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Title: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 25, 2017, 04:19:07 pm
Hi all,

As the title of this post suggests, Iím finally making the jump to the digital world of mixing and looking for some suggestions.  Hereís the backstory and details:

At the moment, I still mix analog with a basic Mackie 1402vlz3.  The majority of my work is of the corporate/municipal nature, so as such Iím only usually mixing a few mics and some filler music (hence being able to get by with such a tiny mixer for so long).  As my business and revenue continue to grow, so have the needs of my mixer.  Last year I got a simple A&H Qu-Pac to help get me a few features that I needed for the short term (Delay, GEQ, better PEQ, etc.), and I used this in tandem with my Mackie to still get me tactile control of my inputs (I know itís a bit strange but it works well enough).  All of that said itís time to finally get the board I really need and do away with the analog + digital setup.

A year ago at this time I was pretty sure Iíd be getting a Soundcraft Performer and thatíd be that.  I demoíd a few different boards and really liked the Soundcraft product over the other usual suspects like a Qu32, X32/M32, etc.  Then A&H released dLive C ClassÖ  I have yet to see this product in person, but the whole dLive Series seems like a really fantastic concept that lets the board scale between jobs, and thatís really why Iíve held off so long on getting a digital console Ė I really donít want to haul a massive desk to an event just to mix 3 inputs.  At the same time, if Iím going to spend the money, I want to get something that wonít restrict me on larger jobs.  Iíve liked my Qu-Pac for what it is and would be excited to keep a similar architecture, just with a much more capable product.

So really getting to the point here, Iím considering something like a CDM32 or DM32 MixRack paired with either an IP-8 and Laptop or the C1500.  Thatíd be my go-to for the average corporate/municipal job with a larger surface being rented for the handful of larger jobs I play until if/when ownership of the larger surface makes financial sense.  Since the brain of the board lives in the MixRack, itíd be nice to not have to worry about moving showfiles between big boards and little boards and whatnot, which is really what attracts me to the system.  Itíd be used on every outing and is almost a 3-in-1 product, which to me justifies the higher price tag. 

My question is Ė to the regional operators out there, is something like the dLive worth the substantially higher cost compared to a more budget option such as an M32 for work like what you do?  Though in either case I wouldnít necessarily expect a raise in revenue as a result from the purchase itself (aside from potential rentals), at this point I know a digital board is something I really need to have to properly do my job both at and beyond the level I currently operate.  Would I be better off getting a higher-end product here that I can grow with or would that money be better put towards higher performance loudspeakers, as discussed in the other thread I recently started.  I expect the mixer purchase to be first (probably by the end of this year), but given that none of this is cheap I need to understand my entire needs and then properly plan my businessís financial investments over the next few years to get the most out of my growth strategy.  Iíve already reached out to a dealer for quotes on the various system components, but also donít want to waste anyoneís time with a demo if this isnít the product for me.  Hope this is enough detail to get some conversation started and any input would be much appreciated.

Thanks! 
-Jeff
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on September 25, 2017, 04:54:02 pm
My only complaint with Allen Heath in the USA was the importer who blew off our demo.

The top end of their digital mixer line gets great reviews from folks who don't need to feed the Rider Acceptance Machine and the smaller mixers get lots of love from LAB Lounge users I trust.  I doubt you'd be unhappy with the quality or features of an Allen-Heath mixer.

While I'm very much about "buy once, cry once" I also know from hard lessons that "excess capacity is infinitely expensive."  Over-buying a big ticket item and not using it (or not being able to charge extra for it) or not needing the capabilities that came with the higher price tag is excess capacity here...

We have a couple of big industry trade shows coming up in the next 4 months or so.  I'd be inclined to hold off on this purchase until after winter NAMM, at least.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 25, 2017, 06:17:39 pm
Thanks Tim, I appreciate the input and get what you mean.  At least for right now rider acceptance isn't an issue for me (thankfully).  I really like my Qu-Pac for what it is, which is what drew my attention to the dLive.  Surprisingly, I wasn't all that impressed with the Qu-32.  While I think the Qu workflow is effective on the Qu-Pac I felt a bit confined on the larger board.  I also took a brief look at the GLD Series but after reading through the A&H forums got a somewhat negative impression of them despite the generally positive reviews here.  I just like that the dLive is a new product and can function well in "rack mode" aka surface-less mode for tiny gigs without really losing capability, yet expand as needed for the larger jobs.  I have a fair amount of niche gigs on my yearly calendar where this would be handy.

I think you hit the nail on the head with the "excess capability" concern, which is the reason why I started this thread.  I've said the same thing when it comes to selecting a light console!  I guess I just need to decide whether I would really benefit from what this product has to offer, when for a 10th of the price (ish) I can have an M32 and put that other 90% towards the new speakers.  For what it's worth I prefer the Soundcraft workflow over the M32, but given the price and acceptance of the M32 I'm sure I'd warm up to it sooner or later.  I also know that pro-grade speakers are less trendy, so that might be my better long-term investment.  That's a good point about holding off until early next year too.  I'm in no rush and at least want to get through the end of the year with my current setup before deploying the new console, even if I were to purchase it before year end.  Thanks again!       
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 25, 2017, 07:15:29 pm
Jeff,
I think the dlive is a wonderful board. Great sound, great features and well respected. One of the things I like most is the build quality. Top notch and solid. Rob will jump in here soon, and he can give you a great rundown on the board. He owns a couple and he did my daughters wedding with one. No complaints, first class all the way.

Me? I use a Soundcraft Performer. The performer series is  the high end of the Si series, somewhere between the Expression and the Vi 1.  80 inputs to mix, 14 aux / group mixes, 8 line inputs, 20 aux busses, 8 VCA groups, BSS GEQ on every bus, 4 band PEQ on every channel, 2 expansion slots, yada, yada, yada. It also supports basic lighting if you're into that, but I've never used the feature. Remote support (wifi) is very good and up to ten people can adjust their monitor mix at the same time. About the same cost as the dlive, but easier for old analog guys to grasp.

Build quality of the Performer is VERY high, faders are ultra smooth, and many of the components are direct from the Vi series. The Performer will also support most of the Vi series stage boxes, and supports the full line of expansion cards. Super expandable and easy to work with. The small display? Bigger than my GPS, and you almost never need to use it. The fader glow can't be beat, and the scribble strips are the balls. Add channels, move channels, assign channels outputs? Usually one button.

Forgot to mention. The Performer I use is the Performer 1. I have a special need for a rack mounted board, but I also need more channels than what the usual rack mount mixer can offer. As I has stated, the Performer will expand to 80 channels EASILY, and my channel count at this moment is 48. No confusion with layers simply because of the logical design of the board and the ability to assign channels wherever you want the m to be. If you contemplate expansion then you would be very happy with a Performer, now and in the future, plus, many riders will accept Soundcraft boards, and you'll find good acceptance for the performer especially in monitor world.

https://www.soundcraft.com/en/products/si-performer-1


Plus everything Tim said. Good luck.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Peter Morris on September 25, 2017, 07:26:23 pm
I have a DLive Ė itís absolutely fantastic.  Extremely powerful, great UI that is quick and intuitive to use and it sounds wonderful.  It has 160 channels to mix, 64 out all with GEQís, 16 EFX, dynamic EQís on every channel, etc. etc. and its gaining rider acceptance very quickly.  Everyone that uses the Dlive just loves it.

In comparison the Qu32 or M32 are not anywhere near the same level of performance.  The dLive for example is more powerful than the entire Midas console range except the Pro X which will do 168 channels in and has 99 busses; however a Dlive network will support over 800 inputs compared to 288 for Midasís Pro X AES 50 network.

pictures from A&H Facebook page.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 25, 2017, 07:30:27 pm
And there it is Peter. Expansion is the key to success. Nice boards by the way.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 25, 2017, 07:33:38 pm
Jeff,
I think the dlive is a wonderful board. Great sound, great features and well respected. One of the things I like most is the build quality. Top notch and solid. Rob will jump in here soon, and he can give you a great rundown on the board. He owns a couple and he did my daughters wedding with one. No complaints, first class all the way.

