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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 => SR Forum Archives => Road Test FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Bennett Prescott on September 08, 2006, 11:52:36 am

Title: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on September 08, 2006, 11:52:36 am
This console is something I'd been wanting to get my hands on for some time, so I was pleased to hear from Tom Der at Soundcraft that if I ate all my meat he'd ship one out to me for a late-August outdoor show of mine. True to his word, a 48-frame GB8 in roadcase with doghouse, spare PSU, lamps, and meter bridge arrived just in time. I've got to say, for a fairly small board, once you're out to 48 channels and a real case it sure gets large and heavy! The desk looks like this:
http://www.soundcraft.com/images/products/product_sheet/GB8.gif

The GB8 is an 8 group, 8 aux analog console with the dual-swept-mid EQ that is ubiquitous at this price point and a separately assignable mono buss for center clusters or subwoofer feeds. Soundcraft's page on the desk is available right here. Littlite sockets are included. Per-channel control includes +48v phantom, polarity reverse, and 100hz HPF. EQ is defeatable per channel. Auxes are individually switchable pre/post on a global basis. Single point TRS inserts and line inputs, a per-channel direct out that is switchable pre-insert/post-fader per channel, and 4-segment signal meters round out the channel features.

Each GB8 frame size comes with four stereo channels, each of which has the same preamp gain available as the mono inputs. Phantom power is available, and there is a polarity reverse switch for the left channel only. Switches are available to sum either or both channels to mono. EQ on the stereo channels is truncated to four fixed bands, but otherwise control is the same as the mono inputs.

The master section features 8 switchable mode group/aux faders with inserts, plus a 4x11 matrix, nice big meters, and two dedicated outputs with limiters for recording or what-have-you. Four mute groups are provided for super-handy... err... muting of stuff. Anyway, a nicely comprehensive and flexible master section. It should be added that I made a board recording off the record out with the limiter engaged and, while I was hitting it pretty hard, it's fairly "soft" and didn't mangle my recording.

With a little help from my accomplice Geoff I got the case opened, lights socketed, spare PSU racked (which is extremely light due to a switching world power supply), and the meter bridge screwed into place. This last feature especially I was rather wary of... I grew up with LED ladders and an LED VU meter just seems weird to me. Looks cool, though. More on that later.

Here's me grappling with the beast on this extremely high-channel-count show:
http://campuspa.com/images/gb8/index-Thumbnails/8.jpghttp://campuspa.com/images/gb8/index-Thumbnails/4.jpg

The first thing I noticed, unfortunately, was that the gooseneck lamps provided with both the GB8 and the MH2 I'll review later aren't Littlites, but some offshore lowest-bidder monstrosity that refuses to stay in place. I finally found the "magic position" that kept them in balance, but one bump of the console and all three lamps would keel over. The GB8 has lamp sockets on the top of the desk and these lamps were shipped with right-angle plugs, which only made things more difficult. Fortunately, this issue is easily remedied by running down to the corner store and buying real lamps.

At this point I had to run off and set the stage, but when I came back for a quick sound check I found the board pleasantly simple and easy to navigate. Through extensive use of color coding and extra-large knobs and text, Soundcraft has made a desk so easy to use even I can't get confused. Admittedly, I wasn't using all the auxes and I certainly wasn't using all the channels, but I didn't have to think twice about where anything was or how to get there from here. Those large, easy to get your fingers around knobs are an ergonomic wet dream, and every button is easy to find and hard to miss even with moderately large fingers.

We were running the RSS snake for this show, right into the GB8's XLR inputs. This proved a little tricky. The GB8 has no pad on the XLR input, and with the preamp control fully counterclockwise the preamp is still adding 6dB of gain. We were also running an MH2 on monitors, which does have an input pad on the XLR. We ended up gaining up the MH2 to roughly match the GB8 gained all the way down so that, since Geoff in monitor world had control of the preamps, there was some way to gauge how hard the RSS snake was hitting the inputs of my board out at FOH.

As it turned out, we guessed wrong on a couple of inputs and ended up slamming the GB8 pretty hard so that everything was running really hot. I soon discovered this was just fine, the console took it right in stride and sounded great under pretty significant abuse. During the course of the show I clipped every bus in the console at least a little and didn't hear it at all through the PA. In a studio environment or on a recording it might have been apparent (or maybe on a nicer PA), but I was extremely pleased at the console's ability to gloss over my stupidity.

As you can see by the fancy meter-bridge, even during soundcheck I was slamming the console pretty hard:
http://campuspa.com/images/gb8/index-Thumbnails/9.jpghttp://campuspa.com/images/gb8/index-Thumbnails/10.jpg

Sound quality I found to be about on par with most analog boards in this category, which is a totally unfair statement to make since there's no way this test was impartial. Based entirely on my few hours on the board, however, I found it easy to get the results I wanted and the clarity and source separation was good. The channel EQ is nice and responsive, I found I could make most of my corrections with only small turns of the EQ pots. This is not a desk that you have to fight and guess with throughout the show, I had my mix up and running in all of 5 minutes (including dynamics and effects) and aside from level changes on stage really didn't have to touch it for the rest of the show.

If you're used to mixing on the Soundcraft Live series or the LX series I think you'll find the GB8 to be a little more of the same, kind of buying the Acura instead of the Accord from Honda. Same simple layout, but it handles more easily and takes more hits before it starts to show stress. I also think it looks a lot cooler out at FOH, and of course having 8 auxes makes the difference, for me, between a real desk and a compromised desk. That's 4 monitor mixes from FOH and 4 FX sends, and the board's got the stereo channels or returns to accomodate that setup.

I mentioned being wary of the meter bridge earlier, and I'd like to expand on that by saying... I think it's a really cool feature. Instead of having to look down and hunt through a sea of LED ladders to figure out how loud you're getting, it's like a little Heads Up Display. The "VU Meter Ballistics" mean that it's not hopping all over the place and gives you an idea of relative signal density, so one quick glance is all you need every few minutes to make sure you're keeping it under control. It's a lot easier to see than a "real" VU meter, too. Soundcraft was also kind enough to include a fast-attack clip light for each meter. Furthermore, because it's right next to the "standard ballistics" LED ladders for the groups and main outputs, two glances tells you both where your peaks are and how dense you are (and I'm pretty dense).

All in all, this console is everything I was hoping it would be. Well laid out with an appropriate feature set and a few extras that make last minute changes easy to accomodate. If you've got 4 figures to spend on a new analog console, but definitely not 5 figures, you can get the 48-frame GB8 cased for that and own a serious piece of hardware. I wish it had been around back when I bought my Spirit Live 4^2 a few years ago, because it sure takes care of all the limitations I find that console gives me. Soundcraft has really stepped in here with excellent value and performance for the end-user in many different applications.

Blatant Road Test Advertisement


Would you like your FOH to look like this?
http://campuspa.com/images/gb8/index-Thumbnails/6.jpghttp://campuspa.com/images/gb8/index-Thumbnails/0.jpg
Make your dream come true, road test this console (engineer not included)!
Seriously, if you'd like to give it a whirl let me know and we'll get it out to you. I'd really like to hear more opinions on this unit, it's a great festival console and 'tis the season.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on September 08, 2006, 12:15:54 pm
I just wanted to add that if you want the same sound quality and ease of use but can survive with less groups and/or auxes and so forth, there's also the GB4 and GB2.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on September 08, 2006, 12:32:09 pm
I'm not a big fan of pushbutton assigns that run along your fader travel path. I'm afraid I'll accidentally reassign things in the heat of the mix.

Soundcraft's MH series don't have pushbuttons there. Of course with those models you're paying for more board and big league features like separate Send and Return jacks on inserts.   Smile

I do like the GB's switchable pre/post Direct Out and the switchable vHPF.

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on September 08, 2006, 12:37:35 pm
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Fri, 08 September 2006 12:32

I'm not a big fan of pushbutton assigns that run along your fader travel path. I'm afraid I'll accidentally reassign things in the heat of the mix.

Soundcraft's MH series don't have pushbuttons there.

Yeah, but they've got pushbuttons freaking everywhere else! That aux send section is a minefield Shocked

Seeing as the only reasonable fixes for the "pushbuttons along the fader travel" problem all cost a bunch of money or board real-estate (which, believe me, is money) I'll learn to keep my pinkies away.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Caleb Dick on September 08, 2006, 10:09:43 pm
Bennett, have you had much time behind the A&H GL series consoles?  I had to choose between GB4 and GL2400, and took the GL.  At my current job, we have GL2800's.  Sadly, I don't have any real Soundcraft experience to compare with.  

Looking forward to your MH2 review.  Liked the Spectra-T write-up, will likely have one soon to demo.  

Caleb Dick
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: David Morison on September 12, 2006, 07:59:22 am
Hey, good review, thanks.
Have you had the chance to compare it with the Series TWO? It seems to offer just a very slightly different set of features for a bit more money - I'm not sure how it's meant to fit in Soundcraft's line, unless they're going to ditch the TWO in the near future.
Cheers,
David.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on September 12, 2006, 10:22:07 am
Caleb, I've spent a good amount of time on the A&H consoles, which are excellent. However, between the GB4 and the GL2400 I'd go with the GB solely because of those two extra auxes. GB4/8 and GL2800? That's a much more difficult choice.

David, I've never used a Series TWO, so I can't compare past what's available on the website.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Reid on September 12, 2006, 03:25:26 pm
Bennett Prescott wrote on Fri, 08 September 2006 11:37

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Fri, 08 September 2006 12:32

I'm not a big fan of pushbutton assigns that run along your fader travel path. I'm afraid I'll accidentally reassign things in the heat of the mix.

Soundcraft's MH series don't have pushbuttons there.

Yeah, but they've got pushbuttons freaking everywhere else! That aux send section is a minefield Shocked

Seeing as the only reasonable fixes for the "pushbuttons along the fader travel" problem all cost a bunch of money or board real-estate (which, believe me, is money) I'll learn to keep my pinkies away.


The LX7ii has the same button scheme.  Twice in my ownership I have unassigned the drums and bass from the main mix.  Talk about feeling like yer mixing naked ...When all eyes go back to you.  Both times it took a minute to figure out what the hell was wrong.  Sub amp clip out?  DRPA being funny?  Oh!  My 6th digit got in the way.  
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Fred Garrett on September 13, 2006, 04:38:27 pm
I would like to add that my partner bought a GB8-48 this spring, and it came with straight lamps, not 90 degree lamps (he also bought the tour pack), and they do not seem to suffer the need for viagra that Bennet's test console did.

