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Best inexpensive stereo mixer


BluesKeys

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I am about to purchase a pair of JBL EON G2 15" powered speakers. I am looking for a road worthy stereo mixing board that I can use to run my 3 KB in stereo. I might even add a 4th module to it so 4 stereo ins would be cool. It would also be nice if the board had a USB port so I could use it with my laptop for recording.

Jimmy

 

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

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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Jimmy,

 

Get a Mackie 1202-VLZ Pro for $200. It will accomodate 4 stereo keyboards and 4 microphones.

 

The Onyx 1220 is nice and you can get a Firewire interface for it. But it costs $530 for the mixer and $400 for the Firewire interface.

 

I've got a Kawai MX8BR line mixer with 8 stereo inputs. It doesn't have XLR microphone inputs like the Mackie, but it can be mounted in a rack. I think they're going for about $80 on eBay. Make me an offer if you want it.

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Does the Onyx 1220 qualify as "inexpensive" at a $530 street price? If not, then I'd recommend the Mackie 1202-VLZ Pro at a much more reasonable $199 street price. Same number of ins/outs at the Onyx (including 4 stereo channels) but without the Onyx preamps, faders, and knobs.

 

Also, depending upon how important the USB port is, you might want to check out the new Yamaha MW10, which includes a USB audio interface (and a decent included software bundle as well). I don't have any first-hand experience with that board, but it's intrigued me since its release a few months ago.

 

Noah

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Originally posted by NoahZark:

Darn, Tom beat me to the punch.

 

Noah

Nah. I didn't know about the Yamaha mixer with the USB port. That's good information. :freak::D

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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For a cheap and fairly compact (~11" on a side) keyboard mixer, I would look at the Yamaha MG10. Its got 4 stereo line inputs and 4 mic inputs.

 

The Soundcraft Compact mixers look interesting too.

 

I don't believe low end general purpose mixers are worth owning - they don't do any one job well enough to justify themselves. You either want a speciailized keyboard mixer, or a mixer that can do a whole band, or one of each.

 

In my view, for live use, for a band, as against solo, you want:

 

Sweepable midrange on the eqs. If you are only running one mic, you can probably use your graphic eq instead but you generally need to be able to adjust the eq per mic if you have multiple vocalists.

 

Built in effects. Although you pay about as much for built-in effects as for a low end effects unit, and they are not going to be as good, but it saves cabling on the job.

 

At least 3 aux sends. Assuming you run two monitors, you want to be able to adjust the mix on each monitor separately. You really want these monitor mixes to be pre-fader send since you want to be able to adjust FOH and stage volumes independently.

 

The third send (post fader) is for effects.

 

Unfortunately, this usually means carrying a bigger mixer than you otherwise need for just keyboards.

 

The 1642, for example, meets this spec (except for effects) but that's not inexpensive ($500).

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I have to agree with the 1202VLZ. I've had one for years, and never had a moment's problem with it. One of these days I'll clean it up, but I've found that it really doesn't seem to matter as far as performance. I play a lot of outdoor gigs within a few hundred yards of the ocean, and have never even had a dirty pot. They're extremely durable. When San Francisco had the earthquake that postponed the World Series in 1989, a recording studio has several 1202's that had studio monitors fall on them. The Mackie's worked so well that the recording engineers dubbed the 1202 "Mackie's Throw Pillows."

 

The only thing you have to be careful of with the 1202VLZ is phantom power. If you run the XLR outputs to a FOH mixer that is sending phantom power, the 1202 get's very angry. It seems to scramble the internal signal to the point that other outputs don't work. When I run to FOH I use the main outs to the house, and control room outs to my amp. If the phantom power feeds to the main outs, nothing comes out of the control room outs.

 

I use one stereo pair for the synth, one for the piano, one for the low out of my Pro3TM, and a mike channel for the Pro3TM mike. The 3-band EQ is placed at very musically useful points. There is a switchable bass rolloff @ 75Hz, and the low EQ is @ 80Hz, so even with the rolloff on, you can get nice bass control.

 

20-30 years from now when this thing finally decides to fail, I'll probably buy another.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the input guys. I picked up the EON's and they sound awesome with the piano, horns, synth and strings. I am not as pleased with the organ but the VK8m gives me some adjustments that I think I can overcome the super clean sound with.

 

I am looking into the choices here as well as Alesis which has the USB option. I will let you know what I come up with. I am searching Craigs List as we speak since I would rather buy used. I saw several Mackies on ebay and will watch the selling price there.

Jimmy

 

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

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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A while back I jammed on a friend's GEM going through an EON, and didn't like it. All I heard was bad midrange. Of course, it could have been that he had it placed like a floor monitor, and it was too close for the sound to develop.

