The compact mixer is the foot soldier of audio production. This class of mixer can be found in studios, nightclubs, conference rooms, houses of worship and concert stages around the world. Balancing small size with a host of large-format features and an affordable price, these consoles appeal to a broad base of consumers.
Product PointsApplications: Live sound, contracting, project studio
Key Features: 16-channel mixer; 16 mic preamps with phantom power; balanced XLR main outputs; up to 40 inputs available for mix
Contact: Peavey at 601-483-5365 Web Site
+ Sound quality
+ Ease of use
+ Flexible configurations (up to 40 inputs)
– Numerous unbalanced connectors
The Score: A well-designed compact and flexible mixer suitable for live, contracting and project studio use.
Peavey Electronics joins the compact mixer party with the RSM 4062, which is – like most of its counterparts – a 16-channel board that can be rackmounted, and is jam packed with useful features.
The RSM 4062 ($1,249) is a 16x4x2 console housed in a rugged steel chassis. This eight rack space unit weighs 20.3 pounds and measures 13.98 inches high, 19 inches wide. The console, at 8.09 inches deep, will not fit in some pop-up mixer cases. The board can be used as a tabletop console as well. It comes equipped with rubber feet for such use.
When designing this board, Peavey, like some other manufacturers, employs what I call Selective Feature Distribution (SFD). Simply put, SFD is the practice of adorning only certain channels with features that would often appear on all channels of a more expensive console. The reasons for such a practice are clear – it keeps costs down while still allowing the user to have access to things like channel inserts, phantom power, powerful EQs, and even phase inverters. One drawback to such a practice is that it sometimes makes for scattered channel groupings.
Keeping this concept in mind, let us look at the features of the RSM 4062. All 16 channels have microphone preamps with XLR inputs. After that, it gets kind of tricky. Channels 1 through 8 have 1/4-inch balanced line inputs, TRS insert connectors (for using serial effects like compression), unbalanced 1/4-inch tape inputs and unbalanced 1/4-inch direct outputs. Channels 9 through 16 come equipped with a pair of unbalanced 1/4-inch line input jacks and the aforementioned XLR inputs. Interestingly, these line inputs can be used simultaneously with the XLR microphone inputs by depressing a switch on the channel strip. Doing this directs the line signal to an alternate output while the mic signal proceeds through the channel strip and onto the subs or L/R output. This feature dramatically increases the number of inputs available on the console.
SFD applies to the RSM 4062’s channel strips as well. All 16 channels have input trim controls, two prefade aux sends, which double as Mix B, two stereo post-fade aux sends (switchable as 3/4 or 5/6), a mute button, a solo button, assignment buttons (L/R, 1/2 and 3/4) and a 60mm fader.
Now it gets even trickier. Channels 1 through 8 have switches to select between the mic/line inputs and the tape return inputs. Further, Channels 1 through 8 have three bands of EQ with a sweepable mid. The frequency points are located at 12.5 kHz for high and 80 Hz for low. Channels 1 and 2 have a sweepable mid that goes from 40 Hz to 1,200 Hz, while Channels 3 through 8 have a sweepable mid that ranges from 100 Hz to 3 kHz.
Channels 3 through 8 have a switchable 75 Hz low-cut; Channels 1 and 2 do not. This is because Channels 1 and 2 are what Peavey calls Super Channels. The “Super” designation is derived from the fact that only these two channels have a switchable 20 dB pad and a polarity switch. This phase inverter is a handy feature if you have two microphones close to the same sound source like a top and bottom snare mic. Of course, if you only have 16 channels and you are doing live sound for a full band, it may not be practical to use a channel for such purposes.
On the other hand, Channels 9 through 16 feature no tape returns, low-cut or sweepable mid. Rather, they have a fixed mid frequency of 800 Hz in their EQ section. Each of these channels has a switch to route the stereo 1/4-inch inputs to either the channel strip or to group 5/6, which has its own dedicated outputs and can be sent to other busses as well.
It should be noted that when this scenario is selected, the only control you have over the line signal is volume and routing. But, you can still use the microphone inputs and channel strips at the same time, giving this little board a whopping 40 inputs.
The master section features phantom power assignments, a headphone jack with source selections (Mix B, two-track or L/R), a phones/control room level control, Aux 1/2 or Mix B masters, a 12-step LED ladder, L/R faders and four subgroup faders with L/R assignment buttons. Interestingly, Peavey has positioned the L/R faders above the sub faders rather than to the side. This was done to give the entire control surface a more spacious feel.
The RSM 4062 has quite a few outputs too. There are duplicate L/R outputs on 1/4-inch unbalanced and XLR balanced jacks. There are inserts for these Left and Right outputs too. The RSM also has a mono XLR output with a separate attenuator, a nice added feature. In addition, there are six aux outputs on unbalanced 1/4-inch jacks with 1 and 2 being duplicated on balanced XLR jacks. The control room outputs occur on 1/4-inch jacks and the tape outs are RCA.
As complicated as the RSM 4062 may sound, it was quite easy to use. All the controls are well labeled and sensibly arranged. By placing the main L/R faders above the sub-master faders, Peavey has indeed created a more spacious feel throughout the control surface.
Concerning audio performance, the RSM 4062 is very capable and worthy of the class. I noticed nominal self-noise at unity gain settings. The microphone preamps were clean and sparkly while being able to accommodate a wide range of input signals.
In general, while the EQ points make sense and were quite powerful, I would have to question the omission of the 75 Hz low-cut and the limited sweep of the mid-frequency control on the two Super Channels. They are supposed to be “super” aren’t they?
One of the RSM’s finest attributes is that it has tons of inputs. This allows for maximum flexibility in a variety of situations – whether mixing down in a project studio or accommodating a large band at a worship service, the RSM 4062 should be able to handle the job.
It was nice to see balanced XLR outputs on the mains (left, right and mono) as well as the first two aux sends. There are an awful lot of 1/4-inch unbalanced outputs on this console, however. I say this because other boards in this class have balanced connectors throughout.
The Peavey RSM 4062 is a versatile console with many professional features that will prove useful in a wide variety of situations. As powerful as it is, it is only eight rack-spaces high, making it suitable for fixed installations where space is at a premium. The RSM 4062 is priced to compete with other popular consoles in this class. Given its feature list, it certainly deserves consideration when looking for a compact mixer.