Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

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Snarl 12/8
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Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:45 pm

Hi folks,

I'll try to keep this brief. I bought a Tascam M-1600 a while ago to pair with my Fostex R8. At first I thought it was a great match because I really like the feature set, the auxes, the busses, the D-sub out, and the -10 standard on the outs (iirc), for the most part works seamlessly with the Fostex. Just a super easy workflow.

Recently, I've been trying to record an unmuffled, 26" bass drum played very quietly (fingertips). The low-end coupled with needing a lot of gain has really showed the limitations of the Tascam, I believe. It gets easily pushed into ugly, unusable, clipping distortion if I tap too hard on the drum. I tried using external preamps and it didn't really solve the problem. I don't think it's just the pres on the M1600 that lack headroom, I think everything downstream is pretty brittle too.

I tried plugging the same two mics and headphones into my Ashly MM508 mixer and it just sounds so much better, and when it does distort it sounds fine to me. (I love, love, love distortion on low-end sources).

I also love compression and parallel compression. The Tascam makes it easy to have a compressor on an aux buss or two in addition to the inserts. I thought about using the Ashly as the front end for the Fostex, but if I use the direct outs, I can't have compression on the inserts, I could use the main stereo outs into the fostex, and then have my serial/parallel compression going in, but then I'm repatching constantly and how would I monitor inputs and the tape at the same time for overdubs? And in the end, I'm mixing through the M-1600 if I want all my compression choices and some reverb, etc.

Can you guys brainstorm a list of mixers that would be a big step up from the Tascam sonically, but still give me recording features? Things that sell for cheap these days? Maybe something newer though that's not a maintenance nightmare? I kinda hate to do this to the price of those mixers though? I'm not in a huge hurry, so what should I be on the lookout for? I'd love to stay with a 16 channel, but 8 channel "in line" would be great if it was a sonic improvement.

So, I'm basically wondering what mixers would have the sound quality of the Ashly MM508 with the recording/routing features of the Tascam M-1600?

Any ideas?

Thanks,

ck
Carl Keil

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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by standup » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:55 am

There are lots out there. When I was using 8 track RTR I wanted a board Allen and Heath had designed for the purpose. 8 input channels, 8 busses. I think it was MixWizard 20:8:2. It looked very cool, but I couldn't afford it at the time.

Up until a few years ago I had a SoundWorkshop board that sounded good and was reasonably small.

There's a lot out there. Sony? Sometimes small Sony's turn up cheap. I assume money IS an issue or you'd just get an API...

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:16 am

I had a Soundcraft Spirit Studio on loan for a while and it was quite good. Lots of routing options - auxes, bus & direct outs. PreAmps and EQs were pretty good and it’s was pretty solid and reliable.

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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:41 am

I am a fanboi of Allen & Heath consoles.

Since you have a 8 channel tape machine, I recommend you get a 16 channel (or more) console for mixing etc.

You can NEVER have too many console channels.
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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Snarl 12/8
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:58 pm

Any particular A&H or Soundcraft mixers I should be looking for? Aren't some way better than others? Seems to be a buyer's market for used Analog mixers these days.
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by I'm Painting Again » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:54 pm

someone recently brought their entire tape machine (tascam 1/2"-8) and soundcraft spirit folio

this version

https://www.gumtree.com/p/audio-dj-mixe ... 1319001717

and it worked very nicely for tracking routing, etc.

I used all external preamps though so I can't say if those are any good or not

he does use it to record and mix at home and his records do sound fantastic so it's probably worth a look

it's super lightweight

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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by markjazzbassist » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:57 pm

do you record by yourself 4 or less inputs at at time? or are you recording 5-8 tracks? i ask because you can get away with a 4 buss machine if you're recording by yourself. the fostex machines have a feature where you plug inputs into Input 1-4, and leave 5-8 empty. when you are tracking those 5-8 tracks you arm that track (say 6) but the input comes from 2. 1 to 5, 2 to 6, so on. i use it on my model 80 fostex, nice feature saves me from getting some bigger mixers.

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Snarl 12/8
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:24 pm

markjazzbassist wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:57 pm
do you record by yourself 4 or less inputs at at time? or are you recording 5-8 tracks? i ask because you can get away with a 4 buss machine if you're recording by yourself. the fostex machines have a feature where you plug inputs into Input 1-4, and leave 5-8 empty. when you are tracking those 5-8 tracks you arm that track (say 6) but the input comes from 2. 1 to 5, 2 to 6, so on. i use it on my model 80 fostex, nice feature saves me from getting some bigger mixers.
Yes. My model 80 had that feature, but I'm not sure if the R8 has it. I've been wondering about that when I look at 4 buss mixers. I'll have to do some digging on that one.
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:40 pm

Snarl 12/8 wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:58 pm
Any particular A&H or Soundcraft mixers I should be looking for? Aren't some way better than others? Seems to be a buyer's market for used Analog mixers these days.
The 2800 series is good. Also, widely available parts, nothing exotic or weird. So serviceable for the foreseeable future.
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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Snarl 12/8
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:06 pm

Does anyone know if one of those huge Allen & Heath 40 channel GL2800's can be easily made smaller? It seems like it could just be a matter of unscrewing something and disconnecting a ribbon cable to bring it down to 16-24 channels. Is that something a hack like me could manage? I really don't need a working 40 channel board, (and I don't have the space) but having spare channels in storage would be super cool.
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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Looking for mixer to pair with Fostex R8

Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:33 am

Snarl 12/8 wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:06 pm
Does anyone know if one of those huge Allen & Heath 40 channel GL2800's can be easily made smaller? It seems like it could just be a matter of unscrewing something and disconnecting a ribbon cable to bring it down to 16-24 channels. Is that something a hack like me could manage? I really don't need a working 40 channel board, (and I don't have the space) but having spare channels in storage would be super cool.
Um, no. Although they do have 8 channel buckets, what would you do with the extra space?

If you are not good at electronics, don't. You do need to solder stuff, it is not just "grab a hacksaw and off you go" type situation.

YOU CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH CHANNELS.
Realizing vibratory excursions from a paper widget.

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