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Author Topic: $500 analog mixers  (Read 14755 times)

Caleb Dueck

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2017, 07:12:46 pm »

If you want analog for around $500, there's a Soundcraft K3 for sale locally for not much more.  It's a while lot more mixer than you can buy new, analog, for $500. 
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2017, 07:28:05 pm »

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.
While that is generally true I must begrudgingly give Uli credit for leaning out the window on the X32 price point. In a "price it low and the (big) sales will come", that SKU is historic for value and rapid sales success.

Yes he may have piggybacked on some consumer technology, but he was not the only mixer company in the market with digital chops who had access to the same consumer technology, and were chasing the same holy grail of a mass market digital mixer.

Stop me before I give any more compliments.  ::)

JR   
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Scott Bolt

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2017, 08:28:01 pm »

While that is generally true I must begrudgingly give Uli credit for leaning out the window on the X32 price point. In a "price it low and the (big) sales will come", that SKU is historic for value and rapid sales success.

Yes he may have piggybacked on some consumer technology, but he was not the only mixer company in the market with digital chops who had access to the same consumer technology, and were chasing the same holy grail of a mass market digital mixer.

Stop me before I give any more compliments.  ::)

JR
OT, but to elaborate from one engineer to another ...

While the technical merit of the X32 line is impressive, the QC process seems to be one of the biggest draws for this mixer.  They simply come out of the box and work .... for a long time.

The low price of the unit is also pretty well thought out.  While many condemn the "groups of 8" routing limitations for some routing options, the physical 8 channel modular part that Behringer is using for this has allowed them a quantity of scale that is impressive indeed. They also designed their own custom motorized fader which has allowed them a huge advantage.

I also agree that the use of well known and respected IC chips has brought the mixer huge stability and reliability advantages.  It also  helped that they were able to borrow heavily from the DSP algorithms from Klark Teknik and MIDAS in the development of the mixer.

Even if you don't care to ever own a Behringer mixer, you have to love what they did to the market.  Every major mixer maker has come out with competing products and the prices are light years below what they were prior to the X32 line.  This product definitely was a milestone in the history of live sound.

Sadly, this digital revolution also shot the crap out of the price of any used analog mixers.  Not only do the analog mixers suffer a huge deficit in capabilities compared to their digital counterparts, the sea change movement of bands and sound companies selling off their analog mixers has produced a glut in used analog mixers which has depressed the prices in the used market.

Three years ago I felt very fortunate to have sold my MixWiz for $500.  Today, they are going for under $400 on eBay routinely.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2017, 09:36:52 pm »

OT, but to elaborate from one engineer to another ...

While the technical merit of the X32 line is impressive, the QC process seems to be one of the biggest draws for this mixer.  They simply come out of the box and work .... for a long time.

The low price of the unit is also pretty well thought out.  While many condemn the "groups of 8" routing limitations for some routing options, the physical 8 channel modular part that Behringer is using for this has allowed them a quantity of scale that is impressive indeed. They also designed their own custom motorized fader which has allowed them a huge advantage.

I also agree that the use of well known and respected IC chips has brought the mixer huge stability and reliability advantages.  It also  helped that they were able to borrow heavily from the DSP algorithms from Klark Teknik and MIDAS in the development of the mixer.

Even if you don't care to ever own a Behringer mixer, you have to love what they did to the market.  Every major mixer maker has come out with competing products and the prices are light years below what they were prior to the X32 line.  This product definitely was a milestone in the history of live sound.

Sadly, this digital revolution also shot the crap out of the price of any used analog mixers.  Not only do the analog mixers suffer a huge deficit in capabilities compared to their digital counterparts, the sea change movement of bands and sound companies selling off their analog mixers has produced a glut in used analog mixers which has depressed the prices in the used market.

Three years ago I felt very fortunate to have sold my MixWiz for $500.  Today, they are going for under $400 on eBay routinely.

At $400 they're overpriced.  Hell, at $300 they're overpriced.

The market for small, used analog is never going to improve and the market for medium format analog mixers is non-existant.

For the die hard analog guys, go hear Dierks Bentley.  His show is mixed on a Yammy PM5000 (I'll let you all judge the mix, but I'm not throwing the console under the bus).  Monitor beach is anchored by an AVID S6L....
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Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2017, 01:17:34 am »

Mostly true.  The Producer still has the ability to use USB remote control.

Good to know.  I just saw that the Compact has both a USB and Ethernet Remote Control port on the back whereas the Producer only has an Ethernet jack.

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.

I have not seen a Compact, and there aren't any to look at near me, but I remember the first time I saw a regular X32 and being surprised by how big it was.  I always prefer smaller and lighter.

