Mixers and audio interfaces

I went decidedly old school and bought used broadcast/studio equipment off of ebay. This equipment appears to depreciate rapidly as the budgets are huge when these broadcast studios are built and everything goes to auction when they close. I bought 2 units that retail for $932 each for $150 after tax and shipping - for both.

Nothing fancy about them at all except they are over engineered internally. They use E3 connections which I knew nothing about until recently. Seems to be a good compromise: more robust than 1/4", more flexible than DB25 (and sturdier), easier to work with than soldering, made by EDAC/ELCO but not as daunting to rig up. These units incorporate 1/4" bantam mil-spec jacks on the front. Basically, larger than TT Bantam so less density but more robust. Much less common patch cables so they tend to be a little pricier - that seems to be the main drawback.

I created a complete schematic of my room because I’m a nerd and have a little more free time than I used to. I’m now in the process of planning out new cabling for everything. Going to try and move to almost 100% multi-channel snakes for the main room wiring which should clean everything up substantially. Its not much cheaper if it is at all but I like the committed aspect of it and less clutter. We will see.


this is so great, just what i’ve been looking for. i had no idea about the musicians plug in or the m series.

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I’m searching for a portable mixer to take outside and power from a power bank. Does anyone have recommendations on USB powered mixers? Smaller the better, maybe 6-8 channels stereo?

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Not just a mixer, per se, but the Zoom H6 is battery powered, up to 6 inputs (or built in stereo mic), and records. Can also be an audio interface for a DAW.

EDIT: Also, the MOTU Ultralite Mk3 Hybrid can be bus-powered via Firewire if you happen to have a computer with Firewire connectivity. Lots of i/o, relatively inexpensive, digital mixing.


It gets a little spendy especially once you add in the two-input module to get up to six channels, but the H6 is one of those tools that’s just a great overall investment for anyone working with audio. I’ve gotten so much use out of mine in many different applications.

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I got the H5 as a gift. I use it all the time. But I wish I had the H6 for the extra inputs… :shushing_face:

I’ve been searching for this and didn’t find any, also whole minimal mixer thread is about this and there doesn’t seem to be much stereo with a lot of channels on the market right now. And battery powered moves this from mixer and into field recorder territory.
Something like this https://www.sounddevices.com/mixpre/

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Metric halo - dunno why these aren’t more popular

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just wanna chime in to say my independent research was leading me to upgrade to a zed14 in the near future (from mackie 1402 vlz3)

reading various comments from all of you makes me confident that i’ll be happy with the purchase…thanks everyone!


Which Metric Halo are you talking about?

ive got 3 - 2882, Lio-8 and a ULN2. With the 3d cards, theres nothing that comes close for the price. Its 2 brothers who make the most incredible gear - ive had my 2882 for 12 years now and twice ive upgraded it and now with the 3d its got all new digital side and only the analog board remains - pretty amazing. Now you get access to the DSP environment which was an extra $600 now included - they have a sale on as the 3d is still in beta - I got my Lio essentially half price


i don’t have one, but have seriously considered it myself. i too have heard many sing its praises. i know m. geddes gengras has been using one for a very long time and is a big fan of the 4 sends and long-throw faders.


i’ve now heard great things about the faders preamp, and aux from a few ppl i trust

seems pretty rad

My personal quest for mixer ended with Zoom L-12. And I think it’s really good for the price especially with recorder embedded.

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huh, I was also looking for an upgrade for the same mixer and came to the same conclusion! I’d be happier if there was something of the same quality with more mono channels vs stereo, but couldn’t find anything

How does it handle modular levels?

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With pad engaged i’d say ok. There some sources that make it clip, like Verbos HO but that thing overloads anything easily and needs some attenuation. I’ve been using it for a month with no issues.
I also like using one of headphone mixes as AUX send, and you have 5 of them.

My setup looks like this
Google Photos


Thanks, invaluable with this information directly from someone with actual hands-on experience :slight_smile:

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beautiful. just wanted to chime in that I LOVE Zoom gear and thanks for the heads up on this! I’ve been using a R16 as a standalone DAW to record improv sessions, now I’m intrigued with this!

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I’ve been debating mixers for months. ATM, I think I’m down to a Soundcraft Signature 12 MTK or a Zoom L-12. How intuitive do you find using the headphone mixes as AUX sends vs a conventional mixer?