Me? I use a Soundcraft Performer. The performer series is  the high end of the Si series, somewhere between the Expression and the Vi 1.  80 inputs to mix, 14 aux / group mixes, 8 line inputs, 20 aux busses, 8 VCA groups, BSS GEQ on every bus, 4 band PEQ on every channel, 2 expansion slots, yada, yada, yada. It also supports basic lighting if you're into that, but I've never used the feature. Remote support (wifi) is very good and up to ten people can adjust their monitor mix at the same time. About the same cost as the dlive, but easier for old analog guys to grasp.

Plus everything Tim said. Good luck.

Hi Bob, I figured you'd be chiming in!  Based on everything you've said about the Performers over the past few years I was all ready to go with one!  Last year just wasn't the right time to pull the trigger and then dLive C Class came out, so here we are!  Would the age of the Performer Series concern you at all if you were in my position?  I really like the boards, so right now it's pretty much a Performer versus dLive unless anyone else comes along with rationale to go with something else such as an M32.  I'm good on lighting and am actually comparing this adventure to when I bought my ETC desk a few years ago.  It'll be a piece of rig I have to get along with on every job, so to me it's worth the money to get something I'll like.  As mentioned while I was typing this response, the level of expandability is great too.  This is something I'd like to get right the first time and grow with, without having second thoughts as to whether or not I bought the right thing.  As Tim said though, I just have to figure out where my "needs" stop and "excess capability" starts!  Not to get too much into pricing, but from what I've see so far a basic CDM32 + C1500 would be roughly 2-3 times the cost of Performer 3 and goes up from there.  Am I missing something that'd peg the two boards to be about the same cost all said and done?  Thanks Bob! 

I have a DLive Ė itís absolutely fantastic.  Extremely powerful, great UI that is quick and intuitive to use and it sounds wonderful.  It has 160 channels to mix, 64 out all with GEQís, 16 EFX, dynamic EQís on every channel, etc. etc. and its gaining rider acceptance very quickly.  Everyone that uses the Dlive just loves it.

In comparison the Qu32 or M32 are not anywhere near the same level of performance.  The dLive for example is more powerful than the entire Midas console range except the Pro X which will do 168 channels in and has 99 busses; however a Dlive network will support over 800 inputs compared to 288 for Midasís Pro X AES 50 network.
 
Great, I'm glad to hear you like it!  Coming from the analog world with a bit of experience on digital desks, the more intuitive the better!  That's what was so attractive to me about the Performer.  It all just made sense.  I have yet to touch a dLive, but if it's anything like my Qu-Pac I think I can pick it up quite quickly.  It's nice to not have to fight the board to do what I want!  I agree, the dLive is in a whole different class when compared to a Qu32 or M32.  I just need to decide if the price tag that goes along with that level of performance is worth it to me and where my business is right now!  Thanks Peter!
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 25, 2017, 07:47:07 pm
I'm not concerned with the "age" of the Performer series at all. It has all the features needed to do the job right, and being that they used Vi technology I don't see them being put on the back burner any time soon. The cost of the Performer 1 and the 32 input mini stage box will run you just under 6K new, and worth every penny.

You can see in Peters pictures that by selecting a channel on the Dlive options for the channel become available on the screen. With the Soundcraft boards, up to the Vi series, selecting a channel immediately assigns all of the knobs at the top of the board to that channel or output. The screen will reflect movement of those controls, show an EQ graph, etc. Unlike other boards, the Vi series and the dlive have large screens where the "knobs" live. But only Soundcraft has fader glow, and until you've used it you don't know what you're missing.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Art Welter on September 25, 2017, 08:22:43 pm
I guess I just need to decide whether I would really benefit from what this product has to offer, when for a 10th of the price (ish) I can have an M32 and put that other 90% towards the new speakers.  For what it's worth I prefer the Soundcraft workflow over the M32, but given the price and acceptance of the M32 I'm sure I'd warm up to it sooner or later.  I also know that pro-grade speakers are less trendy, so that might be my better long-term investment. 
Jeff,

I agree that saving money on a console and putting your investment in speakers will provide a better return on investment.

You could also simply work with me on the gigs you need more than what you have, and save money and the headaches of owning excess inventory. I have a underutilized M32R, 32 channels of digital snakes, and a speaker system that would nicely cover the area in your speaker thread.

Irma stopped progress on my speaker system expansion since 9/11, (9 days without power sucks) but I'm back to it again- let's get together and discuss your plans in person!

Art
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Frank Koenig on September 25, 2017, 08:30:47 pm
Hi Jeff,

I'm not going to address the business aspects as I don't use my sound equipment in a business. Tim, as always, has given good advice. I did, however, get a CDM32 Mixrack and C2500 Surface last April and can talk about my experience. In short, I'm very happy with the system.

As Bob points out, the build quality is great. The knobs don't wiggle, the connectors are solid, and the (metal) panels line up. Both boxes run very cool, being only mildly warm to the touch after many hours. The mixrack has a quiet fan and the surface, so far as I know, is convection cooled (maybe there's a tiny fan inside). The cooling openings in the surface are placed such that it can be operated inside a case-half, which is what I do. Both the mixrack and the surface are surprisingly light weight. The surface is a two person lift only because it's large, but I can easily flip it, roll it, etc. in its case.

I like that the "brain" is in the mixrack and that the system will continue to pass audio even if the surface gets disconnected or loses power. The surface has 8 inputs and 8 outputs (2 digital), which for me is the right number. I don't need or want 16+ inputs at FOH. The mixrack can run freestanding controlled by an iPad, Windows PC, or A&H's proprietary small controllers (which I have not tried).

I don't have a great deal of experience with different digital mixers, but I find the interface clean and logical, and I'm the sort who has little patience for sloppy interfaces. There is way more capability than I'll ever use but its presence doesn't cloud the features essential to me.

I originally was looking at the C1500 Surface, and it would be an entirely satisfactory choice for me. I leaned toward the C2500 as I was studying the manual and came to appreciate that the two independent fader banks on the larger surfaces were generally intended to be split between inputs (on the larger left side) and mixes (on the smaller right). Of course, you can configure the fader banks to do pretty much whatever you want.

The arrangement I've been using is to use channels 1-32 for mic inputs routed to FOH, which are assigned to layers 1-3 of the left bank. Channels 41-72 are routed to auxes for monitors and are assigned to layers 3-6 of the left bank. On the right bank I have layers with the "corpy" inputs (wireless and various playback) and house masters; aux masters; DCAs and house masters; and effects sends and returns. This has been working for my use so far, but, of course, there are endless ways to set this up.

My only complaint so far is with the USB flash-drive playback, which is really a "bonus feature" and not terribly important. The problem is that it only allows WAV format files in one flat directory. This is really a pain. It would be so nice to be able to play whatever format comes along, say MP3, and to be able to organize tracks using directories. Who knows, A&H may fix this in a future release.

An automixer is coming in the next major release. I don't have an immediate need, but I'm looking forward to trying it.

Enough for now.

--Frank
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Frank Koenig on September 25, 2017, 08:50:39 pm
Here's me and my buddy having a what's-he-doing-now? moment behind the C2500. -F

(http://C2500.jpg)
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Bob Leonard on September 25, 2017, 09:02:01 pm
Frank,
That looks like one of those "I'm doing a favor for my friend" type gigs. The ones with the good food, fun times, nice band, and great people. You know, the "freebee" you don't mind doing once or twice during the summer.

The real point is the flexibility of the modern small format mixer. Imagine that. From a day when it took 4 people and 6 roadies to carry front of house for a 1000 water bag gig, down to one (1) person, no external rack gear, and more expansion capability than almost any analog board in the day.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Mike Pyle on September 26, 2017, 12:00:50 am

An automixer is coming in the next major release. I don't have an immediate need, but I'm looking forward to trying it.


Also in the next firmware will be the ability for 2 surfaces to share a single mixrack.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Mal Brown on September 26, 2017, 12:51:04 am
I had a chance to audition a few boards in July and August of 2016.  I now own an Si Expression 3, an SI Expression 1 and the 32x12 stagebox.  The workflow is very old school.  The board just makes sense to me. The feature set fits what I need and the sound quality is fantastic.  Classic Soundcraft.  Warm, articulate, clear.

