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  #1  
Old 09-10-2012, 02:52 AM
storminthenorman storminthenorman is offline
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Default Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Hey guys,

I'm looking into recording my drums and I have a good idea about what I need. I'll be getting a 7-mic pack (1 Bass, 4 dynamic for snare/tom, 2 condenser) for $265 but most of the mixers I've seen that have 7 or more mic inputs cost well over $400. I am planning on using an ART MX821 mixer (found [url="http://http://artproaudio.com/art_products/audio_solutions/line_mixers/product/mx821/"]Here]

It's $185 online, and I'm pretty sure that's a good deal. Do I have other options, like using xlr to 1/4 inch cables? From my understanding, the audio from that mike will only go into the left or right channel if I do that right? Or can I hook up two mixers in a series? Like one 6 mic mixer, and audio out from that into an audio in on a second two channel mixer with 1 mike, then audio out from the second mixer into my computer?

I know that's a lot of questions, but I couldn't find much online or on these forums.
Thanks in advance! Your help is extremely appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 09-18-2012, 08:55 AM
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Skulmoski Skulmoski is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

I am really impressed with my Mackie 402-VLZ3 Compact Audio Mixer (4 inputs ). Mackie makes models with more inputs and should be close to your budget (e.g. 8 channel 802-VLZ3 or the 12 channel 1202-VLZ3).

GJS
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:21 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Wait!

There's a reason the mixing console cost so much. That ART device is ok, but you really need good EQ control, panning, maybe a hi pass filter, and a more substantial mic pre-amp, that you can only get in a good solid mixing console.

Why don't you approach it the other way? Get a good board, and then get the mics. I'm curious why you think you need that many mics. Is your goal to make a nice recording in stereo?

The microphones are only going to be as good as the board you plug them into. Here's what I would do in your case: find a good solid board, like a used Mackie 1402VLZ, and then get four mics. Two dynamics, one for your bass, and one for the snare. And two condensers, one for the hi-hat and the other as a general overhead. If you're just going to record stereo into something, you will be surprised at how good a sound you can get with just that (I've even used less and got a great sound). In fact, alot of those Led Zeppelin songs had only two or three mics on the entire kit.

Do a little more research before you spend your money. You're doing it backwards.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:03 AM
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Galadrm Galadrm is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Why don't you approach it the other way? Get a good board, and then get the mics. I'm curious why you think you need that many mics.
I agree with Bo eder.

Start with a good rack, because that is the key, then you can expand on that.

The mixer you have named is a mixer, so if you are planning to make nice tracks, it wont happen, because its output is a single stereo mix. You would want a multitrack that records each mic to a separate channel allowing you to make many after recording adjustments.

I have the focusrite saffire pro 40, and i couldnt ask for a better interface for the price. It has everything you need: 8 inputs, adat ( you can add another 16 inputs i think), two headphone outputs on the front and 8 assignable outputs. M-audio also makes good stuff. they go for near 400, but i would get the interface, then get 3-4 good mics, then build. bass snare and 1 overhead maybe.

The best thing about the focusrite is you can use it as a live mixer as well. If you are in a band/ will be in a band it has two direct inputs on the front with preamps for bass and guitar! mega timesaver and easy to control.

So if you are recording, get a good interface then build (make sure it has the inputs that fit the equipment you have/will get). Then buy some nice mics: shures/sennheisers (both make nice drum mics).

I have set up my own little studio in my room, and can make some average recording (mics are letting me down) i bought a 250 dollar set for 7 like you, but they are the worst link in my recording chain.

Just the words of a drum loving/home recording fanatic!

Goodluck with your decision
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:18 AM
storminthenorman storminthenorman is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Thanks for all the replies. So the general idea is to start with a really good mixer, then add mics. Then I can slowly get more mics if I need to.

Any suggestions? I think I'll go with 1 bass mic and 2 overheads.
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Are you planning on recording directly to a computer? If so then you may want to get a recording interface. Its a shade more money, but really its worth saving for. I look at buying good gear that does a good job as a savings. It will save you from re-buying the

I tried cheaping out on a board to record. I got a fairly used Yamaha 12 channel board for a song. That said, it had a dead channel and the left main output was dead. I took a loss on it when I got rid of it. Then I got a used 16 channel board for my band to use on stage. again used, again with an issue. It only had 3 aux outputs that we used as monitor sends, and we really needed 4. and one of those auxes only worked half the time. I broke even on that board, but it caused me lots of grief setting up for 3 shows when that aux send decided to take the day off. I now have a really great 16 channel board that I bought new. My Allen and Heath MixWizard 16:2 is fantastic! If I could do it all over again I would just save up for the right piece of gear.

