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Old July 12th, 2018, 01:30 PM   #1
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What mixer should I use in this scenario?

I need an audio mixer that's small enough to easily travel with which will be used to combine 1-2 microphones plus a laptop audio source into a mic input on a camera, so that the entire audio and video stream can be sent via IP video to a tricaster in another location.

I have had analog mackie mixers for a long time and am sort of out of the game at this point in terms of what is a best practice for this scenario. In my studio, I run the mics through DBX voice processors, so I'm wondering:

1. Do I want an analog or digital mixer for this application?

2. Are there some that have built in processing (gate, compression, etc) so that I don't need 2 audio devices?

All suggestions and feedback welcome...
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Old July 12th, 2018, 06:02 PM   #2
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

What is your budget for this mixer?
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Old July 12th, 2018, 06:04 PM   #3
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

it is somewhat flexible, I am unsure what I need to spend to get something decent. I do not want to buy more than is necessary for this application but have a relatively flexible budget
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Old July 12th, 2018, 07:46 PM   #4
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

Sounds like you want to have a portable studio sort of setup rather than a run-and-gun ENG sort of setup.

Your comfort point budget is the key question.

Would something like a Mackie 802 fit yuo needs?
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Old July 12th, 2018, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

SoundDevices 302 fits most of your requirements. I’ve seen video streaming people use an analog mixer which feeds the camera which in turn feeds the laptop via hdmi into usb adapter (recommend a Magewell) that will do the streaming. The newer mixers have the ability to record the mix and each track separately but if you’re streaming I’m not sure how important that will really be. The newer digital mixers also can interface with a computer via usb but here again the laptop should be receiving the audio with the video from the camera.
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Old July 13th, 2018, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

The way I read the OP he has a laptop as an audio source being input to the mixer along with two mic sources. Regardless of the type of mixer being used I always run all laptop audio through a DI Box before the mixer so the mixer receives a known level.

On the high end a SD 302 would be an excellent choice as long as your comfortable being limited to three sources. The SD 302 will also allow you to go XLR mic or line level into the camera. It is a classic true field mixer.

The newer SD mixpre series of recorder/mixers is very tempting for your needs but note they do not output the mix XLR until you step up to the Mixpre 10.

I think you should also take a look at the Zoom F4 and F8 series of recorders/mixers. A true mixer will meet your current requirements but these days technology is packing a lot of bang for you buck.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old July 13th, 2018, 01:08 PM   #7
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Digges View Post
I think you should also take a look at the Zoom F4 and F8 series of recorders/mixers.
I have a Zoom F8 and really like it, although it may be more than you'd like to spend and is probably overkill. You can use an iPad or IPhone as a mixing surface via a bluetooth connection and the F8 Control app. 8 combination XLR/TRS inputs. Lots of output options: a pair of mini XLR's for the main, 1/8" stereo sub output and a 1/4" stereo headphone output. Each output has a dedicated patch matrix that allows you to assign each input at pre or post fader level to the left and/or right channel.

I've been using mine with 6 mics (2 with phantom power) and a stero pair for playback from an iPad (like your laptop source). The main outputs send the full stereo mix to the camera and the sub output is used for a stage monitor mix. So I'm recording stereo right on the camera but have the option to create a better mix from the original 8 tracks afterwards.

In another configuration, I connect the sub output to a little stereo effects processor and send that to a pair of inputs instead of the iPad. The F8 doesn't really have "effects" aside from a limiter and high pass filter.

Had originally planned to get the F4, which is much less expensive. But I especially liked the iPad control of the F8 and the additional tracks/inputs provide a lot more versatility.
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Old July 13th, 2018, 01:54 PM   #8
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

Also David, The Sound Devices and Zoom F series mixers being recommended are pro level solutions. There is a plethora of "cheaper" ways to go but I would not do it for your set up. For example I own a Zoom H6 but it sees little use. It is primarily a recorder, not a good mixer, with no balanced outputs. The pre amps are consumer level junk. Boyd is one of many who are satisfied with the F series. Zoom made a big step up with them.

I think balanced XLR outputs should be a priority for your situation. What camera are you feeding? I would send it a mixed line level signal if the mixer and camera are compatible with that.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old July 14th, 2018, 02:14 AM   #9
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

If you want cheap and cheerful the Behringer 1002B has lots of features and I have used it for numerous live broadcasts as it runs on batteries and is a more traditional mixer for fading sources in and out.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...yx-1002b-mixer

I also have a Yamaha that has the added benefit of easy to use compressors for the mics but a lot more and no battery option.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...aha-mg12-mixer
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Old July 14th, 2018, 06:47 PM   #10
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

A Zoom F4 is my recommendation, or if you can afford it the brand new Zoom F8n model that just came out. (used it for the first time yesterday! The first F8n in the entire country, the only one too)

It might seem like "overkill" (and it probably is!), but they just offer such tremendous exceptional value I can't really recommend anything else better at this price point or even a bit below.
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Old July 14th, 2018, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

SD302 would be my recommendation. Simple, straightforward, with superb sound quality and the best limiters and meters in the business.

I also have a MixPre-6 which is excellent as a standalone recorder but weak as a field mixer for video because it lacks balanced outputs and has a noticeable delay from input to output that can cause lip sync issues.
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Old July 16th, 2018, 09:10 AM   #12
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Re: What mixer should I use in this scenario?

As Steven mentioned, a small subset of the problem stated by the OP will be how they use the audio output of their laptop as a source and what output they typically connect with.

That can be as simple as using the unbalanced stereo mini output with an adaptor cable.

I usually employ a simple USB input/output like a UCA-222 to gain both a headphone out and 2x RCA connectors. If I need to send that signal a longer distance or connect it to a balanced input, I use some type of transformer based balancing converter like an Ebtech Line Level Shifter or a two-channel passive DI box.

USB interfaces with balanced connectors are available also.

Hopefully the OP will let us know what they decided on and how it works out for them.
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