 For the cost of one of the monster boards, I can instead offer a side stage monitor position...  hopefully a discriminator for my little company.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Spenser Hamilton on September 26, 2017, 09:02:47 am
We had a C3500 and CDM48 in the theatre for demo back in the spring. Great board, super powerful, very enjoyable to mix on. Rider acceptance wasn't there for us, so in the end we went the Digico route.

If riders aren't an issue, the D Live C Class is probably the best value in the industry at this moment.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Frank Koenig on September 26, 2017, 02:03:28 pm
Frank,
That looks like one of those "I'm doing a favor for my friend" type gigs. The ones with the good food, fun times, nice band, and great people. You know, the "freebee" you don't mind doing once or twice during the summer.

Bob, right on all counts. And this is really all I do -- it's not a business. This particular event was at the Beechwood School in Menlo Park. It's a small private school for less-advantaged K-8 kids in the neighborhood. The bands were two "dad bands", one led by my old friend and one member of which is on the school's board, and the other led by the school's headmaster, who totally rocked out -- good fun to see the principal out of context. We also had a hip-hop act, Team Zoe, two young men and a young woman rapping to tracks, who were an absolute delight. (At the risk of self congratulation, I think they were impressed by the ability and willingness of the old guy's subs to produce the beats. One of the two TH-118s walked about a foot away from its partner during that part of the show. But I digress.) Food was from two food trucks, which, in my opinion, is in multiple ways better than trying to get volunteers to cook burgers, etc. Amateur sound, professional food, I know :)

Quote
The real point is the flexibility of the modern small format mixer. Imagine that. From a day when it took 4 people and 6 roadies to carry front of house for a 1000 water bag gig, down to one (1) person, no external rack gear, and more expansion capability than almost any analog board in the day.

WRT modern mixers, yes, it's great to have all that capability without schlepping any outboard. All I usually have now is wireless mics and a CD/flash-drive player. My analog snake is enjoying its retirement in a fixed install.

--Frank
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 26, 2017, 06:06:42 pm
Thanks for all the input so far!  I really appreciate everyone's time to contribute.  Let me try to address some of the comments and suggestions:

I'm not concerned with the "age" of the Performer series at all. It has all the features needed to do the job right, and being that they used Vi technology I don't see them being put on the back burner any time soon. The cost of the Performer 1 and the 32 input mini stage box will run you just under 6K new, and worth every penny.

You can see in Peters pictures that by selecting a channel on the Dlive options for the channel become available on the screen. With the Soundcraft boards, up to the Vi series, selecting a channel immediately assigns all of the knobs at the top of the board to that channel or output. The screen will reflect movement of those controls, show an EQ graph, etc. Unlike other boards, the Vi series and the dlive have large screens where the "knobs" live. But only Soundcraft has fader glow, and until you've used it you don't know what you're missing.

That's good to know that product age isn't such a concern here.  At the same time, I've been reading along to the Midas 10 year warranty thread and can't help but question if any such products would even be relevant in 10 years time.  Being more of a lighting guy, I know certain light consoles can really hold up well with proper care and many are used way past their useful life (ETC Express).  I'm glad to hear that this can prove true with sound as well.  I'd just hate to buy a big-ticket item only have it discontinued in a month!  At the same time, I'd like to get as much life as possible out of such an investment.  It'll be something I work with on every job, so it'll help to better justify the purchase of getting something I like to know it'll last quite a while.   

Now if I read the forums and manuals correctly, the Soundcraft SI Series cannot dasiy-chain stage boxes, right?  All the additional inputs and outputs that aren't on the stage box are accessed via option cards?  I do like the fader glow.  It really stood out to me when demoing the SI Impact!  I also like how it has a straightforward analog feel to it and you're not lost in the screen when trying to make adjustments.  Do you feel the input dB/signal meters show up well enough to be useful on the scribble strips?  I have to admit I prefer the LED-style such as on the dLive surfaces...

I agree that saving money on a console and putting your investment in speakers will provide a better return on investment.

You could also simply work with me on the gigs you need more than what you have, and save money and the headaches of owning excess inventory. I have a underutilized M32R, 32 channels of digital snakes, and a speaker system that would nicely cover the area in your speaker thread.

Irma stopped progress on my speaker system expansion since 9/11, (9 days without power sucks) but I'm back to it again- let's get together and discuss your plans in person!
 
Thanks Art, PM sent!

I'm not going to address the business aspects as I don't use my sound equipment in a business. Tim, as always, has given good advice. I did, however, get a CDM32 Mixrack and C2500 Surface last April and can talk about my experience. In short, I'm very happy with the system.

Thanks for sharing the picture Frank!  I have to admit that's a very nice looking console.  Not that looks affect function, but on the corporate end I've found that looks do help to justify why the sponsor has to pay so much for my services.  Again, not that this has any impact on sound quality, reliability, and overall customer service (which is really what they're paying for), but I digress. 

I agree with your logic on the 2500 vs the 1500, so let me add a few more details.  The three surfaces that I'm eyeing are the 1500, the 3500, and the S5000.  Here's why...  For small jobs (maybe 4 inputs) I don't want to haul along a massive console (why I have yet to give up my little Mackie).  I'd much prefer to either use the IP-8 with a laptop OR put that money towards the 1500.  Honestly I think I'd be happier with the 1500, but I'll get to that in a moment.  Either the 1500 or IP-8/Laptop option will easily fit on top of my Audiopile FOH rack and is an easy 1-person lift.  The 1500 (and any other surface) has a few onboard inputs that'd be perfect for plugging in my FOH media players.  Either option would fill the need for about 75% of my work.  I just won't have enough inputs or outputs to need anything more!  I do like having that break between inputs and outputs though as seen on the larger options.  For the other 25% of my work, I'd need (like) more faders and would really want the multiple fader banks, which is what draws my attention to the 3500 and S5000.  Having yet to see and touch either board, the attraction with the S5000 is more knobs and less reliance on the touch screens, but I might get over that via a demo.  Trying to stay on track here, it's really becoming a question of IP-8/Laptop and 3500 versus 1500 and rent 3500/S5000 as needed.  The cost difference between the 1500 and 3500 is small enough that it's not really a factor, but at the same time buying both isn't a feasible option to me.  I just don't want to purchase a 3500 and wish I got something smaller and lighter if I feel too confined by the IP-8/laptop.  I'm honestly not a huge fan of iPad mixing.  Though I'll tweek my rig while walking with the venue with my iPad I don't like mixing elusively on it.  The nice thing though is that if I buy the MixRack first I can always just play around with my laptop/iPad and see how I like it before buying a surface. 

So since I bring up the S5000, to Frank and the other dLive C Class users out there, what was the driving factor to going with the C Class product over the S Class?  Was it just cost and lack of need for the S Class features, or was it for the compact size?  Or something else?  Does the more frequent use of the touchscreen on the C Class compared to the S Class become an annoyance?  At least on my light consoles I much prefer to press buttons and turn encoders versus tapping and sliding. 

Also in the next firmware will be the ability for 2 surfaces to share a single mixrack.

Thanks Mike!  I actually read that somewhere...  So backing up to the 1500 versus 3500 or S5000, if I were to purchase the 1500 and then rent a larger surface for larger shows, would this new firmware allow me to delegate the 1500 to monitor duty?  Would I (or anyone else) even want to do that?

Again, I really appreciate all the input!
       
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Dave Garoutte on September 26, 2017, 07:18:27 pm

Now if I read the forums and manuals correctly, the Soundcraft SI Series cannot dasiy-chain stage boxes, right?  All the additional inputs and outputs that aren't on the stage box are accessed via option cards?  I do like the fader glow.  It really stood out to me when demoing the SI Impact!  I also like how it has a straightforward analog feel to it and you're not lost in the screen when trying to make adjustments.  Do you feel the input dB/signal meters show up well enough to be useful on the scribble strips?  I have to admit I prefer the LED-style such as on the dLive surfaces...
     

The Soundcraft Performer and impact have two card slots, so you could run up to 64 outboard inputs, as well as all the local inputs up to 80.

