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Thread: What mixing board is best for the money

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    jimistone's Avatar
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    What mixing board is best for the money

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    This will be a mixing board for a church to replace a 16 channel analog. We are interested in a digital board...24 channels if possible...as compact as possible....as versital as possible....
    For a $3000 ballpark budget.
    Any input and recommendations would be appreciated.

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    witzendoz is offline Senior Member
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    Presonus Live 24.4.2 or Behringer x32 both Around $3000 in the US. Lots of reviews on the net just google. another thing about both mixers is that you can do away with any outboard as they have all the eq, compressors, gates and effects you will need.

    Alan.

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    moresound is offline Loud Sun Studios
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    Depends who's gonna run the new console.

    If it were I ... I would go for the Behringer X32. No questions asked.
    The easy with the performance of it is a great plus. It does what all the other digital consoles do right up to the $20,000. mark.

    HERE is a link to a thread I started about the X32. It has plenty of links from there to youtube demonstrations and reviews.
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    witzendoz's Avatar
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    I think its neck and neck between the 2, however I recently had a chance to use a Presonus live with the Virtual Studio Live software on a computer plugged into it, that was a whole lot easier to use.

    Check them both out, as moresound said ^^^^ it may come down to which one is easier to use for whoever is the operator(s).

    Alan.

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    The behringer and I believe the presonus can be ran remotely from an ipad.
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    For live work (at least the way I use a console) the lack of motorised faders on the Presonus rules that one out before it gets out of the starting gate. Without scene presets, you might as well go analogue--and without motorised faders scene presets become a whole lot more awkward to use effectively.

    Which leaves us with the x32--fortunately, every report (and the play I had a few months back) result in very favourable reviews.

    Your only other digital option for that budget would be to check out the second hand market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by moresound View Post
    The behringer and I believe the presonus can be ran remotely from an ipad.
    Both can.

    Motorised faders, some like it some don't, again it depends on the user. No so necessary on the presonus as it has a full number of channels where by the Behringer has layers so you need them.

    Alan.

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    For me it's not just the idea of layered channels though, Alan.

    On a digital desk (and I made the move to digital about 9 years ago) I make huge use of scene presets--and, when I change scene, I want the fader positions to reflect the reality of what is passing through the board.

    This is a church setting so let's make up a related scenario:

    Scene 1 is the organ playing "walk in" music. For this, I want the organ fader(s) up but nothing else.
    Scene 2 is a processional, involving organ but also a 3 or 4 piece band. For this, I want the organ, guitar, bass, keyboard and 6 drum faders up.
    Scene 3 is the minister speaking, so there's a quick cross fade from Scene 2 to just the minister's radio mic.

    ....and so on.

    For me, the ability to use scene presets was probably the biggest single advantage of the move to digital--but motorised faders are an absolute necessity to get the best out of this feature.

    Yes, I guess it CAN be done without but the lack of the visual cue as to where your faders are makes live mixing far more difficult, at least in my view. As I say, when it first came out, I had a look at the Presonus and decided to "walk on by" specifically for this reason.
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    Thanks for the input guys. The funny thing is that these were the 2 muxes I was looking at. A singer (gospel quartet) I know has the 16 channel version of the presonus and highly recommends it. I liked the features on the behringer too. I have heard for years and years on this very BBS that behringer is total crap and to stay away from it. My only experience with behringer is a crossover that malfunctioned a fried a nice set of horns in my main speakers several years ago. While a realize that most all companies have some jewels and some dogs behringer has really been bashed over and over again. So, I guess what I'm getting at is no matter how good the features are...reliability plays a key role. That being said ...I know nothing about the reliability of either board.

    Heres the thing...
    I will be running sound a lot but others who may have no background in sound or even an ear to hear a good mix may end up behind the board at times. I picture myself using a digital board and locking in the setting for the preacher on the pulpit mic...locking in the perfecto monitor and main mix for my vocals....locking in the right settings for each of the other singers...the choir....the youth pastors lapel mic...so on and so forth. Each of these settings or scenes would be saved and written down in a reference sheet so when someone volunteers to run sound when I'm not there all they have to do is punch in the number that coincides to the saved scene that is already preset.
    Does that make sense?

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    It makes sense and a digital board can take you part of the way in that direction.

    However, the problem is that there's never a one-size-fits-all perfect setting that works every time. Your pastor may have a sore throat and speak quietly one day while the choir may have an enthusiastic day and sing extra loud the next.

    Scene presets on a digital board can give you very good starting points by bringing up the right channels and fading down unnecessary ones--but your volunteers will still have to be well enough trained to do some final tweaks by ear.
    The pessimist sees the glass as half empty. The optimist sees it as half full. The realist just drains the darn thing and gets a refill!

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