Other Equipment

I’m looking for a 6-aux mixer with 16 or fewer inputs.

1

12 input channels would be ideal, as I'm looking for the smallest footprint that supports the high aux count.

At least four of the auxes have to capable of pre-fader operation; bonus if all 6 are switchable.

Other features might matter, but only if the aux capability is there.

I've looked at current and older offerings from Mackie, Soundcraft, Allen & Heath, Rane.

The old Mackie SR series has an ideal base configuration: 2 pre-fade auxes, 2 switchable pre/post, and 2 post only. All the other features are fine for my purpose. But the smallest channel count I can find with the 6 auxes is 24.

(I already have the 1604VLZ, which is compact enough - though even smaller would be better - but only 2 of the auxes are pre-fade, and the knobs for 3/4 do double-duty with a switch for 5/6, making it a little inconvenient.)

I'm not averse to doing it all digitally, with or without a device and app; I just don't know that market.

Ideas?

2

OK, I've looked further. The Behringer X18 or XR18 might be just the thing.

3

Behringer makes me cringe for the money you'll spend sending it out to get repaired.

Have you looked at Yamaha's older products? Not sure what they offer currently, but at least they built it more robustly than at what you're currently looking.

4

Soundcraft UI16 is the best digital "lunchbox" type mixer out there. Works on any ios, android, mac, pc device.

5

Crowbone’s right, stay away from Behringer. It’s junk.

If you’re happy to entertain the idea of digital why not look at the Focusrite Saffire range. Admittedly it’s essentially an external sound card rather than a mixer per se, but 8 high quality mix pre’s, 8 infinitely flexible outs, plus main L/R, all in 1U of rack space. You’ll need a laptop to make full flexible use of it though.

6

I've got a Roland that would do it (a VS2480). Supposedly it's a recorder, but it's 16in and up to 8 aux out, plus 2 discreet monitor buses and mains out. Complete with 4x32 onboard effects cards. As a side benefit, you can record your gigs in Red Book standard quality. Self-contained, no laptop required. Haven't used in a while and I'll let it go real cheap, though.

But I think unless you have a friend on the West Coast with their own wheels, distance might be a bit of an issue. It's not light.

7

I'm a fully paid-up member of the Behringer-is-Junk club...except when I'm not.

Their new range of digital mixers has gotten rave reviews, pretty general agreement about sound quality, and I'm not hearing/seeing/reading build-or-reliability horror stories.


I'll take a look at the other suggestions. Compact is fine, and though I wouldn't want to be tied to a computer, an iOS control surface would be fine.

8

The Soundcraft UI16 claims just four auxes...unless there's a way to cheat.

9

Check with Audept. If anyone knows mixers, he's the one.

10

On a Mackie 1202 or 1604, you can get a pre-fader signal from the tip connection of the insert. It doesn't come with a knob, but you could always add a pot downstream if you really need one. Does that help? At least the Mackies are good enough to record with.

11

Actually, I should rarely need all 6 auxes - but I anticipate routinely using 4, and can imagine scenarios for more. The Mackie is actually attractive for that insert, yes - I was anticipating using that for a direct recording out from some channels.

And the Mackies I'm considering HAVE 6 auxes. It's just that the "smallest" Mackie with 6 dedicated auxes (by contrast to the 1604VLZ I have, which has 4 knobs for 6 auxes) is 24 channels, which is embarrassing overkill for the application. Not to mention it makes it really big.

AND the Mackies have the virtue of being available at ridiculously low prices.

12

Check with Audept. If anyone knows mixers, he's the one.

– wabash slim

Actually my knowledge and expertise is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Has to be over 96 inputs and 50+ aux sends at minimum sample rate of 96k to make it across my desk these days.

14

On the Soundcraft UI16, it has 6 Auxes. 4 of them you can see on pictures as XLRs, but if you change the mode of the Headphone Jack (using the web-based interface), you get two more, AUX5 and AUX6.

I used to own one of these, and it was a tone-tweakers dream, but still had wizards and presets to facilitate using it right out of the box.

15

Thanks, Frank, I've just looked it over, and it's definitely worth considering. It's ugly as sin, but it appears functional, powerful, and straightforward. Thanks for illuminating the aux cheat.

16

It wasn’t until after I’d sold it that I needed it. My new mixer only has 4 so I daisy-chain so it LOOKS like we have 5 monitor mixes. The people who asked for the separate monitor mix don’t know the difference.

17

I bought a Gator portable rack case and mounted in there, with a heavier-duty extension mounted on the back, with the inline power transformer and power cord stuffed into one side, so as to minimize strain on what appeared to be a pretty dainty power supply, by A/V standards.

Later I concluded the built-in Wi-Fi wasn’t powerful enough, not sure if there was any merit to that hypothesis. But not leaving anything to chance, I put a home 802.11n router in the back and created a non-Interneted network I could control from a distance (of course, the SSID was “ReptileNet”). I don’t know if that was even helpful, I never had issues with the built-in Wi-Fi. I only ever had one problem with that, and that was in a venue that seemed like the stage area was inside a Faraday cage or a small Bermuda Triangle. I couldn’t communicate with the mixer, then my wireless guitar rig started sputtering. Then the bass player’s. Don’t think it was the mixer’s fault.


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