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Good Stereo Rack Mixers for 3 or 4 stereo channels


Bobadohshe

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I am upgrading my top 40 rig and have decided upon the configuration. I will have sound coming from three sources and will want to submix them. Futhermore, I know one of the sound guys that often works with this new band LOVES to run keys stereo. It's his headache and he's welcome to it. Therefore, I want to be able to run my rig in stereo, even if I occasionally only run it in mono.

 

What are the best and most affordable stereo rack mixers on the market?

 

I Svengled this topic on the forum and found a thread from several years ago that had lots of choices that seem to be now discontinued.

 

So far this seems like a strong candidate: Not 100% stereo but it does have 3 stereo channels.

 

Alesis MultiMix 10

 

Any other suggestions?

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Dan, you had listed an Ashley mixer in that thread I was referencing. When I searched for it, it had been discontinued. I'll keep digging though, maybe there are others.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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See the link I added, sweetwater has them in stock...though it's 8-ch stereo, 16-ch mono, which is overkill, but true stereo balanced throughout.

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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Oooh, this IS sexy. I love how small it is. No EQ but that's not its purpose I guess.

 

Ashly LX-308B

 

You know now that I think about it, it would be nice to have an XLR in or 2 just so I can use it on those rare occasions when someone needs to plug a mic in for some reason.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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See the link I added, sweetwater has them in stock...though it's 8-ch stereo, 16-ch mono, which is overkill, but true stereo balanced throughout.

 

We posted at the same time!

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Roland M120. 12 channels, each with 2 Sends and stereo returns, seperate Main and Monitor outputs and knobs, in one rack space.

Nice, Clean, transparent.

 

Discontinued definitely, but can be found for $150-200. If you investigate, like, and want but can't find, PM me. I have 4 or 5.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Dan, you had listed an Ashley mixer in that thread I was referencing. When I searched for it, it had been discontinued. I'll keep digging though, maybe there are others.

 

I have a Ashly MX508 in my arsenal as well as a Mackie 1604VLZ,- and the Ashly it´s lightyears ahead of the Mackie.

LX308B won´t be disappointing,- I myself think about buying one in addition.

Both aren´t cheap though ...

 

When looking for a cheaper alternative Samson SM10 is worth to try ...

SM10

 

A.C.

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Roland M120. 12 channels, each with 2 Sends and stereo returns, seperate Main and Monitor outputs and knobs, in one rack space.

Nice, Clean, transparent.

 

Discontinued definitely, but can be found for $150-200. If you investigate, like, and want but can't find, PM me. I have 4 or 5.

 

I still use 2 of the M160s which work since decades in my racks.

I remember swapping faders already in the 90s for both mixers cost as much as 1 of the mixers new,- but I did and never regret.

The Roland gear from that time is reliable as is the Yammi gear from 80s/90s.

 

A.C.

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Roland M120. 12 channels, each with 2 Sends and stereo returns, seperate Main and Monitor outputs and knobs, in one rack space.

Nice, Clean, transparent.

 

Discontinued definitely, but can be found for $150-200. If you investigate, like, and want but can't find, PM me. I have 4 or 5.

 

Checking them out on E-bay. No concerns over the fact that this is older gear? The mixer has XLR outs as well as 1/4". Does that mean the mixer basically has a built in DI?

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Just curious, but what does your rig consist of?

 

I ask because my live "big gig rig" includes a MOTU Ultralite Mk3 Hybrid that gives me 2 combo XLR/line inputs and 6 line inputs, and I run 2 keyboards' audio (Kurz PC3 & Motif ES7, soon to be swapped out for an MOX6 for weight/size considerations) through Mainstage.

 

Of course, if you're going all hardware, then you're already on the right track, just thought you'd might not have considered a multichannel audio interface if you're using a laptop for your rig.

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^^^^ Good question.

 

It'll be my Motif and a CP4 and Mainstage. I could submix through mainstage but right now I'm actually using the, get ready for it, don't get mad,..1'8" out of the Macbook with no external sound card. (We'll see how that goes after a couple gigs.)

 

But maybe you're right a mixer is unnecessary. I could submix by sending the computer output to the CP4 aux in, and just run two boards which probably wouldn't require submixing.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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While I haven't owned one, I understand the Ashly line mixers to have an excellent reputation. Don't think you could go wrong with one of those; and a used LM-308 could be an excellent value.

