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  #1  
Old 09-15-2011, 08:27 PM
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Default First Mixer

I just got the Shure Drum Mic kit, I'm planning on getting/building a subkick, and I'll be added pieces/mics soon to my kit. So I figured I'd get a mixer with all this stuff for playing live, and possibly some recording. I'm thinking about getting the Peavy PV10. Its got 3 band eq on everything, preamps, monitor, headphones, fx, everything, so far, I've thought about.

I'm wondering what you guys think about that mixer, and what if there is something that I should be thinking about that I'm not.

Thanks.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...vey-pv10-mixer
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:56 AM
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Default Re: First Mixer

That mixer only has 6 XLR inputs. What are you playing on? How many drums? For example, if you play a 4 piece, add two overheads, and that would take up all 6 inputs. What if you later decide to add another drum, or hi-hat mic, or both? You'd have to find another mixer, and take a loss on the PV, you know what I mean?

I've played a 6 piece for the last 30 years, or so: 3 rack toms, plus floor, kick and snare. Add two overheads and I need 8 inputs. Two years ago, I thought I would never play anything more than that, nor would I ever require more than 8 mics for just drums. Rackmount mixers with 8 XLR inputs are hard to find. The last mixer I would even think of buying is a Behringer (which I sense is the same for you, or you would've mentioned the Behringer Rackmount 8 XLR model). Although Rolls is not a brand known for hi-end audio, I trust Rolls' dependability even as a "lesser" unit over a Behringer anything, so I bought the Rolls. It does not have EQ on each channel, just "tone" control. It does have Trim and Output volume on each channel, though. Since I submix it to our main Ymaha, I figured I'd EQ the whole mix as one, if I needed to. But, I have a Mapex Saturn, which needs no EQ, thankfully. :-)

Anyway, fast-forward to today. 3 months ago, I bought a new Mapex Saturn Studioease 6-piece; 2 rack toms, with two floor toms. Seemed like a simple swap for my other 6 piece. After about a week, I missed my 3rd rack tom more dearly than I thought I would, so I special ordered a 3rd rack tom. Now, I need 9 inputs. I also would like to mic my hi-hat, which would bring my total to 10 inputs. I've resorted to leaving out one of the floor toms (who wants to carry that many drums to a gigs anyway, especially a second floor tom?). Still, I can't mic my hi-hat directly, and position one of the overheads and a close rack tom mic to pick up the hi-hat indirectly. Since I already use the Rolls as a drum submixer ahead of feeding our main Yamaha, I guess I could steal another Yamaha input or two for the hi-hat and 2nd floor, if I indeed decide to gig the two floors, but it sure would've been nice to have it all in one to begin with.

Moral of the story is to get more than you need NOW, especially since you're already talking about add-ons. Since you're looking at table-top mixers, what about a Mackie? I love Mackie stuff, although a digital mixer like Presonus is also nice. One thing about Mackie is that they seem to last forever and there are many to be had used. You could get a 16 series and have 10 inputs. If money is an issue, or you are indeed running a small setup, you could buy two of their 12 or 14 VLZ series mixers for the same price you'd pay for the new PV, and have better preamps. Fill up one mixer and send that output into an input on the 2nd mixer, add the other mics to the second mixer, and depending upon your current setup, you might still have some room to grow. The other nice thing about this setup is that you bought used Mackie stuff and will likely get exactly what you paid for them back if you ever decide to sell them and spend the big bucks on one big mixer later, you know what I mean?

Just thoughts.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: First Mixer

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Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
That mixer only has 6 XLR inputs. What are you playing on? How many drums? For example, if you play a 4 piece, add two overheads, and that would take up all 6 inputs. What if you later decide to add another drum, or hi-hat mic, or both? You'd have to find another mixer, and take a loss on the PV, you know what I mean?

I've played a 6 piece for the last 30 years, or so: 3 rack toms, plus floor, kick and snare. Add two overheads and I need 8 inputs. Two years ago, I thought I would never play anything more than that, nor would I ever require more than 8 mics for just drums. Rackmount mixers with 8 XLR inputs are hard to find. The last mixer I would even think of buying is a Behringer (which I sense is the same for you, or you would've mentioned the Behringer Rackmount 8 XLR model). Although Rolls is not a brand known for hi-end audio, I trust Rolls' dependability even as a "lesser" unit over a Behringer anything, so I bought the Rolls. It does not have EQ on each channel, just "tone" control. It does have Trim and Output volume on each channel, though. Since I submix it to our main Ymaha, I figured I'd EQ the whole mix as one, if I needed to. But, I have a Mapex Saturn, which needs no EQ, thankfully. :-)

