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Author Topic: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie  (Read 10204 times)

Bob Leonard

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2016, 12:09:35 pm »

I think I'm gonna hold off and save my pennies for a Yamaha TF5 32-chan.  I know... its a mucho dinero $$$$.... and I know NOTHING about it (but I will find out)... but if it sounds as smooth as it looks... whoa......

So I guess the question "which is better"... when dealing with competing appliances at a similar level is largely a matter of taste.   For example, I'm tempted to ask "which is better?...":
 A&H QU-32
 Soundcraft Expression 3
 Yamaha TF5-32
 PreSonus 34.4.2
 Behringer x32
 


Ron,
I don't know why or how your selections were made, but I would start by editing your list to look a bit more like the list below. Also, keep in mind that any of the Soundcraft Expression and Performer series boards can be expanded to 66 or more channels using a stage box. That's really one of the biggest features of the Soundcraft boards, expansion that other boards don't have available to them. I have the Expression in a box, however, my main board at this time is a Soundcraft Performer. The analogy would be that after using the Expression for over a year I started to wish that I had opted for leather heated seats to begin with when I bought the truck. In this case the move from the Expression to the Performer was the equal to moving from an Explorer XLT to an Explorer Limited.

In no specific order;

 A&H QU-32
 Soundcraft Expression
 Soundcraft Performer
 Soundcraft Impact
 Roland M300
 Behringer x32
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Ron Roberts

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2016, 12:43:47 pm »

For someone who's not using it constantly I would recommend an interface with as many dedicated encoders as possible. 

what's an encoder ?   I have no shame.  I will ask the lamest questions!
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Chris Hindle

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2016, 12:51:10 pm »

what's an encoder ?   I have no shame.  I will ask the lamest questions!
That's all the twisty knob thingy's.
No more pot's. You are not manipulating the audio, you are telling a computer to do the manipulation, with encoders.
Chris.
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Ron Roberts

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2016, 01:00:53 pm »

Ron,
I don't know why or how your selections were made, but I would start by editing your list to look a bit more like the list below. Also, keep in mind that any of the Soundcraft Expression and Performer series boards can be expanded to 66 or more channels using a stage box. That's really one of the biggest features of the Soundcraft boards, expansion that other boards don't have available to them. I have the Expression in a box, however, my main board at this time is a Soundcraft Performer. The analogy would be that after using the Expression for over a year I started to wish that I had opted for leather heated seats to begin with when I bought the truck. In this case the move from the Expression to the Performer was the equal to moving from an Explorer XLT to an Explorer Limited.

In no specific order;

 A&H QU-32
 Soundcraft Expression
 Soundcraft Performer
 Soundcraft Impact
 Roland M300
 Behringer x32

I can't thank all of you gentlemen enough.  You have shared with me at no cost your years of professional experience for which you have paid dearly with your time, your sweat, exhaustion, pressure, backs, stress, maybe time with your kids, and maybe even some arguments with your wives.   You have saved me years of time and thousands in wasted dollars in going the analog route.  Not to even mention the things I would never be able to do, and opportunities I would never get limited by and chained to 1,000 lbs of analog gear.
Suffice it to say my eyes have been opened and I have been persuaded.  I am getting a digital board.  I just don't know when or what.   You've given me some great suggestions.  Some of the major online retailers sell used equipment and offer a 2-yr service contract on it.   But I understand the tradeoff: buy used and settle for previous generation; pay twice as much to buy new for current generation.   All I know is I have read and *heard* your words.   A year or two from now I do not want to regret the board I bought and wish I had spent upward.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2016, 01:05:36 pm »

So I guess the question "which is better"... when dealing with competing appliances at a similar level is largely a matter of taste.   For example, I'm tempted to ask "which is better?...":
 A&H QU-32
 Soundcraft Expression 3
 Yamaha TF5-32
 PreSonus 34.4.2
 Behringer x32

Yes, that one is better.

Honestly, I would choose any of those over the analog board you have.  One in the list doesn't have motorized faders, but has everything available without layers.  Another one has 30 faders instead of 32 meaning those last 2 channels need to be on a second layer.  It goes against every other mixer in the world that creates channels in groups of 8, so this can throw you off for a while until you get used to it.  One of the boards has a brand name that used to have a horrid reputation, but that is quickly changing.

They all would do the job.  The key is, you can't just look at the single component.  Step back and look at the broader picture.  From a business standpoint, it makes sense to select a platform and stick with it.  Look at all of the things that you can connect to it and expand.  Personally I standardized on the X32 platform because of the X32 Rack.  I can use it as a standalone mixer, or I can use it as a stagebox.  One investment, 2 uses.  That, and the cost to do something similar with the other brands was quite a bit more.

SELL that 32X8 snake while you can and get yourself a digital snake on the platform that you choose. It will make your setup time that much faster.

If you plan to run a business, stop looking at individual pieces of gear and getting excited by them.  Look at your system as a whole and identify the weak points that need to be improved to help you be more profitable.  Yes, shiny new gear is fun, but most of the time, it simply eats into profit instead of giving you an opportunity for profit.
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Ron Roberts

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2016, 01:31:08 pm »

Yes, that one is better.

Honestly, I would choose any of those over the analog board you have.  One in the list doesn't have motorized faders, but has everything available without layers.  Another one has 30 faders instead of 32 meaning those last 2 channels need to be on a second layer.  It goes against every other mixer in the world that creates channels in groups of 8, so this can throw you off for a while until you get used to it.  One of the boards has a brand name that used to have a horrid reputation, but that is quickly changing.

They all would do the job.  The key is, you can't just look at the single component.  Step back and look at the broader picture.  From a business standpoint, it makes sense to select a platform and stick with it.  Look at all of the things that you can connect to it and expand.  Personally I standardized on the X32 platform because of the X32 Rack.  I can use it as a standalone mixer, or I can use it as a stagebox.  One investment, 2 uses.  That, and the cost to do something similar with the other brands was quite a bit more.

SELL that 32X8 snake while you can and get yourself a digital snake on the platform that you choose. It will make your setup time that much faster.

If you plan to run a business, stop looking at individual pieces of gear and getting excited by them.  Look at your system as a whole and identify the weak points that need to be improved to help you be more profitable.  Yes, shiny new gear is fun, but most of the time, it simply eats into profit instead of giving you an opportunity for profit.

OK, gentlemen, advice well taken.  Several have asked what are my goals, what type of shows do I want to do.   I want to do block-parties, summertime outdoor bands, at schools or other venues.... and maybe clubs.   Obviously I can't play a venue for which I don't have sufficient coverage with line-arrays, and sufficient power.   I am a singer so I appreciate clarity, quality and richness of the vocals; so I want to provide that to other budding artists.  I want to be known as having a system that has fantastic sonic quality, clarity and richness and I do it for a reasonable price.  I want to get to know the artists I support and help them with their goals: namely sounding fantastic.   In the pure sense, not with tons of layers of electronic altering the sound.   I think the most beautiful woman is the one who wears very little or no makeup.   All those chemicals and crud caked on her face ruin her natural beauty.    I feel the same way about live music.   The beauty is in the sound of the real human;s voice, cryout out, telling their story in song, with guitars, keyboards and drums on a floor of bass that moves everybody.   Of course pitchy is never acceptable.  But sometimes a singer needs a touch of thickness or reverb.. just like a very light touch of eyeliner on a beautiful woman.... less is usually more.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2016, 09:40:51 pm »

That's all the twisty knob thingy's.
No more pot's. You are not manipulating the audio, you are telling a computer to do the manipulation, with encoders.
Chris.
And because it's just another controller to the computer it can be set up to do anything.  So some product designers have taken advantage of that and depending on what mode the board is in, the encoder knob might affect any number of things.  Which is why I like the Soundcraft and A&H boards in that they have a nicely spread out channel strip with a separate encoder for each function that doesn't change.  So you always know which is the compressor threshold and which is the low eq frequency sweep.

Like you, I believe in minimal manipulation of the sound.  I just want to get what is happening on the stage out to the audience.  So the easier it is to make small adjustments if necessary, the more transparent the mixing process is.

If you can get screaming deals on some of that older stuff, then go ahead.  But look through the threads here of people doing similar shows and you'll see most have gone to modern powered mains with internal DSP and digital boards.  The sound quality is just so much better.  The common small tops are Yamaha DSR's and JBL SRX 800 series.  Common subs seem to be JBL SRX, PRX718, QSC KW181 or Yorkville for smaller gigs.  JTR Orbit Shifters or Danley Th118s for larger gigs.  Sometimes you can go against the grain because of a better idea, but sometimes the crowd has worked it out.
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Rob Spence

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2016, 11:34:57 pm »

Ron, I don't know if you got your question about effects in digital desks answered?

Most affordable desks these days have 4 or more built in FX engines. They can be set to reverbs, delays, and many others.

In addition to FX, you will find that every input has a PEQ (parametric eq) of 3 or 4 bands. A PEQ lets you sweep around to the frequency you want and adjust the boost or cut and the width ( or Q) of the filter. Also, you will find a compressor available on every input and on most, a gate as well then there is the usual HP (high pass) but with a variable frequency.

Most busses also have all of the above.

Some busses and in many cases, all the outputs will have all of the above plus a GEQ (graphic eq) and in many cases a signal delay.

Most digital desks have an off line editor that you can build a show on with out access to the mixer (likely stored somewhere). I find it helpful to save every show at the end of the evening, bring it home and put it on my computer. Then, when I am going to build a show I can take a previous show of a similar type and modify it.

You will fall in love with digital after getting used to it.

Take some time to learn about the different models of desks and keep asking questions.

With digital, there is not always direct relationship between the number of faders and the number of inputs supported. As Bob mentioned, pretty much all the Soundcraft frame sizes can support many more inputs than they have either faders or inputs on the rear of the desk. The QU A&H desks are limited to a 1 to 1 fader to number of inputs. 

I have one desk with 32 faders and mostly use it for festivals. It is a Yamaha and normally I don't like it for bands because using the eq is awkward. The desk I use most has 24 faders but can have 48 inputs. I simply stick the drum kit, bass, and keys on layer 2 which leaves me plenty of faders on the top layer for everything else. It has a great layout for fast operation.


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Dave Garoutte

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2016, 04:59:04 pm »

With my Performer2, I like to put the drums on layer two with a VCA or group master on layer one, fader one.
Like Rob, put all the critical channels on top and the occasionals on layer 2.
Stereo linked faders can be split between two layers, so it only takes up one slot on each, but can be controlled from either.
The most fun thing about these new boards is how flexible they are.  You can set them up the way YOU work, rather than changing your methods to match the board.
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Ron Roberts

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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2016, 10:43:33 pm »


And if you really want to get crazy I have a Soundcraft Expression 1 in the box for 1/2 price, $1250 plus shipping.

Bob,   Can you get me that kind of deal on a MIDAS M32R ?
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Re: clueless about outboard effects - getting started for a newbie
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2016, 10:43:33 pm »


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