Creating A Larger Audio Mix With Analog Mixing Counsel

Creating A Larger Audio Mix With Analog Mixing Counsel


Makie Eight Buss

Harrison 32

SSL 4000

Early mixing days

·       CAD recording desk were awesome boutique equipment back in the early 90s

·       Mackie eight bus revolutionized mixing with affordable mid format mixing counsel at reasonable prices

·       Harrison made famous by Bruce Swedien mixing the three big Michael Jackson records Off-the-wall, Thriller, Bad.

·       SSL built in the 80s made famous with Bob Clearmountain who worked with Sister Sledge, Chic, The Rolling Stones andBruce Springstien.


My experience mixing in the box.

·       Mixes were thin. Needed to over extend EQ plug-ins to get close to commercial standards.

·       Mixes missing sonic space. Depth,width and height seem to be limited.

·       Reverb sit on the mix not in the mix.This makes the reverbs and affects seem fundamentally unnatural.



Control surfaces.

·       Control surfaces add no sonic benefit

·       Control 24 was a control surface with microphone preamps yet was sonically inferior to an analog recording desk.

·       Icon suffered from the same problems as a control 24 and were inferior to an analog recording desk sonically.


Trouble with digital mixers.

·       Thin and crunchy sound. Audio seems to miss an element of warmth.

·       Audio is only as good as audio converters. Audio converters in less expensive digital mixers seem to be an afterthought that reduces the sonic quality of the equipment.

·       Latency, especially when stackingplug-ins, can become a performance issue for musicians both live and in the studio.

·       Channels are not laid out for easy access. Many control surfaces are laid out to control only one channel strip at a time while in analog counsel allows for access to every channel strip simultaneously for fast adjustments.


Midas XL200

Midas XL 200with outboard gear.

·       52 channels offers large foot print for any project both recording and mixing.

·       Use ProTools or digital audio workstation as a multitrack and editor allowing for analog equipment to do theheavy lifting of mixing through a physical master bus.

·       layout inputs and outputs for consistency for any project will speed up any workflow

·       High-quality analog preamps give you sonic benefits for both recording and mixing playback.

·       High-quality analog parametric EQ sonic benefits for both recording and mixing playback benefits

·       24 bus system allows you to send audio many places all at one time.

·       True master section has large transformers offering analog sweetness to your mix.

·       The quality of sound running througha bus to outboard gear works synergistically blending the audio in the master buss.

·       Every aspect of every channel accessible quickly from gain staging, EQ, bussing, panning, muting and fader motions fast and efficiently.

·       Fast muting and soloing allows for finding issues in the audio faster.



Studio Master


TAC Scorpion



Pick up an old mixer that people are offloading.

·       Avoid Mixer with built in converters.Many times these audio converters are subpar to separate audio converters for better audio conversion.

·       studio master was a great small format board with nice EQ and overall great sound built in the late 80s early90s. You can still find them relatively cheap for a few hundred dollars.

·       Mackie eight bus $700

·       Midas $1000 to about $8000

·       sound craft New $3500 GB4 40 Channel

·       Alan Heath New $3200 GL2400 32Channel

·       SSL $30,000

·       Euphonics

·       Trident



·       Buy the best cables you can. Cables make a huge difference in the quality of audio going in and out of all your gear both in the studio and live.

·       If you can afford the best cables for everything, find the best cables for critical run’s like cable runs to your mains and monitors, interfaces and audio converters both in and out, high-end frontend mic chains.

·       Mogami is great cabling. Not all Mogami is the same 2534 Quad works very well, is consistent and last a longtime. There are some knockoff cables (Tisino) that are great for short runs ata fraction of the price.

·       Monster is also a great cable.