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Notes_Norton

I'm keeping the old Samson Mixers, thanks to the repair guy.

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A while ago I started a thread about making a passive 4 channel mixer, which worked fine. Thanks for your help on that. At the time I thought I'd get a PA mixer that was fewer than 12 channels and use the passive to mix 4 synth modules into one channel.

 

I'm bringing the passive mixer in the spare parts case, in case I lose more than one channel on the Samson, I can combine the synths and save the gig. I've never lost more than one channel at a time.

 

The last time I took them to the shop was in 2003. I've had 3 fails since then, mostly solder joints. I suppose that's due to riding in the van, extreme temperature changes, rolling to the gig, more extreme changes, and general almost daily shaking. I had one fader go bad too, but that was a used mixer I purchased, so I don't know how it was treated.

 

The repairman said the components in the mixer are pretty much all off-the-shelf replaceable parts and he said he could probably get them for decades to come. He also said that some of the newer computer controlled and custom manufactured parts from newer units are already impossible to find. I have a friend who has an early Bose (looks like a L1 type) and Bose doesn't make parts for it anymore, so I know this guy is telling the truth.

 

So I have 5 of these mixers, on in the rack, one in the studio, and the 3 recently repaired in storage. I figured the cost of repair since 2003 and discovered they set me back less than $20 per year. I spend a lot more than that on reeds and strings.

 

So I decided to keep the old, all analog real 12 channel mixers and keep the repairman busy. Although he doesn't need my business, he has a backlog of months and some pretty big clients, like the cruise lines and a few big-name stars.

 

It's a >60 mile drive, but the work is better than anybody local, so every few years we get a car ride.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

 

Below is the used Samson that had the bad fader (Note: I didn't put the tacky decals on it). The knob without the white cover is the one for the customer microphone. That way if they wander near a speaker and start feeding back, I can find the one to turn down quickly. My other mixers have a black dot on the knob. The blue wire in the upper left goes to the USB of the backing track computer. The three synth modules on top are for my wind synth, the one on the bottom for Leilani's Thunder Tactile MIDI controller. Everything plugs into the panel in the front, so I don't have to take the back off unless there is a problem. Doing one-nighters means efficiency is my friend. Besides why wear out the connection soldered to the motherboard of a synth module when I can just replace the panel jack.

 

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"center","data-size":"full","title":"GigRig_2019.jpg","data-attachmentid":32520111}[/ATTACH]

 

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I am *so* with you on this. I have a small collection of 2008 black macbooks and continue to use one right now. It works. I know how it works. I can take it apart and switch out parts. It runs programs and reads data that a newer computer cannot read and may never be able to read (voice of experience). The programs would need updating which costs me money to replace something that works for me now. My expensive and useful Adobe programs cannot be updated because they've changed their business model.

 

On the downside, the web is changing and I can't view some sites that I used to be able to view.

 

But you don't need to worry about the software ecosystem. You're outputting to ears and they don't change. (Well, maybe they do…)

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I like the idea of having break-out panels on the front, I always wanted to do that on the crazy rack rig I had with the last band I was in but never got around to it.

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I got my mixers back from the shop and replaced the used one with the tacky stickers with one of the new ones that I bought 'back in the day'. I know how the ones that I bought new were treated and therefore have more trust in them.

 

They all sound slightly different too. Not enough for the general audience member to notice, but enough for me and Leilani to hear. But the nice thing about having identical gear is that you can take a picture of the knobs, pull one out, put the replacement it, tweak the knobs in the same position, and you are ready to gig again. Learning and EQ-ing a different model with 11 active channels can take some time.

 

Since I run everything out the front of the unit, the back rarely comes off. Oh, sometimes a MIDI cable may pop off, or an AC plug, but that's rare. When I do take the back off to replace the mixer, every cable is tagged with a description of where it plugs in. That way there is no "Gee, I can't remember where that one went" moments. I can swap mixers in about 15 minutes total if I need to.

 

But the back does look ugly when it has to come off ;)

 

Insights and incites by Notes

[ATTACH=JSON]{"data-align":"center","data-size":"full","title":"GigRigNewB.jpg","data-attachmentid":32522064}[/ATTACH]

 

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