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Looking to Transition to a Mixing Console... Advice please
Old 13th November 2009
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
Looking to Transition to a Mixing Console... Advice please

apologies for the likely redundant thread...but everyone on here gives such good advice that i have to try anyways

I come from a primarily dj background and find that adjusting little mixer knobs with the mouse is an arduous, time consuming and non-pleasing task.

i want to bring things outside of the box, but not too far out. here's what my main desires are.

1.] Analog sound quality. - after running separate tracks (drums,vocals,synths) through my Rane 2016, i fell in love with not only the sound quality and punch I got out of it, but the ability to tweak it with the nice EQ. I had to do it the poor mans way though, and just do each track separate, re-bounce, put new tracks into Logic again before summing together. still came out nicely though.

I'd like to have the ability to do this real-time with all tracks running together at the same time. If i could use the Rane 2016, that would be fine too as it has 6 inputs --> 1 output. I get confused though when I see these mixing consoles that have like 16 channels with only a couple of outputs. Is it common to simply sum the signals together and all you get is the output of all tracks, or would you want to have separate outputs for each channel?? I'm not sure what is commonly used with a program like Logic.

2.] Automation - i want to be able to automate eq parameters/volumes etc. and have the console recall the settings. it seems like it would be a chore to have to re-eq everything all the time when you've found something that works and sits nicely.

I would even be content with some sort of audio interface that I could use to run the Rane 2016. I could probably manage with 6 channels at a time.

I suppose my confusion arises from, when you are mixing a track down with an analog console, do you expect to mix it all down at the same time in real-time and whatever is recorded is what you get (one shot deal)?? or is there another alternative that is more intertwined with the DAW.

I've seen the euphonix type MC control and Mix but it seems like all you are really doing is controlling parameters in your computer through the outboard gear rather than actually running the signal through the mixer.

Little help
Old 13th November 2009
Lives for gear
lain2097's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Unless you`re talking about getting a massive AMEK desk, forget about EQ automation. VCA automation is a different story but you`ll have to the your homework there. Some of the older VCA auto desks use custom software and require probably an old computer to run in sequence with your DAW.

You`re right in that an analogue eq is very different than a plug in or DAW eq. The mouse really sucks for mixing imho.

Depending on your tracking/mixing style many extra i/o (say 16x16) would be benifical. Look for a console with tape-returns if possible.

Digital mixers although different can offer DAW-like recall but again it's digital eq, etc.

You're gonna miss that total automation and recall but the sound and hands-on aspect will make up for the difference. Again being limited by no recall can be a good thing - always messing with your mixing and second guessing can have you running circles and not getting anything done. I fell in the same trap when I was wokring ITB. Nothing ever got done.

Analogue is great because if it sounds good the fist time round, you don't need to mess with it further. Most ITB mixes requre huge channel strips and lots of eq/compression to sound decent; my analogue strips sometimes have no eq or compression at all. Just the gain and fader are more than enough.

My set up is very old school, including an 8-track Tascam DAT deck for mixdowns! That's why I have an 8 buss desk. The old idea was to run your tape deck off the busses and monitor/mixdown via the desk's tape returns. In-line or split will have different workflows.

Trust me after spending time with a real desk you'll quickly learn that in analogue less is more.

Kinda open ended answer..

Good luck
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