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gevermil
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#1
3rd August 2006
Old 3rd August 2006
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soundtracs consoles

M series ect , are these any good ? Got a line on a cheap one
G
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3rd August 2006
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I wouldn't say that they're at all "bad." I've worked on the M series quite a bit, and I would say that the eq is very usable and the mic/line amps give tracks a decent sense of "weight."
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Rea
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3rd August 2006
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any toughts of the Quartz?
also, how does it compare to the M series?
thanks
R.
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3rd August 2006
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I bought a CM4400 about 20 years ago and used it everyday cutiing everything imaginable in my studio. It wasn't bad and I still have tons of material that I did on it that use and listen to.

I found it pretty much like a Soundcraft of the same vintage. They both use a TLO74 IC for a lot of circuits. I even upgraded a few channels to The Analog Devices version of the TLO74, but the improvement was so small that I never did the rest of the console.

I did have one channel that had a ribbon cable problem which wouldn't let the program pass to the 2 mix buss.
I wore out the talkback switch yearly.
The patchbay is lying on it's back, so it tends to get dirty easier.

Once I started tracking with better mic pres I improvevd my work, but as a mix console I didn't hate the thing.

I bought the console for $22k from a company that was the distributor until Samson took over. The console was "orphaned" at their warehouse here in Texas, so I got a good deal. For $22k it was lot of console in 1986!

As I understood things the linage of SoundTracs consoles was pretty close to Soundcraft and Trident because the Soundtracs guys came from Soundcraft and the Soundcraft guys came from Trident. I have always thought of all three as sounding pretty much the same. I guess the 80 series Tridents are better, but I think that the basic circuitry design is the same. Guys using them on famous releases made the desirable, but they are pretty close to the Soundtracs sonically.

I won't say that Soundtracs consoles LOOK that good.
I changed the knob colors on mine.
The orange looked too gaudy.
I went with two colors of blue.
I felt better about it then!

Danny Brown
gevermil
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3rd August 2006
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thanks guys
Ive heard the eqs are pretty good
Im going to screw with it tonight and see whats up .
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3rd August 2006
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I've still got my Soundtracs MidiPC24 that I've been using for a good 20 years now. It's been a workhorse. Decent sounding micpres and good sounding EQ. I can tell that it's getting time to go through and recap the board. A big project, but worth it.
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3rd August 2006
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I've had an MRX 32 for about 7 months. It sounds great to me. It doesn't sound cheap and it doesn't sound like a $50k console, but it gets things done well. The Eq is great for my uses. The mic pres are decent, but once again, not like an API or Neve would be. I doubt I'll be getting anything else for a long time. Easily worth the going price for these.

Matt
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3rd August 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fucanay
I've had an MRX 32 for about 7 months. It sounds great to me. It doesn't sound cheap and it doesn't sound like a $50k console, but it gets things done well. The Eq is great for my uses. The mic pres are decent, but once again, not like an API or Neve would be. I doubt I'll be getting anything else for a long time. Easily worth the going price for these.

Matt
I've worked on Matt's desk a bit, and had a very similar Soundtracs for a while. As he was saying, the EQ is pretty great for shaping sounds. Ironically, I like the boosts on it, but I feel like the cuts are a little too heavy handed, erm, or that they do a little too much if that makes sense. But the mids are nice. I *really* wish it had a shelf that started at 2.5khz though. If it had that, I'd be using it a LOT.

The mixbuss also has a good amount of headroom and doesn't suck.
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3rd August 2006
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The 16:8:16, Quartz, IL (inline), and Jade are excellent consoles. Mic pres are focused, but dark, EQ's are punchy and musical, they've got a good amount of headroom, and run like champs.
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3rd August 2006
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mrx

I had an mrx desk for a long time.
It was the 32 x 8 with 16 aux returns.
I remember there was a panel on the back for optional trasformers. I dont remember what they ballanced. Prob the 8 gp outs and auxes.
We didn't have the bal tranny option in ours.

not bad eq.
soundcraft 600 style mic pres.

It was a workhorse and I'd rather have it than a mackie 8 bus.

master section talk back relay would go about every 2 years.
This would intrduce crackling in the master CR volume knob. The main 2 buss was fine though.

summing amp is kinda crappy, I'm sure someone could mod it with a 990 circuit and make it sound decent.

TLO74's would die from time to time. Handy to have a tube of them in your shop.

As I remember it. the ch line inputs are un bal.
It was funky, the line ins were trs so we assumed the it was bal +4. It wasn't, you wired sleeve and tip for +4 (ring unterminated) for -10 you wired to sleeve and ring, tip un teminated.
I never did understand that one.

