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Sliders in consoles

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Art Welter:

--- Quote from: Mike Diack on August 25, 2021, 05:15:55 PM --- I wonder if quadrant faders are in the slider camp or are a limited range

--- End quote ---
Considering that rotary potentiometers can be multiple turns, I'd think of a quadrant fader as a fractional turn pot.

Ergonomically it is closer to a linear fader than a rotary pot.
Better tactile position indication than a linear fader, and spacing could allow one hand to control four faders at once, big change from 2" knobs used on contemporary consoles.

Of interest, Johnny Longden's desks made for the BBC using quadrant faders had them fading up towards the operator with the scale being lit when moved off the back stop.

"I believe my special projects one-off desks in the 1960s were among the first to use slider rather than rotary faders, and I had to decide which way they should travel to fade up or down. The commercial desks of the day tended to favour UP - away from the operator, and DOWN, toward the operator, as they did in the USA. I adopted UP for OFF and DOWN for ON, simply because our domestic switches do this, the opposite being the case in America.

I was very amused to read all sorts of comments in technical magazines, discussing the difference between BBC and commercial practice for sound faders years later, where various theories put it down to "not knocking the script pages as one fades outů", etc. Why I didn't join in the correspondence I can't remember - but you've read it first here."
 Johnny Longden

In this thread:
Iain_Betson wrote:
"Hence when mounted in a panel, the top of the fader, the bit where the knob is and the scale is, was humped. So with the fader closed, or fully open, the knob was near the panel surface and in the centre of its travel raised up - like going over an arch.

When a fader is used, most of the level adjustment movement is at the most open (top 25%) position - say between 75 - 100% open. If this design of fader was mounted flat panel with its orientation such that you faded-up away form you then

1. The exact position it is open is obscured because the knob has "gone over the arch"
2 If you want to make a level adjustment you have to reach over arch to work the fader. Pretty awkward to do so for repeated operations.

Turning the orientation of the fader around solves both issues - you can see the fader position, its eacy to operate and when fading-to-closed, you just push the knob over the arch to its stop.

The other bonus is when mixing with multiple faders open on a desk, say when music balancing.. With the unused (closed) faders out of the way you have a clear work space with the faders you want to use in front of you.

Frankly I have no issues driving a desk with the faders working either way.

Even by the 1970s linear faders were no longer arched in design, so the reason for the flip-around was no longer valid, but the practice in the BBC lingered on as it was" what we are used to".

I recall in the 1980s when the BBC invested in commercial recording studio desks, such as the SSL 4000 series at Maida Vale, the faders were flipped around to the BBC way, but in time, as more commercial desk came in, probably due to cost or desk design, the faders were as we expect today.

BBC LR Mk3 desks still have "wrong way around" faders ( a few still remain for the next few months until ViLoR replaces them) and I still see some items of Glensound OB kit with "fade-up towards me" faders, but other than that I think its all standard fader layouts now."


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