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Author Topic: Soundcraft GB8 48  (Read 66334 times)

Ryan Lantzy

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2006, 10:32:57 am »

Did Bennett mention this was heavy?

I had the GB8 out on it's first two gigs with me this weekend.  I'll start off with a little background.  The first night we pulled this monster out was at a local ballroom for an evening of dinner and music.  Attendance was around 500 people.  The band was an 8 piece R&B/Soul/Rock band known for their review of Motown and rhythm and blues.  I work with these guys a lot so that part was easy.  

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/GB8/GB8%20001(small)-1.jpg

The second night was an outdoor church picnic... same band with an additional 3 piece polka band.  

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/GB8/GB8%20028(small)-1.jpg

I normally require a full 24 mic pre's + goodies for this group.  I was running a full split for monitors the first night (to road test my new split snake and EQ racks).  I had the GB8 setup to run 4 FX mixes from FOH and two audience side fills on aux.  The side fills were mostly used for announcements during dinner due to the configuration of the room.

I found myself very comfortable with the channel strips.  The setup there is very similar to my Spirit 8 (8 group, 4 mute group, but 6 aux).  I thought the faders had a bit of a "stick" to them...  I'm used to a very easy sliding (dare I say "loose") fader.  I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but I noticed that there was less chance of me bumping a fader and moving it.  

After a few puzzled stares and stumbling around I quickly got used to the layout of the master/group section.  I'm always amazed how differently these sections are laid out console to console.  I didn't find it confusing or anything, just "different."  One feature I thought was really cool was the ability to pan a group left or right.  So, if you wanted, you could set up some panning for different things but still have them in a group.  My Spirit doesn't allow that.  I just need to think of a way to exploit that.

OK, OK... how did it sound?  Simply, great.  I felt the console was transparent and the EQ did what I wanted, even with a band I work with all the time nearly exclusively on a different console.  I didn't have to figure out the EQ.  It pretty much just did it's job like I asked it too.  It's not the most sophisticated EQ in the world.  But sometimes in the combat audio world of line check only and EQ on the fly, the extra control can just get in the way.

Some general notes...  I won't claim to be the most experienced person out there... but I question the market that this board will sell to.  Not so much the layout/design but the channel count.  Forty eight makes this thing big and heavy.  I think the case had a lot to do with that however... but for something this big, a proper case is required.  I can get away with a much lighter duty case for the smaller 32ch Spirit.  So the weight is probably cut in half.  Even though this console with 16 more channels only weighs 5 more pounds.  

That brings me to another point.  Sturdiness.  I'm not saying the GB8 is flimsy... but I was leaning up to grab something and noticed it felt like the console flexed a bit.  The metal (aluminum?) that the mixers frame is built from seems a tad thin.  But hey... if it keeps down on weight then it doesn't matter that much.

A few other points...

The GRP/aux flip is a cool feature, AND according to the manual, the group inserts become aux inserts in this mode.  Cool for inserting EQ into the signal chain for you monitor dudes.

However, the buttons are tiny and you need a pencil or something pointy (like a lighting tech's head) to hit them.  This is probably a good thing so you don't bump them... however, I couldn't tell at first what was going on.  They looked as if they were pressed in.  And my fat fingers couldn't unpress them...  Turns out they *weren't* pressed in and I was just being stupid.

PFL.... BIG complaint here.  The PFL bus assigns to the center (C) meter to read out the currently solo'd channel.  Guess what... it's hard to see in the maze of LED bars AND, the right angle lamps that were included cover it up and make it hard to see from all angles.  I'm a PFL and AFL junkie so that was a big blah in my book.  Most of the problem would be mitigated with a straight lamp but it's still buried in a sea of LED bars.  Eh... can't win 'em all.

Pads...  Someone mentioned in the chat the other night they were unhappy there were no pads.  Now, so am I.  I've never had a problem with any mic from any instrument clipping my Spirit 8 mic pre's.  However, the drummer made quick work of this pre with his powerful right foot.  Only a few times... but that was with the gain knob slammed fully CCW.  Not a huge deal and it never sounded bad.  And honestly, I should have a few pads in my inventory but sadly do not.  I've been spoiled by my other primary console and the built in pads on my little one.

Over all it's a great board, it has been fun to work on so far, and I got A LOT of compliments on it from local musicians and the like.  I made sure to let them know about the road test program and that sadly the console wasn't mine Sad

I'm sure I've forgotten a hundred other things but I'll save them for the coming weeks as my mind (and body) recovers from this weekend.  I'll have this out again in a couple of weeks at a BIG (for me) outdoor event back at the Roxbury band shell, to which you are all invited to stop by.  We'll be there in full force as long as it doesn't rain or snow so much that the outdoor stage is rendered useless.

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/GB8/GB8%20007(small)-1.jpg

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/GB8/GB8%20021(small)-1.jpg

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/GB8/GB8%20017(small)-1.jpg

Edit: spelling.
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Ryan Lantzy
"In the beginner's mind the possibilities are many, in the expert's mind they are few."

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2006, 11:26:47 am »

FWIW while there is some weight penalty associated with extra rigidity, it is not necessarily a linear engineering issue. Clever use of thin aluminum in tension rather than compression (think airplane wings or race cars) can deliver some pretty rigid backbones for a chassis without huge weight penalties. Too much flexing can be a bad thing for reliability if internal construction can't accommodate range of motion.

JR
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Ryan Lantzy

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2006, 12:49:44 am »

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Ryan Lantzy
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Ronnie Blenden

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2006, 10:58:50 pm »

While I have not had a chance to get on a GB8 I have and do work regularly on the GB4.  A local college has 2 for main and monitor duty at their outdoor amphitheater.  While for the price point I think they are all excellent consoles with a ton of features there are a couple things that really bug me..

