Noisy, broken or just cheap mixer?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by ChrisA, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'm new to home recording

    So I have to "under $100" mixer and I connect it to a keyboard "audio out" and to a mic. I set the EQ and the levels and the headphone volume to what I like and notice some "hiss".

    So I rotate the connectors and hear that there must be some corrosion as it crackles. I get rid of that problem but I still hear hiss. The next thing I do is pull out the input cables from the mic and keyboard.

    Turns out with the levels set to about 8 or 9 and nothing put headphones plugged into the mixer I can hear hiss in my headphones. The noise must be coming from the op-amps inside the mixer, right?

    Is this just what I should expect from an under $100 8x2 mixer or is it broken? Yes do have to turn th levels up because my cheap K/B and cheap mic are not giving much signal.

    If I take the mixer back do is there such a thing as a quiet, low cost mixer? How much do you have to spend to get a decent one?
  2. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    What are your preamps set at?

    I use a Yamaha MG10/2 that I picked off eBay for $40 occasionally when I need to sum keyboards and it is pretty quiet unless you crank the preamps up. The Mackie 1202VLZ is the same way, quiet untill you get the pre's up most of the way.

    But the cheaper the mixer the cheaper the preamps, and the more noise you will hear.
  3. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    It could be to do with gain structuring. You want to make sure the gain controls are set to a sufficiently high level where the VU meter (if there is one) is showing good levels on your mic input with the channel in PFL mode.

    Also, the crackling controls is down to knackered potentiometers, and will cost more to repair than the mixer cost to buy, even if the potentiometers are replaceable, which they aren't on most cheap mixers.

    New mixer time either way me thinks, and next time, keep a cover over it. ;)

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