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Radial MIX 2:1 cheaper alternative

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by il_mix, Dec 7, 2018.


  1. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    I'm looking for a minimal (in size and features) mixer for live performances.
    I'll use it as a personal in-ear monitor control, to mix the main mixer monitor output and the direct instrument signal.
    I want it small because the idea is to attach/embed it in the pedalboard.
    I prefer a passive mixer so I don't need to power it, and it will be attached to a headphone amplifier.
    Ideally, I'd like to have 2 channels that can be both XLR and stereo jack. Same for the output, but not mandatory.

    In short, the Radial MIX 2:1... but cheaper!

    Any idea?
     
  2. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Have you looked Rolls Corporation - Real Sound - Products PM351 Personal Monitor System
     
  3. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Thanks for the hint @Wasnex. But it actually looks more expensive than the Radial... (checked on Thomann).
    On the other hand, there's a veeeeeeery interesting schematic on the website. As a DIY enthusiast, it can be really handy!
     
  4. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    That's too bad, I believe the Rolls is closer to your needs and eliminates the need for a DI.

    FYI In the US, the Radial Mix 2:1 is ~$130 and the Rolls PM351 is ~ $81.

    You can pretty much use any cheap mixer if you can figure out the signal routing and level matching. The problem is the 1/4" inputs are usually line level so a bass will not provide a hot enough signal. I get around this by using Shure A95U line matching transformers, but of course they are not free.
     
  5. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    I have the Rolls. Works great - DI, mixes your signal with a stereo one, runs off pedalboard power. Mine was $85, IIRC.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  6. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Take a look at the Mackie 402VLZ4. Channels 1 and 2 have inputs that are switchable between line level and instrument level https://www.thomann.de/gb/mackie_402_vlz4.htm?ref=search_prv_7

    See item #6 on page 14 of the attached manual.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    I have one of those I practice with at home. It’s a good product. On a gig, I like the Rolls better. It’s just what you need for the job.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  8. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    Agreed aout the PM351 is good. And if you don't sing, the Rolls PM55P might be an even better pedalboard-based choice. (Smaller footprint, and it offers a limiter.)

    If cost is the overwhelming factor, the Behringer Micromon HA400 is super affordable. I haven't gigged with one, but I play with a guitarist who seems happy with it to mix basic IEM mix with "more-me" from his pedalboard modeller.
     
  9. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Awfully, here in Europe (more precisely in Italy) the price is way different... I'll do a deeper search, though.

    Can you elaborate the sentence "eliminates the need for a DI"? Radial has both XLR and 1/4'' input. Although I've just read that the 1/4'' inputs are balanced (instrument jacks are tipically unbalanced); also the manual states that these inputs accept line-level signals. So they aren't actually for instrument level, and a DI is needed. Am I right?
    An interesting difference with the Rolls device is that it is passive, so no powering needed. But that's probably why the Radial doesn't manage an instrument level input. Also, I've seen that the Rolls is powered via 9-15V, so I can connect it to the pedals' power supply (it also uses the same polarity).

    The minimal mixers are what I was looking at during my early researches (almost committed to the Mackie Mix5). But when I saw the Radial I fell in love with the form factor. A mixer needs to be placed ON the pedal board. Or at least on the side of the pedal board. A device like the Radial or the Rolls can be placed UNDER it (think about a typical pedalboard, that is slightly raised on the back; already has a power supply, with similar form factor).

    @derrico1, I've seen the Behringer Micromon HA400. I didn't like the lack of XLR inputs .
    BUT I've just stumbled into the Behringer Micromon MA400 (just a letter away :) ). XLR input + line input, channels independent volume control, dramatically cheaper (19,40 euro on Thomann). Requires 12V, no direct instrument input, ... But at this price is worth a try!

    Many thanks for all your hints!
    And still interested for more!
     
  10. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    MA400: that's the one. (The HA400's a multi-channel headpone amp.) "H" v. "M": advanced alphabetic distinctions. Glad you found it despite the bum steer.
     