 I would also like to add that the case that comes with the tour pack is quite nice, the dog house cover is a very beautiful stained wood finish.  More furniture than road case really.  I also recomend a tilt stand for a 48 channel ...well..anything!
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on September 23, 2006, 09:49:41 pm
Hi,

Just got back from NY a little while ago from picking up the GB8 from Bennett.  The MH2 tempted me Mr. Prescott. Very Happy

I will try to get some first impressions up this week.  I'll start with this.  Bigger case than I expected.  Bennett got the dimensions right, but seeing is believing.  It is a very nice case though.

First gigs will be Saturday and Sunday (30th and 1st) so I will report back with findings from that.

Edit: clarify dates.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 02, 2006, 10:32:57 am
Did Bennett mention this was heavy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few other points...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edit: spelling.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on October 02, 2006, 11:26:47 am
FWIW while there is some weight penalty associated with extra rigidity, it is not necessarily a linear engineering issue. Clever use of thin aluminum in tension rather than compression (think airplane wings or race cars) can deliver some pretty rigid backbones for a chassis without huge weight penalties. Too much flexing can be a bad thing for reliability if internal construction can't accommodate range of motion.

JR
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 04, 2006, 12:49:44 am
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ronnie Blenden on October 06, 2006, 10:58:50 pm
While I have not had a chance to get on a GB8 I have and do work regularly on the GB4.  A local college has 2 for main and monitor duty at their outdoor amphitheater.  While for the price point I think they are all excellent consoles with a ton of features there are a couple things that really bug me..

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

#2  While there may be an internal jumper changover to fix this, my biggest complaint on the console is when you flip it to monitor duty.  Its cool that your submasters become the monitor send masters for monitor outs, however, it is not cool to me that the rear panel outputs dont switch.  While in standard FOH mode you have nice xlr subgroup outputs and TRS Aux outs.  When you flip the console for monitor duty the outputs flip as well which screws the pooch for me. The xlr outputs that were once subgroup outs become the aux outs and you are forced to use TRS outputs for your mix outs.  Not a problem for some but my patches between board and amps are generally xlr-xlr.  Now I have to get a new snake.  Use of adaptors is limited due to the proximity of the trs outputs to each other.  I wish they would have left the subgroup faders tied to the xlr outputs and done the manipulation elsewhere.  
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Olli Rajala on October 08, 2006, 01:15:17 am
Ronnie Blenden wrote on Sat, 07 October 2006 05:58


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


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

Back to business and thinking about this days gig.

Yours,

--
Olli Rajala <><
Quite normal guy
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Mathew Thomas on October 10, 2006, 06:05:46 am
Hi,i'm pretty much a newbie at sound reinforcement. i was wondering, was does 'pad' mean? my church is looking into getting a new soundboard, and we are considering the soundcraft gb8. so while reading this review, it seems alot of ppl are complaining that it doesn't have a pad. can anybody tell me what exactly does pad mean? appreciate it. thanks.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on October 10, 2006, 10:59:25 am
Quote:

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



index.php/fa/6146/0/

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on October 10, 2006, 01:48:38 pm
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Tue, 10 October 2006 10:59

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

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

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

Good to meet you at AES, I'll post several embarrassing photos soon.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on October 10, 2006, 02:45:11 pm
Quote:

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


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


Quote:

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


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

Nice to meet you, too!

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Fred Garrett on October 10, 2006, 05:10:53 pm
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Tue, 10 October 2006 10:59



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

-Bink



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

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

Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on October 10, 2006, 05:20:16 pm
Fred Garrett wrote on Tue, 10 October 2006 14:10

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



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

-Bink



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



Aha! I looked up the thread further and noticed that Bennett was complaining about the level coming at him from a line-level snake with preamps on stage. No wonder he was getting too-hot levels.

I've never used the GB8 so I can't comment on regular mics being too hot, etc. I'll bow to your experience... Thanks for the correction.

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Fred Garrett on October 11, 2006, 02:06:15 pm
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Tue, 10 October 2006 17:20

 

I've never used the GB8 so I can't comment on regular mics being too hot, etc. I'll bow to your experience... Thanks for the correction.

-Bink




No need to bow!  Laughing   I just wanted to pass along my findings from using the GB8.  

 I will say this.  One of the afore mentioned nationals had a click track drvice that we put in monitors, and I had to pad and lower the gain all the way to keep the signal under control.  The monitor board is a Crest HP-8 which has a "colder" gain knob gain than the GB8 does(I've had that board for about 2 years and I think it was only the 3rd time I have actually engaged a pad button).  Now we probably could have just asked the band to lower the send level on their unit, but had that input been sent to FOH as it was, I believe we would have had an issue with it.

Fred
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 15, 2006, 10:45:25 pm
Alrighty,

Back at it once again this Friday.  It was an interesting day.  A band I frequently work with had this gig scheduled for quite some time.  The scenario was as follows:  Festival setting, Center of town, covered gazebo/pavilion, people in all directions.  The event was all ages where music played a primary role, but extreme volume was not required.  Vendors encircled the center town square so they had to be able to conduct business without yelling.

I advanced with the contracted sound provider to work out logistics of the event.  Each day consisted of several bands.  The band I was wearing my BE hat for, played last during the day.  

Since most of the acts were just 3 or 4 piece, the normal FOH was only a 16 channel console with a couple channels worth of gates/compressors.  I quickly surmised this would not cover the needs of this band.  They usually require a minimum of 24 channels IF there is a monitor split.  When I run Mons from FOH, I run seperate strips for the monitor channels.  So with 7 vocal mics, that puts me in dire need of a 32 channel board.  

So, after talking to Erich Bucholtz (the contracted provider) we worked out a plan together, to use the GB8 all day.  I would show up in the morning and provide the snake and FOH racks/console.  He would bring the normal FOH loudspeakers and monitor system.

Here was the set up around 9AM very early on in the day:

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/ligonier/2006.10.13%20Ligonier%20001-1.jpg


We managed a brisk average of 40 degrees during the day.  It's quite cool here in Southwestern PA in October.

It's hard to see from here, but the FOH system was 6 Mackie SRM450s posistioned around the stage.  People are able to sit pretty much anywhere around gazebo, so covering all angles was important.  The picture is decieving... the town square is quite large and has that much room in all four directions plus grassy areas in between.  Additionally, on the FOH side where the band was facing, 2 powered Yorkville subs were used to augment the low end.  I was at first skeptical, but Erich assured me he had used this system there before and some musicians I know informed me that it was very acceptable given the SPL/crowd/expectations of the promoters.

And it was.

Another shot of this beautiful console:

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/ligonier/2006.10.13%20Ligonier%20002-1.jpg

Through the day 3 bands performed.  The first was a country/classic rock band fronted by a talented young female vocalist.  The second was a locally renown jazz group.  Erich took the reigns on those two bands.

Since there was an abundance of channels, Erich was able to run a few more mics that normal.  Additionally, we had 4 effects sends in use.  After I did some requested pacthing for Erich, he had the bands sounding pretty sweet in short order.  Erich commented that the board was a dream to drive and that the EQ was very responsive.  A specific comment I remembered was that other boards he had worked with took a bit of cranking on the EQ knobs to get anything to happen... the GB8 made quick work of things with minimal adjustment.  I felt the quality of the signal was completely preserved with the EQing that was done.  

Here's the view from our seat during the first performer's set.

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/ligonier/2006.10.13%20Ligonier%20011-1.jpg

At 5PM, it was my turn.  After the chaos that ensues during a band changeover at these smallish festivals, the last band got right into it with only a line check on vocals.  I never like going in blind like that but it happens enough that I'm used to it.

I was able to navigate the board VERY quickly.  With what I thought was a very thin sound for the first 30-45 seconds I had the band dialed in by the end of the first song.  Considering this was only the 3rd time using the board, I was surprised how at home I felt.  Soundcraft has done an excellent job of color contrasting the knobs and screen printing.  It really felt like second nature at this point.

Now let me do a little waffling...  I previously complained of a lack of pads.  However, while using Erich's AKG D112 on kick nary did I ever notice a clip light.  Remember, this last band is a full on rock and roll brass band.  We're talking Tower of Power, Chicago, Ides of March, Motown: all powerful music.  The musicians really get into it and the GB8 handled the load with ease.  I would say, don't worry about the lack of pads.  Buy a couple external pads for insurance and you are no worse for the wear.

Next week, weather permitting, we'll have the console outdoors at the Roxbury Band Shell in Johnstown, PA.  The challenge here will be running 4 effect mixes and 4 monitor mixes from FOH.  I'll provide a set of front fills as well on the matrices.

If any of you are interested in coming out to see this bad boy in action, check out the networking and invitation thread in the Basement.  I've put a map and website with information in a post there.

   http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/153573/15698/0// /6617/#msg_153573

P.S.  I have to add.  Erich was an absolute dream to work with.  Very professional, easy going, and knowledgable.  He made my day and the bands' a great one.  Kudos Erich if you are out there reading this, and to anyone that knows him tell him you read that here!
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan McLeod on October 19, 2006, 09:57:58 pm
David Morison wrote on Tue, 12 September 2006 07:59

Hey, good review, thanks.
Have you had the chance to compare it with the Series TWO? It seems to offer just a very slightly different set of features for a bit more money - I'm not sure how it's meant to fit in Soundcraft's line, unless they're going to ditch the TWO in the near future.
Cheers,
David.


Hey David -

I own both a Series-TWO/32ch and a GB-4/32. They are very similar in size once in a nice case, so I would imagine that the GB-8 is considerably larger, especially when you get to 40 or 48 channels.

As far as I know, the Series-TWO has been around for quite some time, And when I bought it (years ago) I chose it because it was an 8-bus/8-aux console that seemed like an excellent value - "cheap" compared to other 8/8 offerings at the time, considering that it's made in England.

It has yet to adopt the "MH/GB" Color scheme & Styling, and I imagine that with the GB-8 offering a similar feature set (a few more features in some ways, a few less in others) that the GB series will eventually replace the Series-TWO, if it hasn't already.

