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Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
#3049006 06/15/20 05:11 PM
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A while back, I posted about my trusty Mackie mixers starting to exhibit signs of age. A good cleaning has taken care of it (in this set and forget situation), but it got me thinking about flexibility and efficiency.

Since I'm sort of settling into the idea of comfort and flexibility in my home studio, I've decided to see what it would take to get every synth output I have accommodated in a mixer. Just a single hardware sampler alone has 16 outputs, and most of my synths have at least 4. So with amp modelers and modular rig and such, that is easily over 64 inputs.

In the past when I tried this, I used half a dozen manual patch bays, which essentially doubled the number of cables I needed.

Is there a solution for this that is not tens of thousands of dollars? I have not delved into digital mixers at all. Is there a system that lets you use 72+ channels with that many physical inputs? Just trying to fact find at this point. This is a legitimate application, correct?I'm not missing something obvious?


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Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
zeronyne #3049008 06/15/20 05:25 PM
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Geez, that's a lot of inputs.

Me, I'd try to hunt up 3 or 4 used Samson PL2404 line mixers. 24 inputs each. They're quiet enough at unity and surprisingly flexible units. EQ on each stereo pair of channels, sends/returns, inserts, TRS on two channels, 1/4" on the rest. Two 2-channel busses. Might find them for $200 - $300 used. If you can find them....

I'm sure there are a ton of other options - this just happens to be an older line mixer I'm very familiar with. From the 90s when everyone had all sorts of hardware romplers and samplers and rack gear that called for line mixers to boil it all down to two channels for live or studio work.

In fact, I'll sell you mine!

nat

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
zeronyne #3049025 06/15/20 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zeronyne
A while back, I posted about my trusty Mackie mixers starting to exhibit signs of age. A good cleaning has taken care of it (in this set and forget situation), but it got me thinking about flexibility and efficiency.

Remember that there's a both a mic/line and tape return input on each channel, so some clever button-pushing will give you 48 inputs.

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Is there a solution for this that is not tens of thousands of dollars? I have not delved into digital mixers at all. Is there a system that lets you use 72+ channels with that many physical inputs?

I kind of like Nowhere's suggestion of picking up a bunch of obsolete line level mixers. There are plenty of digital mixers that will mix 72+ inputs, and that don't cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the problem is that they don't, as they come, have enough connectors for all of those analog inputs. Generally there's some sort of expansion capability, usually through an Ethernet protocol to an outboard stage box, but it's more pieces to buy. Mackie, Soundcraft, Behringer, and PreSonus all make knobless boxes that can be expanded, and controlled by a GUI computer application or even a phone or tablet.

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
Nowarezman #3049028 06/15/20 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowarezman
Geez, that's a lot of inputs.

I'm sure there are a ton of other options - this just happens to be an older line mixer I'm very familiar with.
nat

I'd totally agree, for line level outputs single space line mixers are the way to go!

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
zeronyne #3049043 06/15/20 09:39 PM
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What's the goal? To submix into a lesser number of inputs, to have each input patchable to an audio interface, or...? Also, is there any reason you don't want to take advantage of, for example, a sampler's internal mixer? Of course there are some compromises, like not being able to patch external hardware to one of the channels, but the advantage is you can store all the mixer, pan, internal effects, etc. settings within the synth and call up as needed instead of writing down knob settings or whatever. Also, many synths have enough level that you can pump them into a passive line mixer and not add any noise or distortion.

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
Anderton #3049046 06/15/20 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
What's the goal? To submix into a lesser number of inputs, to have each input patchable to an audio interface, or...?

My first thought was that he wanted a funnel, not really a mixer. Back before the turn of the century, people were buying 8- or 16-channel Mackie or= mixers and connecting each of their half dozen or so synths through the mixer so any one would be ready to play through the same monitor system, or record through the same sound card. So mostly it was about playing, with the option of sending MIDI to more than one synth and getting a layered sound.

Of course if you're using soft synths, everything is routable and you can have a few templates with favorite combinations of synths loaded and ready to go.

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
zeronyne #3049047 06/15/20 10:11 PM
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The behringer X32 Mixer is on sale at Sweetwater right now CLONK. $2500 gets you the control surface fitted with 32 inputs and you can expand the inputs via various digital means including ethernet up to a total of 96 inputs. I'd take a look at the various expansion options and see what fits your needs. That would be the most budget friendly way to get get a mixer with the number of inputs you need and you get the benefit of all the built-in effects and channel strips.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
Mike Rivers #3049377 06/17/20 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Anderton
What's the goal? To submix into a lesser number of inputs, to have each input patchable to an audio interface, or...?

My first thought was that he wanted a funnel, not really a mixer. Back before the turn of the century, people were buying 8- or 16-channel Mackie or= mixers and connecting each of their half dozen or so synths through the mixer so any one would be ready to play through the same monitor system, or record through the same sound card. So mostly it was about playing, with the option of sending MIDI to more than one synth and getting a layered sound.

Of course if you're using soft synths, everything is routable and you can have a few templates with favorite combinations of synths loaded and ready to go.

Mike is dead-on concerning the application. I just want to have maximum flexibility, maybe even to the point of ridiculousness, but if I can set this up once and now have to dig behind my racks for some single exception, all the better.

Thank you all for your wise words. I will look into that used line mixer mentioned above and also into the X32.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
Mike Rivers #3050694 06/24/20 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Remember that there's a both a mic/line and tape return input on each channel, so some clever button-pushing will give you 48 inputs.

And Channel B and other goodies to make things more confusing !!

Dan

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
zeronyne #3050964 06/25/20 06:53 PM
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Dan, what the heck is that a picture of in your avatar? Looks like the world's largest and most complicated pair of underwear or something.....????

nat

Re: Do you have a solution for a massive amouont of inputs?
zeronyne #3050996 06/25/20 08:56 PM
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Maybe an industrial strength mask superimposed on a bridge?


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