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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Jesse gray on September 17, 2013, 09:17:11 pm

Title: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 17, 2013, 09:17:11 pm
So I am wanting to buy a digital board for the ministry I run sound for. We are currently running an Allen & Heath GL2400 in each of our two buildings. I have had my eyes on the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 because though we only use 19 channels on it right now, I want them to be able to handle larger shows in the future after I leave. (also ease of use/teaching for volunteers, having the FX/monitors 1 touch away) So the questions I had were:

the expression series only has a 4 band semi-parametric eq, do i need a fully parametric eq, and if i do, am I wanting more than 4 bands?

as far as expandibility We do live recordings through the direct outs into an Adat hd24, and then into Logic Pro. I have been checking out the dante card, but have only seen them in the UK. also I would love to get the MADI card for the stage box, so can you record and use the stage box with one card? do I want two card ports?

I know the questions I have asked can make the board price range from $3k to $30k. So this is my last one. The budget is 3-9K. I have two venues I would like upgrade. So should I just upgrade the one get the best one I can for the price. or get two lower priced, but still way better than what we have, boards for the same cost? I don't want the x32 at all, and am disinclined towards the ls9, but could have someone sell me on it.


Jesse gray
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Bill McKelvey on September 17, 2013, 09:25:49 pm
So I am wanting to buy a digital board for the ministry I run sound for. We are currently running an Allen & Heath GL2400 in each of our two buildings. I have had my eyes on the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 because though we only use 19 channels on it right now, I want them to be able to handle larger shows in the future after I leave. (also ease of use/teaching for volunteers, having the FX/monitors 1 touch away) So the questions I had were:

the expression series only has a 4 band semi-parametric eq, do i need a fully parametric eq, and if i do, am I wanting more than 4 bands?

as far as expandibility We do live recordings through the direct outs into an Adat hd24, and then into Logic Pro. I have been checking out the dante card, but have only seen them in the UK. also I would love to get the MADI card for the stage box, so can you record and use the stage box with one card? do I want two card ports?

I know the questions I have asked can make the board price range from $3k to $30k. So this is my last one. The budget is 3-9K. I have two venues I would like upgrade. So should I just upgrade the one get the best one I can for the price. or get two lower priced, but still way better than what we have, boards for the same cost? I don't want the x32 at all, and am disinclined towards the ls9, but could have someone sell me on it.


Jesse gray

Curosity got the better of me. What is wrong with the X32?
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 17, 2013, 09:27:45 pm
Curosity got the better of me. What is wrong with the X32?

It's a tool of the devil...
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on September 17, 2013, 09:46:46 pm
It's a tool of the devil...


Isn't he still an analog die hard?
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Tim Perry on September 17, 2013, 10:00:42 pm
Take a look at the Presonus 32...  full parametric is real real nice.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 17, 2013, 10:22:31 pm
It's a tool of the devil...

I just don't like anything Behringer. I have a bunch of different gates, compressors, and dsp's and I havent liked anything. That and I don't like the workflow, I havent used one before but to be able to teach volunteers on that it seems like a nightmare. I don't have a problem with learning to use any board, but I have to be able to teach my team before I leave in a couple of months.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 17, 2013, 10:26:57 pm
Take a look at the Presonus 32...  full parametric is real real nice.

Plus it's likely the easiest switch-over from analog to "digi-log".  Very few menus, no layers, fine feature set, SMAART to keep an eye on things in real time, tunable gates, expanders and a generally user-friendly layout.  And if you have some favorite analog outboard you don't want to part with....it has INSERTS!!!!!
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Tim Perry on September 17, 2013, 10:32:35 pm
I just don't like anything Behringer. I have a bunch of different gates, compressors, and dsp's and I havent liked anything. That and I don't like the workflow, I havent used one before but to be able to teach volunteers on that it seems like a nightmare. I don't have a problem with learning to use any board, but I have to be able to teach my team before I leave in a couple of months.

stick with analog... you can always coach them over the phone.

Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 17, 2013, 11:01:50 pm
stick with analog... you can always coach them over the phone.

Depending on the board ( presonus/soundcraft si) I would also be able to coach them over the phone as well. I also need new outboard effects. All the ones we own suck. So I would need to train them on the processors ( they don't know how to use them) and it would be so much easier to have it all in one spot.

Plus it's likely the easiest switch-over from analog to "digi-log".  Very few menus, no layers, fine feature set, SMAART to keep an eye on things in real time, tunable gates, expanders and a generally user-friendly layout.  And if you have some favorite analog outboard you don't want to part with....it has INSERTS!!!!!

I don't know how many inserts the presonus has but I know the si has 4 that are patchable to channels. and for whatever reason, the layout of the studiolive throws me off. That and moving faders are just so fun!

It I can swing it, would an Allen & Heath GLD-80 be a good option? I like that it has dedicated ports for digital boxes and network cards for recording.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on September 17, 2013, 11:07:25 pm
Depending on the board ( presonus/soundcraft si) I would also be able to coach them over the phone as well. I also need new outboard effects. All the ones we own suck. So I would need to train them on the processors ( they don't know how to use them) and it would be so much easier to have it all in one spot.

I don't know how many inserts the presonus has but I know the si has 4 that are patchable to channels. and for whatever reason, the layout of the studiolive throws me off. That and moving faders are just so fun!

