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cheap Rane mixer for location use?
Old 24th June 2002
Lives for gear
hollywood_steve's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Question cheap Rane mixer for location use?

I've given up on finding a super simple, line level only, basic 4x2 mixer for location recording; if it''s out there, I can't find it. The cool little location mixers that the film guys use all have mic preamps, EQ and lots of other features that I don't need and don't want to pay for. One of the few line level mixers I could find is the Rane SM26b, a 6x2 unit with some weird signal routing, but a lot less crap than most other mixers.
I thought it might work as-is for a short time and then I might take it to one of the local tech dudes to chop the unnecessary stuff out and decide if any components are worth upgrading. These things are so cheap used that I might be able to purchase it and have it upgraded for a total of around $400.
Can anyone out there comment on how these things work/sound? And does it seem like a good candidate to strip down and clean up?
(what I really want is a box with four input faders, four panpots, two passive summing busses and two output faders - that's it. But there are level loss issues and other problems with purely passive mixers so it would take someone smarter than me to wire up a passive unit that really worked well.) Hot-rodding a not-too-complex model like the Rane seemed like a decent compromise. Comments?

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Old 24th June 2002
Jules's Avatar
My classical engineer chums swear by their portable Soundcraft mixers..I am sure there is a low track count model in the new M series..

Summit make a 4 into 2 mixer - it's 2U rack mount (v heavy)

Dunno Rane.

Glad you made it over Steve!

Old 24th June 2002
Gear Addict
cymatics's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I've used some Rane gear at the day job (installed sound) with good results. It's quiet, clean and reliable in general. Jim Williams of Audio Upgrades has an upgrade package for the Rane 5 band parametric so he might be willing to look into an upgrade package for the piece you're considering.

You may not agree, but the Mackie 1202 really is an excellent bang-for-the-buck piece. With only four channels, you don't get into the problems with the summing stages that plague the larger Mackie mixers. Using only the features you outlined, you might find it very usable.

- Jon
Old 18th March 2019
Gear Maniac
I thought I would bump the oldest post on Gearslutz for Nostalgia sake. Unfortunately, in doing so...I just took away that honor.
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