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Author Topic: Digico SD8  (Read 16237 times)

Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Digico SD8
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2009, 10:01:42 am »

Jeff Ekstrand wrote on Fri, 02 January 2009 09:24

Great console, by the looks of it. Although I wasn't sure it was CRAZY good enough to justify the price increase.



The SD8 can do like 80 mono OR stereo channels. If you need the I/O this is worth it right there.

The digital snake is worth something if you can use it.

I happen to like the interface a lot better than the M7.

The I/O choices of the desk is also nice. With Yamaha  I get a few card slots* in which to use anything from digital audio network cards, to aviom cards, to whatever I may want to do for recording solutions. However in the SD8** I can use any number of cards of my choosing***, whether they be Analog, AES, ADAT Optical, T-DIF, Ethersound, or Aviom.

Also, because the digital snake is a standard MADI Implementation with the addition of the ADK MADI recorders it is _very_ easy to do full system recording and then use it back as a "virtual soundcheck" or import it on into protools.

Now, all of this means jack squat to most churches looking at an M7.

It all just comes down to what do you need, how much can you spend, what does the rest of the system look like.

Karl P


*Not counting the 1d with appropriate cages of course......
**If I get the bigger full digirack......
***Up to the limit of the two racks.....
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Digico SD8
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2009, 10:02:47 am »

David Sumrall wrote on Fri, 02 January 2009 08:48


I have heard that the SD8 has a lot of stuff in it functionality wise for the price. But for the rooms I need digital consoles for it is either to big and over budget, or way too small. So knowing that, I don't waste my time worrying about it that much.




No...... But the SD7 is nice....... *nudge*

Karl P
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds"
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2009, 10:15:32 am »

Oran Burns wrote on Thu, 01 January 2009 22:45

Hey Ivan,
In the example that i listed above i swapped the soundcraft console for the M7, so the only thing that changed here was the board


When someone says "the only thing I changed was the board", I almost fall off of my chair. The only thing????

Unless every trim, fader, aux send, and eq setting is identical within 0.1 dB and 1 Hz on the two boards, they *have* to sound different. While setting within 0.1dB is just a clerical operation on a digital board, its mission impossible on almost all analog boards.

Furthermore, the channel strips on the two boards have completely different equalization paradigms. Unless all eq controls are bypassed on both boards, they are going to sound different. If you aren't using the eq but are complaining about warmth or sterile sound, you just aren't trying. If you are using the eq on the LS9, and didn't previously use parametric eq all the time on some other board than the GB8, you are seriously underestimating the difficulty of getting the sound you want in a completely different world of knobs.

Furthermore, mixing on a digital board with a lot of virtual controls like a LS9 is a major paradigm shift from a 1 control per function analog board like the GB8.  

Call me stupid and/or lazy but I played around with my 02R96 for about 2 months with a test system before I was willing to actually do the swap into the sanctuary. The first Sunday was about the longest Sunday of my life. Max anxiety. And 3 years later, I'm still getting really intuitive about some of the more detailed and subtle things that only exist in digital land.

If you haven't already learned this just remember, anxiety tends to make things sound like crap. Wink
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds"
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2009, 11:05:33 am »

Oran Burns wrote on Fri, 02 January 2009 07:57


Quote:

I will quite literally mix on a Behringer if it means I can get a good PA.

The choice of PA and all the A/V/L infrastructure is what should be concerning you now, not the choice of mixers. A mixer should be an easy decision that can be made at any time based on need and budget. Any mixer from a reputable manufacturer will "sound" just fine and they should all work and perform equally well.



Im not so sure? I mean the console is the engineers work palette! its how one shapes their sound. I realize that the PA is very important but i think the console is very important as well.
Its got to be something that you like the sound of!
I use the M7 alot at different events etc and i can get a "result".
I just wouldn't put it in my church where sound quality is most important.

Going back to the original point?
How is the SD 8 sounding?
Anyone?

Regards,
Oran



If you want to call the console your palette, then we will need to finish the analogy by calling the mics your brushes, the pa your canvas, you the painter, the infrastructure your easel, the onstage talent your model, and the room is your light-source from which to view the model, what you are painting, and what colors you are using. Finally the end painting is judged not by yourself, but by the audience.

