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Author Topic: Allen & Heath GL2800  (Read 59174 times)

Jim Brown

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2007, 01:24:07 pm »

TBH I'd take the view if I was designing it that there are two very likely scenarios for the desk:

1.   Road use: Always cased, removed when a fault occurrs.   Frequency of movement out of case low.   Most cleaning in a fitted case can be done without desk removal.

2.   Install use: Not cased, lifted from packaging into mix position.   Not moved very often until a fault occurs.

Obviously some installs move their desk in and out but those tend to have a case made as the gear gets stored and setup on a show by show basis.

If you also factor in the expense of machining handles in, allowing the extra room in the desk for the recess, the extra components and the additional processes on the production line then I think it stacks up in favour of not having handles on the desk.   TBH if Evan bought that desk there's no way he'd move it around out of a case unless he was absolutely broke and saving up to pay for a case.  

The observation that it lacks handles wouldn't bother 99.9% of its target market so I don't think A&H will be rushing back to the drawing board to add handles.

Jim

[Edited to eliminate a double negative, my English teacher would be proud.]
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Mike Butler (media)

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2007, 07:08:04 pm »

Tony Tissot wrote on Fri, 08 December 2006 16:24

... I gave up on Mackie after they became the BOSE of "MI/pro" audio.

Was that before or after they went Beijing-built?  Confused

How sad to think of an old friend (Mackie) having gone down the road of the charlatans of consumer audio.

I like the A&H too. To me, they have no "tone" which is exactly right. But they don't make anything that fits in a Porta Brace bag quite like a 1402 or 1202 VLZ (semi) Pro. Smile I would hate to see a GL desk (or even a Mixwiz) sitting athwart my tripod dolly.  Twisted Evil
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Evan Kirkendall

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2007, 09:23:02 pm »

The "latch" on the talk back mic no longer works. What's up with that? I use it once and it breaks... Thats not a good selling point.

Also, I noticed the board says "made in England" on the back. Are the more expensive GL consoles still made in England, or do I have  a special one?


Other then the talkback problem the console's preformed great. I still love mixing on it.



Evan
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Dan Brown

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2007, 09:36:28 pm »

Evan Kirkendall wrote on Thu, 25 January 2007 20:23

The "latch" on the talk back mic no longer works. What's up with that? I use it once and it breaks... Thats not a good selling point.
...snip...
Other then the talkback problem the console's preformed great. I still love mixing on it.
Evan


Well that is a Neutrik part so whatever that says.
It doesn't say to much about A&H though.

I love Neutrik and is sounds like somthing must have gotten tweaked.

db
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Andy Peters

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2007, 11:19:11 pm »

Evan Kirkendall wrote on Thu, 25 January 2007 19:23

The "latch" on the talk back mic no longer works. What's up with that? I use it once and it breaks... Thats not a good selling point.


Actually, I think I noticed that on the 2800 we put in Club Congress.  I thought maybe it was some kinda configuration thing.  Next time I gig there I'll check it again.

Quote:

Also, I noticed the board says "made in England" on the back. Are the more expensive GL consoles still made in England, or do I have  a special one?


Carey posted something telling where the various consoles are made.

Quote:

Other then the talkback problem the console's preformed great. I still love mixing on it.


Betcha it performed great, too!

-a
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Dave Lewty

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2007, 06:57:56 pm »

Hi It's Dave Lewty here. I am the product specialist for Allen and Heath in the US.
I will try to check on a regular basis.

If you have any questions regarding the console etc I will do my best to answer them.
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Carey Davies

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2007, 05:33:12 am »

Jim Brown wrote on Mon, 01 January 2007 18:24

TBH I'd take the view if I was designing it that there are two very likely scenarios for the desk:

1.   Road use: Always cased, removed when a fault occurrs.   Frequency of movement out of case low.   Most cleaning in a fitted case can be done without desk removal.

2.   Install use: Not cased, lifted from packaging into mix position.   Not moved very often until a fault occurs.

If you also factor in the expense of machining handles in, allowing the extra room in the desk for the recess, the extra components and the additional processes on the production line then I think it stacks up in favour of not having handles on the desk.  

Yes Jim, you pass the test for joining our design team!  Cool
Console packaging is a pet beef of mine. Where budget is tight (isn't it always!) I believe it is vital that every penny, er... cent, goes into what really matters - the build quality, performance and feature set. Adding nice looking plastic trims or handles was at the bottom of the list.

