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Allen & Heath Mixers (MixWizard 4 content)

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
About a month or two ago I started a thread on passive mixers in hopes that I could get some input on brands/models to look into. Anyway, last week I finally bought a pair of QSC k12 speakers and also sold my Yorkville AP818 powered mixer. I have a show coming up in a month and need a mixer and I think I have settled on something from Allen & Heath but I wanted to see if I could get some input on the models that they offer. I am at the moment considering one of the newest generation MixWizard consoles but the ZedFX model is still an option.

First off, I want to mention that I like to record live shows so having that option is pretty key. In the past I would simply run a left and right cable out of the line out feature on my Yorkville mixer into my Presonus interface and then record it with Garageband. The downside is that I needed to bring the Presonus interface and there was no way to mix the different channels. The ZedFX line appeals to me because of the USB out. I realize it won't give me the option to mix each channel but it seems trouble free. The downside is that it seems as though they are still using USB 1.1 which is outdated.

With that said, what's the main difference between the ZedFX line of mixers and the MixWard 4 models? Is it simply an upgrade in quality?

In order to avoid making this a novel, I have made a list of concerns/questions about the MizWizard 4:

Is there a difference between the 14:4:2 and 16:2 models or it simply the amount of XLR inputs? (Looks like the 14:4:2 has a different back layout)

Does anyone have any idea how much the optional USB audio piece is? (I find it somewhat mind boggling that this is a separate purchase, especially since it needs to be installed)

If I get the optional audio option piece installed, do I need to buy the Allen & Heath ICE-16 to record multi tracks or could I still use a program like Garageband. Also, I am assuming this multi track options allows the user to adjust each track later in the recording software for a perfect mix?

How are the fx on the MixWizard 4?

Anyway, I know the MizWizard 4 is the newest generation so it might not have many users yet but I thought I would ask!
 
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walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,369
as much as i love mixwizards, in the digital age a brand-new mixwix 4 kinda feels like buying a state-of-the-art, perfected horse-and-buggy.

if you want a mixwiz, just score a used one, they're getting cheaper and cheaper as folks dump them for digital boards. (and uniquely among mixers in that size that aren't like twice the price, all the mixwizards are really fixable, with separate boards for each channel like big-dog mixers have. this makes them far better bets used than any other small-format mixer.)
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
Thanks for the reply. The problem is that older mixwizard boards don't have the new recording functionality. Also, are digital boards really that popular now? They seem to be overkill unless you really want to get into recording. I am still on the fence though, especially if the newest mixwizard isn't really anything new.
 

Carpalstunna

Member
Messages
691
Agreed I would not buy a new analog board. Not worth it, digital has become more affordable and more widespread, so much more tweakability and flexibility. Pick up a MW3 if you don't want to go digital.
 

Schroedinger

Member
Messages
2,125
I have a Zed10 that I use for acoustic gigs. Frankly, I'm not a big fan. It's good enough and I'll probably keep using it because I'm cheap and lazy, but I wouldn't buy it again.

I don't like the control layout, but that's just a preference thing... I like Mackie's signal routing and ergonomics. It sounds OK and has been pretty reliable, but the onboard effects are cheesy, and there aren't enough AUX sends to run an external FX unit and still have monitor sends. The USB seems like a nice feature, but it only sends the final 2-channel mix to your computer, not the individual tracks.
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,389
Digital adds an unnecessary level of complexity IMHO. Our singer has one, and he fancies himself to be quite the soundman, yet he doesn't seem to be able to dial it in well. We brought in a sound man for a show a few weeks ago, and he never got ir properly figured out either, and I have no clue how it works. We used my analog board this weekend, and by all accounts sound was a whole lot better.

I'm not saying digital boards aren't or can't be better, but there seems to be a pretty big learning curve on them, and unless you're prepared to spend the time to really get to know it, you're probably better off going old-school.
 

imaxeman69

Member
Messages
765
I think the question is quality vs. features vs. budget.

IMO, the MixWiz, for the money, offers the best quality in a compact mixer. You can get better. Crest and ABP have some awesome mixers. But they're considerably more money.

If you primary usage is a live mixer, you can't do much better than the mix wiz. But like said before, I'd try to get a used one.

If live sound and recording is equally important, I'd try to find the best deal on a StudioLive or X32.
 

clothwiring

Member
Messages
6,820
I have a MixWiz 2 I'd sell. Great mixer, just overkill for my needs these days. PM me if interested.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
Agreed I would not buy a new analog board. Not worth it, digital has become more affordable and more widespread, so much more tweakability and flexibility. Pick up a MW3 if you don't want to go digital.
I wouldn't say that digital is more affordable. The Presonus Studiolive series of mixers in comparison to the MixWizard is easily $1000.00 more. I am also not sure if digital is really that widespread. In the years that I have done shows, I still see anallog boards as the most popular consoles.

I will admit that the StudioLive series is still intriguing but as some have mentioned, it's simply overkill. I do a lot of shows where set up is very rushed and although I hear that digital boards can be easy to use, they still present the risk of frustration. One thing I also hate about a lot of digital boards is that they use Firewire as the only connection to computers. Most lap tops don't even have Firewire anymore.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
I think the question is quality vs. features vs. budget.

