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super basic 4x2 mixer?
Old 2nd November 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
super basic 4x2 mixer?

I've considered several alternatives to my location recording problem, but until I can purchase or build the ideal solution, I need a quick fix to help me get by.

I record live to 2 track (DAT) on location and usually only use a pair of mics. But the need for a 3rd or 4th mic is very frequent. When recording with just the basic stereo pair, the mics are connected to a pair of outboard mic preamps and then straight to the DAT recorder. I have another pair of preamps for the 3rd and/or 4th mic, but I need some way to sum the 3 or 4 mic signals down to stereo.

I don't need 16 channels, or any preamps or any EQ, or AUX sends or anything else; just a way to sum 3 or 4 line level signals to a stereo output. The recent crop of hi-end mixers from Manley, Crane Song, etc are overkill. As are the tiny location mixers designed for film sound guys. I don't need battery power or phantom power or mic/line switching or any of the countless other features that make these boxes worth their $5K+ price tags. Just 4 inputs, panpots, level controls and two outputs. That's it, really!

I can't believe that I'm the only guy out there with these needs. Outboard mic preamps are MUCH more common than they were even just a few years ago, but just try finding a 4x2 mixer that doesn't include mic preamps (and EQ and AUX sends, etc, etc.)

Please tell me that this really simple box is out there someplace?!?!

thanks

steve
[email protected]
http"//home.pacbell.net/sjp
Old 2nd November 2002
  #2
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
API 4231 + M

Gets you 4 x kickin mic pre's as well in a 1U rack

Perhaps Chris Muth at Dangerous should / could make one / several

Jules
Old 2nd November 2002
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Why not Dan Kennedy or Brent Averill to build you a little summing box with some pan pots? The problem with making a 4x2 is that someone else is going to want a 6x2 or an 8x2 and then a 10x2. Where do you draw the line? Enter Wackie... It ain't perfect but it gets the job done. I guess the real question is how much is it worth to you to solve your "problem"? I know people who wouldn't think twice about spending $4K on something if it'll get the job done.

The middle ground seems to be wide open for a lot of things. On one hand we have the $120 4x2 mixer with a $300 reverb and $150 stereo EQ. Beyond that it jumps right to the other end with the $5K 4x2 mixer, $3K reverb and $4K EQ's. What happend to the the $1500 mixer, $1500 verb and $1500 EQ that are just as good but don't have stepped pots and all that kind of stuff?
Old 2nd November 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I personally would get the API 3124+mixer. It's a great box that will keep being useful for years to come. I use one when I want to sum, say, two snare mics to one track or multiple room mics to a stereo track or multiple gtr mics. Quite handy and nice sounding box!

Do you need pan pots? Maybe you could get by with a passive transformer summing boxe like the one Brent Averill sells for around $350?

Please post if you find something great that's not well known it could be useful for others (me included) in the future...

Good luck!
Old 2nd November 2002
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Neve Sucks!'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Check out the Summit Audio TMX-420.
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super basic 4x2 mixer?-tmx420a-bg.gif  
Old 2nd November 2002
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
www.davisound.com He'll build anything. The price is right and the quality is high.
Old 4th November 2002
  #7
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
HHB UK still have one of those Summits ever since Summit kindly shipped one over for me to test out about 3-4 years ago!
Old 4th November 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
4x2 line mixer

OK Jules, I'll bite..... what did you think about the Summit? The only published reviews that I remember from back when it came out were kinda "iffy". One in particular thought it sounded nice, but the reviewer was totally stumped as to why anyone would want an expensive box that only offered 4x2 line level mixing. (That might have been the SOS reveiw?)

My thoughts at the time were that it was a little expensive considering that it didn't include mic preamps. As a comparison, the API 3124 costs around $2400 and the 3124M adds the 4x2 mixer for $3100. That tells me that a high quality 4x2 line mixer (w/o preamps) isn't a very expensive item. But of course, the Summit includes tubes and we all know that means you can add a couple of grand just becasue..)

So, all kidding aside, I'd be very interested to hear what you thought about the Summit box.

Steve
[email protected]
http://home.pacbell.net/sjp/
Old 6th November 2002
  #9
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I was looking through a Full Compass catalog last night and saw a whole bunch of small 4-8 channel mixers for under $1000. Whirlwind makes one called the Mix 5 (IIRC) which looks perfect for your needs and is well under a $1000. Ashly also makes a 7 or 8 channel mixer that listed for about $1000.
Old 6th November 2002
  #10
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
"OK Jules, I'll bite..... what did you think about the Summit?"

It didnt have the right 'vibe' at the time for me and seemed spendy... But back then I was just getting into pre amps and my ears weren't as 'tuned' in as they (perhaps) are now.

I just got the feeling of a lot of circuitry between what I was feeding it and it's output...

And it weighed a TONN!


For mono summing I ended up with a vintage valve Pultec 4 into 1 mono mixer that I bought off Fletcher. COOL VIBE!

I would like to hear that summit again!

yuktyy
Old 10th November 2002
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I have 3 year old Mackie 1204 (4 mic pre's) mixer, that I bought for PA use. It saw use with my Echo Layla 24 B4 I got my 24 channel mixer. The Mackie actually sounded very clean!! I got some real cool stuff down using it too.

Ok, this is not studio gear, but you can buy a used one for 200 bucks or so, I'm sure. The fact that you are recording "LIVE" means all bets are off, as far as tonality, as the rooms all sound funky anyway, I'm sure. The Mackie has plenty of head room and low noise. It's also very durable/portable.

My $.02
Old 11th November 2002
  #12
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by AndyT
The Mackie has plenty of head room
Wow, you got one with headroom?!? Where can I get one? No offense, but having lots of headroom is not a feature of a Wackie console. Once you've used something in the pro league you'll see/hear and understand. That's not to say it's useless but it's not in the same headroom league as a Soundcraft, Neotek, Studer, Trident etc.
Old 12th November 2002
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Marshall Simmons's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
why don't you just build a passive mixer... 4 into two shouldn't cost more then 1-200 dollars.... up the price if you want to get stepped attenuators instead of faders...

I'm thinking about doing a 24 channel one with faders, panpots and inserts.

Marshall
Old 12th November 2002
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
HAHAHA, Hi end Gear Sluts!!!
Old 13th November 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
 
hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
4x2 mixer

The fact that you are recording "LIVE" means all bets are off, as far as tonality, as the rooms all sound funky anyway, I'm sure. The Mackie has plenty of head room and low noise. It's also very durable/portable.

************

Uh, no. The reason for the live recording is that I want to work in rooms that sound really good, as in better than 98% of the best recording studios. Its studios that have funky acoustics; even mediocre theatres can sound better than all but the best studios. So, no, Mackie is not the answer......

Steve
http://home.pacbell.net/sjp/
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