 

I've also owned several Roland line mixers: two M120's, and an M12E (basically an M120 with EQ on each channel). Especially wish I'd kept the M12E; I got rid of it while going through a bunch self-contained mixer/amps. Age has never been an issue with any of the Roland line mixers I've owned. They're rock solid; never had any problems.

 

Another line mixer I can recommended - as I prepare to duck - is the Behringer RX1602. Actually it's a well built, and very versatile mixer. And it's quite clean, sonically; perfectly fine for live use. I picked one up a few years back - when I couldn't find a used, Roland M120 or M12E. It's worked out very well in my live rig. I'd prefer an M12E - especially for the XLR outs, but those are few and far between.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It is big which makes it sort of a PIA but the multiple sends for something along these lines makes it worth it to me. I don't know jack about Mackie it is just a random example of that type thing

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1202VLZ4/

 

I use a Yamaha but I run mono. You can get a set of rack ears or mount it to a shelf or drawer. I bolt my Yamaha to a shelf and built a front panel patchbay with Redco parts.

 

With my setup I want the sends to my stage amplification to be split from the FOF send. I also use 2 FOH sends one for the Hammond and one for everything else.

 

I works well and is super flexible but something small would be nice and more convenient. But line mixers don't provide enough plumbing for chains I run live.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I see that Sven and I cross-posted. The multi-channel audio interface is an excellent idea to explore - especially as you're planning to use a laptop live.

The MOTU stuff is rock solid, though there are several other worthy contenders. I have a PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL; it came as part of my Muse Receptor Trio package. Works seamlessly with the Receptor - for audio integration of software instruments, and allows stereo mixing of 8 mono / 4 stereo sources (mic, and instrument /line). Very useful should I do a session (kind of a rare occurrence, these days); but when taking software instruments out live that's what I'll use to submix. I recommend checking out the AudioBox 1818 VSL, as well as the MOTU Ultralite Mk3 Hybrid.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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^^^^ Good question.

 

Thanks; I have one every month. ;)

 

It'll be my Motif and a CP4 and Mainstage. I could submix through mainstage but right now I'm actually using the, get ready for it, don't get mad,..1'8" out of the Macbook with no external sound card. (We'll see how that goes after a couple gigs.)

 

Ugh. Well, YMMV, but at the very least, you should get a pro solution for getting that sound to the FOH:

 

Radial USB Pro:

http://www.radialeng.com/r2011/images/usbpro/USB-Pro-top-lrg.jpg

 

But maybe you're right a mixer is unnecessary. I could submix by sending the computer output to the CP4 aux in, and just run two boards which probably wouldn't require submixing.

 

No, didn't say it was unnecessary, merely that an audio interface could serve the purpose for you. ;)

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Some of the requirements you'll have a better idea about than I. Ruggedness, ease of setting up, general requiements, etc.

 

But in this time of small computers and mass produced electronics, there are a few specification that deserve proper attention, of course depending on what use and which compromises you have in mind, such as that both Yamaha's you're talking about have pretty good output signal quality, and their own idea about non-neutral sounding mixers (i.e. I don't think they fare all too well with 80s norms).

 

Of course not easy to understand but it is also a consideration to mix *analog* i.e. to prevent another pair of AD/DA converters.

 

Distortion is an important figure for high quality synths, but of course in live amplification that can become almost ridiculous, however most small mixers will have pretty high distortion, check the specs, which for sure is audible. The above mentioned Mackie sports extremely good specs at a quick glance, so I wonder if that's all correct, but that would be much better than the Ashley.

 

A simple, with the right controls (ganged LR, pre-post Send Return, proper EQ, mixer, good analog signal path (maybe with computer control), electronically balanced outputs (and inputs ? the CP4 has both, but there is a small distortion trade of), and possibly a cheap but good built-in Lexicon effect would be great, but isn't there to my knowledge.

 

I worked on the subject myself, but without funding or go-ahead from some electronics business it just served my knowledge and experienece:

 

http://www.theover.org/Diary/Ldi42/mix1.gif

 

:)

 

T.V.

