I wanna get an analog mixer

Production | Mar 2, 2017

  1. Kriasb Unspecified

    Kriasb

    Kriasb Unspecified

    102 posts
    Since Jun 2, 2015
    Mostly because being more hands-on would make studiowork alot more fun, but also because of the revered analog sound. I've grown more and more fond of the rougher, less clinical sound found in older recordings, but also the sound of artists like Jon Hopkins and Tycho, who very much emphasize on the analog, warmer type of sounds. I figured that starting with getting a very coloured mixer would be decent steppingstone on the way down the innevitable analog rabbithole. After looking around a bit through forums and such, I have gotten the impression that an old mackie mixer could be that way to go, preferably something from the 8 bus series. If not from this video alone almost singlehandedly selling me the damn thing, its because of the supposedly great sound it has. (Yeah i wanna drive the fuck out of whatever mixer i get, being essentially a 16 channel analog distortion box would be 50% of it's function)

    However, without selling both of my arm and my sister, it's really difficult to get your hands on a decent condition one here in Norway. There's a ton from the VLZ and ONYX series around, but it seems like the concensus is to stay away from those. I've also heard great things about older Allen & Heath and Soundcraft consoles. Are there any other particular mixers I should be paying attention to? Looking forward to hear what your thoughts are on this, as i take it alot of the DOA elite have experience with this kinda stuff.

    EDIT: I just bought an Scarlet 18i20 and im planning on hooking it up with another Scarlet Octopre later down the line. That will be my way for the audio to come in and out of the mixer (although i doubt ill use all the interface inputs as i wanna use the mixer for summing for the premaster)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  2. Kriasb likes this.

    Rob NCR

    Rob NCR

    Rob NCR

    517 posts
    Since Nov 5, 2015
    The Soundcraft mixers like the old Folio have a nice EQ.

    Sprit folio F1 was A Nice mixer.
    has 2 sweeping mid pots. Use it all the time.

    The old Mackies EQ was a bit flat.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
    Kriasb likes this.
  3. Kriasb likes this.

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    516 posts
    Since Oct 21, 2014
    I am using a Xone 92 and have plenty of fun overdriving and EQing in different stages (ie use the sends to an additional Chanel), love the analog filters. As I am focusing more on production than DJing lately, I have been toying with the idea to let it go in favor of a cheaper soundcraft mixer with USB to record stems simultaneously. Been looking at the MTK series, which looks great - Not sure how they behave if you abuse the inputs tho.
    Kriasb likes this.
  4. snakepiece

    snakepiece

    snakepiece

    403 posts
    Since Jun 15, 2016
    How you gonna wire it up to your computer? Do you have a suitable audio interface?
  5. milleborne and Kriasb like this.

    tomm

    tomm

    tomm

    188 posts
    Since Oct 28, 2005
    I have a Samson MPL2242 which isn't great as a mixer (a bit limited on functions) but certainly adds a nice bit of warmth thru the EQ and preamps, I've not used a Mackie so I can't compare, but the Samson certainly does the trick (and is a hell of a lot cheaper than the Mackie).

    I'm not saying you should get a Samson, but I don't think you necessarily need to get a Mackie 8 bus right away, other similar vintage mixers will probably do the trick nearly as well.

    Also, since I've made the change to hardware, I noticed that using a sampler is a big part of the sound. The first time I loaded an 808 into the Akai and it clipped, it was a eureka moment for me lol.
    milleborne and Kriasb like this.
  6. tomm

    tomm

    tomm

    188 posts
    Since Oct 28, 2005
    Also using a sampler helps to avoid the delay you will get with sending audio out of the computer, thru the mixer and back into the computer.
  7. Rogue Trooper and snakepiece like this.

    Kriasb Unspecified

    Kriasb

    Kriasb Unspecified

    102 posts
    Since Jun 2, 2015
    I should probably have mentioned that I just bought an Scarlet 18i20 and that im planning on hooking it up with another Scarlet Octopre later down the line.
    Rogue Trooper and snakepiece like this.
  8. AmberYeti and Kriasb like this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    3,700 posts
    Since Aug 1, 2016
    I've got a small Mackie VLZ and an 8-buss, and they're completely different..

    The small desk doesn't do anything good distortion-wise – it actually cuts out, like a protection circuit .. Really not much use to me .. The really old MS1202 (before the VLZ series) was a good little desk – Daft Punk's first album was mixed on it.

