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Author Topic: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console  (Read 16031 times)

Mark McFarlane

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Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« on: November 25, 2013, 11:03:36 pm »

I'm potentially in the market for a new console and am curious about what you feel are the shortcomings of different sub $10,000 digital consoles that you own or have used for at least 10 gigs.

The issue might be a missing feature, or a feature who's implementation doesn't match your workflow,...

Time to bash what you own.  What annoys you?

My least favorite issues about my 01v96 V2:

1) Not enough I/O in stock frame, requiring a rack
2) Can't record more than 16 channels direct to computer using available cards (16 ch firewire). I use 24 channels of ADAT that requires another rack (HD24)
3) No vendor iPad solution.  I use Stereoscope, but it's a far cry from the newer iPad apps.
4) Not enough busses
5) No scribble strips.  I like to program each event or act at a festival to best use the console features.  'Just like analog' isn't a positive feature for me, I enjoy having unrestricted routing capabilities and 'assign anything to any fader'.  Having to use tape, I believe I program the board differently than I would otherwise, particularly trying to find a common denominator layout for festivals which ends up screwy because of that one band that needs 8 vocal mics...

I've added a few more after more thought:
6) non recallable preamps, very handy for multi-band events.
7) no reasonably-priced digital snake solution
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 03:56:05 am by Mark McFarlane »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 11:18:37 pm »

I'm potentially in the market for a new console and am curious about what you feel are the shortcomings of different sub $10,000 digital consoles that you own or have used for at least 10 gigs.

The issue might be a missing feature, or a feature who's implementation doesn't match your workflow,...

Time to bash what you own.  What annoys you?

{big ol' snip}

My least favorite issues about my 01v96 V2: I like to program each event or act at a festival to best use the console features.  'Just like analog' isn't a positive feature for me, I enjoy having unrestricted routing capabilities and 'assign anything to any fader'.  Having to use tape, I believe I program the board differently than I would otherwise, particularly trying to find a common denominator layout for festivals which ends up screwy because of that one band that needs 8 vocal mics....

The 01v was my first digital mixer experience.  I bought an 01v96II because the feature set improved (expansion slot channels got full parameters).  It's the most configurable compact mixer I've owned.  They do a lot but setting up the mixer via the UI is very slow if you have much to do.  What makes it great also makes it slow, although I can get around it faster than I can an LS/9.

I've mixed 4 gigs on the X32 so it's still kind of early in the process to render judgment, but I've gotten faster at finding the setup & configuration stuff I want to change.  In some aspects the ipad app is a better UI even though the menu structure and hierarchy is the same.  Dunno what's up with that...  Our PAC has purchased a pair of X32 and it will be interesting to see how some of my Local's audio techs react to using it.
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Nils Erickson

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 12:26:41 am »

There's a different approach... OK, here we go, Mark.

I own a couple of SI Expressions; for the record, I like them very much. With that in mind, here is my list of annoyances:

1.  Can't save effects to a library.  Workaround: save cues with different effect, safe everything else.  Haven't done this yet, just seems like a few too many steps.
2.  Can't select or edit effects from ViSi application.  The new app is otherwise quite good.
3.  No VCAs or DCAs.  I really like mixing with these and miss them on this desk.  I particularly like the "spill mode" on Profiles and SC48s, but we are not talking about those desks.
4.  No scribble strips... I'm used to tape and can do two layers worth of labeling easily though.
5. Stereo sets of faders have to start on an odd numbered channel.
6. No built-in recording solution; lots of cards and interface options instead. 
7. Very hard to read in the sunlight.
8.  Can't find an option for select to follow solo.  This is a very annoying oversight.  I wish the whole solo section worked better frankly; I can't get solos to work together, they prioritize. 
9.  No sub groups; the work around is simply using a mix buss and assigning to to LR.  That's OK, and you can even stick that fader on the top layer (or every layer) if you choose.

As I read over this list, I am pleased that I knew most of this going in and haven't had many surprises.  I've done more than 30 shows on these desks in the last several months.  While this list is negative, I am pleased with the desks.  Can I add features I didn't know I would like so much or am very pleased with? Doing it anyway:
1.  "Faderglow"
2. Dedicated tap tempo buttons for each effect engine.
3. Completely configurable layers... this is awesome.
4.  Duplicating inputs is easy, as is putting them on several layers if you like.  This is cool and helpful.

Hope that list helps, Mark.

Cheer,
Nils
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 01:42:23 am by Nils Erickson »
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Tim Perry

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 12:49:38 am »

I'm potentially in the market for a new console and am curious about what you feel are the shortcomings of different sub $10,000 digital consoles that you own or have used for at least 10 gigs.

The issue might be a missing feature, or a feature who's implementation doesn't match your workflow,...

Time to bash what you own.  What annoys you?


