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Author Topic: Sweetwater price drop  (Read 18764 times)

Ken Braziel

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #60 on: November 13, 2015, 01:53:26 am »

If you have a red light ANY FUCKING PLACE on a digital mixer you need to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN.  Seriously, that's the equal of +22dBu on an analog desk.

While I agree with you when working with most digital desks, and generally try to follow that exact approach in most situations, I'm in the middle of mixing a play (in tech right now, thus the multitude of posts since we have so much dead-time working on scenery changes) at a Junior College, I can tell you from experience that the Si board handles "red-lining" far better than any other digital interface I've worked with. Students will sound-check at a low level, no matter how much you work with them on giving you full-voice it isn't going to get there until they're in the heat of the moment in a big number. On the old A&H board that would mean ye old GACK, but since they got the Expression board I've never heard any sucky sound from red-lining. Yes I work on backing down the gains when I see red, but I don't worry as much as I would on an LS9 or other digital boards.

Which fits the philosophy I've heard from Soundcraft all along: designed so you can mix it like a (Soundcraft) analog board. Which means you can have occasional forays into the red without having to grab that gain and mess with your gain-structure...

I've seen the same thing all summer, working with a variety of bands - the sudden LOUD moments that went through the roof on the meters have NOT had the audible nastiness of either digital or preamp overload - they just got loud.

Gotta say, I love having the same setup at home as I have at the college, I was able to set up my Cues ahead of time (123 of them right now) and am spending Tech time just making adjustments instead of creating Cues. Also love having the stagebox, currently using 52 channels between orchestra, Qlab and actors, all sounding nice & clear!
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #61 on: November 13, 2015, 04:34:55 am »

If you have a red light ANY FUCKING PLACE on a digital mixer you need to TURN THAT SHIT DOWN.  Seriously, that's the equal of +22dBu on an analog desk.

Absolutely and 100% correct as usual Tim and I agree.... with you both. Ken is correct in his statement concerning the extra (or so it seems) Hedley Lamar room. A big part of my initial bobel registered golden ear testing was pushing channels as hard as could be possible until the channel strip saturated and produced that awful crackly distorted sound so common and so often associated with digital overload. The Soundcraft boards, all that I tested, were almost impossible to saturate, for lack of a better word, and to this day I have yet to hear any channel I have driven into the "red" produce a nasty digital distorted sound.

That may well be because of the indicator is turning red well before it actually needs to, but regardless, it's good to have the perception of a more robust channel strip capable of taking somewhat of a beating without immediately giving up the ghost. (Did you get my pun?)

I'll get off this gain subject with a side note that my board is covered in red all the time. This is the unfortunate feature of having the effect indicators (compression, etc.), also on the channel strip, being red as well. Blue might have been a nicer color for those indicators, but humans react to red and so be it.
 
Final thought. I'll intentionally drive some channels into the "red" and check the touch screen reading, something I seldom will do, and see just what the actual input gain is reported to be at that point. Just the stupid old analog guy that I am. If I was color blind I wouldn't be able to do this at all and would probably be painting houses.
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richard_cooper

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #62 on: November 13, 2015, 06:26:25 am »

Bob,

A couple things--You've been around the block a lot longer than I have, no denying that. That being said I have been on this forum close to 10 years now, I'm not a newb. Since they updated the forum software I can't say exactly how long but the point is I absolutely remember you consistently singing praises for your APB for its sound and functionality, and I remember you going through the decision process of going digital and being hesitant to do so because of the sound quality you believed you'd be losing.

2nd, I use both consoles on a fairly regular basis, in addition to larger format desks, and I'm well aware how the routing works on both. I'm not sure what posting screen shots proves. The fact that you have to post 3 of the Soundcraft and only one of the X32 says something to me, seeing as everything you need to do to make the soft patch is on one page on the X32. But it doesn't matter--you don't like the X32 and I'm certainly not gonna lose any sleep over it. I just get irked when people state an opinion as fact. Besides, I'm of the opinion that nothing beats the grid style routing of Avid desks or Yamaha via studio manager. There's nothing faster than that especially in a festival situation where I have to match a guest engineers show file inputs to our patch. As far as I'm concerned, that should be how every console handles patching. But I digress...

