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Author Topic: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)  (Read 17157 times)

Art Welter

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2013, 11:02:01 am »

Quote from: Art Welter on Yesterday at 11:23:24 am

    If you use in ear monitoring or headphones, the latency inherent in the digital console will make your own voice sound "weird" and unnatural.
I didn't even think that could be a factor. I tested a lot of the time with different studio headphones! Only a few times in the rehearsal room.
Do you have personal experience with this effect? Do you know why it doesn't happen (or count) when using a floor monitor? According to Soundcraft the SiEx1 has a input-to-output latency of less than 0.8ms. That's not much compared to the time that sound needs to travel from a floor monitor to your ears.
I'm not sure if that's the kind of unnaturality I heard. The impression I remember is "this thing sounds plain dead". Unfortunately the SiEx1 is back at the vendor, so I can't compare again. But I think that could be one explanation. Why the others in the band heard it the same? They could have been already biased by myself since they knew what I think about the console before I took it to the rehearsal. Hmm.
Thank you!
The "weird" vocal sound caused by short latency times when listening to your own voice through headphones or in ears is caused because the  sound of your voice through your ears is blocked by the phones, leaving the sound of your voice through nasal passages and bone conduction summed with the delayed signal through the earphones.  The delay causes a series of notches, shorter delays can be more annoying as the primary notch maybe in the middle of your vocal fundamental range.

Occlusion (the sound you hear when your ears are plugged) and latency are two different but related issues.
Both can be overcome with level, but for my taste, the latency issue would cause me to want to listen at far too high a level.

Listening to floor wedges the sound of your voice is not occluded, so no issue- the added time of flight and latency is akin to "singing in the shower", most like a bit of echo/reverberation.

Even with analog gear I can notice my voice sounds "odd" sound in the headphones when polarity is reversed.
Though I by no means have "golden ears" and would not profess to hear "absolute polarity" on someone else's voice, I found mics wired with reversed polarity "sound crappy" when I talk through them in headphones.

Polarity can be an additional issue with in ear monitors, between mic, transmitters, and earphones a polarity reverse can easily happen.

If most of your (and your fellow musicians) testing of the board consisted of talking in to a channel, messing around with EQ while listening to yourself in headphones, the "weird" sound probably was due to the latency issue rather than the sound of the board itself.

If you are not planning to use in ear monitoring or headphones for recording, the latency of a digital console won't be a sonic issue.

It seems there are a lot of folks that have "grown up" with, or simply grown accustomed to the issues caused by latency.

Art
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Tim Tyler

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2013, 01:18:47 pm »

Luis -

These comparisons are probably the best examples of phase interaction I have ever heard.  I would suggest everyone listen to the 1 ms example first, then clean.  It's the essence of what live sound is all about - living with imperfection and compromise.

-Tim T

"I found this comparison on a german page:
Original recording
Original overlapped with itself with a delay of 0.5ms
Original overlapped with itself with a delay of 1ms"
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 04:36:33 pm by Tim Tyler »
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Luke Geis

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2013, 05:47:47 pm »


 For smaller gigs of up to 1000 people I run my own system, a dual PA, and will often place the entire backline and FOH BEHIND the band. However, it's a technique that requires some pretty precise sound skills, cabinet placement, etc.. I'm anal about the sound of my overall presentation knowing full well that it is the system as a whole that will make or break the performance quality.

This is also my preferred deployment of choice with my own projects. It does take a leap of faith and if implemented well, works like a charm. I have even started going back to vocal and unamplified instruments only support where I run a single mono speaker behind the band in line with the backline. It has proven to work well, be super efficient and the instant feedback given to the band is a plus. If you can't hear it, no one else can either.

Back to the Op topic. I think it could also be possible that your ability to play with too much may be skewing your results with the Soundcraft Si mixer? It's the only mixer that you can set delay, HP, compression, gating EQ and more on EVERY channel. This ability to play has bit me in the butt once or twice. With so many choices we can't help but to keep twisting the knobs only to find we never get what we think we should find. With a less optioned desk you only have a few things to which you can play with. This lack of options means you get what you get and either like it or you don't? With all forms of sonic creation turned off, you may find that it sounds great simply ran more like an analog mixer? Something I tell people on occasion " too much of a good thing, is still too much ", usually followed by " less is more " and " if you can hear yourself at all, your already too loud " : )
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anonymous

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2013, 08:17:42 pm »

Short faders, limited aux sends, limited routing, etc.  Many fewer features compared to the digital choices in the same price range.  Most consider sound quality to be at parity, but YMMV.
Short faders... you maybe mean an older model? I'm new to this part of making music so I only know the actual Venice. That one has the same fader length as the other consoles I came to test. And do you mean with 'limited aux sends' the limited number of aux outputs?
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anonymous

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2013, 08:23:45 pm »

More expensive, are you sure?  There are some great deals out there on GL Series boards .  If you decide to get an analog board, I think the A&H GL series offer the most bang for the buck!

