Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

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Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby hseiken on Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:16 am

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=631267
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=630166
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=630139

I'm looking for a mixer with some internal effects...these are the ones I've spotted that are about in the range I want (at least 3 stereo channels, interal fx, price range 200 USD or less)...anyone care to share any info on this kind of thing or if you have experience with these items, care to share them?
GEAR: ESX, Micron, KP3, Kaossilator, ER-1mk2, Xenyx 801, VS880, US-122
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:14 am

Some thoughts:

I'm of two minds about Behringer gear. On the one hand, they offer great bang-for-the-buck. On the other, they can be rather flimsy (full disclosure: the shop I do work with is a Behringer repair center). They are virtual clones of other gear, so there's nothing either ground-breaking or unusual about their sound or features (other than the price). The noise floor can be either better or worse than any other gear in this price range. The Xenyx series has a bit of a midrange hump and less high end than most, as they attempt to sound like recordings made in the '70's on analog desks and tape. USB connectivity is done through an outboard interface.

I've had a couple of Alesis mixers, including a USB one. They set the standard for FX in this price range. This series has a fairly transparent sound, is solidly built, and easy enough to connect with your computer. Knobs can feel fairly flimsy, but that's pretty standard in this price range and are actually rather strong for what they are.

Yamaha is their own beast, but these mixers are quite like the Alesis in both sound, feel, and features. I've only demo'd a few instore, but I do have a friend who uses one for extensively at home and he likes it quite a bit for a low-end mixer. From my experience (again, in-store only), the sound was a little darker than the Alesis, but otherwise not as colored as the Behringer. Honestly, I'm not a fan of most Yamaha gear, but these are fine. Once again, you'll have to rely on an outboard interface to connect to your computer.

None of these are particularly flexible in their routing, though they do offer at least one insert.

Which one would I then recommend? If it were down to me and I had to choose between these three and nothing else, I'd go with the Alesis, simply for the fact that they've got a stellar rep for their gear, their FX are excellent, and its got USB built into it. That said, f you went the used route, you could probably pick up a used mixer and outboard gear that would allow you more flexibility, but do you really need that? And do you want the headaches of researching that? Think about what sound you want (a little more color or transparency for your instrument) and then about the reputation for the gear at hand, then go ahead and grab what seems right to you.

Good luck! And let us know what you end up with.
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby hseiken on Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:07 am

You seem to be knowledgable about mixers...maybe you could point me to the cheapest one that has internal effects and an INSERT channel? I want to use the KP3 as an insert (is this even possible?) with punch in/out option available per track. Is this getting outside my pricerange?

And what do you mean about flexible options if I go with used gear?
GEAR: ESX, Micron, KP3, Kaossilator, ER-1mk2, Xenyx 801, VS880, US-122
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby StellarJay[aka Ruso] on Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:51 am

You can certainly use the kp3 as a send/return line on a mixer....

What really matters is how many channels you will need on the mixer (for how many pieces of gear)....

A lot of times I recommend a multi channel DJ mixer for electribe because it has sliders rather then knobs which allows for easy and intuitive instant dropping or gradual bringing in of a part at any time. But generally speaking they are limited to 4 stereo channels.
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby hseiken on Fri Dec 25, 2009 3:06 pm

It's using it as an insert I'm concerned about. Sends will keep the dry and wet audio together and I want to be able to click on and off which channels are wet/dry as a series connection, not parallel like a sends track does. My other option I guess would be to get a KM module with a kaoss pad built in. I know those have punch buttons that let you affect separate channels or all together. My friend has a KM 202 I believe (it's the black 2 channel kaoss mixer) and it's okay, but it's the looper effects of the KP3 I can't live without. If nothing else I could have it routed to the ESX directly for one channel, but it just doesn't seem as fun...as well, the km's are pretty expensive.
GEAR: ESX, Micron, KP3, Kaossilator, ER-1mk2, Xenyx 801, VS880, US-122
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:04 pm

Hmm ... specific models? I don't know, Hseiken! I'd have to research 'em and I haven't had to do that for a while, I'm afraid. I just happen to know the two I commented on as I've used them/played with them and know Behringer in general. Sorry!

As far as used gear goes, what I meant was your money will go further if you buy used gear.

That said, you can use an aux send into any channel on your board, provided you have enough open to do so. If it's a TRS send/return on a channel, just use a TS cable into your FX unit and then run out of that back into the board. But you know that already ... sorry!

Have you looked at the Allen & Heath Zed series? They're more expensive (the Zed-14 is $399) and they don't have built-in effects, but they're flexible as all get out and they sound great. I am thinking you're limiting yourself by what you're budgeting. Perhaps you should save your money for a while longer and get something like this instead?
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby hseiken on Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:17 am

I did some searching and found these:

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=580319
http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/pr ... sku=630271

I'm guessing the second one is the one you're talking about?
GEAR: ESX, Micron, KP3, Kaossilator, ER-1mk2, Xenyx 801, VS880, US-122
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Re: Looking to buy Mixer...advice?

Postby Blue Monster 65 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:26 pm

Yes! Frankly, I hadn't heard of the one with the FX built in - maybe that one would be good for you, too?
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