Another factor is footprint - I am out on the circuit quite a bit myself and know the struggle it can be fitting everything into the back of a small van or estate car, and finding someone to help you carry the gear in. Then the venue manager starts wining about 'bums on seats' and you get squashed into a little corner. In short, it made sense to keep the surface compact but not too tight for the bigger fingers, and to avoid wasting space, and cost, with unnecessary add-ons. It is true that most of these GL's get flightcased or installed. The compact, non-trim chassis was designed to fit snuggly into a case not much bigger than the area taken up by the controls themselves.

That said, the armrest is designed with a shape that provides a grip for lifting the uncased console, and a place for the additional under armrest headphones socket. That's another gripe from A&H users over the years - the position of the phones socket. So we bit the bullet on the GL2800 and fitted 3 sockets, one 1/4" at the top of the panel, another under the armrest, and a 3.5mm mini jack for plugging in ear-pieces or when you lose the headphones adaptor! Paying for those parts made more sense than paying for plastic  Very Happy

I could ramble on but will try to keep on topic. BTW, I wrote a piece on the design concept of the new GL Series for LSI magazine about a year ago, November 2005 I think. May be worth a read if you are interested. If you have any specific questions feel free to contact me off line or here, or to contact US based Dave Lewty who is also a passionate sound guy... enjoys mixing too  Twisted Evil
All the best,
Carey (GL designer)
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Mark Herman

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2007, 01:55:30 am »

I did a very quick text copy of the Live Sound article by Carey. It may have a few mistakes because this isn't the very final version but at least it is close... Sorry about the formatting but like I said it was quick.


In researching the design for the
third generation GL Series consoles,
we first looked to identify the
key factors in choosing an analog console
for mixing live sound. This was
the great chance to take advantage of
our years of experience developing
and manufacturing consoles for this
application, talking to users and
spending time at the “sharp end”
behind the controls.
We also examined how the live
sound application has evolved in
recent years, most strikingly, the leap
in audio system power and quality,
the sheer number of sources and
feeds involved, and the complex
requirements now faced by even the
lower budget operators.
Price, of course, is the aspect that
has remained tightly capped. It was
obvious we faced a tough challenge
to enhance the performance and functional
capability over the previous GL
range and still retain the clear benefits
of an analog console – affordability
and ease of use.
And regardless of price, reliability
remains paramount. Earlier GL models
gave us a solid foundation to build on,
and we were confident that our individual
card, semi-modular construction
method and choice of components
was right for the job.
Sound quality, too, is high on the
list when it comes to talking about
console choice. We had a lot to draw
on from the development of our more
recent consoles, such as the flagship
ML Series.
Ease of use also remains a key
point for those who want a quick,
walk-up-and-mix solution, especially
where non-technical operators are
involved. However, it’s the number
of inputs and outputs (I/O) and
functionality versus cost that represents
the starting point for most in
choosing a console that is right for
their application.
The new GL design has been driven
by the need to provide a lot more
I/O and functional capability without
compromising quality, usability or
cost. Who would have thought even a
few years back that an affordable console
such as the GL2800 would pack a
56-channel, 10-auxes, left-center-right
(LCR), four-matrix architecture into a
package under 6 feet wide and 25
inches deep?
Years ago, Allen & Heath pioneered
dual functionality, devising the
concept of being able to apply one
the GL4800.

