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Author Topic: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?  (Read 72728 times)

Jim McKeveny

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2012, 07:06:23 pm »

Let's go forward! What are the holes in the current spec regimen?
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2012, 07:18:23 pm »

I am not aware of any glaring gaps in our ability to characterize linearity and signal integrity. 

Beware of snake oil merchants selling solutions to nonexistent problems.

JR
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Don't tune your drums half-ass. Listen to what a properly "cleared" drum sounds like.   http://circularscience.com/

Peter Morris

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2012, 08:50:42 pm »

Yamaha digital consoles seem to get a lot of respect on this forum for reliability, features, rider friendliness,... but rarely do people praise the sound compared to most other analog or digital consoles.

I was curious what part of Yamaha systems people think is lacking. Is it the preamps, the AD, the DA, the internal algorithms (EQ, Comps, effects,...), all of these?

To my ears, a Yamaha M7 makes everything sound like an early MP3 recording. On a single vocal I can’t hear much (if any) difference but on complex mixes it becomes gritty, and harsh.  I am not fond of any of the effects, especially the reverbs and EQ’s.
 
To my ears again - the best sounding desks are Digico and Midas, then you get the PM5Ds, Profiles and Allen Heath (yes, AH sounds good) and maybe even the X32!... below that is the M7, LS9 and Presonus.

The obvious answer that everyone fashionably quotes is the “MIC PREs” but I think it’s only a small part of it. Of course the quality of the AD and DA will also contribute. What I notice with an M7 is when you start to sum lots of channels and use a lot of the DSP power it sounds the worst.
 
I had a discussion with one of my DSP mates the other day on this topic.  The DSP designers often make compromises (this is not my area, perhaps someone can help?) when doing the mathematics inside the chip and often the least significant bit can be lost. There is still information in those bits. He spoke about the advantages of floating point over fix point mathematics. He also talked quite a bit about dither, and in the case of Yamaha about timing issues with the AD & DAs (this is not something, as I understand, related to the internal clock).

The conclusion I came to is that a lot of the sound quality is related to how the mathematics is done and compromised made inside the desk to sum and manipulate signals.
 
Then there are the firmware algorithms which control the quality of the GEQs, Comps, reverbs etc. Better effects generally require more DSP power and the M7 comparatively doesn’t have much.

To appreciate the differences between desks you really need to do a complex mix, not just one vocal mic or listen to a 16 bit CD recording through 2 channels at line level.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 04:12:12 am by Peter Morris »
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2012, 09:51:14 pm »

To my ears, a Yamaha M7 makes everything sound like an early MP3 recording. On a single vocal I can’t hear much (if any) difference but on complex mixes it becomes gritty, and harsh.  I
am not fond of any of the effects, especially the reverbs and EQ’s.
Quote
To appreciate the differences between desks you really need to do a complex mix, not just one vocal mic or listen to a 16 bit CD recording through 2 channels at line level.

To me this raises the question of "how are you mixing?"  Are you running things generally hot (high levels) or cold? 

The DSP comments you make are interesting, but I'm not sure they apply.  Yamaha tends to hard-assign DSP resources, so using a big reverb can't steal DSP from some other process.
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2012, 09:59:29 pm »

One thing I have noticed about Yamaha EQs, specifically on the LS9/M7CL series but it applies generally to the others, is how they visually represent the filters on the screen.  Yamaha shows the filters as fairly wide compared to say the Avid stuff, and shows a lot of the messy interaction that does happen when you cut and boost on overlapping filters (in any desk, including analog). 

I suspect that this tends to cause some people to overcompensate for what their eyes see, rather than what their ears hear.  It's easy enough to say that Yamaha mids are "nasally" or "peaky" when you've turned the Q way up to make the screen look "right", or like what you used on a ProTools session with the Avid EQ display scaling.

A few years ago I measured a couple different small analog desks with SMAART with the idea of being able to match the filter settings with the LS9 - and it turned out to be easy.  The magnitude and phase curves matched perfectly once I found the correct Q settings.  There's nothing different/better/worse about phase between analog and digital EQ sections, though digital can play more tricks and produce more possible EQ curves.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2012, 10:01:29 pm »

the M7 never seems to "sum" DCA's well.

FWIW, there is no "summing" in a DCA or VCA, it is only a remote control for the input faders assigned to it.

Mac
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brian maddox

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2012, 10:43:26 pm »

FWIW, there is no "summing" in a DCA or VCA, it is only a remote control for the input faders assigned to it.

Mac
Thank you.  You saved me the trouble.
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Jim McKeveny

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2012, 01:06:33 am »

"Sum" as in DCA's to stereo out. As a monitor desk I have never noticed this awkwardness.

As previously mentioned, I am a science guy. I would not reference this (my) perceived characteristic if I did not think it was genuine, replicable, and worthy of some investigation.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2012, 01:21:45 am »

"Sum" as in DCA's to stereo out. As a monitor desk I have never noticed this awkwardness.

As previously mentioned, I am a science guy. I would not reference this (my) perceived characteristic if I did not think it was genuine, replicable, and worthy of some investigation.

I will repeat... There is no summing in a DCA. It cannot be routed to the stereo out. The inputs and mixes can be routed to the stereo out, and they can be remote controlled by a DCA, but there is no audio in a DCA, as there is no audio in a VCA.

Mac
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Peter Morris

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Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2012, 03:20:00 am »

One thing I have noticed about Yamaha EQs, specifically on the LS9/M7CL series but it applies generally to the others, is how they visually represent the filters on the screen.  Yamaha shows the filters as fairly wide compared to say the Avid stuff, and shows a lot of the messy interaction that does happen when you cut and boost on overlapping filters (in any desk, including analog). 

I suspect that this tends to cause some people to overcompensate for what their eyes see, rather than what their ears hear.  It's easy enough to say that Yamaha mids are "nasally" or "peaky" when you've turned the Q way up to make the screen look "right", or like what you used on a ProTools session with the Avid EQ display scaling.

A few years ago I measured a couple different small analog desks with SMAART with the idea of being able to match the filter settings with the LS9 - and it turned out to be easy.  The magnitude and phase curves matched perfectly once I found the correct Q settings.  There's nothing different/better/worse about phase between analog and digital EQ sections, though digital can play more tricks and produce more possible EQ curves.

this tread may be of interest ....

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/776547-yamaha-cl5-processing.html
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Why no love for the 'sound' of Yamaha digital consoles?
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2012, 03:20:00 am »


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