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Author Topic: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company  (Read 4180 times)

Sean Chen

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2019, 08:30:58 pm »

I am freelancing for a local DJ company that is trying to break into the low- to mid-grade production. I'm trying to convince them they need to upgrade their Mackie VLZ-1642 to a digital mixer.

Here's my requirements, in no particular order:
  • Motorized faders
  • Similar in size to the Mackie mixer. In other words, not a full-size console, but a compact one.
  • Built-in analog inputs/outputs.
  • Stage box available
  • Around $2000 w/ case.

My short list includes, again in no particular order.
  • Midas M32R
  • A&H Qu-16C
  • Used Yamaha LS9-16

Are there any other mixers I should consider? I'd like to hear unbiased opinions before saying where my bias lies.

Thanks everyone in advance!

Among the list provided:

Qu 16 is the easiest to transition from analog mixer.

Midas sounds best.

Although as user of Qu and Mackie DL1608, I usually take the DL1608 to corporate event without full live band that is easier to mix with physical faders. It sounds arguably better than the Qu16 and has just as much processing capability.

But yes you would want faders for those full live band events.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2019, 08:42:54 pm »

I would say that if you're going into corporate work, which is the impression I got from the "AV Company" part of the title, then you really want to get a digital mixer with some kind of automixing.  The LS9, as much of a workhorse as it is for small gigs, does not have one.  The Qu does, and so does the Yamaha TF series.

What we're doing these days for a lot of the small corporate gigs is using a Yamaha TF-Rack and controlling it with an iPad. Everything racked goes into one or two racks backstage or sidestage.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2019, 09:09:27 pm »

I would say that if you're going into corporate work, which is the impression I got from the "AV Company" part of the title, then you really want to get a digital mixer with some kind of automixing.  The LS9, as much of a workhorse as it is for small gigs, does not have one.  The Qu does, and so does the Yamaha TF series.

What we're doing these days for a lot of the small corporate gigs is using a Yamaha TF-Rack and controlling it with an iPad. Everything racked goes into one or two racks backstage or sidestage.

Auto mix function in my QU works great, looking back how did I do with out it!

Mark Norgren

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2019, 07:20:56 am »

I use a M32, DL32 and tour Grade CAT5 and it works stellar!  I put the board out front when I can or mix with an iPad when necessary!  Tough to beat the Midas preamps and motorized faders!  I'm just getting started with Mix Station Pro and I think that will simplify things for me out front?
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drew gandy

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2019, 09:06:44 am »

I'm not sure that I'd consider "fundraisers and auctions (which are just fundraisers, right?)" as "corporate" work.  They often don't pay like it.  :-[  But a business model can be built with that kind of clientele if one is careful with overhead costs and can find a few reliable but low cost workers. 

As far as gear goes, you're going to cycle through a lot of the gear if it's out actually making money.  You'll end up with digital mixers eventually.  Putting all the stuff you need with a mixer into one box makes the logistics of the business easier.  One thing that isn't always immediately obvious to bar band type of sound guys is how often corporate work requires you to reconfigure your gear.  Every event might require a different pack of gear in your truck/trailer/backpack and lots of thinking about how you're going to make it all work.  Logistics ends up being a big part of the job. 

I've had issues with the QU automixer.  I haven't had a chance yet to pin it down but it appeared to be an issue with how AH implemented it.  I cannot recommend it yet.  [Yes, it had a newer firmware.]
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2019, 09:29:07 am »

X/M series have the automix capability. I believe it is first 8ch on 32 series and 16ch on air series.

I would love to recommend the A&H Qu-16 or SQ-5 (I'm obviously an avid [the adjective, not the company ;) ] fan) But I can't when they don't have HPF's on the outputs and I think most small companies getting into the game would need that feature.

I say upgrade the mixer first because the BLX work fine (yeah not the best) and the speakers work fine (yeah not the best). Midas = 10yr warranty.

Used cheap-o board (ov1/LS9) or older gen board breaks the buy-once-cry-once mentality and is just silly IMO.
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Josh Rawls

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2019, 10:49:09 am »

Thank you everyone for the replies!

Big thanks to everyone who brought up the Automix feature. That definitely should have been in my list of requirements for what this company is doing.

The reasons I'm going for the digital mixer over upgrading the speakers and mics are multiple.

  • I know they won't upgrade the speakers or mics because they just pull them from the DJ systems (yes this is a DJ company trying to get into the production market and they are doing fairly well).
  • I could really use some processing to get everything to sound better.
  • The mix position is sometimes behind the speakers, so having a tablet to mix on would be great in those instances.

Thanks again for all the opinions!
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Roland Clarke

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2019, 10:56:50 am »

At this level and budget, the X32-Mix is a no brainier, nothing with this level of performance and functionality at anywhere near the price.  Smaller and cheaper I would look at the Soundcraft UI 24, but that doesnít have a surface.  The Qu 16 isnít a great choice as 16 channels can be very limiting for even fairly modest band jobs.
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2019, 11:27:22 am »

Thank you everyone for the replies!

Big thanks to everyone who brought up the Automix feature. That definitely should have been in my list of requirements for what this company is doing.

The reasons I'm going for the digital mixer over upgrading the speakers and mics are multiple.

  • I know they won't upgrade the speakers or mics because they just pull them from the DJ systems (yes this is a DJ company trying to get into the production market and they are doing fairly well).
  • I could really use some processing to get everything to sound better.
  • The mix position is sometimes behind the speakers, so having a tablet to mix on would be great in those instances.

Thanks again for all the opinions!

Your're in a chicken/egg  situation. If they refuse to upgrade the mics then you probably need the extra processing, but if they upgraded the mics you most likely wouldn't need it.  Quality mics and speakers go a long way with simple analog mixers.
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2019, 12:27:36 pm »

Tough to beat the Midas preamps

I know the last time I had to ring out a lav at a wedding I was super concerned about the logo on my preamps.  ::)

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Re: Opinions for Digital Mixer for small AV Company
¬ę Reply #19 on: May 01, 2019, 12:27:36 pm ¬Ľ


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