It I can swing it, would an Allen & Heath GLD-80 be a good option? I like that it has dedicated ports for digital boxes and network cards for recording.

The Presonus has inserts on every channel...pre-A/D.

If you're going to get two boards, go Presonus.  If you want to spend the budget on one excellent board, get the GLD.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 17, 2013, 11:19:39 pm
How is it possible to critique a board based solely on the fact the channel EQ high and low end are shelving? Is there a doubt the Soundcraft EQ is inadequate? Because if that's the case it's been inadequate since they started making boards.

OP,

The Soundcraft Expression series are well made quality boards designed for live sound. The chips used for the channels are the same as the chips used in the Vi Series boards. The sound is pristine, the learning curve is small, to the point where the uneducated often state the board is not full featured simply because it's features don't require multiple steps to use.

I suggest that you go to the soundcraft web site and watch some of the videos available, compare available digital boards in the format you require, then judge for yourself. One thing that's more than apparent is simply this. The board is manufactured and designed by Soundcraft and the Expression line is the direct descendent of the Performer and compact models, all well known for their design, features and reliability. Service, if ever needed, is available at multiple authorized facilities located in every state. The boards support up to 66 channels input, and can use all of the option cards and option available for the compact and Performer series boards, as well as many available for the top of the line Vi series and Studer boards. Stage boxes add to the channel count, unlike many other boards. There are more choices available now than ever before. There's no need to buy anything based simply on the price.
 
I own an expression, however, the expression or QU-16 would be my choice if I were buying now, in that order.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Justice C. Bigler on September 17, 2013, 11:55:42 pm
stick with analog... you can always coach them over the phone.

I've coached guys over the phone, through several layers and menu options, from memory, on the PM5D. If you know the console, it's not that hard.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Kemper Watson on September 18, 2013, 12:36:31 am
I've coached guys over the phone, through several layers and menu options, from memory, on the PM5D. If you know the console, it's not that hard.

I was on the other end of that with an SC48..Coached me right through. Show went well
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Mike Sullivan on September 18, 2013, 01:15:47 am
IMHO, for the price, the Studiolive would make a great transitional board, and is really easy.  The Soundcraft Expression has a slightly longer learning curve (with layers and such to worry about) while the Studiolive is one layer for main faders, and digital controls for the aux buses and all other FAT channel effects.  Plus, the Studiolive has some nice basic presets (while not for everyone) which means a newbie can easily set up an act and get them to make noise with little problem.  YMMV
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Mark Gensman on September 18, 2013, 01:33:01 am
I had the opportunity to play with an SI 3 and it has both graphic and parametric EQ's.

My main concern is with the ability to record off the board. From what I can tell, the digital out card has USB and Firewire but only eight channels of ADAT. That limits it as far as I am concerned.

But it is a very intuitive board with some very nice features. One of which is the ability to work the board without needing the display, which disappears in direct sunlight. Everything is one button away.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Brad Weber on September 18, 2013, 07:25:50 am
I have had my eyes on the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 because though we only use 19 channels on it right now, I want them to be able to handle larger shows in the future after I leave. (also ease of use/teaching for volunteers, having the FX/monitors 1 touch away) So the questions I had were:

the expression series only has a 4 band semi-parametric eq, do i need a fully parametric eq, and if i do, am I wanting more than 4 bands?

as far as expandibility We do live recordings through the direct outs into an Adat hd24, and then into Logic Pro. I have been checking out the dante card, but have only seen them in the UK. also I would love to get the MADI card for the stage box, so can you record and use the stage box with one card? do I want two card ports?

I know the questions I have asked can make the board price range from $3k to $30k. So this is my last one. The budget is 3-9K. I have two venues I would like upgrade. So should I just upgrade the one get the best one I can for the price. or get two lower priced, but still way better than what we have, boards for the same cost? I don't want the x32 at all, and am disinclined towards the ls9, but could have someone sell me on it.
Okay, so we know you currently need 19 channels of some type but would like more for the future, that you record to a HD24, that you seem to have some interest in a stage box, that you have some question on the channel EQ of the Expression and that you have a budget of $3k-$9k for either one or two consoles.
 
We don't know how many channels you may want for the future, whether you might want to go straight to Logic, why you are discussing a stage box, what other processing factors may apply or what the two venues are.
 
We also know nothing about the intended use, the skills of the usual operators, the outputs required, how scenes may be used, how functions such as subgroups/DCAs/mute groups may apply and so on.
 
You've out of hand eliminated the X32.  You would need someone to 'sell' you on the LS9 but then don't offer much on which to base any 'sale'.  And the StudioLive 24.4.2 is being replaced with an AI version while the SL 32.4.2AI is still in Pre-Order status, so that could affect how you feel about those.
 
So are you really looking for alternatives or more just looking for confirmation on the choice you already made?  If you really want people to offer comments and suggestions then it would likely help if you could provide more information about the use and situation.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chris Eddison on September 18, 2013, 10:09:54 am
Another name to throw in to the mix would be the Roland consoles. They're incredibly popular in the church sound world, over here anyway. SFL and SSE have been putting a good number in to church installs.

I should probably show my hand and say i'm a very happy M480 owner. Possibly slightly over your budget for 2 venues, but the smaller offerings are equally as good. A lot of people get put off by the slightly "my first mixing desk" looks, but under the hood they're a cracking piece of kit. Easy to use, sound lovely, iPad remote, now free to download drivers to multitrack record direct to PC via REAC,, built in USB recorder, good channel count, well implemented scene recall, easy to assign any input to anywhere and you can make inputs and outputs in to inserts really easily.

