Why is Mackie CR1604 a classic in the world of Electro?

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ignatius
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Post by ignatius » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:40 pm

Northward wrote:
ignatius wrote:neve/ssl/api are all in a totally different league to anything like mackie etc. especially if you're mixing through them. the master section and the stereo bus/2 bus where all the channels come together is another level of awesome on an api or ssl or any of the high end "pro" consoles.
Yup! That's why our band will rent a real studio with grade-A outbord gear, even though we have some decent gear between us, it's not in that leuage
hopefully the studio comes w/an engineer :)

someone who knows what he/she is doing is more valuable than high end gear imo :)

but have fun w/the studio experience. my advice is rehearse the shit out of your songs so you make the most of your time there.

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Post by Northward » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:57 pm

ignatius wrote:neve/ssl/api are all in a totally different league to anything like mackie etc. especially if you're mixing through them. the master section and the stereo bus/2 bus where all the channels come together is another level of awesome on an api or ssl or any of the high end "pro" consoles.
Northward wrote:Yup! That's why our band will rent a real studio with grade-A outbord gear, even though we have some decent gear between us, it's not in that leuage
hopefully the studio comes w/an engineer :)

someone who knows what he/she is doing is more valuable than high end gear imo :)
Northward wrote:Trust me, we'd be lost without one
:hihi:
but have fun w/the studio experience. my advice is rehearse the shit out of your songs so you make the most of your time there.
Northward wrote:Bang on! That's the plan excactly.

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Post by Northward » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:11 pm

nostalghia wrote:Here's an option for you: keep the Mackie, just buy one or two high quality outboard preamps (or full "channel strips") to use when you need to record top quality vocals or acoustic instruments and want a more warm/clean/neutral sound (your choice of adjectives).
Patch output to a line in on the Mackie, so you bypass preamp on that channel (I think it does anyway-if not, is there a "direct" or other pre EQ or fader input?).

Many nice ones out there around $350-700 or so-check out Warm Audio, Golden Age, Daking, Drawmer (their MXPro-60 front end).
Thanks for the idea :-)

I'm leaning towards the UA Apollo Twin (waiting for the next gen.), and using their preamps and plugins. As I won't be doing much multitrack recording I won't be needing to many inputs. But of course, with new ideas this may change, so I may just keep it. Many in here give it more praise than just good for the money and that tells me that it has got something.

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Post by JRock » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:50 pm

BugBrand wrote: Mounting - Mackie has 1604 'rotopod' side mounts though diddly detail on what those are - they look kind of like rack ears. Depending on the dimensions you could probably just hack some angle aluminium and mount on a vertical rack stand.
That's exactly what I did. 8-)
There are (theoretically) some connector/brackets so you can rotate the output Jack section/module.
That may be what the rotopod stuff was. It's been years since I looked at the manual and I wouldn't know where to go about looking for them, but again, probably something you could hack (if need be)

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:36 am

I need to rackmount my 1642, must look for a rack kit for it.

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:17 am

Jeeze! £57 for the rack mounting kit! :eek:

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Post by JRock » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:30 am

mousegarden wrote:Jeeze! £57 for the rack mounting kit! :eek:
Not terrible when you consider the angle and screws are gonna be $15 - $20 + 3 - 5 hours to cut, measure / align, drill, and file (not to mention the price of the tools you'd need to DIY)

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Post by cornutt » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:59 am

I've got mine in a shorty rack that has a removable top. The mixer lays in there horizontally in the top of the rack,, facing up, and when you want to use it, it tilts up out of the top of the rack. To transport it, you fold it back down and put the top on, and you're ready to go gig.

And yeah, the 1604 definitely wasn't limited to just the electro world. It was all over the place. It was one of the first pro mixers marketed towards, and priced for, the home studio market. It was a great value for the money.
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Post by ersatzplanet » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:03 pm

I got a new CR1604 for free (I did some graphics work on their Mixer/mixer a box for connecting more than one CR1604 together) and have used it for decades. I like it's flexible aux send setup (LOTS of sends) and it's basically transparent behavior. There old "Built like a tank" logo is very true for these older units. They weigh a bit though.

The Root-pod is a very nice concept. With just the rack ears, the pod is laid out like a standard desktop mixer, with the jacks pointing out at the top. With the roto-pod brackets the pod can be rotated with the jacks facing to the front for easy access when rack mounted. You don't need the brackets if you want the pod facing backwards into the rack (a more permanent installation with a patch bay for instance). A vey flexible unit.

