Which mixer?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rockindoc, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx
    I'm looking at mixers for live performance. Something that can give me four separate monitor mixes, and has built in effects. Sixteen channels is more than enough. Does the A&H Mix Wizard fit the bill? Mackie VLZ Pro? Carvin 1644? Under $1000, and pre-owned is acceptable. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Check out the Carvin line. I have the 24 channel board for my studio with integrated effects and for mid size gigs the 8 channel 1000 Watts PA head with 3 integrated amps. I bought both brand new when they came out ~ 2 1/2 years ago and they are work horses, sound great and made in the US. Oh, the prices are also very good.

    Hope that helps

  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I've used all three of these a fair amount, although the Carvin I've mixed on is a 24 channel board one model back in the lineage,and has no swept mids or onboard EFX. The A&H 16-2 would be my choice, I think it sounds noticeably better than the others. I owned one for a few years, actually. It'll hold some resale value when you make the next step, which is one of the Carvin's downfalls, IMO. There aren't all that many Mix Wiz boards available used, but I've seen a few on eBay and at soundbroker.com and soundpro.com. You might also try the prosoundweb.com classifieds. You can get one new for well under a grand, last time I checked.

    The Mackie 1604VLZ Pro doesn't have built in EFX, but some of the cheaper Mackies do. Also, the aux busses on the VLZ can't all be used at the same time by all the channels. If you do four monitor mixes per channel strip, you have none left for EFX. The 1604 does recording better than live, IME.

    The build quality could be better on all three of these boards, but I haven't seen anything markedly better at the price point. If I had to work on one (and I have), the A&H would be the least painful, and the Mackie would be a huge hassle.

    Finally, consider digital boards, like the Yamaha and Behringer ones. Lots of EQ and dynamics processsing on those.
  4. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    from both my research and then personal experience with mackies and ah mixwizards....

    the mixwiz's are a much better product, especially in terms of reliability, but you'll have to pay for it.

    i would personally go for the mix wiz over teh carvin and mackie in a heartbeat.

    but my friend's band also bought a digital yamaha mixer for $700ish and it does a great job of saving setups and recalling them with a button press, very nifty!
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    the mixwiz's are a much better product, especially in terms of reliability, but you'll have to pay for it.

    List price is higher on the Mackie, A&H dropped prices recently I think. The 16:2DX is currently under $900 street price, I just checked it on a couple of web sites.
  6. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    go to www.harmonycentral.com. if you need some more info. There is a Live Sound and Production forum in the discussion forum section of HC. There are a ton of knoweldgeble and talented people that could probally help you better. Not to mention with future questions you might have with other SR related topics.

    I use a 1604VLZPRO. The MixWiz has 6 aux sends as well. The difference is that 1-4 are PRE aux sends. 1-2 are always pre, while 3-4 are switchable. This is what you want for four monitor mixes. The 1604 has 6 aux sends. However only 2 are PRE aux sends.

    As far as effects go. I think it would be best to spend a couple extra bills and buy a decent FX unit than deal with the crappy FX that are built into most mixers. A used Alesis Micro or Midiverb is about $100. TC Electronics is making some decnt MI FX units. A TC box will cost you about $200-$300 used. Go to the above mentioned forum and do search in the archives about vocal processors. You will find a ton of recomendations. The most common will be Lexicon and TC.

    I would stay clear of Carvin mixers.
  7. rockindoc

    rockindoc Daily Lama

    Jan 26, 2002
    Bonham, Tx

    That's good news! Thanks to all for your input.
  8. Hawkeye

    Hawkeye Canuck Amateur

    One cost-effective and feature-rich series of analog mixers is the MG series by Yamaha. They have 24 and 32 channel vesions both with dual effects. The effects you get from Yamaha are likely to be (or at least should be) a higher quality than some other manufacturers. It looks like they have more than enough busses for different mixes and such.

    I use the MG12/4 in my home studio and it is very quiet.

    They seem very well - priced for the feature-set.