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Mackie SR 32-4 VLZ PRO ????

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Im looking at a new mixer to replace the two small mixers I use now.

I am on a little bit of a budget so I was looking at a Mackie SR 32-4 VLZ Pro (about $1,600 brand new)

I will only be using this for recording in the studio, no live stuff. What do you think? Is this an ok mixer for recording?

Why would it, or would it, be worth it to spend $3,000 for an SR 32-8?? it seems the only real differances are 4 more buses, an optional meter bridge, console stand, and seperate LED meters for the 8 buses.


Everything I read about the SR-32-4 says "also good for recording" and always talks about it as a sound reinforcement and live mixer.

While the SR-32-8 is often called "a top class studio mixer" and "high end studio features, at an affrdable price" and the 24 ch. version (sr-24-8) is often called "one of the most used recording mixers in the world".

SO, why is it worth that extra $1,500 for me to have 4 more buses?? Ive been getting alon alright with 2 0 bus mixers (they both have alt 3-4 outs, but I never use them)

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I think you have your model numbers mixed up. The 24x8 and 32x8 Analog 8-Bus series are the Recording consoles and they have features that are geared toward recording that the original SR series for Sound Reinforcement) consoles don't.


The most notable of these being direct outs on each channel to feed your tape decks and tape return inputs on each channel with a separate "monitor mix" for monitoring while tracking thru the EQ section of the channel. I believe you can then switch the tape returns to run thru the main channel path to allow for further EQ and Pan on Mix down.


This is a split channel design where each channel has two paths - the main path and the monitor path and as I mentioned, the channel input and tape returns can be toggled between these paths for tracking or mixing.


The SRx4 Series don't do that at all. They are single path channels with no direct outs. The only way to feed to tape is from the inserts or the busses. OK for live recording in a pinch, but nothing you'd want in a studio.


The larger SR40x8 and SR56x8 offer direct outs on the channels so they'd make a better live SR and tracking console, but still are not really designed for maximum flexibility in the studio.


That said, how many tracks is your studio? Are you using tape, disk, etc?


If you had 8 tracks or less, a 1604 VLZ Pro will work fine and has the same quality pres as the larger models. Use 8 channels for tracking and 8 for monitoring in a split-console fashion. And you have 4 busses if you need to submix some things to a channel.


[This message has been edited by stevepow (edited 11-13-2000).]

Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital


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What Stevepow says is totally correct.

On the other hand, I also was looking at the SR, yesterday, because I value simplicity more than anything else in my studio, which is, like I said, simple.

If you track onto your favorite tape or disk via a preamp or a processor, or even direct, bypassing the mixer, like manypeople do these days, then you don't need the direct-out feature of the biggest Mackies.

If you have vu-meters on the tape deck or whatever else, and you keep unity gain on the receiving mixer during mixdown, a meter bridge is wasted space.

Extra subgroups are useful if you do lots of "group miking" such as a drumkit or a choir, where several inputs get grouped onto one, otherwise that is also a feature that you can do without if budget is an issue.




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My studio is mostly midi based. Here is my set up as of now, and always adding...

(will list instrument and number of cables for each L&R)

Yamaha EX5 (8 outs L&R)

E-MU Audity 2000 (6 outs L&R)

Yamaha AN1x (2 outs L&R)

Electrix Warpfactory Vocoder (2 outs L&R)

Boss GT-3 guitar processor (2 outs L&R)

Line 6 Bass POD (2 outs)

Yamaha A5000 (4 outs L&R)

I also like to return my effects to their own channel for panning etc. rather than the aux returns, so that adds

Behringer Virtualizer (2 outs)

Sony DPS-V55 (4 outs)

Rode NT1 (mic.)


My studio is used only by me, and a band that I am producing etc.

I use 2 mics at most, I dont mic any drum kits YET.