 

On the other hand, I did some work with a band that used a pair of EONs for their FOH, and they sounded great. Hard to beat JBL. I may go that route if my Peaveys and my Crown ever blow up.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Nightman, I have used EON's for FOH with a band for several years and they sound great and are just plain work horses. I found this pair at such a deal I couldn't pass up and had been wondering when my Roland KC's would give out since one is about 12ys old.

 

The JBL's have high and low eq on them and I could add an EQ unit in between. But for the RD700 they are phat and phull sounding. The EP's sound the best they ever have.

 

I am thinking of hooking up my KC's to the mixer and A/B ing the two. If I do that I will try and give a detailed description.

Jimmy

 

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

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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I use a Yamaha MG10/2. Gets the job done and saves me from shooting my clueless sound guys. For $99 it is solid.

 

Channels

1 and 2

(Monaural)

 

Channels

3/4 and 5/6

(Stereo)

 

Channels

7/8 and 9/10

(Stereo)

MY Toys - Kurzweil PC1X, Roland A-90, Yamaha KX88, Yamaha CS1x, Novation 49SL MkII, Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2, JBL PRX615M

 

My Music Page

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Jim

I was curious about the Alesis, so I looked up the specs. Very similar to the 1202VLZ, but with the USB. MF has it at only $50 higher than the Mackie, so that might be a really good way to go.

 

As far as the EONs, I don't think I've ever heard a bad JBL system. I'm sure my dislike for the sound of the GEM through the EON was that I was only a couple feet away from it. Put it behind me like I'm used to with a little distance, and I'd probably love it. It did have a good sound in the room.

 

Ronnie

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally posted by Mr. Nightime:

As far as the EONs, I don't think I've ever heard a bad JBL system.

Personally I hate the earlier Eons. They were very trebly. However, from reports, and just comparing the specs, the G2 Eon's seem to be quite an improvement.
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What do you guys put these small boards in to protect them in transport? I play out or rehearse a couple of times every week. I hate to have to spend a fortune on some sort of rack. I believe it was DB who had modified a rack for a small mixer by tilting it back for easy access to the rear and it seems it only took up about 4 spaces. I just hate to carry a rack, because I make enough trips to the truck as it is.

 

I prefer the G2's to the older models. They seem to have more warmth without much mud.

Jimmy

 

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

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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I was lucky enough to find a Used Guitar Pedal Case. It looks like one of the brief cases on Deal or No Deal. Perfect size and I have enough space for about 10 Cables and a Direct Box.

MY Toys - Kurzweil PC1X, Roland A-90, Yamaha KX88, Yamaha CS1x, Novation 49SL MkII, Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2, JBL PRX615M

 

My Music Page

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I use a Yamaha MG12/4FX coupled with a QSC 1450 power amp for my rig - all mounted in a small "slant" rack (10 rack units of "slant" and 8 rack units of vertical space). The vertical space holds the amp (2 rack U), a 2 channel 31 Band EQ unit (2 rack unit) DJ CD player (2 rack U), a Motif ES Rack unit (1 Rack U) and a cheapo rack mount Furman power distribution unit (1 Rack U). It's on nice big wheels - and is as "pre-wired" as possible. There are plenty of channels to run everything in stereo - with enough power to leave a little headroom. There's no question it's heavy - but for self-contained functionality and performance - I couldn't be happier!
The SpaceNorman :freak:
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Originally posted by BluesKeys:

What do you guys put these small boards in to protect them in transport? I play out or rehearse a couple of times every week. I hate to have to spend a fortune on some sort of rack. I believe it was DB who had modified a rack for a small mixer by tilting it back for easy access to the rear and it seems it only took up about 4 spaces. I just hate to carry a rack, because I make enough trips to the truck as it is.

 

I prefer the G2's to the older models. They seem to have more warmth without much mud.

I bought a case specifically for the 1202 that I carry it in. Can't remember the brand off the top of my head.

 

Here's a possibility from Mackie.

Clonk Here

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.

 

Now everybody's got the blues."

 

Willie Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

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Jim:

 

Currently, I'm transporting my mixer in an SKB gig rig. Before I bought the gig rig, however, I was carrying my mixer around in a soft-sided GigSkinz XL mixer bag, which had enough space for the mixer, power supply, cables, etc., and was easily slung over a shoulder. It's not the most protective bag in the world (and I was never much of a fan of its "silver-ish" color), but, since I'm not using it anymore, I'd be happy to give it to you if you think you'd actually use it.

 

Noah

 

P.S. Before you go the Alesis route, I'd be curious to hear from anyone here with experience regarding the build quality of those things. My understanding is that they're not built nearly as well as the Yamahas (let alone the Mackies), and I wonder, therefore, if an Alesis would satisfy your need for "road worthiness."