Needless to say, I really enjoy using my console. Well worth a look!
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jared Koopman on September 18, 2013, 11:22:20 am
If that was my budget I would be looking at the GLD at the top end, and Soundcraft Expression 3. I am not fond of the Presonus stuff but they do work. It just wouldn't be MY first choice.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 18, 2013, 11:49:54 am
Another name to throw in to the mix would be the Roland consoles. They're incredibly popular in the church sound world, over here anyway. SFL and SSE have been putting a good number in to church installs.

I should probably show my hand and say i'm a very happy M480 owner. Possibly slightly over your budget for 2 venues, but the smaller offerings are equally as good. A lot of people get put off by the slightly "my first mixing desk" looks, but under the hood they're a cracking piece of kit. Easy to use, sound lovely, iPad remote, now free to download drivers to multitrack record direct to PC via REAC,, built in USB recorder, good channel count, well implemented scene recall, easy to assign any input to anywhere and you can make inputs and outputs in to inserts really easily.

Needless to say, I really enjoy using my console. Well worth a look!

My church is actually selling our Roland mixer to get an X32. The Roland has been working fine for the most part, and if we could afford the M48 personal mixing system we'd love it, but unfortunately the M48 system is too expensive. The P16 system is a small fraction of the cost, and has most of the functionality.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chuck Simon on September 18, 2013, 01:44:44 pm
I have both the Presonus and the Soundcraft Si.  If I had to choose one, I would take the Si.  The Presonus is the easiest for a beginner to learn on, has the best iPod app, and has been 100% reliable for me for over a year now, but the Soundcraft is more flexable and has more features - it's just a nicer board.  The EQ is all I need.  With the default settings you can get up and running in no time.  The X32 is more complex to set up, has a longer learning curve and after all, it is a Berhinger(if that matters)!

I use my Presonus for smaller gigs where I mix from the iPad and my Soundcraft for larger gigs with a more traditional, board-out-front setup.

I have to say, though, if recording is a big concern, the edge goes to the Presonus.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Scott Bolt on September 18, 2013, 07:45:19 pm
If recording is a big deal, then the Qu-16 beats them all IMHO.  No computer, just an external USB hard drive.  Very cool.  The channel eq on the Qu-16 is also slightly better than the Expression Si (with respect to features).  Keep in mind that the existing firmware does not allow the use of the stagebox yet, and this is a native 16 input fader mixer, so until you can hook up the stage box, it wouldn't meet your channel count requirements.

I will second Chuck on the usability of the remote iPad app on the SL series.  None of the other consoles are even close IMHO.

The SL is also the easiest to learn coming from an analog console (at least I found it so).

The X32 has the most features, and is the most difficult to setup simply because of the flexible routing it gives you.

If you like the soundcraft, I am pretty sure you are going to be quite satisfied with it.  It is a really nice digital mixer and is relatively easy to understand (way easier than an LS9).
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chuck Simon on September 18, 2013, 08:12:37 pm
" Keep in mind that the existing firmware does not allow the use of the stagebox yet, and this is a native 16 input fader mixer, so until you can hook up the stage box, it wouldn't meet your channel count requirements."

Gee, do you think that might matter?  I have been a big A&H fan/user since 1995.  If the Qu-16 could be a Qu-32 for the same price I got my Si for, I would now be the proud owner of a new Qu-32!  The Soundcraft Si are a hell of deal IMHO, and the Qu-16 obviously does not meet the requirements stated by the OP.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 18, 2013, 09:57:19 pm

We don't know how many channels you may want for the future, whether you might want to go straight to Logic, why you are discussing a stage box, what other processing factors may apply or what the two venues are.
 
We also know nothing about the intended use, the skills of the usual operators, the outputs required, how scenes may be used, how functions such as subgroups/DCAs/mute groups may apply and so on.
 
You've out of hand eliminated the X32.  You would need someone to 'sell' you on the LS9 but then don't offer much on which to base any 'sale'.  And the StudioLive 24.4.2 is being replaced with an AI version while the SL 32.4.2AI is still in Pre-Order status, so that could affect how you feel about those.
 
So are you really looking for alternatives or more just looking for confirmation on the choice you already made?  If you really want people to offer comments and suggestions then it would likely help if you could provide more information about the use and situation.


Great points. I would like To have 30 inputs in each venue. I won't need all of them all the time, but when I leave the remaining "sound" people don't anything besides mixing. I would like to go straight to logic, but my boss likes the Adat 24 because of safety (when he was looking at going into digital recording it was still really buggy, so likes having the hard drive so it won't crash.)

For the stage box I would like to use one because I like only needing one cable, so that when I leave they can figure it all put.( that and our current snake is lacking in outputs on stage terribly.)

All of my team are volunteers, they are enthusiastic, but thats all the really have going for them. The application is primarily HOW, ranging from Sundays to conferences. For outputs I would like 8-11 outputs,( 8 for the smaller venue for 6 monitors and mains, and then 11 for the larger venue So I could get mains, sub, 6 monitors and sidefills.)