Ryan


Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 22, 2006, 05:09:33 pm
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Sun, 15 October 2006 22:45


Next week, weather permitting, we'll have the console outdoors at the Roxbury Band Shell in Johnstown, PA.  


Ugh,

The weather.  Well, since the weather could not decide what it wanted to do today the event was called off.  The facilities aren't really there to expidite a quick load out in the event of rain and neither I nor the musicians wanted a truck full of ruined rained on gear.

It looks like the next time out with this console will be at Evan's LAB get together in Maryland.  I'll be hauling this beast down south.  This seems to be turning out to be quite a production for the young padawan learner from the southern side of the Mason Dixon line.

The intended use this time around will be full on monitor duty.  I'll be hauling a split snake down and a cue wedge for lots of fun on side stage.

I'll probably run the console in fader flip mode and hopefully insert the EQs.

This next one is indoors so the weather shouldn't play a factor.   Confused
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Mathew Thomas on October 23, 2006, 04:04:00 am
was reading the specs of the GB8, and its states that it has a 1kHz oscillator. can anyone tell me what exactly this is and what is its function? thanks, appreciate it.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 23, 2006, 08:51:14 am
Mathew Thomas wrote on Mon, 23 October 2006 04:04

was reading the specs of the GB8, and its states that it has a 1kHz oscillator. can anyone tell me what exactly this is and what is its function? thanks, appreciate it.



The oscillator is commonly used for checking gain stages down the signal chain to the amplifiers.  You could also check the gain staging of effects units through the aux sends.  

Otherwise it's a quick and dirty way to see if you have everything correctly connected from the mixer out to the amplifiers/loudspeakers.

Tyically, to check gain staging, with the loudspeakers disconnected you would assign the oscillator to a mix.  Then increase the level until it would start to just barely hit the clip lights, of the mix bus.  Then go down the chain for EQ/xover/limiter/amplifier/etc. and make them all clip at the same point.

There is more in the study hall on the subject.  I suggest you read about it there.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on October 23, 2006, 10:00:03 am
Mathew Thomas wrote on Mon, 23 October 2006 03:04

was reading the specs of the GB8, and its states that it has a 1kHz oscillator. can anyone tell me what exactly this is and what is its function? thanks, appreciate it.


Once upon a time the CR osc would be used to put slate tones on master tapes to confirm reference levels (they would also use other  high and low frequencies to confirm frequency response).

These days the tone is probably used as a constant feed to confirm some audio link is functional (sat, recording truck, etc.) for troubleshooting, setting levels, or just to keep the link active.

JR
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Eric Snodgrass on October 23, 2006, 11:52:37 am
John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Mon, 23 October 2006 07:00

Mathew Thomas wrote on Mon, 23 October 2006 03:04

was reading the specs of the GB8, and its states that it has a 1kHz oscillator. can anyone tell me what exactly this is and what is its function? thanks, appreciate it.


Once upon a time the CR osc would be used to put slate tones on master tapes to confirm reference levels (they would also use other  high and low frequencies to confirm frequency response).

These days the tone is probably used as a constant feed to confirm some audio link is functional (sat, recording truck, etc.) for troubleshooting, setting levels, or just to keep the link active.

JR

Yep.  For corporates and television gigs video guys love the tone from the FOH mixer down the line to them so they can calibrate their record levels.  Very handy.
Title: Tones
Post by: Mac Kerr on October 23, 2006, 02:17:05 pm
John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Mon, 23 October 2006 10:00

Once upon a time the CR osc would be used to put slate tones on master tapes to confirm reference levels (they would also use other  high and low frequencies to confirm frequency response).
Not to be a contrarian, but a slate is the identification between takes, noting what that take is. The tone that accompanied a slate could have been 1k, but was more likely to have been 100Hz, or something even lower so that it could be heard as a tone in fast wind mode. Some recording consoles would output that tone, and turn on the TB mic when you pushed the "slate" button, allowing you to ID the take while the tone was recording. Alignment tones of 1kHz at operating level, and 100Hz and 10kHz at operating level, or 10dB below operating level at 7.5ips were used for physical and electronic alignment between tape machines, and were usually only at the head of each tape, or even only the head of the first tape of a session.

Mac
Title: Re: Tones
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on October 23, 2006, 03:40:35 pm
Mac Kerr wrote on Mon, 23 October 2006 13:17

Not to be a contrarian, but a slate is the identification between takes, noting what that take is. The tone that accompanied a slate could have been 1k, but was more likely to have been 100Hz, or something even lower so that it could be heard as a tone in fast wind mode. Some recording consoles would output that tone, and turn on the TB mic when you pushed the "slate" button, allowing you to ID the take while the tone was recording. Alignment tones of 1kHz at operating level, and 100Hz and 10kHz at operating level, or 10dB below operating level at 7.5ips were used for physical and electronic alignment between tape machines, and were usually only at the head of each tape, or even only the head of the first tape of a session.

Mac



You are correct that slating in multi-track recording is done between songs. I thought the level/alignment tones on the tape leader were aka slate tones but it has been decades since I messed with them and I could be wrong. What pray tell is a better short name for those?

Perhaps it was a matter of what would fit on the faceplate of our already very busy master section. The slate and reference tones were applied via the same circuity (to all tracks at same time) and yes the T/B mic would also print to slate.

I always like to do things a little different and used a 50-60 Hz square wave for the between song slate tone so it could be easily heard both during FF "and" at normal playback speed.

My apologies to all the SR guys thinking this is TMI and saying so what?

JR


Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Mathew Thomas on October 29, 2006, 09:03:45 am
Hi, just another quick question about the GB8. it has an internal power supply right? i read that it has an DPS3 Redundant Power Supply option. is it crucial to get it? meaning it would be a backup power supply? thanks.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 29, 2006, 12:04:52 pm
Mathew Thomas wrote on Sun, 29 October 2006 09:03

Hi, just another quick question about the GB8. it has an internal power supply right? i read that it has an DPS3 Redundant Power Supply option. is it crucial to get it? meaning it would be a backup power supply? thanks.



Mathew,

Yes, it does have an internal power supply.  And I believe the DPS3 is the optional power supply, though I recieved a DPS4 with the Road Test GB8.

As far as how crucial it is, I don't think it's a must have right away.  I've never been present for a power supply failure, though I haven't been doing this for 30 years like some of the guys here.

There was a recent thread in the LAB about power supply failures.  I suggest you search for it and read up on the experiences of others with external power supplies.  You might get a feel for it based on that.

Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on October 30, 2006, 08:44:32 pm
Hey,

Small update.  I got a last minute booking for this Saturday.

It should be interesting to say the least.  Venue holds between 800-1000 standing.  

The event is a benefit with 3 metal/alternative/hard core bands doing originals and covers.

The GB8 will be doing FOH duty again.  Not a whole lot different from it's first time out with me.  Mons will most likely be run from side stage.  I say most likely because there is no requirement to do so, and I'll only do it if there is room to spare.  Wing space is a premium in this place.

Anyone is invited.  It's a public event.

Edit: directions and times would be good huh?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=316+Chestnut +St,+Johnstown,+PA+15906&ie=UTF8&z=15&om=1&i wloc=addr

Doors open at 8 I believe.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on November 05, 2006, 07:36:27 pm
Here's a mini-review.

As I said before I provided a system on Saturday for a 3 band benefit event.  This was a last minute booking so I really did not have any specific plans for the GB8.

I used the GB8 out front runnning 4 effect mixes and 2 front fill mixes and our normal Spirit 8 on monitor duty doing 4 monitor mixes.

Here's where I learned a little something about the negative aspects of having a huge console.  Yeah, this thing is no Midas H4k, but it's pretty big.  We had trouble fitting the Spirit 8 on side stage, let alone the GB8.  The length had something to do with it, but more so the depth.  It simply would have not fit there.

So, if you are looking for a console that will get into tight spaces in my market segment... well, I think any analog console of this stature would probably give you trouble.  Definitely a place where digital can make a difference.  And this just goes to show, big is not always better...  But it sure does look cool!

That said, out front was a blast, where I spent most of the night.  This console is such a breeze to get results with.  I had previously commented on the EQ and how it was very responsive.  Another engineer that mixed on the console also said the same thing.  I will just re-iterate that.  With other consoles in this segment I sometimes struggle to hear the change that the EQ causes... specifically stuff in the upper mids and highs.  I'd say like 2-3k and on up.  Sure, the HF knob adds some airness... but somes it sounds artificial.  I really like how the GB8 handles itself EQ wise.  You can definitely hear the signal "snap in" once you start to dial it in.  

Oh, since I had the Spirit 8 out, I grabbed one of my straight connector little lights in place of the right angle ones provided with the GB8.  Guys, do yourselves a favor and get the straight lamps instead of whatever the GB8 comes with.  Man, it was so nice to not have to move the center lamp everytime I wanted to PFL something.  Right angle = bad with this board.

Sorry, no pictures.  I was too busy.

Next gig should be out in MD for Evan's Lab get together.  I'm sure we'll have lots of pictures for that one.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on November 20, 2006, 04:27:11 am
Hey all,

I had the GB8 out at the LAB get together that Evan K. hosted.  We had a blast.

As I said before, I planned to use the console in a monitor only configuration for this gig.  I made my way down to the Baltimore area carrying my split snake, a cue wedge, and the GB8 in the Ram.  Much like Gilligan's Island, it's about a 3 hour cruise down to St. John's Hamilton from my place.

The event consisted of 6 bands.  All were of punk/modern alternative rock stylings.  We had 4 mixes on stage.  Three up front Left, Center and Right.  Then a powered wedge for a drum fill.

We ran soundcheck with the headliner first and I put them on the first 16 channels.  The First opener was up next, and I put them on 17-32.  Bands 2-5 were done pretty much on the fly.  For this gig, we had plenty of spare channels, but heck, you could mix 2 24 input bands on each half of the board preserving the headliner's settings.

Here's a view of my posistion: (click for bigger versions)

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/LABGetTogether/2006.11.18%20LAB%20Get%20Together%20012-1.jpg  http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/LABGetTogether/2006.11.18%20LAB%20Get%20Together%20013-1.jpg

The GB8 has an aux/grp flip feature which is perfect for this situation.  By flipping the auxes, I was able to run the master sends on the group faders AND use the group inserts as Aux inserts.

