I play in a 7 piece rock band, our snake only has so many inputs and I'm looking at moving to micing each tom (4) individually. That would mean 9 mics total but I'll still be able to use several sends on the snake.
The one time I recorded in a studio the engineer made the drums sound awesome. He said the key was the high-quality pre-amps in his mixing board. So I'm thinking I want an eight channel mixer with high quality pre-amps. This may be a pipe-dream since I'm sure the mixer in the studio was extremely expensive. I'm not sure what else is essential other than high quality pre amps. It seems like noise-gates would be nice to have. Other effects seems unnecessary since the main board has the basic stuff needed there. I've been looking at the various on-line sites but there are just too many choices and no-one appears to make a drum mixer per-se. I would like to keep the budget in the $500 ballpark.
If I'm asking in the wrong SE site could someone point me to the correct one. The one for musicians seems to expressly not want this type of question.
Update per comment request On Dino's FB page he says it's a NEVE NEUMANN Malcome Toft Heavy Duty console - I suspect this is a couple or orders of magnitude more expensive than my proposed budget, not to mention a wee bit too big for the typical stage.