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Rack Power Amp / Mixer ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BurningSkies, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'm posting this here since I think amp guys are gonna be the most helpful, and I can't figure where else this should go...Mods feel free to move this is necessary.

    Most of the gigs we play have PA support...but there are a few smaller ones that we do that we have to bring PA gear. We have 2 choices...Our 'BIG SYSTEM' (10-space rack w/ power amps, board mixer etc.) or what we usually use for parties and small gigs..A cobbled together set up with 2 powered mixer/head units, both 6 channels, one for mains, one for monitors, about 300w each. This small system is for vocals and maybe kick and sometimes a little keyboard reinforcement if needed.

    I've been pondering putting together a small (4 space would be ideal) 6 channel rack mixer/amp set up and getting rid of this mess of a small PA. It would look more professional, and also be more transportable, since space is tight.

    There are a lot of good 2 space stereo power amps these days that would fit the side for mains, one side for monitors.

    So, does anyone have a line on a 2 space rack mixer?!?

    The best I can seem to find are a 4 space 12 channel Alesis:

    It looks good, I like Alesis stuff, but it's a bit bigger than I really want.

    or this Rolls 1 space mixer:

    Which I question the quality of...but would be nice as I could add a 1 space effects unit.

    Any ideas people?
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Any ideas people?

    I've looked into this on several occasions, and have always decided that a top-racked small mixer in one of the Gig Rig type configurations is a better solution. It needn't take up appreciably more overall space than a vertically racked two space mixer, but typically the feature set will be far superior. If you find something that contradicts that, please share.

    BTW, be very sure to check out the specs on the Alesis mixers. I've had pretty bad experiences with most of the ones I've used. At least some of them are too recording-oriented to be good for live sound applications. Look hard at the aux bus features, the EQ and the output levels, for starters, to be sure one'll work for you.

    Edit: I found and checked the specs on that Alesis, it looks pretty decent actually. The 2 band EQ would be a bummer for me, but maybe that's not a deal breaker.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    Thanks for the response!

    The 2 band doesn't bother me too much, as both of the small powered mixers that make up our 'small' rig are 2 band. This doesn't have to be the biggest most flexible set up, it's more for those gigs when we're just putting vocals out front, plus 2 monitors with one mix. Most likely, it would stack on my amp so I could run it from the stage for these kind of gigs. I've got to be honest, we have a big PA too...when we bring our little one out, we seldom use more than 2 channels.

    More or less, it would be a way of getting the same sized rig in a smaller package. The current 2 head system is like carrying a 4 space rack and a 6 space rack, just for vocals. Another part of the equation I'm dealing with is that I usually have to carry this in my 4 door sedan with my bass gear. We have a system, where our guitaris takes the mains, our keyboard player takes the monitors, and I take the PA heads and all the cables & mics.

    I find it pretty silly that after 10+ years of using this little Peavey powered mixer and other like it, that no one has really thought of putting out the component parts to make a rack like this.
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    although the idea of a 2-space mixer sounds cool, i bet you wont find many. Sure, a unit like that would have plenty of room in the chassis for the "guts" but a 2 space front panel is pretty darned small, limiting the channels/controls considerably. Ditto for a 2 space back panel for connectivity,

    I 2nd Passinwind's idea of using a rack set up to accomadate a standard board. Most of these have rails that "flip up" so the mixer is accesable. Even better, considering what you need, finding a good all in one unit with 2 seperate poweramp sections might be your best bet. I did post in misc a while back looking for "a good powered mixer" and got a bunch of good replies.

    last but not least, you might want to look at some of those "mini" 4 channel boards. My GP has one by (ick) behringer that we use during practice from time to time.
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Thanks for the suggestions both IvanMike and Passinwind. I've come to expect good sound advice from both of you.

    Right now I'm starting to lean toward IvanMike's suggestion of a all-in-one unit...I'm the one who's gonna have to run this, while 'on stage' and it will have to be small enough to fit on top of my bass rig, since in a few of the places we play 'stage' space is VERY limited.

    I checked out the thread in Misc., and most of the suggested stuff would come close to fitting the bill. I checked the rig we're now using for small stuff, and it's only 300w out front with 150 for monitors, and some nights we're pushing our luck with it. And to be honest, the big rig we have is a pain to move...

    Luckily, we're one of those few bands that doesn't have to bring a PA very often!
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    The Soundcraft Gig Rac will probably fit OK on top of the rack case I sold you, I think. I've been quite impressed with the price/performance ratio of the Gig Rac. You might want to check out the eBay dealers if you go this route, BTW.

    I do some casual duo gigs where I need to supply vocal reinforcement, and space is at a premium (retaurant gigs). I've used a racked stereo power amp with a bass preamp and a parametric EQ for the vocals, and a little Mackie 1202VLZ sitting on top of the rack. We don't even need a monitor for that gig though, just one speaker. :cool: