ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6   Go Down

Author Topic: The future of digital consoles  (Read 6527 times)

dick rees

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5232
  • St Paul MN
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2013, 02:25:20 pm »

I hear where you're coming from. But until then, I think it would be prudent to have an analog, well, for analog ;) I did a show a couple of weeks ago where we had over 20 short set acts over the course 5 hours ranging from duos & trios to full bands and talking heads, to a couple of choirs. It would have made my life a ton easier if I had that virtual outboard for all my vocal channels and group compressors along with the verb & delay controls. As it was, I was jumping through layers and plugin screens like mad keeping up with all the changes on the fly. The show would have been much easier to do on an "old skool" analog desk with outboard, but that's not the desk we have anymore. While digital offers so much more overall, in that way it offers far less. It shouldn't be that way.


Greg....

This is a niche in which I often find myself.  I agree with the need for instant access to controls and that points toward analog.  But there are some nominally "digital" features which come in handy.  The half-way point is the virtual rack or a "digi-log" desk such as the StudioLive. 

I'm using a StudioLive 24 a good bit now and am pretty happy with it as a compromise between the two worlds of analog and digital.  The layout is pretty much analog with only a "select" button to engage for most of the adjustments you want to make.  Fairly quick.  And you still have the advantage of recalling your own pre-sets to a channel, copy/paste and such from digi-world.

A pretty fair compromise in my book. 
Logged
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Frank DeWitt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 520
    • LBP DI Box
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2013, 03:18:53 pm »

I look at it in several general ways.  The first is the difference between a mixer as a single device versus a mixing system with multiple integrated devices.  The latter certainly has advantages but also has additional considerations in terms of multiple variations on systems, interconnections to address and so on.
 
The second is the difference between a personal mixer and a mixer for use by others or by multiple others.  For example, SAC intrigues my as something for my own use but I am not sold on its use for schools, public venues, rentals, etc. where the users may be numerous and varied.
 
Finally, are we facing a new paradigm in terms of useful life and depreciation?  Are we looking at mixers having a likely effective useful life more like that of a computer than that of an amplifier or speaker?  Is a mixer going to become a 2-5 year investment rather than a 5-10 year one?

I hear you Brad.  In my head we walk up to the mixer. you click guest and see 3 choices, old school analog,  Yamaha 01V96, and something else.  One screen lights up, the faders are working, ch 1 on the far left, ETC.  I walk up to it and type Frank and my password and all the screens light up.  I have 48 faders in wide format with large type scribble strips because i am old and that is what I want.  There are spaces between instrument faders and vocal faders.  There is a bright red fader labeled Pastor.

Below the desk is another monitor with all my effects permanently displayed as was invented here earlier again all this is this way because that is what I want and I bought the extra modals to do it, but you can walk up to it and have the talker in the mains in 5 sec.
   
That's in my head,  in real life I share a SAC system with a K-12 school  As I said earlier I have 2 video screens, 16 faders, and a button box for scenes.  Well the school uses kids.  They like mixing with the mouse! so the real faders are dead.  All the channels are shown narrow with small print' (They are kids)  They have different routing because they use auxes for monitors. (We use personal mixers for IEMs)  To make this reliable and make sure neither of us can mess up the other, we have the hard drive partitioned into two parts, there are two separate SAC installs one for them and one for the church.  Each can be tweaked as needed.

Logged

John Roberts {JR}

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13023
  • Hickory, Mississippi, USA
    • Resotune
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2013, 04:09:57 pm »

I hear where you're coming from. But until then, I think it would be prudent to have an analog, well, for analog ;) I did a show a couple of weeks ago where we had over 20 short set acts over the course 5 hours ranging from duos & trios to full bands and talking heads, to a couple of choirs. It would have made my life a ton easier if I had that virtual outboard for all my vocal channels and group compressors along with the verb & delay controls. As it was, I was jumping through layers and plugin screens like mad keeping up with all the changes on the fly. The show would have been much easier to do on an "old skool" analog desk with outboard, but that's not the desk we have anymore. While digital offers so much more overall, in that way it offers far less. It shouldn't be that way.

OK, but as long as I am speaking hypothetically, lets imagine a future when all those wannabe bands show up with their USB thumb drive (or the future equivalent) and plug in their total band repertoire-play list, effects needs (with presets), monitor mixes, frequency response template, yadda yadda..

To perform they wirelessly select their next song from on stage, while you sit back and sip a cool one in the quiet, heated/air conditioned trailer, until tear down.   