IMO, the MixWiz, for the money, offers the best quality in a compact mixer. You can get better. Crest and ABP have some awesome mixers. But they're considerably more money.

If you primary usage is a live mixer, you can't do much better than the mix wiz. But like said before, I'd try to get a used one.

If live sound and recording is equally important, I'd try to find the best deal on a StudioLive or X32.
I think the thing is that finding a generation 4 use MixWizard is pretty difficult right now because they are so new. Also, I like the ability to record and the MixWizard seems to include a pretty awesome recording option. Admittedly, I still need to do some research to see if the 16 channel multi usb out can work with software like Garageband and if I can tweak each channel in post production.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
I think at this point the whole mixer thing is very frustrating. For years I used the simple Yorkville AP818 powered mixer which was straight forward and analog. As mentioned, when I recorded I would simply run a right and left cable from the line out on the board into my interface and into my computer. What did I hate about this mixer? The weight was an issue, it lacked enough power and the recording option was not ideal because I could not mix the channels separately later and I had to bring my Presonus interface and lap top to record.

Now that I have the QSC k12s, I simply need a great mixer that will surpass the issues I had with the Yorkville console, especially the ability to record. The MixWizard struck me as being the answer but there are so many brands and models that it's mind boggling. Not to mention the fact that there's now USB 3 out and most mixers either use dated technology like USB 1.1 or Firewire which is a pain when I use my lap top a lot to record live shows.
 

BarneyFife

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,858
Although GCDEF is right about the learning curve for digital mixers. we just got an Allen & Heath QU-16 digital board. For recording it could not be any easier. The Q-drive records all 16 tracks directly to a USB drive. So, one USB cable and one USB drive and you are recording. Just mix it down later. The recordings are pristine. If the recordings are important to you like they are my band, I would go this way.

Sweetwater now has these desks for $2k, that is $500 less than I paid 3 months ago.

And the effects and eq are really good too. The board sounds unreal, but we are still dialing it in.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
Although GCDEF is right about the learning curve for digital mixers. we just got an Allen & Heath QU-16 digital board. For recording it could not be any easier. The Q-drive records all 16 tracks directly to a USB drive. So, one USB cable and one USB drive and you are recording. Just mix it down later. The recordings are pristine. If the recordings are important to you like they are my band, I would go this way.

Sweetwater now has these desks for $2k, that is $500 less than I paid 3 months ago.

And the effects and eq are really good too. The board sounds unreal, but we are still dialing it in.
That's a little more than I would like to spend but it's intriguing. How is it as a live mixer? My primary use is for live mixing but if I can get a board that works equally well with recording then I am sold.
 

orogeny

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,722
a mixwiz 3 is like 500 bucks right now - sometimes WITH A CASE!
i've thought about picking one up just because. . . .
i have a presonus 16-0-2. i had to bail on using it at a wedding b/c i just wasn't f#cking ready. not easy. i was totally used to the analog workflow - look right here! this is your channel! this is your eq! this is your effects knob! easy - peasy.

by the way, i have a zed1-fx. excellent quality and super-easy work-flow. MUCH better sounding than any mackie i've ever used. also - NOT as rugged as the mixwiz stuff. the zed series is definitely the 'cheaper' a&h stuff. it's good, but the mixwiz is certainly the higher level model.

i vote mixwiz3 and a zoom h2 or h4n or something. . . .
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,389
Put me in the didn't really like the Mixwiz camp. Not may of us there, I know, but I found the location of the mic inputs pretty inconvenient. I had a channel die in a few months.
 

mattball826

Senior Member
Messages
20,798
local store just took in another famous maker digital mixer. customer was freaked out. band playing and suddenly what sounded like loud morse code was all people heard foh lol. 15 minutes trying to reset it. same thing. dummy did not have a backup. show was a bust. they lost all future gigs there.

its nice to have these things but really make sure you have a backup. i could say the same about analog, but i cant count on one hand how many analog mixers i have seen die at a show. this music store takes in many each month.

have a backup ready to go.
 

orogeny

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,722
Put me in the didn't really like the Mixwiz camp. Not may of us there, I know, but I found the location of the mic inputs pretty inconvenient. I had a channel die in a few months.
you've got me curious
where are they more convenient?
and what do you prefer?
 

BarneyFife

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,858
That's a little more than I would like to spend but it's intriguing. How is it as a live mixer? My primary use is for live mixing but if I can get a board that works equally well with recording then I am sold.
To be honest it's pretty complicated right now. If you had to set up every time from scratch it would be really tough unless you were a real deal sound guy. But with scene savings/recalls, we've played the same room twice, saved the settings and the next time it was easier. Looking forward to our latest scene we have saved because I think we have it figured out now.

Our band evolved from powered mixers: mackie 808-m -> A&H CP-12 -> Midas Venice (unpowered) -> A&H QU-16. And the sound has gotten progressively better, albeit more complicated to do. But, despite the complexity, the recording capabilities of the QU-16 have made it worth it for us.
 

petty1818

Member
Messages
4,028
Hmm, this is going to be a difficult decision. It doesn't have to be Allen & heath, I just find that this brand is recommended the most to me. I think the most frustrating thing is that whenever I go into a music store to discuss mixers, I get the same old "go for this Allen & Heath ZedFX board". In most cases the higher end boards are not even in stock.
 






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