The 16 channel GL costs here in Europe 100 more than the small Venice. But it offers much more than that small price difference, that is true! Thank you for your recommendation.
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anonymous

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2013, 08:48:37 pm »

The "weird" vocal sound caused by short latency times when listening to your own voice through headphones or in ears is caused because the  sound of your voice through your ears is blocked by the phones, leaving the sound of your voice through nasal passages and bone conduction summed with the delayed signal through the earphones. 
Now, that is indeed an explanation! Thank you! Art, I think you could have solved my problem with digital consoles. I somehow don't like digital gear, I think this digital stuff makes everything so unreal. Like a fantasy world taking over. But I too would like to have everything in one box if it just sounds good.

Occlusion (the sound you hear when your ears are plugged) and latency are two different but related issues.
Both can be overcome with level, but for my taste, the latency issue would cause me to want to listen at far too high a level.
That's something I have been wondering for a long time. Why do I have to hear myself so loud when (digital) recording? (I always use headphones when recording)
I definitely have to do some tests about this latency issue.

Listening to floor wedges the sound of your voice is not occluded, so no issue- the added time of flight and latency is akin to "singing in the shower", most like a bit of echo/reverberation.

Even with analog gear I can notice my voice sounds "odd" sound in the headphones when polarity is reversed.
Though I by no means have "golden ears" and would not profess to hear "absolute polarity" on someone else's voice, I found mics wired with reversed polarity "sound crappy" when I talk through them in headphones.

Polarity can be an additional issue with in ear monitors, between mic, transmitters, and earphones a polarity reverse can easily happen.
Thank you for this explanation. I will do more tests about this effect as soon as the QU16 is here (end of this month...). With that unit I could record my voice and play it back as if I was talking to the mic. No other unit involved for recording and playback. The latency issue would then be ruled out and I could hear the unit alone without any interferences.
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anonymous

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2013, 09:08:11 pm »

Luis,
We've shared a few PMs and I'm very surprised to read you dislike the Soundcraft Expression. I can't judge for you but if you've heard bad sound from an Expression there has to be something very wrong with the rig or configuration. Of all the digital and analog boards I tested from Yamaha, APB, Toft, Soundcraft, Roland, Behringer, and anyone else in the $2K - $10K class only the APB and Soundcraft boards had the pristine sound I was looking for. The exception being the Midas Pro series. However, I've posted many times that at this stage of my game a $10-20K board didn't make good sense to me at the time.
 
I also mix from stage when not supporting another band, hence the reason for a quality rack mount board. That search led me to APB, and now that I'm a recovering analogolic, to the Expression 1. The sound is on a par with the APB, the format is perfect, and it's a very easy to use full featured digital board. Construction is outstanding, quality very high, and they use the same proven chipset as is used in the rest of the Soundcraft line.
 
As stated above mixing from the stage presents it's own unique set of challenges that need to be overcome. What you hear is not often what the audience will hear, and in my world (old guy world) resolving issues requires thinking outside the box. If I send a mix to a larger board and another engineer when working a large venue, I place my trust in that engineers hands and expect that they give the audience what I have given to them. For smaller gigs of up to 1000 people I run my own system, a dual PA, and will often place the entire backline and FOH BEHIND the band. However, it's a technique that requires some pretty precise sound skills, cabinet placement, etc.. I'm anal about the sound of my overall presentation knowing full well that it is the system as a whole that will make or break the performance quality. I relied on APB, and now I rely on an expression to give me the quality sound from the board that I demand. It's been a pleasure working with either the APB or the expression, but now it's time to move on from the APB and utilize the features and enjoy the benefits of a great entry level digital board.
Bob, thanks again. After reading from so many highly skilled persons that something must have been wrong, I'm beginning to believe that something must have been wrong. I don't think I was biased by my dislike of digital, but who knows. I can't do other than trust what I heard. But I do trust also on what you and others hear. So I will get another SiEx1 back and will start my test and comparison from the beginning, this time using a Venice, a SiEx1 and the QU16 (if it should really arrive here somewhen this year). And feeding the consoles from a recorded source, not doing it on the fly.