The convergence of recording, practice, and live performance technology works with this new cybernetic assisted mix environment.

Of course this is just my wild assed guesses about one possible future and not remotely around the corner any time soon, especially if almost everybody lacks the vision to imagine a different way.

I am just pointing out that digital technology offers a power largely untapped to help us with anticipated decision making. If we expect fader moves, perhaps we can write rules for how the faders need to move (again this works best with fixed output targets so it can respond to changing inputs and maintain desired output levels). Right now this is all undefined, so soft.

For those who see mixing as high art, this is surely unimaginable.

My apologies, I just call it like I see it (in my crystal ball).  8)

JR

PS: No availability dates in my crystal ball.
Logged
Tune it or don't play it... please

Simon Ryder

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
    • Audio Engineer LTD
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2013, 07:19:12 pm »

OK, but as long as I am speaking hypothetically, lets imagine a future when all those wannabe bands show up with their USB thumb drive (or the future equivalent) and plug in their total band repertoire-play list, effects needs (with presets), monitor mixes, frequency response template, yadda yadda..

To perform they wirelessly select their next song from on stage, while you sit back and sip a cool one in the quiet, heated/air conditioned trailer, until tear down.   

The convergence of recording, practice, and live performance technology works with this new cybernetic assisted mix environment.

Of course this is just my wild assed guesses about one possible future and not remotely around the corner any time soon, especially if almost everybody lacks the vision to imagine a different way.

I am just pointing out that digital technology offers a power largely untapped to help us with anticipated decision making. If we expect fader moves, perhaps we can write rules for how the faders need to move (again this works best with fixed output targets so it can respond to changing inputs and maintain desired output levels). Right now this is all undefined, so soft.

For those who see mixing as high art, this is surely unimaginable.

My apologies, I just call it like I see it (in my crystal ball).  8)

JR

PS: No availability dates in my crystal ball.

To an extent I think you are right. To produce the "high art" of mixing though, there is still no computer algorithm that can yet achieve it - though I do appreciate that modern chart music is now so formulaic that it could well have been written by a robot and therefore mixing it is therefore also formulaic... Backing track up, mute the mics in case they actually try to sing, remember to unmute between each "song"... Another Britney gig done.

On second thoughts, give that one to the computer, it would be less soul destroying.

At the point where AI can decision make and program and create art at the levels of any master in any medium, frankly humanity had better watch out. but whilst there are bands like Led Zeppelin or the Foo Fighters or Aerosmith, we will all still be in work.

Isn't that right HAL.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 04:10:17 am by Simon Ryder »
Logged

dick rees

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5232
  • St Paul MN
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2013, 07:21:19 pm »

but whilst there are bands like Led Zeppelin or the Foo Fighters or Aerosmith, we will all still be in work.

Isn't that right HAL.

Whilst?  Have you been reading your thesaurus again, Dave?
Logged
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

John Roberts {JR}

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13023
  • Hickory, Mississippi, USA
    • Resotune
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2013, 09:37:12 pm »

To an extent I think you are right. To produce the "high art" of mixing though, there is still no computer algorithm that can yet achieve it - though I do appreciate that modern chart music is now so formulaic that it could well have been written by a robot and therefore mixing it is therefore also formulaic... Backing track up, mute the mics in case they actually try to sing, remember to unmute between each "song"... Another Britney gig done.

On second thoughts, give that one to the computer, it would be less soul destroying.

At the point where AI can decision make and program and create art at the levels of any master in any medium, frankly had better watch out. but whilst there are bands like Led Zeppelin or the Foo Fighters or Aerosmith, we will all still be in work.

Isn't that right HAL.
We get to express our creativity and art in different ways. I suspect the 80/20 rule is in play when it comes to mixing duties.

Why not offload 80% of the nonsense so you, or the artists on stage can handle the other 20%

No offense intended.

JR

PS: I am rather looking forward to a computer driving my car for me. Even if I can do it better.
Logged
Tune it or don't play it... please

Simon Ryder

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
    • Audio Engineer LTD
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2013, 04:14:31 am »

We get to express our creativity and art in different ways. I suspect the 80/20 rule is in play when it comes to mixing duties.

Why not offload 80% of the nonsense so you, or the artists on stage can handle the other 20%

No offense intended.

JR

PS: I am rather looking forward to a computer driving my car for me. Even if I can do it better.

None taken :)


PS: where's the fun in that? I LIKE driving - especially impractical 2 seater things. Now a teleporting loading dock on the other hand....
Logged

Simon Ryder

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
    • Audio Engineer LTD
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2013, 04:15:57 am »

Whilst?  Have you been reading your thesaurus again, Dave?