Sl24  - cannot deselect the mono output for mono fed subs...no mono fader. 
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2013, 01:48:22 am »

Soundcraft Expression;

As an old analog user I find the Expression to be everything I need or want. My only gripe is the manual and single expansion slot. Many of the features described as lacking by users of the boards are often available but poorly documented and overlooked. Unlike Nils I don't care that there are no VCAs when a matrix is available, I don't care if there are no scribble strips, and the word BUS is a semantic when there are 14 mix groups available at the press of a button. Like Nils I find the fader glow, configurable layers and copy features outstanding. Effects are supposed to be covered with the next ViSi release, and the Expressions are the only line of under 10K mixers in this class that can be expanded to 66 channels input. Recording? Not why I bought the board. 
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 01:54:57 am »

Allen & Heath GLD user here. Most of these are fairly minor quibbles.

  • Dynamics--gates/comps, no downward expanders or duckers. No sidechain inputs at all, actually.
  • It's not possible to transfer individual scenes from one show file to another, so if setting up a festival you wouldn't be able to mix and match setups from multiple show files.
  • Editor software has two large, fixed-size windows (faders/knobs and screen, basically) and you can only see one window at a time on a single monitor
  • USB playback and record can't be started or stopped with a softkey.
  • Some of the smaller items on the touchscreen can be a bit difficult to hit reliably with my fat fingers. Eraser end of a pencil works quite nicely, though.
  • Cost... definitely near the top of the "sub $10 000" range, so there may well be less expensive options that meet your needs.
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 04:13:48 am »

Soundcraft Expression;   As an old analog user I find the Expression to be everything I need or want.

I am too (except I spell it analogue).  I haven't used them yet, but the company I sometimes work for have an Expression and a Compact and from looking at the manuals and watching a few tutorials, it looks very well thought out and would be my choice if I was going to buy.

I found the X32 quite easy to use but I think the Soundcrafts are going to be even more intuitive.

(although I was enjoying using an ML3000 a couple of weeks ago which temporarily turned me off of digital!).


Steve.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 04:17:30 am by Steve M Smith »
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John Chiara

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 08:51:37 am »

There's a different approach... OK, here we go, Mark.

I own a couple of SI Expressions; for the record, I like them very much. With that in mind, here is my list of annoyances:

1.  Can't save effects to a library.  Workaround: save cues with different effect, safe everything else.  Haven't done this yet, just seems like a few too many steps.
2.  Can't select or edit effects from ViSi application.  The new app is otherwise quite good.
3.  No VCAs or DCAs.  I really like mixing with these and miss them on this desk.  I particularly like the "spill mode" on Profiles and SC48s, but we are not talking about those desks.
4.  No scribble strips... I'm used to tape and can do two layers worth of labeling easily though.
5. Stereo sets of faders have to start on an odd numbered channel.
6. No built-in recording solution; lots of cards and interface options instead. 
7. Very hard to read in the sunlight.
8.  Can't find an option for select to follow solo.  This is a very annoying oversight.  I wish the whole solo section worked better frankly; I can't get solos to work together, they prioritize. 
9.  No sub groups; the work around is simply using a mix buss and assigning to to LR.  That's OK, and you can even stick that fader on the top layer (or every layer) if you choose.

As I read over this list, I am pleased that I knew most of this going in and haven't had many surprises.  I've done more than 30 shows on these desks in the last several months.  While this list is negative, I am pleased with the desks.  Can I add features I didn't know I would like so much or am very pleased with? Doing it anyway:
1.  "Faderglow"
2. Dedicated tap tempo buttons for each effect engine.
3. Completely configurable layers... this is awesome.
4.  Duplicating inputs is easy, as is putting them on several layers if you like.  This is cool and helpful.

Hope that list helps, Mark.

Cheer,
Nils

Wow, I never researched it but thanks! Knocks the Expression off any list I would ever have!
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 09:44:55 am »

GLD - screen is too flat and can be difficult to see when sitting.  Wish it was hinged.  Would love for it to have more soft keys.
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 10:47:41 am »

I'm potentially in the market for a new console and am curious about what you feel are the shortcomings of different sub $10,000 digital consoles that you own or have used for at least 10 gigs.

The issue might be a missing feature, or a feature who's implementation doesn't match your workflow,...

Time to bash what you own.  What annoys you?

My least favorite issues about my 01v96 V2:

1) Not enough I/O in stock frame, requiring a rack
2) Can't record more than 16 channels direct to computer using available cards (16 ch firewire). I use 24 channels of ADAT that requires another rack (HD24)
3) No vendor iPad solution.  I use Stereoscope, but it's a far cry from the newer iPad apps.
4) Not enough busses
5) No scribble strips.  I like to program each event or act at a festival to best use the console features.  'Just like analog' isn't a positive feature for me, I enjoy having unrestricted routing capabilities and 'assign anything to any fader'.  Having to use tape, I believe I program the board differently than I would otherwise, particularly trying to find a common denominator layout for festivals which ends up screwy because of that one band that needs 8 vocal mics....

I love my Si Performer. But it doesn't:

Make coffee
Clean house
Cook dinner
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Re: Things you dislike about your $<10K digital console
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 10:47:41 am »


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