I use an Ipad mini, on a little stand behind the console, running ViSi and just keep the (very responsive) meters on it.  Mobile mixing is on a full sized Ipad.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Frank Koenig on September 26, 2017, 10:53:59 pm
I have to admit that's a very nice looking console.  Not that looks affect function, but on the corporate end I've found that looks do help to justify why the sponsor has to pay so much for my services.  Again, not that this has any impact on sound quality, reliability, and overall customer service (which is really what they're paying for), but I digress.

Looks matter, to me at least. Especially when there are so many competitive products to choose from, why get something you think is ugly?

Quote
I agree with your logic on the 2500 vs the 1500, so let me add a few more details.  The three surfaces that I'm eyeing are the 1500, the 3500, and the S5000.  Here's why...  For small jobs (maybe 4 inputs) I don't want to haul along a massive console (why I have yet to give up my little Mackie).  I'd much prefer to either use the IP-8 with a laptop OR put that money towards the 1500.  Honestly I think I'd be happier with the 1500, but I'll get to that in a moment.  Either the 1500 or IP-8/Laptop option will easily fit on top of my Audiopile FOH rack and is an easy 1-person lift.  The 1500 (and any other surface) has a few onboard inputs that'd be perfect for plugging in my FOH media players.  Either option would fill the need for about 75% of my work.  I just won't have enough inputs or outputs to need anything more!  I do like having that break between inputs and outputs though as seen on the larger options.  For the other 25% of my work, I'd need (like) more faders and would really want the multiple fader banks, which is what draws my attention to the 3500 and S5000.  Having yet to see and touch either board, the attraction with the S5000 is more knobs and less reliance on the touch screens, but I might get over that via a demo.  Trying to stay on track here, it's really becoming a question of IP-8/Laptop and 3500 versus 1500 and rent 3500/S5000 as needed.  The cost difference between the 1500 and 3500 is small enough that it's not really a factor, but at the same time buying both isn't a feasible option to me.  I just don't want to purchase a 3500 and wish I got something smaller and lighter if I feel too confined by the IP-8/laptop.  I'm honestly not a huge fan of iPad mixing.  Though I'll tweek my rig while walking with the venue with my iPad I don't like mixing elusively on it.  The nice thing though is that if I buy the MixRack first I can always just play around with my laptop/iPad and see how I like it before buying a surface.

It sounds like you have considered the use cases and alternatives thoroughly. I, too, am not wild about iPad mixing, although I've done it. For bands it's a lot to handle on a small screen and for talking heads/playback, where the input count is small but the stakes are high, it makes me nervous that I'll fat-finger a fader and cause feedback, etc. I also have trouble seeing the screen in full sun, especially after the finger prints build up.

Quote
So since I bring up the S5000, to Frank and the other dLive C Class users out there, what was the driving factor to going with the C Class product over the S Class?  Was it just cost and lack of need for the S Class features, or was it for the compact size?  Or something else?  Does the more frequent use of the touchscreen on the C Class compared to the S Class become an annoyance?  At least on my light consoles I much prefer to press buttons and turn encoders versus tapping and sliding.
 

I went with the C class as it is the least expensive entry into dLive, and I was already feeling guilty spending so much on what is, for me, essentially a toy. I'm also not convinced that redundant power supplies adds as much system redundancy as on a traditional analog console, on which all the channel strips and masters are pretty independent modules and one failing doesn't take down the others. That leaves the power supply as the single point of failure that can kill the whole board and a spare makes a lot of sense. On a modern mixer such as dLive there are a bunch of independent mic pres and ADCs, but then everything goes into a big DSP block. If that fails you're screwed, too. So redundant supplies help, but, from my point of view, don't provide complete redundancy as in an analog desk.

I'll add that I think A&H's marketing strategy is great. (And they may not be alone in this regard.) Develop a pro-level system that competes at the top of the market. Price it accordingly. Then release a family of products that share everything but a few features that the pros insist on (such as redundant supplies), but at a substantially lower price. Wannabes, like me, will succumb to their vanity and stretch to buy the lower price system (when a brand B, for example, would suffice) feeling that we bought a "true pro-level" system. And I bet they get more revenue from the C-series than from the top end.

On C1500 vs C2500, I compared the differences in price, weight, and width, all of which are modest increments, and ended up with the C2500, even though when I started shopping mixers I was sure I wanted a "rack mount" (narrow) surface.

--Frank
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Art Nadelman on September 27, 2017, 12:28:45 pm
I wanted the S5000.  Coming from the A&H GLD side where I much preferred the 3 banks of faders on the GLD-112 over the 2 banks on the GLD-80, I knew that I had to have the S5000.  I spent hours and hours looking at all of them at this year's NAMM show.  What did I end up with?

The C1500.

I don't regret it in the least.  The fader banks are quick to maneuver through.  I have them logically laid out.  There are a few features of the S Class that I wish were in the the C Class, but the price difference ruled the day.  I did add an IP-8 for use with both the console and dLive Director in small venues.  But I do enjoy running these mixers on a Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and will even suffer running them on an iPad (not their best app).

I can't believe that I went with a system with only 12 faders in its banks.  But I'm thrilled that I did!
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Dave Pluke on September 27, 2017, 02:02:36 pm
Jeff,

My only suggestion would be to research the Product Life Cycle for A+H's dLive series before investing.

This is coming from the perspective of someone trying to help a House of Worship with a misbehaving iLive T112 surface and iDR64 mix rack.

Granted, we're somewhat apples-to-oranges and past performance is no indication of future earnings, but how a company EOL's a product could give one an idea.  A+H's last three firmware updates for the dLive have been released about 5-7 months apart.  Their last update for the iLive was January 2014.

This may be the nature of the beast with digital consoles, but if the last public release of firmware isn't rock solid, there isn't much an end user can do.

According to my quick googling, the iLive series was released mid-2009 and left to wither on the vine at the beginning of 2014 (less than 5 full years).  Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Considering the dLive was released in mid-2015, how long before one might need to be concerned?

I haven't had the opportunity to drive one, but personally like the looks (and specs) of the dLive surfaces.

Dave
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 27, 2017, 05:50:31 pm
Looks matter, to me at least. Especially when there are so many competitive products to choose from, why get something you think is ugly?

It sounds like you have considered the use cases and alternatives thoroughly. I, too, am not wild about iPad mixing, although I've done it. For bands it's a lot to handle on a small screen and for talking heads/playback, where the input count is small but the stakes are high, it makes me nervous that I'll fat-finger a fader and cause feedback, etc. I also have trouble seeing the screen in full sun, especially after the finger prints build up.
 
I went with the C class as it is the least expensive entry into dLive, and I was already feeling guilty spending so much on what is, for me, essentially a toy. I'm also not convinced that redundant power supplies adds as much system redundancy as on a traditional analog console, on which all the channel strips and masters are pretty independent modules and one failing doesn't take down the others. That leaves the power supply as the single point of failure that can kill the whole board and a spare makes a lot of sense. On a modern mixer such as dLive there are a bunch of independent mic pres and ADCs, but then everything goes into a big DSP block. If that fails you're screwed, too. So redundant supplies help, but, from my point of view, don't provide complete redundancy as in an analog desk.

I'll add that I think A&H's marketing strategy is great. (And they may not be alone in this regard.) Develop a pro-level system that competes at the top of the market. Price it accordingly. Then release a family of products that share everything but a few features that the pros insist on (such as redundant supplies), but at a substantially lower price. Wannabes, like me, will succumb to their vanity and stretch to buy the lower price system (when a brand B, for example, would suffice) feeling that we bought a "true pro-level" system. And I bet they get more revenue from the C-series than from the top end.

On C1500 vs C2500, I compared the differences in price, weight, and width, all of which are modest increments, and ended up with the C2500, even though when I started shopping mixers I was sure I wanted a "rack mount" (narrow) surface.

Thanks for the excellent input Frank.  Yes, I try to sort out the options and trade-offs a little before posting for help - want to keep things from getting too down in the weeds!  I sympathize with your concern of fat fingering a slider on the iPad, or in my case, palm-pressing a mute.  I've never done it during a gig, but still...  I also agree with your analysis of the added features on the S Class.  I don't really need all the option cards and definitely don't need the redundant power supplies.  Are there any other additional S Class features that I'm missing here besides the slight difference in the surfaces?

