February 25, 2006

In Defense Of My Mixing Position..

by Chris Randall

I get a pretty healthy dose of letters regarding posts on this site, and the most common one I get usually reads something like this:

Okay. I get it. Mackie and Behringer mixers blow. What the fuck _should_ I buy if I'm on a budget, then? Huh, tough guy?

Let me make one thing clear right now: if you're just starting out, or you're a hobbiest with no intention of ever actually releasing anything, a Mackie or Behringer cheapie is going to be fine. In this business, you get what you pay for, and while a $199 mixer will, in actual fact, mix, there are trade-offs, and the main thing you're going to lose is definition, due to the low-quality op-amps.

When you see me repeatedly make fun of people for having Mackie and Behringer mixers, it's because they have several thousand (or hundred thousand) dollars worth of synthesizers, the best of the best, and they still submix with a $199 mixer. That's what I don't understand. If you can afford to buy four Jupiter 8s, you can afford to drop a grand on a mixer that doesn't blow.

My writing methodology is somewhat different than the normal synthesizer-based musician, so I'll grant that my opinion isn't of vast appeal here, but I'm of the firm opinion that any mixer at all is a bad idea. If you have an audio interface with 8 inputs, you should have 8 mic pres of reasonable quality, 8 eqs, and 4 stereo compressors. These should all go to a patchbay. There's no need for a mixer to submix at all. My own method only involves a pair of mic pres, two eqs, and no analog compressors in the signal chain.

But I tend to record things one at a time, rather than having all my synths chugging away simultaneously, so that method won't work for everyone. But for god's sake, if you're going to spend $10K on your synths, don't send them through a 3-cent op-amp. Please.



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Feb.27.2006 @ 11:31 PM
Chris Randall
I retract the previous post. I forgot about this:

link [www.vintageking.co...];jsessionid=ac112b801f43b63813f742e945808eac9f4e48e87bde.e3eTaxiPc3mTe34MbxmLbhiQaNj0n6jAmljGr5XDqQLvpAe?sc=18&category=336&it=A&id=5844">link [www.vintageking.co...]



Feb.28.2006 @ 12:37 AM
dont forget this:

link [www.phoenixaudio.ne...]">link [www.phoenixaudio.ne...]


Mar.02.2006 @ 12:12 PM
penzoil washington
by the time you get 24 - 32 channels of fancy summing boxes up and running, you could easily get into a fine used console. I think summing boxes are fine for people who simply don't want to ruin their audio, but you don't get all the interfacing with other gear, the front end, monitoring, etc.

also, one of the fun things about analog is playing with gain structure till you hit the sweet spot, and i don't think you can dance that fandango with summing boxes.


Oct.03.2009 @ 8:08 PM
I've just happened to go the patchbay route after wondering how to dump a behringer mixer.
the next step up was more than i could afford.
it's really the way to go if space is an issue.
i mix in the box. it really is more convenient.
some daw's handle panning information stupidly. i record in stereo, and it gets rid of many problems (but probably introduces others).

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