Mine is dying right now - some intermittent DC in the audio path, probably needs a re-capping after all this time. Worth me fixing for sure. A great 16-channel mixer in a small footprint.

I later worked as a graphic designer in the marketing department at Mackie and got a LM-3204 with a expander - each with 16 channels of stereo in a rack mount package but let them go because they were quite deep and didn't have as many AUX sends as the CR1604. If you have the rack space, and don't need a ton of AUX sends, that is a great alternative if you can find one.
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Post by OPT » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:50 pm

The LM3204 is a handy mixer for sure but there's no gain knob on any of the channels so overdriving whilst managing levels can't be done.... ??

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Post by Northward » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:53 pm

ersatzplanet wrote:I got a new CR1604 for free (I did some graphics work on their Mixer/mixer a box for connecting more than one CR1604 together) and have used it for decades. I like it's flexible aux send setup (LOTS of sends) and it's basically transparent behavior. There old "Built like a tank" logo is very true for these older units. They weigh a bit though.

The Root-pod is a very nice concept. With just the rack ears, the pod is laid out like a standard desktop mixer, with the jacks pointing out at the top. With the roto-pod brackets the pod can be rotated with the jacks facing to the front for easy access when rack mounted. You don't need the brackets if you want the pod facing backwards into the rack (a more permanent installation with a patch bay for instance). A vey flexible unit.

Mine is dying right now - some intermittent DC in the audio path, probably needs a re-capping after all this time. Worth me fixing for sure. A great 16-channel mixer in a small footprint.

I later worked as a graphic designer in the marketing department at Mackie and got a LM-3204 with a expander - each with 16 channels of stereo in a rack mount package but let them go because they were quite deep and didn't have as many AUX sends as the CR1604. If you have the rack space, and don't need a ton of AUX sends, that is a great alternative if you can find one.
Great stuff :tu:
I'm also a graphic designer, so give us a shout out if Mackie needs work done ;-)

I got very curious about these different mounings. Google here I come.
Links are very appreciated..

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Post by Northward » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:09 pm

mousegarden wrote:Jeeze! £57 for the rack mounting kit! :eek:
What mounting kit is this?

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Post by ersatzplanet » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:29 pm

Northward wrote:Great stuff :tu:
I'm also a graphic designer, so give us a shout out if Mackie needs work done ;-)
I don't work there anymore. I was there for 5-6 years. They merged with a bunch of other companies while I was there (Crate, Ampeg, EAW, TAPCO, Mackie, St. Louis Music, Alvarez Guitars and more). I did packaging, ad resizing and product photography while there. Now they are known as LOUD Technologies, Inc.
Northward wrote: I got very curious about these different mounings. Google here I come.
Links are very appreciated..
The rack ears are standard L-shaped brackets and can be made from any extrusion or L-shaped metal. The Root-pod doesn't need any special brackets for any mode other than the face-forward version. For those you need these C-shaped panels that the pod's connects to. The pod has a ribbon cable that connects to the main body. I don't think you can even get them anymore. I would make some (I used to do metalwork design for Symetrix) but they have swaged in Pen-nuts which are a drag to do without a big press. I'm stew you can fake them by just screwing flat panels onto the sides of the chassis and the pod. It wouldn't be pretty but would work. The Rack rails are only as long as the main body so homemade rack ears could be extended to do that job too.
-James

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:41 pm

Northward wrote:
mousegarden wrote:Jeeze! £57 for the rack mounting kit! :eek:
What mounting kit is this?
This!
https://www.thomann.de/gb/mackie_rm1642vlzpro.htm

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Post by Northward » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:04 pm

mousegarden wrote:
Northward wrote:
mousegarden wrote:Jeeze! £57 for the rack mounting kit! :eek:
What mounting kit is this?
This!
https://www.thomann.de/gb/mackie_rm1642vlzpro.htm
€65 :eek: ...Jesus Christ!!! for a couple of metal pieces! Ridiculous..

