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Midas Venice mixers.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Munjibunga, Sep 8, 2003.


  1. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Anybody got anything to say about the new Venice series mixers from Midas? I'm wondering whether I ought to be gassing over a Venice 240. Is it $2,000 better than the venerable, yet oft maligned, Mackie 1604VLZ Pro? The Midas has a 4-band EQ per channel, with sweeps on both mids. The Makie lacks the second band of mid and some other stuff. I know the higher-end Midas stuff is considered among the best. What do you think, users?
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Bump. C'mon! Somebody's got to know something about these mixers.
     
  3. A brief listen a long time ago.

    Definately a step up from the Mackie. But that's easy...

    I was torn for a while between a Soundcraft Ghost and a Midas Venice. I ended up going with a Tascam DM-24 though. That way I could get a few more routing and signal processing options, and spend the leftover cash on a couple good pres, compressors, and such. Hindsight 20/20, I'd get some good converters and an analogue console for the EQ and pres alone. Warmth, baby.

    And after spending a little more time behind a buddy's Ghost, I'd probably get the Venice if I had the choice. Sound quality being my highest priority.

    Compared to the Mackie, you're in a whole different league with the Venice - which is a good thing. Not that I can really bash the Mackies, as I have owned and worked with a couple and think they are great for the price. But if you want to make records that aren't sterile and sound like every other B studio you pay $15/hour for, get a real mixer. Like the Venice.

    Good choice, imo.
     
  4. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Thanks for the response. I saw one of our more popular local bands at an outdoor gig using a Venice 240 the other afternoon. It was a shame the sound man was such a turd. The kick drum was totally eating the bass guitar, and there was no air in the vocals. I went down at the break to see how he had it EQ'd, and he had both the kick and the bass flat on treble and both mids, with the bass shelf boosted to about 3 o'clock. What a dork. It was a total mush fest.

    Looking at the vocal channels, he had them all set flat, which can be OK in some venues, but they really needed a little boost on the treble shelf (12K, I think) and maybe a little at 4 or 5K. Anyway, there's no question that I could have gotten a much better mix even using my 1604VLZ. I guess the bottom line is that you can use a Midas console that costs 4 times as much as the Mackie, but if you've got a suknut fader jockey, it all gets left in the wash.

    I'd like to seriously audition a Venice, though. It looks like it's got few more features than the comparable Mackies (which would be the 24-4, I guess). Thanks again.
     
  5. More than you'd think...

    I'm a flat EQ guy, meaning I focus on mic placement more than anything. I find you don't have to boost the lows on bass and kicks that way (and you save headroom as well). Still, it doesn't take much skill to know you need to suck the boxiness/mud out of the kick (300-700hz) to make a little room for the bass attack...

    Which opens up a new can of worms - boosts are fine if it works, but don't forget EQs go the other way as well. I'm fixing more problems in my mixes by removing funkiness - by sucking out the issue at hand - than I am by covering them up with EQ boosts.

    I'll bet 10:1 that if you could run the same project through the Mackie, then wire up the Venice, you'd take the Venice in a heartbeat (economics aside).

    Let us know what happens.
     
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You're right, of course. The problem with boost is the potential for losing control of your gain structure and overdriving something near the tail end. This is particularly scary on the cheaper boards like Mackie (or worse, Behringer). There's no doubt in my mind that I'd rather have a Midas board than a Mackie (of which I own two, a 1604 VLZ and a 1402 VLZ Pro). The question is, do I want to cough up the $3,500 or so to replace my $900 Mackie? That 1604 has served me well on countless gigs, but I must confess that there have been more than a few times I wished I had a little more control over my mids. Well, I suppose there's always the lotto.
     
  7. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Munji can I ask if you're going to be using it for Recording or for live gigs? In my experience they're 2 completely different animals.
     
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Live. Hence the EQ.
     
  9. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Ok I just had to clear it up because you both seemed to be comming from opposite ends of the room, if you know what I mean.

    When it comes to live, I've found that no matter how much EQ you have at your disposal, it's never enough. Unlike recording, we don't have the facility to go back and make adjustments later.

    I've done some live gigs on a digital Yamaha O1V. That thing has a full 4 band parametric EQ on every input AND every output. And ya know what, because it's there, you use it! And even though I didn't think it was possible, you still find yourself thinking "hmmm, coulda used that 5th band Mr. Yamaha".

    But then you stop and think about it and realise you've gotta draw a line somewhere.

    So I guess I'm trying to say that you can get the Midas, and you'll use that 4th band, and you'll realise it could go further again. You've gotta decide how perfect your mix NEEDS to be, wether anyone other than you will notice the difference, and wether the current mixes are all that bad. From what you've said, it sounds like the Mackie's doing a pretty good job of it.

    My 2c.
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If I can hear the bass clearly in the mix, I'm done EQing.
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Well there's another way of doing that without forking out big bucks for another desk.

    My understanding of the 1604 VLZ is that it has an insert jack on each input. Plug in a seperate EQ unit of your choice into the bass channel and viola.

    Lots of desks have inserts nowdays but I don't think I've ever seen anyone use em. Probably because people plug in a standard jack lead, run it through an effect and nothing happens. They don't realise you need a specially wired cable.

    Let me know if you need more info on the wiring of the cable. Or dig out the instruction book, it should be in there..........
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Funny you should mention that. My PA rack has an Aphex 204 in it. Since we run the PA mono, I use the left side of the Aphex for the PA, and the right side as an insert into the bass channel (I play small to medium gigs through the PA only). I leave the Aural Exciter half of the bass side off, then use the Big Botoom for the bass channel. Works bitchen. At my last gig I put a SansAmp Acoustic DI between the bass and the board. That gave me semi-parametric control over the mids. That works bitchen, as well.

    Also, I make all of my balanced patch cables and insert cables myself. Neutrik/Switchcraft plugs, with Belden/Canare cable. I've never had a single failure. They're all well-soldered and double shrink-tubed (inside and out). Unfortunately, the only local supplier of high-quality components has gone belly-up.

    Anyway, I'm going to put a Venice 240 on my long-range GAS list, one way or the other.
     
  13. What do you use to get into the desk....a DI? what kind? I use an Avalon U-5 and find that I can usually run the bass guitar nearly flat and add light compression to help it "cut" a little better when necessary. Most bass players would be surprised that cutting some of the lower frequencies in both the Bass and Kick channels can really open up a PA. What happens is you remove the mud without sucking out the thud...some basses actually need a little boost in the mid to upper mid to bring out the clarity of tone that you hear in a lot of recordings....try working up a little higher from 2k to 4k and see what happens...drop a little bit around 80 to 100 hz on the bass(do NOT use the LOW CUT button!!!) where there is typically a LOT of build up from stage rumble, wind noise, stage rattle,room resonance...ALL kinds of stuff that muddy up a live mix...kick drums live lower...around 40HZ if your system can handle it...separating the 2 is a LOT easier than most people realize...cut a bit of 600 to 800HZ on the kick and toms and it will usually sound "better" and give a mix room to breathe.

    As far as the original question...the Midas series is among the best live mixing desk there is...from the XL-4 and Heritage series all the way down to the Venice...definately worth the difference in price if you can afford it...you will see a drastice improvement in headroom, signal to noise, and flexibility. The Venice is based in large part on the technology of its much more expensive siblings...the pedigree is definately excellent. I have used the entire midas line from the bottom to the top and I can honestly say that with the correct gain structure...you will see that the Venice can run alongside the top of the line that most any manufacturer has out there. Soundwise it is as good or better than most, the Preamp is excellent, more musical and clearer than the Mackie, EQ is no contest either, the Venice wins hands down! Very flexible routing and ease of use....yes it is VERY much worth the difference in Price...I recently sold a mid line Allen and Heath 4000 series console and will probably replace it a Midas.

    Highly recommend it.....

    T
     
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    tommixx ~

    I've used my U-5 quite a lot when I go direct to the board. Once in a while, I still like to use a SansAmp Acoustic DI for its mid control. Heck, I can even get a decent sound just going through the Countryman, which I always do at rehearsal. All but one of my basses are active, so I can EQ from the bass pretty easily.

    I agree that you have to separate the kick drum and bass frequencies. I used to be a scooper, but came to discover you need a good chunk of mid to make it to the audience. I still like the scooped sound, but it just doesn't work live. The problem at that local concert was that the fader jock had too much bottom in both the kick and the bass. It was just muff, muff, muff.

    On the Venice, I was over in the Mackie forum, and someone said that the Venice ships with all six auxes set pre-EQ. Two of them (monitor) are pre-fader, two (effects) post fader, and two switchable as a group fom the front panel. It is possible to switch them to post-EQ, but it's an internal mod. I'm waiting to find out if it's a cut-and-jump mod (ala Mackie) or if it's switchable. I'd sure want my monitor auxes to be post-EQ. Sooner or later, I think I'm going to end up with a Venice 240, though. Just move up a notch. I'm seeing them at about $3,300 out there. Any info on better pricing?
     
  15. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I just had to buy a new mixer for my church, and I went with the Allen and Heath GL2200-32. It had the features I wanted for both a live mixer and had plenty of aux sends.
    I got it for $2250, which is several hundred less than Guitar center wanted for it.
    Mark
     
  16. I have had the Same mixer myself....quite good for the money...

    T
     
  17. I'd want the monitors post EQ 2 unless you have an outboard graphic or parametric...if that is the case I'd probably leave them set pre in case you need to do a record feed or something....I do a LOT of live to 2 track while simultaneously doing a monitor or house mix, sometimes all 3 simultaneously from the same console...can get pretty hairy....I have not heard of prices any better...in fact I have seen a lot of places actually a little higher...that seems like a pretty decent price...call 301-946-8808...Chuck Levin's they will usually give you a pretty good benchmark to go by right off the bat...they are usually cheaper than most anybody on nearly everything....

    T
     
  18. thrasher717

    thrasher717

    Jan 17, 2003
    North Dakota