This really makes it easy to grab a fader if a mix gets unweildy.  Also, having EQs inserted lets the monitor engineer hear what damage he is doing to the mix he's cutting.  By using the monitor output on the back for the cue wedge, one can listen to the individual mixes by using the AFL button on anyone of the 8 aux outputs.

Another nice feature of the aux flip mode is that the auxes send levels are displayed on the group 1-8 meters.  This board can really be a full featured 8 mix monitor board.  I like it!  I didn't really even notice it when I first started mixing... I just took it for granted.  I only really thought about it as I was writing the review.

One thing you may or may not like is that the aux flip feature doesn't put the aux sends on the XLR outputs of the groups.  It stays on the Aux 1-8 TRS sends.  For me, this wasn't an issue.  Since I frequently run mons from FOH, I had all the cabling necessary.

The aux pots seem to be very sensitive below 1 o'clock.  Because this gig was a bit of a hodge podge of gear form every which way but loose, I didn't have much time to spend working on getting a reasonable gain structure on mons.  I had set the aux masters at 0dB, and since the amps were kinda hot (PL236) a wee bit of signal equaled a lot of output.  After the fact I realized I could have just pulled the masters down to put my aux knobs in the sweet spot around 3 o'clock... Which leads me to another point... aren't most consoles aux pots around 0db at 1 or 2 o'clock?

I have to admit, running monitors for this gig wasn't really that hard.  We had 4 piece bands with 2-3 vocalists.  Most of the singers wanted to only hear their voice and a smidge of guitar.  The drummers wanted a lot of guitar and lead vocals.  I was able to give them what the wanted, and Bennett helped me out making some cuts here and there on the graph.  However, having the GB8 in aux flip mode just makes it that much easier not having to hunt for master knobs.

Also, a big thanks to Rob Spence for the guidance on board marking.  I have to be honest... I started out on this journey a loner and a learner.  I never really apprenticed a "pro" and it seems like Rob has been doing this a while so his experience shows.

He and William Davis helped me out marking monitors and taping the console I could easily identify my mixes.  Early on a miscommunication led me to beleive the monitors were wired backwards and I got a little confused.  Just goes to show, a methodical approach can pay off.  Even if it does cost you a little up front in time, it's well worth it for a smooth ride during the show!

Some more cool pics:

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/LABGetTogether/2006.11.18%20LAB%20Get%20Together%20018-1.jpg  http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/LABGetTogether/2006.11.18%20LAB%20Get%20Together%20041-1.jpg

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/LABGetTogether/2006.11.18%20LAB%20Get%20Together%20044-1.jpg

Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Reid on November 23, 2006, 05:17:55 am
Quote:

 I really like how the GB8 handles itself EQ wise. You can definitely hear the signal "snap in" once you start to dial it in.


Exactly.  That's what sold me on the LX series, the GB preamp and modified EQ.  It's just as sensitive at 60-100Hz.

Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on November 25, 2006, 12:33:33 am
Well,

Another show report for you.  "Another?  This quickly!"  I hear you cry.  Yes, your favorite hardworking Road Tester was at it again.

After a work out on side stage at Evan's mid-blowing, er... mind-blowing gathering I figured we'd send the GB8 out in style at FOH. This is one of my more important gigs of the year and I had no worries with this thing running the show.  I know she sounds good, and after a handful of gigs with her, the GB8 would not let me down.

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/NRRB%202006.11.22/2006.11.22%20NRRB%20005.jpg http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/NRRB%202006.11.22/2006.11.22%20NRRB%20014.jpg

The role was a familiar one, running a stereo main mix and 4 effect mixes for the music patrons we call audience members.  This night, it was all about the Blues baby.  This annual event featuers local blues artists as well as some of the country's best touring blues bands.  There were two bands to be heard from in this format, one local, and one hailing from Chicago.

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/NRRB%202006.11.22/2006.11.22%20NRRB%20020.jpg

In all the time I've had the GB8 I've been unable to give all 48 channels a work out.  However, that did not stop me from learning for myself what a great tool this GB8 is.  The console has so many capabilities for it's class and size category.  I would not hesitate to buy one myself.  

One thing I've found myself appreciating more and more are the metering cabapilities this console has.  The combination of 4 segment channel meters, mix bus meters, and VU meters are really fantastic.  My only concern is that the LEDs above 0 on the channel meters are +8 and +16, so I still found myself PFLing the channel to gather more detail about the level of the signal when making adjustments.

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/NRRB%202006.11.22/2006.11.22%20NRRB%20038.jpg  http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/NRRB%202006.11.22/2006.11.22%20NRRB%20016.jpg

So, would you like to Road Test this console for yourself?  For more information, get in touch with myself or Sara Elliott here on the LAB.  

Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Reid on November 25, 2006, 03:04:20 pm
Quote:

So, would you like to Road Test this console for yourself? For more information, get in touch with myself or Sara Elliott here on the LAB.


I'm too afraid that I'd keep it  Very Happy
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on November 27, 2006, 03:04:17 pm
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Sat, 25 November 2006 00:33

In all the time I've had the GB8 I've been unable to give all 48 channels a work out.

Sounds like you finally got enough console!
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on November 27, 2006, 03:29:00 pm
Bennett Prescott wrote on Mon, 27 November 2006 15:04


Sounds like you finally got enough console!


For now...  Cool
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Der on November 30, 2006, 01:25:37 pm
Just as a brief note.. Soundcraft does monitor this discussion/road test from time to time but quite frankly the majority of the comments/critiques on the GB8 have been accurate or have been corrected by LAB members and thus required no additional clarification or input from us. However feel free to fire off a question if you do need something.

Hopefully this post will get Sara from Live Sound off my back.

Happy Trails,


Tom Der
National Sales Manager
Soundcraft USA
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on November 30, 2006, 01:31:38 pm
Tom Der wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 13:25

Hopefully this post will get Sara from Live Sound off my back.

Ha ha! Good luck, Tom. Glad to know you're watching, I'll go goose Paul Magro to give you a little more positive press on the MH2 as well. Thanks again for shipping us the desks.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Sara Elliott on November 30, 2006, 03:46:10 pm
Whatever do you mean?  Those were and have been words of encouragement to have some input and "drop in" comments from the manufacturer.  But none the less, I am happy to know that you are monitoring this thread number one, and number two, that you noticed me "on your back".  
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Sara Elliott on November 30, 2006, 05:34:29 pm
Bennett Prescott wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 12:31

Tom Der wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 13:25

Hopefully this post will get Sara from Live Sound off my back.

I'll go goose Paul Magro to give you a little more positive press on the MH2 as well. Thanks again for shipping us the desks.


You do that Bennett or I will be crawling on Paul's back too.  Paging Mr. Magro - we're waiting!  
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on November 30, 2006, 07:44:50 pm
Tom Der wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 13:25

However feel free to fire off a question if you do need something.


Hey Tom, I'll take a crack at it.

First off.  What made your design team decide to go with an internal power supply on the GB8.  Wouldn't the reduced complexity and parts count help the bottom line?

Also, any reason you guys decided to ship it out with the DPS4 power supply?  The manual makes mention of the DPS3.  Is the DPS4 only recommended for the larger frame versions of the GB8?

The decision to add a GRP/AUX flip that also flips the inserts to  the auxes was a good one I might add.  It also would have been nice if the TRS jacks flipped to the XLRs to be compatible with most drive snakes.  Not a huge deal...

None-the-less, I must admit this console has won me over and I want want for myself.  Though, I think a 40 channel would do and a bit lighter case!  

Quote:

Hopefully this post will get Sara from Live Sound off my back.


Anyone doing their job well get's a vote from me...  Hey, just like her profile says... she get's us Gear and Beer.  No complaints here!

Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Der on November 30, 2006, 10:24:46 pm
The internal PSU actually saves cost. Less metal work, no cable and connectors. In the not so old days built in PSUs were not practical since most large console power supplies were linear thus the weight, size, not to mention heat made it prohibitive. These days switch mode supplies are dependable enough so you've seen us and Midas start using them in our lower mid-range consoles. You still have to make sure that you properly implement it so as not to introduce radiated noise from the supply in to the audio buses. The DPS3 is esentially not much more than the PSU assembly from the GB series mounted in a chassis.

My gut says that we accidentally shipped 2 DPS4 supplies (instead of 1 DPS3 and DPS4)when we sent the MH2 and GB8 to Bennett. The DPS4 is currently only used as a spare PSU to the MH2. I'm not sure if the voltages and pins are identical between the two. DPS3 works with all GB console frame sizes and has replaced the DCP-200 for Series TWO.

Yep, agreed that it probably would have been best to have the XLRs switch along with the inserts. There may have been some rationale why they don't but i can't think of any good reason at the moment.

Roadcases are sort of tough at this end of the market. Any quality case with casters, doghouse, etc...is going to be pretty heavy and even worse-fairly expensive. I agonized a bit about whether to offer it in a tourpack configuration with case or not since the case on this level of console represents a significant portion of the console cost. The decision in the end was to offer a relatively well made case with doghouse and casters as our standard case, but certainly if someone wanted something more compact or simplier they could source it on their own.

No need to defend Sara, she's perfectly fine at taking up for herself and will no doubt try to poison me with polonium (or something equally exotic) slipped into my chicken tikka masala during our next dinner together.

Thanks for the comments. Standing by for more....

All The Best,


Tom

Hey Tom, I'll take a crack at it.

First off.  What made your design team decide to go with an internal power supply on the GB8.  Wouldn't the reduced complexity and parts count help the bottom line?

Also, any reason you guys decided to ship it out with the DPS4 power supply?  The manual makes mention of the DPS3.  Is the DPS4 only recommended for the larger frame versions of the GB8?

The decision to add a GRP/AUX flip that also flips the inserts to  the auxes was a good one I might add.  It also would have been nice if the TRS jacks flipped to the XLRs to be compatible with most drive snakes.  Not a huge deal...

None-the-less, I must admit this console has won me over and I want want for myself.  Though, I think a 40 channel would do and a bit lighter case!  

Quote:

Hopefully this post will get Sara from Live Sound off my back.


