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A&H GS-R24 vrs Audient ASP4816
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8th February 2012
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A&H GS-R24 vrs Audient ASP4816

The A&H has 24 channels compared to 16 on the Audient. There is basic DAW control on the A&H as well.

The Toft has a THD is .03%
The A&H R24 THD is .0025%
The Audient has THD of .005.%

Based on this spec and some others, the A&H is a higher quality mixer than the Toft.......as is its price as well.

I am wondering if anyone knows if the Audient is a step above the A&H or just different?

Thanks
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8th February 2012
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Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
The A&H has 24 channels compared to 16 on the Audient. There is basic DAW control on the A&H as well.

The Toft has a THD is .03%
The A&H R24 THD is .0025%
The Audient has THD of .005.%

Based on this spec and some others, the A&H is a higher quality mixer than the Toft.......as is its price as well.

I am wondering if anyone knows if the Audient is a step above the A&H or just different?

Thanks
THD is not even remotely indicative of circuit, build, and parts quality. By that measurement alone a Neve 80 series is a worse console than all three.

Choose based on the features you need, the product support by the company, and the price point that fits into your budget. At this price level, they're all likely using basic circuits and single-chip blocks for the mic-pre, line inputs, and line drivers. This is not to say that good things cannot be done with those devices, just that the sonic difference will be in the application of the devices. The devil is in the details, as they say.

Don't purchase on performance numbers, purchase on your own requirements and research.

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8th February 2012
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I agree with what you said, however I know you pay for what you get. So Audients pre's and EQ may be of better quality than A&H since your paying thousands more for their 16 channel mixer.
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8th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube World View Post
I agree with what you said, however I know you pay for what you get. So Audients pre's and EQ may be of better quality than A&H since your paying thousands more for their 16 channel mixer.
Having not heard any of those units, that would be my general assumption as well. Generally a large cost is sunk in having quality pots and switches. The increased price may also come from fewer economies of scale for the Audient due to smaller market. Hard to say exactly without getting under the hood of any of them.

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8th February 2012
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At this price level, they're all likely using basic circuits and single-chip blocks for the mic-pre, line inputs, and line drivers.
Neither of them use chip mic pres, but have discrete transistors and the A&H uses low-noise transistors for line and buss feeds. The Audient probably uses conventional line drivers.

The Audient claims (I have used other Audients, but never had the chance to test or use this one, as it has only been launched two weeks ago) linearity for 20Hz to 20kHz of ±0.3dB. I tested the A&H to be ±0.1dB from 10Hz to 100kHz - and that 0.1 was the thickness of the line on my oscilloscope!

I spent one week playing with the GS-R24 and it really does live up to all those claims that it makes on the tech specs. It has 32 firewire IOs and a 32 IO MADI card is coming this year.

The best part of the R24 is the EQ. It is the most phase-correct EQ I have so far come across! Better than old Neve designs!

Audio Media mag will have a review of the A&H in two weeks time, SOS has one on-line right now and a review of the Audient is coming very soon in SOS and elsewhere.

The Audient is a very good looking desk and the layout and facilities seem very well-thought-out.
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8th February 2012
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Neither of them use chip mic pres, but have discrete transistors and the A&H uses low-noise transistors for line and buss feeds. The Audient probably uses conventional line drivers.
If this is the case, I humbly stand corrected. Where did you acquire this information?

Quote:
The best part of the R24 is the EQ. It is the most phase-correct EQ I have so far come across! Better than old Neve designs!
I'm not sure what you mean here. Any EQ will, for the same frequency response, also have identical phase response. The two are not separable. It is possible that I'm not catching your drift, though.

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8th February 2012
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If this is the case, I humbly stand corrected. Where did you acquire this information?

I'm not sure what you mean here. Any EQ will, for the same frequency response, also have identical phase response. The two are not separable. It is possible that I'm not catching your drift, though.

-Matt
1. I have taken these beasts apart (though not this model of Audient, but they all use the same two-stage balanced design, using four transistors). When I test or appraise something, I also take it apart and look at how it does what! Just about EVERY mixer uses this design, even Behringer. The exception is some older Japanese budget mixers I have seen, who used integrated chips, although these can be more expensive.

