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Author Topic: Large format analog boards  (Read 13465 times)

Samuel Rees

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2012, 10:04:05 pm »

Used an LS9 many times.. like the onboard thing, disliked the pre amps and sound quality! chose to buy an APB... sound quality was night and day!!

The LS9 is not representative of digital consoles as a whole in terms of sound quality.
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Micky Basiliere

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2012, 10:31:42 pm »

The LS9 is not representative of digital consoles as a whole in terms of sound quality.
Very true... but it put a bad taste in my mouth! glad i chose to stay analog, and the APB is incredible! i and alot of other "small companies" around here DO NOT have 20 or 30k to spend on a high quality Digital... would be nice tho! :)
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2012, 10:42:50 pm »

I am more than a causal student of circuit performance and how that relates, or not, to perceived sound quality.

As far as i can determine there is no inherent flaw or limitation to digital audio conversion that would limit sound quality compared to an all analog path. So pretty much analog or digital technology does not define sound quality. There is surely a continuum of sound quality from analog desks, ranging from poor to excellent. I would expect digital paths to vary in execution also.

APB is inarguably a very good sounding audio path. I don't recall ever hearing an unkind word about them. I do not expect there to be significant objective (measurable) differences between premium console paths. I do expect subtle differences in ergonomics and sundry pot/gain/boost/cut  laws that help the operator get a good result. As the saying goes if it sounds good it is good, and they sound good.

Sorry about this circuitous path to say nothing, but at that level we are dealing with subtle differences. The combination of a bunch of small subtle differences and attention to detail that move the operator in the right direction, and help deliver a good overall result.

I suspect APB could replicate 99.9% of that magic in a digital audio path. While it is not the canvas they have chosen for their art. I kind of wish they would, but that's no secret, I nag them all the time. Digital has the potential to spank analog on features and flexibility.

JR
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2012, 11:17:44 pm »

Here's the deal as I see it and saw it. When I opted to buy my last board I had my choice of digital or analog, and, I had the money to buy whatever I wanted. I gave good hard thought to going digital with my entry level board being an LS9-16. That's ENTRY level, and everything else up from that point. I weighed my options carefully. I'm 60 now, I select the jobs I want to work, I have my own band, I select the jobs I want to work, I'm lazy now, so I select the jobs I want to work. See a pattern yet?

I decided that my primary needs didn't amount to a digital board. I have very good external hardware if needed, good DSPs, EQs, compressors, amplifiers, etc.. Not THE best, but as good as any.

I don't care about hauling additional gear, I don't care about powered faders, I don't need 1000 pre-set venues, shows, or multiple pages. I absolutely refuse to buy anything remotely related to an 01V, 02v, Presonus, or other digital board simply so I can say I have a digital board. I especially don't have a need to jump on a bandwagon just so I can say look at all the shit I have in one box that I don't even fucking use. There are very few Mac Kerr's or people in his position, those who truely understand and benefit from the use of a digital board. I know who they are, they know who they are.

My whole, entire, total deal is the sound derived from the system as a whole. I have owned and used many boards in my life. I've used so fucking many that I can't remember half of the manufacturers names. I can't remember those names because the sound from those boards didn't impress me. And for those of you who are jumping into the deep end of the digital entry level pool, have you ever worked a Ghost, Midas, Toft, APB, or anything capable of reproducing sound at that level. No? Thought as much, because if you had you wouldn't be running out to spend good hard earned money on entry level digital boards.
 
So, after using, searching, listening to boards, and listening to people who REALLY know what a good or great board should be, I bought what most say is one of the best sounding boards available today, an APB. My first hour on the board proved the claims were true. It was if a blanket had been taken off of my speakers. I was able to ELIMINATE half of my outboard gear, and I had all the features I needed to perform at a professional level. So, when all is said and done if you feel the need for a budget digital board make sure you're not blinded by the lights, make sure you have a very reliable UPS, and make sure you're ready to live with it's functions or malfunctions even during those times when they won't work or do the job you need done. Analog boards are never going away. There will always be a need, and they will usually sound better.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2012, 08:54:49 am »


I don't care about hauling additional gear, I don't care about powered faders, I don't need 1000 pre-set venues, shows, or multiple pages. I absolutely refuse to buy anything remotely related to an 01V, 02v, Presonus, or other digital board simply so I can say I have a digital board. I especially don't have a need to jump on a bandwagon just so I can say look at all the shit I have in one box that I don't even fucking use. There are very few Mac Kerr's or people in his position, those who truely understand and benefit from the use of a digital board. I know who they are, they know who they are.
...
 Analog boards are never going away. There will always be a need, and they will usually sound better.
Either too much or too little coffee I think.  :)

I'm sure the APB sounds great, but to be fair, that's not a low-end analog board either.  Low end digital gear generally competes with MixWizards, Mackie 1604s, and other stuff where the sound quality is equal or better on the digital side.

