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Whats the best and cheap mixers to buy

flavor_of_the_weak

I just want to know whats the best but cheap mixer that will cost up to $400 and down to buy?
August 18, 2002 @10:07am
cmchamp

Flav:
Just remember, you get what you pay for! Before I go any further, what are you planning on using it for? Live Sound in small venues, or doodling around with little studio at home?
October 28, 2002 @04:02am
John34

Here's the scoop!! In a word, Behringer. Forget all the negative crap you hear about the company. You will never truley know the experiences people actually have with their gear. Maybe one person thinks they suck because of he or she felt the faders and they felt cheap. And to add to that, people are bombarded with negative stories about them probably rooted to their fishy marketing tactics and the obvious design thefts of other companies. Who cares? You want a good mixer for cheap.... then go Behringer. If you want to get a better than average mixer such as Mackie, then save your money and bite the bullet. Behringer has a warranty on their products just like everyone else does. Chances are you'd never need it. I'm speaking from experience here. I have a lot of nice upper level gear at the studio but for home I have my Pod Pro , Bass Pod Pro, Joe Meek VC1Q and everything else going through a Behringer mixer and Patch Bay. I've had no problems to date.
Hope this helps,
John
December 1, 2002 @09:47pm
michaelhoddy

Well, you could do that...
The reason I stay away from Behringer, aside from their less-than-savory business ethics (is that an oxymoron?), is the fact that I've had more problems with their gear than successes. I used to use some of their stuff for cheap live sound installs back about 6 or 7 years ago when they first hit the market in this country. Some of their dynamics processors didn't sound too bad and were cheap. I stopped using their gear after I had fully two-thirds of the units fail within a year.
I used one Behringer mixer once in a small rig. It worked for a couple years, and then the main PCB failed and the aux sends stopped working.
I would not classify Behringer mixers as sounding good. Their mic pres and general signal path are less than stellar, to put it mildly. The adage that you get what you pay for really holds true here, because sonically, a Behringer mixer isn't a rip-off. It's just worth about what you'll pay for it, which isn't very much. And for your needs, that may be a good thing.
I consider Mackie to be an average mass-produced benchmark. The Mackie (non-CFX) boards sound pretty decent, as far as average is concerned, are very reliable (I own 4), and again, are worth the money. Do the preamps compare to my higher-end outboard gear or higher-end consoles? Well, no, not even close, but again, they're much less expensive, and I've made some decent-sounding location recordings with them.
I use a 24-4 for monitoring my DAW and inputing my synths, a 1202 for really small location recordings, usually just for monitoring while I use outboard preamps and go direct to the recorder, and 2 LM-3204's for making headphone mixes when I take all my outboard preamps and hard disk recorder out to do full bands on location.
December 2, 2002 @03:21am
Ted

people are bombarded with negative stories about them probably rooted to their fishy marketing tactics and the obvious design thefts of other companies. Who cares?

I do, and I'm surprised more of us don't...with all the problems we have to deal with as musicians with people stealing our music (both illegally with copying and downloading and legally with some of the legislation that's getting pushed through Congress and the shady contracts that have been "standard" for years) I'm surprised more of us aren't upset by their blatant theft.
The fact that their mixers don't sound as good as most of the other stuff out there and seem to be less reliable as well makes it even less of an issue for me. If you're looking at something cheaper than Mackie, I'd look at some of the Samson stuff. But let us know what exactly you're looking for in the mixer (there are a few from Mackie in the price range you're looking at, but depending on what you need out of it none of them may work for you) and you'll likely get a better recommendation.
-Ted
December 4, 2002 @01:08am
TeeCee

Ted said

I do, and I'm surprised more of us don't...with all the problems we have to deal with as musicians with people stealing our music (both illegally with copying and downloading and legally with some of the legislation that's getting pushed through Congress and the shady contracts that have been "standard" for years) I'm surprised more of us aren't upset by their blatant theft.

What was their blatant theft? Did they steal the look and feel or is there proof of circuit theft? And if so, where is the proof? I've never really considered the Behringers but that's partly because I never saw a model that competed directly with the Mackie 1604.
The fact that their mixers don't sound as good as most of the other stuff out there and seem to be less reliable as well makes it even less of an issue for me. If you're looking at something cheaper than Mackie, I'd look at some of the Samson stuff.

Aren't they made by the company that was distributing Behringer in the US?
December 4, 2002 @05:33am
Ted

The blatant theft is fairly easy to see in several cases...if you look at their cable tester and the Ebtech Swizz Army cable tester, you'll see that the front panel layout is exactly the same, from the position of each LED and button to the angle at which the controls are labelled. If you look at their channel strip-type box and the Focusrite Voicemaster you'll see that the controls are labelled exactly the same, down to the labeling of the EQ section of "warmth/tuning/presence/breath" instead of your standard "low/Q/mid/high". With the Mackie lawsuit, as I understand it the circuit board was an exact copy, down to extra circuit traces that went nowhere. You can probably find more information in a lot more detail on Harmony Central or other users' groups.
Yes, Samson did use to be Behringer's US distributor. Their quality control is better, though, so pieces sound more consistent from unit to unit, and they also seem to be much more reliable.
-Ted
December 4, 2002 @04:15pm
TeeCee

Ted replied
The blatant theft is fairly easy to see in several cases...if you look at their cable tester and the Ebtech Swizz Army cable tester, you'll see that the front panel layout is exactly the same, from the position of each LED and button to the angle at which the controls are labelled. If you look at their channel strip-type box and the Focusrite Voicemaster you'll see that the controls are labelled exactly the same, down to the labeling of the EQ section of "warmth/tuning/presence/breath" instead of your standard "low/Q/mid/high". With the Mackie lawsuit, as I understand it the circuit board was an exact copy, down to extra circuit traces that went nowhere. You can probably find more information in a lot more detail on Harmony Central or other users' groups.