2. When you boost and cut frequencies, you place a filter in the signal path and without phase compensation, this delays the signal by a tiny amount. Because some of the original signal is mixed with the filtered signal, this leads to phase problems within the strip. The designs for phase compensation and the components have improved enormously in the past ten years or so and many budget mixers and their EQs can be easily far superior to old and very venerable designs, just as a very small car today will easily outrun some large powerful car from the 70s!
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8th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
1. I have taken these beasts apart (though not this model of Audient, but they all use the same two-stage balanced design, using four transistors). When I test or appraise something, I also take it apart and look at how it does what! Just about EVERY mixer uses this design, even Behringer. The exception is some older Japanese budget mixers I have seen, who used integrated chips, although these can be more expensive.
Ah yes, I have seen that topology quite frequently, although less so with recent hardware. More usually a two opamp Green topology or simply just a THAT chip (or equivalent). Either way, asking for mic-pre gains out of two differential transistor pairs certainly is not optimal from either a CMRR or tempco standpoint unless they are closely matched and thermally bonded. It really was more of an 80's-90's budget mixer circuit.

Quote:
2. When you boost and cut frequencies, you place a filter in the signal path and without phase compensation, this delays the signal by a tiny amount. Because some of the original signal is mixed with the filtered signal, this leads to phase problems within the strip. The designs for phase compensation and the components have improved enormously in the past ten years or so and many budget mixers and their EQs can be easily far superior to old and very venerable designs, just as a very small car today will easily outrun some large car from the 70s!
This is unfortunately not correct. A filter by definition must create a phase change, but this is not a delay of the signal. A delay would imply a static phase change across all frequencies from DC to infinity, but we know this is not the case.

In order to create a boost/cut type circuit, one must necessarily add (or subtract) the phased changed signal from the original. This is the very basis for EQ design. I have not seen, nor would I allow in my designs, any EQ circuit that required the phase of the output signal to be "compensated" for, whether it be a passive inductor based design all the way to a state variable filter based EQ. Filtering a signal alters the phase (at least in the analog domain, you can do funkier things in digital), and filtering a signal equally requires that the phase be changed equally.

The single edge case where combing could appear I suppose could be in capacitive coupling of close PCB traces between the original and equalized signal, but I can't say I've seen that in practice.

Now, whether or not an older or newer design has less noise, less distortion, and more headroom is highly dependent on the implementation and an exercise left to the reader.

-Matt
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9th February 2012
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I think someone is confusing phase with polarity!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
1. I have taken these beasts apart (though not this model of Audient, but they all use the same two-stage balanced design, using four transistors). When I test or appraise something, I also take it apart and look at how it does what! Just about EVERY mixer uses this design, even Behringer. The exception is some older Japanese budget mixers I have seen, who used integrated chips, although these can be more expensive.

2. When you boost and cut frequencies, you place a filter in the signal path and without phase compensation, this delays the signal by a tiny amount. Because some of the original signal is mixed with the filtered signal, this leads to phase problems within the strip. The designs for phase compensation and the components have improved enormously in the past ten years or so and many budget mixers and their EQs can be easily far superior to old and very venerable designs, just as a very small car today will easily outrun some large powerful car from the 70s!
Thanks for your insight Byre. Unlike many on gearslutz, you have a pro studio with many years of experience. I have enjoyed your insight on Sound on Sound for a while. Based on the Sound on Sound reviews of other Audient and and A&H gear, both sound great, however the Audient may have a cleaner sounding pre and EQ's. Hmmm
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9th February 2012
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I think someone is confusing phase with polarity!
Please explain how I am doing so. I have more than a few filter designs under my belt.

I'm not trying to be a jerk here, just trying to dispel the myth that certain EQ designs can have more phase "error" than other designs. I've seen it bandied about here on GS quite frequently, and it is simply not physically correct. There is no transfer function you can create in analog that allows it. Any two filters, given the same frequency response, must by definition have identical phase response.

What truly separates EQ design is not phase problems. It is, once again, noise, distortion, headroom, control layout, and ergonomics. The reason a Neve 1084 sounds different than a SSL 242 black knob is because the bands are located in different places, the controls are different, and the distortion qualities are much denser on the 1084.

My apologies for continuing to derail your thread Tube World.

-Matt
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10th February 2012
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I will try to hear both mixers ......maybe a studio in the States gets one and I will drive over. Right now I am studying the Audient manual.
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10th February 2012
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Originally Posted by Nishmaster View Post
Any two filters, given the same frequency response, must by definition have identical phase response.
Hi Matt and I re-read what you wrote and I understand now what you were getting at - and you did not of course confuse polarity with phase and I apologise for having said that you did!

But back to the above statement - phase correction (the way I understand it) is to keep the signal at the same position, regardless of what the filters are up to.

Look at it this way - you take two channels on you oscilloscope and feed a sine wave directly into one and feed the other into the EQ (or whatever you are looking at) and then fiddle with the controls of said EQ. If the second signal starts to drift with any changes, then it is out of phase with the original. Even the better older designs tend to drift, so if the user is mixing a signal that is EQ'ed with one that is not EQ'ed (e.g. bass mic on a piano, just about anything on drums) one part of the mix will be out of phase with the other.