I wanted the S5000.  Coming from the A&H GLD side where I much preferred the 3 banks of faders on the GLD-112 over the 2 banks on the GLD-80, I knew that I had to have the S5000.  I spent hours and hours looking at all of them at this year's NAMM show.  What did I end up with?

The C1500.

I don't regret it in the least.  The fader banks are quick to maneuver through.  I have them logically laid out.  There are a few features of the S Class that I wish were in the the C Class, but the price difference ruled the day.  I did add an IP-8 for use with both the console and dLive Director in small venues.  But I do enjoy running these mixers on a Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and will even suffer running them on an iPad (not their best app).

I can't believe that I went with a system with only 12 faders in its banks.  But I'm thrilled that I did!

I can tell!  This is really where I think a demo will work wonders for me.  I already "think" I know what I want, but many times that'll be the case walking into a demo only to come out wanting something completely different.  My only concern with the 1500 is the 12 faders.  It'd be fine for 75% of the work I do (and so would an IP-8), yet I think I'd struggle on the larger jobs, especially when I want both inputs and outputs on the same fader page.  We'll see how long that mentality lasts though!

My only suggestion would be to research the Product Life Cycle for A+H's dLive series before investing.
 
Thanks Dave.  That was my thought when asking about the age of the Soundcraft Performer.  Given the nature of digital products I don't want to get stranded a year or two after making the purchase!  dLive C Class came out at the beginning of this year if I remember correctly, so I'd hope it still has long life ahead of it.  I'd also hope that A&H would provide reasonable aftermarket support for their Flagship and Flagship Jr. desks for a good while.  Time will tell though, and while it's fun to debate the what-ifs, I'll need to settle on something and get it deployed for next year's season.

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Peter Morris on September 28, 2017, 11:59:49 pm
Jeff,

My only suggestion would be to research the Product Life Cycle for A+H's dLive series before investing.

This is coming from the perspective of someone trying to help a House of Worship with a misbehaving iLive T112 surface and iDR64 mix rack.

Granted, we're somewhat apples-to-oranges and past performance is no indication of future earnings, but how a company EOL's a product could give one an idea.  A+H's last three firmware updates for the dLive have been released about 5-7 months apart.  Their last update for the iLive was January 2014.

This may be the nature of the beast with digital consoles, but if the last public release of firmware isn't rock solid, there isn't much an end user can do.

According to my quick googling, the iLive series was released mid-2009 and left to wither on the vine at the beginning of 2014 (less than 5 full years).  Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Considering the dLive was released in mid-2015, how long before one might need to be concerned?

I haven't had the opportunity to drive one, but personally like the looks (and specs) of the dLive surfaces.

Dave

Dave the iLive is more than 10 years old, during that time A&H even updated the CPU/ mix engine at a very minimal cost to ensure the desk remained state of the art (so to speak).

The Dlive has been designed for a long like cycle and A&H have invested a huge amount of $$$ in developing the hardware and software. So far all of the Firmware updates have been rock solid ... and you can always roll back to the previous version.

http://www.etnow.com/news/2006/2/allen-heath-to-show-digital-products-at-pro-light-sound-2006
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Peter Morris on September 29, 2017, 12:09:37 am
Also in the next firmware will be the ability for 2 surfaces to share a single mixrack.

Actually it can do 4 surfaces with a single rack  :)  With firmware 1.6's release what this desk can do is ridiculous.

And ... using a fix point 72 bit signal path with a 96 bit accumulator give it possible the best sound quality out there. Its hard to put your finger on it, but there is just something nice about the way it sounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfixqpw_tWc&feature=em-uploademail&app=desktop
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on September 29, 2017, 08:03:12 pm
Thanks again Peter.  I'm definitely going to give the product a demo and see what I think!  It looks to be all "pros" and very few "cons" with this one.  I'll just have to think hard about the financial aspect of the purchase and how it'd benefit my company compared to the more mainstream budget options, but all the input here has been wonderfully helpful!  I'll follow up with my eventual purchase decision! 
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Bolt on September 30, 2017, 11:31:29 am
Hi all,

As the title of this post suggests, Iím finally making the jump to the digital world of mixing and looking for some suggestions.  Hereís the backstory and details:

At the moment, I still mix analog with a basic Mackie 1402vlz3.  The majority of my work is of the corporate/municipal nature, so as such Iím only usually mixing a few mics and some filler music (hence being able to get by with such a tiny mixer for so long).  As my business and revenue continue to grow, so have the needs of my mixer.  Last year I got a simple A&H Qu-Pac to help get me a few features that I needed for the short term (Delay, GEQ, better PEQ, etc.), and I used this in tandem with my Mackie to still get me tactile control of my inputs (I know itís a bit strange but it works well enough).  All of that said itís time to finally get the board I really need and do away with the analog + digital setup.

A year ago at this time I was pretty sure Iíd be getting a Soundcraft Performer and thatíd be that.  I demoíd a few different boards and really liked the Soundcraft product over the other usual suspects like a Qu32, X32/M32, etc.  Then A&H released dLive C ClassÖ  I have yet to see this product in person, but the whole dLive Series seems like a really fantastic concept that lets the board scale between jobs, and thatís really why Iíve held off so long on getting a digital console Ė I really donít want to haul a massive desk to an event just to mix 3 inputs.  At the same time, if Iím going to spend the money, I want to get something that wonít restrict me on larger jobs.  Iíve liked my Qu-Pac for what it is and would be excited to keep a similar architecture, just with a much more capable product.

So really getting to the point here, Iím considering something like a CDM32 or DM32 MixRack paired with either an IP-8 and Laptop or the C1500.  Thatíd be my go-to for the average corporate/municipal job with a larger surface being rented for the handful of larger jobs I play until if/when ownership of the larger surface makes financial sense.  Since the brain of the board lives in the MixRack, itíd be nice to not have to worry about moving showfiles between big boards and little boards and whatnot, which is really what attracts me to the system.  Itíd be used on every outing and is almost a 3-in-1 product, which to me justifies the higher price tag. 

My question is Ė to the regional operators out there, is something like the dLive worth the substantially higher cost compared to a more budget option such as an M32 for work like what you do?  Though in either case I wouldnít necessarily expect a raise in revenue as a result from the purchase itself (aside from potential rentals), at this point I know a digital board is something I really need to have to properly do my job both at and beyond the level I currently operate.  Would I be better off getting a higher-end product here that I can grow with or would that money be better put towards higher performance loudspeakers, as discussed in the other thread I recently started.  I expect the mixer purchase to be first (probably by the end of this year), but given that none of this is cheap I need to understand my entire needs and then properly plan my businessís financial investments over the next few years to get the most out of my growth strategy.  Iíve already reached out to a dealer for quotes on the various system components, but also donít want to waste anyoneís time with a demo if this isnít the product for me.  Hope this is enough detail to get some conversation started and any input would be much appreciated.

Thanks! 
-Jeff
No offense intended, but if you are currently working with a Mackie 1403VLZ or a QuPac, I am curious as to the jump to such a high dollar mixer as the dLive? 

Can you outline the rest of your equipment (speakers, amps, cross-overs/speaker processors, microphones, etc)?

Also, do you have a budget you would like to stay in, and what your goal is (what do you feel you need to improve on over your current rig)?
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Martin Morris on October 01, 2017, 05:42:45 am

Thanks Art, PM sent!
     

Bingo!
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on October 01, 2017, 07:13:51 pm
No offense intended, but if you are currently working with a Mackie 1403VLZ or a QuPac, I am curious as to the jump to such a high dollar mixer as the dLive? 

Can you outline the rest of your equipment (speakers, amps, cross-overs/speaker processors, microphones, etc)?

Also, do you have a budget you would like to stay in, and what your goal is (what do you feel you need to improve on over your current rig)?

No offense taken Scott, you ask a very valid question and one that I've been pondering myself.  Not to repeat my first post but to add some details, I've gotten to the point where the need is there to finally convert to a "proper" digital mixer.  I don't necessarily mean high dollar, but I need things like much better PEQ control, variable high pass, more inputs, etc.  Things that the Mackie just doesn't give me...and for a 10 year old $400 unit I really can't complain.  I added the Qu-Pac at the beginning of last year as a gap filler to help condense my FOH and take over for GEQ, delay, etc. while I still mixed anything more than a single channel background music gig on the Mackie, feeding into the Qu-Pac.  It served its intended purpose, but now I'd like to do away with that and use a proper digital desk.

