dBm

Any ideas for a digital replacement for analog cart mixers

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dBm   

Hi, just wondering if there is any kind of consensus on industry trends toward fully digital mixers for location mixing?

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The trend for many it seems is to go with a hardware interface, a control surface, that interfaces with a fully digital host recorder --- of course this means the host recorder has to provide all the features and functionality you need in terms of routing, equalization, etc. For those who wish to have a standalone digital mixing panel, a unit that can feed any digital recording device, there really aren't any purpose built digital mixers specifically designed for our sort of work. The Zaxcom Cameo, no longer produced, was really the only fully digital mixing panel that I know of. Many sound mixers have settled in to using digital consoles from the music world, like the various offerings from Yamaha, and though it certainly would not be my cup of tea, this has been very successful for lots of sound mixers. Most of the manufacturers of the most commonly used recorders (Sound Devices, Zaxcom, Cantar, etc.) do not seem too motivated to do a standalone digital mixer and prefer to further improve hardware interfaces, fader panels and the like, for their digital recorders. 

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To be precise, the current crop of recorders actually are mixers as well, with the higher end ones having most of the features of a location dialog panel of a few years ago.  Co.s like Aaton, Zax and SD make fader surfaces that make using their internal mixers more like using an old-school analog board.  Meanwhile, over in the live-sound and MI world, you can buy an all digital mixer, 20 inputs, 12 physical outputs, page after page of routing and processing possibilities, full remote control from an i- or Android device, full direct multitrack recording of all channels (inputs, sends, mixes etc) to a USB drive for under $1k (open box demo).   What's missing for us?  All those niggling but needed details: ext. clock, timecode, reporting, file naming, input limiters, DC powering.   But the indies have discovered these and are using them today despite their shortcomings.

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13 hours ago, dBm said:

Hi, just wondering if there is any kind of consensus on industry trends toward fully digital mixers for location mixing?

I've seen quite a few sound mixers using a Yamaha 01V96 standalone digital mixer, and it's been out for quite a few years.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/01V96i

They're also widely available on the used market. One potential issue is that they're deep, heavy, and have to be AC-powered, but they still can work very well on a studio cart setup. It's also quite affordable, with used ones well under $1500. 

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I too am looking for a digital mixer replacement for my Audio Developments 8-channel analogue mixer. 

I own 2x SD260i PIX recorders and are currently considering a Midas 32R as a compact mixer. It is AC powered though :(

I have spoken to Midas and they informed me it would not Ben possible to make a 12v DC conversion. 

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I too am looking for a digital mixer replacement for my Audio Developments 8-channel analogue mixer. 
I own 2x SD260i PIX recorders and are currently considering a Midas 32R as a compact mixer. It is AC powered though
I have spoken to Midas and they informed me it would not Ben possible to make a 12v DC conversion. 

You could add a digital module to your AD mixer. Maybe keep you going for a while longer.

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12 minutes ago, Constantin said:


You could add a digital module to your AD mixer. Maybe keep you going for a while longer.

Younare indeed correct. Audio Developments do offer an AES modification but I would still be limited to 8 channels in the current form factor. Ideally I'm after 16 as a minimum as this is becoming more common for me. 

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Younare indeed correct. Audio Developments do offer an AES modification but I would still be limited to 8 channels in the current form factor. Ideally I'm after 16 as a minimum as this is becoming more common for me. 

Yes, I understand. Although with the digital conversion you get 8 channels plus two, but I'm not 100% sure if it can be used simultaneously. So it'd be 8 isos plus a stereo mix.
But you're probably looking for something bigger - something I'd be interested in too.
I mean AD builds larger mixers as well, but of course they are very expensive...

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The other option to interface to a PIX 260 or 970 is external Analog to Dante conversion, the only practical 12vDC capable ones I've seen so far are the Ferrofish ones. The 16-channel one is MADI only, the 32 channel one is available as MADI or Dante. Both are in a 1rack-unit case. I was looking at these for a colleague - I use a 01v96 myself and love it, but always have access to mains power.

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When I was doing broadcast work I used Yamaha DM1000 and had a second rack with 01V96. Extra channels with Audient preamps and a Joeco for ISOs - I was pretty happy with it most of the time.

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