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Author Topic: $500 analog mixers  (Read 12403 times)

Stelios Mac

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2017, 03:16:43 am »

I didn't know about the xTouch, might be an option.  I was just looking at the Producer, although it doesn't get near the love of the Compact.  I'll have to see what the differences are (besides scribble strips).  In either case I would have to get over my Behringerphobia; I hear nothing but good about the X32 but years ago I swore I would never buy Behringer.  I'm also hesitant to buy used, but might be time to get over that too.

There's also the newer Midas mAir consoles if you don't want to go with Behringer. Some slight differences internally (I think it's got upgraded preamps, A/D and D/A conversion, but you'd have to check on that) and a higher price tag. It should still work with the xTouch

As far as I know, the differences are a bigger screen and scribble strips on the Compact. I've had the pleasure of using a Producer once (unfortunately had to mix remotely using a Surface so I didn''t get to really experience what it's like to run the actual desk) - I don't think the lack of scribble scripts would be an issue unless you have to manage 32 inputs and 16 mixes or something. You can spill 16 inputs onto the 16 faders and label them like you would with an analog desk, and switch over to the outputs if you have to make an adjustment. I wish I could have gotten one over my XR16 but I'm not complaining ;D
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2017, 07:53:36 am »

Not sure I'm following; did anyone imply otherwise?  It is amazing what you can get now.  Although my Mackie VLZ is the same price today that it was 19 years ago.
Which means it is less expensive-once you factor in inflation.

I have catalogs from the 70s that have the SM58 at the same price as today.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2017, 08:16:40 am »

For compact/small analog mixers I think the ZED series at least the original models in the series would be first ones to look at, not sure what the new ZED series is like. I have a ZED 10, handy when you need something like that.

The ZED's are a newer take on the Mackie compact VLZ series. I have a couple 1202's and a 1402 all the older US built models that are still going strong, I did have to re-cap the power supply in one of the 1202's a few years ago.

Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2017, 11:43:28 am »

Which means it is less expensive-once you factor in inflation.

I have catalogs from the 70s that have the SM58 at the same price as today.

Yes, I know, but I was only saying that with some equipment "500" now (not considering the value of money) generally buys the same thing as "500" then if you're comparing apples to apples (although now most of it is made in China).  What you do have are more options, so you can get a lot more features now for the same price, but it's usually not the same quality. 

Speakers are a little harder to compare as things have changed so much; it seems like you get more for your money, I just don't know about quality.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 12:34:13 am by Craig Smith »
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Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2017, 11:51:05 am »

For compact/small analog mixers I think the ZED series at least the original models in the series would be first ones to look at, not sure what the new ZED series is like. I have a ZED 10, handy when you need something like that.

The ZED's are a newer take on the Mackie compact VLZ series. I have a couple 1202's and a 1402 all the older US built models that are still going strong, I did have to re-cap the power supply in one of the 1202's a few years ago.

My US-built Mackie 1402 is still going strong as well except for one noisy channel that I need to look at.  I had planned to replace it with a ZED60-10FX as it will fit in the same case.
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Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2017, 11:51:56 am »

There's also the newer Midas mAir consoles if you don't want to go with Behringer. Some slight differences internally (I think it's got upgraded preamps, A/D and D/A conversion, but you'd have to check on that) and a higher price tag. It should still work with the xTouch

As far as I know, the differences are a bigger screen and scribble strips on the Compact. I've had the pleasure of using a Producer once (unfortunately had to mix remotely using a Surface so I didn''t get to really experience what it's like to run the actual desk) - I don't think the lack of scribble scripts would be an issue unless you have to manage 32 inputs and 16 mixes or something. You can spill 16 inputs onto the 16 faders and label them like you would with an analog desk, and switch over to the outputs if you have to make an adjustment. I wish I could have gotten one over my XR16 but I'm not complaining ;D

Took a little look at the X-Touch.  I normally don't use more than 8 channels, and it has 8-segment meters, but it seems like it might be more cumbersome to set up and adjust other things.  Not that the X32's have all the controls on the main board either.  But one thing I forgot about is I need an input for a music source, a headphone output, and an input for a talkback mic.  I could use a snake and some direct boxes but that's kind of counter-productive.

Here are the things I found the Compact has vs the Producer:
  • Scribble strips
  • Larger, tilted screen (Why don't they just make screens on a hinge so you can tilt it up vertically?)
  • Integrated talkback mic
  • 2nd headphone jack on the left (Why aren't all headphone jacks on the left?)
  • Lamp socket  (on rear though, doesn't seem ideal)
  • Dedicated Mute Group buttons
  • Dedicated Scene buttons
  • AES/EBU stereo digital output
  • USB remote control

I like the size and price of the Producer and think it would work for me.  A small analog mixer for talking head stuff might still be handy though.

I still don't understand why they don't separate the control surface from the I/O; that defeats one of the main advantages of a digital mixer.  You can always set the stage box next to the control surface if you wanted to.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 03:14:36 pm by Craig Smith »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2017, 03:50:14 pm »

Not sure I'm following; did anyone imply otherwise?  It is amazing what you can get now.  Although my Mackie VLZ is the same price today that it was 19 years ago.
No I am just whining....  Mackie was bad enough, but when their top sellers got copied and brought in from China the bottom fell out of the mixer market for prices.

Yes Ivan, power amps are even better (or worse depending on your perspective). Not only did they get cheaper dB$ but got smaller and lighter. 