Back to your question... The Art mixer will be passable at best. If I were you, and were looking at recording as a long term hobby I would save up for a recording interface. I have two Presonus Firestudio Project interfaces ($399 each on musiciansfriend.com) and they work great for me. There are lots of great products at varying price points and I am sure with some saving you can get something that you will be happy with for much longer. Knowing what I know now, I save and spend once. I plan for growth and the future.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Now to your mic question. I prefer the sound of close mics. It allows me more ability to mix each drum. A kick and two overheads can sound great. I tried it, and didn't care for the results but as they say "results may vary". If you start with two quality overheads and a quality kick mic you can always add mics as you go.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:57 PM
storminthenorman storminthenorman is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Hey thanks Canada_Rokzz! That really helped!

Yeah, I'm looking for an interface, like the Tascam 1800 or 2000 or an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8r... Or anything similar with prices around $300 to $400. I certainly won't consider the ART interface anymore. I like the Tascam 2000 because it's not to expensive (around $360) and it's bundled with cubase 5e. Also, you can turn on phantom power for two channels at a time, up to eight channels total, which I think is better than the other mixers, which turn on phantom for 4 channels at a time.

That leads me to another question: Will phantom power supplied to mics that don't need it (like dynamic mics) cause problems? 'cause I only see myself using 2 condensors max, then slowly adding individual mics on the snare and toms.

I agree that close mics may sound better than two overheads, but two overheads is cheaper than a mic on each tom, and you need the overheads to capture the cymbals. For now, I probably will go with just overheads and a bass mic, like I said, and I can get close mics slowly over time.

Thanks for all the replies!
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2012, 12:44 AM
DPTrainor DPTrainor is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

1202-VLZ3 is great, and good price too.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:43 AM
simmsdn simmsdn is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Phantom power will not damage or harm dynamic mics...you will not know that there is power going there.

I have the TASCAM US-1641, precursor to the 1800/2000. It's a great interface. Make sure you have a good computer to run it. You're going to really need a quad-core with at least 6GB RAM and make certain you have at least a 7200rpm HDD. Without those specs, you might run into some buffer problems. Also, have nothing else plugged into the USB card you plug it into or likewise, buffer issues. It's a great interface, but with USB, you have some nuances you do not have with firewire regarding power and the buffer.

If you don't have the computer with the necessary power, look at a firewire interface. Might be $100 more, but that's cheaper than a new computer (or some upgrades at the least).

Quote:
Originally Posted by storminthenorman View Post
Hey thanks Canada_Rokzz! That really helped!

Yeah, I'm looking for an interface, like the Tascam 1800 or 2000 or an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8r... Or anything similar with prices around $300 to $400. I certainly won't consider the ART interface anymore. I like the Tascam 2000 because it's not to expensive (around $360) and it's bundled with cubase 5e. Also, you can turn on phantom power for two channels at a time, up to eight channels total, which I think is better than the other mixers, which turn on phantom for 4 channels at a time.

That leads me to another question: Will phantom power supplied to mics that don't need it (like dynamic mics) cause problems? 'cause I only see myself using 2 condensors max, then slowly adding individual mics on the snare and toms.
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2012, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by storminthenorman View Post
Hey thanks Canada_Rokzz! That really helped!
You're welcome!

Buying gear is a double edged sword. You get what you paid for, but you paid for what you have! In all seriousness, spend your money wisely and once. I would go ahead and get the kick mic and the overheads. Then add an Shure SM57 as often as you can afford. Avoid fleabay on these. The off shore knockoffs are a dead ringer, except in the performance department. A friend of a friend bought a few and it was a waste of cash. He didn't know they weren't the real deal and even paid almost real deal price.

I know none of this stuff is cheap, but you will thank yourself in the long run for buying quality gear at each step.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Great video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IpMB...e=context-vrec
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2012, 08:07 PM
storminthenorman storminthenorman is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Well, I've narrowed my list of audio interfaces down to:

Tascam US-1800
M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8r
M-Audio Profire 2626
Presonus Firestudio Project/ Audiobox 1818vsl

Which one should I pick? I like how the audiobox and firestudio come with Presonus' audio software for free, but they are expensive (Firestudio is $400 and audiobox is $500).

Any other options out there? Preferably under $500? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:43 PM
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autonomos autonomos is offline
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

The presonus audiobox 44VSL looks cool for $300 but it's only got 4 mic inputs so that would prevent expanding to more mics down the road if you wanted to.

I use a presonus firestudio mobile with an external preamp to get 4 drum channels. It has 2 mic ins and 6 line ins for expansion (also good for synth/keys). It's down to $250 which is pretty cheap for what you get. The only potential drawback here is that you'd have to get an external mic pre to add more than 2 mics. Maybe not a big deal since some guys prefer to use better external mic pres anyway.

One thing I'll definitely vouch for is the presonus studio one DAW that comes with their interfaces. It's really top shelf.
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2012, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Mixer w/ 7+ mic inputs & cheap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by storminthenorman View Post
Which one should I pick? I like how the audiobox and firestudio come with Presonus' audio software for free, but they are expensive (Firestudio is $400 and audiobox is $500).

Any other options out there? Preferably under $500? Thanks in advance.
If you're not scared of used, check out Guitar Centers used section. I just spotted Firestudio Project's from $199 to $299...
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