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Small mixer with digital outputs

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Schniapereli, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    At out high school, our radio department has a big mixer we want to use. It is a Behringer Eurodesk MX9000 with 48 channels, and the radio people only need about 4 channels. (The radio teacher said "it looked a little smaller in the catalog" (being 60 lbs and $1600, of course it did)) This board was selected because of its supposed digital outputs that I have not been able to find out anything about in any of the online manuals and spec sheets. They do not use any of the EQ or routing features. They just need the channel to be up or down.

    I know it is a Behringer, and that every time I touch it I lose brain cells (or whatever it does to people) but right now we (the drama department) have a Mackie SR32-4 VLZ Pro which our school district just loves to put into every single cotton-picking school, despite the fact that they invariable die. On our current Mackie, the subs and mains are completely out regardless of how many times we send it in to fix it. (We run EVERYTHING out of auxes...don't laugh...)

    So, we are trying to strike a temporary deal with the radio and the administration. Our school is being rebuilt in a year with entirely new equipment, but in the meantime, we would like a bourd for next year with a working master section. So the drama department is looking to swap out the Mackie for the Behringer.


    We are looking to find a board to replace theirs, so they can give it to us. The engineer says the board needs digital outputs. (They connect a CD player into the board along with a microphone. (They record someone saying the title and artist at the end of the song.) The board outputs stereo to the computer which records it) I may be a little off, but I am pretty sure that is the signal path we have to deal with.

    Does this Behringer board really have digital outputs from an analog mixer? (I haven't really heard of anything like this...)

    Does this situation really need digital outs?

    What is a good board to replace it that will be a closer fit to what they need?

    Should stop worrying about the blasted Behringer and just go for another board for the drama deptartment?

    (I can talk to the engineer if this is not enough information, but he is really hard to get a hold of.)

    Any input is greatly appreciated. =)
     
  2. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    What type of digital out do they need? Optical? SPDIF? I know there are even some smaller new Behringer boards that have a USB connection on them. Would something like that work?

    ~Dave
     
  3. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    'Splain it again why they need digital outs? USB is great and all, but it can't handle all the channels, hell, I thought FireWire only gets about 16-24 channels depending on bit/sample rate, but don't quote me on that. If you want true digital outs, the best bet would be get something like the Yamaha 01V96, but even then, I have no idea what the digital outs are used for. What's wrong with good 'ol analog outputs? CD players have them, why not use them?

    As far as Behringer vs. Mackie, that's a slippery road. In my experience with both boards in question (a friend of mine was a poster boy for Behringer, don't know what he's doing now), I find that the Behringer one breaks before the Mackie does. I can't really throw out suggestions without knowing more about your situation, but try looking at Allen and Heath or Soundcraft, or even the new Mackie 4-bus (though I'd take the first two first, and I own an ONYX).
     
  4. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    That is the part that confused me. I looked at the connection in back, and they were simply using stereo XLR outs. We also used this board for one of our shows, so I got to know it really well, and the patchbay just had XLR and TRS ins and outs. I don't know what experience the engineer has, but he called it digital while it all looked analog to me...

    The board has no firewire or USB options. I was a little skeptical about it being digital because of the XLR connectors, but there is still a lot of stuff I haven't run into in my 3 years, so I was open to listening to this guy.

    So, does this mean that since this setup was just using analog outputs and the engineer was just really confused and/or having a hangover?
    Will any old analog board do the job?

    (I will be talking to this guy in the morning, so I will be able to sort out a few more things...)
     
  5. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    AES/EBU can be carried by XLR connectors.

    IEC 60958 Type I Balanced – 3-conductor, 110-ohm twisted pair cabling with an XLR connector, used in professional installations (AES3 standard)
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Occupation:
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    Agreed, but the Behringer MX9000 does not have any AES3 I/O, it seems to be all analog.

    It seems that they still need to define to you exactly what output(s) they require, if they are using the Eurodesk then it is not digital. If they are recording on computer, you might want to look at an external USB or FireWire interface, maybe something like this Lexicon Lambda 4-in / 4-out USB Desktop Audio/MIDI Recording Interface | Full Compass.
     