The A&H does not drift at all. Not even very, very slightly.

That is to say - any two filters, given different frequency responses, still maintain identical phase responses.

F selection was also perfect. Ten years ago, that kind of quality was the exclusive preserve of only the very best of the best.

But, yes, I do take your point on THD, noise, etc. being important.
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SOS gave the GSR24 a very high praise in their review, and former BBC Engineer Hugh Robjohns who wrote the review was very insightful from a lot of different angles. I trust his reviews more than anyone else out there, and I have met him on several occasions. With 24 faders, and DAW control for a lower cost than a 16 channel analog Audient mixer with no DAW control, I would be more inclinded to go with the A&H. However you really have to take a look at both consoles to see if the sound, work flow and monitoring capabilities will meet your studio needs.
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10th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Look at it this way - you take two channels on you oscilloscope and feed a sine wave directly into one and feed the other into the EQ (or whatever you are looking at) and then fiddle with the controls of said EQ. If the second signal starts to drift with any changes, then it is out of phase with the original. Even the better older designs tend to drift, so if the user is mixing a signal that is EQ'ed with one that is not EQ'ed (e.g. bass mic on a piano, just about anything on drums) one part of the mix will be out of phase with the other.

The A&H does not drift at all. Not even very, very slightly.

That is to say - any two filters, given different frequency responses, still maintain identical phase responses.
Byre, thank you for indulging me so far. I do enjoy discourse like this, and it's nice to be enjoying it with friendly folks.

I do understand what you are saying, but a filter that behaved like that could only be a linear-phase equalizer, something achievable only in the digital domain. It is possible the whole thing is done on DSPs with analog controls, but I find that chance to be remote given the somewhat stiff processing requirements of the algorithms responsible. But, I cannot rule that out, given what you have stated so far.

An analog filter, though, must cause phase lead or lag. It is simply not possible to avoid this, nor can I envision a design which could correct for all possible control settings to "null" the phase change of the filter. The number of all-pass filters necessary would be literally infinite. Indeed, if you combine an exact copy of an original signal with a filtered one, you will definitely get some comb filtering and ripple. In fact, this is the basic principal of most guitar phaser pedal circuits, although they use in general 4 filter stages that vary in center frequency slowly using an LFO. The filters' changing phase response causes many slowly changing (and interesting sounding) comb filter artifacts when combined back with the original signal.

(As a side note, there are some crossover designs that couple a first order filter with an all-pass filter to compensate for phase change, but these designs are not adjustable and suffer from severe passband ripple.)

Analog Devices has a good link that is unfortunately a bit math-y, but Figure 3 shows the phase change of a static sine wave for a first order high-pass and low-pass. They also show how phase alters with differing Q values and gains. Fader8's blog also has a nice sampling of different frequency and phase plots of various equalizers, and although those are plugins, the principals in analog are absolutely identical.

Interestingly enough, you can see how some of those plugins derive their sound, too. Some of them are really quite inaccurate, although I can see where they're going with the vintage stuff, trying to model transformer and inductor low-end losses and ripple. Either way, though, the gain changes are completely synchronous with phase changes, just like in any other filter.

Phase Response in Active Filters: Analog Dialogue: Analog Devices

Example EQ Phase Plots

-Matt
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17th February 2012
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I do understand what you are saying, but a filter that behaved like that could only be a linear-phase equalizer, something achievable only in the digital domain. It is possible the whole thing is done on DSPs with analog controls, but I find that chance to be remote given the somewhat stiff processing requirements of the algorithms responsible. But, I cannot rule that out, given what you have stated so far.
At the momenmt, I have to edit and mix at least one song a day to meet a deadline, so I have to keep this short!

The thing is definitely completely analogue and definitely phase-rigid (to use a German phrase, translated into English - but you get the drift!) I put a sine wave in and added harmonies and 'glitches' to see what happens when the EQ is pushed about. As far as sideways drift is concerned - nothing.

You can read my review of the desk here - AudioMedia - February 2012
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16th May 2012
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I've been reading this particular thread with interest, although it has been inactive for a few months I thought I would bump it as I have been tossing up between these 2 consoles, which I know are quite different beasts.

I had been quite focused on the GSR24m with fwire/adat card as I work in Logic Pro and a little in PT9 via an Apogee Ensemble and use a Mackie MCU pretty lightly, I may be one of the few that don't mind working with a mouse.