Anyway, fast-forward to today. 3 months ago, I bought a new Mapex Saturn Studioease 6-piece; 2 rack toms, with two floor toms. Seemed like a simple swap for my other 6 piece. After about a week, I missed my 3rd rack tom more dearly than I thought I would, so I special ordered a 3rd rack tom. Now, I need 9 inputs. I also would like to mic my hi-hat, which would bring my total to 10 inputs. I've resorted to leaving out one of the floor toms (who wants to carry that many drums to a gigs anyway, especially a second floor tom?). Still, I can't mic my hi-hat directly, and position one of the overheads and a close rack tom mic to pick up the hi-hat indirectly. Since I already use the Rolls as a drum submixer ahead of feeding our main Yamaha, I guess I could steal another Yamaha input or two for the hi-hat and 2nd floor, if I indeed decide to gig the two floors, but it sure would've been nice to have it all in one to begin with.

Moral of the story is to get more than you need NOW, especially since you're already talking about add-ons. Since you're looking at table-top mixers, what about a Mackie? I love Mackie stuff, although a digital mixer like Presonus is also nice. One thing about Mackie is that they seem to last forever and there are many to be had used. You could get a 16 series and have 10 inputs. If money is an issue, or you are indeed running a small setup, you could buy two of their 12 or 14 VLZ series mixers for the same price you'd pay for the new PV, and have better preamps. Fill up one mixer and send that output into an input on the 2nd mixer, add the other mics to the second mixer, and depending upon your current setup, you might still have some room to grow. The other nice thing about this setup is that you bought used Mackie stuff and will likely get exactly what you paid for them back if you ever decide to sell them and spend the big bucks on one big mixer later, you know what I mean?

Just thoughts.
I second the comments about Mackie mixers. I have a little 1202 mixer from 2003 that sounds very good. It only has 4 mic inputs, though. I'd get at least six if I had to do it over again. I think you can accomplish all you need with a snare, bass and two overheads, though. The more mics you add, the more futzing you will have to do, but I have hand percussion I play with also and it is nice to not have to switch out mics and settings - that is futzing around also.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: First Mixer

Good point guys. As of now, the biggest kit I would get for myself would be a 2 up 2 down. And even then, I wouldn't use all the pieces most of the time. So if I mic up to the extreme, thats 4 toms, snr, hh, kick, subkick, two overheads = 10 mics. The best deal I could find with at least 10 xlr inputs is this

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...i-format-mixer

Better? 12 inputs, 3 band eq with sweep mid, 2 aux buses, monitor, headphones, record out.... there are no aux returns or individual phantom power?---don't know what all that is

also-whats the deal with Behringer?
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: First Mixer

The Soundcraft website says it has 1 Aux Return, which is when you take an Aux Send, feed it to an external effects processor, than have that "effected" signal "Returned" back into the mixer. The end result is the clean sound mixed with the "effected" sound. Here's the site:

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=136

Even if it did not have a Return, or you need more than one, you can return back into another input channel, which does the same thing.

But, you're probably not going to want effects for your drums anyway. I think the most effect you'd want on drums, if any, would be a slight reverb, which you would likely only want in a gigging situation, and even then it would be dependent upon the venue and the band as a whole. But, in that situation, you would probably run the output of your mixer into the main mixer anyway and let the main mixer setup (with internal or external effects) handle effects.

FWIW, I have two submixers, the Rolls, which I use for my drums, and a Mackie 1202. Neither have effects. I run the ouputs from both mixers into inputs on our Yamaha main mixer, which DOES have effects built-in. But, even then I have no effects enabled for the drums channel, and I've played MANY different types of venues from clubs to outdoor festivals.

Also, that unit does indeed have phantom power, but instead of having an indivdual switch for each channel, it's global, meaning you turn on phantom power and it becomes active for all channels. A lot of mixers are like that because it's cheaper to make them that way. Phantom power going to a channel that doesn't need phantom power is not a problem, as long as you use balanced low-impedance mics, which all pro audio mics are. For example, in drum mic kits like you got, the overheads are typically condenser mics that require phantom power, while the drum mics do not. The condensers would utilize the phantom power fed to them, but the drum mics will ignore the phantom power.

That's another nice thing about Mackie. Their User Guides seem to explain things WAY better than any other manufacturer's manuals do. Of course, they are not cheap mixers. It seems like other manufacturers expect you to already know what everything means.

