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DAW Front End
Old 28th March 2003
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar
🎧 15 years
DAW Front End

Okay,, right now i have a mackie 1604vlz pro acting as the front end to my maudio delta1010,, i have come to the conclusion that i need a new front end,, firstly it doesn't output enough phantom power being well under 48voltz causing too much sibilance and messed up impulse on the highs - the preamps don't get my mics loud enough,,mainly because when i turn the preamp gain past about 2oclock i get way way too much noize leaking in. and using it with my analog synths is not that cool,, i need someting that will put that extra warmth and smooth character onto them before they are digitized in the delta,,, i know mackies are good for not adding character,, i want a new front end that will give me all the help i can get in adding that beefed up analog sound since i have no other outboard anything. this gear must have at least 8 i/os but also at least one sub bus for grouping drums,, i'm going to sell the mackie to get this gear so i'd say it cant cost much more than around $800. also this front end doesn't need any vertical faders etc. basicaly just nice pres and good warmth is all i'm after,, so it could be a little 4u box for all i care. also a nice headphone out would rock. i thought this would be a great place to ask,, thanks a lot for your help guys.
Old 28th March 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
It is a great place to ask. IMHO you could do worse that going for a small high quality desk if you have the space. There are quite a few around at the moment, selling for tiny fractions of their original cost. You can get good pres, good eqs, sometimes compressors, and all the flexibility of a decent console (including the ability to use it for summing the mix) for relatively little. For example...I recently bought a Calrec broadcast console for under 3k gbp. I've got 12 mono channels (with eq and mic amps) 12 stereo channels (with eq) 8 groups (with direct ins and compressors) 4 stereo compressors in the upstand etc etc. It has made such a difference sonically, I just cant tell you! BUT maintenance can be an issue... I am having to recap the stereo channels as they run very hot, and sorting out the wiring for a desk always costs a fair bit. There are loads of good rackmount pres and input channels on the market. For the kind of money I have just spent, I could maybe have got 10 pres but not much else. If you are planning on mixing on a big console ultimately, it might be better to throw money at building up a really great rack to take with you.

Old 28th March 2003
Gear Nut
🎧 15 years
front end

There isn't any mixer in that price range better than the Mackie, sorry. However, what you could do instead, is buy an 8 channel preamp and add it onto the mackie. You could get one with a A/D built into it if you don't mix on the Mackie, only monitor. If you don't have the money I would wait until you got some instead of selling your mixing board.
Old 29th March 2003
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Re: DAW Front End

Originally posted by danv1983
it cant cost much more than around $800.
Which makes my post rather irrelevant....sorry....half asleep again!
Old 29th March 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I think half your issues with the Wackie are probably caused by improper gain staging, poor acoustics and possibly bad wiring. If you sell it there isn't anything you can buy for $800 that will be better. You'll different, but not better.

How are you sure that the Wackie isn't putting out a full 48 volts? Have you meausered it? If you have and it's not, get it fixed. I've used plenty of condensor mics that are really picky about not getting enough current with a Wackie and I've never had a problem. I've also never had a problem with getting too much noise and having to crank up the trim on the mic pres. Usually I need to pad them because drums and loud amps are too hot and I can't get them low enough. If I know I'll be working on a Wackie I'll carry about a half-dozen in-line pads with me.

What's your usual signal chain like? From instrument to input describe it and the settings.
Old 29th March 2003
Gear Head
🎧 15 years
Actually, if you had to but a new console in that price range, an Allen and Heath Mix Wiz will smoke the Mackie. The preamps sound better and have a little more gain. The EQ offers four bands instead of three, and sound more musical anyways. Then, you get better faders and 6 real auxes as opposed to the Mackie sort of 6 4+2 configuration. They come in 2 basic sizes that may be appropriate for you. The larger is the 16 mono channel straight to stereo mix. This one also comes with two built in FX processors (which I find to be virtually useless). The second size comes with 10 mono channels and two stereo channels, 4 busses, and then stereo out. This is what I would recommend based on what I know of your setup. I think the 10 (they call it a 14 channel) Mix wiz comes in like $100 cheaper as well.

I do however second the notion of a smaller cheaper used console as well. YOu should be able to get a better quality sound that way at a lower price, but then the risk of some maintenance. I believe I saw an 8x4x2 Trident Fleximix out there the other day for only $1300. This would destroy both the Mackie and the Mixwiz

Good Luck......Rob
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