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L'Acoustics P1 vs Lake LM44


Ethan Overton:
Hi All,
I am working for a company that recently acquired an L'Acoustics Kara II rig and has a K2 on order. I have a couple questions regarding the P1 vs the LM44 considering that, at the price point, the LM44 seems to do the same thing:

1. What's the difference?
2. Which is better in your opinion?
3. Why?

I personally feel like if I have an L'Acoustics PA, it only makes sense to use the P1. However, my colleague prefers the LM44. Just looking for someone that has experience with both.
Thank you!

Michael Lawrence:
They are very different tools, so I would advise you to take the time to really understand which is more appropriate for your use case before making an investment, spend time playing with both and both of the accompanying software programs.

The LM44 is one of two processors that would commonly be accepted by a touring FOH/SE so if you need to be rider friendly and support those acts coming through, they will either want to be handed an LM44 or a Meyer Galaxy. Speaking personally, if you were driving your system with a P1, the riders for the acts I currently work for would require that you put a Galaxy in front of it or in place of it.

LM44 can do group / overlay EQ which is a big part of a typical touring FOH engineer's workflow and you don't find that feature on other processors in the same price range. But it's a relatively old product, and I can't speak for how reliable the support / development will be going forward. I also find 4x4 quite limiting in terms of IO however for a typically small to medium scale system that is LRSF and no need for console switching or house music, it might be just fine as long as you have processing downstream.

If on the other hand it's just for "internal use" and not something you need to hand off to visitors, you should get whatever tool you feel more comfortable with and suits your needs better. Define your use case clearly and then familiarize yourself with all the options so you can figure out which is the best for that.

Jason Raboin:
We've added 3 P1 to our inventory.  2 will be in drive racks with XTA mix switches and 1 is in a 4U rack. 

If you have L-Acoustics amplified controllers in your system, your system tuning should be done in Network Manager, not in Lake or any other processor. 

P1 is the only thing that will give you M1.  It's a powerful tool.  If you haven't looked at it yet, I highly recommend it. 

We haven't been getting any push back from artist engineers when we give them a "guest" layer in the P1 for their system eq needs.  At this point most of the engineers that want a Lake have it in their FOH rack. 

Michael Lawrence:
To be fair my work is from a very different angle. I'm a systems engineer not a FOH mixer and the artist I'm currently with carries their own SE (me) along with them even to festivals and one offs, so I'm there to do a lot more than just EQ the entire system for tonality, I'm doing a full tuning and alignment that requires having full control over all the system zones.

I will still put a Galaxy between FOH consoles and whatever processing the manufacturer of the particular PA offers. It's part of the artist's rider to provide this for fly dates and festivals and we've never had any provider unable to do so. If they have Lakes or anything else inline we ask for it to be removed.

Each of the major manufacturers' platforms are all powerful in some ways and limited in others and since my job is to guarantee consistency I need to make sure I always have the full toolset available. Typically that means summing matrix, gains, EQs, filters, timing and allpass in the Galaxy and then whatever shading needs to be done per box at the amplifier level, but we try to keep as much as far upstream as possible for obvious reasons.


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