This Soundcraft sounds like a good deal for what it is. (We actually have the big LX7ii at my church.) If you get it, you can always download Mackie manuals to cross-reference some common features and use the Mackie manual for more detailed explanations of those features and their applications. ;-)
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:41 PM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: First Mixer

And, you know what? I shouldn't have made that comment about the Behringer stuff. It's just that everyone I know that got a Behringer mixer has a bad channel that showed up right after the warranty ran out, so they scare me. I also notice that they have a little more "hiss" than my Mackie and Yamaha mixers, albeit you only hear it when it's dead quiet in the room. I do have a Behringer USB interface that I use to connect our PA to my laptop, and that has caused me no problems, but the USB interface is a WAY different animal than a mixer with all their controls and switches.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: First Mixer

thanks for the reply. Yea, I wouldn't have asked about the Behringer thing if there wasn't a review on musicians friend also talking about Behringer being the joke of live audio.

weird


Anyway, I think I'm going to go with this. And maybe find a smaller/cheaper 4 input one for smaller/cheaper gigs. Because it wouldn't be worth setting that thing up in a small biker bar for $50, haha. Plus I'll to save a little longer for that one.
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Last edited by wsabol; 09-16-2011 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: First Mixer

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Originally Posted by MrLeadFoot View Post
And, you know what? I shouldn't have made that comment about the Behringer stuff. It's just that everyone I know that got a Behringer mixer has a bad channel that showed up right after the warranty ran out, so they scare me. I also notice that they have a little more "hiss" than my Mackie and Yamaha mixers, albeit you only hear it when it's dead quiet in the room. I do have a Behringer USB interface that I use to connect our PA to my laptop, and that has caused me no problems, but the USB interface is a WAY different animal than a mixer with all their controls and switches.
I'm not recommending Behringer if you have the choice.

I am going to say that they have become much better over the last few years (especially since they opened their new factory!) and that I would make a bet that almost every sound engineer has something Behringer.

I would third the Mackie options. Mackie make reliable mixers and if you can find something with the right specifications, I would go there. Or to a lower-end Soundcraft with fewer options.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: First Mixer

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I'm not recommending Behringer if you have the choice.

I am going to say that they have become much better over the last few years (especially since they opened their new factory!) and that I would make a bet that almost every sound engineer has something Behringer.

I would third the Mackie options. Mackie make reliable mixers and if you can find something with the right specifications, I would go there. Or to a lower-end Soundcraft with fewer options.
I have used a Behringer Eurorack mixer and I have a couple of measurement mics of their that make great condensers. I have had good experiences with Behringer so far but I understand they are not the top-tier option and using their stuff is a crapshoot from what I hear. I've just been lucky so far.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:12 PM
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I have used a Behringer Eurorack mixer and I have a couple of measurement mics of their that make great condensers. I have had good experiences with Behringer so far but I understand they are not the top-tier option and using their stuff is a crapshoot from what I hear. I've just been lucky so far.
Their equipment is fine if you get a good set. It really can be luck-of-the-draw although it is definitely better now than it was even five years ago. For 'utility' gear like studio monitoring headphone amps and anything that isn't necessarily for 'audiophile' use it's usually fine. That said, the Behringer headphone amps we had in the last studio I frequented were dreadful because they overheated and as a result the internal circuit boards were warped meaning most of the components' soldering contact was broken and it hardly worked at all!

If I needed something like a cable tester or a 'beater' DI box, or a cheap mixing desk for a specific application, I'd be happy to use Behringer. For anything where sound quality and reliability were important, I probably wouldn't use Behringer. Having a headphone amplifier not working because of - essentially - a design flaw was deeply frustrating!
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:34 AM
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I don't own anything made by Behringer but I have repaired a few of their products. They're not bad pieces of equipment until they stop working, then because of their cost, it's far better to toss it and buy new. As mediocrefunkybeat obserbved, many times this starts out to be an intermittant problem such as noise, lack of signal or complete power supply failure usually due to inadeqent heat sinking and under rated components.

I own a couple small Mackie mixers which hold-up very well and I can readily get parts if needed. There are very good quality mixers out there, but as the quality and features rise, so does the price. Try never to under buy when it comes to audio products and if you have to just save a bit more to be able to buy what you want and need. If you believe that you'll only need 4 microphone channels, buy a mixer with six or eight or more.

One more piece of advice that you are probably aware of, don't buy a mixer because it says that's it's a twelve channel unit thinking that it will mix twelve microphones because most won't. They state that because the particular unit has enough inputs to mix twelve channels of audio, but most of those channels might be high level inputs and you might only have access to four or maybe six inputs with microphone pre-amps to be able to feed the mixer from a low level source (microphone).