Do you see what we are all trying to say? The system is only as good as it's weakest link* and very seldom is the week link the console. In fact** I would go so far as to say that if you were to put an M7 in every venue on the planet, the number of systems of which that would become the weakest sonic link could probably be counted on one hand. If there are any at all.

Now, I appreciate you beginning to admit that the only issue at play here may be personal preference. With that said it may be time to just soldier up and realize what all great mixers do. So long as the tools are workable - I am one happy camper.

Seriously, this mindset of "lets make it work" or more appropriately "I am happy to be alive and any problems in this situation are merely opportunities I must work through or with on the way to sonic excellence for this show" is what makes a truly great mixer. Heck, change a few words and that is the basis for a truly great person.

I really can understand wanting to have what I want as well, I have sure made some decisions that way myself. But you have to realize that we are here for God's glory and what type of console we are mixing on is truly second if we think about it. (In fact it is actually lower than that, being that PA, infrastructure, video, and lights come before the console Very Happy)

Now, there is no doubt that it takes awhile to transition to a new console, especially if you typically mix on just one type/model. But after you get used to the M7 you will then, if hundreds of other users are anything to go by, start to love it and get used to its power and its possibilities over what you currently have.

Now, finally, just to throw a wild guess out there, do you even have budget at the moment for an M7? Are you sure that there isn't some pipe dream here and we should actually be talking about an LS9 or V-Mix, versus an A&H with B-Grade outboard?

How big is your church and what is your overall audio budget? Do you have a contractor/consultant onboard for the acoustic/PA design? How many seats do you currently have? Who is in charge of your purchasing and budgeting decisions?

I am continuing this conversation because I believe there are a lot of people here who could use to read this and hopefully will learn what we are trying to show you.

I do however truly hope I am wrong and you have the means to purchase what we are talking about, along with that d&B system................

Karl P


*I am going to leave out the obvious week link of the painter..... If we are all being brutally honest the weakest link in any system will always be us, the idiot with two ears (aka "the painter"), as rarely will anyone ever be good enough to truly use a system to its capability. Even after 100's (1000's?) of shows I rarely do "great" work. Took me awhile to learn that.

**WARNING: Generic comparison ahead, specifically concerning sound quality _ONLY_. I am perfectly aware how many shows couldn't function without XYZ, we are talking sonics here. mmmmkay?
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds"
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2009, 01:37:13 pm »

Karl P(eterson) wrote on Fri, 02 January 2009 11:05

[*I am going to leave out the obvious week link of the painter..... If we are all being brutally honest the weakest link in any system will always be us, the idiot with two ears (aka "the painter"), as rarely will anyone ever be good enough to truly use a system to its capability. Even after 100's (1000's?) of shows I rarely do "great" work. Took me awhile to learn that.



As I have said before, after the thousands of gigs I have done I have only gotten what I consider to be "perfect" snare sound-once.  Good and accpetable lots of times- but "perfect" only once.  Was it the console-the mic-the sound system-the efx-NO.  It was my normal rig that I used all the time. And it was not a great snare either.  Just the local opening band.

When it happened, everything all lined up correctly.  My lucky day. Very Happy   I know it can happen-I have heard it-but only ONCE.  Maybe if I used a different console that had a better "sound" I could get that "perfect" sound more often. Laughing

It was even a stressful day in that I had already unloaded and started setting up for a concert when the promoter said he needed me at a different venue-an hour away Shocked .  So we packed it back up and went and set it all up again.  We basically "threw" the PA together with no "tuning"-we just ran with it-being a couple of hours late.

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Oran Burns

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Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds"
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2009, 03:03:20 pm »

Folks,
I seem to have "rattled alot of cages" with this post!
Which was never the intention by the way.
I do appreciate all the input.
Please forgive me if i did not explain clearly from the outset that my dislike for "budget" digital consoles was indeed MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION
After all it is not in the bible!
Or maybe???
Only joking.
One of the recurring themes here is people suggesting that the "issues" i had with this console may have been user error?
WHAT?
NO WAY!!!
Im perfect!