As far as dca's, mutegroups, scenes, etc. Besides using a couple of scenes to change between bands in conferences, non of the above would be used by anyone besides me. The simpler the better. Workflow needs to be very basic, yet I don't want to rule out any board just because it is harder to learn. The only exception would be the x32, I personally don't like the workflow and I know it would be very confusing for my team; as well as the fact that they only have one service center, their name is not held in high esteem with a lot of pro sound guys, and I don't like any piece of behringer gear I have. Out of the presonus and soundcraft si boards, working on each of them for the first time I could navigate through the soundcraft a lot faster, and I liked that the processors were all dedicated on the surface. This would make it easier to teach them how to use it faster, and then not make them learn to look through tons of layers to get to it.

So what I am looking for in the board is ease of use, great sound quality, live recording, large channel count, and versatility.


Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 19, 2013, 10:54:28 am
For the stage box I would like to use one because I like only needing one cable, so that when I leave they can figure it all put.( that and our current snake is lacking in outputs on stage terribly.)

This is an important consideration. A lot of the remote stageboxes available don't have very many analog outputs.

With the Soundcraft Si Expression you can get 8 analog outputs at the stagebox if you have the mini stagebox, or more if you step up to the contact stagebox.

The Allen & Heath AR2412 has 12 analog outs. The iLive iDR boxes can have a lot more, but are for more expensive (with good reason, though)

The Behringer X32 can do 16 analog outs with two S16s, the number goes up as you add boxes.

With the Roland V-mixer you can either do two 16in/8out snakes or one 16in/8out and one 8in/16out to get 24 in and out.

The StudioLive doesn't have a digital snake option.

The LS9 has the SB168-ES which works over cobra-net. But that setup would be out of your budget, and an LS9 plus Rio boxes would be way over.
Title: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 19, 2013, 01:19:19 pm
This is an important consideration. A lot of the remote stageboxes available don't have very many analog outputs.

With the Soundcraft Si Expression you can get 8 analog outputs at the stagebox if you have the mini stagebox, or more if you step up to the contact stagebox.

The Allen & Heath AR2412 has 12 analog outs. The iLive iDR boxes can have a lot more, but are for more expensive (with good reason, though)

The Behringer X32 can do 16 analog outs with two S16s, the number goes up as you add boxes.

With the Roland V-mixer you can either do two 16in/8out snakes or one 16in/8out and one 8in/16out to get 24 in and out.

The StudioLive doesn't have a digital snake option.

The LS9 has the SB168-ES which works over cobra-net. But that setup would be out of your budget, and an LS9 plus Rio boxes would be way over.

The GLD stagebox AR2412 Jason mentioned can be expanded with two AR84 boxes, giving you 40 mic inputs and 16 outputs on stage, as well as 4 mic inputs and 4 outputs for a total of 44in20out. Even big name dealers like sweetwater are offering serious deals on the GLD to be competitive, and its one board around here that seems to be universally well liked! Take that with a grain of salt of course.

With a Dante card I think it has the most features of all the discussed desks (44in20out max, VCAs, scribble strips, 8 FX processors)), but is also the most expensive. One benefit is you could start with the 24in12out config ($8000~ from a good dealer) and expand to more ins and out super easily later.

When comparing the price of a config without digital snake to one with digital snake, be sure to include the cost of the same snake in analog.

Would your two spaces be in use at the same time? With Allen Heath you could get two surfaces and one set of stageboxes which could be deployed in a variety of configs. For example, you could have 24x12 in room A, 16x8 running simultaneously in room B, 32x16 in room A and 8x4 in room B, or 44x20 in just one room. Not sure if you meant rooms, or fully different facilities, sorry if I missed that.

Soundcraft Si and Allen Heath GLD are both strong choices IMHO, and you get a pretty clean trade of features for price between them. Need to loose a few features to save a few bucks? Go Si? Have a few extra bucks for the full feature set? Go GLD.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Stefan Maerz on September 19, 2013, 04:58:25 pm
the expression series only has a 4 band semi-parametric eq, do i need a fully parametric eq, and if i do, am I wanting more than 4 bands?
For volunteers? Honestly it would probably just complicate things.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: David Sturzenbecher on September 19, 2013, 05:15:04 pm
My rep stated the Q16 would take either 16 inputs from the Desk or 16 from Dsnake... Never both


If recording is a big deal, then the Qu-16 beats them all IMHO.  No computer, just an external USB hard drive.  Very cool.  The channel eq on the Qu-16 is also slightly better than the Expression Si (with respect to features).  Keep in mind that the existing firmware does not allow the use of the stagebox yet, and this is a native 16 input fader mixer, so until you can hook up the stage box, it wouldn't meet your channel count requirements.

I will second Chuck on the usability of the remote iPad app on the SL series.  None of the other consoles are even close IMHO.

The SL is also the easiest to learn coming from an analog console (at least I found it so).

The X32 has the most features, and is the most difficult to setup simply because of the flexible routing it gives you.

If you like the soundcraft, I am pretty sure you are going to be quite satisfied with it.  It is a really nice digital mixer and is relatively easy to understand (way easier than an LS9).
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 19, 2013, 05:42:58 pm
" Keep in mind that the existing firmware does not allow the use of the stagebox yet, and this is a native 16 input fader mixer, so until you can hook up the stage box, it wouldn't meet your channel count requirements."