console to properly mix front-ofhouse
(FOH) or stage monitors. It
makes perfect sense. For the cost of a
few clever “mode” switches, the console
architecture can be optimized for
either application. And if done properly,
no controls are redundant.
REFINING FUNCTION
The new GL takes the principles
established by the previous models
and further refines the function for the
new applications such as in-ear monitoring
(IEM), aux-fed subs and ambient-
enhanced matrix mixing.
The first requirement is that all
the main outputs are provided with
100-mm (4-inch) faders, inserts for
patching in equalizers, +4 dBu balanced
XLR output for driving long
cables to the amp racks, and dedicated
meters, mutes and AFL monitoring
for each. This is done by swapping
the group and aux control sections,
and in the case of the smaller
models, which have the XLRs and
inserts on the groups only, the connectors
reverse too.
The groups should continue to
feed the matrix and subgrouping to LR
while in monitor mode, a feature now
added to all models. One benefit is
that you can use the groups to create
additional monitor mixes from the
matrix, presenting new opportunities
for in-ear mixing.
Another requirement is that the
main “C” fader and associated XLR
output can be configured as the engineer’s
wedge monitor feed providing
the same control and “feel” as the
stage monitors being checked.
The mode switches should also be
protected from accidental operation
during the show. The GL does this by
recessing these switches for operation
using a pointed object for little to no
chance of mistakes.
MODERN MULTI-OUTPUT
Perhaps the biggest addition to the
new GL models is the matrix. We recognize
this as becoming increasingly
useful in modern multi-output mixing,
so much so that it is proving invaluable
even on a small format mixer
such as the GL2400.
The matrix provides a versatile
‘toolbox” of outputs for many applications.
These outputs can be used to
feed delay fill loudspeakers, for
acoustically compensated mono or
stereo recordings, hard-of-hearing
loops, patching in the support act console,
creating additional monitor
mixes and more.
Take this GL2400 recording example:
It is equipped with four matrices,
each fed from the four groups, L, R
and an external line input. These
inputs are normalled through their
sockets so that plugging in just one
source feeds all four matrix mixes,
plugging into the first pair feeds 1-2
and 3-4 in stereo, and plugging into all
allows independent input.
Two independently balanced stereo
mixes could be created, for example, to
feed separate audio and video
recorders. Ambient microphone sources
could be plugged into external inputs 1
and 2. These feed both pairs of matrices
in stereo adding the required amount of
audience reaction to each mix.
The design philosophy was to
maximize capability versus size and
cost. This was the thinking behind the
two multi-function stereo channels,
each of which include a mic preamp
and two independently controlled
stereo line inputs with several different
modes of operation.
Mix the stereo inputs together into
one channel strip, for example, to
combine two sound effects players or
reverb returns, or use the strips as
mono mic channels while the stereos
are routed direct to the LR mix providing
up to four “short” returns.
There is even the facility to patch
the unused mic preamps elsewhere,
for example into the matrix as
described above to create the ambient
enhanced recordings, or to use with
A look at the functionality and features of the GL2800 master section. an analyzer mic.
November 2005 Live Sound International 81
The matrix provides a furthemeans of creating quick monitor
mixes, in much the same way as the
new breed of distributed monitor systems
provide mixing from groups of
signals. The external inputs may be
used to add ambience to closed inear
monitors using the stereo channel
microphone cross-patching method,
or alternatively, to add “more me”
signals patched from the channel
direct outputs or auxes. The GL2800
offers the capability to create up to
17 monitor mixes comprising eight
mono, four stereo and the engineer’s
wedge from the 10 aux, LR, C and
four matrix outputs.
Additional facilities have been
introduced to make the new GL more
capable for mixing
IEM. One
aspect we focused
on is the
ability for the
engineer to listen
to the mix as the
musician would
hear i t . Apart
from the wedge
monitor output,
the GL2800 and
GL3800 provide
true stereo headphone
monitori
n g o f s t e reo
mixes c reated
from aux 9-10
and the matrix,
even down to the
inclusion of a 3.5
mm socket for
plugging in an
earpiece.
WHAT IS
NEEDED
An application that is gaining popularity
is to feed the sub bass loudspeakers
with their own mix. This helps
clean up the sound by putting just
what is needed into the subs, typically
kick and bass, and keeping out low
frequency pickup from the other stage
mics. While a C mix - as on the
GL2800 – can do the job just fine, the
smaller GL2400 offers a new option to
use post-fade aux 6 as the sub feed for
true aux-fed subs.
The important point here is that the
sub master level is re-routed to the M
fader and balanced XLR making it easier
to maintain the balance between
subs and tops when adjusting the PA
master levels.
The GL4800 at the top of the range
provides additional live recording
capability with its group outputs
selectable pre or post master fader,
and both these and the channel direct
outputs routable through trim pots to
match the levels to the recorder. This
console introduces a switched Q
equalizer, balanced inserts, and an
onboard MIDI-capable snapshot
memory system for the more sophisticated
user.
Plenty of configurable options are
provided, mostly set internally,
