Help! Mixer suggestions

I’m finding connecting all my synths to my PA is getting harder and I would love to know how you guys handle this, especially if you work OTB. While for now this is for a home studio I would like to keep some portability in mind, or at least as close to it I can get given the amount of gear.

My main mixer is a Behringer Xenyx 1222USB (4 mono, 4 stereo channels) with two smaller 6 channel mixers (2 mono, 2 stereo) chained off of that. Both of the smaller mixers are dedicated to the Machinedrum and Virus C since each have 6 total outputs.

I’ve quickly run out of channels and the two small mixers take two of the stereo channels as well. Now simply buying a bigger mixer would make the most sense, however to further complicate things I am using a KaossPad Quad as an efx processor. My mixer has only a mono efx send and I like controlling which channel goes through efx and which do not. I also would like to start using the Octatrack as a second efx processor but I have no idea how to route this with both efx processors. I’ve been looking at getting an Alesis MultiMix Line 8 which has 8 stereo channels and a stereo efx send. But I still am left with the problem of how to route to two different efx boxes and I also loose out on EQ for my stereo channels.

I’ve looked at mixers like the X32 and Soundcraft Si Expression 3 (really like the Soundcraft) but these are way out of my price range and I’m still not sure if either of them do a stereo send. I think they favor their own internal efx which I could care less about. Maybe I’m asking for too much but any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

Here is my gear list
Virus C
Roland JX-305
Casio CZ-101
Bass Station II
Korg MS2000

And all three Volca’s soon to be added.

Non essentials that don’t have to be connected but would be nice
Korg ER-1 and EA-1

After hunting around lots I found one of these new for a good price about 4 months ago:

for sale on some obscure German site for about 320 Euros I think.

it’s discontinued now but I think it was when I bought it too…

Mixer functionality, routing along with good quality 16-track interface is pretty amazing for the price.

Internal effects seem pretty weak to my fairly untutored ears but option for pre or post fader recording with the Mk II means you can record totally dry or just add a tiny smidge of reverb to every channel on the way in, which I have done in the past when recording multitrack from my drum machine, before it even gets to my DAW to stop having to faff around with reverb on every channel inside the box.

Beware there are a few versions of this, I believe the MkI doesn’t have option to record post-fader leaving the knobs and sliders a bit redundant. Much better with MkII.

That’s my tuppence worth, I’m pleased with it for price but obviously a good second hand desk with similar routing but high quality effects would be better.

Good luck


I’ve looked at mixers like the X32 and Soundcraft Si Expression 3 (really like the Soundcraft) but these are way out of my price range and I’m still not sure if either of them do a stereo send

The X32 Compact is amazing but as you said they aren’t exactly cheap. You do have 16 buses though which you can configure as 8 stereo send/returns either pre or post fader. And yes you can use your external processors with these. The built-in FX are actually really high quality too but I currently have Eventide Space, Pitch Factor and Line 6 M5 slaved off mine (all working in true stereo).

i considered the soundcraft m12 to be best suited for what i need but then bought a behringer 16 channel line mixer which takes 1U 19" rack space because its way smaller.

the M series all have

[li]4 stereo sends per channel [/li]
[li]4 stereo returns[/li]
[li]no built in crappy dsp effects box[/li]
[li]direct outs on every channel [/li]

the m8 and m12 fit in 19" racks so you could add a 1U 24 channel patchbay to it for routability :slight_smile:

the bigger ones go for around 400 € :wink:

i ended up with the behringer as all my equippment has linelevel already so i dont need preamps and wouldnt use EQs of a cheap mixer anyway, also a 1U linemixer is obviously WAY smaller.

i combined it with a patchbay and now i have the ultimate small 16channel mixer for my home setup. a handfull of patchcords and i can set it up to do everything i need :slight_smile:

Take a look at Samson SM10

Love my Allen and Heath Zed 14. Don’t think there’s a better mixer in that price range.

Short term I think I will have to go with the Alesis line mixer. Long term I am really looking hard at the x32. So I have a few questions for any x32 owners. So if I understand correctly you can group inputs and outputs? So can I set one channel to control inputs 1 and 2 as a stereo channel? Or does it still keep the separate slider channels but I would just mark them as L and R for my reference?

Also if I understand correctly it has channel profiles, so I can have different profiles for routing different channels to FX. I would most likely want to change the FX mapping for each song. When you change profiles is there any popping or other issues through the buses? Do I need to turn everything down first or does it handle this gracefully?

When you link/group 2 channels for stereo it will still use 2 faders but the faders are locked to each other (moving the first also moves the second). I have a feature request in to just use one fader for stereo channels but I’m not too optimistic it will be implemented any time soon.
Channel profiles: you have a few options. There are libraries for channels, routing and FX. Basically presets. For example:a vocal channel preset with compression, eq and gate settings. Or a reverb FX preset. Or a routing configuration.
You also have scenes that can store every setting in the board. You can also exclude sections from the scenes. I have scenes that swap out FX but leave every other setting. For example my default scene has a limiter inserted on the Octatrack channel but I have another scene that replaces it with a transient designer. In version 2 of the firmware you can switch scenes via midi but I’m not sure if this is true for version 1.5. Tonight I will test to see if there is any noticeable delay when switching X32 scenes via midi from the Octatrack itself. In version 2, the whole scene thing has been redesigned and they added another level called “scene snippet” intended for automation but I haven’t played with it yet.
Hope this helps.

