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-   -   Rane MP44 review and patchable mixer setup (http://www.wavemusic.com/community/showthread.php?t=10580)

atf104 05-20-2010 03:32 PM

Rane MP44 review and patchable mixer setup
 
Hey guys-

Just thought I'd share. After about 3 years of non-stop beating, it was about time to replace the Rane 2016 at one of my clubs in Philly. The DJ's have complained about the rotary from day one, so after some though I decided to go with the Rane MP44. Most dj's request the Pioneer 800 on riders, but my console rack actually is about a U too short, so I had to go with something a bit smaller. I thought the MP44 would be the best compromise.

This was my first exposure to an MP44 and I have to say I'm a bit mixed on it. After cutting back the limiter that was engaged from the factory it has fairly strong output, I would say comparable to the 2016. It's very clean sounding and has some nice features for an install mixer (balance knob, optional remote volume control via a standard remotely mounted potentiometer, etc).

Beyond fidelity I'm not overly impressed with the quality and feel. The EQ knobs feel somewhat cheesy and I personally don't like the looseness of the channel faders. You can literally flick them and they'll fly all the way up. I guess that's the "style" right now, loose faders, but to me, having the ability to flick a master fader all the way up isn't ideal. I prefer a little stiffness as the old MP24 had.

Overall a quality mixer, but my personal choice of the Rane line is solidly still with the 2016 combo.

I also built on my patch bay concept I previously installed by making the entire booth, CD players, monitors, and master all pass through a patch bay for a modular setup. The challenge was I had different dj's 3-4 days a week coming in every night with different setups. Some Traktor, some Serato Scratch, some wanted to use CD's, some turntables with Traktor or Scratch. Also the club runs without any sound tech on staff so the club has to basically run itself without me being on-site to take care of technical stuff. It was taking a toll with wear and tear on everything being pulled apart all the time. Let alone two dj's off and on in a set, going into the console or behind the mixer, etc...

Now I have a studio grade patch bay handling all switching duties. DJ's can switch between interface boxes and source components, CD's, TT's, etc with just a quick push/pull of a cable on the patch bay. No wear and tear on the mixer and no DJ hands fiddling around in the console and with the mixer. Really worked out nicely and its simple enough for a non-technical management to look after.

I have more pictures here: http://www.facebook.com/doktortekkel...d=270551629949




clubman5 05-20-2010 04:09 PM

I worked with the MP44 every Tuesday night, during my last year on Miami Bch. A club called The Risk.

Besides the loose feeling faders, and the fact that I prefer knobs, one thing that ALWAYS irked me using this mixer is that ALL the phono and line level faders usable sensitivity in the taper seemed to always be in the last ten to 20 percent of the faders travel. Might have been the way the systems gain was structured, but this is something I kind of always complained about with slide mixers from way back when. In the mix, the fader is very hot and touchy sensitive from approximately 3/4 of the way up to full open. Fading a track out, once below the 3/4 mark, all of the music in the song being mixed out was/is gone.

As compared to rotary mixers, which I can hear myself in the mix until the track is ALL THE WAY OFF!

atf104 05-20-2010 04:39 PM

I was playing records and cd's for about an hour or two trying to feel out exactly what you're saying but couldn't quite nail it. It definitely has a weird curve. The last 20% feels kinda flat, but right at the end I noticed it kicks up a bit. It just doesn't feel linear by any means. I'll get hell for this but quality aside the Pioneer faders on an 800 feel nicer and have a more linear taper imo. In the end I'd rather use a rotary any day of the week, but again, was just expecting a bit more from Rane on this one.

I'm curious how the DJM1000 is, I've never seen one in person.

clubman5 05-21-2010 04:34 AM

Well, we are talking about the same thing, essentially. My description of where the usable sensitivity of the taper kicks in could be off a bit, it was 1994 - 95 when I worked The Risk.

But what your saying is exactly what I am saying, ALL the action, both up and down, is at the top of the fader. And it would take me an hour to warm up and adjust my brain, and physical mixing to this mixer, every week.

