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Thread: what mixer for 16 track reel to reel

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    what mixer for 16 track reel to reel

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    Hi everyone, I'm a new member here, however I have read many threads from here in the past.
    Although I was born in the digital age (I was born in 95) I have always preferred analogue formats, and have always stayed away from digital as much as possible! I listen to vinyl and tape every day!
    I am a singer-songwriter and musician, and I have recorded using 4track cassette recorders in the past and have got good results. However my partner and I are having a home studio built as an extention to our property, and I want to have a fully analogue set-up.

    I bought a fostex B16 from someone locally, but I don't have a mixer to plug it up too!
    I was wondering what sort of mixer I need, and what are some good models to look out for. I am in the UK.
    I am actually completely blind, so I want something that has nobs, buttons and sliders, that doesn't have digital menues etc.
    Does it need 16 buses? Or just 16 direct outs? I must confess I get very confused with some of the mixer terminology!
    Thanks so much everyone, Tim

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    There are two ways you can go, inline or split. A split console would mean having at least 32 channels, 16 for inputs to the recorder and 16 for outputs from the recorder. On top of that you would probably want more channels for effects as using auxiliary inputs is rather limited. A forty channel board would do the trick, but that's getting pretty large. An inline console has channels that can handle the recorder sends and returns, letting you monitor playback and live sources at the same time. In fact, each channel can do both at once to facilitate punching in. There's going to be a "flip" button on each channel that determines whether the channel is operating primarily in recording or playback mode. A 24-channel inline mixer would have all you need for a 16-track recorder plus some additional channels for reverb returns etc.

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    Its a shame you're not on the west coast of the US.

    I uee an Msr 16 with a tascam m520 board.
    It's perfect for 16 track recording.

    I have an extra console I'm selling. But I'm not wiiling to risk shipping to anywhere.

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    See if you can find a used Soundcraft Ghost 24 or 32 channel mixer. It's perfect for what you want to do. It is an 8 bus console, but it has direct outs on each channel, so you don't have to use the busses for recording.

    I had one of these for almost 20 years, half of that time I was recording to tape and it worked well. It is designed for exactly what you are trying to do.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    Depends on you budget and how much room you have, but an old Tascam M2524 is made just for this job, and you will get one for under $400. Anyway thats the type of console you need, direct outs, 8 bus, 24 channels in as you always need more then the recorder, and it's inline as well.

    Alan.

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    Hi everyone, thank you all for your replies, it's all really helpful!
    I don't think I will go down the route of having 40 channels or so, as then it gets just too big!
    If I can help it, I don't really want to have to be plugging and unplugging the B16 all the time, I'd rather set it all up and leve it if possible? Are there some mixers which have direct outs on each channel, and tape ins on each channel, so that you could just flip the switches and mix your song down, rather than having to swap all the cables around each time?
    Hope that makes sense.

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    Yes, the Soundcraft ghost is exactly what you are looking for.

    Each channel has tape in, tape out, direct in and insert. (As well as mic and line in). There are switches to switch between channel out or bus out..

    You plug everything in and just use switches to route everything. You never have to repatch.
    Jay Walsh
    Farview Recording. I am also the forum spokesmodel for Terasyne Amplification

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    The Tascam m520 is the same way. Nothing has to get unplugged. Also has a seperate 16 chan monitor section.

    Sorry, just a big fan of these incredibly versatile boards. The others mentioned are great too.

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    I use a Tascam M-2600 MkII, a 24 channel console very similar to the M2524 mentioned by witzendoz, two or three times a week for rehearsals and recording, and I use the same console for studio performances. I never have to re-patch anything. I don't mix recordings on the console anymore, but I could do that without re-patching as well. The console's inserts are connected to a patch bay, as is all the outboard gear, so I can patch any compressor to any channel on the console if I wanted, but since I keep the same sources in the same channels I leave the compressors connected to the same channels as well, all via the patch bay.

    I use the eight remaining channels like this: two stereo reverb returns (one short, one long), stereo playback from the computer (where I mix recordings), mono delay return, talkback mic. There is a built-in talkback mic but since I'm using the aux sends in abnormal ways it doesn't get routed where I need it. Using a regular mic into channel 24 lets me send it to any output. Using channels for reverb returns also lets me route them as needed, plus it give me the option to apply channel eq or narrow the panning if I feel it's needed.

    Note that there are 16-channel and 24-channel versions of the M-2600 MkII. The difference between the original M-2600 and the MkII is that the original has RCA connectors for the tape outs and ins while the MkII has 1/4" connectors. The one I use has the meter bridge, which might not help you so much, but since you have a partner (whom I assume has vision) she or he would benefit from that. Metering is really important but there are ways around it, mainly by calibrating your playback levels. You would simply turn up the gain on the mic input to the level that sounds right and go from there. Even for those with vision this is an effective and useful technique. Here's a link to a PDF: http://www.aes.org/technical/documen...s.cfm?docID=65. (I just noticed a typographical error, being is spelled begin, as in being exceeded.) The PDF does contain graphics, but you'll likely need some sighted assistance anyway to get it all set up, so the graphics will help them.

    One more thing. I have an acquaintance who is a blind sound engineer. Although he worked with tape for many years he has found ways to use a computer for recording, so I know it can be done. If you're interested I could put you in touch with him.

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    Thanks everyone for all your help! I will keep a look out for the desks mentioned! Just so I can completely understand, is it definitely necessary to have a 24 channel mixer rather than a 16? Couldn't I just use effects sends and returns that are on the desk in order to add the reverb etc? It's just that there's a studiomaster 16-8-2 mixer on ebay uk right now, which has been fully serviced, and I wasn't sure whether this may have tape ins and outs etc?
    @Bouldersoundguy, thank you for all that useful info! In fact, my partner also happens to be blind too, so she wouldn't be able to help me with the meterbridge etc, but thanks for the info anyway! Also, thanks so much for mentioning your aquaintence who is also blind. I have used computers to record in the past, with screen readers etc, as some music software will work like this, but I just much prefer recording in the analogue way.

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