What happens if you have the Behringer S16 attached to the AES50 port? Can I have all inputs on the S16 and x32 connected and sort them based on the scenes what inputs should be used in what scene? I’m assuming 32 channels is max no matter what you have connected. But my thinking is with all of my synths I could almost fill an x32 right now. However I can’t see using all parts of all synths at the same time, so can I create scenes that I can switch from song to song that will activate specific inputs between the S16 and the x32?

I have the X32 Compact so the S16 is definitely on my wish list as I have run out of inputs already. You can actually connect up to six S16 boxes but you are correct that you can only have 32 inputs active at once (plus 6 aux inputs). You can easily switch which inputs are mapped to which channels using scenes. You could do this over WiFi/OSC using the X32 iPad app or using midi.
I haven’t been in the studio the past few days so I still haven’t checked out the FX switching via midi/scenes to see if there are any glitches. Maybe tonight.

Excellent, thanks for checking on these things for me. I have yet to make it to a store with a piece of my gear to play with an x32. The new x18 seems cool but I’m not sure if I can get down with just using a tablet for an interface. I already do have an ASUS Transformer so at least it would reduce the cost of entry. So I still need to weigh all sides of this. Either way 16 mono inputs will not be enough for me even now so an S16 is almost an immediate buy if I don’t shell out the cash for a full size x32.

Yeah, this was a major purchase for me but the decision was eased by the fact I got in on the price drop that some retailers were offering back in November. Now that I’ve been using it for a few months I have to say it is an absolutely amazing value even at the full asking price. Version 2 of the OS is icing on an already delicious cake. I’m loving the new FX and EQ on the FX returns and there are some great new smaller features that really enhance the workflow like adding a second input layer to the bus faders, inverted scribble strips, RTA/spectograph overlays on EQs … and the list goes on.
One cool thing I recently discovered is the side chain on the gates and compressors. I.m keying them with the cue out on the Octatrack to get pumping baselines, gated patterns etc. Previously I was using an Alesis 3630 but this is way less hassle … and sounds better.
Anyway, enough gushing … for now!

Ah, that was something else I was wondering. Can it do different effects for each channel or is there a limit to how many effects can be applied at once? Does it do a master effects for the whole mix? … At this point I think I should just download the manual lol.

The FX rack is limited to 8 slots. You can only have one insert on a channel and of course this uses up one of your FX slots. The FX are stereo and some are dual mono so you can send mono signals (like my mono synths) to either side of an FX. You can have FX on your bus sends post fader so you could have an FX inserted on multiple channels. You can also have the FX returns sent to buses. So for example I have the Moog filter FX as a post fader FX on one bus and the return is sent to both a reverb and a delay bus.
There are some pretty good tutorial videos posted on the Behringer YouTube channel:

Ok so I was able to get to a Guitar Center to try an x32 out. They were running an older OS though so I’m not sure what has changed since. I did hop on an x32 Compact with a slightly newer OS and the work flow seemed a bit better.

Any way from what I could tell, if you have an S16 connected you assign the whole 16 channels to replace 16 on the x32. Best I could tell you cannot select only channel one on the S16 and assign it to any channel on the x32 while leaving adjacent channels available on the x32. Please tell me I am wrong on this as this really kills the flexibility of this mixer for me.

I was standing in front of the same problem during last summer.
I had to choose a good mixer for 2 different topics.

One, which has sturdy build quality, fast and easy access to all knobs and a good eq which cuts the frequencies, not just “touching” them, maybe a good fx section built in with filters, delays, reverb etc…
-This would be our go to mixer when playing with a reduced setup that contains 2 A4 and 2 OT and maybe 1 or two additional synths

The other purpose is a mixer that has at least 2 aux-busses, min. 4 stereo inputs, and up to 4 mono inputs, should be fair priced and sound ok
-This would be the mixer that i want to use when i’m jamming with a lot more gear

So i was looking on the market and i came to the conclusion that i won’t find a mixer that could be useful for those two setups at the same time.

I decided to take out my trusted Ecler Evo4 DJ Mixer for Live-Gigs, it sounds fantastic, has some of the best eq’s i’ve heard and is built like a tank and has 2 tempo synced fx units which are freely routable.
Best thing is, it’s still portable, so our complete live-gear fits into a DJ Trolley and 2 bigger backpacks plus 2 smaller bags (cables, camera, psu…)

For the bigger setup i use now an old Alto Mixer which has 4 mono/4stereo inputs, 2 aux, 3 outputs and the sound is quite ok, got it almost for free.

I don’t use both mixers in the studio, there i’ll connect everything i use to my 2 RME interfaces (UCX and FF800) and a separate 8 channel A/D converter, this prevents from unwanted noise floor and provides pristine audio quality.

So i think if i ever change my setup to a bigger mixer, than it should have clear preamps with lots of headroom, decent EQ, 6 aux and a great summing stage
I think i have already chosen…but it’s pricey

have a look