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Author Topic: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)  (Read 7548 times)

Jeff Foster

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Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:17:15 pm »

After many years of headaches, it appears that our Mackie TT24 may be finally nearing the end of it's life.  As such, I'm doing some preliminary shopping for replacements, but one thing that frustrates me is that system processing is not built into consoles now.  We've been using the Lake LP48 card in our TT24 since before it was released to the public and having the crossovers and system EQ on that card has been great (it actually improved the sound of the TT24).

Now, I'm looking for new system processors to handle crossover, delay, etc for our main house system, but I don't like the idea of an extra D/A and then A/D conversion between the console and the system processor, so I want to find one that can accept an AES digital input.  Our price range for the system processor will likely be in the under $1200 range.  We have Crown amps (forget the models) and JBL AE series speakers.  My first thought would be DBX DriveRack since they include speaker tunings for our speakers, but the 260 still doesn't offer an AES input and the 480+ models are out of our price range.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for a good speaker processor for less than $1200 that includes an AES digital input?
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Jeff Foster
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 12:24:52 pm »

After many years of headaches, it appears that our Mackie TT24 may be finally nearing the end of it's life.  As such, I'm doing some preliminary shopping for replacements, but one thing that frustrates me is that system processing is not built into consoles now.  We've been using the Lake LP48 card in our TT24 since before it was released to the public and having the crossovers and system EQ on that card has been great (it actually improved the sound of the TT24).

Now, I'm looking for new system processors to handle crossover, delay, etc for our main house system, but I don't like the idea of an extra D/A and then A/D conversion between the console and the system processor, so I want to find one that can accept an AES digital input.  Our price range for the system processor will likely be in the under $1200 range.  We have Crown amps (forget the models) and JBL AE series speakers.  My first thought would be DBX DriveRack since they include speaker tunings for our speakers, but the 260 still doesn't offer an AES input and the 480+ models are out of our price range.

So, does anyone have any suggestions for a good speaker processor for less than $1200 that includes an AES digital input?

We have the EV DC One and send via AES to it. It is 2x6 not sure if that is enough for you.
http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=530
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Samuel Rees

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Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 01:03:21 pm »

There is a thread on Sys processors with AES input I started a while back where people posted lots of options. I'm out now, but you should be able to find it easily. Don't they make a Lake card for Yamaha desks? Why not replace your TT24 with Yamaha and get one of those?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 01:28:01 pm »

Hi Jeff-

A few thoughts...

One AD/DA conversion for system drive won't be noticed by anyone sitting in the audience.  Three or four?  Possibly, and only if you could A/B it for them.

Use a Driverack 480 or 260 and accept the conversion or find the budget (probably means a console downgrade) and get a 4800 if staying AES means that much to the success of the ministry.  The Lake LM26 from Lab Gruppen is also AES i/o for similar $$ as the 4800

The real issue here is that changing processors will require a new measuring and tweaking session to match the transfer function of the current processing.  How were the settings in the Lake card arrived at?  Lake settings from JBL?  Installer?  End user?

And the lovely parting gift:  After 30+ years in the biz, I firmly believe that system processing for installed speakers should not be a part of the mixing console.  YMMV, of course.

Have fun, good luck.

Tim Mc
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Jared Koopman

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 01:29:34 pm »

There is a thread on Sys processors with AES input I started a while back where people posted lots of options. I'm out now, but you should be able to find it easily. Don't they make a Lake card for Yamaha desks? Why not replace your TT24 with Yamaha and get one of those?

This one?
http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php?topic=136226.0
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Jeff Foster

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 02:04:55 pm »

One AD/DA conversion for system drive won't be noticed by anyone sitting in the audience.



Yeah, It's probably more of an issue with me and my desire to keep things simple.  Though I also like the idea of only using one snake return between FOH and the Amp room for the house sound instead of the multiple lines we have for all the tops and subs now. (Though simple Left/Right analog lines would still reduce our cable count too)

My biggest concern is that the A/D and/or D/A converters are arguably where any piece of digital equipment excels or falls short.  So reducing the number of conversions would reduce the number of chances for the signal to noticeably degrade. 


The real issue here is that changing processors will require a new measuring and tweaking session to match the transfer function of the current processing.  How were the settings in the Lake card arrived at?  Lake settings from JBL?  Installer?  End user?


They came from a little bit of everything.  The basic settings were a manual copy from what was originally set in the DR260 that we used to have.  When those didn't sound quite right, we made manual adjustments and tweaks using test tones and calibration programs.  We have made other changes since.  In fact, I just had to completely reset the graphic EQs on the Lake card this past weekend since the TT24 backup/restore process doesn't save them.  I had to do a hard reset on the console to try to fix some other glitches and found that none of the graphic EQ settings were restored.  The crossover settings were all restored though.  Thankfully, I had a screenshot of the previous EQ settings, but after manually re-entering them, the house sounded completely different than it did before the hard reset.  I ended up spending nearly the entire Sunday evening service retweaking the EQ's and I got the system sounding decent again, but the EQ curve is completely different than it was previously.  Unfortunately, the LP48 card has never been fully supported by Mackie.  They blame Lake/Dolby/Lab Gruppen for not providing them with the support they needed to completely integrate it, so we get the short end of the stick since we're only the lowly, paying customer.  /rant

Regardless, I'm not opposed to manually entering and tweaking settings.  Since the system only has to be tuned once, it's not a huge deal to start from scratch instead of using some manufacturers presets.

Oh, and thanks to Jared and Samuel for the link to the other thread...reading it now.
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Jeff Foster
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Jeff Foster

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 02:13:03 pm »

Mhmmm, has some more options on it.

Samuel,

What did you end up going with.  In that other thread, it looks like the EV and Peavey units were ruled out.
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Jeff Foster
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Samuel Rees

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 02:15:43 pm »

http://www.yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com/product_detail.php?prodID=1132

You said you are replacing your console as well - with what? You could keep the sample old setup with a Yamaha desk and one of these.
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Greg_Cameron

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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 02:19:41 pm »

You would be hard pressed to find a better sounding processor than the XTA DP448 or the newer DP548 with dynamic EQ. I've been going AES into my XTA from a Venue for some time now and it sounds great. Not to mention the limiters are second to none for system protection and artifacts when they engage.
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Re: Need recommendations on system processor (Driverack)
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 02:19:41 pm »


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