  11. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I have attached the PM351 manual for you.

    The PM351 functions as a DI. You will need to configure the device for your needs as the instrument input can be mono or stereo. You can plug in a bass, vocal mic, and mono/stereo monitor mix. The bass and vocal mic are sampled inside the PM351, so you can mix the signals with the monitor mix. Unprocessed bass and mic signals also pass through the PM351 so you can send them to FOH. The instrument output is transformer balanced XLR. The mic output is just a direct parallel connection, also XLR.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Ok, so you are talking about the fact that the PM351 works as a more-me monitor AND can be used as a DI (e.g. to send the signal to a mixer).
    Handy, but I don't know if I need it.

    Regarding the jack input of Rolls and Radial devices;
    - as said before, Radial says its inputs are line level inputs; looks like they are not good for direct instrument input. Manual says the input impedance is 8k
    - Rolls says the instrument input (not talking about the line input) are "for connection to an instrument or line level signal"; looks like they are good for instruments. Manual says instrument input impedance is 50k
    - both manuals provide a single "input impedance"; no difference signaled between "line input" and "Instrument input" for Rolls; non info about XLR input impedance

    So, what are your thoughts regarding the direct-instrument "compatibility" for the two devices?
    Also, noticed the Behringer jack input is called "monitor input", so I suppose is a line level input (no impedance info here...)
     
  13. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011

    It really depends upon what gear you have and how you plan to connect everything. The Radial 2:1 allows you to combine 2 channels into 1, so you can use it to mix a bass signal with a monitor mix. If that is all you need it will work fine. The Ross PM351 does a lot more. Choose whichever has the features you need.

    The Radial tech material says it is for mic or line level, but it is passive so it cannot amplify mic to line level. It should be able to attenuate line to mic level with no problems.

    Another limitation is the Radial 2:1 blocks phantom power, so if you try to run it after an active DI, the DI won't work unless it uses a separate power supply or battery.
     
  14. il_mix

    il_mix

    Dec 15, 2017
    Thank for pointing out various pros/cons.
    As you correctly said, "It really depends upon what gear you have and how you plan to connect everything".
    At the moment, as said in the first post, the idea is to connect the main mixer monitor and the bass, and mix them to my liking. Having another input for a mic could be handy, if one day I'll finally choose to lear to sing, at least some backing vocals...

    Soooo, enough about the inputs. Let's talk about the outputs!

    The Radial is passive, so an external headphone amplifier is mandatory.
    The Rolls' output is amplified, so I can connect the headphones directly. Or can I? What's your experiences? Enough volume in a live scenario? Any distorsion?
    The Beringer amplifies the output signals, too, but I've read that the volume is not that great, and is quite distorted at high volumes.
    An idea to avoid stressing the monitor box mixers' output is to still use an external headphone amplifier. That way, one can amplify the signal a little on the mixer, and then add the final boost via headphone amplifier (without stressing the latter, too).
    Can an headphone amplifier be connected "relatively safely" to these amplified outputs? Of course I have to check source/sink impedance matching, first.
    Any opinion regarding the Behringer P2? It's been a while since I've noticed this device, and it looks really handy for several purposes. Still there are some complains regarding the output volume.
     
  15. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Plenty of users have good experience with the Rolls. The sensitivity of your earbuds would be a factor regarding how well it will perform for you. I can only suggest you search and read the threads on this matter as I have not used any of these devices personally...I do have extensive experience with IEMs, belt packs, and pro-sound.

    One important factor I haven't pointed out is the PM351 does not have a peak limiter which is important for protecting your hearing in case of accidents such as mic drops, feedback, etc. I believe the PM55P, which has a limiter, can be used with an active or passive DI feeding the XLR input. Rolls Corporation - Real Sound - Products PM55P The PM55P's limiter has a fixed threshold so it's important that the input level is set in the right ranger or the limiter will not function properly.
     

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