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Need advice on choosing a new mixer

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jacobrownoly, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. jacobrownoly


    Jun 16, 2007
    Hello, I am looking for some help on choosing a new mixer for my 5 piece wedding band. We want something that sounds great live but also would like to record each track for mixing later on. We are currently using a cheap Mackie cfx 12 :( and its time to upgrade!

    The two we are looking at is the Mackie Onyx 1640i and the Presonus Studiolive 16.0.2

    Here are my pros and cons to both:

    Mackie - pros

    More channels
    Looks very easy to work
    We already use Mackie speakers

    Mackie - cons

    no build in EFX (for vocals mainly)
    No DAW that comes with it either (except traktion 3)
    more expensive

    Presonus - pros

    Digital, so efx, EQ ect all there
    Better priced
    Software included (DAW)

    Presonus cons

    I dont have experience with digital mixers, it looks complicated
    less channels than the Mackie

    I know these pros and cons are very basic but if someone could shed some more light on what to go for it would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    at that price point, Behringer X32 Producer $1499US. No brainer IMHO.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    16.4.2 not 16.0.2. Different architecture and far, far beyond in capability. Used about a grand. If you understand how 'pro' level boards work... Grasp routing, aux busses,etc, then learing the Presonus work flow is pretty easy. Otherwise, buy the Owlinski book ($39 from Amazon) and spend a few hours a week for a couple of week playing with it.

    Once you 'get it' you'll wonder why it seemed so hard at first. It is an incredibly easy board to live with... A low end macbook, mine is the basic white from 2008! and a first gen iPad and you'll be amazed at how fast things come together.

    I simply love that board...
  4. take a peek at the Mackie DL1608, you will find that it is an amazing little app/console. The app is free, so download it try it out...i personally love it...otherwise if you have the budget (assume not by the console choices) but the allen & heath QU16 is also amazing! :)

    and as mal said once you get into that style of mixer, you can never go back, and its like any new piece of technology...seems complicated at first, then you begin to wonder how you ever did without it...
  5. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    I have owned an Onyx1640 and a cfx16 previously. I now have a Presonus studiolive 16.4.2 and 16.0.2. definitely prefer my studiolive mixers. The Onyx is nice but big and heavy and doesn't have the features of the digital boards. There are a lot of video tutorials on the presonus mixers on you tube. After spending a few hours watching them and doing a couple of gigs I was comfortable with them. The 16.0.2 seamed easier to learn since the layout was better but I had the 16.4.2 first so that is probably why.
  6. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Presonus all the way. It's not as complicated as it looks and is tremendously versatile. It's also very simple to record all the channels using Capture. If you want more channels, go with the 16.4.2 or 24.4.2. The AI versions of these are pretty remarkable. Also, buy once, cry once.
  7. collins81


    Jul 29, 2011
    my guitar player bought a presonus. its pretty dope!
  8. I have the Mackie Onyx 1620i. I think it is an excellent recording interface for band performances , as well as a solid good analogue mixer. But for live use in a wedding band, I think a digital mixer with built-in effects will be more effective. The Mackie can work too if paired with a laptop and DAW, to supply live effects and to record. But the other digital mixers are built for that purpose and seem more functional for live stage use. The 1640i is quite a lot larger than the 1620i.. and quite larger than a Presonus 16.4.2. For sure, you music count how many Auxillary sends you'll need for monitoring purpose. The Mackie DL1608 and Presonus 16.4.2AI will be products for you to investigate more intensely. The controls via wifi on a smart phone / tablet are very cool to have.
  9. skidrawk


    Jan 21, 2007
    Space City, TX
    I'm a presonus live guy. I use my small mackie for dj'ing. For running live sound and for recording my band I use the presonus studio live 24.4.2
  10. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    +1 to the advice to look at digital boards. For wedding bands, the ability to save shows and presets is huge, and wifi control during soundcheck is a game changer. The StudioLive 16.0.2 is a contender, if you can live with 12 mic preamps. (I'd prefer the 16.4.2, if you can stomach the bigger size and price tag.)

    In addition to jimfist's advice to look at the X32 Producer ($1500), consider the X32 Rack ($1200). If you're comfortable w/ iPad mixing, the X32 has tons of features and is the most compact option. I'd rather deal w/ a small rack than a mixer case while packing the van, and you can stack the X32 rack on your bass rig for an essentially zero-footprint mixer. The x32 can also multitrack record directly to external hard drive, which makes for a smaller footprint than those boards (like the Presonus StudioLive series) that need a laptop.

    -1 to the nods to the Mackie DL1608. It's a great board for its price and size; and it would be a great solution for you, if only it allowed mutitrack recording. But it doesn't.

    The Allen and Heath QU 16 is worth a look, but (like the Presonus 16.4.2) it's $2K, which might be a stopper if your budget is more in the range of the two mixers in your OP. (That feature-per-dollar caveat probably also rules out the nice Soundcraft SI boards.) Also, if you don't have to rush into a purchase, have a look at the QSC TouchMix, slated to ship in September. It looks as compact as the Mackie DL1608, but it offers multitrack recording (directly to a USB hard drive).
  11. skidrawk


    Jan 21, 2007
    Space City, TX
    This is 2 tracks right off the presonus. What you hear is the FOH mix.
  12. TimmyP


    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    If you can find one used, the Presonus are a good mixer at a good price (though the more I use them, the more I'm perturbed by the lack of features). I would not buy a one new - poor value compared to the X32 series, which are much better mixers and are great values. Other than the lack of recallable preamps the Mackie digital seems good (though there have been complaints of iPad connectivity problems). It's too bad that the baby Behringer isn't out yet.

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