 

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Bobby,

 

I have an Alesis Multimix 8 Line (1RU) that worked just fine. It now sits unused, as I got a good deal on a used Ashly 308 (the older version, not a 308B).

 

The Ashly is wonderful and does everything I wanted (including easy independent control of my monitor volume and FOH feed), but I had no complaints about the Alesis.

 

Tim

..
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I recommend checking out the AudioBox 1818 VSL, as well as the MOTU Ultralite Mk3 Hybrid.

 

Yep, the 1818 is a great choice as well.

 

I like my Ultralite because of the half-rack size, so in cramped quarters I can actually use gaff tape to secure it to the top of my PC3 (I use a fabric surround over the front edge of my rig so it looks clean from the audience perspective ;) ).

 

Other options for the 2-keyboard + laptop situation:

 

  • Presonus Audiobox 44VSL
  • Roland Quad Capture (or Octa-Capture or Studio Capture for more inputs/outputs)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 18i8

 

Also in the pipeline is the Steinberg UR44 (coming out in late January, if you wait until then) that would be a good choice too, given the build quality of the UR22.

 

Anyway, like I mentioned above, it's definitely worth considering a quality audio interface. :).

 

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Ugh. Well, YMMV, but at the very least, you should get a pro solution for getting that sound to the FOH:

 

Radial StageBug

 

Hey Sven, just curious as to why you would choose the Active DI - sound quality? I use the Radial Passive DI....my reasoning being I don't want to rely on phantom power or a battery, or even to have to consider that as a potential issue should the sound guy start pointing fingers. If he isn't getting a signal, it's his cable, snake, or mixer, period.

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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(little addendum: the "great" Mackie distortion spec above after examination of the company supplied spec in pdf form appears to be about the mic pre-amp, at 1kHz only, and there isn't a harmonic or intermodulation distortion spec availabl for the rest of the channel strips, eqs, mixing and output buffer, so I in retrospec provided no actual info on it.

 

Repeates message: to some extend those Ashley and (even more so) Samson specs indicate you *will hear* the effect of the mixer on your sound, probably idem with (most) Mackies, and usually even more so with a not greatly well known brand of undefeatable equalizer circuits

 

Forget about this and use your ears when using loud and small amplification, of course)

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I use a fabric surround over the front edge of my rig so it looks clean from the audience perspective ;)

 

Maybe this should be in another thread but I'm intrigued; could you elaborate further on your fabric surround?

Nord Stage 2 Compact, Yamaha MODX8

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I use a fabric surround over the front edge of my rig so it looks clean from the audience perspective ;)

 

Maybe this should be in another thread but I'm intrigued; could you elaborate further on your fabric surround?

 

It's dead simple, actually. It's a long piece of black corduroy fabric, about 30" wide and about 60" long, with a long strip of velcro (the loop side) sewn along the top (the 60" length). I have small pieces of the hook side attached to various points on my keyboard stand and my boards, and attach the velcro that way.

 

Unfortunately I don't have any pics handy; I'll see what I can come up with in the near future, but I only use it on the larger corporate gigs where I use the laptop, and none of those on the calendar until February. :(

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Ugh. Well, YMMV, but at the very least, you should get a pro solution for getting that sound to the FOH:

 

I plan to go out of mixer to a Radial Stereo DI. That is, unless I get one of these rack mixers with balanced outputs.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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http://www.samsontech.com/samson/products/mixers/sm10/sm10/

I have had good luck with this fellow. Price is right also. The Ashly was my first choice, but economics prevailed.......for now! :laugh:

 

$200! Why is it cheaper? Is it the quality of the components and thus the ultimate sound quality that suffers? Is it because the Samson is not as rugged and feels cheaper?

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Ugh. Well, YMMV, but at the very least, you should get a pro solution for getting that sound to the FOH:

 

I plan to go out of mixer to a Radial Stereo DI. That is, unless I get one of these rack mixers with balanced outputs.

 

Right, but you're still dealing with the crappy consumer-grade 3.5mm (1/8" to you Amerkuns ;) ) output from the laptop... I'd want to resolve that connection if I were in your situation.

 

Like you said, though, you can deal with that after you try it out, so at least you've got a couple of options to check out. :D

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