Well, copying looks is just stupid. I'll take your word on the circuit board copying, although I was hoping for more backup than Harmony Central User Forums. Hear say counts for little more than squat with me.
December 5, 2002 @12:37am
Ted

I'm sure there are links on the forums to more concrete facts...I know that the Mackie case was settled, but I believe they lost a case to Aphex a few years back that should be fairly well-documented (I remember reading about it in Mix among other places). There's also a good thread on the Ebtech thing including posts from one of the big guys from Ebtech. I've been told by other manufacturers that they've copied their circuit board designs as well, but since they use inferior components the sound quality still isn't there.
Anyhow, I didn't intend for this thread to become a Behringer-bashing thread...there are plenty out there already...but it does suprise me when people have a "who cares?" attitude regarding shady business practices like these.
-Ted
December 5, 2002 @02:43pm
nyy1023

I did a little research and found that for my needs the Alesis Studio 32 w/inline monitors is a good bang for the buck.
It has a lot of features that the big money mixers have, but for a very affordable price. If you are looking for a more highend model check out one of the Mackie VLZ products. You can get 12 - 14 - or 16 channels, and larger if you need, and these are great boards, and if you look around you can find them pretty inexpensive. I think I remember you saying around $400 though. You may need to look at either Behringer, which is ok if you are doing little things around the house, but really look at the Alesis studio models.
February 13, 2003 @05:32pm
xstatic

First off, please don't confuse distribution with manufacturing. Just because Samson and behringer may have been distibuted byt eh same company says absolutely NOTHING about they way they are designed, manufactured, or the way they sound. In fact, even if they were made in the same building, it does not mean anything. Harmon marketing is located here in Salt Lake City. Some JBL is made there, ART, DOD, DBX and even lexicon may move some manufacturing in. Does this mean these items are similar? Not a chance. Harmon also distributes AMEK, Soundcraft, Oram and several other high end companies. But, there are no similarities in build and performance. AS far as Behringer gear goes, spec wise it looks good. The composer pros really don't sound that bad, I know several people who are running the digital mixers and have had no problems. However, EVERY Behringer analog mixer I have run across has been inconsistent, noisy, and just all together a sad piece of gear to have to use. I am not a mckie fan, but at least if you get a VLZ pro, there is least a sense of reliability. The EQ sounds awful, but at least the vlz pro preamp is fairly neutral. Bottom line is that there really is a reason that almost every sound rider for bands requests a Midas console, and always says NO Mackie, Behringer, Carvin or spirit.
February 14, 2003 @06:57pm
SARAKULA

when you walk into bestbuy you see alot of tvs and radios you buy the one you like for the sound or picture then you see the name brand and or price you buy the one you chose ! some artists use high price brushes and paints some use pencil stubs and lunch bag paper Andy Warhol used to sign soup cans and today they are worth $250.000 if you understand what Im trying to say take the money you got buy what you can and do somthing with it THATS ART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
February 15, 2003 @03:10am
xstatic

But is it a best buy if tweo months later it does not work as expected? Have you really saved money by spending $400 four times in two years instead of spending $900 once? I know this sounds harsh, but if you try out a bunch of mixers and choose a Behringer, than maybe you deserve it.
February 15, 2003 @04:55am
michaelhoddy

I've heard some mixes done on Behringers that show evidence that the engineer somewhat overcame the inherent crappiness of the board, but never where the mixer complimented the music or where I'd say it sounded really good. That's enough right there.
Mackie is not very rider-friendly, agreed, nor is Peavey, Behringer, Carvin, or any of the other wannabee mixers. Of the less expensive mixers, only Allen & Heath seems to make the cut. Also the difference between "Soundcraft" and "Spirit" is pretty significant, and the cheap A&H boards beat up the Spirit mixers (Live 4 and 8) pretty bad sonically IMO.
February 15, 2003 @05:59am
SARAKULA

Ive heard and done some mixes on $25 radioshack 4in 1master 9vt battery mixers brand this and brand that and as far as the maybe you deserve it line or should i say toxic statement all this person asked for was a mixer for $400 or under (thats a pretty open ended question)not to take on a tour what are they going to do with it how many ins are needed ?all the pristine hi tech specs make for a better sounding mix take a listen to some old LOVE&ROCKETS or even NIN fragle how about ENO ( mr pennies on the piano strings)babys on fire or anything done by John Cage what sound is this person looking for?? and as for 2 years from now in ART ( i hope music is still a art )sometimes you have to break the colour stick in half to achive the texture you need and that only lasts a few strokes than you break it again hopefully you get the same effect blah blah blah ITS WHAT YOU DO WITH IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THAT COUNTS
February 15, 2003 @02:22pm