From Zero8 to... (ZED R16, 01V96, SL 16.4.2)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Which mixer would you choose for studio and live prerformances with Ableton and hardware?

Allen & Heath ZED R16
Yamaha 01V96
Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2
No votes
Total votes: 3

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From Zero8 to... (ZED R16, 01V96, SL 16.4.2)

Post by Raptorecki » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:16 am

Hello Everybody!

I've been using my Korg Zero 8 for about four years now both live on stage and in my home studio. It turned out to be quite unreliable (although I was lucky enough that it never really fucked-up on stage, if it did, it did so in the studio; on the other hand I had it replaced twice and repaired another 4 times) and sloooooow (4.5ms of latency + 9ms of ASIO buffer is the lowest I can get on my i7-720/8GB RAM and it sometimes gets really unstable with those settings) but it is _really_ fun to use. Honestly, joined with Ableton, ESX and Blofeld it provided workflow that would keep me playing and playing and I never wanted to stop... It is ridiculously addictive and natural to use, things I appreciate in hardware. But now it's time to switch to something solid, reliable and 16x mono instead of 8x stereo (it more flexible this way).

Basically I know my needs and what I'm trying to do with the hardware so I narrowed down my choices to three mixers. I just want you guys to write what you think and maybe drop some useful hints and thoughts on the subject.

Before I get to the mixers several words on how I play so you have a brief idea what I'm looking for. On Zero8 I have four groups from Ableton routed via FW to the first for channels (drums; bass; samples,fx,returns; synths), then I have outputs of ESX 1/2 and 3/4 connected to the channels 5-6, channel 7 is for Waldorf Blofeld and channel 8 is for my vocalist's mic. I process and fx stuff with FX units on auxes and internal DSP (which is quite shitty, with a few exceptions, but not unacceptable to use). Processing with Ableton is not possible live (too much latency).

Now, I'd like to have a similar workflow and routing possibilities as I have in Zero8. I narrowed down my choices to: Allen & Heath ZED R16, Yamaha 01V96, Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2

Allen & Heath ZED R16 - I had a chance to mess with it for like 5 minutes. I love the layout and feel of this mixer. It feels like old analog stuff I'm used to and gives "hands on" control over all basic stuff. Additionally it has dedicated MIDI part (quite like Zero8) which would be really useful (I have my Zero8 completely mapped and I use a lot of MIDI). And it's the company that I trust and I was never disappointed with their gear. Have anyone used it with Live? Can anyone confirm what latency can you get with this one? Does using Ableton as an insert work fine? Any problems that might come up after closer encounter I might be not aware of?

Yamaha 01V96 - The first alternative I thought of. Motorized faders are damn nice and useful but I don't really know about selecting tracks and scrolling through tons of menus to setup basic stuff how I want it. I didn't have a chance to try it out but I can imagine workflow on this one and it seems "too many clicks to do what I want". I'm the kind of guy that likes to have control over stuff instantly. If I have to browse through menus just to get to some basic option, it kills my flow. It seems like it has some powerful DSP on board, does it sound any good? Also it has ADAT IN which is very cool and it makes me sure that I won't run out of inputs any time soon. Expansion card slot might be a nice addition but I'm not planning to add any card at this moment. I'm afraid that it might be pain to use live, any thoughts on that?

Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2 - It seems it has quite a powerful processing capabilities on board and the "channel select" style workflow is kind of smoothed out (by the clever use of meters and controls). It also has a dedicated gate, compressor and limiter for each channel... Do you know if they are any good or crap that you end up never really using? Any other thoughts on this one?

So basically my idea is that I'm getting ZED 16R, but before I do, I'd love to get some opinions/ideas/thoughts from you guys. I always try to be open minded and use a good piece of advice when provided.

Soooo, what do you think?

All the best and have a nice day!

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Location: uk

Re: From Zero8 to... (ZED R16, 01V96, SL 16.4.2)

Post by wrongun » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:12 am

I have the ZED R16. Its a fantastic bit of kit, very versatile. I use it mainly for tracking our band, recording jams etc. The pre's are really good considering what you get for the money. Im not bothered about lack of motorized faders but the one thing that gets on my tits is you cannot map the transport controls in Live. Everything else works fine. Its not the greatest with latency, im at work now cant remember any figures, but I dont have any problems with it (im on a pc - may be different on a mac).
Basically I really like the mixer, very good build quality and sound. hth

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Re: From Zero8 to... (ZED R16, 01V96, SL 16.4.2)

Post by fragmentated » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:57 pm

Not to confuse your choice and but have you considered the Mackie 1640i?

I was in the same boat about a year ago and was between the Zed R16 & the Mackie. I also briefly considered one of the PreSonus but was looking for an analog mixer. In the end I went with the Mackie1640i and couldn't be happier. The midi control from the Zed was not something I really needed and the Mackie was a fair bit cheaper.

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Re: From Zero8 to... (ZED R16, 01V96, SL 16.4.2)

Post by McQ714 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:02 pm

Could you not do what you want with just the purchase of an interface like say the RME UFX and keep the Zero 8 as just a midi controller? Even plug the midi out of the Zero 8 into the midi in on the UFX for control of the TotalMix software.. I think that should be possible without needing firewire as it works with my Zero 4.

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Re: From Zero8 to... (ZED R16, 01V96, SL 16.4.2)

Post by 3dot... » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:31 pm

I've played around with the Presonus..and it's very cool..
I was impressed..
although.. it isn't as solid as the Yamaha mixers.. imo of course...
but I liked how hands-on it was in relation to Yamaha ones..
it feels more like an analog mixer hooked up to the powers of digital recording..
hadn't tried it with Live though.. only it's native DAW software..
big downside imo : it's a firewire interface and doesn't go over 48KHz

01v is a very good solution..(although I'd prefer DM/LS9 and up..) .
for an all in one thing..
Yamaha has been doing this thing for pretty long... and have the most solid infrastructure for digital mixers..
they are widely popular.. and you might bump into them at PA gigs or small studio rooms...
I don't like the Yamaha ways of shift buttons and sub-sub-sub menus...
they cram so many features in a very small space using minimal physical controllers...
Yamaha are definitly the leaders in this small digital console market stuff..
and that is a real issue..
if you're going to need spare parts/faders in 2 years or something like that..
they also integrate well with Cubase..they own them after all..

I have absolutely no experience with the Zed no comment there..

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