Gee, do you think that might matter?  I have been a big A&H fan/user since 1995.  If the Qu-16 could be a Qu-32 for the same price I got my Si for, I would now be the proud owner of a new Qu-32!  The Soundcraft Si are a hell of deal IMHO, and the Qu-16 obviously does not meet the requirements stated by the OP.

I agree that a Qu-32 would be awesome.

I understand most would probably say that if you want more than a Qu-16 that you should get a GLD.

But there's a pretty big gap both in features and price between the Qu-16 and GLD.

A lot of people don't need 44 channels, but a lot of those people do need more than 16. I would think 32 would satisfy most people's needs who are shopping around the $6000 price point.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Scott Bolt on September 19, 2013, 07:07:04 pm
My rep stated the Q16 would take either 16 inputs from the Desk or 16 from Dsnake... Never both

Thanks for the information David.  That is sorry news.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Scott Bolt on September 19, 2013, 07:11:54 pm
I agree that a Qu-32 would be awesome.

I understand most would probably say that if you want more than a Qu-16 that you should get a GLD.

But there's a pretty big gap both in features and price between the Qu-16 and GLD.

A lot of people don't need 44 channels, but a lot of those people do need more than 16. I would think 32 would satisfy most people's needs who are shopping around the $6000 price point.
I was thinking that if it were technically possible, then A&H would do it in a firmware update.  A Qu-16 with a stage box giving you 32 inputs using the custom layer would fill a hole in their product lineup as you point out.

Sadly, it appears that it isn't going to materialize.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 19, 2013, 07:44:23 pm
Does the soundcraft board have an app to be able to use as personal mixes?
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chuck Simon on September 19, 2013, 11:00:47 pm
Does the soundcraft board have an app to be able to use as personal mixes?

Unfortunately I think the answer to that is no.  I have been mixing almost exclusively with my iPad for the last year with my Presonus SL and I'm a little disappointed in the app for the Soundcraft, but that's OK for my situation.  If iPad control and individual mixes via iPhone or whatever is important to you, I think Presonus might be your best choice(within your stated budget).
Title: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 20, 2013, 12:25:45 am
Unfortunately I think the answer to that is no.  I have been mixing almost exclusively with my iPad for the last year with my Presonus SL and I'm a little disappointed in the app for the Soundcraft, but that's OK for my situation.  If iPad control and individual mixes via iPhone or whatever is important to you, I think Presonus might be your best choice(within your stated budget).

The app is simple, but why can't it be used for personal mixes? That's the area that simple is good! It's mixing as an engineer where the app falls short. I've never done it with mine, but unless their is is a limit to number of connected users it should work.

Allen Heath GLD has a full featured app for Mac and iPad, also capable of personal mixing. Looks like its the most advanced of all the digital mixer iPad apps from the literature.

GLD configured to 28 pres should be less than $8000, I don't see room for a "QU-32". Who can afford $6000 but $8000 breaks the bank?
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 20, 2013, 12:34:02 am
Does the soundcraft board have an app to be able to use as personal mixes?

Define a personal mix.
 
As for stage box outputs, unlike many other boards at this level the Soundcraft boards are all capable of using almost all of the Soundcraft and Studer options with full compatibility.  If you need a huge number of outputs, and if you are willing to spend the money, either the Compact stagebox, or one of the Studer stage boxes. The Compact stage box can be bought for less than 3K.
 
What many people overlook due to the simplistic layout and control features of the entire SI line are the expansion capabilities, and not with just Soundcraft products.
 
"Flexible onboard and expansion I/O options ensure your Si Expression integrates effortlessly with other system components utilizing any of the Si series option cards including AES, Firewire/USB/ADAT*1, AVIOM, CobraNet, BSS Digital Audio Bus (BLU Link)*1, Dante*1 CAT5 or optical MADI. The MADI card, as well as being an interface to multi-track recording systems or plug-in systems like Waves, enables linking the Si Expression to any of the Soundcraft or Studer stageboxes to extend the I/O power and flexibility. Adding a stagebox to an Si Expression actually increases the number of channels you can mix at once not just how many inputs you have available to choose from! It is said ‘Power is nothing without control’ and here the Si Expression excels with a comprehensive but 'simple to use' control surface incorporating a dedicated control for every parameter, a row of global mode encoders and color touch screen ensuring operation is quick and easy. "

 
http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=183 (http://www.soundcraft.com/products/product.aspx?pid=183)
 
http://www.studer.ch/products/product.aspx?pid=66 (http://www.studer.ch/products/product.aspx?pid=66)
 
Studer D21m
 
"The Studer D21m Series includes:

PS - The Soundcraft expansion boards and stage boxes are not new to the Soundcraft product line, and hence unlike some other Stage boxes / boards, they work flawlessly with few if any problems being reported by users of the product.
 
 
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Brad Weber on September 20, 2013, 07:46:40 am
For the stage box I would like to use one because I like only needing one cable, so that when I leave they can figure it all put.( that and our current snake is lacking in outputs on stage terribly.)
Is this a portable or installed system?  Digital snakes or stage boxes can be both good and bad in installs.  They can be beneficial when you want to increase I/O at the stage within existing infrastructure but you also often have to consider how you will then deal with the actual device and the physical connectivity at the stage.  For example, if you have multiple wall plates with connections that run to the current console then how do you physically 'insert' a digital snake or digital stage box?

