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help, line mixer hell!
Old 28th January 2013
Here for the gear
🎧 5 years
help, line mixer hell!

Ok, so this may be an impossible quest, but its worth a shot.

I use a modular synth and am looking for a line mixer to go into my interface (2 channel, so no need for individual outs). I find the modular eurorack mixing options tend to sound awful or would be insanely expensive to put together the amount of individual outs I would want, and I also want to have some EQ control to be able to compensate for various PAs. Ideally I will eventually have a nice console like a bigger soundcraft or something for working in the studio but also want something compact for playing live.

The Ashly MX-508 seems to be almost exactly what I am after. The dream mixer here: faders not pots (although I realize this is probably the first concession I'll have to make), at least 8 channels (although more is nice!), and 3 band EQ (although something with a sweep on the mid would also be excellent), and compact/rackmount. No concern with bus or pre/post fade fx/aux sends or any of that.

The problem is, I don't have the budget for the Ashly otherwise I would just go there. A few less expensive options that seem close-
samson mpl 1204
Mackie LM3204
the Mackie is a little on the big side, but thats ok. The Samsom is a little more compact and looks like it can be found second hand dirt cheap, even compared to the Mackie which looks like it would run me around $350. However, the signals I use are super sensitive and also I often work with very quiet sounds/textures so I am concerned about the noise floor and how potentially colored the Samson could be. I've never used anything other than Mackies or Allen and Heath in recent years, but I get the impression I shouldn't expect much from a budget deal like Samson, although its the closest looking thing I can find to what I want. The number of inputs on each of these is also appealing.

Then there is the Alesis Multimix12R. Which from what I have read is pretty noisy and given other Alesis gear I have used I don't expect much in terms of build quality or durability.

So, is it worth going the extra mile and taking up more space for a Mackie, or will the Samson work and not be a total hissy mess of disappointment? There is also always the Behringer RX1202FX. I had a Behringer before and smashed it into oblivion, which is fine because that is why I bought a cheapo. I'd rather not go there since I have no need for crappy onboard fx and its only 2 band EQ and going to be noisy as hell, but since I can get one brand new for about $200 at the drop of a hat its a back up option.

Now the real pinch- I will be leaving the US in a year, and ideally I don't want to have to get a new mixer when I move if I invest some money, nor am I going to want to lug around a power transformer just to use my road mixer. So ideally I would like something that either uses an outside transformer, or where the voltage is switchable (tall order here). Or, is it maybe a better idea to go slightly cheaper like with the Samson for a year, then upgrade considerably to something when I move to the EU? Any similar older line mixers that could be an option that I missed? Or, maybe getting one that doesn't offer any EQ, just send and return and get a multi channel EQ to use too? Although I can't seem to find rack EQs that have more than say 2 or 3 channels a piece. I'd like to keep the budget around $400 or under since this may be a shorter term fix and I could always go with the Mackie for less than that price, although if a perfect option existed in the $500 or just above range I would probably go for it. Also since this won't be my studio mixer forever and is meant more for the road, durability is a bit of a concern.

Thoughts? Thanks!
Old 28th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Many bits of gear are switchable or even 'auto selecting' for their power needs. You should check what each of your prospective bits of gear want.
Since you plan to 'move' you could perhaps look out for 'export models' which have the capability of mains voltages built in.
Matt S
Old 28th January 2013
Gear Head
jake not's Avatar
🎧 5 years
For me me this was tough too. I ended up getting one of these:

Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602 Line Mixer | Musician's Friend

I needed more channels as opposed to the EQ. Couldn't find anything else that fit my needs. I especially wanted to avoid the "B" word if possible. (not bashing) but it is very quiet. I use it to monitor out of my Mackie recorder for location recording.

You definitely need the EQ?
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