What draws me to the dLive is its modular setup.  Unlike a lot of us here, I don't actually mix bands (or when I do, it's rare).  Most of my work is corporate/municipal/theatrical, so things like benefit fundraisers, city festivals, standard theater...  Things where reliability is important and there is no tolerance for mistakes.  At the same time, the scope of my work changes drastically from one job to the next, so I need a product that can scale and adapt to a wide variety of applications, often on the fly.  What's so attractive with the dLive architecture is how I can just use it in rack configuration for one job, hook up an IP-8 for another, and bring a full surface to yet another...all while still mixing on the same desk.  I see it as essentially 3 products in one and thus possibly worth the higher cost.

As far as the rest of my sound rig goes, it's a typical "lounge level" rig - QSC HPR assortment for mains and monitors, Yorkville UCS1s for subs, BBE DS-24 for crossover, mics are all over the place depending on their intended purpose - everything from $10 to $600/ea., wireless is 4 channels of EW100 kit (both handhelds and beltpacks), etc.  I'm considering expanding the speaker end of things over the next few years as discussed here (http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,164961.0.html), but otherwise it's a fairly standard rig for this level of work.  Being predominantly a lighting guy, I know as you shop lighting consoles there are very distinct "levels" of desks that come with certain features more or less standard at the different levels.  The purpose of this thread to me is to understand what (if anything) I'd really gain from the high dollar dLive product when compared to something more affordable like an M32, aside from the ecosystem architecture. 

As an aside, I had the chance to see an M32R yesterday.  I found it to be really quite a fantastic board!  Definitely a different impression than I got when checking out the X32 last year.  My only one gripe was that you can't freely assign content to fader strips.  Please correct me if I'm mistaken on that, but it seems like everything had to be assigned in groups of 8 and that the fader banks are restricted to the handful of various predetermined categories.  Again, as a lighting guy where almost any console will let you put what you want where you want it, this is almost a dealbreaker to me.  Examples of my situations where free patching would be wonderful are needing to add another pair of mics with no notice and wanting to keep all my handhelds on neighboring faders, wanting to have my effect return next to the channel I'm using it on, only patching one channel of a stereo pair to the fader strip...  All of this seemed possible with the Soundcraft Performer unless I misunderstood (including the ability to "ripple" fader assignments), and the same goes for my understanding of dLive patching and fader assigning.  Let me know if I'm mistaken on this, but otherwise I'll be very curious to see how I like the dLive in comparison to the other boards!     
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on October 01, 2017, 07:36:28 pm
My only one gripe was that you can't freely assign content to fader strips.  Please correct me if I'm mistaken on that, but it seems like everything had to be assigned in groups of 8 and that the fader banks are restricted to the handful of various predetermined categories.  Again, as a lighting guy where almost any console will let you put what you want where you want it, this is almost a dealbreaker to me.  Examples of my situations where free patching would be wonderful are needing to add another pair of mics with no notice and wanting to keep all my handhelds on neighboring faders, wanting to have my effect return next to the channel I'm using it on, only patching one channel of a stereo pair to the fader strip...  All of this seemed possible with the Soundcraft Performer unless I misunderstood (including the ability to "ripple" fader assignments), and the same goes for my understanding of dLive patching and fader assigning.  Let me know if I'm mistaken on this, but otherwise I'll be very curious to see how I like the dLive in comparison to the other boards!   

The M/X32 "groups of 8" limitation is hardware based according to Music Group.  I'd expect this to be addressed in the next model.

Note again - major industry conventions and trade show season starts this month and basically runs through Q1 of next year.

The Soundcraft will do what you propose as far as 'any fader, any function' but I'm not familiar with the dLive UI to say.

Ultimately, even on digital mixers I still take the old analog approach of leaving a couple of empty channels in places where they make logical sense, like between PB1 and Lectern...

For music mixing, perhaps like 80s rock vocals with rhythmic echos, panning and multitudes of reverbs, having the source input next to the FX send master next to the FX return input would be a Very Fine Thing, on a scene by scene (or song by song) basis and freely assignable hardware can make that a reality.

Audio mixer UIs have been playing catch up with LX for years.  Blind write took a 20 year trip to get to the audio side of the tech riser...
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on October 01, 2017, 07:50:15 pm
The M/X32 "groups of 8" limitation is hardware based according to Music Group.  I'd expect this to be addressed in the next model.

Note again - major industry conventions and trade show season starts this month and basically runs through Q1 of next year.

The Soundcraft will do what you propose as far as 'any fader, any function' but I'm not familiar with the dLive UI to say.

Ultimately, even on digital mixers I still take the old analog approach of leaving a couple of empty channels in places where they make logical sense, like between PB1 and Lectern...

For music mixing, perhaps like 80s rock vocals with rhythmic echos, panning and multitudes of reverbs, having the source input next to the FX send master next to the FX return input would be a Very Fine Thing, on a scene by scene (or song by song) basis and freely assignable hardware can make that a reality.

Audio mixer UIs have been playing catch up with LX for years.  Blind write took a 20 year trip to get to the audio side of the tech riser...

Thanks Tim, that's what I more or less gathered but it's nice to have a positive confirmation that we weren't just missing it! 

I hear you about the trade shows coming up too.  If nothing else I've been convinced to hold off on this until at least early next year to see what new products will be entering the market.  I also can see your rationale to still take a somewhat analog approach to patching.  I think I'd want to do the same thing anyways, but if I'm going digital I'd also want to get the most out of it and not be held back by things like patching/assignment limitations.  I'd rather yield on a personal "requirement" for this purchase somewhere else, which is a shame because I otherwise really like the desk!  And the price...

Thanks again!   
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Bolt on October 01, 2017, 08:10:10 pm
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the additional information.

It is my understanding (and I own an X32 Rack), that you can freely assign any fader to any input that is routed.

You can only route blocks of 8.  That is to say that if you have many stage boxes, you can't input 3 inputs from one and 5 inputs from another.  You can only input 8 from one, and 16 from another (as an example).

Download the X32 Edit program.  Select a channel.  At the top of the screen select "Config".  On the config screen notice the "Source" selection.  You can assign the fader on this screen.  The default is that the first 8 faders are assigned to the first block of 8 inputs and so forth and so on.

For theater use, the X32/M32 is a superior digital mixer to the Soundcraft IMO because of the much more powerful scene management (cues and snipits in addition to just scenes).

Note, that there is no "custom layer" which allows you to put DCA's and input channels in any order you want on the X32/M32.  I am not sure if the Soundcraft can do this or not.

The Performer is a very nice mixer though.  I don't think you will find much in the way of bad press on the product other than the remote software is lacking in comparison to newer products.

Check out a few videos on Youtube on the X32/M32 scenes, cues and snipits.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Rob Spence on October 02, 2017, 02:52:30 pm
I have a pair of A&H GLD mixers and like the dLive, not only can any fader be anything, it is drag and drop in both the UI and the off line editor.
I love being able to have a mix master next to an input or an FX return or send. Heck, I even have the main outputs faders on layer 4 since I rarely touch them. I have several DCAs assigned to soft keys and so there are not any faders assigned for them.
I love being able to configure the buss structure how I want it. Need another aux mix but donít need mono out? Only need mono matrix? Only need 6 monitor mixes, great, I can add some stereo matrices.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on October 02, 2017, 06:31:18 pm
Download the X32 Edit program.  Select a channel.  At the top of the screen select "Config".  On the config screen notice the "Source" selection.  You can assign the fader on this screen.  The default is that the first 8 faders are assigned to the first block of 8 inputs and so forth and so on.
...
Check out a few videos on Youtube on the X32/M32 scenes, cues and snipits.

Thanks Scott, I appreciate the information and that's a great idea.  I've already been watching Youtube videos on this but will definitely play around with the X32 Edit program.  One thing that I really like about the X/M32 is how deep of a user base there is.  There seems to be a demo video or tutorial for just about everything out there.  I've seen plenty of videos for the Performer and dLive series too, but the X/M32 library seems to be the most complete.  As you and others have pointed out though, I don't think I can really go wrong with any of the three options mentioned here.  It's just a question of what I'm willing to pay versus what I'm willing to settle on.