All of my team are volunteers, they are enthusiastic, but thats all the really have going for them.
Would the basic mixer configuration be set once and not change?  I tend to look at digital consoles as having two operation 'levels', one related to the basic console configuration (configuring I/O, assigning channels, setting up buses, internal routing, etc.) and one to the operation during an event.  The first level often requires a much greater knowledge of the console and mixing system than the second and in many HoW applications the typical operator never has to address the 'setup' level, only the 'mix' level, which can thus reduce the learning curve involved.
 
The application is primarily HOW, ranging from Sundays to conferences. For outputs I would like 8-11 outputs,( 8 for the smaller venue for 6 monitors and mains, and then 11 for the larger venue So I could get mains, sub, 6 monitors and sidefills.)
With volunteer operators you may want to address the processing between mains and sub(s), and possibly even the sidefills, via separate system processing that operators do not access.  Then you simply have mains out and monitor sends.

Besides using a couple of scenes to change between bands in conferences, non of the above would be used by anyone besides me. The simpler the better. Workflow needs to be very basic, yet I don't want to rule out any board just because it is harder to learn.
My personal view is that subgroups or DCAs, mute groups, etc. can actually make operation simpler.  Need to adjust or mute the band, make it possible with one fader or button.  Always have the same settings for the message, make that a scene.
 
The only exception would be the x32, I personally don't like the workflow and I know it would be very confusing for my team; as well as the fact that they only have one service center, their name is not held in high esteem with a lot of pro sound guys, and I don't like any piece of behringer gear I have.
What part of the workflow don't you like?  As I noted above, in installed systems you can often configure the console once or maybe have a couple 'show' configurations to load and don't have to be dealing with that aspect every time.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chuck Simon on September 20, 2013, 10:31:35 am
When the OP asked about Personal Mixes, I assumed he meant the ability for individual band members to control their own monitor mix, and ONLY their own mix on their iPhones.  With the Presonus QMix app, I can assign individual band members access to their monitor mix but they can't affect anyone else's.  Some bands love this, others don't care. 
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chuck Simon on September 20, 2013, 10:38:17 am
GLD configured to 28 pres should be less than $8000, I don't see room for a "QU-32". Who can afford $6000 but $8000 breaks the bank?

I agree.  The "Mythical" QU-32 that I mentioned would be the same price as the Soundcraft Si32, and that's about half of the $6000.00 price you mentioned.  Maybe someday!
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 20, 2013, 10:51:09 am
Is this a portable or installed system? 

Would the basic mixer configuration be set once and not change? 

My personal view is that subgroups or DCAs, mute groups, etc. can actually make operation simpler.  Need to adjust or mute the band, make it possible with one fader or button.  Always have the same settings for the message, make that a scene.
 
What part of the workflow don't you like?  As I noted above, in installed systems you can often configure the console once or maybe have a couple 'show' configurations to load and don't have to be dealing with that aspect every time.

It is for installed systems. we are currently just running a snake from the booth along the rafters to the stage, nothing is patched into a wall.

Most likely, once I set it, I doubt it will change.

As far as DCA's, mutegroups, scenes, etc. I will show them how to use everything, but i don't think most of them would make use of them. That is why they are not a huge priority.

 
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jason Lucas on September 20, 2013, 11:13:18 am
The app is simple, but why can't it be used for personal mixes? That's the area that simple is good! It's mixing as an engineer where the app falls short. I've never done it with mine, but unless their is is a limit to number of connected users it should work.

Allen Heath GLD has a full featured app for Mac and iPad, also capable of personal mixing. Looks like its the most advanced of all the digital mixer iPad apps from the literature.

GLD configured to 28 pres should be less than $8000, I don't see room for a "QU-32". Who can afford $6000 but $8000 breaks the bank?

I have never seen a GLD being offered for less than $8000, even on its own. Where have you seen it that cheap?

In some cases, yes. A difference of $2000 can easily be a deal breaker, especially if you're a small church.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 20, 2013, 12:24:46 pm

I have never seen a GLD being offered for less than $8000, even on its own. Where have you seen it that cheap?

In some cases, yes. A difference of $2000 can easily be a deal breaker, especially if you're a small church.

Sweetwater is/was just doing a promo of the 28x14 system for $9000... And that's sweetwater, imagine a real dealer? Chuck Levin's quoted me $8500 around when it was released (!) and I'm told a good bit less than that now.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 20, 2013, 12:25:59 pm

When the OP asked about Personal Mixes, I assumed he meant the ability for individual band members to control their own monitor mix, and ONLY their own mix on their iPhones.  With the Presonus QMix app, I can assign individual band members access to their monitor mix but they can't affect anyone else's.  Some bands love this, others don't care.

I am not aware of any app besides Presonus that does exactly that.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 20, 2013, 12:29:30 pm
Also - it's worth mentioning GLD has a built in Aviom card on the stagebox which could be a big value for a church where aviom is an industry favorite. All of the consoles discussed here have one or less expansion card slot, so not hanging to fill it with Aviom is a big asset.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Mikael Holm on September 20, 2013, 08:01:07 pm
I am not aware of any app besides Presonus that does exactly that.

iLive OneMix
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 20, 2013, 08:57:20 pm

iLive OneMix

Allen Heath seems to have one for GLD too! http://www.allen-heath.com/UK/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=GLDSeries&ProductId=GLDOneMix&SubCatId=http://www.allen-heath.com/UK/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=GLDSeries&ProductId=GLDOneMix&SubCatId=

Thanks for bringing it up, I didn't realize they had one.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jeff Carter on September 20, 2013, 09:05:32 pm
iLive OneMix
One big difference is that the Presonus Qmix app will run on an iPhone, while A&H OneMix is iPad-only.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Chuck Simon on September 21, 2013, 12:01:15 am
One big difference is that the Presonus Qmix app will run on an iPhone, while A&H OneMix is iPad-only.
That's a pretty big difference!
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 21, 2013, 12:44:42 am

That's a pretty big difference!