Anyone doing their job well get's a vote from me...  Hey, just like her profile says... she get's us Gear and Beer.  No complaints here!

[/quote]
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS on November 30, 2006, 10:45:03 pm
Tom, I have a question regarding the power supplies for the GB series consoles.

Living in Phoenix, it is hot as hell!  It is not uncommon to have 115+'F here during the summer.  The big boys in town that have a series five and SM24 console have to use giant fans in front of the power supplies to keep them cool here during the summer.  I think this is why we see so many more Yamaha boards here while other areas seem to have a lot more Soundcraft.  Are these newer power suppies efficient enough at cooling that they can handle our extreme temperatures here with out worry?  Being in the market for one more analogue console for little stuff I would love to be able to get a GB series because they fit the need but I am worried about the heat with them.

Please let us know how these would fair in really extreme conditions such as an outdoor gig in July here with 110+' weather.

Thanks,
Ryan Jenkins
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on November 30, 2006, 11:07:53 pm
Tom Der wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 22:24

These days switch mode supplies are dependable enough so you've seen us and Midas start using them in our lower mid-range consoles. You still have to make sure that you properly implement it so as not to introduce radiated noise from the supply in to the audio buses.


Interesting.  Insight like this is something end users almost never get.  Glad we have this outlet for information like this.

Quote:

The DPS3 is esentially not much more than the PSU assembly from the GB series mounted in a chassis.

My gut says that we accidentally shipped 2 DPS4 supplies (instead of 1 DPS3 and DPS4)when we sent the MH2 and GB8 to Bennett. The DPS4 is currently only used as a spare PSU to the MH2. I'm not sure if the voltages and pins are identical between the two.


Umm... well the DPS4 does work with the GB8...  Very Happy  I've used it for the last several outings with the console and no magic smoke.  Hope this doesn't anger anyone.  -ducks-

I did check the voltages on the spec sheets before I did so and it seemed compatible.  I'm guessing the DPS4 is a switch mode as well... it's very light.  I like when I can lift a power supply without breaking my wrists.  My DCP-200 for the Spirit 8 is a tank.

Quote:

I agonized a bit about whether to offer it in a tourpack configuration with case or not since the case on this level of console represents a significant portion of the console cost.


Nah, I think it's a good thing... with all the traveling it's doing you might as well protect it properly.

Quote:

No need to defend Sara, she's perfectly fine at taking up for herself and will no doubt try to poison me with polonium (or something equally exotic) slipped into my chicken tikka masala during our next dinner together.


Yikes... I'll be sure to have my mail scanned before I open it!

Thanks for the info Tom.


Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Der on November 30, 2006, 11:15:06 pm
I think, key word being think, that GB consoles should fair better than larger consoles in this respect. Partly due to the fact they are simpler (no logic circuits to speak of, no CPU, etc..), and have lower current draw and partly due to the fact that the switch mode power supplies are going to be more effecient and generate less heat.

We've sold an awful lot of these consoles for a variety of uses and I know for sure some of these are being used in southern parts of Texas where it has got to get close to Phoenix in terms of heat so they should be fine at 115 degrees but I'm not sure if we've done environmental testing to confirm that.

I'm always one to say the proof is when it's actually used in situ with sun, heat, etc... and see what happens. Perhaps not the most confidence inspiring answer but an honest one. Hopefully other LAB members might toss in their experiences and i'll double check with the UK factory and see if they have any official operating parameters for the console.

Best Regards,


Tom


Living in Phoenix, it is hot as hell!  It is not uncommon to have 115+'F here during the summer.  The big boys in town that have a series five and SM24 console have to use giant fans in front of the power supplies to keep them cool here during the summer.  I think this is why we see so many more Yamaha boards here while other areas seem to have a lot more Soundcraft.  Are these newer power suppies efficient enough at cooling that they can handle our extreme temperatures here with out worry?  Being in the market for one more analogue console for little stuff I would love to be able to get a GB series because they fit the need but I am worried about the heat with them.

Please let us know how these would fair in really extreme conditions such as an outdoor gig in July here with 110+' weather.

Thanks,
Ryan Jenkins[/quote]
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS on December 01, 2006, 12:01:12 am
Thanks Tom for the very quick response.  Any follow up would be well appreciated.

Ryan Jenkins
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on December 01, 2006, 04:11:17 am
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 23:07

Umm... well the DPS4 does work with the GB8...  Very Happy  I've used it for the last several outings with the console and no magic smoke.  Hope this doesn't anger anyone.  -ducks-

Heh... I did too! The IEC cord I got with the GB8 wasn't quite long enough for my poorly planned out power system at FOH, but if I racked the spare PSU and then cabled it to the console there was no problem... I actually never used the internal supply!
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Sara Elliott on December 01, 2006, 02:11:01 pm
Tom Der wrote on Thu, 30 November 2006 21:24

No need to defend Sara, she's perfectly fine at taking up for herself and will no doubt try to poison me with polonium (or something equally exotic) slipped into my chicken tikka masala during our next dinner together.

Thanks for the comments. Standing by for more....

All The Best,


Tom



Quote:

Hopefully this post will get Sara from Live Sound off my back.


Anyone doing their job well get's a vote from me...  Hey, just like her profile says... she get's us Gear and Beer.  No complaints here!



[/quote]

So, Tom when are we going to partake of some Curry again?  I suppose that would be sometime at NAMM.  I will make sure to go online and purchase the polonium or exotic toxin that will seal your fate. Actually, now that you have done as I asked - no need, the request as been fulfilled.  
No, seriously, thank you for your participation.  As you can see when they know you are monitoring and you do contribute, the questions come fast and furious - it makes for a better interactive thread, which is what the intent was for ROAD TEST.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: jack owen on December 01, 2006, 06:11:11 pm
Hey, while we have some Soundcraft people hangin' around here talking about power supplies, can anyone pull some strings to get me a fan for my power supply? I ordered the part almost three months ago and it's still back ordered. Anybody know of an outside repair shop that stocks Soundcraft parts??? The power supply is for the Soundcraft Ghost in our studio which has run flawless for almost 10 years straight.

jack
RadioWestOfTheRiver@hotmail.com
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on December 12, 2006, 01:38:44 am
Hey all,

After helping Jim B. with an install we brought the GB8 in to give it a workout as a FOH console in a theatre setting.

Here are some pics to start.  Hopefully Jim or I will get back here with some comments, for now feast your eyes on these:

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20030-1.jpg http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20026-1.jpg

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20040.jpg http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20041.jpg

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20042.jpg http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20063.jpg

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/StateTheatre/2006.12.11%20State%20Theatre%20065.jpg
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre
Post by: Sara Elliott on December 15, 2006, 04:34:18 pm
Hey Ryan, great shots! Did you mix a show in that theatre?  
Let us know how it went and how did you like the desk?  Jim B., would love for you to weigh in on it too.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre
Post by: The Guy on December 19, 2006, 04:45:33 pm
Now that we have the opening weekend under our belt, I can chime in with some initial impressions of the GB8-48.

So far we've had 10 bands play through the desk.  3 visiting engineers (including 2 that requested 'H3000 or equivalent' on the rider!)  I've mixed 7 performances on it so far and here goes nothing.

The layout of the desk pretty standard.  The color coding scheme is nice for keeping track of the auxes.  I have no problem getting around on the desk, being a large-fingered person that I am.  Ergonomically I prefer it to the GL3300.  The group/mute assign switches are close together and short-travel, so sometimes you have to look closely to see where things are assigned.  Not a deal breaker, and hey, I'm used to it from my old Verona.

The room holds about 600 people and is very, very nice sounding.  Virtually anechoic (it's a dual purpose concert room/movie theater.)  The PA is a flown Turbosound Floodlight system, QSC powered.  More than enough power for the room, and very nice sounding if I do say so myself.  Perhaps Brian B or Ryan Lantzy can chime in.

So far, here's what we've had in terms of acts:
1. Blues Band
2. Solo Pianist/Male Vocalist
3. Full Jazz Band
4. Disrespectfully loud (and fairly untalented) rock band
5. Much Better rock band
6. Solo Acoustic/Female Vocalist
7. National Act (last night.)

The console had its shining moment of sound quality on our opening night, a grammy-winning male vocalist and piano player.  3 AKG 414's on the piano and a Beyer M88 on his vocal, and the console performed admirably.  The EQ is more responsive than you'd expect in a console of this range, and the mic preamps sound as good as most.

Last night we had a national act come through with a guest engineer (Rider specified H3000 or better) but the guy was fine with the GB8.  Mix sounded fantastic and they were a blast to work with.

Mixing on it myself, here are some pros and cons:
Pros:
-Good sounding EQ
-Nice layout
-Good metering (space age digital VU meters on top....niiice)
-Console is relatively compact
-Plenty of outputs

Cons:
-Build quality is a tad bit cheesy.  I.E. if you press on the fader tray the top panel will flex.  I'm not sure how this translates into internal structural integrity, but on the surface it's not built like a yamaha battleship (see marketplace.)
-Virtually every output on TRS jack.  I'd prefer to see more XLR outputs (at least on the matrices, hopefully on the auxes too.)  The console has XLR outputs for the groups, but they do not flip to the aux outputs (ala GL3300 style) when you're in monitor mode.
-Needs PAD buttons on the channel inputs.  Some condenser mics will overdrive the inputs, or at least come close.
-Fixed HPF
-Only a 2 band sweep EQ.

All in all it's a great little console, and a very good alternative to the GL3xxx class consoles.

-JB

P.S.  Soundcraft, can you add a feature that blasts bands with a firehose when their stage volume is 115dbA at FOH IN A DAMN THEATER?

P.S.2. I'd really like to get my hands on the MH2....hopefully road test will send me the one and try to show up my current medium format console king...the Spectra T.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on December 20, 2006, 08:09:22 am
Jim Bowersox wrote on Tue, 19 December 2006 16:45


The room holds about 600 people and is very, very nice sounding.  Virtually anechoic (it's a dual purpose concert room/movie theater.)  The PA is a flown Turbosound Floodlight system, QSC powered.  More than enough power for the room, and very nice sounding if I do say so myself.  Perhaps Brian B or Ryan Lantzy can chime in.  


The PA does sound quite good.  It was the first time I had heard the Floodlight cabinets and I was fairly impressed.  WRT the GB8, the mixer seems transparent to me.  I don't perceive any coloration or distortion of any kind.