Long story short, I have the opportunity to purchase an Audient 4816 with Lynx Aurora 16 ADDA/PCIe card package for around $5K more than the GSR24m would cost me.

I appreciate there are differences between the 2, one being all analogue, the other a hybrid. I am mightily tempted by the Audient package, and think I can make do just having the MCU still at hand for sequencer control and writing automation via its faders. Maybe I'll hang onto the Apogee Ensemble 2 and keep its 8 channels which would give me the 24 between the 4816 and it.

I'm thinking the 4816 will still be a great analogue console in 20 years, the GSR24m, well, who knows where hybrid technology and DAWs will be then. I'm feeling for the $5K difference, the Audient package with the Lynx converters is a no-brainer. Who's using one with either Logic or PT and how are you handling the integration side of things?

Thanks for any input/thoughts you may have.

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16th May 2012
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I would buy the Audient without a second thought.
Forget about the daw control side of the A&H, its half baked and imho more likely to get in the way than help. A separate dedicated daw controller like an Avid Artist would do a much better job.
I'm sure the GSR24 sounds good (though personally I'm not a fan of the eq which for me sounds a bit cold and clinical - I had the Zed R16 for a while) but the Audient is a UK built professional console, with fully balanced inserts that can be switched in on a per channel basis, a great fully featured centre section, 8 groups, long and short faders, excellent routing, very nice eq and no gimmicks. Its likely to go up in value over the years whereas a console with built in converters will probably decrease in value.
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22nd May 2012
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i am also tossing us between these two... I had a brief interest in the Matrix but these 2 boards are unique. Can someone - who owns one - tell me what you do not like about your board or wish it had better of? I can read all the specs but want to know based on your own particular workflow what sticks you in your workflow?
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22nd May 2012
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Well, I went ahead and purchased the Audient 4816 today, think I will be the third one sold in Australia. A very nicely specified desk and very comfortable to work on. The desk will actually do 24 channels tracking if needed. It is a hugely flexible in-line console which was what appealed to me, very well thought out routings, anything anywhere really... It will be put through its first session in the next couple of weeks.

I felt it will take me further in the long run to have a good quality, traditional (kind of) in-line analog console with the digital side of things handled separately, rather than jump into a hybrid at this point. My MCU can handle the DAW control for as much as I need that side of things....
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22nd May 2012
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Quote:
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I would buy the Audient without a second thought.
Forget about the daw control side of the A&H, its half baked and imho more likely to get in the way than help. A separate dedicated daw controller like an Avid Artist would do a much better job.
I'm sure the GSR24 sounds good (though personally I'm not a fan of the eq which for me sounds a bit cold and clinical - I had the Zed R16 for a while) but the Audient is a UK built professional console, with fully balanced inserts that can be switched in on a per channel basis, a great fully featured centre section, 8 groups, long and short faders, excellent routing, very nice eq and no gimmicks. Its likely to go up in value over the years whereas a console with built in converters will probably decrease in value.
Quite apart from disagreeing with everything you say (the eq on the A&H is superb, it is built in the UK, the DAW control is very good indeed and the quality of the build is excellent) the market is flooded with used Audients. That does not mean that they are bad, but it does mean that prices for used Audients are very low - and no console is going to ever go up in price!
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22nd May 2012
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Quote:
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Quite apart from disagreeing with everything you say (the eq on the A&H is superb, it is built in the UK, the DAW control is very good indeed and the quality of the build is excellent) the market is flooded with used Audients. That does not mean that they are bad, but it does mean that prices for used Audients are very low - and no console is going to ever go up in price!
Could you please point me to where I could fine this flood of used Audients? I am quite interested in the 4816, but I secondhand 8024 for less the new price of a 4816 would be even more interesting...

Thanks,
Dirk
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23rd May 2012
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Well, I went ahead and purchased the Audient 4816 today, think I will be the third one sold in Australia. A very nicely specified desk and very comfortable to work on. The desk will actually do 24 channels tracking if needed. It is a hugely flexible in-line console which was what appealed to me, very well thought out routings, anything anywhere really... It will be put through its first session in the next couple of weeks.

I felt it will take me further in the long run to have a good quality, traditional (kind of) in-line analog console with the digital side of things handled separately, rather than jump into a hybrid at this point. My MCU can handle the DAW control for as much as I need that side of things....
We would appreicate if you could provide photos and your insight when you get your console.