This is a medium size 10 microphone channel Mackie unit that I use on some gigs. Although it does have "global" phantom power, I use external phantom power supplies for my condenser microphones because I don't care for 48 volts dc circulating where its not needed. This is just a personal choice and at times I do use ribbon mics and feeding 48v dc to a transformer winding inside some ribbon microphone could be a catastrophic. Ask me how I know, lol.



Dennis
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:27 AM
MrLeadFoot MrLeadFoot is offline
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Default Re: First Mixer

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Originally Posted by wsabol View Post
Anyway, I think I'm going to go with this. And maybe find a smaller/cheaper 4 input one for smaller/cheaper gigs. Because it wouldn't be worth setting that thing up in a small biker bar for $50, haha. Plus I'll to save a little longer for that one.
Remember that I said this, after you get it:

Once you experience mic'ing your drums, and running In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), you will never want to play without them ever again. Not even in a small biker bar. :-) In fact, I don't even like to practice on my own without them!

So, mark my words when I say that you will cart that Soundcraft everywhere you go. It really isn't all that big, consdering the difference with and without it will be like night and day!

And, when I say IEMs I don't necessarily mean the super expensive ones. I actually use earbuds meant for stereos. Of course, I tried 10-12 pairs before settling on Denons because their the frequency range was wider than almost all others, and they sounded the best, Plus, they sealed out ambient noise the best. I actually found them for $50 at Best Buy first, then returned them thinking I should spend more money because I was "supposed" to buy true In-Ear Monitors designed for live music applications. I tried higher end Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, Klipstch, Monster and others. They all sounded great when listening to music, but when you start playing live, all the others ended up losing their clarity and punch. So, I ended up back at the cheaper Denons. I have no regrets, although I did not try any true IEMs with multiple drivers and such because there don't seem to be many places that carry them, even in saturated areas like I am in, so you can't try them. I didn't want to order $300-$700 models, then have to return them, 'cause that's risky. After fighting for an RMA, what if they got lost in transit back? :-(

One thing nice about being a drummer or keyboardist is that you won't be moving all over the stage, so a mixer with a headphone output and good earbuds is all you need because you stay in one place. Imagine being a vocalist. They need a wireless transmitter, body pack, and earbuds/IEMs. That would run you close to the cost of a decent drum kit, and you can't even use it without a mixer!

Once last bit of advice would be when you get the mixer, also get a cable with a 1/4" male plug and 1/8" female on the other end. They are not easy to find locally, so you might have to order. You can find 20 ft. ones at Radio Shack, but that's way too long, and will be a PITA. Don't settle for an adapter either. I went that route for awhile, and they always end up getting scratchy sounding at the connection of the cord to the adapter. Though I never by Hosa cables, I was hard-pressed to find one in the right length, and figured construction of a headphone cable wasn't as important as say an instrument or mic cable, so I ordered the one below. No problems at all.



Do me a favor and let me know how that Soundcraft works out, will ya? ;-)
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Old 09-18-2011, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: First Mixer

I'd want to get something with built in USB to make it easy to record myself practising.
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Old 09-18-2011, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: First Mixer

Good point. Another reason to go Mackie, specifically the Onyx series. But, the only way to get the same number of inputs, you have to spend nearly $1400. That's the trouble with Mackie. Although I really like the Mackie stuff, when you consider their bait'n'switch type marketing strategy, they are way too much money. I mean, really, they're Onyx 1620 only has 8 XLR inputs, which at $799 is palatable, but anyone looking at 16xx anything is really thinking 16 "real" inputs and that 1620 is a real disappointment. Next logical step is to look at the 1640. While it does have 12 XLRs, it's ridiculous to think of spending almost double at $1500 and that thing is a beast, for a compact mixer. I bet most people who find themselves in that exact same scenario get a bad taste in their mouths. If I'm going to spend that much for something like the Onyx 1640, I'd get the digital Presonus 1602 for $1200 instead in a heartbeat.

The OP's post indicates a budget, so the Soundcraft isn't a bad way to go, along with this little baby:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-a...udio-interface

Yes, it's a Behringer, but like someone else said, these types of units by Behringer are great. In fact, I have one and it's not been a problem at all. I use Audactiy software for my practice recordings, which has a simpler interface than anythin else, and is free. :-)
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Last edited by MrLeadFoot; 09-18-2011 at 03:05 PM.
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