I have a pair of A&H GLD mixers and like the dLive, not only can any fader be anything, it is drag and drop in both the UI and the off line editor.
I love being able to have a mix master next to an input or an FX return or send. Heck, I even have the main outputs faders on layer 4 since I rarely touch them. I have several DCAs assigned to soft keys and so there are not any faders assigned for them.
I love being able to configure the buss structure how I want it. Need another aux mix but donít need mono out? Only need mono matrix? Only need 6 monitor mixes, great, I can add some stereo matrices.

And personally that's how I feel a digital mixer should be.  I understand the hardware limitations of the X/M32, but given the sheer amount of processing power in even budget-level digital boards I'm surprised this would need to be a compromise.  Then again, maybe I'm still thinking in light board terms where there's a lot less I/O compared to a sound board.  Maybe this will all be moot point too in a few months depending on what comes out this year.  Even just searching for rumored Midas products turns up some interesting results.  Thanks again for the input!
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Bolt on October 03, 2017, 10:01:52 pm
I have a pair of A&H GLD mixers and like the dLive, not only can any fader be anything, it is drag and drop in both the UI and the off line editor.
I love being able to have a mix master next to an input or an FX return or send. Heck, I even have the main outputs faders on layer 4 since I rarely touch them. I have several DCAs assigned to soft keys and so there are not any faders assigned for them.
I love being able to configure the buss structure how I want it. Need another aux mix but donít need mono out? Only need mono matrix? Only need 6 monitor mixes, great, I can add some stereo matrices.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Yea Rob,  I agree.  For console flexibility, the GLD is very nice.  How are the scene control capabilities?
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on October 24, 2017, 09:15:03 am
FYI,

An automixer is coming in the next major release. I don't have an immediate need, but I'm looking forward to trying it.

--Frank

New AMM (automixer) 64ch with 1.6 Firmware release.

http://www.prosoundweb.com/channels/live-sound/allen-heath-releases-dlive-firmware-update/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=content/&eid=341034799&bid=1636829

I agree, the dLive is in a whole different class when compared to a Qu32 or M32.  I just need to decide if the price tag that goes along with that level of performance is worth it to me and where my business is right now!  Thanks Peter!

I've followed this thread with great interest. I too have practically no need for a super nice/high-end class mixer. And I agree 100% that a GLD or "borrowing" (cross rental) Art's M32 & sound would be a better 'business' choice.

With that said, I fell in love with dLive at INFOCOMM. I'm 100% going to skip the GLD upgrade and go straight to dLIVE as soon as is financially viable because I want to 'love' mixing haha :) [not that the qu isn't a joy to mix on, I just want some (bunches) more advanced features]
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Dave Garoutte on October 24, 2017, 01:14:34 pm

Note, that there is no "custom layer" which allows you to put DCA's and input channels in any order you want on the X32/M32.  I am not sure if the Soundcraft can do this or not.

Check out a few videos on Youtube on the X32/M32 scenes, cues and snipits.

Yes, the Soundcraft SI line allows you to completely customize your fader layers.
VCAs, Aux masters, FX returns, mono and stereo inputs anywhere.
It's pretty easy to do also.

It gets confusing with the ViSi app though, as the app doesn't see the re-ordering.

The patching is completely flexible too.  Mixing and matching from local inputs and outputs with stagebox or any of the option card inputs and outputs.

Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on October 24, 2017, 02:47:22 pm
FYI,

New AMM (automixer) 64ch with 1.6 Firmware release.

http://www.prosoundweb.com/channels/live-sound/allen-heath-releases-dlive-firmware-update/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=content/&eid=341034799&bid=1636829

I've followed this thread with great interest. I too have practically no need for a super nice/high-end class mixer. And I agree 100% that a GLD or "borrowing" (cross rental) Art's M32 & sound would be a better 'business' choice.

With that said, I fell in love with dLive at INFOCOMM. I'm 100% going to skip the GLD upgrade and go straight to dLIVE as soon as is financially viable because I want to 'love' mixing haha :) [not that the qu isn't a joy to mix on, I just want some (bunches) more advanced features]

The dlive is awesome but did you spend any time on an SD-9 ?  At my age it's better than sex.

Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on October 24, 2017, 03:24:02 pm
I've followed this thread with great interest. I too have practically no need for a super nice/high-end class mixer. And I agree 100% that a GLD or "borrowing" (cross rental) Art's M32 & sound would be a better 'business' choice.

With that said, I fell in love with dLive at INFOCOMM. I'm 100% going to skip the GLD upgrade and go straight to dLIVE as soon as is financially viable because I want to 'love' mixing haha :) [not that the qu isn't a joy to mix on, I just want some (bunches) more advanced features]

I really hear you on this.  From a business standpoint either buying or cross-renting an M32 or M32R is a no-brainer.  At the same time, given that this is my "fun job" I want a product that I'll enjoy using too.  If the dLive was about a third cheaper it'd be a much easier decision for me, but when I can get an M32, an M32R, and the associated stagebox all for less than the cost of the Mixrack alone I hesitate a little.  I still have yet to see the dLive in person, so the user experience is still all speculation while my little Mackie and Qu-Pac keep plugging along!  Word on the street is that A&H is announcing a new product tomorrow, so that combined with other emerging products could make this rather moot as well.  I'm sure the dLive is staying where it is on the totem pole but I'm curious where the new product will fall in regards to the Qu Series and the GLD Series.  It'll probably end up being a DJ mixer...  We shall see though!
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on October 24, 2017, 03:33:13 pm
The dlive is awesome but did you spend any time on an SD-9 ?  At my age it's better than sex.

That's a great analogy :)

I was able to play with some of the DiGiCo stuff. I can't quite remember if it was the SD-9, but it was some of their newer stuff (SD-12?).

The DiGiCo boards were my dream for a long while. But after trying one out the main thing I didn't like was the ergonomics. The screen was too far away and too sloped down so I felt like my head was at 90* constantly. I prefer to look at the band not the mixer if/when possible (I realize with digital boards these days the amount of tweaking is nearly infinite...)

Also, the menus weren't very intuitive. I felt like any setting changes were fairly complicated and 'hidden'

That said, I didn't spend a ton of time working the actual board because I was so turned off by the ergonomics.

So take my comments about SD-xx with a grain of salt.

I went and found dLive and loved it from the start. Mixed a bit of the tracks they had (though they should give worse tracks haha; felt like each instrument already sounded perfect [no eq necessary]).
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on October 24, 2017, 03:34:34 pm
modify - quote ???

I can redeem myself :)

I really hear you on this.

From a business standpoint either buying or cross-renting an M32 or M32R is a no-brainer.  At the same time, given that this is my "fun job" I want a product that I'll enjoy using too.

If the dLive was about a third cheaper it'd be a much easier decision for me, but when I can get an M32, an M32R, and the associated stagebox all for less than the cost of the Mixrack alone I hesitate a little.

I still have yet to see the dLive in person, so the user experience is still all speculation while my little Mackie and Qu-Pac keep plugging along!

Word on the street is that A&H is announcing a new product tomorrow, so that combined with other emerging products could make this rather moot as well.

I'm sure the dLive is staying where it is on the totem pole but I'm curious where the new product will fall in regards to the Qu Series and the GLD Series.  It'll probably end up being a DJ mixer... 

We shall see though!

If its a "fun job" go for the dLive...seriously to me its a no brainier. I wouldn't get a M32 for a "fun job." I'd get it for a "business job."

&& to elaborate; coming from QU series you'll feel 100% at home. Everything is drawn from that though is much (>50%) refined, which I appreciate given the ~10x increase in pricing (hint, find it from a good dealer we can all get you good dealz ;)

I wish they would refresh the GLD series (not just stupid silver controls booopoo).

Had not heard about a new device. Will be cool given their recent offerings. Though I agree DJ is last to 'refresh' and i couldn't care less. Though Ray might ;) :P haha

Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on October 24, 2017, 03:49:40 pm
That's a great analogy :)

I was able to play with some of the DiGiCo stuff. I can't quite remember if it was the SD-9, but it was some of their newer stuff (SD-12?).

