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Author Topic: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?  (Read 18376 times)

jason misterka

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 10:08:05 am »

Peter -

We are in a similar situation to you, except that we have already purchased two Avids (Profile MixRack & SC48) a few years back and have two M7CL-48 from before.  We are in the market for another desk, but mostly the riders covered.  So the new desk has to be "Rider-Friendly" but it is a little bit less important to meet every rider since we have options.

I think any of the new digital options on the table in 2012 at the $18,000+ USD price tag have a high enough sound quality that I don't believe "Good Better Best" is really objective enough for this discussion.   

Since you will be keeping your A&H, I don't think that workflow should be too much of a concern either.  For shows that YOUR workflow matters, you can use the A&H.  For shows with their own techs, they have the workflow down for the console they prefer (hopefully.)

In my experience, 99% of the concerts we are contracted for fit within 48 channels and 8 stereo FX or playback channels.  The exception would be symphonic dates, and for those a submixer creating stems is usually accepted, and often preferred.  I know there are tours out there that require more channels, but they are a rarity in our market and often provide their own consoles and snake.

I have narrowed our selection down to three options.  This calculus may be different in your market.  But this is the way I see it here:

1) Midas Pro 2
2) Avid SC48
3) Yamaha CL5



1) MIDAS PRO2

PROS:

Feature set. For me at least.  Variable send mono bus, HP and LP filers everywhere.  6 Band parametric on outputs.

Digital snake system is flexible with all Midas consoles.  We will also have one or two Pro1s.

Starting to see them appear on tours more often.

Price is very reasonable for the package.

As silly as it is to me, our Verona actually did get us gigs, and was even sub rented by some local venues who already had good consoles (Soundcraft MH3, Yamaha PM) because the touring guys at the time wanted purple.


CONS:

Mac only editor.

Support - seems good out of the gate but I don't have a long personal history to look to yet.

Lots of touring engineers like them but not everyone has a file already at this point.

Setup and patching will take some getting used to.  Probably will get faster at it, but not as easy as the Yamaha and Avid options. 



2) AVID SC48

PROS:

This is the most used console in our inventory.  It probably makes sense to just buy another.

Almost every tour has a show file that will work.

Easy 32 channel recording.

So far, we have had good manufactures support.

CONS:

Digital snake is an add-on, both in pricing and in integration.  Not as flexible.  Not enough mic inputs on the desk when using the digital snake without buying another $1000 card.  Can't put outputs in the digital snake unless you either short load the inputs or buy a second.  So adding the snake seems like a $3000 - $6000 cost increase.

Have had a few problems with overheating.  Build exhaust fans into your case and switch out the hard drive for a solid state drive.

No easy Dante option to feed our amps.

Absolutely need a "MixSwitch", or another sidecar console feeding additional processor inputs to use this desk at festivals, revivals, corporate events, or any other place that a 60 second interruption in audio between touring act show files is not acceptable.

The odds of the SC48 being "The Console to Have" in 3 years are pretty slim.  It is fairly old tech and most likely Avid will be replacing it themselves with something newer.  One can only hope it has the staying power of the Yamaha 5D in that you will still see it as acceptable on many riders  ten year later.  Maybe.




YAMAHA CL5

PROS:

In a comparison to the Pro2 and SC48, we should probably be comparing the CL3.  But the CL5 is pretty slick, and that's the one I would want.

Integrated digital snake, works across all CL models, and even older model Yamaha consoles. 

Easy Dante integration for our amps.

Very familiar with routing, storing, workflow, etc.

In a few years, and even if they hate the CLs, every touring engineer will be carrying a show file, IMO.

Very comfortable with the Yamaha service people :)

CONS:

Cost of CL5 is much more $ that Pro2 or SC48.  Cost of CL3, I believe, is also more $ than a Pro2 or SC48, though maybe not the SC48 with full spec digital snake system.  And Yamaha is being pretty tight about good guy pricing on this line.

Perceived sound quality of older Yamaha consoles.





So, I suspect our next purchase to probably be the Pro2, but when we start replacing M7's we may be looking at Yamaha CL.

The good news is there are lots of options finally!

Good luck - let me know if you see anything differently where you are.

Jason
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Robert "VOiD" Caprio

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 03:18:53 pm »

Peter Gabriel –SD7

Just an FYI Peter Gabriel's FOH guy is now using a Profile, same goes for the last time I saw Sara Bareilles.
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 09:13:40 am »

Why do I always feel like a contrarian?...:

Across my decades of SR involvement, the only purchase that I ever saw "made the phone ring" was the original V-DOSC.

Choose a console based on your best forecast of useability, longevity, manufacturer support, residual value, etc.

Whenever I see references made to "ROI" I take off my glasses and rub my eyes. SR is at its core an artisanal endeavor. If ROI is a primary compelling consideration, you/we are all in the wrong business.
Hi Jim - as a "lounger" with a day job, I have the luxury of operating in a world as you describe - bringing gear that I want to use rather than just what the gig can support.  For most "real" companies, that's not always the reality.  Margins at many levels are already too marginal - throw in gear that was purchased because it is "the best" but doesn't get used as often as the desk the artist has a show file for, and that asset has just become an LOI.

I would argue that the SR business is at its core a logistics business.  We all get into it because we like sound, and care about doing a good job; but the reason we get shows is not so much that the event sounds great - though that certainly helps - but that the show actually happens without delays and stress caused by three trips to the shop or Grainger to collect missing bits and pieces.
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brian maddox

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 11:03:10 am »

...

I would argue that the SR business is at its core a logistics business.  We all get into it because we like sound, and care about doing a good job; but the reason we get shows is not so much that the event sounds great - though that certainly helps - but that the show actually happens without delays and stress caused by three trips to the shop or Grainger to collect missing bits and pieces.