It seems both the A&H and Audient are very good mixers and you would be able to obtain very good results with both. However if getting the A & H, you would benifit in upgrading to better converters such as the Lynx as well. From what has been said here and other places, the main difference sound wise between the two consoles is the Audient will offer a cleaner and slightly more detailed sound. Not sure about the monitoring differences though. But there is really no reason to bash either mixer as they both are great.
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23rd May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevelindsay View Post
Well, I went ahead and purchased the Audient 4816 today, think I will be the third one sold in Australia. A very nicely specified desk and very comfortable to work on. The desk will actually do 24 channels tracking if needed. It is a hugely flexible in-line console which was what appealed to me, very well thought out routings, anything anywhere really... It will be put through its first session in the next couple of weeks.

I felt it will take me further in the long run to have a good quality, traditional (kind of) in-line analog console with the digital side of things handled separately, rather than jump into a hybrid at this point. My MCU can handle the DAW control for as much as I need that side of things....
Congrats, man! It's a great looking board with avery well thought out ergonomics and feature set - enjoy and let us know what you think!
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24th May 2012
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I could testify that the gs-r24 is probably the best sounding mid-priced console out there today. Directly compared it with the 4816 and it won in everything. Big sound stage, excellent eq, bold sound. It sounds like a "clean Neve" to me and when i tried to push the pres and/or the master it produced an euphonic coloration, not like when a transformer is pushed but rather like clean with added harmonics. Very euphonic sound in general.

I found this clip which probably was recorded and mixed in the board.
It sure sounds like i remember it anyway!
Strangeways Bay - Broken, Ruined, Torn - YouTube
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24th May 2012
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I would also like to know where are all these used Audients. I can't afford the 4816 but if it sounds like the 8024 at the price its a natural.
I tried the A&H and I found it to sound clean but all the bells and whistles gave me a prosumer impression, plus I though the daw control was terrible, no scribble strips, no pans.
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20th June 2012
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for anyone in australia

well..

i wish i could comment on the A&H GSR24m, i have the unit sitting in the box unused with power supply and FW card installed.

i have just listed it on ebay to sell it, due to running into some 'life' issues that has lead me to accept that it is more than what i need at this point in time.

so if anyone is interested in Australia hit me up tracklab@gmail.com
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6th October 2013
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No MADI card planned for GS-R24M

I noticed this thread on the GS-R24, and the comments about a future MADI card for it. I was looking to get a desk for my studio to connect to a RME MADI FX card. I enquired at Allen and Heath about if/when the MADI card was coming out. I also asked about a thunderbolt option. I got the reply below:

"thank you for your email. As the UK distributor of Allen & Heath they have passed on your enquiry. At present the only cards available are the Firewire and analogue cards. I have asked the designer of the GSR24 if there is any Madi or Thunderbolt cards in the works to which I have been told ‘not at present’. Having sold many of these desks over the past year we have found many different ways that people have been working with them. One of which is that some people want to use the desk with a Pro tools HD system and go for the analogue card to interface with the PTHD rig via DB25 looms. You also could use this route to use something like a RME Audio Interface with Madi functionality. I have also been told by A&H that they have checked the Firewire card with a thunderbolt to FW conversion cable and found it works fine."

I looked at the other options for connection but it adds £k's to the price just to hook them up - for me this negates the benefits of buying the desk. If A&H did a MADI card at a similar price to the firewire card, the combination of GS-R24M and RME MADI FX would give an unbelievably flexible and powerful system for routing, FX expansion etc. The RME MADI FX would only add £1k to the price of the GS-R24M based system but add expansion/FX/routing for the future (e.g. add Antelope Orion). Unfortunately it looks like this will not be happening, which probably means I will have to look elsewhere.
#29
6th October 2013
Old 6th October 2013
  #29
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Joined: Oct 2010
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i_b_tulloch is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by shreddinator View Post
I have the GS-R24M with the analogue card hooked up to an Antelope Orion 32.
Couldn't you buy this setup then instead of using the Orion's USB, you could use the Orion's MADI to your RME MADI card?

If you relied on Allen & Heath releasing a MADI card for the GS-R24 the new MADI card would still have to be built with Allen & Heath converters. I definitely noticed a difference between the FireWire interface conversion and the Orion 32 therefore if Allen & Heath do release a MADI card and use the same conversion as the FireWire card you may want to upgrade anyway.

You wouldn't be able to use the Orion 32 with a GS-R24 MADI card because the Orion only has one MADI in/out which you would have connected to the RME MADI FX card. I know 8 DB25 cables to the Orion are a pain but I love the Orion's conversion.
Yeah, I was thinking along those lines too, but you would be giving up a lot of channels. My thinking was to feed the GS-R24M into a pair of UAD apollo 16's instead of the orion or RME system. This would give me all the UAD plugs, and a good mobile system too if I got some outboard pre's. Only downside is the UAD console software is not as flexible as the RME stuff.
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