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.

Yes, I've seen the nice ones, but I'm not following.  I'm certainly not expecting to get a complete digital mixer for $500.  Somewhere between the $600 of the X-Touch and the $1200 of the Producer they could make a control surface.  Add an XR16 for $400 and you're still in the same ballpark.  Or they keep the brains in the mixer and just take out the I/O and add a cheaper stage box.

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.

Thanks.  Unfortunately I can't justify $2k plus, but $1k might be doable.  It's nice that they work with Android now too, and that there are cheap Android tablets.  When I last looked you needed a $500+ iPad.  I always wanted remote mixing as an option.  Or I could try the XR16, and worst case just use it as a stage box if it doesn't work.  I sold my big snake and really don't want to buy another one.

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.

Yeah, I initially was excited about the Ui16 until I did some research. 

Years ago I bought a Sabine Navigator with feedback suppression for this very reason, but it never worked due to software bugs.  I think they eventually fixed it but I never had a chance to try it and eventually sold it.

Digital mixers certainly do more, but the issue has always been reliability and ease of use.  Those are very important for what I do.
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Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2017, 01:19:16 am »

If you want analog for around $500, there's a Soundcraft K3 for sale locally for not much more.  It's a while lot more mixer than you can buy new, analog, for $500.

Wow, that's quite a mixer, but a bit much for me to haul around.
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Craig Smith

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2017, 01:31:50 am »

Not to try to go up against you veterans, but does Behringer really deserve that much credit?  To me it seems that Presonus is the one who really started the revolution.  Wasn't the X32 $3k when it first came out?

And are analog mixers that bad?  Show me a digital mixer with real faders that is as reliable and easy to use as a MixWiz for $1k.  If you factored in all the outboard equipment it would take to duplicate a digital mixer, sure, but most people in that price range don't need it, and most wouldn't even know how to use it properly.  Sometimes you just need something that works.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 01:55:55 am by Craig Smith »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2017, 03:18:47 am »

Not to try to go up against you veterans, but does Behringer really deserve that much credit?  To me it seems that Presonus is the one who really started the revolution.  Wasn't the X32 $3k when it first came out?

And are analog mixers that bad?  Show me a digital mixer with real faders that is as reliable and easy to use as a MixWiz for $1k.  If you factored in all the outboard equipment it would take to duplicate a digital mixer, sure, but most people in that price range don't need it, and most wouldn't even know how to use it properly.  Sometimes you just need something that works.

Show me *any* digital mixer that does as little as a MixWiz and your comparison will be valid.

Presonus was 15 years behind Yamaha.  They're hardly a trail-blazer and I found the Studio/Live to do neither particularly well.  Why it got a reputation as the "digital training wheels mixer" I'll never know as I found it confusing in the heat of battle with a front panel color choices that made it hard to read.

For the record I'm an old analog guy.  I remember when a 12 channel mixer was big deal and having 3 Aux sends was a luxury.

Brief story - several years ago (uh hummmm) I realized that I was woefully behind the digital 8 ball so I found an original Yammy 01v on eBay for around $400, shipped.  I bought it, downloaded & read the manual while I waited for UPS to drop kick it halfway across the country.  I plugged a mic in, a CD player, and a couple of little Anchor powered speakers and kind of figured out how it worked, even getting reverb!  Congratulating myself on my ability to read a manual I powered it down and put it on a shelf.  It sat there, patiently waiting for a gig.  I ended up taking it to a youth conference we've done for years.  I had an analog FOH setup in the truck but I was determined to use the 01v.  It took some head scratching to remember where to find things in the menus but when the weekend was over I'd decided that I was soon to be an ex-analog mixerperson.  What I was able to accomplish with the 01v delivered a better product for our client.

How you use any mixer - mixing while performing, band mixerperson, small system provider - determines the form factor.  If you need a physical surface, fine, and if you have existing analog infrastructure (inserted dynamics, outboard EFX, EQ, etc) it can make financial sense to reuse those items with an analog mixer.  If you're starting over or starting from scratch there's almost zero reason to go analog unless you need a feature or form factor you can't get in the digital market at the price point you need.

And since the Kentucky Derby just ran I'll say mixer choice is "horses for courses".  :)
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 03:42:15 am by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Stelios Mac

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2017, 08:23:27 am »

Yeah, I initially was excited about the Ui16 until I did some research. 

Personally I'd stay away from the UI mixers. I originally was looking into a UI12 before I got my xAir but I came across a facebook users' group for the UI. They seem to be having TONS of issues. From bad WiFi connection to mid-show freezes, noise, and so on. Never really seen any complaint for the XR other than the user interface (Which IMO is great - Doesn't look as fancy as the UI's but it's got a LOT more flexibility in terms of FX, routing and stuff). The new UI24R might be better, but I think it's almost X32 price range.

