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Author Topic: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring  (Read 8070 times)

Lee Storey

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Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« on: January 03, 2011, 09:55:14 am »

Hi all,

I'm a 3rd year Audio and Music Production student, and I'm currently conducting research for my dissertation. My area of study is whether the use of digital consoles in a touring production has an impact on the carbon emissions produced by the tour.
I'm looking for people who are willing to be interviewed, that have experience of using digital consoles (whether it was a good or bad experience) so that I can try and gain an insight into peoples opinions of digital, and the limitations of these consoles that would make you either incorporate additional analogue equipment or use a complete analogue system.

Thanks
Lee Storey
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Art Welter

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 12:26:57 pm »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 07:55

Hi all,

I'm a 3rd year Audio and Music Production student, and I'm currently conducting research for my dissertation. My area of study is whether the use of digital consoles in a touring production has an impact on the carbon emissions produced by the tour.


Digital consoles use less power in general than the analog console and outboard equipment they replace.

The power used by either analog or digital consoles is a tiny fraction of the power used in a concert system, the difference between the two would be about the same as the difference in fuel economy of the trucks that haul them switching from incandescent to LED tail lights.

Art Welter
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Dick Rees

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 12:33:23 pm »

From the tales of touring I've read here on the Forums I'd say that carbon emissions aren't the ones that give the most problems....at least on the bus. Very Happy
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 12:51:58 pm »

Art Welter wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 11:26

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 07:55

Hi all,

I'm a 3rd year Audio and Music Production student, and I'm currently conducting research for my dissertation. My area of study is whether the use of digital consoles in a touring production has an impact on the carbon emissions produced by the tour.


Digital consoles use less power in general than the analog console and outboard equipment they replace.

The power used by either analog or digital consoles is a tiny fraction of the power used in a concert system, the difference between the two would be about the same as the difference in fuel economy of the trucks that haul them switching from incandescent to LED tail lights.

Art Welter


+1.  With 400A of lighting and 100A of audio running, saving a few hundred watts on the board is a drop in the ocean.  LED fixtures and discharge bulbs in movers compared to a zillion 1K PAR64s make a much bigger difference.

The greater positive impact in some cases than power consumption may be lower weight and cartage size with digital gear compared to analog, though this is not always true either.
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Scott Helmke (Scodiddly)

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 01:09:31 pm »

Shorter soundchecks with digital might be worth something as well, not in terms of power (the PA will be left on either way) but perhaps something to do with labor and scheduling.

Sending show files ahead to local rental companies can further reduce cartage of FOH gear.

Jeff Babcock

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 01:25:11 pm »

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 09:55

Hi all,

I'm a 3rd year Audio and Music Production student, and I'm currently conducting research for my dissertation. My area of study is whether the use of digital consoles in a touring production has an impact on the carbon emissions produced by the tour.
I'm looking for people who are willing to be interviewed, that have experience of using digital consoles (whether it was a good or bad experience) so that I can try and gain an insight into peoples opinions of digital, and the limitations of these consoles that would make you either incorporate additional analogue equipment or use a complete analogue system.

Thanks
Lee Storey


Please don't take offense, but methinks you should pick a different subject for your dissertation.

Not to say that digital consoles make NO difference.... indeed you could probably prove that they might reduce carbon emissions.  But on what scale?  Most likely one that is not significant enough to sway the decision to use them or not.   There are LOTS of other components and devices within a tour package that are much more significant, why not pick a more suitable target than the console?  For instance the trend towards lightweight class D (and derivative) amps which are both advantageous on weight of the pack but are also more energy efficient.  Or you could look at bigger targets, like lighting or even trucking.

How "green" an analog vs digital console is from the perspective of sound companies is a non issue at this point considering all of the other better places to look if you want to go "green".

Lee Storey

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 02:07:09 pm »

Thanks for everyone's replies. The area that I'm looking at is mainly to do with the the reduction in footprint, and the effect that it has on the trucking of the show.
There was a study done about the carbon emissions of the UK music industry, and they found that 13,000 tonnes of carbon emissions were produced annually from transporting the show.

The UK live industry is responsible for 75% of the overall emissions produced by the UK music industry, with audience travel being the source of the majority of this. I agree with what you're saying in that the amount of emissions produced by the weight of the audio equipment is, in the grand scheme of things, a minute amount. But from what I have seen so far, it is seemingly one of the only things, with regards to audio, that the production team can change to try and the reduce environmental impact.

My study is to investigate what impact the use of a digital system has on this, because of its reduced footprint and weight. If the difference between the two is marginal, that's fine because I've still investigated the area, but there may be a difference, and if there is it will be an interesting subject to look into.

Lee
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 02:08:30 pm »

Jeff Babcock wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 12:25

Lee Storey wrote on Mon, 03 January 2011 09:55

Hi all,

I'm a 3rd year Audio and Music Production student, and I'm currently conducting research for my dissertation. My area of study is whether the use of digital consoles in a touring production has an impact on the carbon emissions produced by the tour.
I'm looking for people who are willing to be interviewed, that have experience of using digital consoles (whether it was a good or bad experience) so that I can try and gain an insight into peoples opinions of digital, and the limitations of these consoles that would make you either incorporate additional analogue equipment or use a complete analogue system.

Thanks
Lee Storey


Please don't take offense, but methinks you should pick a different subject for your dissertation.

Not to say that digital consoles make NO difference.... indeed you could probably prove that they might reduce carbon emissions.  But on what scale?  Most likely one that is not significant enough to sway the decision to use them or not.   There are LOTS of other components and devices within a tour package that are much more significant, why not pick a more suitable target than the console?  For instance the trend towards lightweight class D (and derivative) amps which are both advantageous on weight of the pack but are also more energy efficient.  Or you could look at bigger targets, like lighting or even trucking.

How "green" an analog vs digital console is from the perspective of sound companies is a non issue at this point considering all of the other better places to look if you want to go "green".


And to expand a bit on Jeff's "how green" question, what has more energy/environmental impact, the IC production in digital consoles or etching so many PC boards for an analog desk?

TJ is right about cartage, too.  On a major tour with Bands You've Heard Of
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Noah Waldron

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 02:11:28 pm »

Hey Lee,
Digital consoles offer a number of advantages in the eco-friendly arena.
More important than the power draw advantages, is the weight savings.
A 56 channel analog console can weigh up to 900lbs and then there's the power supplies, and the FX Racks. Also take into account the space they consume. Smaller equipment can equal smaller vehicles for transportation.
Many digital consoles also have digital snakes, eliminating the need for heavy trunks...

All this weight savings adds up to fuel economy, set-up time, and labor needed for load in and load out. And those laborers and their transportation..
The same technology that is used in digital consoles is also being used in amplifiers...So I would seriously consider doing your report on digital technology in general and it's carbon benefits.

I wrote on my blog about this subject. So feel free to take a gander.
http://www.capsicumpro.com/live-sound-and-green.html
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Noah Waldron

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Re: Dissertation Research - Digital Consoles and Greener Touring
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2011, 02:14:53 pm »

Check out http://www.reverb.org to see what a lot of tours are doing to offset or reduce their carbon footprints.....
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