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  1. #1

    Default Way OT: small mixer

    In recent time, my remote rig has evolved in an effort to make setups and teardowns easier. I try to make everything so that no single "lift" is more than 25 pounds, and I've gotten pretty close. An important part of this was switching to a laptop computer (Lenovo IdeaPad 300 series). This computer has two primary purposes: recording "out in the wild" (meaning anywhere that isn't my studio at home), and for my square dance rig. Each purpose has its own equipment pack, with the one common element being my computer bag (AKA my "square dance bag"). Each of these packs is designed to use a little as possible, as light as possible.

    My recording pack includes a 4-unit rack with interface and converters, which works fine. The other setup does not use this rack.

    Now for the fun part. As a side pursuit, I am a square dance caller (for those who know, Western Style rather than "Traditional"). We try to make our dance rigs as easy to move and set up as possible. So, for your amusement, here is a bona fide example of my idea of "hilbilly engineering":Name:  Amp Case.jpg
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    And a closer look at my problem:
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    What problem? Almost forgot that...
    I have discovered that I need to improve the mixer I use. That is, get a new one. A dance caller's setup has to do two things: amplify his/her voice, and play music. My laptop is the music source, and for this I use its internal sound hardware (music is usually from mp3 files, so the internal hdwe is good enough). I use the stereo line inputs on the mixer. If my pics are clear enough, you might see that the stereo line inputs have no tone controls, and now I need those. I also sometimes work with another caller, so, two mics, two computers.

    So, I need a mixer with two mic inputs and two stereo line inputs. All inputs must have tone controls (simple bass/treble is fine for this). Mixers that do this are easy to find, except for one itsy-bitsy problem: the mixers I find in my price range are not "itsy-bitsy" enough. The absolute maximum allowable width for the new mixer is SEVEN INCHES. Anything wider with overlap the amplifier. I have spent hours searching the web for what I need. I thought I have found a used mixer from Nady that would fit, only I found out the hard way that the user manual for it LIED about the dimensions (why the heck would anybody lie about THAT??). Too wide, and also busted, so I had to send it back.

    So my call goes out to my fellow SAW/SAC users: can anyone point me to a workable solution?

    Oh, and before you say SAC, that's not practical for this particular use (much as I love what SAC can do!).

    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"

  2. #2

    Default Re: Way OT: small mixer

    perhaps a rackmount mixer like the art mx622

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    SF Bay Area

    Default Re: Way OT: small mixer

    how about ditching the physical mixer and user your laptop. Then you'd only need a small USB interface. There are lots of those in small channel counts.

    Here are a couple of 4 input 4 output units
    Philip G.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Maple Ridge, BC Canada
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Way OT: small mixer


    Have a peep:

    Yamaha AG Series

    Harbinger L502


    Alesis Multimix 4 USB (Sadly Discontinued)

    I hope this helps?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Way OT: small mixer

    I thank all of you who have answered here.

    Most of the offered solutions don't fit the spec. Part of this is why I included a detailed description of needed features, and pictures. The new mixer must fit the available shelf width, an absolute hard limit of seven inches. I can be a bit more flexible about "top to bottom" (as you look at the controls). Rack mount options won't work here.

    I have, in the past, used an interface with my laptop instead of an external mixer, using the DSP mixer in the interface to balance levels. I made it work, but this way I have no tone controls at all, and that interface is now mounted in a rack with added converters, an overall package that is too large and clunky to be included in a standard "square dance" equipment pack. Lest someone suggest using SAC as the mixer, I would probably again have to include an interface with extra channels, plus I am not sure I can reliably get this laptop to run reliably at the very low latency I need for this application.

    The most likely suggestion I've had so far (sent to me off list) is the Behringer Xenyx 802, which is still a bit wide in stock condition, but might just barely fit if I remove the side panels. Other than that, it would work very well for my purpose.

    Again, thanks for all your kindly offered suggestions.
    Cary B. Cornett
    aka "Puzzler"

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