 ;)
Logged

kristianjohnsen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 997
  • Lillehammer, Norway
    • Lillehammer Lyd og Lys
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2013, 04:46:27 am »

mixing a show is not exactly rocket science either (sorry no offense).

Obviously, you are correct. 

But I'm going to contest that there are rocket scientists out there that would not be all that comfortable performing a task where there is no opportunity to ask for support, look something up or talk to a colleague, in front of a live audience, all while accepting considerable risk regarding theft or damage to personally owned gear that runs up to millions in cost...

These are the conditions present at a gig and we should have access to tools that work very well under these conditions.

I'm also sure we will see mixers that have all kinds of rules written into them in the future, and "goal adjustments" rather than "parameter adjustments" for some things. 

A live gig can be a pretty chaotic place, though, with no opportunity to "halt the wagon" and restart - hence I think people performing the overall control functions of the sound reinforcement are entitled to a way to get a decent overview over what is going on and an effective way to affect it.

What I picture are ultra-linear mics at every instrument and a measurement mic at FOH.  A mixer that can be told to "make every mic channel sound like the source" could be great for people who only want to adjust faders up and down in level.  Comparing all the mics could make the mixer identify bleed between mics, etc, possibly cancelling it, too.

But for more advanced mixing this isn't a solution, afterall:  Remember that much of what we do is actually playing to psychoacoustic phenomenon and how what we hear is affected by other senses.  Often we will EQ and compress a signal so that it doesn't sound very "true to the source", but once it goes into the mix it tricks the listener into thinking it sounds like a "full sound" - all while not masking other important sources.

The level of exaggeration/underexaggeration is a very dynamic parameter that changes for every source and occation- so I still see humans making these decisions.

PS:  We have long ago found out how to make a computer play a synthesizer.  Why are there still musicians on stage?  We could just "write rules" for the synthesizer to follow... ::)
Logged

John Roberts {JR}

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 13023
  • Hickory, Mississippi, USA
    • Resotune
Re: The future of digital consoles
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2013, 10:44:38 am »


What I picture are ultra-linear mics at every instrument and a measurement mic at FOH.  A mixer that can be told to "make every mic channel sound like the source" could be great for people who only want to adjust faders up and down in level.  Comparing all the mics could make the mixer identify bleed between mics, etc, possibly cancelling it, too.
I have been thinking about this for some time...  If all we wanted was a flat reading from every input there wouldn't be EQ on consoles.

Visualize instead that the digital brain can identify a guitar or drum input, and shape that based on previous programming (perhaps even learning from how you mixed in the past). Think of this as intelligent automation.
Quote
But for more advanced mixing this isn't a solution, afterall:  Remember that much of what we do is actually playing to psychoacoustic phenomenon and how what we hear is affected by other senses.  Often we will EQ and compress a signal so that it doesn't sound very "true to the source", but once it goes into the mix it tricks the listener into thinking it sounds like a "full sound" - all while not masking other important sources.
yup
Quote
The level of exaggeration/underexaggeration is a very dynamic parameter that changes for every source and occation- so I still see humans making these decisions.
sources if different enough need to be learned. Locations should be manageable.
Quote
PS:  We have long ago found out how to make a computer play a synthesizer.  Why are there still musicians on stage?  We could just "write rules" for the synthesizer to follow... ::)

A jam session where players just show up and play together could be challenging, if these musicians can not effectively mix themselves from stage. This promises to give artists even more control over their sound. Many gigs where they are trying very hard to sound like their record, with just enough variation to prove they are not faking it, could use pre-programmed targets.

Don't shoot the messenger, I just see a capability for digital decision making to be used much more effectively than it is now. This is not a simple straight line path. I understand the cognitive dissonance from me suggesting a job may become (mostly) obsolete. There should be enough parallels of this in other industries.

There is far more to providing sound reinforcement than just mixing the songs. I can visualize mixing evolving to be taken over by the artists themselves (then who would they complain to? Hopefully they would work out disputes between each other at practices, long before the shows). For cover bands the song templates could be pre-defined, while they could edit them to personalize them. Perhaps big dog acts would still use a producer or whatever doing the stage mixing duties for them.

JR

PS: I enjoy driving too, but who wouldn't appreciate automatic pilot for the long ride home after tearing down the gig (or after too many brewskis).
Logged
Tune it or don't play it... please
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.1 seconds with 23 queries.