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Semi OT: Mixing Board Question


Fusker

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I'm starting a new band and giving myself some empowerment and versatility for pick-up trios.

 

Long story short, I'm looking for a mixing board. The drums are going to use a sub-mixer, so by my reckoning, 12 channels should be plenty for a standard 4 or 5 piece rock band. My question, for the same money, I can get either a Allen & Heath 12 channel, or a 16 channel Mackie or Yamaha. Obviously, the extra 4 channels never hurts.

 

Is the Allen worth it?

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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Yamaha makes really nice boards with a lot of functionality. I've owned several through the years that are in their MG line. I had the big 24 channel one for a few years before I quit the local blues band and joined Janiva. It was great. Never had a single issue with it.

 

I currently own their 12 channel MG and the little 4 channel MG.

 

I had the original A&H MixWizard before the big Yamaha MG and that thing literally fell apart over the course of the two years I had it. Which is a shame because they've always been a good company; I think that particular product was just not very well designed.

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Yeah, I've owned a couple Yamaha's never had a complaint. I just always heard good things about A&H but have never used one and was wondering if they're worth the premium.
Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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Yep, to be fair, the Yamaha in question has 6 buses which offers quite a bit of flexibility. What I've always heard about A&H is the preamp/mic inputs are worth the dough and usually a cut above. That been your experience as well?
Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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What I've always heard about A&H is the preamp/mic inputs are worth the dough and usually a cut above. That been your experience as well?

 

To be honest, I'm not really sure about that. The board is actually our guitarist's (He owns the PA and does sound from stage)

 

I do know the reason he got the A&H was because of the monitor sends - it was necessary for our band. I've never heard him mention anything about better preamps on the A&H.

 

I didn't know the Yamaha boards had 6 sends as well, and maybe if one was available locally, he may have picked one up instead of the A&H. I dunno.

 

If the Yamaha is functionally similar, I'd say go for it. I have no doubts about Yamaha's build quality (I use an MG102c for my personal submix, no issues at all). You'll pay extra $$$ for stuff on the A&H that you may or may not notice.

 

Although, we have had no issues with our A&H board. It's been great so far.

Stuff and things.
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I personally would go for the extra channels, and when I was making a similar choice, I did, choosing to buy the Mackie 1642 VLZ3. You just never know when you might want another channel or two, especially since the A&H 12-channel MixWizard (which I assume is the one you're looking at) has only 8 mic pres.

 

Also, although I can't comment on the build quality of the A&H mixers, I had a Yamaha MG mixer that was great, and I've had a couple of Mackie mixers also without any issue.

 

Noah

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I own and use an A&H MixWiz 16 channel board for our FOH PA. It's been in my rack for roughly 5 years - and served me without any problems.

 

The same can be said of the Yamaha MG12/4FX that I've used for my keyboard mixer.

 

Between the two - the A&H is a little more flexible - as well as a little more capable. Heck, the fact that it uses an IEC power connection in itself is nice (you'll learn to hate the Yamaha "line lump" approach to power supplies).

 

I bought a Mackie 1642VLZ - but it came with one of the electronically DOA and a fader that felt like it was sandpaper lined - straight out of the box. It never saw a minute of use and when back to be exchanged for the MizWiz. I feel like I dodged a bullet there.

The SpaceNorman :freak:
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The nice thing about AH boards is all the monitor sends. Ours has 6.

 

+1

 

Double check that Yammy. Most boards that say 6 sends can only send 4 per channel simultaneously - 2 knobs will be selectable EITHER 3/4 or 5/6. The mix wizard was the only board I found in that price range that does all 6 at a time.

 

FWIW, we used the original mix wizard for about 6 years of heavy gigging (4 nights a week for a while, 2 nights a week most the time), before we started having some dropouts on certain channels/certain sends. I think the ribbon cables just worked loose. I cleaned it up and re seated all the ribbons, and can't replicate the issue, but to be safe we bought the new mix wizard about a year ago and I love it - even more flexible routing options. We use it solely as a monitor board, so I have all sends set post EQ pre fader. We use 5 monitor sends, and if we want, can send the 6th to internal FX, which could be individually added to the monitors if desired, as well as on main outs which are mixed via cadets. We haven't used the FX or main mix, but we could. All for $999. I couldn't speak more highly.

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.

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Don't know your budget but I use a Presonus Studiolive 16.0.2 and i love it. extremely transparent mic pres, built in digital FX, EQ etc. And it's all programmable and and can be stored and recalled.

