This was a very nice mixer for the day, and assuming it hasn't deteriorated significantly, it's still an excellent mixer. Crest went out of the mixer business quite some time ago, but at this year's NAMM show, when I passed by the APB Dynasonics booth, a company that was new to me, I saw what looked like a vintage Crest mixer, the 20-channel version of yours. Turns out that the founder of APB, many years ago, helped get Crest, who was making power amplifiers at the time, into the mixer business. APB, who has been making sound contracting gear all this time, finally got the money and permission to re-make Crest mixers.

Re: Crest XR-24 Mixer
Stephen Fortner #3043409 05/12/20 07:58 PM
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It may have been built during the early days of Peavey ownership but it is a pure Crest design. Good mixer, eight mono and eight stereo channels with four subgroups is a lot to cram in a rackmount and that's one of the better ones I've seen.

Re: Crest XR-24 Mixer
Stephen Fortner #3043421 05/12/20 09:22 PM
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Thanks for the words of encouragement! Mike Rivers, yeah, I heard about APB Dynasonic. Going to keep an eye on their product line and see if it expands. The XR-24 is intended as a live console for installations where space is limited, I think, so we’ll see about noise in a studio. My issue has always been that keyboards can have wildly differing output levels with the master volume knob maxed, so I like to tweak the gain in the analog domain. The UAD 610-B preamp plug-in for my Apollo is also fantastic for this, and I bus things to it in Console or Luna to save DSP. Craig I’ll eventually add an Apollo 16 to my setup for more direct line inputs and DSP. Over on the windows side I have a MOTU 2408mk3 and HD192 on a PCI-424 card, and though discontinued, it's rock solid on Windows 10. Also drooling over the Cranborne Audio 500-ADAT, but the cost by the time I populate it is ... non-trivial.


"I'm just a confused musician who got sidetracked into this damned word business..." -Hunter S. Thompson

Stephen Fortner
Principal, Fortner Media
Senior Editor, Music Player Network
Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Re: Crest XR-24 Mixer
Stephen Fortner #3043762 05/14/20 07:51 PM
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The QSC TouchMix series is another possibility for those going the "new" route. They're compact, don't have a fan, and although intended primarily for live use, it fulfills some pretty useful functionality in the studio. They also function as a USB interface, so you can aggregate with another interface if you want a helluva lot of inputs. The effects are also pretty sweet; if there are specific settings you use with your gear, you can save the effects as a preset. The only real inconvenience is that most of the inputs are XLRs, so for most synths, you'll need TRS-to-XLR adapter cables. However, there are also six 1/4" line inputs, arranged as three stereo pairs. And of course, you have mic ins for singing, miking amps, pianos, etc.

I got a TouchMix-30 for live use, but after playing with it for a while, it found a home in the studio for dealing with all the instrument outputs and some of the mics.


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