+1 million....  i figured out a very long time ago that the actual sound quality of my system [that is, the thing i cared about the most] was at least 5 or 6 items down on my client's priority list.  if you're in this as a hobby/second income, you can afford to ignore this reality and pursue gear that you like.  but if you're actually trying to make a living at this, and by extension competing with many other people trying to do the same thing, you have to align your priorities with the priorities of the guys writing the check.  that may not be as much fun.  but it is the reality.

one of the reasons i fell in love with d&b q-series a few years ago is because it was a product that actually met both needs.  it sounded awesome, but it also was smaller, lighter, went up faster, was more reliable, and used less power than anything else out there, at least for the kind of shows i did.  so it solved a lot of logistical concerns as well.  shorter loadins and less trucking makes for happy client.  awesome sounding rig makes for happy me.  win.  win.
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Peter Morris

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 09:34:05 pm »

Hi Jason and Mark,

That about how I see things.

Pro 2 – Maybe …don’t know.
CL – too expensive, but will provide immediate acceptance.
SC48 – agree… the odds of the SC48 being the console to have in 3 year are low.

At this level, for me, it’s probably between the Yamaha and Midas.

Riders seem to be listing - Profiles, Midas Pro 6 &9, Digico SD7/8, PM5d, and occasional a Vi6.  Pro 6 & 9 are now being regularly listed as an option, a year ago that wasn’t the case from what I can tell.

I can’t help thinking, for the price, Midas Pro series offers great value. The Pro 2 is probably not acceptable for a large tour, but is perfect for those B grade acts and venue options.  The show files and sound quality are the same as its big brothers which is also a big plus.
 
While I don’t think it’s had any rider acceptance or traction so far, I can’t help thinking that a lot of people will buy it instead of the Yamaha CL3/5 because of the price and the purple paint syndrome. We may see a swing away from the “Yamaha M7” in the B market (so to speak), but I expect Yamaha will remain a safe bet.
 
I think sound quality is going to become more important, especially with the quality of the new speaker systems on offer … That will be an advantage for Midas.  The question is; will everyone want to stay with what they know or are they ready to try something different … at some point we will stop using M7s, is that now? Has Uli done enough, or is it a better bet to buy a CL?

I suspect the AVID will release a replacement for the Profile ?-?-? in the next year or so, but it will be priced much higher than the Pro 2.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 09:38:59 pm by Peter Morris »
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Geri O'Neil

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2012, 07:11:45 am »

Peter, this may be a moot point since you mention the CL being too expensive, but...

In our little world, the riders that cross our desk where a digital desk is requested will list Yamaha, Avid, and Midas as acceptable choices. The CL has been quite a hit with those visiting band mixers, mostly because I can convert their M7CL and PM5D files to the CL so they are ready to go when they arrive. About all of them were familiar with the M7 lay-out, so it wasn't like starting over. And while I agree, it's doesn't seem to be setting the world on fire in terms of being excited about it, everyone and I mean everyone walks away impressed with it, especially the improvement in sound quality. I think in a while, it'll find its place. Sound quality, the premium rack, and the custom layers seem to be the most commented-on features. A plus on our end is that it requires only one Cat5 (we were supplied a Cat6 "touring grade) cable. We have thoroughly enjoyed have the CL5 and have had NO negative reactions to it from visiting band guys.

We have yet to use the CL5 in a monitor situation. I am concerned about the need for considerable fader-flipping in this situation, but with 32 faders on the surface and the ability to assign all of the faders to inputs, it might not be such an issue. That's certainly an individual decision for the person mixing.

For what it's worth...
Geri O
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Peter Morris

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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2012, 07:41:28 am »

Peter, this may be a moot point since you mention the CL being too expensive, but...

In our little world, the riders that cross our desk where a digital desk is requested will list Yamaha, Avid, and Midas as acceptable choices. The CL has been quite a hit with those visiting band mixers, mostly because I can convert their M7CL and PM5D files to the CL so they are ready to go when they arrive. About all of them were familiar with the M7 lay-out, so it wasn't like starting over. And while I agree, it's doesn't seem to be setting the world on fire in terms of being excited about it, everyone and I mean everyone walks away impressed with it, especially the improvement in sound quality. I think in a while, it'll find its place. Sound quality, the premium rack, and the custom layers seem to be the most commented-on features. A plus on our end is that it requires only one Cat5 (we were supplied a Cat6 "touring grade) cable. We have thoroughly enjoyed have the CL5 and have had NO negative reactions to it from visiting band guys.

We have yet to use the CL5 in a monitor situation. I am concerned about the need for considerable fader-flipping in this situation, but with 32 faders on the surface and the ability to assign all of the faders to inputs, it might not be such an issue. That's certainly an individual decision for the person mixing.

For what it's worth...
Geri O

Hi Geri,
I was expecting to CL to be an absolute winner, and I was surprised by everyone’s lack of excitement when it came out. I don’t think the Midas is as good, but its $10,000+ less (for me) … that’s significant.

The Midas lacks AES-EBU at the rack end, will not do pre- fader + pre EQ & Dynamics (FOH monitor applications), doesn’t have those nice Neve bits and pieces in the premium rack,  and only has 48 inputs at the stage end … but it does sound good, I love the “pop” VCA and group functions and it’s the right colour… and there was something that feels nice about driving one compared to the Yamaha.

Once people give the CL a go, I thought there may be some more excitement, which you seem to be finding. Thanks for the info.

Peter

EDIT - the price difference for me - 52% extra for the CL5! If the price was the same I would buy the CL, but its not.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 12:59:35 am by Peter Morris »
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Re: Upgrading my iLive – what do I buy - SC48, CL5, Pro 2, SD9 etc ?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2012, 07:41:28 am »


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