Perhaps your golden ears are more golden than mine but I don't hear anything resembling distortion out of the desk. And I don't think you're gonna find too many people who agree that the LS9 sounds better than the X32, but again, it doesn't matter. The last thing I'm interested in is having a wank convo about which console sounds better when the PA/Mics/input source quality is infinitely more important to me.

Enjoy your day, and enjoy whichever tools you choose to use to make you more effective at what we do, and I'll do the same.

Couldn't agree more Loren.

The Grid method of patching is by far the best way of doing it IMHO, I don't know why more don't so it that way. Probably because it would be difficult on a small screen.

The X32 block of 8 input patching does reduce absolute flexibility, but for the uses these desks typically get calling it ridiculous is over doing it a bit.

As for sound quality, I've yet to be convinced there is a meaningful difference between different mixers in the same price ranges, certainly not once in the "real work". Pushing desks into clipping and concluding one is better than the other is, maybe, interesting in an academic sense but not a basis to conclude one sounds better than another. As Bob points out, where the red light comes on could be the difference. I know on the iLive (the desk I know best) the peak lights come on 5db before clipping. If another desk comes on at clipping, does that mean that the iLive has 5db more headroom?

Controlled testing is all very well but is still open to all sorts of unintentional biases, especially if you're intent on finding a difference. I once had my thoughts on this challenged by testing two bits of kit (one of which i was convinced sounded better) in an ABX test where I consistently got it correct almost exactly 50% of the time. I now worry less about it! In the venues I've run simply the best sounding band show was an LS9 FOH and Mons, go figure.

Both these desks are phenomenal value for money in a historical sense and perfectly useable. I don't think either is inherently superior, and the differences mostly comedown to personal preference.

Bob, as a long time reader of these forums, and only occasional poster, I must say you do often come over on here as possible shill for Soundcraft, occasionally DBX, and previously APB. You often post with a "marketing speak" slant, and post your opinions as fact. I get that you take a lot of time and pride in your choice of kit, but don't understand your need to push the kit you own so constantly.

Hands down the Soundcraft had the best sound of all those boards, and that really can't be debated.

It is debatable, and is being debated. No-one can hear what you heard in those tests, or see how they were conducted, so this is no more than your opinion and not a demonstrable fact.

I don't choose either when I have that luxury, so whatever, buy the tool that suits you the best.

Richard
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #63 on: November 13, 2015, 07:12:11 am »



The X32 block of 8 input patching does reduce absolute flexibility,

No it really doesn't if you're just using the XLR inputs and not the USB card. In spite of having to initially assign in blocks of 8 you can actually assign any input to any channel. If you can find an open input to plug something in, you can route it to any channel you want.

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richard_cooper

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #64 on: November 13, 2015, 08:03:00 am »

No it really doesn't if you're just using the XLR inputs and not the USB card. In spite of having to initially assign in blocks of 8 you can actually assign any input to any channel. If you can find an open input to plug something in, you can route it to any channel you want.

My bold. Unless I've missed something you couldn't, for instance, use local inputs 1-28 on channels 1-28 and then take four from an option card on channels 29-32, whilst using the aux channels for something over AES50, or aux ins. On the Soundcraft, and any other desk I can think, of you could do this. So whilst I agree that it's unlikely to be an issue most of the time, and certainly is not "ridiculous", it is something to be aware of.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #65 on: November 13, 2015, 10:44:38 am »

Richard,
The luxury of having been around this industry for almost 50 years is having the opportunity to work with or own a huge number of products from a very large number of manufacturers. I'll admit I'm in favor of products that work well, and probably harder than needed on products that don't work well, or lack proper support for the end user. I have no room or patience in my life for the latter. I have made a point in life to ignore current trends, flavors of the month, and products that don't pass my muster. I will usually spend whatever it takes to get the job done right, and base those decisions on product quality, manufacturer reputation, and support capabilities.  As a point I still have a Mackie 1640 in my home studio. The board is in use daily, is used to route monitoring functions, and works just as well now as it did the day I bought it. Bring the 1640, APB, or any of the many, many other boards I've owned or used into a conversation and I'll have plenty to say, good and bad.
 
