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Need help regarding small mixers


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I just sold my A&H MixWiz 12 because I found myself sort of caught between two extremes of:

 

- not as practical for mixing live band gigs as a 16-ch

 

- just as big and heavy as the 16-ch, so a pain in the rear to haul around for small solo-duet gigs.

 

I'm thinking about just getting something small and compact like a Soundcraft EPM (etc.) or an A&H Zed 10 for now, and keeping my eyes peeled for a good deal on a bigger board down the road.

 

Any how, what I don't understand is how the A&H Zed 10 is considered a real 10-channel mixer? I don't mean to be stupid, just ignorant. Don't have much PA-running experience. I mean, two guys singing with two mic'ed acoustic instruments would be about it right? What would you use the other channels for?

ZED_10_FX_Front.jpg

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What would you use the other channels for?

 

Marketing. ;)

 

 

 

Personally, I'd call that a 6 channel mixer, but the way they market stuff these days isn't by how useful the features are. It's all about quantity, so they count every possible input seperately whether it's useful or not. But pretty much everyone markets their stuff this way now, so it's not really a surprise.

 

You could use the stereo inputs for a CD/MP3 player, or maybe a keyboard or other line level source, or an effects unit, so they're not useless inputs.

 

 

If you're looking for a mixer that size, I'd recommend a Peavey PV10. It's got 6 mic and 2 stereo inputs, linear faders, and decent sounding internal effects. I picked one up used a while back just for little stuff, and it's a surprisingly decent little mixer. It usually sits in my house with just my keyboard and a mic plugged into it, but every once in a while I pull it out for a little show and it always works great. Watch for them on Ebay, they go fairly cheap every once in a while. http://www.fullcompass.com/product/392132.html

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The two other channels are for stereo inputs like keyboards. Stereo Ch. 1 can also be used for the stereo signal from a CD player, and Stereo Ch. 2 can be used for playback when you're recording to a computer. So I think they count it like this: 4 mono inputs, 2 stereo inputs counting for two inputs each, left and right (you can plug two things into each of these these in a pinch and use the balance control for relative volume), the RCA inputs counting as one and the USB counting as one. That comes to ten, although in a gigging situation you can't (ideally, anyway) plug in more than 4 mono mic signals and two stereo or mono line-level ones (say, two vocal mics, two guitars, a CD player or Ipod for backing tracks or between set tunes, and a keyboard--or instead of the ipod and keybaord, you could use the two stereo channels for mono, unbalanced line-level signals from an acoustic amp and/or an instrument preamp--you'd just plug into either the right or left 1/4" input and turn the balance control over to that side). In other words, it's really a 6 channel mixer.

 

The board sounds great, by the way, and the two high-z inputs work beautifully for acoustic guitar. I like the effects and the EQ very much--especially the sweepable mids on the mono channels--but this really is a SMALL mixer in terms of inputs (or at least smaller, really, than it's name implies).

 

It's being discontinued, I believe, but if you don't need the sweepable mids, the high-z inputs, or the USB, the Soundcraft Notepad 124FX is an otherwise similar small mixer that offers two more stereo/mono line-level inputs, and these are designed to more easily take mono signals. You just plug into the left input.

 

Louis

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Pater Familias,

 

I do a lot of acoustic-guitar solo/duo stuff, and like you, I leave the bigger mixers at home (PreSonus SL-24, and MixWiz 16;2) The mixer I use is the Soundcraft EFX-8. It's a great-sounding little board, with 8 mic-pre's. It has a built-in power-supply, and is small enough to be carried in a padded shoulder-bag. I use a Gator G-Mix 15"x15" bag. You can easily pick up the mixer with one hand.

 

The boards' FX sound good, and the channel EQ is quite "musical". I think it was a terrific buy, and it's not expensive. I also use it for running vocals , when we're having a band-practice.

 

If you want something just slightly bigger, with more aux-sends, a HPF on each XLR/mono channel, and illuminated channel-mute buttons, check out the Soundcraft MFXi series mixers.

 

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=156

 

http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product_extra.aspx?pid=148&eid=26&s=1

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My $.02... If you're mic'ing acoustic guitars and vocals, I'd go for one of the compact A&H Zed or Soundcraft mixers that have sweep mid EQ, and avoid basic 3-band EQ mixers like the Peavey PV10. That sweep midrange comes in real handy for acoustic instruments.

 

I've used the Soundcraft EFX8 (great little mixer), and upgraded to a Soundcraft MFXi8 only because I needed a few extra features like LED's on the mutes. The mic preamps sound surprisingly good on these boards. I'm in a similar situation of downsizing to something fairly small in a gig bag, instead of rack-mountable beasts. At least until the next crop of small digital mixers show up.

 

That Zed 10FX looks neat. I've been eying one for situations where I want something even smaller, and can live with knobs instead of faders.

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