After my Behringer mixing console died I needed a replacement. I wanted to avoid a fully featured mixing console, as I do not need most of its features. Instead, I was looking for a small firewire breakout box with many (at least 16) line and mic inputs. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any device fulfilling my needs. So I ended again with a fully featured 16 (or 24, if you count the aux return ins) channel mixer with built in USB 2.0 and Firewire interface, the Phonic Helix Board 24 Universal PHHB24U. It is likely that it can be run in Firewire mode using Linux thanks to the FFADO project. It is, however, unlikely that the USB mode will work. I do not care much about the latter one, as I prefer firewire anyway. And BTW: It’s my first firewire device ever. So welcome to the defloration of my notebook:
It gets shipped in flapped mode and some rack mounts, so it can be easily mounted in a 19 inch standard rack, where the jacks can be accessed from inside the rack:
By removing two screws on each side, the panel can be turned by 90°, so it becomes a desktop console:
The Firewire respectively USB A/D converters can either get fed by the signal post some of the controls (such as the equalizer) or immediately after the gain controllers. I decided to use the latter setting to get the signals unaltered by the console’s controls into the computer. To accomplish this, one needs to remove a screw and a cover on the bottom side of the console. Then the switches are accessible:
After those preparations the console is ready to be connected:
Currently all of my synths are connected. The shipped Firewire cable was a standard 6 pin cable, whereas my Dell Precision M4300 notebook only features a 4 pin mini firewire port. This means I cannot test the firewire connectivity today. I will get a cable tomorrow. But all the mixing features work very well, so you get a nice mixer for the 777€ I paid for it. I will post about the Linux compatibility and setup during the following days.