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Monitor mixer... or something else?


Biskit

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One of our venues regularly plays host to public meetings with local government officials etc. The room in question has a computerised conference system installed, with all delegate seats having their own dedicated microphone unit all digitally controlled by the chair of the meeting. This feeds into a PA system for the 'audience' areas. There are also several other inputs into the PA, such as a couple of hand held radio mics and AV equipment which is brought in from time to time (laptop audio for presentations etc).

 

The PA as originally installed was a TOA mixer amp, which had just enough inputs, and one mono output to all the speakers, with a whole-mix aux output driving an IR hearing system. However, over the years since, extra bits have been added for all sorts of reasons: fed for a live webcasting system, feed to a PA in an overflow room, other inputs such as an 'ambient' microphone to ensure there are not periods of silence in the overflow room when no mic is on, etc. The original TOA amp couldn't acomodate all this, so we've ended up with a hotch potch of preamps, line mixers, splitters, and allsorts. Now, if we get a problem, it is nigh-on impossible to find out where it is coming from, and also impossible to optimise each mix - everything is a compromise due to the limited routing.

 

Can anyone suggest a product along the lines of a monitor mixer, with, say, 8 or 10 inputs (mix of mic and line, or both) and at least four fully independant mix outputs, with proper PFL/AFL facilities, which we could use to bring all this together in a better way?

 

Any other suggestions also welcome!

 

Many thanks

 

Ben.

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A fairly standard mixer could be used to do what you want.

However, I suspect that a system such as the BSS Soundweb or Allen & Heath's iDR series (and there are many others) would give the flexibility, ease of use and ability to upgrade that the job seems to require,

 

 

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I forgot to add to the original post, we need something which will do in a 19" rack cabinet, ideally with connections on the rear. There's only about 4 or 5 U space available so general purpose PA mixers which happen to also have four auxes are not going to fit.
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There are products made to solve this particular conundrum, the Soundweb has been mentioned, but perhaps the A&H iDR would be a good fit, many of the matrix DSP boxes would also probably suit, like a Lectrosonics Aspen, Symnet, Bi Amp Da Vinci etc.

 

They don't have knobs on them; they are programmable, and one uses (usually) a keypad too summon the correct memorised configuration.

 

Or you could use a rack drawer, and plonk an Alto L-12 on it; this baby mixer has four auxes, stereo out and four subgroups, and many sockets on the back panel; I have one and it's my small problem solving mixer".

 

I dont think a Midsas XL88 will fit your rackgap :)

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What's this computerised system involved? If it's anything like an AMX system etc you could control a digital matrix (if compatable) from that.

 

A simple option would be to stick a mixer of appropriate size in your rack on a rack tray allowing you to do your patching etc and then it can slide away in the rack all nice and tidy. Would a mixer with a mono out as well as your LR out be of use for the overflow room?

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If you want a load of expansion ability, you've got the option of something like an Allen&Heath Mix Wizard WZ 12M

http://www.allen-heath.com/AHImages/WZ312M_top.jpg

16 inputs (with corresponding outputs), 12 aux outputs and the rear connector panel is rotatable.

 

If you want proper faders, the rest of the Mix Wizard range will sort you.

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If you want a load of expansion ability, you've got the option of something like an Allen&Heath Mix Wizard WZ 12M

http://www.allen-heath.com/AHImages/WZ312M_top.jpg

16 inputs (with corresponding outputs), 12 aux outputs and the rear connector panel is rotatable.

 

If you want proper faders, the rest of the Mix Wizard range will sort you.

 

I forgot to add to the original post, we need something which will do in a 19" rack cabinet, ideally with connections on the rear. There's only about 4 or 5 U space available so general purpose PA mixers which happen to also have four auxes are not going to fit.

 

Unless it was on a sliding tray, the MW won't fit in 5u. I would push for a digital solution like the Yamaha DME, BSS soundweb or A&H iDR

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Thanks for all the replies. We'd been hoping to avoid a digital multi in/out type device in order to maintain the best level of 'hands on' live control. Even though the intention is for it to be pretty much 'set and leave', when a problem does occur we need to be able to do something about it instantly. However I will have a good look at each of the products suggested.

 

Regarding the mixer on rack tray idea, this is actually a good suggestion and one we hadn't thought of - doh! Not quite as elegant as we'd have liked but probably gives the widest range of possibilities.

 

And as for the digital conference system - it is an RCF product, which runs as a stand alone system quite happily (most of the time anyway) just giving a single audio feed to the PA system. For political reasons it has to be controlled by the actual officers chairing the meeting, rather than a 'technician' as such, so looking to put controls for the audio system there as well is asking for trouble! Thanks for the suggestion though, as in different circumstances, that would work well.

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