This was yet another Malay wedding with my Yamaha Stagepas providing sound reinforcement. This was the setup. They gave me a table, covered with a very thin piece of plastic. It was the same kind of plastic those plastic bags from the grocers are made of. I had to be very careful with it as it was so thin, it tended to tear if anything scratched it. That included the rubberised feet of the Stagepas mixer too! So I hooked it up, together with my Line 6 wireless microphone. You can also see my trusty Nokia 101 phone there too, providing test music while I did basic equalisation of the sound. The speakers had been setup and I had to throw speaker wire over the sewage pipes that are prevalent at the ceiling of most void decks in Singapore. This is so that I would not have to waste my cloth tape taping it to the floor. The only issue I faced was that the power supply was some distance away, near the wedding dias. So I had to use two of my power extension cords to reach it
Was the wedding a success? I will have to say it was. I had great food to eat, nice company to work with and an all in all great experience, as always, with Malay weddings. The bride’s parents were really nice and very accommodating. That is why I love doing Malay weddings. I always have a great time!
I was at a rather popular shopping centre and I happened t notice the setup of the sound system for a roadshow below me. I found this pretty strange. For one, the speakers were jacked up pretty high. Secondly, look at the sound console. The mixer has a wireless mic receiver plonked right on it. I thought most of these things were racked but I think I know why they did that. First of all, the roadshow presenter needs to roam around but if that receiver was in the rack, along with its tiny antennas, the signal would drop out. Scenario number two could be that the original wireless mics were probably out of order and so they used an emergency one and seeing that the rack was covered up, they just plugged it on top. In any case for most roadshows, all you need is an output for the mic and a sound source like a plugged-in iPad for music. So it looks like having a receiver on top of this 16-channel Yamaha mixer should not be a problem
I can safely say that nowadays, portable PA systems designs copy mostly the Yamaha Stagepas or the JBL one (the name escapes me). But even the JBL one is based on the Stagepas so I can safely say that the design began with Yamaha. This Gemini ES-210MXBLU portable PA system goes one additional step further by not just copying the JBL 210p (finally got the name) portable PA system but takes part of the JBL’s model number as well! In any case, this is what this offering from Gemini is able to, uh, offer:
- Ultra lightweight and extremely compact
- Integrated MP3 player with connections for USB, SD, and Bluetooth
- 2-way high power passive PA speaker
- 600W peak, 150W RMS Class D built-in amplifier
- 10” LF woofer with 2” voice coil
- Pure Titanium 1” HF compression driver
- Wide dispersion horn with forward firing bass reflex ports
- ABS impact resistant nylon fiber cabinet
- 8 channel powered mixer with on board digital echo effect
- Individual bass, treble, effects and volume controls for 4 line/mic inputs
- 1 microphone included
- 15V phantom power for capacitance microphones
- All needed cables included
- Top and side handles for easy carrying
- Flyable & Stand mountable
This is what the mixer looks like, at a glance. It does not have the simple layout of the Yamaha Stagepas but I suppose it will work ok. I like the fact that they actually “admitted” that the phantom power is only 15V. Yamaha does not admit that. I found out by myself. I do not really in specs because companies have the tendency to exaggerate performance and Gemini is no stranger to that.
I have read a couple of bad reviews online about this product. Anything from being extremely low-powered and bad quality control. One person said that the catch mechanism for the mixer to snap to the back of the mixer broke off pretty easily. So as one can see, you do get what you pay for. It costs about SGD$500 thereabouts, half the price of a brand new Stagepas. As usual, you get what you pay for.
Yamaha started a revolution of sorts with the Stagepas system. Many, many others have tried to copy its design since then. I can say the same about the Alto Mixpack 10 above. It looks the same as the Stagepas series with one speaker to store the mixer and the other for cables. In any case, with this Alto Mixpack 10, this is what you get:
- High performance all-in-one portable sound system for any event
- 400-watt peak power output
- Removable 8-channel powered mixer conveniently stows for transport
- (2) Alto Professional loudspeakers with 10-inch woofers and
- 1-inch HF compression drivers
- Integrated storage compartment for cables and other accessories
- 4 XLR + ¼-inch mic/line inputs
- 2 stereo line input channels (1/4-inch and RCA)
- 2-band EQ per channel
- Switchable digital reverb and phantom power on channels 1-4
- Separate EQ contour modes for speech and music playback applications
- 1/4-inch speaker outputs (cables included)
- 1/4-inch line level monitor outputs for adding additional powered speakers
Now when they sat 400 watts peak output, I suppose that they are referring to the whole system, not per channel. From what I can see, these are like an almost perfect replica of the Stagepas series but I am sure that they do not have the audio clarity of the Yamaha. In any case, I do not think Alto products are that popular in Singapore anyways so the chances of getting one here is pretty remote
I was the DJ cum soundman at a wedding a couple of days back and the audio company supplied me with this mixer for the whole event. Very nice sounding mixer, like most Yamaha mixers are. Hooked up my trusty DDJ-WeGo to my SMPRO DJDI DI box, and from the outputs to input channels 3 and 4 of the Yamaha mixer and I was set for the night. I did not see the need to use the Denon DN-4500 dual CD decks as I already had my controller, even though they were hooked up to two of the stereo channels. It was a good wedding and everything went smoothly. Looks like Yamaha have really improved on their mixers.
I was at a client’s place a couple of days back when I came upon this imitation Yamaha mixer installed in his premises. It looked like a regular MG124cx mixer that Yamaha makes, and is mighty popular. But upon closer inspection, I discovered this:
Now I know Martin-Roland. They make a lot of stuff like wireless microphone systems and the like. But this is the very first time I have come across an outright copy of a Yamaha MG124cx board. This really left me scratching my head.
So remember you all. When you want to buy stuff for your premises, get your stuff from authorised distributors. Do not get taken in by some dishonest system integrators like the one who set up my client’s place. And to the system integrator who did so, if you are reading this, you ought to be ashamed of yourself
I installed the mixer at a client’s place yesterday. basically, he had a digital audio processor that went tits-up. That audio processor was the heart of his system and you know when the audio processor dies, there goes the whole PA system. So he comes to me and asks what solution can they have. I said I will think of an answer and the thing that came to my mind was…get a small mixer to use in place of that audio DSP while it is being repaired. And the mixer I chose? The Yamaha MG10XU
The mixer is an analogue mixer and is the successor of the MG82cx, the very same mixer that I have. Just like my MG82cx, it is well-suited for small, portable rigs and also for the big system at my client’s place. It is relatively inexpensive and has outstanding sound quality. Just like the MG82cx, this mixer has onboard digital effects, switchable phantom power, a pad switch, one-knob compressors, EQ, and LED metering,and so forth.
It took some time to hook up this mixer and remove the old DSPs but I managed to do it. We had to daisy-chain the inputs to the amplifiers though. It is not something I like to do but a quick fix was needed and this was the quick fix! After hooking up a wireless mic to it, and the only source which was an iPod Mini, the mixer worked fine and sounded absolutely crystal clear. Oh and I did I mention that it has a USB connection that you can connect to your computer? With that, you can use it as an audio interface and record your mixers by downloading Cubase, which is available as a free download.
Looks great. Maybe I should start getting more of these mixers for my clients. Once again, Yamaha saves the day!