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getting a mixer

pete psingpy

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It seems the next thing I need for my mini home studio (in the making) is a mixer. I've got 2 synths, a soundcard in the PC, and a cd player, and a pair of powered monitors. I'm mainly interested in recording audio into the PC from the 2 synths and using cubasis vst. I like the mackie 1202 VLZ pro analog mixer, mainly because I understand how I need to hook it up with all my stuff to monitor and record and have everything output through the monitors. Is this a good mixer? What else should I consider?


Digital seems to be too complicated right now (for me) and a lot more expensive. The soundcard has SPDIF and Opt input and outputs, but the synths just have analog 1/4" outputs. Would there be much benefit from trying to go digital? If so, what mixers would be under consideration for my setup?



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Hi Pete, I would highly recommend the Mackie compact mixers. If you are on a really tight budget and must have a mixer right away, check out the smaller mixers from Spirit (http://www.soundcraft.com/products/spirit_notepad.html) and Behringer which is sort of a mackie-clone (http://www.behringer.com/eng/products/eurorack/mx1604a.htm).


I have a similarly sized home studio and I've got the older Mackie 1202 VLZ (Non-pro) and it works great for me, although I'm very close to maxing out all the channels with only 3 synths, a PC DAW and some Microphones. You may want to look at the slightly larger 1402 or even the 1642.


A small mackie like the 1202 will obviously not last you forever as your main mixer if you plan on growing your studio, so it actually might be your best choice since it's a relatively small investment and makes for a really good "first mixer". When you've outgrown it, you can move up to a digital board for example.


Let me know how it goes...

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I've done a bit of ruminating over whether to get a digital mixer for my home setup. Right now it seems the money is better spent on a faster computer and high-quality dedicated A/D conversion.


I use a Mackie 1202-VLZ (not the more recent Pro model) as my live keyboard mixer and its a great "mission control" piece. For home studio use, I would seriously consider one of the Allen & Heath "Mix Wizard" series. The owner of a very reputable local sound company just down the street from me says that they're significantly better than the Mackie VLZ-Pros in terms of noise floor, openness of the preamp, EQ, and general operating feel. I think the prices of the MixWizard 16:2 and the Mackie 1604-VLZ-Pro are almost identical, just under a grand.

Stephen Fortner

Principal, Fortner Media

Former Editor in Chief, Keyboard Magazine

Digital Piano Consultant, Piano Buyer Magazine


Industry affiliations: Antares, Arturia, Giles Communications, MS Media, Polyverse



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Hi Pete, I have a Mackie 32/8 analog board, and I love it. I've produced a lot of music with it. I go direct to the board with all of my gear including my Tascam DA88's, from that I go to my Tascam DAT to my HHB CD burner, or Tascam cassette decks. I don't use my computer yet for mixing. Be careful, someone on one of these threads stated that their Behringer board fried. Don't know how that happened.


If you plan on buying a car, go to the junk yard, find the car that is present the most, and don't by it!!!!!!! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


It looks like Steve and Thomas know about the unit your asking about, I've never used it. Mackie equipment is good, price is right too.


My fadeout........


Jazzman http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/cool.gif

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My next home studio mixer will be a Mackie, no question. I've had several Alesis mixers and they have all had bad pots, faders and buttons after a year or two. I haven't heard of many Mackies with this problem. (No, I don't smoke. I have no idea why my pots and switches go bad.)


Once you go Mackie, you don't go backie. -jl

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I've heard from everyone who has been using Mackie and Behringer mixers that they are the same (clones?) but Behringers are much cheaper around here in Europe. I don't know the prices in US, but here it is so.
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