You know what else? At the time I was on Miami Beach, there were tons of clubs opening up, and THIS particular mixer was a big seller. Price was the main factor. And the MP44 was relatively economical, compared to the Urei 1620 and reliable.

atf104 05-21-2010 12:59 PM

I think you might be thinking of the MP24. The MP44 came around 2000 or so I believe.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clubman5
Well, we are talking about the same thing, essentially. My description of where the usable sensitivity of the taper kicks in could be off a bit, it was 1994 - 95 when I worked The Risk.

But what your saying is exactly what I am saying, ALL the action, both up and down, is at the top of the fader. And it would take me an hour to warm up and adjust my brain, and physical mixing to this mixer, every week.

You know what else? At the time I was on Miami Beach, there were tons of clubs opening up, and THIS particular mixer was a big seller. Price was the main factor. And the MP44 was relatively economical, compared to the Urei 1620 and reliable.


clubman5 05-21-2010 01:22 PM

Well, maybe your right, I do know the last digit of the model number was a 4. However, you bear out what I said, anyway, the faders usable sensitivity is NOT completely through the faders travel range.

It LOOKS like what I worked on. :)

atf104 05-21-2010 01:57 PM

This was the MP24:



It was really a legendary mixer many were fond of, including me. This was discussed in another thread, but basically in the Philly area (and many others) when the Urei rained (no pun intended) supreme in NYC, the MP24 was the install mixer of choice.

I actually really loved this mixer and it was at the club where I had my first residency, around 95 or so. It was a staple for a while until the 2016 came out which kind of stole a good portion of the thunder away from the premier MP24. Rane tried updating it around 2000 or so (I may be off by a few years here) with the MP44, but I don't really know anyone that really took to it like the old MP24 which just felt soooo much more solid, almost Urei'like in a slide mixer.

I haven't seen one in years let alone installed one and really run one through its paces until now but I can say its just no MP24.

clubman5 05-21-2010 03:50 PM

That is the one, and I agree, it sounded good. Just wasn't as warm as the Urei, OR THE BOZAK.

But I used to have to readjust my thinking and my touch to be able to sound and blend the way I do on a Bozak or Urei. and one particular Tuesday night, it was a holiday week, and we were jammed packed, I was mixing, and the pot wouldn't turn! It took me 5 seconds to realize I was on the Rane, not a Urei.

To each their own, but I just find, besides everything already said on rotary mixers, that rotating a knob -vs- up and down fader action just feels natural.

My .02 cents.

atf104 05-21-2010 06:33 PM

Dude- Don't get me wrong, this is what's sitting in my dj console:



Not an MP24 lol

Reticuli 05-22-2010 02:26 PM

Aren't you guys essentially describing a linear fader curve? I thought you have to use a more nonlinear curve so most of the volume increase is not near the top.

Also, where's output unity on the master fader? If they just put it at max like on the xones it wouldn't be a problem to have it loose.

Fred Bissnette 05-22-2010 05:22 PM

most mixers its 7

the xones its all the way up

charles0322 05-22-2010 11:32 PM

I have an MP22Z, great mixer, sounds great.. that power supply is a bitch.. and something is buggered with mine and it needs service.. No fault of the mixer, loaned it to a 'friend'

I loved it for sound.. the faders on mine weren't too bad, just enough resistance, and the per channel eq 6 db was a great feature.

I may fix this up and use it in my home set-up, going to build a rolling console soon for the house..

Reticuli 05-23-2010 02:20 PM

Well on Numark's old analogs master unity is either just max or 45 degrees to the upper left, and on their PPD01 it's max and on the PPD9000 it's 12 o'clock (so that's a 5?), but on the latter with the hard limiter on you can go to 3 o'clock to hotten up the signal and get the soft channel limiting to match up the hard limiter redlining.

So is the Rane 44 master volume control unity at 7? The worst thing were really old mixers that not only had something like that, but had the headphone volume on a fader. Ouch.