All of my audio goes through my mixer, hit up with EQ, panning, and most volume control I do with the mixer, I also pass somethings through my DBX 166XL compressor...

Then it goes into my Audio interface, and is then recorded onto my computer.

I dont use DAT or Tape....all my recording is on PC.

I like to keep as much if not all of my gear plugged into the mixer at all times, exept for my mics.

I dont want to talk about the mixers I am useing now because they suck (2 Behringer Eurorack mixers rackmounted)

But want to hear your advice as to what you would buy for mixing/recording in my set up.

My set up grows, so I want a little room for expansion without going too high in $$$ I could always get a VLZ series Mackie as a sub mixer down the line if I needed to.

Also the reason I was looking SR 32-4 was my budget... $1,600 is about all I can handle right now....and I dont know if direct outs, and an extra 4 buses would be that useful to me. WHAT DO YOU THINK??? The SR 32-4 doesnt have direct outs per channel, but it does have 8 sub outs.

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I guess it depends on how you track - live or one to a few tracks at a time.


You still didn't mention how nay tracks you record or how many at once.


After seeing the other post, I have to agree - I don't track thru my console either - I go direct to digital tape. I think that is a cleaner approach.


To do that "live" means a lot of nice pre-amps, which I have. To do it a few tracks at a time means a more modest setup would suffice.


I'm still not sure if you are using midi automation with virtual tracks or tracking a few pieces of your gear at a time.


Either way, I'm not crazy about mixing thru a Mackie "whatever". I think you can find digital or computer based consoles/mixers near an equivalent price range that will give better results (at least in the Mackie 8-bus type). I don't mind tracking live thru one if that's what the house has, but I think you can do better for mixing. I don't think the EQ is up to the task and you'll have to have outboard compressors - the RNC for $200 is probably the only OK low cost choice, otherwise you are looking at units costing more than the desk.


If you like to leave your gear connected to the console, it seems that you have to use the busses to record if you don't have direct outs. That may be OK, but it seems like a hassle to me unless you have only a few tracks.


Lee - where are you? - you usually have a better economical perspective.

Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital


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At this point, all considered, you probably want to keep in the range of a Behringer MX-9000, which is an imitator of the Mackie 24/8. The quality is more than okay, pretty transparent, I don't think anybody could complain on it, is different than the lower cost Behringers. It will fit comfortably in your budget, it's designed to copy the Mackie as much as possible and it really does give you a lot of stuff for the money. I don't think you can go wrong in this way, nor do better than that.

Of course it's not the best mixer out there, but who's gonna complain? It's a compromise that will leave you pretty happy in the wallet. After all, you just don't have the cash for a different setup, unles you look into used gear.

By the way, you have a very nice setup there. Very similar to mine.




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Ok here is how it works for me, with the mixers I have now....


90 percent of my music is composed and mixed in Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 (like I said my set up is very midi based), also in Cakewalk I'll lay down most of my guitar and bass part, and any audio samples I make and use. I then document the time positioning of the audio bits when the song is compleatly composed. Then I remove the audio bits and play back the song while recording into Sound Forge 4.5. Then my song is available for me as a wav. file. I then back up my cakewalk song file and bring my wav. file of the song into Vegas Pro...At that point I put my audio samples in at the right times, and record my vocal tracks into Vegas Pro.

Then I take my vocal track and into T-Racks and touch it up, I do the same with the instrument tracks...save the masters back into Vegas. Then from there when the song is 100% done it gets saved and backed up both as a Vegas file and a wav. file, then it gets burnt to CD. TOO much info???

I want a mixer with individual track outs and or one so I can send a ch. through a bus so I can have it record on a seperate audio in on my computers audio interface...

So basically I need a mixer that can accomidate all of my equiptment, and let me have individual channels from the mixer go out indipendantly to one of the 8 audio ins on my audio interface.

I wrote too much again, and I'm in a hurry, so I cannot re-read... I hope I covered everything I should have. thanks again.

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