I guess, if that is a feature that really matters to you. Doesn't look like iPhone mixing is offered by any other company.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Scott Wagner on September 21, 2013, 01:18:52 am
I guess, if that is a feature that really matters to you. Doesn't look like iPhone mixing is offered by any other company.
I thought Presonus' Qmix was for controlling AUX levels (ie: musicians mixing their own monitors).  If that's indeed the case, then X32 does the exact same thing on iPhone.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Brad Weber on September 21, 2013, 08:07:35 am
That's a pretty big difference!
If you have to purchase a device anyways and could purchase a used or more basic iPad model then is it a big difference?
 
I am not aware of any app besides Presonus that does exactly that.
As noted, the Behringer X32-Q seems to provide individual monitor mixing via the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, but you may also want to consider that the X32, Expression, Qu-16, GLD and M-200i all directly support one or more networked personal monitor mix systems while the StudioLive does not.  Once all the related costs are tallied, for all of those other consoles a dedicated personal monitor mix system may be a more cost effective option than direct feeds to headphone amps controlled by iDevices than it would be for the StudioLive that would also need a separate monitor network interface with analog inputs.  Thus there is probably greater incentive for PreSonus to offer a monitor mix app for the StudioLive as a potential alternative to the networked personal monitor system option offered by others.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jeff Carter on September 21, 2013, 01:51:44 pm
If you have to purchase a device anyways and could purchase a used or more basic iPad model then is it a big difference?
Not if you have to purchase a device anyway--but if you want to set it up so that a musician is controlling an aux mix from his/her/its device, then iPhones are a lot more common than iPads.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Samuel Rees on September 21, 2013, 05:56:00 pm
Jesse (OP) -

Has this discussion helped you to narrow down your search? Right now we're discussing boards from $2000 to $9000.

A few questions will eliminate a few boards and make your decision much easier in the "sub $10k" area.

1) Do you now or might you in the future need more than 32 mic pres?

2) Do you want a digital or an analog snake?

3) Do you want to at some point use a church friendly personal mixing system like Aviom? Would you need to multitrack record and use
this system at the same time?

4) How do your available funds compare with what you'd ideally desire?

Answering these questions could easily narrow you down to one or two desks or configurations.





Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 21, 2013, 06:58:35 pm
Jesse (OP) -

Has this discussion helped you to narrow down your search? Right now we're discussing boards from $2000 to $9000.

A few questions will eliminate a few boards and make your decision much easier in the "sub $10k" area.

1) Do you now or might you in the future need more than 32 mic pres?


2) Do you want a digital or an analog snake?

3) Do you want to at some point use a church friendly personal mixing system like Aviom? Would you need to multitrack record and use
this system at the same time?

4) How do your available funds compare with what you'd ideally desire?


#1. I don't know. On average definitely not, but I want to make sure that if we start booking shows ( which is why I am wanting to upgrade) that can easily use up 32 channels depending on what type of music it is.

#2. I would like a digital snake.



#3. No, I personally do not like mixing systems, I would much rather either mix monitors or IEM's
From either FOH or have a second board for monitors.and yes if we ever did get a system like avioms, we would need to record as well as use the system. ideally I would like some coaxial monitors if the band didn't want IEM's, or 8-9 Shure PSM 900's ( or something similar at that price range.)

#4. I would say I had a third to a half of what I would like. I have been looking at the lower end  Midas Pro series as well as the Soundcraft VI and ILive boards which is ideally what I would like. I then would ideally like to have the expansion cards and digital boxes as well, which adds on to the cost even more.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Brad Weber on September 23, 2013, 06:19:15 am
Not if you have to purchase a device anyway--but if you want to set it up so that a musician is controlling an aux mix from his/her/its device, then iPhones are a lot more common than iPads.
I've heard too many stories of people upgrading apps without coordinating, phones being damaged/lost/left at home, low or dead batteries, etc. to recommend that churches rely on personal phones or tablets for any important operation.  If people prefer to use their own devices then that's one thing, but you probably want to make sure you have a backup plan.
 
#1. I don't know. On average definitely not, but I want to make sure that if we start booking shows ( which is why I am wanting to upgrade) that can easily use up 32 channels depending on what type of music it is.

#2. I would like a digital snake.

#3. No, I personally do not like mixing systems, I would much rather either mix monitors or IEM's
From either FOH or have a second board for monitors.and yes if we ever did get a system like avioms, we would need to record as well as use the system. ideally I would like some coaxial monitors if the band didn't want IEM's, or 8-9 Shure PSM 900's ( or something similar at that price range.)