I think I need to get some studio fader caps for my PPD9000. I miss those types of caps from the SCM7500 I had briefly. Resistance + studio caps is a nice combo for mixing. One of the old Ranes like the 22 or 24 used them, I think. I don't mind that the Xone 62 has those, but it lacks the resistance to really need them.

atf104 05-23-2010 02:52 PM

Reticuli-

Do you mean the studio mixer board type fader caps? The old Rane MP22/24 had them I believe before they were updated to the "Z" models. I really liked the old studio mixer type caps myself. Really gave you a firmer feel. The MP24 was unique back then. I had an MP22 and it supposedly had the same faders (I believe Penny and Giles) but it didn't feel the same and the "studio caps" were much shorter in height.

I never managed to own an MP24 as at that point I had already become a rotary fan and moved in that direction.

Regarding unity gain, to be honest I don't know with the new Rane's, although it would be an easy enough test to perform. The older Rane's almost always had unity ticked off in some fashion (a wider tick, "u", etc), but the new ones don't really have anything to distinguish if you're at unity. Most likely Rane realized with the "dummification" of the dj, came a majority of dj's not even knowing what unity gain meant so why even bother.

Reticuli 05-24-2010 03:45 PM

Found some narley fader caps on ebay.

Nox 05-24-2010 06:08 PM

I thought mixers would last much longer than 3 years, especially since it's Rane.

Mistick Krewe 05-25-2010 11:57 AM

three years of use in nightclub installation conditions
seems like an eternity, i am sure of it....


too many folks who just don't exhibit care for other folk's stuff maybe?

Digitalis 05-25-2010 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by atf104
I was playing records and cd's for about an hour or two trying to feel out exactly what you're saying but couldn't quite nail it. It definitely has a weird curve. The last 20% feels kinda flat, but right at the end I noticed it kicks up a bit. It just doesn't feel linear by any means. I'll get hell for this but quality aside the Pioneer faders on an 800 feel nicer and have a more linear taper imo. In the end I'd rather use a rotary any day of the week, but again, was just expecting a bit more from Rane on this one.


This is why I sold my A&H mixer. This seems to be the current trend for some reason (cost?) and most new mixers have the problem. Having a good log fader curve certainly mattered more before mixers had a pre-gain knob on the front panel and you actually had to mix by ear. Now a lot of DJs just set the level with the pre-gain and cue meters then slam the faders up and down as quickly as possible.

For everything wrong with Pioneer, they certainly get the fader curve right on almost every mixer they make. I think that is a large part of why they are easy to use for beginners and a large part of why people who have only used Pioneers have serious problems when they try to use anything else. I know that I mix much more smoothly when the curve is right and it has become one of the major things I look for in a mixer.

The problem is not exclusive to slide mixers. While my original UREI is good and my FF6000 slide is good, the rotary kit for the FF6000 has a bump in the curve at the beginning that is very disconcerting.

Reticuli 05-26-2010 12:04 AM

Yeah, but at least it has the ability to blend the cue and the prgm in the headphones ;-) Why or why couldn't the Urei have had a spot in the switch between the cue and prgms, then make the prgrm headphone feed post-house volume!

Even Crest putting a 3-way switch still had the prgm content on it pre master volume. Lotta good that does unless you have preamps with volume controls outboard. But they also put gain trims on the back of the mixer where, you know, they become like totally worthless. Peavey weirdness.

You guys notice how that little Rotomix is now double the price?

Still, that freaks me out about your Formula Sound. I almost bought an FF4000 a couple years back and...wow...damn. Never heard anyone diss the rotary option on it.

der geile ami 05-26-2010 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mistick Krewe
three years of use in nightclub installation conditions
seems like an eternity, i am sure of it....


too many folks who just don't exhibit care for other folk's stuff maybe?


its not so much a matter of not caring about the gear, shit just happens.

if most riders call for a particular piece of gear, I'd buy that. sound quality does not matter if the performer will not play on it.

Mistick Krewe 05-26-2010 11:28 AM

good point, sorry for taking that position.

i do agree...

Lektrikboy 06-09-2010 11:16 AM

I'm curious how the DJM1000 is, I've never seen one in person.[/quote]

Ive got one Pioneer Djm 1000 to sell with the rotary kit

Reticuli 06-12-2010 12:16 AM

I saw one of those on ebay for a great price and didn't get it. Sad.


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