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Tech: Submixers or switches

26 Oct 06 - 07:05 AM (#1868983)
Subject: Tech: Sub-mixers or switches
From: Hand-Pulled Boy

Currently I am using acoustic guitar into an AER compact 60 acoustic amp. I would like to use up to 3 or 4 different instruments into the instrument channel possibly using an analogue unpowered mixer such as the Yamaha MG8/2FX. Each instrument will be used independantly of each other. Any comments regarding loss of sound quality, reduced power output or connections would be appreciated. Another option would be to use a dedicated switching device such as the Lehle 3@1 which may not be as flexible to use as the sub-mixer.
In most cases the AER would be DI'd into the PA mixer but not always, ie small cafe gigs whereby the AER's 2nd input channel would be used for microphone input. Comments gratefully received. Ta!


26 Oct 06 - 08:24 AM (#1869021)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss

I use the smallest Behringer mixer mounted on my guitar stand for this purpose. I tried switches, but as some of the instuments do not have onboard controls it was better to use a mixer and have more control. It's useful to be able to tweak the volume or eq when necessary, as different PAs seem to require a different sub mix. I have it set up vertically (upside down, actually, so the leads trail from the bottom) and then use the volume knobs to the centre detent as on/off switches, unless I need extra cut or boost, in which case I can miss the centre point. I can also tweak the main volume if needed. The Behringer only has trims on two channels (I use five, including the fx return), so I use the pan pots to set up the basic balance between two guitars, a mandocello, a pair of mics (combined) for squeeze boxes) and sometimes mandolin or dulcimer. It works very well, and sound guys are always relieved that they only have one channel to manage - having seen me walk in with the contents of the Music Room shop window!

Tom


26 Oct 06 - 08:26 AM (#1869024)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Mooh

I sometimes use a Behringer 6 channel sub-mixer to switch between instruments. To mute the instruments I used to use a volume pedal but lately I've been using Planet Waves switch cables, or the instrument's volume control if there is one. I don't see or hear a down side as the mixer has decent preamps on every channel, phantom power for the condenser mics when necessary, channel and master volumes, packs small and light, and is reasonable quiet. Lots of other brands of such mixers are available too.

For a more basic setup for two instruments I use an Radial Bigshot A/B/Y passive switch pedal. Combined with individual instrument preamps (mostly Boss, Zoom, and Behringers), it works as well and everything is at my feet keeping my hands free to play. Somewhere in my bag there's also a perfectly servicable but ancient DOD A/B pedal too.

Use good quality cables, no longer than necessary when possible.

YMMV

Peace, Mooh.


26 Oct 06 - 09:02 AM (#1869052)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Hand-Pulled Boy

Excellent info so far however, am I right in saying that an unpowered sub-mixer is o/k?


26 Oct 06 - 09:20 AM (#1869061)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: jeffp

I think you would have unacceptable signal loss with an unpowered mixer. Remember you are starting out with low signal levels to begin with and an unpowered mixer reduces the signal further.


26 Oct 06 - 09:35 AM (#1869074)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: GUEST, Tom Bliss

Unpowered is asking for trouble. Having power means you can pass on phantom if you ever need to. I'd also suggest coming out of the mini-mixer into a DI box, then taking a jack lead from that to your AER. When you use a PA you can then DI to that using an xlr. The output of the AER may not be ideal for that purpose, though I've never tried it. Might be fine.


26 Oct 06 - 11:18 AM (#1869151)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Richard Bridge

It also means you can't use the channel any way other than "clean".


26 Oct 06 - 11:35 AM (#1869162)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: oggie

The 8 channel Berhinger also has phantom power on a couple of inputs and a tape/effects send which can be useful.

all the best

oggie


26 Oct 06 - 04:25 PM (#1869376)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Hand-Pulled Boy

What is the model number please oggie?


26 Oct 06 - 05:29 PM (#1869423)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: oggie

Hi there,

Ours is a couple of years old - current equivilent looks to be the XENYX-802 which is £42 from Digital Village (www.DV247.com) is their e-commerce portal, but check the fine print that it's suitable for you.

We've been very happy with ours, we've used it for recording to computer, balancing electric and acoustic instruments and as a pre-mixer for the son's four keyboards.

All the best

oggie


27 Oct 06 - 09:14 AM (#1869905)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Hand-Pulled Boy

It's also occured to me that I have 3 guitars that each have their own onboard controls (Volume, EQ etc) so why don't I simply use a DI box such as Behringer's Ultra-DI Pro DI4000 unit? It has 4 inputs and 1 output.


27 Oct 06 - 10:56 AM (#1870011)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: oggie

Been there, done that and then got more instruments, hence the 8-channels. Also the extra tweakability can be a bonus.

All the best

oggie


27 Oct 06 - 02:31 PM (#1870184)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Bernard

Ummmm... I've just realised something... by 'unpowered' you don't mean 'passive' - you mean a mixer without internal amplifiers, don't you?

The Yamaha MG8/2FX is similar to the Behringer, but with four mic inputs and a stereo input... and it is 'powered' in the sense that it cannot function without a mains supply, which previous posters have thought you meant.

So it's not really a lot different from the Behringers... other than price!!


30 Oct 06 - 04:53 AM (#1871992)
Subject: RE: Tech: Submixers or switches
From: Hand-Pulled Boy

Thanks Bernard. The confusion was because when looking at mixers with internal amplifiers means that the asking price is in the hundreds of pounds. What you're saying is that if it needs 'plugging in' then it'll do the job?