Audio mixers

Conversations around originating a webcast for conference, including cameras and mixers.
craiggsmith
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Audio mixers

Postby craiggsmith » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:46 pm

I'm finally going to buy an audio mixer for our stake instead of using my own -- not just for webcasts but for other times when we need to have more inputs than we have available in a room.

For the latter I like the Mackie VLZ series as they have a mic/line output level switcher. Unfortunately that series doesn't have very many mic inputs compared to others in the same price range. Are there any other sub-$200 mixers that have this feature that have 4 inputs, or sub-$200 that have 6 inputs?

Has anyone sent the output of a mixer without this feature straight into a mic input just by keeping the levels low? That wouldn't be an ideal gain structure though.
Craig
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:26 pm

craiggsmith wrote:Has anyone sent the output of a mixer without this feature straight into a mic input just by keeping the levels low? That wouldn't be an ideal gain structure though.


I wouldn't recommend it. But it's not hard to build an attenuation cable. I know there's a post on here somewhere were someone posted a schematic to convert XLR line level to XLR mic level. Worked fine for me
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:33 pm

RussellHltn wrote: I know there's a post on here somewhere were someone posted a schematic to convert XLR line level to XLR mic level. Worked fine for me


I think you mean this post (and review the posts that follow it).
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:28 pm

aebrown wrote:I think you mean this post (and review the posts that follow it).


That wasn't what I was remembering, but I may have used that as my staring point and used just the 3 resistors at the end.
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craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:07 pm

Nice, I could make something like that, but I guess I could just use the crab as well, but it would sure be nice to have something a little more streamlined. There are ways to balance the signal without a transformer but I'm not sure what is used.

Another option would be to permanently modify a mixer's XLR outputs to be mic level, and leave the 1/4" outputs at line level. Then you wouldn't have to worry about someone not using a separate adapter or having the switch in the wrong position.
Craig
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sammythesm
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Postby sammythesm » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:06 am

I really like the Behringer Xenyx 1002B mixer I purchased for our stake. It's very versitile - it has 6 channels/faders that can mix microphone inputs (up to 5) with mono line input (all 6 channels can do mono line input) or stereo line input (4 of the channels can do stereo line input). It also has two sets of stereo line-level outputs.

The main thing I like about it is that it's has slider faders, but is still a compact board (a very cool/different board layout).

Highly recommend it.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks, I'll look into those. I forgot about Behringer as they aren't well loved in the pro audio world due to reliability issues when they first came out, so I had tuned them out. But they may be a lot better now.
Craig
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Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:28 am

I have a used Mackie VLZ1402PRO that I paid $200 for. Our stake has a Peavey RQ200 which also works fairly well. Both have 6 XLR inputs and gain control which would allow feeding into the sound system. The Mackie has XLR outputs, but when we use the Peavey we have to use the audio interface box (the "crab").

Aaron Z

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:22 pm

I actually have an older US-made 1402VLZ that has served me well for many years. I'm surprised they still haven't added some features that are commonplace on most mixers though. FWIW I see the Presonus Studiolive digital mixers have adjustable output gain, and Shure has some basic mixers that do as well, although more designed for installations.

Most of the time I just need something for webcasts or small YW programs etc. (4 mic inputs is probably sufficient) that won't intimidate people. For these many of the features such as EQ and aux sends are superfluous. Then we have a Christmas concert with a live orchestra that has not been sufficiently mic'd in the past, with 6 inputs ideal although 4 might work. But I hate to spend the money and then not have enough. For the annual larger events such as roadshows and stake plays we would need something larger, with more features. The problem with those is you can't predict how many inputs you'll need. So I'm inclined to still just buy a small one and rent or borrow a larger one when needed, but if I'm going to spend several hundred it might be worth spending a few more hundred (if the Stake Presidency approves) and get something universal. One thing about the larger Mackies is it appears the output level switch is recessed so harder to accidentally change.
Craig
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Aczlan
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Postby Aczlan » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:42 pm

craiggsmith wrote:Most of the time I just need something for webcasts or small YW programs etc. (4 mic inputs is probably sufficient) that won't intimidate people. For these many of the features such as EQ and aux sends are superfluous. Then we have a Christmas concert with a live orchestra that has not been sufficiently mic'd in the past, with 6 inputs ideal although 4 might work. But I hate to spend the money and then not have enough. For the annual larger events such as roadshows and stake plays we would need something larger, with more features. The problem with those is you can't predict how many inputs you'll need. So I'm inclined to still just buy a small one and rent or borrow a larger one when needed, but if I'm going to spend several hundred it might be worth spending a few more hundred (if the Stake Presidency approves) and get something universal. One thing about the larger Mackies is it appears the output level switch is recessed so harder to accidentally change.

I have a pair of Shure SCM810s. They will take 8 mic inputs and an aux input. I run them into one of the inputs on my Mackie or directly into the building system if I need extra inputs.
In your case, I might get a small mixer and a larger mic mixer. It would be about the same price as a larger mixer, but wouldn't be as intimidating to non-technical people.

Aaron Z


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