Definitely check it out.

 

If you need 16 pres, as opposed to 12, you'd have to step up to the 16.4.2. More money and bigger footprint.

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The Alesis MultiMix could also be a good option (it comes in many sizes and variants), and it is perhaps the only small format mixer with USB connectivity that allows more than two simultaneous channels of recording to a computer (there are a few with Firewire connectivity that meet this requirement, such as Yamaha n-series).

 

For those looking only for live analog use, the best choices have already been mentioned, with the usual variable experiences to make the decision difficult. :-) I have the Yamaha MG-series 16-channel mixer before the latest revamp, and prefer its feature set to the newer model. I could use more busses though.

 

I think the PreSonus StudioLive series brings them up to a higher quality and reliability level than their rack gear, and it looks visually inspired by the MIDAS mixers (my favourites).

 

Focusrite has similar units but they cost 4x as much, and the PreSonus studio/live mixers are already a bit pricey as it is.

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I would go with the Mackie first. the most musical of the eqs in my experience.

 

Second Yamaha, also good EQs, certain models have built in compresion and reverb, good quality.

 

Lastly allen and heath, reason, the high frequency EQ on any A and H board I have used has been too high a frequency to be useful for live work. Like 12k or so, and with a fiarly narrow Q. Had to return a very nice Allen and Heath board and go back to a Mackie for this reason.

We are all slave's to our brain chemistry!

 

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Lastly allen and heath, reason, the high frequency EQ on any A and H board I have used has been too high a frequency to be useful for live work. Like 12k or so, and with a fiarly narrow Q.
It's not shelving???

 

Yes, the high and low EQs are shelving at 12kHz and 80Hz, respectively. The reason for the high frequency is that it has TWO sweepable mids. One 35Hz - 1kHz, and one 500Hz to 15kHz, both with a Q of 1.8. IMHO, that gives far more adjustment possibilities than most of the others in this range if you know what you're doing. It's always worked well for me, anyway.

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.

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Don't know if they've changed in the past few years, but I thought the built-in effects on my old Yamaha MG12fx sucked big time, and although I never owned a Mackie with built-in effects, I've used a couple before and didn't like those either.

 

Although it's more to carry and more cabling, I think you're far better off going external with an effects unit (unless you're talking about something like the aforementioned Presonus StudioLive). Even a very basic external effects rack unit like a TC Electronic M350 or a Lexicon MX200 would be FAR superior to the built-in effects on any of the mixers you listed.

 

My $0.02.

 

Noah

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Actually I never use the built-in effects on my Yammie mixer and agree that they suck, but I never buy a mixer for effects anyway; just for EQ. I once had a TC M200 and it was pretty good for live purposes, but I shy away from reverb at live gigs these past ten years; I only did that when I was on the acoustic singer-songwriter scene back in the 90's.

 

I would be surprised if other budget mixers have good built-in effects. It's pretty cheap to buy a used rack-mount reverb or multi-effects. The Lexicon that I owned was the best of the cheaper ones and was an MPX in name only -- it had some of the guitar-oriented effects from the bizarre Vortex unit. I'm too lazy to look it up; maybe the MPX1? Kurzweil Rumour/Mangler are excellent as well, and sometimes show up at budget prices.

 

No plans for an Idaho visit until mid-2012 at the earliest, Fusker -- I don't travel much these past three years like I used to, as I am working so many hours at my day job and gigging several times a week on average. It's hard to get away. It would be cool to see you play next time I'm in the Moscow/Kendrick/Lewiston area though. I definitely need to get up there next year with my Aunt.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Good tips.

 

I used my 12 channel Yamaha last night for a small get together, the effects are pretty cheesy. Though the reverb at about 10% was okay for vocals. My question would be, who actually uses these effects cranked up? When I hit like 20%, it was brutal.

 

Good to hear from you Mark.

 

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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I have a small Peavey that has done great for a 10 channel (6xlr) and I have a 16 channel A & H Mix Wizard which is my work horse and I have the Yamaha MG 36 channel which I need to sell. All I would recommend.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

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I would be surprised if other budget mixers have good built-in effects.
+1

 

Effects like simple delays should be fine (but who uses those in a mixer?) You may find a reverb or two that's not too bad for light use (though I agree, why use reverb live, except for solo acts or really hushed rooms?) But tricky effects like a subtle stereo chorus for imaging, pitch shift, etc ... don't get your hopes up.

 

Maybe someday these will be better, thanks to sinking technology costs.

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