I've listened to 4 shows there plus some recorded material and it sounds fantastic with the GB8 at the helm.  I've also listened to some board recordings and it sounds like something out of a studio.  The room itself sounds like a studio.  It is dead, very dead.  

If you hear a bad mix in this room, it's just that.  Because of the multiple zones I think it is a good idea to walk the room a few times during the show.  Engineers that have refused to do that have put together awful sounding mixes.

I would call two of the mixes I heard the other night *inspiring* (one for a female vocalist playing acoustic guitar, the other for a national modern folk/rock singer).

The one thing I questioned was how the GB8 would handle a load on a multitude of channels.  I've used it for rock and blues with 20 channels or so, but it's harder to pick out nastiness with driving music like that.  The BE for the national on Monday was hitting 20+ channels at moderate levels with music that was "lighter."  It sounded fantastic.

I guess in summation, I have no concerns with this board sound quality wise.  For all the little nit-picks, I think you can't go wrong for the money.

P.S.  With the system that is installed, running some listening material Jim B. was hitting 100 dB just before the balcony shaded the pattern of the Floodlights.  The amps (PL218, PL236, and PL236, HF, MF, LF I believe) were just barely flickering signal.  The TFL760 is very efficient.  My point is, there was definitely enough system headroom that if the GB8 had any gremlins to show, they would have been audible.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre Follow Up
Post by: The Guy on January 15, 2007, 09:50:59 am
After some more time on the GB8 I figured it was high time for a follow up post.  I'm continuing to like the GB8 (admittedly more than I thought I would at first!)

- I thought the absence of a PAD button might be a problem at first, but it has proved to be a non-issue.  We've had some inputs hit fairly hard on the board, but the headroom is adequate.  I'd still like to see a 4 band sweep EQ, or a Q switch on the mids (ala K2.)  

- We readjusted some gain structure in the venue, as most of our work is relatively low SPL (<100dB.)  I've been running the console a tad harder, with the most recent show hanging out at around -3 on the digital VU meters.  My gut instinct is that it sounds a little bit better than in the beginning, where we were barely lighting up the outputs during shows.  

We've had several more guest engineers on the board over the past few weeks and everyone has been happy with it; no complaints at all.  One mentioned that "VCA's would be nice," but obviously that's not a flaw with the board.

We've got a stack of upcoming riders requesting XL4's and PM4000's, but we're going to try and encourage them to use the GB8.  The place is only 550 seats, after all.  Most of these riders also say "MUST BE LINE ARRAY, NO EXCEPTIONS" but that's a different problem!  I guess I'm taking the Floodlights down and installing a V-DORSH or VORTECH rig as they've called out for.

-JB
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre Follow Up
Post by: Mario Salazar on January 27, 2007, 06:50:58 pm
I have to say that I am a bit bummed that this console does not have pads.  I was seriously considering it over the Allen and Heath but pads are necessary, especially when doing multi-act shows.  I can't tell you how many times during a show a guy with a drum machine or processor jumps to a program that is hot as hell and that is when the pads save me.  I would hate to think of having to grab a pad and disconnect the input to insert it.  Why is it that there is always a catch in this price range?
Just my two cents.
Regards,
Mario
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 - State Theatre Follow Up
Post by: Andy Peters on January 28, 2007, 01:48:18 pm
Mario Salazar wrote on Sat, 27 January 2007 16:50

I have to say that I am a bit bummed that this console does not have pads.  I was seriously considering it over the Allen and Heath but pads are necessary, especially when doing multi-act shows.  I can't tell you how many times during a show a guy with a drum machine or processor jumps to a program that is hot as hell and that is when the pads save me.  I would hate to think of having to grab a pad and disconnect the input to insert it.  Why is it that there is always a catch in this price range?


Drum machines and the like have LINE LEVEL outputs.

Run them into the console's LINE INPUTS and you won't have any problems.

This may require a handful of XLR female to 1/4" TRS male adapters, which should be in your kit anyways.

NB: the above works just fine if you are using a passive DI to send the signal down the snake (assuming the passive DI can handle the levels without farting out).  Of course the console line input doesn't supply phantom so you can't use an active DI.

-a
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Adrian Stuart on January 30, 2007, 06:56:39 pm
Firstly I have to say I quite like this console. The layout is very clear and intuitive and bang for buck is right up there but I have three gripes.

Yes, no pads, for me truly a PITA. If you have 20 line level sources coming at you from the multi, (normal for the kind of corporate show I would expect this desk to be aimed at) then that's 20 extra XLR to jack you have to find and patch. You can put a line level into the XLR of a K1, why loose the feature on what is effectively it's replacement.

Metering. That LED VU meter bridge brings a whole new meaning to the Virtually Useless meter. Ok it means the case is 3" deeper and gives it stability on it's casters but why is it not connected to the PFL bus?

Channel Metering. Great for a desk at this level I thought but the first LED doesn't light up until -10dB. Even with correct gain structure, if you have a quiet speaker on a lav or even some dynamic playback, chances are you channel metering will show diddly squat.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on January 30, 2007, 08:03:45 pm
Sounds like the kinds of complaints I would have if I mixed on one.

No PFL on the VU? Ouch.

No tickle-level green LED on the ladder? Ugh. The Verona gives you -18dBu, the K2 -30dBu, the M7CL -60dBFS which would be about -42dBu... the GB8's -10dBu is too high.

As far as line level XLR==>TRS patching; I'm used to that on a bunch of other mixers so it wouldn't bug me so much.

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on January 30, 2007, 08:15:55 pm
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Tue, 30 January 2007 20:03

Sounds like the kinds of complaints I would have if I mixed on one.

No PFL on the VU? Ouch.

No tickle-level green LED on the ladder? Ugh. The Verona gives you -18dBu, the K2 -30dBu, the M7CL -60dBFS which would be about -42dBu... the GB8's -10dBu is too high.




FWIW, the PFL is connected to the Center LED ladder meter.  

The fact it doesn't latch to the VU meters when PFLing is an oversight I'll agree.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on April 12, 2007, 07:38:44 pm
Well,

I had the GB8 out at another event.  This one really put it to the test.

Every year for the last few years I've helped out a friend of mine who is a music teacher a small local high school with their annual musical.  He and his wife along with a few other concerned individuals put everything they have into directing, conducting, musical instruction, and set building for these lucky kids.

Out here in rural Pennsylvania, our schools are not very big.  Between the middle school and high school (grades 6-12) there are about 600 students.  Out of that, about 150-170 of them participate in one way or another with the annual musical.

The audio facilities provided by the school's auditorium leave a lot to desire.

We brought in a nice sized rig to provide sound for about 700 seats, with all the bells and whistles: front fills, balcony delays, and a familiar 48 channel console.

http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/Stuff/2007.03.30%20small%20008.jpg http://photos.lhsoundandlight.com/photos/Stuff/2007.03.30%20small%20021.jpg

This year's production required about 15 channels of wireless headsets and lavs.  Additionally, we had about a 20 pc pit and floor mics on the stage.

Between all that and some other odds and ends we were using about 40 channels, 6 auxes, 2 matrix sends and LCR sends.

The GB8 handled all that with ease and we had a great week over all through 4 dress rehearsals and 3 shows.

We did experience one minor problem during the show.  Since we make a recording of the show for the school's archives, I had 24 channels of direct outs in use.  Actually, about 20 or so, and 4 group outs.

Several of the direct outs have demonstrated an intermittent problem where the direct out will not pass signal.  If the channel was allowed to clip, the direct out would finally pass signal.  After about an hour of troubleshooting before load out I was able to repeatedly verify the problem and rule out any other possibilities.

I made Soundcraft aware of the problem and they are currently looking into it.

Overall though, the GB8 worked well in this situation even with out VCAs or any scene automation which may have come in handy for a theater event like this.

Well, if anyone has any questions, let 'em rip.  I think the road test on this item will be wrapping up soon and time is running out.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: The Guy on April 13, 2007, 09:25:50 am
I also just got finished with a High School Show featuring the GB8.  Our show was a little different from the one Ryan did; ours was the
"Rock and Roll Revival."  More of a concert, featuring about 40 oldies and classic rock tunes, performed by students with a student backing band.  

The setup was 47 inputs on the GB8, a mix of band mics, wired vocal mics, and wireless mics.  The PA was a Turbosound Floodlight system, all in a ~1500 capacity auditorium.  The GB8 replaced the school's standard mixer inventory, which consisted of a Mackie 32/8 with 24/E expander.

The FOH Mixers were both students, as was most of the technical crew.  Both guys mixing were quite intimidated by the board at first, but after about 10 seconds of use they both commented on how much easier it was to get around on than the Mackie 8-Bus.  We used 6 of the 8 auxes, all 4 matrix outputs, and the mute groups...features that were previously unavailable on the 8-Bus board.  This was not a traditional theatrical show, and was mixed very much "on the fly."  Presets and/or mute scenes would have probably gotten us into trouble, especially since many of the performers seemed to develop colorblindness when grabbing their wireless mic from backstage.  Some of them changed every night (We had 16 channels of Sabine SWM7000 series wireless going.)

Everyone there loved the console (and they weren't enthused to go back to their old 8-bus!)  This would be a fantastic application for a mixer like the GB8...a well performing, simple to use, fairly affordable mixer.

Here's a photo of the board in use....as you can see, FOH was pretty tight!
index.php/fa/8694/0/


-JB

P.S.  Thanks Road Test for this opportunity to check out the new gear!
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Sara Elliott on April 16, 2007, 04:49:42 pm
You both are very welcome.
I hope that it has been a valuable experience and you now have a greater understanding of the Soundcraft GB8.
Also, Thank you, Ryan and Jim, for turning the desk on to some possible future Engineers at such an impressionable time in their decision making process of what they may want to do when they "grow up".  Little do they know.
By they way, are you going to use this desk on one more gig, before we wrap this up?  Let us know so that we can look for the posting.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Josh Evans on May 24, 2007, 07:01:32 am

I know this is an old review but I just had a couple of questions.  
What order (how many poles) is the variable high pass filter?  Also I didn't see a mention of the output voltage when driven into clip from something like a sine wave. Id seriously be curious about the grounding scheme for the inserts as others have not met up to par in the past. Does PIN1 have the typical zero length termination to chasi or something else?  
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on May 24, 2007, 08:22:46 am
Josh Evans wrote on Thu, 24 May 2007 04:01

...Also I didn't see a mention of the output voltage when driven into clip from something like a sine wave....


