View Full Version : What digital mixer do you recommend?

11-05-1999, 01:37 PM
We are revamping our TV Production facility and 25 thousand has been dedicated to the audio room. We have decided to install a Pro Tools system for doing production, but as many of you know, virtual mixers are not practical for cut-live television. You've gotta have a real mixer there.

We're going entirely digital, and I was wondering if anybody could recommend a digital mixer in the 15 thousand dollar range. It needs to have 24 channels (or AT LEAST 24 input capability) or more, and preferably would have some decent preamps and A/D converters (we're usually running at least 5 mics during newscasts and have run up to ten on specialty programs).

By the way, I was told we might be able to go as high as 20 grand on the mixer, even though 15 is the target. We are definitely getting a Pro Tools system (probably LE,though a PT24 system is not out of the question), so any ability for the mixer to interact with PT would be a plus.

11-07-1999, 01:15 AM
I'm using Yamaha O2R for the same purpose (TV Post). Highly recommended. Don't have any reason to replace it with later (newer) models.

11-08-1999, 12:23 AM
I agree entirely. It is hard to go wrong with the 02. Easy, compact, friendly, powerfull,
great sound, and, if I may say, quite attractive.

Mark Reis
11-08-1999, 04:33 AM
I've never used the Yamaha, but my local Mackie Rep let me have a d8b for six weeks. I enjoyed using and hated to give it up. It was very easy to hook up, use, adjust synchronize, etc. I even managed to configure the Midi faders to automate fading in ProTools. The Mic Pre/Compressor/EQ did a really nice job compensating for our less than ideal microphone and I can't wait till next year when we buy one to keep.

Mark Reis

11-09-1999, 02:35 PM
We our using an 02R fitted with 2 x AES/EBU cards hooked up to 2 x 888/24 I/O's in a tv/ post facility. Very reliable, great sounding and easy to use.

One Zero Zero

douglas stringer
11-09-1999, 08:41 PM
is there any other way to get audio in and out of the O2R into PT (besides AES/EBU into the 888's)?

Nick Batzdorf
11-10-1999, 11:08 AM
You should look *and listen* to all of them in addition to the 02R, which was the first in this category. The newer generation includes the Panasonic DA7, Tascam DM4000 (I think that's the number), Mackie d8b, and even though it seems to be more music- than post-oriented, the Spirit.

The 02R is great, but you should definitely not begin and end your search there.

Also, $15-25K is a price range that doesn't really exist. The next step up in price is the mixer now offered by Metric Halo, and I believe it's considerably more once you outfit it fully, but could be wrong.

11-10-1999, 11:29 AM
Thanks, everyone for your replies.

Nick, you're absolutely right: the 15 to 25 K price range doesn't seem to really exist. I've checked out all the mixers mentioned and they're all an incredible deal.

However, I can't find a price on the Mackie. I can find tons of info on the Mackie home page, but nothing about price. Does anyone know the MSRP or even just a ballpark figure on what I could expect to pay?

11-10-1999, 04:41 PM
I use the Yamaha for a live Network Radio broadcast in the NFL every week. It functions well, but the Mic pre's are lousy (IMHO) for spoken voice. They're very crunchy and have little head-room.

Just my opinion.

Rich Breen
11-10-1999, 05:45 PM
I've done a fair amount of music mixing on both the 02R and the Mackie, and own an 02R/ProTools/DA88 setup, so i'll toss my 2 cents in. This is all just my opinion, so no flames please...

02R is rock-solid, extremely functional, and sounds good (dynamics are particularly good). It has physically noisy faders, lousy but functional grouping facilities, somewhat clunky (but again functional) automation. Also a fairly unattractive and slightly convoluted user interface, and primitive facilities for archiving and recalling projects.

The Mackie has an open-ended OS at the expense of stable operation. Expect occasional crashes and more futzing around with OS details. Lovely feel on the faders, and overall more polished feel - more analog inputs (24), but fewer digital inputs (24 max with full functionality). EQ is ok, dynamics are lousy, automation is pretty good, with the potential to be great but is still glitchy, and overall the desk seems a little unfinished to me. Lots of slick features on it, and a much nicer user interface. This desk has always seemed like it would be killer if Mackie could deliver on it's potential, but as of yet it remains an underachiever.

I've got to have 32 fully functional digital I/O so the Mackie wouldn't work for me, but if I didn't need that it might be a little more of a toss-up. I know that the 02R is capable of passing bit-for-bit xfers through it's entire signal path, haven't had a chance to run these kind of tests on the Mackie.

Overall, I prefer the 02R because of it's stability and overall sound quality, and the fact that Mackie delivered their console years behind schedule is a little scary. Also the Mackie is in the $10,000 area. For now, I still see the 02R as the one to beat...

Hope this is at least a little helpful


[This message has been edited by Rich Breen (edited 11-10-99).]

Mark Reis
11-11-1999, 04:10 AM
Mackie Price-

The d8b cannot be sold for less than $8995.00 US. However, a really good dealer can provide additional cards for next to nothing. I was quoted a price for a pair of d8b's with AES/EBU, Clock I/O, and an adiitional Mackie FX card that was only slighlty more than the boards themselves.

11-11-1999, 08:18 AM
If we can put cost aside just for one second, what is the benefit of a digital desk (and it's second automation system to learn) over a Pro Control?
From dealers I've heard reliability problems with Mackies and the time old menu menu menu with the O2R. All require extras. Is it the DSP Farms needed thats the killer?

11-11-1999, 11:27 AM
Actually, I've looked into Pro Control and I like it, but the info on the Digidesign site is not clear on whether Pro Control actually can take inputs itself. In other words, can Pro Control act as a stand-alone mixer?

That's quite important in television because you can't have your entire audio system crash five minutes before a newscast. If Pro Control ONLY controls Pro Tools, it's too risky. Computers crash. Mixers don't.

Would you know if Pro Control can do stand-alone operation? I'd be interested to know because if it could, that would probably be the route we'd take.

11-11-1999, 01:23 PM
The short answer is ...no
Pro Control is a hardware control surface for PT, all the audio i/o takes place via the Digi interfaces.
I totally concur with you on the reliability issue when one is "in the front-line trenches", and would therefore conclude that the 02/R option is the one (I'm a belt-and-braces kinda guy myself!!).



11-18-1999, 04:10 PM
I must be the only one using Tascam TMD 8000 and I'm very happy with it !!

[This message has been edited by Lo (edited 11-18-99).]

Natural Sound
11-18-1999, 06:58 PM
Going back to price point.
If all these consoles are around the 10K range, and if there's nothing in the 20K range, Then what is the next highest range and what consoles would do the job.
We will begin researching consoles next year so your help will get us started off on the right foot.
In our case we need a console for music production that can handle our 2" 24track analog machine as well as our PT24mix. Our current console is a Soundcraft6000 (30mic input 54 line input and 24buss) Also, this console will go up for sale, so, if your interested....

11-18-1999, 08:29 PM
Just a rumor folks, heard at AES- Yamaha is working on a digital mixer to fill that $25,000.00 void. Don't know what or when and since it's only a rumor, wouldn't necessarily trust it. I'm sure several companies are addressing this part of the market, why not?