You apparently don't do events where scene recall is valuable.  I do, and would struggle to live without it.  But thank you for the compliment that you know who I am and the promotion to Mac's level of skill and professionalism.  :)

You must be in very good shape where hundreds of pounds of gear and heavy snake slinging don't matter.  Now that I have my GLD, half my truck is freed up - smaller console case, no outboard (actually I haven't hauled outboard in years due to my "crappy sounding" 01v96 boards I've used with great success for 9 years), and now now analog snake.  I will have to cut back on the donuts due to the loss of winding up a 150lb snake.

I'm very glad that APB exists, and I don't disagree that there will likely always be applications where analog boards serve just as well if not better than digital.  I do disagree that analog generally sounds better, though the world is big enough that each of us can find examples to support our hypothesis.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2012, 09:19:02 am »

By the way, now that Soundcraft has dropped their previously astronomical price of their SiCompact, there is another choice in the quasi-budget realm that apparently sounds a lot better than low-end Yamaha (no first hand experience).
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Chuck Simon

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2012, 10:33:25 am »

Quote
There are very few Mac Kerr's or people in his position, those who truely understand and benefit from the use of a digital board. I know who they are, they know who they are.
A very strange quote from a very strange post!  So Bob knows all the people that have "jumped on the bandwagon", probably thousands of them, and which ones understand and benefit from the use of a digital board? Bob, would you share your list with us? 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 10:39:48 am by Chuck Simon »
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2012, 10:58:04 am »

Cadac is still (ostensibly) building new J-Type consoles, but only up to 256 inputs, so I'm not sure that they are large enough for your shows.

Also, I believe that Allen and Heath is still selling the ML 3000, and that Soundcraft is still selling the MH4.

The main benefit of a digital console for me is that I don't have to spend 45 minutes hauling the fucking behemoth around the building to get the thing inside and that I don't need eight guys to help lift the god damn thing onto the four road cases that it sits on.

Since the OP posted this in the lounge, he clearly doesn't understand the benefits of a digital console either, nor does he have the experience or knowledge to know better than to post a question like this. If he did, he would have known what companies are still producing analog consoles anyway.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2012, 11:00:58 am »

It's not like he said jumped the shark... :-)

I'm an old analog engineer so if anybody would be biased against digital it would be me. I have tried to find something wrong with the technology and there is no obvious smoking gun flaw...

I like to joke that consoles are the most difficult "simple" product to design. The general concept of simply summing a few stems together, adding some EQ is trivial, but there is a world of difference in the details. Digital like analog has it's share of detail work that must be well executed for superior results. 

Digital is the only way to get certain functionality, Bob doesn't need or want that functionality. He is free to make that choice.

There is no us/them here, just the right tool for different jobs, and the APB is the right tool for Bob, not for Tom...    YMMV

JR
 
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2012, 11:20:33 am »

Digital is the only way to get certain functionality, Bob doesn't need or want that functionality. He is free to make that choice.

There is no us/them here, just the right tool for different jobs, and the APB is the right tool for Bob, not for Tom...    YMMV

JR
"All generalizations are wrong."

I'm not sure what the OP's definition of large format is.  A 48 channel GL2X00 series board is a very different beast than a 48 channel H3000.

My only agenda here is for folks to try and see.  A large number of folks who said "I'll never go digital" 10 years ago, now have crossed the aisle, because the advantages of digital got to be too great to ignore.  For them.  Clearly Bob has tried (at least the LS9) and came up with a different result.  That doesn't bother me at all.

I do wish folks like the OP whose main reason for preferring analog seems to be "I have used it before and therefore am more comfortable" would live a little and give digital a shot.  The rise in popularity of digital consoles especially at the large end, and extending down into the medium and even low end is undeniable.  I doubt they're all stupid (though I concede the recent external clock threads may cast a little doubt on my assessment), and speaking from my own experience, I'm never going back.

If the OP disagrees - that's fine by me.  He's free to use one of the excellent APB offerings, or to take advantage of the precipitous fall in value of 2nd hand real large format boards.  Maybe he'll even pick up the PM4000 in the marketplace right now for $1000.  A year or two and 500 chiropractor visits after that, maybe he'll realize why the current value is only $1000.
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Re: Large format analog boards
« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2012, 11:20:33 am »


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