    8-buss is what you want – unless you can spot the desk Dillinja used (A&H?) .. But just don't ever overdrive the buss .. Overdrive the channels at the pre-amps, but don't let a very loud, into-the-red signal go straight into the mix buss ... It will blow something up, and you'll have 8 channels pretty out of action ... That video's good, because before the signal goes into the L-R mix buss, it's back down below the reds .. It's a safe level.
    AmberYeti and Kriasb like this.
  9. mreznik likes this.

    Kriasb Unspecified

    Kriasb

    Kriasb Unspecified

    102 posts
    Since Jun 2, 2015
    According to this post Dillinja used a Soundtracs Solo. The Solo seems to be even rarer than the 8 bus, atleast around these parts.
    mreznik likes this.
  10. Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    3,700 posts
    Since Aug 1, 2016
    That's good to know. You can see it here.

    DILLINJA IN STUDIO


    Whether he's getting his distortion from the desk, I don't know for sure – you can do a lot in the Emu with digital clipping and things. But it looks like a competitor to the Mackie 8-buss.
  11. Kriasb Unspecified

    Kriasb

    Kriasb Unspecified

    102 posts
    Since Jun 2, 2015
    I managed to get into contact with a guy who never managed to sell his Solo Live 16-4-2 (The exact same model that Dillinja uses in the YouTube clip). He wants $1000 for it, but considering im the only person in Scandinavia that have been willing to pay for it for the last 2 years I have a feeling i might be able to get it for a bit cheaper. The only question that remains is whether or not this is the right mixer for me. The eq on the Solo series have gotten alot of praise(considering it's pricerange atleast) as far as i can tell, and while not everyone agrees whether or not the preamps are particularly warm-sounding it hasn't gotten any critique for bad preamps. If it can compete with the 8-buss with its distortion then im sold, although Dillinja's clip is the only record i can find online of someone using the desk to drive audio...
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  12. AmberYeti and milleborne like this.

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    1,697 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008
    tip: allen & heath mixwizard, no matter which series
    AmberYeti and milleborne like this.
  13. mreznik likes this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    3,700 posts
    Since Aug 1, 2016
    There's actually a Solo 8-buss on ebay in the UK going for £650. Mackie 8-buss for £399.
    mreznik likes this.
  14. Ray Dalio likes this.

    mreznik

    mreznik

    mreznik

    279 posts
    Since Nov 13, 2014
    There's a few topaz 24/8 as well for around £400, I grabbed a 16/4 very cheap a few years ago. It sounds good, the gain distortion is excellent. I think the topaz series were just a feature cut down from the bigger desks they were doing at the time (early 90's).
    http://www.studiosystems.co.uk has some decent info about them.
    Ray Dalio likes this.
  15. Feeding Cone likes this.

    eventualdecline Smothered Hope

    eventualdecline

    eventualdecline Smothered Hope

    10,271 posts
    Since Sep 4, 2001
    if you want gain distortion why don't you just get a tube amp?
    Feeding Cone likes this.
  16. Kriasb likes this.

    hadees

    hadees

    hadees

    7,832 posts
    Since Nov 22, 2002
    I had one. That desk is very clean loads of head room best mixing desk Ive ever used, it wont give you any sort a lofi warm fuzzy sound.
    Kriasb likes this.
  17. Kriasb likes this.

    hadees

    hadees

    hadees

    7,832 posts
    Since Nov 22, 2002
    What are you going to be running into the desk? hardware?

    Im going to doubt very much that either Jon Hopkins and Tychos mixing desks have much bearing on their sound.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
    Kriasb likes this.
  18. Jimmy Crack and Kriasb like this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    3,700 posts
    Since Aug 1, 2016
    If you do get a desk, I'd also recommend picking up a 90s reverb unit to patch into the aux buss.

    I'm just using Ableton these days to mess around, but getting some Midiverb 2 Impulse Responses is the single biggest thing I've found (by miles) to getting the hardware sound.

    Every old recording will have had one .. I never appreciated how much of a difference it made .. They add so much width, colour and warmth .. There's nothing in software like them.
    Jimmy Crack and Kriasb like this.
  19. Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    Risc_Terilia

    Risc_Terilia DarkLord of the Socialism

    13,682 posts
    Since Jun 17, 2002
    +1 Soundcraft Folio
  20. Kriasb likes this.

    howitzer

    howitzer

    howitzer

    111 posts
    Since Oct 3, 2012
    I tried out a Pre-VLZ mackie desk for a while, it wasnt one of the big desks, but still distorted like them.
    Honestly the mackie's kick out a really cold crunch, it didnt give me warm clipping at all.
    I moved over to a soundcraft M8 as its got direct outs on the mono channels for chaining stuff and mashing the proverbial out of bass. Its decent and gives a better sound than my mackie did.
    Ive tried tube amps too but honestly the best results have come from my EMU. Hard clipping internally and soft clipping through the rest of the hardware chain, i.e. stay in the yellows.
    Kriasb likes this.
  21. Mania, Jimmy Crack and Kriasb like this.