#1 This has been covered here already so i wont harp on it. The lack of input pads is a killer sometimes.

#2  While there may be an internal jumper changover to fix this, my biggest complaint on the console is when you flip it to monitor duty.  Its cool that your submasters become the monitor send masters for monitor outs, however, it is not cool to me that the rear panel outputs dont switch.  While in standard FOH mode you have nice xlr subgroup outputs and TRS Aux outs.  When you flip the console for monitor duty the outputs flip as well which screws the pooch for me. The xlr outputs that were once subgroup outs become the aux outs and you are forced to use TRS outputs for your mix outs.  Not a problem for some but my patches between board and amps are generally xlr-xlr.  Now I have to get a new snake.  Use of adaptors is limited due to the proximity of the trs outputs to each other.  I wish they would have left the subgroup faders tied to the xlr outputs and done the manipulation elsewhere.  
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Olli Rajala

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2006, 01:15:17 am »

Ronnie Blenden wrote on Sat, 07 October 2006 05:58


#2  While there may be an internal jumper changover to fix this, my biggest complaint on the console is when you flip it to monitor duty.  Its cool that your submasters become the monitor send masters for monitor outs, however, it is not cool to me that the rear panel outputs dont switch. <snip> The xlr outputs that were once subgroup outs become the aux outs and you are forced to use TRS outputs for your mix outs.


I don't agree fully with you. Of course if you're using as a FOH board and are doing monitors there, it's a little bit different thing than using it mainly as a monitor board. I just think it's a very nice thing to have (after the switch) the aux outs in xlrs. But of course, I've done that only with a GL2200 running as a monitor console. So, it could be a good thing if there was some kind of option (internal jumper perhaps?) to alter this behaviour. That way we could tune the console to our own taste. Of course this would probably alter the price also, and I suppose that the amount of money needed for getting it would certainly not be lower. Wink But, as always, In My Humble Opinion and Your Mileage May Vary.

Back to business and thinking about this days gig.

Yours,

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Olli Rajala
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Mathew Thomas

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2006, 06:05:46 am »

Hi,i'm pretty much a newbie at sound reinforcement. i was wondering, was does 'pad' mean? my church is looking into getting a new soundboard, and we are considering the soundcraft gb8. so while reading this review, it seems alot of ppl are complaining that it doesn't have a pad. can anybody tell me what exactly does pad mean? appreciate it. thanks.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2006, 10:59:25 am »

Quote:

...can anybody tell me what exactly does pad mean?



index.php/fa/6146/0/

A pad is something that takes level down. In the image above, you see the top of a Soundcraft MH4 input strip which has a pad labeled "-20" next to the input gain knob. If you push that pad button, the sound from that mic goes down by 20dB (a lot.)

http://www.fullcompass.com/common/products/lg/11038.jpg

Here's another pad which is used externally to a mixer. This is Whirlwind's IMP PAD which comes in several values: 10, 20, 30 and 40dB. 30dB is considered standard for taking a line level signal down to mic level. 10dB is often enough, though, to augment the amount of padding found on a console's own input trim.

Other external pads exist. I have a set of four Audio Technica pads that have a sliding switch that selects 10, 20 and 30dB; the AT8202. Costs more money but makes my gig bag a little more compact than it would be if I carried 12 pads.

Kick mics often need to be padded. Other very loud mics and line level signals need to be padded. If you don't pad a loud signal which is clipping it will sound awful.

The complaint about the GB8 not having pads is that the GB8 owner will need to stock up on a half dozen of these for most normal shows.

-Bink
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2006, 01:48:38 pm »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Tue, 10 October 2006 10:59

The complaint about the GB8 not having pads is that the GB8 owner will need to stock up on a half dozen of these for most normal shows.

I don't know if I'd go that far, Bink. I own a previous Soundcraft board with the same gain range and it's almost never a problem with a live band... only if there are tracks from stage that are extremely hot, and then I usually DI them which takes 12 or so dB off. Everything that's line level at FOH goes into a 1/4" jack.

For you or I who are more used to dealing with hot signals down an XLR from professional balanced sources on stage, yes, not having pads is a real issue. But for 90% of the people who are using the GB series, I bet it almost never comes up.

Good to meet you at AES, I'll post several embarrassing photos soon.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2006, 02:45:11 pm »

Quote:

...Everything that's line level at FOH goes into a 1/4" jack...


You should see some of my corporate gigs. There's probably three XLRs in the entire input stage of the mixer with all the rest of the inputs being TRS. Of course this depends on the mixer model, but the point is that I love using line level in a snake because it is so much more robust against buzzes and crap. My UHF mics are line level, my playback decks and laptop sources are, and sometimes I put preamps in the lectern for podium mics so that they become line level. The three mic level inputs I mentioned are usually my talkback and two VOG mics; one for within the venue and the other for outside in the foyer.


Quote:

...Good to meet you at AES, I'll post several embarrassing photos soon.


*ducks* Uhh... looking forward to it.  Very Happy

Nice to meet you, too!

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Fred Garrett

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Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2006, 05:10:53 pm »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Tue, 10 October 2006 10:59



The complaint about the GB8 not having pads is that the GB8 owner will need to stock up on a half dozen of these for most normal shows.

-Bink



We have had our GB8-48 since early April (2006)and have put at least 25 different bands through the board and we have yet to see an input that requires a pad.

I think it should also be added that we have had 2 national act engineers this season who, while polite, were quite demanding and picky, and they had no complaints about the lack of a pad  or any other aspect of the GB8.

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