Since the topic is  "analog mixers", the price drivers there are not technology but Chinese manufacturing. Just about every other category has seen significant technology improvements too.

Digital (switching) power amps have eclipsed analog down to modest power points. Digital mixers will probably be cheaper than analog at some modest channel count, if they aren't already. 

I'm just jealous that I didn't have this technology to sell last century***.  "Analog mixers", you can tell your grandchildren what they were and that you actually used them.  8)

JR

*** technically I was selling class D power amps last century, but they weren't as powerful or as cheap as modern amps.
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Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2017, 05:24:19 pm »

No I am just whining....  Mackie was bad enough, but when their top sellers got copied and brought in from China the bottom fell out of the mixer market for prices.

Yes Ivan, power amps are even better (or worse depending on your perspective). Not only did they get cheaper dB$ but got smaller and lighter. 

Since the topic is  "analog mixers", the price drivers there are not technology but Chinese manufacturing. Just about every other category has seen significant technology improvements too.

Digital (switching) power amps have eclipsed analog down to modest power points. Digital mixers will probably be cheaper than analog at some modest channel count, if they aren't already. 

I'm just jealous that I didn't have this technology to sell last century***.  "Analog mixers", you can tell your grandchildren what they were and that you actually used them.  8)

JR

*** technically I was selling class D power amps last century, but they weren't as powerful or as cheap as modern amps.

It seems a lot of things take a long time to change in the audio industry -- but I do see at least 10 digital mixers under $500 now.  Crazy.  But it's taking longer than I thought to fully displace analog mixers.  Amps have just gone crazy.  Of course, sometimes there's a little poetic license taken the with the power ratings though.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2017, 05:32:16 pm »

It seems a lot of things take a long time to change in the audio industry -- but I do see at least 10 digital mixers under $500 now.  Crazy.  But it's taking longer than I thought to fully displace analog mixers.  Amps have just gone crazy.  Of course, sometimes there's a little poetic license taken the with the power ratings though.

For affordable advances in professional and prosumer audio it requires that new technologies be embraced by the consumer products industry because that's where the economies of scale come from.  One reason for a Crown ITech HD to cost much, much more than the entry level Crown (or other brand) amplifiers - there is a significant amount of low-demand (non consumer) parts inside.  Lkewise, one of the reasons the X32 costs so little is the use of well-accepted (common) components and the reason the Midas version costs more is pricier components and some custom parts.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2017, 05:37:39 pm »

Took a little look at the X-Touch.  I normally don't use more than 8 channels, and it has 8-segment meters, but it seems like it might be more cumbersome to set up and adjust other things.  Not that the X32's have all the controls on the main board either.  But one thing I forgot about is I need an input for a music source, a headphone output, and an input for a talkback mic.  I could use a snake and some direct boxes but that's kind of counter-productive.

Here are the things I found the Compact has vs the Producer:
  • Scribble strips
  • Larger, tilted screen (Why don't they just make screens on a hinge so you can tilt it up vertically?)
  • Integrated talkback mic
  • 2nd headphone jack on the left (Why aren't all headphone jacks on the left?)
  • Lamp socket  (on rear though, doesn't seem ideal)
  • Dedicated Mute Group buttons
  • Dedicated Scene buttons
  • AES/EBU stereo digital output
  • USB remote control

I like the size and price of the Producer and think it would work for me.  A small analog mixer for talking head stuff might still be handy though.

I still don't understand why they don't separate the control surface from the I/O; that defeats one of the main advantages of a digital mixer.  You can always set the stage box next to the control surface if you wanted to.

Mostly true.  The Producer still has the ability to use USB remote control.  The "Compact" is not as small as you might think.  You should go look at one in person.  The Producer is the same size as many 19" rack mountable mixers and is specifically designed to fit in those setups.

The X-Touch is an additional $600 which is more than your current budget without getting a mixer ;)  This is the primary reason that most new mixers aren't separated from brain to control surface.  The latest D-Live and i-Live mixers from Allen & Heath do exactly this but are much much more expensive.

Ignoring your current budget constraints, I would likely recommend the M32R which is small, has digital scribble strips, is MIDAS (vs Behringer) and fits in a 19" rack slant top (costs around 2K if you ask around).

The Producer can be had for half that, but no scribble strips and you could see if the tablet app works for you or not without giving up the faders.  At a minimum, I think you would find the tablet and PC applications make for a wonderful monitoring and work space extension to the console (~ $1000).  Although it is a Behringer, I doubt you will find anyone who can fault the quality of the X32 line.... even ardent haters from past horrible experiences ..... like myself ;)

Finally, my last recommendation remains what I believe is the best option for you.  The X-Air XR16.  You can easily find these on-line for $350.00 if you ask when you call.  This is simply a SILLY amount of mixer for that price.  If you don't love it, you can sell it for very little loss on e-bay.  You can use a very inexpensive android tablet with this and have a wonderful control surface.  The A10 can be had for under $150 and has fantastic battery life.

If feedback is your major concern, then I would recommend considering the Soundcraft Ui 16 which can also be had for <$350.  This digital mixer has a feedback suppressor built in.  There have been a few reports of wireless connection stability problems reported, so do your research on this one before you buy to be sure.

Honestly, I simply can't recommend any analog mixer these days.  The price on good digital has just gotten too low and they do so much more, so much better than any analog mixer can.
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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2017, 05:37:39 pm »


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