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Which Mixer / How many channels do I need


I am starting out to help some friends that have formed a band. Their Setup so far is, 2mics, Lead and Backing Singer, Acoustic Guitar with jack output to Amp, and Keyboard with mono Jack output to Amp (thats what we use at present, stereo output is available). and 2 x 300 watt speakers.

I want to add an Audio Power mixer which will allow the addition of 2 stage monitors and another 2 mics in time.

Any recomendations? How many channels do I need etc to allow me to use the present equipment and then add as time and money allows. Thank you in advance.

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MarkEast (author) 6 years ago
Thank you for your answers. Just another question if I may. Can a mixer be set up for sending different signals to monitors, So if the lead guitarist/Vocalist wants to hear more of himself than say the keyboard player. And the Keyboard player wants more of himself, do I need to run a mixer that has 2 seperate outputs for monitors as well as the normal outputs for the audiance. If such a thing exsists. Or do I need seperate mixers to achieve this? Thanks in advance for any advice.
Check out the link that Re-design gave below. It is for the 'ible by Markusaurelius under the related links to the side -> .

Then go to ESP's site and read over his project on a mixer.

Further questions can be asked at the Nuts n Volts forum where many people there are professionals who are very happy to help.

DIYAudio is another place you can find info.

As for your actual question, it depends on the mixer. Some are low end and do not have that capability, while others do. You could probably do that by having a number of low end mixers set up in such a manner that splits the signals before final mix so that you can send them out as a custom mix for the band. I wouldn't reccomend that because it would normally degrade the signal if you split it a lot. It would be better to actually buy a mixer with that capability.

Qa

The rule in audio is: there is no hard and fast rule, though there are some basic reccomendations that seem to hold true.

The first is that you will always need more channels than you have. So, get as many channels as you can afford, be it 8, 10, 12, 16 or more. If you can only afford 6 or 8 to start, go for it. You can always upgrade at a later time.

The second is that you should buy the best Quality that you can afford. This doesn't mean that it must be the top of the line or that is has tons of bells and whistles, but the best built and best sounding piece of equipment. Auditon the equipment if at all possible. Listen for hiss, crackle and hum. The electronics should be as silent as possible. Feel the sliders and knobs. They should feel solid and smooth, not flimsy and jerky.

The third is that new is not always better, as is the most costly is not always the best. You may find older pieces that someone wants to get rid of becuase they upgraded. Many pros prefer the older equipment over the new. This is not a unilateral truth though, as many older pieces may have lived past their prime and need way to much work to be put back into heavy service. Sometimes newer or more expensive is better. Again, audition the equipment.

Lastly, trust your own judgement when you are looking at the equipment. Try it out. Do what you would normally be doing with it, from trying to hook it up and actually running it. Make sure it has enough jacks of the correct type on it. If the person wont let you touch it, tell him/her that they just lost a potential sale and leave.

Remember, this is a commitment you are making to the band, yourself and present and future fans. Don't let someone pressure you into a purchase you may regret, just because of price/features/brand name or any other reason.

Also, Re-design has excellent advice, please heed it. And read up on this topic as much as possible. Talk to people who have done it. You'd be surprised at how willing they are to help out.

Qa

Re-design6 years ago
It looks like you would need 4 for what you have now:

mic
mic
acoustic
keyboard.

Plus two future mics.  That makes 6.  I would go for 8 if possible.  That would allow one for drums and one for elec. guitar or bass plus the two mics.  If you think you might ever have a bass and elec. then try for 10 channels.

Nothing says you can't run two mixers.  So you could get the 6 channel now and add another 6 later or a 4.  It would work better if you had two exactly the same.

The monitor speakers are run on a separate output so you can tailor them to the needs of the band and the main sound comes out the main output and should have separate controls for eq., vol. etc.

I would get a mixer with amp. for monitor and add a separate power amp.   That way when you blow your amp. ( and you eventually will) your mixer board that you are really expert at adjusting won't go down or change.

Good luck and I hope Yall play better'n me but I'm still lernin.
MarkEast (author)  Re-design6 years ago
Thank you for that. So what output do I use from the mixer to the amp then? We are using an old H&H MA100 Amp that we have everything going through at present, or what am I looking for in the mixer. (Type of outputs I mean) thanks again.
I've only used two mixers. But they both had "line" outs. That output was a mixed stereo signal that was just slightly amped. That fed into the line in of the power amp.  If your mixer has an internal power amp then it may not have a line level output.  But it should though.

You can't feed line level into mic inputs, it's too powerful.

Mic inputs usually don't work going into line in, they are not powerful enough.

Here's a great instructable to look at.  Thee seems to be lots of good info there.