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Console recommendations for club use...


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OK, guys - I am getting ready to start playing out with the new band. I have committed to buying a new board for the group, as they don't currently have anything that really cuts it. Thus I'm looking for any experience you guys may have with stuff that's currently on the market.

 

Now, here are the constraints:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I know that there are consoles out there in this range from Mackie, Yamaha, Behringer (gag), Soundcraft, Allen & Heath, etc., but I also know that this price range is a compromise level. Any input you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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The only consoles that I would recommend in the $1K range that meet your requirements are the Yamaha MG series. If you were willing to spend more, I would recommend looking at the Allen & Heath ZED-420 or ZED-428. They have a better EQ section, 100mm faders, and in my experience the A&H consoles just sound better. Plus it has direct outs on each channel for better flexibility when recording. You might check pricing at Northern Sound & Lights (www.northernsound.net). I don't know what they are charging for these but I got an incredibly good price on a DSP from them and intend on checking with them first on future purchases.

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I use subs, not an option to not have them.

 

You can dupe a 2 sub mixer by assigning L-R master to the mono master and panning the mono signals Left or right. I have considered this as the only thing I have ever really wanted on a sub-group is drums. It has not been an issue though, so I have not done it.

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I use subs, not an option to not have them.

 

 

Do you REALLY need subgroups, or do you use them because they are there?

 

Often, I'll run direct to the L/R/M buss on >16 channels because there isn't any compelling value to using subgroups even though I have 8 available.

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Do you REALLY need subgroups, or do you use them because they are there?

 

 

Although the OP may have some very specific reason for needing sub groups, I find that with a smaller mixer, everything is within a finger's reach or so anyway so there's really no need (and a bit of unneeded hassle as well). I almost never effect or compress a group of mics either (I'll always treat them individualy) so once again, I wouldn't need the sub groups at all. Another thought is why add another stage of electronics in the path?

 

The OP did mention alternate recording use. If you have limited tracks, this would be a good use of sub groups.

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Do you REALLY need subgroups, or do you use them because they are there?


Often, I'll run direct to the L/R/M buss on >16 channels because there isn't any compelling value to using subgroups even though I have 8 available.

 

 

I always use them for drums, most times for vocals (for grouping FX sends), and sometimes for keys (depends on how many sends the keyboard player gives me). For drums, I find a sub indispensable; if I need to move the entire kit up or down in the mix after I have the balance dialed in, it's nice to be able to just push it up or down without having to screw with each individual fader.

 

Either way, it's really irrelevant as part of this discussion. I'm not going to buy a console without 'em.

 

[One thing that might help explain: I'm a guitarist/singer. I find that for most small club gigs, I'm doing the basic system set-up and soundcheck to get things dialed in, then having someone babysit the board and make minor changes as necessary. Since I cannot always rely on the ability of the person actually sitting at the console, I need to keep it as simple as possible to run (i.e., Don't touch these faders, just use this one for the drums), and have it set up so that I can make changes as rapidly as possible if something significant requires it during the show.]

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Maybe a Crest XR-20 would be a good choice for you then, but not in the $1k range.

 

 

Nice board, but not enough channels. I need 16 XLR inputs from stage, plus at least one stereo in for CD/MP3 - background music.

 

The current band uses (4) vocals, (3) guitars (2 electric, one acoustic DI), bass, (2) keys, (4/5) drums. I might be able to knock keys down to one, but then I'm still at a solid 13 channels from stage. If the drummer needs anything additional (like a sampled FX send) or the bass player decides to start singing, I'm screwed if I don't have 16 "real" channels.

 

I'm starting to think I may have to go used or just up the budget a hair....

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Peavey 24FX mine works great and has what you want Does have decent effects units inside but you don't have to use them. Also has output limitiing , feedback ferret, etc. Has 4 pre aux sends and 2 post, 4 subgroups. Pretty decent board for the price and the preamps are way better than I expected. Has a bit of a learning curve on the effects side. The effects are real good compared to other built in effests as they can be massaged in a lot of ways . The board will store your presets or you can use the factory ones. Best money I ever spent in a pinch. The yamaha I had died the night before a well paying gig. I would buy another in a heartbeat

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I have a ProRack sitting right next to me now as a demo, and I like it.

 

It looks easy to use, it has a sweepable hi-pass, and feels like a tank.

 

It is above your budget, but by all accounts, an amazing mixer. I'll be trying it out over the next couple of weeks and I'll probably report back then.

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For one, all the clubs I play in have their own rig and tech, but apparently not in your case.

 

For you, I'd recommend you hop on an Allen-Heath GL2400 or a used GL2200. If you can find one of these used you're in great shape. If you don't find a deal, you're paying more money but all things considered it's very much worth it, try not to go cheap on your mixer if your mixing needs dictate it.

 

The Peavey 24FX is a good mixer as well.

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Peavey 24FX mine works great and has what you want Does have decent effects units inside but you don't have to use them. Also has output limitiing , feedback ferret, etc. Has 4 pre aux sends and 2 post, 4 subgroups. Pretty decent board for the price and the preamps are way better than I expected. Has a bit of a learning curve on the effects side. The effects are real good compared to other built in effests as they can be massaged in a lot of ways . The board will store your presets or you can use the factory ones. Best money I ever spent in a pinch. The yamaha I had died the night before a well paying gig. I would buy another in a heartbeat

 

 

 

I use the Peavey FX mixer, great mixer for less than 1K. Just as clean as other expensive boards i"ve used and heard

I would recommend it to anyone.It also has built in clip limiters built into the outputs.

Lot of options when it comes to mixers. A&H boards are great boards, but they cost.

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Nice board, but not enough channels. I need 16 XLR inputs from stage, plus at least one stereo in for CD/MP3 - background music.


The current band uses (4) vocals, (3) guitars (2 electric, one acoustic DI), bass, (2) keys, (4/5) drums. I might be able to knock keys down to one, but then I'm still at a solid 13 channels from stage. If the drummer needs anything additional (like a sampled FX send) or the bass player decides to start singing, I'm screwed if I don't have 16 "real" channels.


I'm starting to think I may have to go used or just up the budget a hair....

 

Now, to some incorrect facts that are causing you to eliminate the XR-20 without knowing some important details. You are only screwed in that you are screwing yourself with your approach by fixating on incorrect details or being inflexable.

 

There are 12 mono XLR channels and 4 stereo XLR channels, this is especially handy for things like stereo key inputs and stereo OH's. By my count, you will have channels left over. There's even some aux inputs for CD and such. :facepalm:

 

Heck, it's only for club use...

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The XR20 is a very versatile board for something that fits in a rack. The APB even more so. Both designed by the same guys. The APB has a killer EQ section! They would both fit your band well, I think. I would be careful of used XR20's though. The ones we have are starting to show their age.

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With those requirements I +1 the attempt to find a used Allen and Heath GL series console. I just picked up a 24 ch GL2000 for $650. The guy had just had it completely redone and fixed up (I work with the tech who did it). Guy just put $700 into it in repairs. Virtually a new board.

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Assuming it actually works. We junked a couple for a client recently, too many unrepairable intermittent problems. One of the least reliable boards on the used market, if they work they are ok but that's a big if.

 

IMO, that was quite a downgrade of expectations. I would have blown off subgroups in a heartbeat for your application.

 

The XR-20 and MixWiz are both in a completely different class.

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