#4. I would say I had a third to a half of what I would like. I have been looking at the lower end  Midas Pro series as well as the Soundcraft VI and ILive boards which is ideally what I would like. I then would ideally like to have the expansion cards and digital boxes as well, which adds on to the cost even more.
Is 'booking shows' part of the vision of the church and applicable to both venues?  Not knowing the type of acts potentially involved, may tech riders be relevant?  Is the mixer the only aspect of the sound systems this would affect or are you also addressing other areas?  Are you addressing related aspects such as power distribution, stage access, lighting and so on?  What about public performance rights and any potential insurance and/or security issues (e.g. damage caused by or to other's equipment, theft of other's equipment from your facility, venue access control, etc.)?
 
A digital snake would affect the mixer options and the budget, so is there some specific reason for wanting it or is it just something you'd like?  Would it be replacing or in addition to the existing analog snake?  Do you want a digital snake in both venues or just one?  How do you plan to implement a digital snake, would you have one large digital stage box with everything run to it, one digital stage box to either side of the stage, a digital snake stage box with analog stage boxes off it or what?
 
Monitor systems is one area you might want to look at the impact on both worship use and outside performers.  IEMs or a personal mix systems may be beneficial for worship use by possibly helping lower the levels on stage but may not be practical for external users or acts, so do you support both stage monitors and IEM/personal monitor systems or can you work with stage monitors for all uses?
 
What is the basis for the budget?  Was there some general concept developed for which a budget was determined?  Was there a proposed equipment or system solution used as a reference?  Or was it essentially randomly assigned?
 
Not a technical issue but I noted what seem to be a number of personal preferences and goals seeming to affect the direction being taken.  Not knowing the situation or your role, are you the only party providing whose input matters or should the systems reflect the goals and desires of the general church leadership and the church overall?  Nothing personal, just too many experiences with individuals approaching systems as being theirs rather than the church's only to then have those individuals leave the church shortly after the system was installed or in some cases even before the installation was finished.  That rarely works to the church's benefit so I thought it should be mentioned just to make sure that may not be happening here.
Title: Re: choosing a digital board
Post by: Jesse gray on September 27, 2013, 05:12:57 pm
I've heard too many stories of people upgrading apps without coordinating, phones being damaged/lost/left at home, low or dead batteries, etc. to recommend that churches rely on personal phones or tablets for any important operation.  If people prefer to use their own devices then that's one thing, but you probably want to make sure you have a backup plan.
 

Is 'booking shows' part of the vision of the church and applicable to both venues?  Not knowing the type of acts potentially involved, may tech riders be relevant?  Is the mixer the only aspect of the sound systems this would affect or are you also addressing other areas?  Are you addressing related aspects such as power distribution, stage access, lighting and so on?  What about public performance rights and any potential insurance and/or security issues (e.g. damage caused by or to other's equipment, theft of other's equipment from your facility, venue access control, etc.)?
 
A digital snake would affect the mixer options and the budget, so is there some specific reason for wanting it or is it just something you'd like?  Would it be replacing or in addition to the existing analog snake?  Do you want a digital snake in both venues or just one?  How do you plan to implement a digital snake, would you have one large digital stage box with everything run to it, one digital stage box to either side of the stage, a digital snake stage box with analog stage boxes off it or what?
 
Monitor systems is one area you might want to look at the impact on both worship use and outside performers.  IEMs or a personal mix systems may be beneficial for worship use by possibly helping lower the levels on stage but may not be practical for external users or acts, so do you support both stage monitors and IEM/personal monitor systems or can you work with stage monitors for all uses?
 
What is the basis for the budget?  Was there some general concept developed for which a budget was determined?  Was there a proposed equipment or system solution used as a reference?  Or was it essentially randomly assigned?
 
Not a technical issue but I noted what seem to be a number of personal preferences and goals seeming to affect the direction being taken.  Not knowing the situation or your role, are you the only party providing whose input matters or should the systems reflect the goals and desires of the general church leadership and the church overall?  Nothing personal, just too many experiences with individuals approaching systems as being theirs rather than the church's only to then have those individuals leave the church shortly after the system was installed or in some cases even before the installation was finished.  That rarely works to the church's benefit so I thought it should be mentioned just to make sure that may not be happening here.

I believe that booking shows is becoming a more integral part of where we are heading. It is applicable to both venues and genres would change from singer/songwriter to metal acts. Tech riders are relevant . I haven't gotten one from a band yet, but when we rent out our spaces for events i.e. Tom Jackson bootcamps ( the guy who coaches taylor swift etc.) they send them to us.

The board is the first aspect I am addressing for system upgrades. We just purchased new tops and won't be spending more on speakers  for a little bit. I am planning out a budget and plan for the next couple of years to phase in better equipment such as  wedges, mics, cables, etc.

Yes power distribution and lighting is also in the grand scheme but is not as big of a focus.

I would like a single stage box in the smaller building, and several in the larger venue(i can work with sub analog snakes in the larger venue) They are something i would like, but they are also kind of a necessity because we are lacking in outputs on both stages.

As far as monitors I would like both wedges and IEM's. I would prefer something like the radian apex-1200 or Danley's SM LPM. Then I would like Shure PSM 900's or something in that price range in both buildings as well. I really want versatility because in the smaller building getting the stage volume down as much as possible is a big priority.

there was no plan for the budget, I am coming up with one for other changes, but for the board that is the number i could run with.

there are a lot of my personal preferences in here because I am the only sound guy that has vision to upgrade what we have. I run everything by my boss, and he agrees with most of what i bring to him. I am not going to be here very much longer, but I am trying to leave it in good condition, with a plan to make it great.