And thanks also for your insight about your speaker positioning. I thought putting the PA behind the band was a no-go. It's good to know that it works too.
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Art Welter

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2013, 10:54:00 am »

So I will get another SiEx1 back and will start my test and comparison from the beginning, this time using a Venice, a SiEx1 and the QU16 (if it should really arrive here somewhen this year). And feeding the consoles from a recorded source, not doing it on the fly.

And thanks also for your insight about your speaker positioning. I thought putting the PA behind the band was a no-go.
Feeding the consoles from a recorded source is not a valid way to compare the mic pre amp interaction with actual microphones, though it will be helpful for comparing EQ and effects. To compare the preamp you really need a consistent vocalist to sing through a mic while at levels up to and above clipping. Recording the output of each console can give you a better chance to A/B those differences without wearing out the vocalist.

Positioning the PA behind the vocal line is possible, but requires precisely cutting out feedback frequencies.
The amount of gain before feedback is reduced, and stepping away from the vocal mic opens it up to feedback.
The EQ needed to eliminate feedback will not sound good on a recording, though with some digital consoles you can provide different channel EQ on different outputs so that problem could be avoided.

Using sensors to turn off the vocal mics (either switch mats or infrared proximity sensors) would be a good idea if you do plan to put the PA behind the vocal line, especially if the vocalists are not loud singers.

If you can eliminate floor monitors by placing the PA behind the band, the room sound can be better, but in ear monitors and placing the PA outside of the microphone pick up pattern would be preferable from a sound quality stand point.
Costs more and takes longer to set up though...
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anonymous

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 06:13:43 pm »

Feeding the consoles from a recorded source is not a valid way to compare the mic pre amp interaction with actual microphones, though it will be helpful for comparing EQ and effects. To compare the preamp you really need a consistent vocalist to sing through a mic while at levels up to and above clipping. Recording the output of each console can give you a better chance to A/B those differences without wearing out the vocalist.
Thank you for that advise! You saved me a lot of bad testing, I wouldn't have considered that!

Positioning the PA behind the vocal line is possible, but requires precisely cutting out feedback frequencies.
The amount of gain before feedback is reduced, and stepping away from the vocal mic opens it up to feedback.
The EQ needed to eliminate feedback will not sound good on a recording, though with some digital consoles you can provide different channel EQ on different outputs so that problem could be avoided.

Using sensors to turn off the vocal mics (either switch mats or infrared proximity sensors) would be a good idea if you do plan to put the PA behind the vocal line, especially if the vocalists are not loud singers.
Do you know of any special switches or sensors for usage with a mic? I did a search in the net and could only find DIY projects, which are nice, but I don't have the necessary time... If there is something ready to be bought, that would be better.

...but in ear monitors and placing the PA outside of the microphone pick up pattern would be preferable from a sound quality stand point.
But then you need an analog mix for the singer, I guess. At least if the assumption is true that what I heard from the SiEx1 was caused by latency plus IEM...

Thank you for you valuable input!
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Luke Geis

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2013, 02:25:41 pm »

If you can eliminate floor monitors by placing the PA behind the band, the room sound can be better, but in ear monitors and placing the PA outside of the microphone pick up pattern would be preferable from a sound quality stand point.
Costs more and takes longer to set up though...

Yes and no really. If the floor monitors are something you don't already own, buying a mid level in ear would cost about the same as a decent conventional 2 speaker monitor rig. This is especially true if you buy used. The average in ear is about 800 - 1000 new for a pretty good entry level system. A comparable conventional rig would be about the same cost. At about 300 - 500 for each speaker,  500 for a decent power amp and another 150 - 300 for a dual 31 band EQ, your actually better off with the in ear. You would even have a little money to put on another set of ear buds! With the in ears EQ could be optional if desired, but of course optimal if it was part of the system. With a digital desk the external EQ could be optional anyway?

For set up time, again in ears would win. With a digital desk and only having to patch signal to the transmitter your already done. no speaker placement, no cable running and no need to ring them out. The digital desk can have an EQ setting saved for the in ears and once saved there should really never need to change it except for flavor of the day. Even with an analog desk the set up time would be reduced. The only difference would be setting an analog EQ to taste if knobs get bumped?
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I don't understand how you can't hear yourself

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Re: Midas Venice U16 vs APB ProRack (APB-blasphemy inside)
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2013, 02:25:41 pm »


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