The inserts were also single trs un bal. like soundcraft.

The power supply never crapped out. I always worried we needed a spare but never did.

The aux sends were prone to rf issues, but we were next door to an AM radio transmitter so ymmv.

we did a jumper mod to each ch strip to make them all pre or post fader.
I think it came with aux 1 and 2 pre fade only.

I see them go cheap on ebay. Not a bad buy really.

I dont know the topaz or the in line IL series stuff.
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1st December 2008
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Does anyone know if the channel strips are discrete on the MX series

and would there be a good option to mod it with noticeable difference ??

I intend to use one as a front end replacing a mackie 8 buss
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1st December 2008
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tlo74

Those channels are chock full of TLO74 quad op-amp IC's if I remember correctly.
So I think there are other chips you could put in, but you may run into power supply issues. I cant remember if they are in sockets or not.
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1st December 2008
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The TLO74s were socket mounted in my CM4400.

I know they had to be because there was no way in HELL I would have de-soldered the 8 legged ICs and re-soldered new ones when I put in the Analog Devices upgrades.

As an update to what I posted earlier...

I recently re-mixed some sessions that I tracked through the CM4400 back in 1992.
I also re-mixed some sessions cut by the very same band and line up at A&M Studios in 1993.
I seem to recall that the A&M stuff was cut on an SSL and some ODs on a Neve.

Tape operating levels aside, I am surprised how well the stuff cut on the CM4400 held up in comparison to the A&M sessions!
The guy who I did the mixes for said that the stuff cut in my room had a far better drum sound and he wished all of the mixes sounded like the stuff cut on the CM4400.

Go figure!
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1st December 2008
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+1 on the CM4400. Nice old workhorse desk.
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1st December 2008
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1st December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Everyman View Post
+1 on the CM4400. Nice old workhorse desk.
There are times that I wish I was re-capping it instead of the MCI 538C I am re-building.
I'd be finished now!

Seriously, I lived with that console for seven years and did A LOT of recordings on it.
They mostly all stand up quite well against other consoles I have used.

Even though I had a Sphere before and after the Soundtracs there was a lot of stuff I could not have done on the Sphere.
I also worked on a Neve 8128 after the Soundtracs and although it might have theoretically sounded "better" it was maintenance NIGHTMARE!

That old CM4400 is probably still working in some guy's studio somewhere!
That Neve became a parts desk I believe.
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1st December 2008
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The M series was their better stuff before the cheaper Tascam like consoles were released in the 90's. I rebuilt several of them. I used LT1359 quad opamps or custom ones made from 2 S0-8 duals on a header. The input transistors were changed to Hitachi 2sa1084's to lower mic pre noise. The EQ caps were changed to FKP-MKP-2 Wima polyprop films.

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1st December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
The TLO74s were socket mounted in my CM4400.

The guy who I did the mixes for said that the stuff cut in my room had a far better drum sound and he wished all of the mixes sounded like the stuff cut on the CM4400.

Go figure!
at a certain point its the pilot not the plane
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2nd December 2008
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Quote:
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at a certain point its the pilot not the plane
Yes I must agree, I have heard mixes from guys who have a $1 000 000 worth of gear and they sound like rubbish.
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2nd December 2008
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I'd be curious to hear from more Soundtracs (especially Jade console) owners/users. This is one of the few consoles I could be interested in for mixing only. However, with a healthy supply of outboard EQ's and compressors. I'd pretty much just be using the console as a big routing box/summing box. Maybe with a fancier 8-12 channel summing box (being fed from a few of the multi-track busses) and master section on the back end.
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2nd December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurubuzz View Post
Yes I must agree, I have heard mixes from guys who have a $1 000 000 worth of gear and they sound like rubbish.
I still hear them all the time!
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2nd December 2008
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We have a 40 channel Solitaire. I love it. Great eq and the compression ain't bad either. I couldn't find a Trident so we ended up with this and couldn't be happier.
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2nd December 2008
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I like the Topaz
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28th June 2009
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Soundtracs Omni24- 1982 Vintage Console- Info WANTED!!

Can anyone offer any info.....I have this Vintage 24 Channel Consule w/ case in fair condition and cannot find any info. (Manufactured by SOUNDOUT, who give their address as Soundout Laboratories Ltd, 91, Ewell Road, Surbiton, Surrey). When searching I found nothing on this model. I am not knowledgable on Sound equipment and would appreciate any help/advice I can get!! Picture is below...

Thanks!

Sean
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