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Originally posted by area51recording:

The only time I've had "mud" issues w/the EON G2's is when using them as a floor monitor. One gig I play often in particular has a hollow stage, maybe 3 foot tall that gets muddy for me w/the EON placed on the floor. When I put the speaker on a stand all of that goes away and all is well.

That's good information. :thu:

 

I'm pretty sure that this could happen with any floor monitor used on a stage like this - not just the JBL EON G2.

 

Most of what I've read about speaker placement recommends decoupling the cabinet from the floor by using a floor stand. I like the ones that pick the speaker up about a foot and tilt it back, but they aren't always practical. My Vandersteen (Hi-Fi) speakers came with a set of aluminum cones to decouple them from the floor. I think they were called "Tip Toes".

 

You can try it both ways, and I recommend that you do. However, since I never know how placing the cabinet on the floor will affect the sound, I always carry stands (Quik Lok WS-540).

 

It's best to have control over this issue since it seems that so much in this business is out of your control... (and just plain out of control). ;)

 

Good luck.

 

Tom

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Just found on the Yamaha web site MW-12 4 stereo ins and 6 XLR ins. Plus USB that might be the ticket since no one chimed in on the Alesis.

 

Only problem is they bundle it with Cubase LE and the going price is about $300.00 US. A little more than I wanted to spend.. like double.

 

Hate Gas Hate Gas

 

not you Tom

 

hate gas hate gas

 

cost to much

Jimmy

 

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

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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Originally posted by Is There Gas in the Car?:

Originally posted by area51recording:

[qb] The only time I've had "mud" issues w/the EON G2's is when using them as a floor monitor. One gig I play often in particular has a hollow stage, maybe 3 foot tall that gets muddy for me w/the EON placed on the floor. When I put the speaker on a stand all of that goes away and all is well.

That's good information. :thu:

 

I'm pretty sure that this could happen with any floor monitor used on a stage like this - not just the JBL EON G2.

 

Uhhhh.....yeah. I realize that the condition I described is not limited to the EON.... since we were talking specifically about the EONs I thought I'd mention my experience. Guess I'll climb back on the turnip truck now.... :)

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Originally posted by area51recording:

Guess I'll climb back on the turnip truck now....

Wait a minute. Sarcasm is like a second language to me. (Yes, I watched The 40 Year Old Virgin again last night on HBO... for the fifteenth time.) :rolleyes:;)

 

http://www.mtv.com/content/ontv/movieawards/ma06/images/nominee_images/best_movie/40_year_old_virgin140x211.jpg

 

Did I sound condescending? I did not mean to. My apologies, Mr. area51recording.

 

Tom

 

 

I would rather - I would rather watch "Beautician And The Beast". I would rather listen to Fran Drescher for eight hours than have to listen to Michael McDonald. Nothin' against him, but if I hear "Yah Mo B There" one more time, I'm going to Yah Mo Burn This Place To The Ground.

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by area51recording:

The only time I've had "mud" issues w/the EON G2's is when using them as a floor monitor. One gig I play often in particular has a hollow stage, maybe 3 foot tall that gets muddy for me w/the EON placed on the floor. When I put the speaker on a stand all of that goes away and all is well.

That may well not be the speakers fault. A stage can act as a diaphram itself. We have one stage in town where you can hear the sound change as the guitarist moves around the stage. They mounted subwoofers under the stage and they vibrate the whole stage - the players moving changes the resonant frequency.
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I almost hate to suggest it, but I bought a Behringer Eurorack UB502 mixer about a year ago for I think around $30. It's one of the better investments I've made. The 502 model has 2 stereo and and 1 mono/mic input. It sounds like you'd probably want to go with the 802 model, which has 4 stereo inputs and goes for around $50.

 

I know Behringer gets a bad rap, but I've BEATEN on my mixer and it still works like a champ. Plus, even if it did decide to crap out tomorrow, at that price I'd throw down for another of the same model right away. Not only is it ultra-cheap, compact, and road-worthy, it sounds great for live use. Low noise and a decent built-in preamp.

 

Sorry if I sounded like a Behringer salesman there. There are obviously better mixers out around, but I don't think anything beats the Eurorack in terms of "bang for your buck."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Tom, but still no USB outs unless you go to the expensive Onyx boards.

 

I have yet to find much on the Alesis boards good or bad. I like the idea of double use from it.

 

I would by the Yamaha if they didn't bundle it with Cubase LE.

Jimmy

 

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

NEW BAND CHECK THEM OUT

www.steveowensandsummertime.com

www.jimmyweaver.com

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