Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bruto

The Mother of all Rack Mixers

Recommended Posts

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.

 

m480.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The A&H does have a Perkins EQ. Upon closer look I see this Roland M-480 does not have an EQ. - J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

So you bought a Behringer. :freak:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it time to bash Behringer again? :D I don't have any complaint about the Behringer mixer I was using until recently; it was inexpensive and did the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Speck is eleventy billion dollars.

 

Roland made a version of the M240 and M160 line mixers called the 24E and 16E respectively. I owned them both and buss cascaded them together.

 

Believe me, the 240 or 480 is a better way to go. The EQs were noisier than any noise floor on any mixer I've ever heard. All those aux sends are a better solution for patching in prefader eq as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you bought a Behringer.
:freak:

 

and if we were talking about some other Behringer mixer, i might be inclined to agree with you. i researched the 1602 on various review sites and forums (including this and VSE) and came away with a very positive impression. i believe its basic architecture and lack of a preamp section aid in its low noise reputation (but i'm not an expert so i can't say for sure).

 

further to the point, a used mixer (how used or even abused being impossible to tell) coming from someone who may or may not have explored all of its capabilities and functions (and thereby its flaws), has the potential to be a noisy hunk of crap when it reaches one's doorstep. in the case of the Behringer, if it proves itself noisy or malfunctioning, i have only to ship it back to the outfit from which i purchased it, at their expense. that's a much more inviting prospect, to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i used the LM3204 from 2002-now (although there was like 2 years when my rig wasn't put together) and while i like the rack thing, i needed more routing with my current tastes.

 

as in, i need a mute button and a secondary buss. i also don't need EQ at all. in fact, i might even bypass the EQ on this Ramsa desk i'm using now.

 

the Speck, while it is the nicest mixer ever made, has an interface so small i couldn't deal with it. i suppose the M-480 would also have the small thing working against it. however it does have 6 independently-addressable _stereo_ sends.

 

i'm going to use this Ramsa for a while and then re-evaluate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a Behringer 1602 about a year ago. It's been working just fine, no noticeable sound coloration, enough headroom and very slim. The only downside for me is the lack of stereo aux send, anything that goes to the aux gets summed to mono.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost bought the Speck some time ago since it actually became affordable for Europeans as a result of decreasing $ - but then I realized it doesn't have on board eq, bummer.

 

For time being I'll be using my Samson PL2404 cascaded with PL1202.

I've looked at the Allen & Heath W20 but unfortunately it doesn't offer enough busses for my current workflow and I don't have space for a large console.

 

Nothing ever seems to be perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Yes - very nice. Instant 'want one' until I saw the price, which to be fair aint bad, just not exactly a couple of grand or so...

 

Shame - Its exactly the kind of thing I need - I could probably use all of its (76?) inputs allready.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous

Yeah. The Speck is a sweet mixer but, is expensive and doesn't offer enough inputs for me. I run ten Rane SM82's and plan on getting a couple more. I used to run three LM3204's but, can now have more inputs in less space. Plus, the Mackie eq sucked ass. The Roland is cool but, what a boat anchor.

 

:wave:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Same here. I still use mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So the xtramix is $1600. That's actually not bad when compared to the Roland M-480, which listed for $3000 new. Of course the M-480 sells for $300 to $400 now, but if you buy one on eBay, you have to hope you get one with clean channels all the way through. (I don't have mine yet, so I've got my fingers crossed.)

 

Also, sounds like most people have had good luck with the Behringer 1602. Mine started giving me trouble a few months ago. Channel 1/2 cuts out on left, and channel 3/4 has static. Worked fine for a year, and then it started to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds like my pl2404. I can't escape the feeling the old adage is true...you get what you pay for.

 

BUT, its good in a pinch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The
X-Sum
is 1600 usd. I provided links to each product in my previous prost.

 

Whoops, must have had a spell of dyslexia. The X-Sum is $1600. Still a good deal considering what the Roland M-480 cost new.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...