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What's a good submixer?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by DWBass, Sep 7, 2008.


  1. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Basically, I need to add the keyboards (stereo mix) and electronic drums (stereo mix/mono if I have to) to an 8 channel PA/mixer and 5 inputs are already taken with vocals. And how about using the submixer for the vocals and send a stereo mix to the main mixer? That leaves 6 channels open........

    I'm not PA savvy at all. I can run a good sound mix on a board with a ton of channels though.
     
  2. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    How about selling what you have and go for an upgrade to a suitable amount of channels. You might be able to extend the amount of features available to you better preamp sweepable mid controls more auxilary sends etc.
     
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Unfortunately, what we have is all we can afford at the moment. It's an 8 channel 400w powered mixer. So we'll have to improvise for the moment. I do have a Fostex 16 channel line mixer that I'm going to try. I still want a mixer with multiple (6-8) xlr inputs. I saw a Nady unit that had xlr inputs going out to a single output.
     
  4. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    could you provide a manufacturers link to the desk you have at the moment please (or manual would be better)
     
  5. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    Man I hate those kind of PA head/mixer. Currently using one of a similar style (but worse) with my own band hopefully that will change soon enough.

    Anyway personal biases aside if this is the standard of gear that your using then I would just go with the cheapest desk that does the job (I have personal distrust of berhinger) A cheap model from any name brand would do.

    Looking at the manual it doesn't seem that your current desk has a method of reproducing stereo signals. They all seem to be mono channels. Which means that it's pointless sending stereo signals to it. You can't even pan the channels.

    So what you need if you want to do this is an unpowered mixing desk with two stereo channels and enough mono mic channels to do the rest of the vocals, guitars or whatever. The output from this can then be sent to the power amp input at the back of your existing head. So basically your doing the mixing on one desk and then only using the power amp on your existing head/mixer thing.

    The whole idea seems a bit convoluted. So what I'd do is pass the hat around to the rest of the band and get a new powered mixer that serves your needs.
    Or even simpler and cheaper is to go with a mono signal from the keyboard and electronic drums and stick them into two of the remaining free channels. Basically for a for a stereo effect I don't think its worth the price of a new mixer. I generally don't think stereo effects play a huge importance live, its more suited for the studio.

    Edit: looking at the manual again you could actually use the red and white RCA jacks labeled CD input to do the stereo stuff from another desk. If you want to do this though I'd first make sure that it doesn't over ride the other inputs and that it actually does work in stereo. Also your more than likely going to have to be using both the amplifiers of the mixer/head for front of house for it to work. This means that you can't be using one amp for monitors and one amp to power the front of house speakers.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Alesis-MultiMix-6FX-Compact-4Channel-Mixer?sku=630156

    a mixer like that would do the job it has the red and white RCA outs that you could plug directly into the CD input at the back of your mixer and two stereo channels. Again I don't think for the sake of stereo that its worth the time effort or money.
     
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Thanks for the info. The band is a new one and this is all we can afford right now and we got this off a Craigslist ad for half the new price. Secondly, only a couple of us could afford to chip in for something a bit more productive. I had to yank the chains on the others to put in for it so it is what it is for now. As we start gigging and putting money aside, we will get something a bit more productive input wise and power wise.

    Disregarding the name brand, what do you think of this as an add on?
     
  7. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    It's pointless getting something like that because its not in stereo you can achieve a better result with what you already have. Remember that electronic drums have a single unit that can give a mono or stereo output which means one cable if you use mono. Also if you take a mono line from the keyboard you only need one further cable. That means on top of the 5 channels that your already using you have room for up to three more inputs. The drums and the keyboard will only require one each. So you can achieve the same thing with your current head without that unit. Your current head also gives you more control options than that mixer. If you were planning to put something like vocals through that unit I certainly wouldn't get it because of the complete lack of indavidual tone controls

    From where I'm standing your using 5 channels and want to add two more instruments which can be set up to only require one input each. I don't see the reason why you need to free up 6 more channels as per your original post. Do you require these extra channels for something else?

    Really just stick in a mono signal from the drum unit and the keyboard and hold off on buying equipment thats going to become redundant as you upgrade your system. Because that money would go to better use towards any upgrades.

    The only legit reason that I can see to buy an extra mixer is if you really couldn't do without stereo keyboard and drums or you required more than 8 inputs. If your willing to leave them in mono then I'd just stick to what you have.

    I do hope that you realise that mono doesn't mean that you'll only get them coming out one side of the PA. It just means you get the same thing out both sides of the PA
     
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Yep. Thanks for the info.
     
  9. Given your existing Kustom PA, you are working on a cheap but workable PA. In that case, just buy one of the Behringer mixers to use as a sub mixer. The preamps aren't great, but I imagine they are at least as good as the Kustom's pre's.

    The models vary by how many channels and whether you want effects. Since you are using it as a submixer for vocals, I'd get the one with effects so you can add reverb to each channel as needed before you hit the channel on your main board.
     

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