The DiGiCo boards were my dream for a long while. But after trying one out the main thing I didn't like was the ergonomics. The screen was too far away and too sloped down so I felt like my head was at 90* constantly. I prefer to look at the band not the mixer if/when possible (I realize with digital boards these days the amount of tweaking is nearly infinite...)

Also, the menus weren't very intuitive. I felt like any setting changes were fairly complicated and 'hidden'

That said, I didn't spend a ton of time working the actual board because I was so turned off by the ergonomics.

So take my comments about SD-xx with a grain of salt.

I went and found dLive and loved it from the start. Mixed a bit of the tracks they had (though they should give worse tracks haha; felt like each instrument already sounded perfect [no eq necessary]).

The dLive looks (I have not run one) far more intuitive than the Digico.   Lot's of pinch and visual.  The Digico is high function.  The more I study and then try to cram in my limited time on the board the more I appreciate the elegance and flexibility.  On the Digico you just touch the section of the channel strip you want to adjust and that function is then on the master encoder.  If I had not watched someone else use it and get the workflow I don't think I would have ever gleaned the usefulness from the manual.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on October 24, 2017, 03:52:32 pm
The dlive is awesome but did you spend any time on an SD-9 ?  At my age it's better than sex.

Scott, this ain't your century... 8)

Years ago I presumed that as I approached retirement I'd be working less and using a question mark after the phrase "sex life."  Then again, I'm not married... ;)

I'm beginning to understand the quips "youth is wasted on the young" (attributed to both George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde in various usages) and that "wisdom is wasted on the old."  I'll save that for another time...
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on October 24, 2017, 04:06:26 pm
The dLive looks (I have not run one) far more intuitive than the Digico.   Lot's of pinch and visual.


That's what A&H touts on their website (intuitive control for a smartphone based generation) and I agree/think they accomplished that well. I also didn't notice any of the 'annoying-ness' that touch thingy's have - primarily because touch devices are getting to be a fairly mature technology IMO.

[quote author=Scott Holtzman link=topic=164960.msg1523280#msg1523280
The Digico is high function.  The more I study and then try to cram in my limited time on the board the more I appreciate the elegance and flexibility.  On the Digico you just touch the section of the channel strip you want to adjust and that function is then on the master encoder.  If I had not watched someone else use it and get the workflow I don't think I would have ever gleaned the usefulness from the manual.
[/quote]

Hmm, good points. And I felt like the UI could be gotten (sp?) used to and found to be very powerful (again I still think their boards are some A+ shit - best mixes I've ever heard have been on a SD-xx). I still don't think I could do the ergonomics tho (for my primary owned board at least...)

---

Jeff, I say once you're fairly serious next year to call-up a A&H dealer and get a demo.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Nathan Riddle on October 24, 2017, 04:08:12 pm
Scott, this ain't your century... 8)

Years ago I presumed that as I approached retirement I'd be working less and using a question mark after the phrase "sex life."  Then again, I'm not married... ;)

I'm beginning to understand the quips "youth is wasted on the young" (attributed to both George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde in various usages) and that "wisdom is wasted on the old."  I'll save that for another time...

I think forums (and other resources) such as this one help to mitigate such sayings.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on October 24, 2017, 04:38:34 pm




Hmm, good points. And I felt like the UI could be gotten (sp?) used to and found to be very powerful (again I still think their boards are some A+ shit - best mixes I've ever heard have been on a SD-xx). I still don't think I could do the ergonomics tho (for my primary owned board at least...)

---



I would think that is more attributable to the people operating the mixer.  The fact they choose it as their tool makes it all the more interesting.   I am sure that in the proper hands it could deliver a very poor mix.  :-\
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on October 24, 2017, 06:20:37 pm
I would think that is more attributable to the people operating the mixer.  The fact they choose it as their tool makes it all the more interesting.  I am sure that in the proper hands it could deliver a very poor mix.  :-\

"Hey, do you know what all those knobs do?"

"Yep."

"Then which one is the Suck Knob?"

"They all are, if you use them wrong."
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Art Nadelman on October 24, 2017, 10:10:43 pm
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my dLive and how much I just "work" on my X-32?

The dLive is pure pleasure in sound and working on.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: John Fruits on October 25, 2017, 05:10:24 pm
So, I have to wonder how the new SQ series changes the decision making process? 
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Holtzman on October 25, 2017, 05:20:04 pm
So, I have to wonder how the new SQ series changes the decision making process?

It doesn't look like it to me.  It's a step up from an X32 but with the 7" touchscreen and 8 effects slots it is way below the dLive which is mentioned in the same breath as Profile's, SD-9's and such.

 
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Art Nadelman on October 25, 2017, 05:52:22 pm
It's a step up from an X32 but with the 7" touchscreen and 8 effects slots it is way below the dLive which is mentioned in the same breath as Profile's, SD-9's and such.

It's definitely not a dLive.  In fact, it's truly a mix of the QU, the GLD and the dLive.  It took some from each of them.  I think we will find it to be superior to the M32.  As a Waves user, it certainly fits that bill much better than the X32/M32 products.  As a dLive user, it provides an interesting monitor console at a much lower cost than another dLive console (though not nearly as powerful).
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Jeff Lelko on October 25, 2017, 06:02:47 pm
So, I have to wonder how the new SQ series changes the decision making process?

It doesn't look like it to me. 

I agree.  While I'm sure this board will be a wonderful product to many, I don't think it really offers anything that the current product range of A&H doesn't already have.  My thoughts were the same as Art's - I see this more as an upgraded Qu Series board with a few GLD and dLive features sprinkled in.  If anything, I could see this as the logical replacement for the Qu Series sooner rather than later.  I think it also really addresses a number of the Qu board's shortcomings such as a lack of scribble strips and whatnot.  I'll still reserve judgement until if/when I actually touch one as well as see how the industry at large receives this, but I can't really see this product fitting my needs as outlined in this thread.  For a similar amount of money I'd still go with an M32 just because of the widespread acceptance of the product.  All that can change though once these hit the street and/or Midas releases a new desk, but for now I'll hold off on a purchase, wait to see what else is released over the coming months, and wait to see a dLive in person.  I've been in touch with a dealer to help make this happen!   
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Scott Bolt on October 25, 2017, 06:37:32 pm
I agree.  While I'm sure this board will be a wonderful product to many, I don't think it really offers anything that the current product range of A&H doesn't already have.  My thoughts were the same as Art's - I see this more as an upgraded Qu Series board with a few GLD and dLive features sprinkled in.  If anything, I could see this as the logical replacement for the Qu Series sooner rather than later.  I think it also really addresses a number of the Qu board's shortcomings such as a lack of scribble strips and whatnot.  I'll still reserve judgement until if/when I actually touch one as well as see how the industry at large receives this, but I can't really see this product fitting my needs as outlined in this thread.  For a similar amount of money I'd still go with an M32 just because of the widespread acceptance of the product.  All that can change though once these hit the street and/or Midas releases a new desk, but for now I'll hold off on a purchase, wait to see what else is released over the coming months, and wait to see a dLive in person.  I've been in touch with a dealer to help make this happen!   
I was thinking the same thing.

96Khz does not necessarily mean it sounds any better (although the marketing will surely say so).  Still doesn't look like it has LCD scribble strips (more like fader glow like Soundcraft)... I could be wrong.

It does look like a worthy update of the Qu series though.... and that isn't a bad thing.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: Dave Garoutte on October 25, 2017, 07:01:23 pm
The 96khz is why the latency is so low.
It should he half of a 48khz board.
Title: Re: Guidance on new mixer - maybe a dLive?
Post by: TJ (Tom) Cornish on October 25, 2017, 07:31:44 pm
I was thinking the same thing.

96Khz does not necessarily mean it sounds any better (although the marketing will surely say so).  Still doesn't look like it has LCD scribble strips (more like fader glow like Soundcraft)... I could be wrong.

It does look like a worthy update of the Qu series though.... and that isn't a bad thing.
They are scribble strips. There are some hard to find pictures that show them.