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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:29 AM   #1
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Yet another mixer question

I was all ready to buy the onyx 1620 (found it with the opt card for about $1000) when it occurred to me (maybe wrong-headedly) that if I got a nice analog mixer (with bell and whistles like direct out), and use a firewire interface like the 1810 or the fa101, I should get essentially comparable results (feel free to correct me of I am off or way off). So the question is: 1. Am I off with my little thought experiment, and 2. If I am right then which direct out balanced mixer (etc.) for $500 or less (if any) do you all recommend? Also note the main uses are VO, studio dialogue, small band recording, on set stuff, etc.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 09:16 AM   #2
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your basic premise is right. there's no qualitative difference to whether the a/d conversion happens in the mixer or in a separate interface. most pros, when recording digital, use separate a/d units and mixers.

however, i don't know of a new mixer with direct outs for under $500. you can fake direct outs with a mackie, but i wouldn't do a lot of recording with a mackie. with the mackies yoiu use the channel inserts as direct outs. look around online for used soundcraft, allen&heath, seck, etc.

how many individual channels do you need to be able to record at the same time?
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Old July 21st, 2005, 05:05 PM   #3
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It varies from 4 to 8 depending on whether I am doing video or straight music. Thanks for the advice; I'll look into it. You wouldn't happen to have a few models in mind as a starting off point?
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Old July 21st, 2005, 06:15 PM   #4
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Never mind, apparently Mackie 1604 vlzpro and the onyx series has direct out, and are reasonably priced (though not quite as cheap as $500)
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Old July 21st, 2005, 06:52 PM   #5
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the mackies are fine for monitoring, but i wouldn't want to actually record (from a mic) through one. i'd want better preamps for that. the onyx boards allegedly have better preamps than the vlz series, but i honestly havent checked em out. i personally only ever record one track at a time, so i use a very good single channel mic preamp/compressor/eq for that. but i have a mackie 1202 for monitoring/signal routing type stuff. that works great for me. (sorry about the no direct outs thing- on the 1202 there are none, and i thought the 1604 was the same deal.)

anyhow, in summary, if you really need to record 4 or more mic'd sources at a time, then go for a mixer with the best preamps you can get. (or spend tons of money on individual preamps.)

the soundcraft boards i've worked with are the ghost (way beyond what you're looking for,) and the m series (you'd want the m8 i guess.) the e series look interesting, but i haven't played with em.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:36 PM   #6
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Yeah, I think I will at some point in the future buy the Joemeek twinQ. It's a dual mic pre, with compressor and eq. But financial prudence prevents me from doing that in the near future. Also, I have never heard of a Soundcraft board that didn't cost a gizillion dollars:-)
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