although the GL2800 and GL3800 take
the pre/post EQ aux setting to the
front panel. The new GL consoles
retain the per channel aux pre/post
fader switching. We believe that global
pre/post switching, while convenient
for the operator, is restrictive to
the application.
Switches per channel make it possible
to deal with situations such as
theatre monitor sends combining
stage and radio mics. The stage mics
would be set pre-fade to maintain
consistent level in the monitors but
the radio mic channels should be set
post-fade to follow the scripted fader
movements and thus prevent noise
such as offstage talk or out of range
hiss getting to the monitor mix.
FINDING ITS FEET
Of course, the one thing that still
attracts users to the analog console is
its ease of use. In a world where the
digital alternative is still finding its
ergonomic feet with some users, the
familiar layout of a well-designed analog
console can be reassuring.
Live mixing is far removed from
the more relaxed studio. It’s about
working under pressure, making
quick decisions and dealing with
The matrix is a big addition, helping meet
multi-output mixing needs.
The interconnectivity of the rear panel (GL2800), with the diagram
illustrating the bringing of mic inputs of the stereo input modules into
the matrix in order to add ambience to for things like IEM.
82 Live Sound International November 2005
problems in a non-ideal world. Our
objective has been to make the layout
as clear and logical as possible for
walk-up-and-go mixing so typical of
the smaller festivals and events.
Versatility is a good thing, but not a
lot of use if it’s confusing or lost
among the controls. We paid special
attention to many aspects of the
design: The shape of the console for
operating comfort and control reach,
the compact footprint for space-saving
installation and flight casing, visibility
of the meters and indicators in a way
that avoids information overload,
working under different lighting conditions,
color-coding and logical
grouping of the controls, the ability to
check and monitor any signal, to communicate
with the stage, and line-up
and test the equipment.
With the huge recent advances in
amplifier and loudspeaker design, as
well as the high-powered - and often
over-powered - systems now affordable,
it has become increasingly
important to focus on the sonic performance
of our new designs.
Remember the days when a -70
dBu noise floor was deemed acceptable
because it far exceeded the performance
of the tape recorder to be
connected? Now a good 20 dB better
than that is the norm.
PLENTY OF DISCUSSION
Equipment “sound quality” has
become one of the most subjective
and emotive subjects talked about in
our industry, particularly the console
mic preamp. There is a lot of
mix engineer discussion about the
“sound” of the mic pre but, while
this interface to the outside world is
very important, it is by no means
the only part of the signal chain that
matters.
To properly address the issue, we
needed to examine the full signal
path from input to output. In fact, the
mix bus head amp, the circuit that
combines the sources into the mix, is
a very underrated discussion point,
particularly regarding its dynamic
performance.
The circuit developed for the new
GL uses a differential transistor front
end referenced to a compensating
ground bus resulting in a mix noise
reduction of around 6 dB (half the
noise), a welcome and noticeable
improvement for users working with
high-powered FOH and monitor rigs.
The mix amp is structured to work
at -2 dBu rather than 0 to achieve
extended headroom of +23 dB. This
makes the console forgiving of a
“hot” mix, avoiding distortion where
it is most at risk - the bus itself. Based
on our more recent circuit developments,
we set about making the mic
preamp more transparent and better
able to handle transient peaks.
We regard the input headroom of
the mic pre as ultra important, especially
with the new breed of high
output microphones and dBfs normalized
line sources available today.
Both the XLR and TRS jack can
accept a source as high as +34 dBu,
ensuring plenty of margin for hot signals
from the stage without the need
for external padding. The EQ was
also re-engineered to make its gain
controls more responsive, particularly
around mid-point.
Part of the GL Series story has
been the ability to offer users plenty
of choice. The new series continues
this with the introduction of over 40
variants of the four models, with
frame sizes from 16 to 56 channels,
and with some models offering a
variety of stereo channel layouts. For
those who want more channels feeding
the mix, our proprietary Sys-Link
console linking option is available. n
Carey Davies heads up design for Allen & Heath,
based in the U.K.
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2007, 02:12:47 am »

That's quite the article... hard to read formatted like that but it's worth it.

The text is glib about the dual function switches which change the GL desk from monitor to FOH duties. In the analog world, such a switch is very much NOT a simple thing to achieve. There have to be additional circuit board traces going every which way--the circuit design demands increase greatly. Nothing on that scale is easy.

Thanks to Carey and his team for continuing to push the point where budget meets feature set. Let's hear it for Cornwall!

-Bink

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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Allen & Heath GL2800
« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2007, 04:40:06 pm »

That's pretty creative hanging the lights from the basketball back stop.  Laughing
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