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    1,697 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008
    just one quick reminder: a desk is your number one ticket in getting lost into hardware world. sooner or later you pick up that cheap oldschool synth or sampler and don't want to connect your soundcard only. Not everyone's cup of tea.
    Mania, Jimmy Crack and Kriasb like this.
  22. Ray Dalio likes this.

    luthatron \o/

    luthatron

    luthatron \o/

    54,171 posts
    Since Feb 3, 2004
    closest to magic sound I've heard is that - boosting an 808 + 50dB in an emu then filtering it.
    Ray Dalio likes this.
  23. mundos, luthatron and Kriasb like this.

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    Ray Dalio

    3,700 posts
    Since Aug 1, 2016
    I'm wondering how much Dillinja was doing in the Emu .. When I got my e6400, I couldn't believe how much it made everything sound like Silverblade .. Probably my favourite sounding bit of gear.

    Just an 808 kit (off that guy who does the Tape 808 packs) is transformed and somehow sounds like a record – which you don't get just playing an 808 kit in Logic/Live/Cubase.
    mundos, luthatron and Kriasb like this.
  24. Ray Dalio likes this.

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    1,697 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008
    Not only on 808s. On everything really

    edit: of course it can't polish a turd though
    Ray Dalio likes this.
  25. DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    DustBrigade

    516 posts
    Since Oct 21, 2014
    Is it THAT great? Genuinely asking.
  26. hadees likes this.

    Noise-Signal Diphallic Dude

    Noise-Signal

    Noise-Signal Diphallic Dude

    2,792 posts
    Since Apr 2, 2014
    yes and you can get an emu 6400 classic for cheap. I bought an emuu 6400, a modified vintage boss ds-1 distortion pedal (Keely seeing eye mod), and a volca bass all for under 500 dollars US and the basslines I create make everything else I have done sound thin. If you want software, I recommend the U-he Satin tape distortion plug-in, it sounds amazing.
    hadees likes this.
  27. AmberYeti likes this.

    Kriasb Unspecified

    Kriasb

    Kriasb Unspecified

    102 posts
    Since Jun 2, 2015
    If you have seen the macky gain distortion video i linked in the first post you will see why a tube amp probably wouldn't be enough. Having essentially 16 channels of Distortion -> EQ -> Distortion -> EQ -> and so on is not too far away from how i already work inside the DAW. I wouldn't really get that distortion-chain-with-eqs-inbetween kind of thing with a tube amp.

    Yeah im not going into this believing i'll be Tycho when i own a desk, but unlike them i dont really own any other piece of hardware that would give me the colour i want. Having a desk to route my busses and such into for some colour would however take me a bit closer to my goal in my mind, but maybe not with the Solo Live since you're saying it's very clean sounding without much impact on the sounds in itself.

    Ultimately im looking for something to push hard when feeling metal, but also give a distinct colour when used for its intended purpose. I may be naive for thinking ill find what im looking for cheap?
    AmberYeti likes this.
  28. Kriasb likes this.

    eventualdecline Smothered Hope

    eventualdecline

    eventualdecline Smothered Hope

    10,271 posts
    Since Sep 4, 2001
    I saw it four years ago when it came out young blud.
    Kriasb likes this.
  29. Jimmy Crack likes this.

    hadees

    hadees

    hadees

    7,832 posts
    Since Nov 22, 2002
    How much are you looking to spend? have you got any audio examples of what you want to achieve? What plugins have you tried?
    Jimmy Crack likes this.
  30. luthatron likes this.

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    ja-ki

    1,697 posts
    Since Nov 30, 2008
    yes. I made it my main sampler years ago. When I was working in a software sequencer I always put loads of plugins on a track. Now it's just EMU --> Desk --> Speakers. It has an amazing sound, especially when you utilize it more than just a sample playback machine but as an instrument

    edit: Clip something by 12db in an EMU= sounds good. Clip something 12db somewhere else = shit. These samplers were made for that. I have a Roland S760 which actually sounds even better than the EMU but as soon as one sample clips it sounds shit.
    luthatron likes this.
Production