The user guide says +20dBu max output.


Quote:

...Id seriously be curious about the grounding scheme for the inserts as others have not met up to par in the past. Does PIN1 have the typical zero length termination to chasi or something else?  


I'd like to know the answer, too. I can't even begin to guess how designers answer the pin 1 problem with unbalanced jacks such as the GB8's Tip Return inserts. The problem is that the shield is part of the circuit.  Confused

Balanced inserts would have made me more interested in this mixer.

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Josh Evans on May 27, 2007, 08:52:54 am

Hey Bink,

Look at the small APB console (16 channel) the inserts are the cheap plastic ones so thats one way.  I assuming that just by lifting pin 1 at the console and not at the external gear is one way to go.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on May 27, 2007, 10:02:16 am
Josh,

Last I checked (it's been a few weeks) the jackfield on the back of the APB mixers released so far is metal.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on May 27, 2007, 10:30:04 am
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Thu, 24 May 2007 07:22



I'd like to know the answer, too. I can't even begin to guess how designers answer the pin 1 problem with unbalanced jacks such as the GB8's Tip Return inserts. The problem is that the shield is part of the circuit.  Confused

Balanced inserts would have made me more interested in this mixer.

-Bink


There is no pin 1 so no pin 1 problem  QED.

Seriously, it's a pretty similar situation. The connector ground is bonded to chassis ground at the insert jack field and all signals coming or going properly differentials from the single ground point. The odds of equipment being plugged into insert fields being from distant, unrelated power mains is rare, so there should be less rougue ground currents to deal with.  

Unbalanced insert jack fields are not optimal for long feeds in noisy environments but they work adequately well for short runs. One could buy a little better signal integrity by using more conductors in the wiring and shielding both audio conductors.

I am not aware of a performance difference between metal and plastic bushings and/or plastic nuts (besides mechanical robustness) but there is surely a customer perception and the customer is always.....Cool

JR  
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Ryan Lantzy on May 27, 2007, 01:47:06 pm
John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Sun, 27 May 2007 10:30


Unbalanced insert jack fields are not optimal for long feeds in noisy environments but they work adequately well for short runs.


In support of this, I have yet to EVER run into a piece of outboard that didn't sound perfectly adequate using unbalanced insert TRS - 2x TS cables.  I haven't been doing this quite as log as some others, and I'm sure others' experience differs.

For as tedious (and/or costly) as making insert cables and snakes is, I'd be happy with all unbalanced gear at that point.  Additionally, I'd wish the outboard manufacturers would start selling gear with single point insert jacks just like the console makers.  That way, one TRS-TRS cable would connect the send and the return rather than the confounded TRS-2xTS cables that are USELESS for every other SR application.


Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on May 27, 2007, 02:43:02 pm
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Sun, 27 May 2007 10:47

...In support of this, I have yet to EVER run into a piece of outboard that didn't sound perfectly adequate using unbalanced insert TRS - 2x TS cables.  I haven't been doing this quite as log as some others, and I'm sure others' experience differs.


Just this past week I got less hum/buzz from an outboard dbx 166XL when using a Ramsa WRS4424's balanced group outs and returning balanced into a spare channel versus using the mixer's unbalanced group inserts with a TRS==>2xTS cable. I've had this exact same experience with other mixers as well, and with a host of outboard gear. It wouldn't be as critical if it were a loud band with a dense sound but if the subgroup is for speech and is being recorded, the slight hum/buzz in the background is that much more exposed.


http://www.cmtc.co.uk/acatalog/hpu009u_mini_to_trs_adpt.jpg

Quote:

...the confounded TRS-2xTS cables that are USELESS for every other SR application.


Heh heh. You can use them for headphone outputs to mixer inputs. You can use them to take a compact mixer's 1/4" outputs into a single JBL EON G2's TRS stereo input (which makes a mono sum of both channels.) You can use them with a minijack adaptor slapped onto the TRS end for iPods and for Smaart laptops with minijack i/o.  Razz

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on May 27, 2007, 03:50:17 pm
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Sun, 27 May 2007 12:47

John Roberts  {JR} wrote on Sun, 27 May 2007 10:30


Unbalanced insert jack fields are not optimal for long feeds in noisy environments but they work adequately well for short runs.


In support of this, I have yet to EVER run into a piece of outboard that didn't sound perfectly adequate using unbalanced insert TRS - 2x TS cables.  I haven't been doing this quite as log as some others, and I'm sure others' experience differs.

For as tedious (and/or costly) as making insert cables and snakes is, I'd be happy with all unbalanced gear at that point.  Additionally, I'd wish the outboard manufacturers would start selling gear with single point insert jacks just like the console makers.  That way, one TRS-TRS cable would connect the send and the return rather than the confounded TRS-2xTS cables that are USELESS for every other SR application.





I have done this before but it never became widely embraced by the marketplace, and there are/were a few oddball mixer mfrs whose inserts were bass-akwards.

Balanced is better but money talks, especially in consoles where the incremental cost is 16 to 40x.

JR
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on May 27, 2007, 03:54:55 pm
Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Sun, 27 May 2007 13:43



Just this past week I got less hum/buzz from an outboard dbx 166XL when using a Ramsa WRS4424's balanced group outs and returning balanced into a spare channel versus using the mixer's unbalanced group inserts with a TRS==>2xTS cable. I've had this exact same experience with other mixers as well, and with a host of outboard gear. It wouldn't be as critical if it were a loud band with a dense sound but if the subgroup is for speech and is being recorded, the slight hum/buzz in the background is that much more exposed.


-Bink


Balanced is undeniably better and may be covering up ills in outboard gear that may be  exaggerated by power and/or how gear is racked up. YMMV

The customer is always right, whichever choice he makes,,,

JR
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Andy Peters on May 27, 2007, 04:02:22 pm
Ryan Lantzy wrote on Sun, 27 May 2007 10:47

Additionally, I'd wish the outboard manufacturers would start selling gear with single point insert jacks just like the console makers.  That way, one TRS-TRS cable would connect the send and the return rather than the confounded TRS-2xTS cables that are USELESS for every other SR application.


One potential problem with this is that the user would choose a standard twisted-pair cable with TRS ends, and the part of my brain that worries about such things as crosstalk and potential badness starts throbbing when I think about it.

And the standard insert cable has one other use: headphone outs to two line ins.

While the insert cable has few other uses, it's so widely used for its intended application that it's not really useless.

-a
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Tom Der on May 29, 2007, 10:50:46 am
[
Quote:

...Id seriously be curious about the grounding scheme for the inserts as others have not met up to par in the past. Does PIN1 have the typical zero length termination to chasi or something else?  


I'd like to know the answer, too. I can't even begin to guess how designers answer the pin 1 problem with unbalanced jacks such as the GB8's Tip Return inserts. The problem is that the shield is part of the circuit.  Confused

Balanced inserts would have made me more interested in this mixer.

-Bink[/quote]

JR already commented correctly on this but i had already sent the comment over to Graham Blyth, one of Soundcraft's founders and still chief designer and not to mention the GB in the GB Series of consoles. He responds:

The Pin1 issue is not really a problem, even for unbalanced send/return loops because Pin1 is taken straight to chassis and there are emc caps from the other pins to the Pin1. According to Jim Brown, who is the real guru on these things nowadays, we’re all completely screwed when we get up into the Giga Hertz area, because even the shortest and thickest piece of track is enough of an inductor to cause problems. However, actual field experience does not seem to exhibit audibly the problems that Jim quite rightly warns about, and generally all the major console designers are using best practice with regard to pin1 issues. Admittedly I’m over here rather than over there, but I’ve not heard any “Foxy Lady, come on in …” over the Church PA stories for sometime now.

All The Best,


Tom Der
National Sales Manager
Soundcraft USA


Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on May 29, 2007, 11:38:54 am
Tom Der wrote on Tue, 29 May 2007 07:50

Bink wrote


Josh Evans wrote

...Id seriously be curious about the grounding scheme for the inserts as others have not met up to par in the past. Does PIN1 have the typical zero length termination to chasi or something else?  


I'd like to know the answer, too. I can't even begin to guess how designers answer the pin 1 problem with unbalanced jacks such as the GB8's Tip Return inserts. The problem is that the shield is part of the circuit.  Confused

Balanced inserts would have made me more interested in this mixer.

-Bink


JR already commented correctly on this but i had already sent the comment over to Graham Blyth, one of Soundcraft's founders and still chief designer and not to mention the GB in the GB Series of consoles. He responds:

The Pin1 issue is not really a problem, even for unbalanced send/return loops because Pin1 is taken straight to chassis and there are emc caps from the other pins to the Pin1. According to Jim Brown, who is the real guru on these things nowadays, we’re all completely screwed when we get up into the Giga Hertz area, because even the shortest and thickest piece of track is enough of an inductor to cause problems. However, actual field experience does not seem to exhibit audibly the problems that Jim quite rightly warns about, and generally all the major console designers are using best practice with regard to pin1 issues. Admittedly I’m over here rather than over there, but I’ve not heard any “Foxy Lady, come on in …” over the Church PA stories for sometime now.

All The Best,


Tom Der
National Sales Manager
Soundcraft USA


Fair enough, Tom. I'm glad you've got the right guys making sure the unbalanced inserts are as good as they can be.

Josh had a question: how many poles is the HPF on the GB8?

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Dan Mortensen on June 06, 2007, 09:34:58 pm
Hi Bennett (et al),

Just stumbled on this thread (and on the whole Road Test Forum; odd that I've never visited before), and had to comment on a few things:

1) Concerning the lack of pads on this console and the GB series: Andy and Bink's comments about using FXL-MTRS adaptors have not received enough love. Why pad the signal down to reamplify it when you can go in a line input? Yes, I agree about the hassle, and about the lack of phantom, but this is not an expensive console. You pay a price for having a cheap(er) console.

2) Concerning the sound of the GB series: I have two GB4's, a 16 and a 32. Through a variety of Meyer PA's, they are wonderful sounding, clear and coherent. I like the EQ just fine.