No not really, like all of us i certainly aint perfect and do get it wrong sometimes.
On this particular day when we did the demo of the M7 alot of people in the room were blown away by what they heard.
The band were delirious (in a positive way of course)
The pastors wife (who didn't even know what was goin on and who never speaks to me about sound) came up to tell me that the sound was "great"
The main man himself the Pastor, his first comment was " as soon as i heard the music i knew we had to get one"
So if user error was the issue here then would all of this have happened?
I think not.

From my perspective whist the console delivered a clarity which we never had before and gave me the flexibility to process everything that required "help", the overall sound quality was too clinical, too harsh and sounded processed and not natural!!!
I always ask myself this question when evaluating Live digital consoles.
If someone was to bring me into a room blindfolded and let me listen to a band playing through a system and ask me the question "is the console digital or analog"?
If i knew that the console was digital then there is a problem.
If i couldn't tell whether it was digital or analog then to me the digital console is worth it.
If it was D Show i wouldn't know whether it was digital or analog but i would know if it was the M7.
On this day when we did the demo im certain that if i was brought in there blindfolded i would say straight away "digital board"
Its just got that sound to it that doesn't sound natural, and all the processing is audible.

One of the other interesting points in this topic is regarding "whose opinion matters?"
Some of you folk pointed out that the congregation wouldn't know the differences between different consoles and the only one in the room who will notice anything is the engineer.

Quote:

but do you really think that in real world use the average church member is going to notice the difference?


No, some may but most wont.

But here is the deal, God put me in position to do sound in his house and he gave me a talent and an anointing to carry it out. Im responsible and accountable for how things sound in our church and my job is to carry that out to the best of my ability.
So my opinion on how things sound is therefore important. Im not there to please the congregation.

Have a look at the approach to digital consoles from Midas.
They basically refused to bring one out on to the market until they were happy that digital technology was advanced enough.
I admire that, and i do realize that we are talking about the "high end" here.
Other companies have flooded the market with digital consoles that were designed to fit in a "price bracket" and have no regard for sound quality!

Interesting that on another forum on this very site today i read a quote in one of the topics which said that you dont see M7s on artists riders!!!
I wonder why?

David you are right (as per usual)
Quote:

But the M7 sounds fine too.


Yeah it sounds fine but it just doesn't sound good!!!!

Why should God settle for less than the best?

Regards,
Oran





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Oran Burns
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Grace Fellowship Church
www.gracefellowship.ie

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds" A look inside
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2009, 03:35:48 pm »

Good luck in your pursuit of "perfection".

Maybe the "digital" sound is actually one that "has no sound".

Maybe you are looking for colored sound.  If so, is that "natural"?

If you are wanting a "natural" sound, I certainly hope your guitar player never uses any distortion or special effects-because those are not "natural".

Maybe the Yamaha is just to "accurate" for your tastes.

In the case of your M7 demo, maybe it is YOU who are wrong.  If the people in attendance liked it better, but you thought it was to "digital", does that make your opinion "better" or right?

If you are not there to serve the congregation, then who are you there to serve?  If you say God, then how do you know your opinion is more important than that of the congregation or your Pastor?

Is it YOUR money that is going to buy an upper end console or the congregation/Gods money?  If it is your money then go for it, but if you are spending others money-I suggest you strongly look at what is most important.  Is anybody going to get saved by having a digital console that does not sound "digital".  I think not.  So is it worth it-for your own personal pleasure and satisfaction?  After all it is not about YOU, why people are in church.

It appears that you are in the minority-at least in your demo with the M7.

You must really have a very nice PA and very well behaved room to hear such differences.  Most churches are not afforded that luxury.
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David Sumrall

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Re: Digico SD8
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2009, 04:33:24 pm »



No...... But the SD7 is nice....... *nudge*

Karl P



Hey Karl! I laughed out loud at that one:O)
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David Sumrall
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Jeff Ekstrand

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Re: Digico SD8
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2009, 04:48:40 pm »

I can see your point of wanting the best sound possible, with that pursuit of perfection... although Ivan is also right that perfection simply does not exist. We, as humans, will never design a system that can perfectly reproduce the original sound of an instrument or vocal, and we as humans would never be able to operate that system to the point where it actually does recreate that sound perfectly. That's an important distinction to make. It's the very reason why I tell my team that we don't strive for perfection, we strive for excellence. If we strive for perfection, we're never going to be satisfied, and most of us type-a guys would probably end-up leaving the business because we'd be in a constant state of depression.