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Post by Northward » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:07 pm

ersatzplanet wrote:The rack ears are standard L-shaped brackets and can be made from any extrusion or L-shaped metal. The Root-pod doesn't need any special brackets for any mode other than the face-forward version. For those you need these C-shaped panels that the pod's connects to. The pod has a ribbon cable that connects to the main body. I don't think you can even get them anymore. I would make some (I used to do metalwork design for Symetrix) but they have swaged in Pen-nuts which are a drag to do without a big press. I'm stew you can fake them by just screwing flat panels onto the sides of the chassis and the pod. It wouldn't be pretty but would work. The Rack rails are only as long as the main body so homemade rack ears could be extended to do that job too.
Thanks for the tips. I'm no handyman, but I'm sure there are DIY possibilites for a fraction of the Mackie price.

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Post by Northward » Sat Nov 05, 2016 7:46 pm

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Post by Johnisfaster » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:29 pm

I didn't see it mentioned but it may have been, the reason I used one was because of the direct outs for each channel which means you can do live mixing and dub type stuff but still capture each channel to your recording separately. It's especially useful if you are experimenting and looking for interesting bits because in a long recording there might be a part where the synth sounds amazing but the drums were shit. You can take the part you like and dump what you don't. It was the least expesive option to achieve that when I was trying to do that.

Side note, I wish my mackie didn't die on me.
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Post by suthnear » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:09 am

Mine served me perfectly well for years. As others have pointed out, it offers a lot for its fairly compact size

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Post by Northward » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:19 am

suthnear wrote:Mine served me perfectly well for years. As others have pointed out, it offers a lot for its fairly compact size
Like yourself, most people seem to have moved on..

Makes me I wonder what one shelf up holds.. Is there some mini SLL/Neve clone hardware to be had out there for a reasonably price?

Reading SOS magazine allways leaves me curious about these Pro sounding boards. (never been in a a pro studio with such gear)
Last edited by Northward on Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mousegarden » Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:21 am

Northward wrote:Makes me I wonder what's one shelf up holds.. Is there some mini SLL/Neve clone hardware to be had out there for a reasonably price?
No there isn't. But save your money and have a good holiday somewhere nice.
Northward wrote:Reading SOS magazine allways leaves me curious about these Pro sounding boards. (never been in a a pro studio with such gear)
I've yet to find out what "Pro" sounds like, it's a sound that's obviously easy to obtain, as most Behringer gear has Pro written all over it.

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Post by StudentsOfTheFuture » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:20 pm

Has anyone done a demo of a CR1604 overdriven versus the newer ones? Curious as my VLZs of various generations have gotten me tones that make me say "oh, yeah" hearing old records, and I'd really like the sound in something clearer with all the channels working.
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Post by mousegarden » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:08 am

This overdriven sound? You can get it with most mixers, Mackie aern't unique or special in this respect. I've heard the demos, and it just sounds like any overdriven mixer to me.

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Post by calaveras » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:21 am

Thing about the Mackie mixers. When they came out in the early 90's they were like a ray of pure clear white light compared to what had been available at that price point previously. (Ramsa, Peavey, Biamp etc).

They had decent dynamic range, fairly low noise floor, and respectable bandwidth. They were excellent for small to medium PA use. And not too shabby for recording. Since they had direct outs for the first 8 channels, and sub outs as well.

They have since been quite well leap-frogged by Allen and Heath and a few other brands which offer snr and bandwidth but also have EQ that doesn't make you puke. Also Mackie quality went in the basement when they merged with SLM or whatever happened.

As far as them being the 'IT' mixer for electro. I've heard it repeated that Daft Punk used one to get an overdrive sound on a kick or something? Seems kind of silly. Almost like a RJ style gag.

Personally I prefer the overdrive of old Toa mixers and the old Radio Shack 'Realistic Stereo mixer'. The one with the big VU meters. Those both get a nice crunch. Not a dull soggy thud.

I think the real reason these may have caught on is that they were the It mixer when building a home studio caught on in the ADAT era. So when you are responding to that Craigslist ad about the vintage synths and midi gear, there is always a 1604 on offer as well.

How I know it isn't the It mixer of Electro.
I can still find them for $200 or less on craigslist.

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Post by StudentsOfTheFuture » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:27 pm

No idea about Daft Punk but the sound is all over anything from the 90s that uses overdriven roland kicks for basses. Techstep, dnb, jungle, all that. I assumed it was Mackie cause as you said they were all over, and my 90s Mackie got me right there instantly.

Cool, let me rephrase the question: anyone know of any general mixer overdrive shootout demos? Preferably with a couple of Mackie models? I can't be the only one interested. No doubt they sound similar... but I can't imagine them all sounding exactly the same.
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