3) Regarding the flip feature for the auxes and subs: I thought the point of it was to get the inserts on the auxes; on the GB4, since it has 4 subgroups, you'd have 4 auxes with XLR and the other auxes would be TRS. Maybe the the designers unthinkingly followed the GB4's non-flipping of the outputs which made sense on it,  but is a goof up on the GB8?

4) The biggest negative for me on the GB4/8 is the global pre/post on the auxes. There are LOTS of times when a mons-from-FOH gig needs pre sends on most channels, but post on playback channels so the tracks fade in the mons just like in the house. NOT POSSIBLE! GB2 is another story AFAIK, but there is a price to be paid for that, too.

5) Another niggling problem is that the backplate jackfield is sloped, which is fine for visual access but puts the insert jacks at the top of the console higher than the bottom of the doghouse lid (at least on my custom Spectrum cases). Some creative case foam substitutions were required to solve this one.

6) Regarding how big and heavy the road case is: of course it's going to be big and heavy when you ADD THREE USELESS INCHES TO THE TOP OF THE CASE WITH THAT POS METER BRIDGE, AND FIVE PLUS INCHES TO THE LENGTH OF THE CASE WITH THOSE POS PLASTIC USELESS END CAPS!!!!!!!

Size equals weight!!!!!!!!!

FYI: the end caps are not structural, and are easily removed by taking the back of the console off, and removing the 10 or so screws holding each one in place. Those screw holes are easily filled by #1/4-20 (shoot, are they truss head screws? Domed low top, slot head) or equivalent screws with backing nuts. It even looks kind of cool in a leather-jacket-with-all-the-silver-studs kind of way.

FYI #II: The console works fine without the meter bridge, and there is dandy LED full metering. There is apparently some level of unfinishedness without the meter bridge, but you can fix that.

This USELESS APPENDAGE EXPLOSION would be my major beef with the consoles if it weren't so easily overcome.

7) Concerning the structural integrity of the unit: I, too, was concerned about the thickness of the sheet metal, and especially when I took the back off to remove those USELESS PLASTIC END CAPS. But when it is all buttoned up, that thing is structurally quite rigid. You can grab one corner and lift, and it moves as a unit and not a collection of pieces. They did a really nice job on this part.

8 (somehow I get a smiley when putting the paren after the eight) Comparing the GB series to the Series 2: IMO the GB's are much more of a low end pro series than the Series 2, which IMO was a joke to start with. I sold a S2 to a local school, and it is working fine for them after 5 or 6 or however many years it's been, but it seems more like an MI product at best in feel and build quality, and sound quality, based on a very limited listening (also through Meyers). The S2 is a lot of plastic compared to the rigid metal of the GB's.

9) I am reasonably ham-fisted as well, and have not had a problem with the assign buttons on the GB's.

10) Don't know anything about lights that come with it. Actual Littlelites come with the bigger console Tour Packages, and they are fine, whether right angle or straight when used with the GB's.

11) I would have gotten the GB8-32 over the GB4-32, and would certainly prefer 8 subs over 4 and 4 stereo returns over 2, except that the GB4-32 minus the USELESS PLASTIC END CAPS (in a  case built accordingly) JUST stands on end in my Econoline, meaning that a GB8 wouldn't. Case closed.

12) Tom Der is A number 1 in my book. He is a big reason that I am still a firm Soundcraft supporter, although the feeling began in 1979 with a 1S, and continued through the 200B before hitting some bumpy patches (before Tom's time, I think).

The product quality from what I perceive to be the Andy Brown era is the other reason. They are doing really cool things and have been since the Series 5, IMO.

In short, they are nifty consoles for the money, and it's nice that Soundcraft's future looks finally rosy in this digital age with these analogs for their niche and their upcoming family of digitals for their niche.

Sorry for all the caps, but hope this is helpful to someone.

Best wishes,
Dan
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Michael 'Bink' Knowles on June 06, 2007, 11:33:46 pm
Dan Mortensen wrote on Wed, 06 June 2007 18:34

...
1) Concerning the lack of pads on this console and the GB series: Andy and Bink's comments about using FXL-MTRS adaptors have not received enough love. Why pad the signal down to reamplify it when you can go in a line input?...


To be fair, a number of consoles take that line input, pad it down internally, and reamplify it via mic preamp.   Confused

Thanks for the real world comments about the GBs, positive AND negative.

-Bink
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48 Faulty direct outs?
Post by: Adrian Stuart on June 07, 2007, 06:32:56 am
I know it's a bit late now but I don't get to this forum often.

I just wondered if you had any feedback on the intermittent direct outs. I've used the direct outs on this desk (for automixing) and had the same issues. I was never 100% sure if it was the desk or the auto mixing but your post seems to add weight to my desk theory.
Title: GB-4
Post by: Karsten Pedersen on June 10, 2007, 05:40:01 am
Hey guys

Just wanted to let you know that I ordered a GB-4 24 ch yesterday. A lot of it was based on the oppinions expressed here. But I have also worked on a GB-8 a couple of times, and really liked it. This thread just conviced me that the GB-series is a serious desk for my range.

With my EQ station, M-one, D-two and Triple C's this should make a nifty little FOH setup.  Razz

Thanks for all the reviews guys.
Title: Name policy
Post by: Mac Kerr on June 10, 2007, 11:33:51 pm
Karsten, please go to your profile and change your alias to your real full name as required by the posting rules clearly displayed at the top of the page.

Mac
moderator
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: droppedbits2 on July 19, 2007, 05:02:19 pm
What I don't like about it is that it only has 4 mute groups, all on pushbutton assignments in line with each and every fader, exactly like the group assignments. Maybe that's just because I'm used to the k2-40 that is digital as far as it's mute groups are concerned, and instead of 4 it has 8 mute groups. Although I'm not a huge fan of the 128 possible mute scenes you can program into it, I'm sure it has it's uses in some situations. Probably not for live audio though.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Adam Thiesen on October 18, 2007, 04:27:45 am
We recently installed a GB4 32ch in the club I work in a few nights a week.  I'm still getting used to it but so far it's a great board.  I do wish there was a pad for each channel though.  I usually need to put the -20 pad on anytime I use the DI.  I've also noticed that the peak light on the channel will light before the peak when soloing gets to the Red.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Daniel Maier on May 15, 2008, 08:43:43 pm
Adam Thiesen wrote on Thu, 18 October 2007 03:27

We recently installed a GB4 32ch in the club I work in a few nights a week.  I'm still getting used to it but so far it's a great board.  I do wish there was a pad for each channel though.  I usually need to put the -20 pad on anytime I use the DI.  I've also noticed that the peak light on the channel will light before the peak when soloing gets to the Red.


You'll see this a lot with DI outputs on bass amps.

I work on both a GB4 and GB8 on a weekly basis. Great consoles, especially for the price. I especially dig the amount of auxes this series has.
My only qualms about the desk is the lack of a pad on the inputs, and it's not the best sounding console. I find the low end to be pretty lack luster and the EQ's are very mediocre. The MH series and pretty much any Midas will smoke this desk sonically speaking. I had to use a GB8 in a hall we usually have a MH3 living in. The difference between the two consoles was really surprising.

That being said, I'll take a GB8 at FOH before almost any digital desk.
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Eric John on August 24, 2009, 02:20:32 pm
Well, I'm here to resurrect this thread.... or at least bring it to the top.

I've been working with a GB8 for over a year now and I love it! Super dependable and easy to use. I, like others, would like to see pads as I have had a few inputs that were too "hot" even with the gain all the way down. I have also noticed a few "sketchy" inserts (having to re insert the cable to make contact) but I'm sure this is more of a wear/dirt issue than an engineering fault.

I read somewhere (maybe on here) that the board "sounds" better with the external power supply... can anyone substantiate this? I'm using the internal without any problems.

Has anyone else pulled the end off their headphones? LOL
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on August 24, 2009, 02:22:16 pm
Eric John wrote on Mon, 24 August 2009 14:20

I read somewhere (maybe on here) that the board "sounds" better with the external power supply... can anyone substantiate this? I'm using the internal without any problems.


index.php/fa/24559/0/
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Eric John on August 24, 2009, 02:26:39 pm
um... is this cuz I didn't use the search function? Maybe because I dug this thread out of the grave? Perhaps I didn't get the chant right?

"I want the knife.... I want the knife"
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Bennett Prescott on August 24, 2009, 02:37:47 pm
I was suggesting that any perceived audio improvement achieved through using the external power supply is probably nonsense.

I do like the desk, though, killer feature set for the price... and limiters on the record outs! Why doesn't anyone else do this?
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Eric John on August 24, 2009, 02:45:43 pm
Ah... I figured that same thing about the power supply. Yeah, great desk! Way lighter than the Midas I use on other gigs and dam near as functional!
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: Jordan Wolf on August 29, 2009, 02:48:35 am
georginna wrote on Sat, 29 August 2009 00:34

What I don't like about it is that it only has 4 mute groups, all on pushbutton assignments in line with each and every fader, exactly like the group assignments. Maybe that's just because I'm used to the k2-40 that is digital as far as it's mute groups are concerned, and instead of 4 it has 8 mute groups.

Yeah, that is a little confusing, but the assignments shouldn't normally change during the show, so it's not a big deal to me.
Quote:

Although I'm not a huge fan of the 128 possible mute scenes you can program into it, I'm sure it has it's uses in some situations. Probably not for live audio though.


   Thank's!...

Programmable mute scenes can be VERY handy, so long as whatever group is performing has their act together.  I don't know about the K2, but I've used an Allen & Heath GL4000 with programmable scenes and I'm pretty sure that the scenes can also be used with the MIDI control (which is nice for using with FX units and playback devices).
Title: Re: Soundcraft GB8 48
Post by: joe cruz on September 01, 2009, 06:20:11 am
Hi guys,

Just stumbled accross these old posts. Trying to figure out where and how to get to the Soundcraft GB8 internal jumpers  to change an aux send  from post to pre-eq to any monitor. Do I have to flip over the heavy mixer and unscrew a plate of some sort? Is it a one-man jobber? There's a quick mention in the manual but they didn't expand on it. They should make it as easy as post to pre-fader, just flip a switch. But the world is not perfect.
I'd appreciate any help.

Joe