The point of digital or analog being more natural is also a good question to ask. I can guarantee you that the GB8 colors the sound. While it has good preamps, the Soundcraft will, by nature, change the sound of the signal simply by sending the current through any one of its components. The very fact that it has groups as opposed to VCAs means that the signal is now passing through even more components, and the tone is being altered further. At no point, even with EQ bypassed, and being sent straight to the main mix, would you get the exact same signal out as you brought into the console. At the same time, a GB8 is going to sound different than an Allen & Heath GL3800 or another similar console. Each console, analog or digital, will alter the sound, color the tone, in some way.

Perhaps any one of us could walk into a room and tell whether or not the mix was digital or analog. However, even Matt Larson from Midas would tell you (and has told me) that there is a difference between the sound of a Pro6/XL8 and a Heritage series. And, while the difference may be less noticeable, it's still there. Which brings me back to my original point:

You will always be able to hear the difference, on some level, between your GB8 and an M7CL, or the SD8, or the iLive, or an Si6, Pro6, XL8, you name it.

The key here is this, what is the best use of the church's money? Can you still deliver excellent sound for God's people with an M7? I've delivered excellent sound from a Mackie SR32x4...I know, blasphemy!!! Granted, it wasn't the same level of excellence as my mix from an MH4, PM1D, etc., but that's the thing about excellence, the definition changes based upon the circumstances. I don't have a Meyer Array, PM1D (or comparable analog board for the sake of this thread), BSS or Meyer processing, or all the other best toys. Does that mean I'm going to give-up because I can't deliver the same "quality" sound? I'd still be mixing on a Mackie SR32x4 if that were my attitude. I'd still be mixing on an A&H GL4000 if I didn't care about getting something that's really going to make my ministry thrive to its fullest capacity.

I know that I can get a volunteer up and running on my M7CL in a matter of hours, as opposed to days and weeks on an all analog system. I can preset the console and he can get around the necessary day-of controls with 0 problems. The studio manager is so easy to use that I can even help make changes on the fly if they are hidden in multiple menu layers on the console.

That, to me, is excellence (or as close as I can get right now) in ministry. I have three volunteers who do something completely different in their day-jobs, who can come in and rock my face off with a great, nay, excellent mix on Sundays. Now, maybe the SD8 would sound a little better, and might be just as easy to use, but the M7 fits our ministry needs and I didn't have to pay twice the price to get it. And it is most certainly not the weak link in my system... that, again, is the P.A., or the room, depending on how one looks at it. I'm most certainly not going to be able to change the room anytime soon, so I might as well identify the weakest link that I can influence. Smile

Lastly, we're not all pointing-out the potential flaws in this ideology to flame this post or make you feel bad. We are doing this because someone else may see the title of the thread and think that they are going to get a definitive answer on whether the SD8 is worth buying. It's important for all of us who act as consultants, contractors, designers, and FOH engineers, to give the best information possible. I don't want a potential client of mine to come in here and read that the M7 is a bad console, or it's sound is unacceptable, when in all reality it is a great console and can provide many churches with more features than they could hope for with a price-tag that sometimes seems too good to be true.

I reserve my gear bashing for Mackie and/or Behringer. Smile And even those two have had their redeeming moments in my career. I wouldn't have a career today if it weren't for Mackie, mixed my first shows on their boards.

*end diatribe*
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Jeff Ekstrand

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Willow Creek Community Church
Northfield, IL

Kent Thompson

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Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds" A look inside
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2009, 05:07:57 pm »

Quote:

overall sound quality was too clinical, too harsh and sounded processed and not natural!!!


Buy 32,48 channels of API pre-amps that should sweeten things up. Seriously though at some point you have to look reality in the eye and say "this is the best we can do we will have to make do with this one." We all would love to mix on a Midas but few of us have the budget for one.

My personal experience has been if you want it noticeably better you have to spend a boatload more money to do so which is not practical. An M7 is at least approaching practical for most churches while and SD8 is not for most churches but, if you have the budget go for it Smile.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Digico SD8-Console "sounds" A look inside
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2009, 05:07:57 pm »


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