That being said it has dawned on me that you are correct in a sense, however, I resent being labeled a shill when enthusiastically supporting a product I know will work properly and get the job done. For your benefit and for those who may share your opinion I'll temper my replies in the future.

Perhaps if you look back at the majority of my posts you'll find they are in most cases directly related to the product being discussed, such as is the case here, a thread I started based on the Soundcraft price drop. My enthusiasm for a product line is just that, similar to most people who eventually find hardware that works as advertised, but unlike some people, based on fact, actual use or ownership, proper testing, and not fiction.

The grid system of routing, although effective, is a carry over from many days gone by. Many people have worked with the system and have become familiar enough with the system to work efficiently and effectively with this type interface, I agree.  But that won't change my opinion, and  I equate this type of system interface to a company who prefers the use of command line operating systems such as DOS to Windows or iOS. There are better and more intuitive methods that could be used to simplify the method(s) used to achieve the desired results.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 10:47:15 am by Bob Leonard »
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BOSTON STRONG........
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Scott Olewiler

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #66 on: November 13, 2015, 11:25:05 am »

My bold. Unless I've missed something you couldn't, for instance, use local inputs 1-28 on channels 1-28 and then take four from an option card on channels 29-32, whilst using the aux channels for something over AES50, or aux ins. On the Soundcraft, and any other desk I can think, of you could do this. So whilst I agree that it's unlikely to be an issue most of the time, and certainly is not "ridiculous", it is something to be aware of.

Good point. Yes, I was thinking strictly in terms of using the local inputs. If you were using all the aux ins and  a 32 channel stage box for 1-28, for example, you would not be able to use any of the local inputs for the used channels.   But if you're that full, you really didn't bring the best desk for the gig.

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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #67 on: November 13, 2015, 12:58:05 pm »

I'll get off this gain subject with a side note that my board is covered in red all the time. This is the unfortunate feature of having the effect indicators (compression, etc.), also on the channel strip, being red as well. Blue might have been a nicer color for those indicators, but humans react to red and so be it.
I actually like that.  That the indicators are going in different directions also catches my eye.  Reminds me of my DBX160s.  Easy to spot and I can decide if something is getting so much hotter that I need to tweak the input gain without selecting that channel and looking at the actual compressor settings by just noting how they cross each other.
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richard_cooper

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #68 on: November 13, 2015, 02:21:37 pm »

however, I resent being labeled a shill when enthusiastically supporting a product I know will work properly and get the job done. For your benefit and for those who may share your opinion I'll temper my replies in the future.

Sorry Bob, that was a bit of a low shot on my part, my apologies. I don't wish to reduce any enthusiasm for products or what we do, but wish there was bit less flag waving, and more detailed comparison.

But if you're that full, you really didn't bring the best desk for the gig.

Exactly, so worth pointing out to potential purchasers as it's a limitation compared to others.
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Loren Aguey

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Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #69 on: November 13, 2015, 03:03:09 pm »

The grid system of routing, although effective, is a carry over from many days gone by. Many people have worked with the system and have become familiar enough with the system to work efficiently and effectively with this type interface, I agree.  But that won't change my opinion, and  I equate this type of system interface to a company who prefers the use of command line operating systems such as DOS to Windows or iOS. There are better and more intuitive methods that could be used to simplify the method(s) used to achieve the desired results.

Ok so...if there's a better/faster method than the grid where you can see and patch everything from one page, what is it? And which console uses it?
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Sweetwater price drop
« Reply #69 on: November 13, 2015, 03:03:09 pm »


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