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The Mother of all Rack Mixers

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  • The Mother of all Rack Mixers

    The Roland M-480 has 24 stereo inputs (or 48 mono, but it's really set up for stereo.) I don't think anyone else has ever made a rack mount mixer this big. I can plug everything I own into this, including a few synths with 4 outs. I just got one off eBay to replace my Behringer 1602 which has been giving me trouble. These used to be quite rare, but suddenly 3 have popped up on eBay in the last 2 weeks.

    Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables

  • #2
    Christ. I remember the days when a big line mixer like this was an absolute necessity. I had the Mackie LM-3204. My, how times and tastes change!

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    • #3
      I didn't know there even WAS an M480, I thought the M240 was their biggest one. What a slew of tiny little knobs.
      Hurrr. Derp, derp, derp.

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      • #4
        Heh...I went trying to look up this mixer to find out what the knobs in the middle are (aux sends?), and found a series of "The History of Roland" articles originally published in SOS. This is funny:

        I think that it was one of the staff who wrote for Roland's inhouse
        magazine in the 1980s who first posed the question,
        "What have the Rolands ever done for us?", with apologies
        to John Cleese. The Judean Peoples' Front (or was it the
        Peoples' Front of Judea?) might well have replied as
        follows...
        Activist 1: "The Jupiter 8?"
        Stan: "What?"
        Activist 1: "The Jupiter 8."
        Stan: "Oh yeah, yeah... they did give us that, that's true."
        Activist 2: "And the Space Echo."
        Activist 1: "Oh yeah, the Space Echo... remember what echo units used to be like?"
        Stan: "Yeah, all right, I'll grant you that the Jupiter 8 and the Space Echo are two things the Rolands
        have done."
        Activist 3: "And programmable rhythm units."
        Stan: "Well, yeah. Obviously programmable rhythm units, programmable rhythm units go without
        saying, don't they... But apart from the Jupiter 8, the Space Echo, and programmable rhythm units?"
        Activist 2: "Boss effects units?"
        Activist 1: "Guitar synthesis?"
        Activist 4: "Playable electronic drum kits?"
        Stan: "Yeah, yeah, alright... fair enough."
        Activist 1: "... and sample-based synthesis."
        Activist 4: "Yeah, yeah, that's something that we would really miss if the Rolands left."
        Activist 2: "Jazz Chorus amplifiers..."
        Activist 1: "And they made analogue synthesizers that were reliable!"
        Activist 3: "Yeah, they certainly know how to keep things working. Let's face it, they were the only
        ones who could in the 1970s..."
        Stan: "All right, but apart from the Jupiter 8, guitar synthesis, sample-based synthesizers, playable
        electronic drum kits, Boss effects units, programmable rhythm units, reliable analogue synthesizers,
        the Space Echoes and Jazz Chorus amplifiers, what have the Rolands ever done for us?"

        Activist 5: "...MIDI?"
        Stan: "Oh, shut up!!!":


        http://www.rolandus.com/community/musiceducation/resources/index.asp
        ____________________________
        Powered by squirrels.

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        • #5
          I've always been tempted by this mixer, since it seems to go for a pretty nice price, and Roland's pro audio stuff has been very good to me {but coming from a decade earlier}.

          Still, I rate this as the mother of all rack mixers:

          http://www.speck.com/xtramix/xmix_2.shtml

          Lovely.
          Yours,
          Niall.

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          • #6
            mackie lm3204 comes close.
            Used Dave smith instruments MEK - $900 shipped

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            • #7
              This would be nice to have something like this with so many inputs. What is the internal circuitry? The EQ? Is it quiet - i.e. non-hissy? Quality of audio signal and steroe field? If compared to an Allen & Heath MixWizard how would it rate?

              J.
              www.numinamusic.com | Numina FaceBook

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              • #8
                I don't think either of these mixers have onboard EQ.

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                • #9
                  Yep, and that's kinda put me off them, stuck as I am between not wanting to use a computer for EQ and not really wanting to use external EQs {save for ones with a lot of character}. I like those old A&H consoles, but they're huge with this many inputs.
                  Yours,
                  Niall.

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                  • #10
                    The A&H does have a Perkins EQ. Upon closer look I see this Roland M-480 does not have an EQ. - J.
                    www.numinamusic.com | Numina FaceBook

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                    • #11
                      I think Idiotboy was referring to the Roland and Speck line mixers, not the A&H desks.
                      Yours,
                      Niall.

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                      • #12
                        Sync, is correct, I meant the Roland and Speck.

                        My current mixer is a Soundcraft, and I've grown fond and comfortable with its onboard EQ, so I'd also have to pass on these line mixers.

                        But the 48 inputs would be really nice.

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                        • #13
                          I've always been tempted by this mixer, since it seems to go for a pretty nice price, and Roland's pro audio stuff has been very good to me {but coming from a decade earlier}.

                          Still, I rate this as the mother of all rack mixers:

                          http://www.speck.com/xtramix/xmix_2.shtml

                          Lovely.



                          Wow, I've never seen that mixer before. Haven't even heard of Speck. Do you know what it costs? I paid $300 for the M-480 if anyone's wondering. (I had $230 in Paypal that was burning a hole in my pocket.)
                          Gear: buncha stuff and a couple bazilion cables

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                          • #14
                            i was tempted by the 480 for a long time but eventually passed on it, in favor of a Behringer 1602. i just don't want to deal with noise/hiss/dead channels/etc. from buying a used mixer online.

                            still, it is awesome. i just wish they still made 'em. (oh, and for those wondering, the 1602 is fantastic and dirt cheap.)
                            ELECTRIBES x 6
                            FR REVOLUTION
                            MONOMACHINE MKII
                            CS01
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                            & more!

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                            • #15
                              i just don't want to deal with noise/hiss/dead channels/etc.


                              So you bought a Behringer.

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