And are analog mixers that bad?  Show me a digital mixer with real faders that is as reliable and easy to use as a MixWiz for $1k.  If you factored in all the outboard equipment it would take to duplicate a digital mixer, sure, but most people in that price range don't need it, and most wouldn't even know how to use it properly.  Sometimes you just need something that works.

StudioLive 16.0.2, $899 on sweetwater.

Analog mixers are awesome but they really aren't cost-effective, easily transportable and generally flexible in comparison.
Two X32s and a single reel of Cat5 cable in a festival situation can replace two MH3s, a heavy multicore snake & splitter, three huge racks full of outboard & a multritrack recorder. You can reduce soundcheck and loud in/load out times to a bare minimum, you can ring out & mix monitors on stage by yourself using an iPad. You can store presets for monitor EQ for specific speakers & venues. And so on, and so on...

It would be like comparing a Lamborghini to a Toyota Corolla. Everyone wants to drive a Lambo (great sound, great looks & very quick), but in the end the Toyota is cheaper, it's got 4 seats, 4 doors, a large boot, low fuel consumption, it's got more gadgets & features, and probably won't depreciate as much in the short term.
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Scott Bolt

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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2017, 08:47:40 am »

Not to try to go up against you veterans, but does Behringer really deserve that much credit?  To me it seems that Presonus is the one who really started the revolution.  Wasn't the X32 $3k when it first came out?

And are analog mixers that bad?  Show me a digital mixer with real faders that is as reliable and easy to use as a MixWiz for $1k.  If you factored in all the outboard equipment it would take to duplicate a digital mixer, sure, but most people in that price range don't need it, and most wouldn't even know how to use it properly.  Sometimes you just need something that works.
Loved my MixWiz for over 10 years.  I got rid of it for the following reasons:

  • The Instrument rack was HEAVY with the mixer and all outboard gear in it (no amps)
  • It was HEAVY
  • It had a big footprint on stage
  • Changing the efx chain around for different venues required rewiring.... which always seemed to cause problems
  • Operating the outboard gear hunched over is a PITA
  • No recording capability
  • Limited PEQ
  • Only 6 aux mixes.  2 had to be used for external efx since the internal ones are substandard
  • Required a snake to mix out front
  • Can't mix from stage unless you happen to be the person in the corner
  • Faders moved quite easily, no scene recall, always needed setup at every venue
  • No subgroups
  • Running back and fourth from the stage to mixer to ring out monitors is a PITA

Presonus did indeed have the lead on affordable digital mixing.  I nearly bought one before I heard about the X32.  Presonus boards have a less than wonderful reliability history (check around and you will see this for yourself).

As Tim pointed out, you are comparing JUST a mixer to an entire instrument rack.  Once I factor my entire rack into the picture, my failures are as follows:

  • MixWiz channel 1 failure due to bad insert contact sticking
  • TC Electronics M-One XL ribbon failure resulting in several intermittent failures util I figured it out
  • Presonus ACP88 channel failure (x2)
  • Numerous routing problems/patch cable issues

My X32 Rack has been in use for over 3 years now and has had Zero failures.  Furthermore, my setup time has decreased substantially and the number of setup problems I have has decreased dramatically.

As to "what is really needed"...  A place to sit and mix.  That is really needed.  I just love sitting at a table in the bar and mixing on my tablet while sipping a cold one.  Can't do that with a MixWiz.  In fact, many venues I have worked at will not let you run a snake across the room at all.

The verbs and delays on the MixWiz are really not that good to my ears.  The latest MixWiz has fixed this I understand, but at 1K I think any 16 channel analog mixer is going to find it a very tough market.  FYI, the portion of the mixer that does the efx has always been digital, so the pure analog board has been gone for quite some time.

I am one who really feels that drum mics (toms and kick) should be gated and that bass is better compressed (jazz being the exception perhaps).  To that end, more rack gear was needed.

I do take issue with the "easy to use" portion though.  There were days on the MixWiz rig where I found myself following wires around in the back of the instrument panel to figure out what channel of gate was hooked up to which channel on the mixer.  Trying to keep track of this kind of routing while bent over in front of the rack is really a PITA.  A well setup X32/X-Air rig is much easier to run on IMO than any analog rig.  Now .... getting a good setup takes some experience I will agree ;)

What kind of acts do you propose to use this rig on?
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Re: $500 analog mixers
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2017, 08:47:40 am »


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