  7. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    I talked to the engineer just barely, and he said he would look for his own if we gave him the money. So, we are just going to talk to the administration and see how much they will offer, and we will let him decide on the new board.

    I think he is still sticking to his philosophies of digital coming from an analog board, but we will let them worry about that since it will almost definitely not be our money.

    Then we will be getting the Eurodesk, they will be getting a new board, we will possibly sell our old board to somewhere, or try to get something out of it.

    Thanks for all your comments. This has been very educational.
     
  8. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    A used yamaha 03d might make an interesting alternative, they sell pretty inexpensively on the used market, and are pretty rugged

    Sharyn
     
  9. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    I would try to set this guy straight -- and at least ask him to come up with a proposed make/model of board that he wants to buy.

    I've been at this for only two years, but one thing I've learned is that the evolution of audio equipment is rather slow in this industry, and I haven't heard of any analog boards with digital I/O (at least not in the affordable price range) and don't imagine there's anything new on the horizon. So I would be surprised if this guy came up with a board that will do what he claims (-- and very curious to hear what it is).

    If he wants to connect an analog board to digital device(s), there are a wide variety of D/A and A/D devices using USB, Firewire, ADAT, PCI etc. I don't know too much about these, but the folks on this forum do.

    And if he just wants a digital board, Sharyne mentioned one of the Yamaha digital boards ... Sharyn, shouldn't he also look at the original 01v? I've seen those go for under $500.
     
  10. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    You knew it would happen since you said it but the new Allen & Heath ZED series consoles have USB I/O built in, come with Sonar LE software and start at about $400 (6 mono inputs with 3 band EQ, 4 stereo inputs with 2 band EQ and 4 aux) and go up to around $2,000 (32 mono inputs with 4 band EQ, 2 stereo inputs with 4 band EQ, 4 groups and 6 aux). I have yet to hear or work with one of them but this does seem to reflect the direction things are going.
     
  11. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Be that as it may Muse, most of the analog boards that I see with that FireWire/USB option are generaly 16 channel (with the exception of the A&H, which I haven't seen out in the field yet), and the digital is less than useless as an actual digital output for anything other than multi-track recording. If that's what he's looking for, then all the power to him, the A&H is a good choice, as are the Mackie ONYX. For use as an actual output (not for multi-tracking), and if digital is a requirement, then I'd just buck up and either buy an external AD/DA converter or go with an 01V96 (or LS9, or M7 depending on budget).

    But I haven't personally used the ZED, so I can't comment on that.
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Maybe I misunderstood but I thought that was what they wanted:
    If that is not what is wanted, then quoting Emily Litella, "Never mind."
     
  13. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Original version of O1v would also work, I just think the O3d tends to be more rugged and I have seen them sell for even less than 500
    Sharyn
     
  14. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Brad, I had thought the need was for full digital I/O, meaning all input channels and at least the LR outputs. And for that I know of no boards that are analog internally but have digital I/O.

    But after re-reading Schniapereli's original email, all they may need is a 2-track recording to computer. In which case, yes, I agree with you and would recommend the ZED-14 hands down ... at $399 you really can't beat it (assuming it's somewhat close to standard A&H quality). I have been looking at the ZED boards since they were first announced, and they look like a pretty good value.

    -- John
     
  15. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    I will recommend these boards to the engineer, and give a price estimate to the administration based off of theses boards.

    Thanks mucho.
     
  16. TimmyP1955

    TimmyP1955 Active Member

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    That the engineer says "digital" but does not say what type of interface makes one wonder if he knows what he's talking about. Is it S/PDIF? AES (AES/EBU)? TOSLINK (ADAT)? USB? FireWire (IEEE1394)? EtherSound? MADI? CobraNet?
     
  17. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    He didn't say what type, and their old board didn't have any digital features. I have no idea what he was thinking or how much he knows.
     

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