Having a console in the centre of your studio setup, particularly in small private studios, might seem old-fashioned but there’s still a list of reasons you might want one. Obviously there’s a trend to mix analogue and digital tools for ‘that sound’. Whilst these new desks from Peavey might not be the most sublime, they are analogue. You might be looking for one as a DAW front end, patch bay for your analogue hardware, or as a sexy showpiece for your clients, proving there is still a market for small-format analogue mixers. Peavey launched the FX2 Series about a year ago, but only now are they available in the UK. Offering some unique features, these FX2 models might just tempt you.
Peavey FX2 Series Mixers
Picking up a second-hand analogue desk couldn’t be easier at the moment. People are literally throwing them away. Being able to do everything you need with a good audio interface is often all that’s required by home studio owners, professional and amateur alike. However, if you are looking for an analogue desk and you’re on a budget, then perhaps buying a new one is a smart move. This way you’ll have less concern for it working everyday, being noisy or developing gremlins. There are several to choose from, but where do you start looking? Depending on your budget and specification requirements, these Peavey FX2 desks might surprise you.
Peavey have recognised the diminishing demand for analogue mixers in studios and on the stage today, and therefore built the FX2’s with some convenient tools. As well as the usual analogue features, such as multiple mic preamps, analogue summing, auxiliary mixes and parametric EQ’s, the FX2’s are USB equipped. They offer two USB ports, one for use as an audio interface, and the other for simply connecting digital media, for stereo playback and recording of mp3’s. Whilst this might seem like a cheap addition, this could provide a convenient method to record rehearsals and ideas, or as a back-up recording of a live show should the multi-track system fail. Unfortunately, I assume that the computer USB connection is only stereo. There isn’t any mention of this transmitting all channels as you can with some Soundcraft’s, Allen & Heath’s and Midas etc. However, it does mean you can add your own more expensive AD/DA’s.
The FX2’s each come with some on-board DSP processing. There are 2 DSP engines for digital effects, and whilst this isn’t unusual, there is a wide range of effects available and some suitable to the recording process. The on-board effects include reverb, ‘reverb enhanced’, delay, compression, expander, de-esser, chorus, flanger, tube emulator, vocal enhancer and gating. In addition to the effect engines, there’s also digital output processing. This very much reflects what you can do to with modern digital consoles for live sound, but I’m encouraged to see them built into the FX2 as it reduces the amount of outboard required for a live show.
There are 3 models in the range, the FX2 16-channel, FX2 24-channel and the largest FX2 32-channel. These appear to be good all-round desks for small studios and live sound. It’s a shame they haven’t included multichannel digital recording connectivity, but for the price these offer a good amount of reliable Peavey electronics, away from anything with a ‘B’ in the name!
To find out more information about these 3 consoles and their specifications, visit Peavey’s webpage for the series. The FX2 16, FX2 24 and FX2 32 can now be purchased in the UK for 965 GBP, 1298 GBP and 1533 GBP respectively. For analogue electronics and some useful digital features from a known brand, these are very good prices. Just don’t expect it to sound like a Neve or SSL!