barleyguy
Thread Starter
#1
3rd March 2013
Old 3rd March 2013
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Midas VeniceU

Slutz,

Has anyone heard the Midas VeniceU yet? I'm mainly wondering if the summing bus sounds as good as previous Venice consoles. (I've used the Venice 320, and read good things about the F series).

As a discussion starter, here's what I see as the pros and cons of this board, mostly compared to the F series:

Cons:

- EQ is swept instead of true parametric. The two mid bands have a fixed width of 1 octave, and the highs and lows are shelves.
- Only 8 channels of digital in and out, primarily targeted at the aux sends and stereo master, though with overrides to the groups and matrix.
- Unbalanced inserts. Not only are they unbalanced, they are engaged by inserting a plug instead of by a button. (I realize that most small boards have this same con.)
- Line ins are also engaged by inserting the plug instead of with a button.
- Pre and post settings for the direct outs are on internal jumpers, whereas on older Venice boards they were on a button.
- Convertors are still limited to 48K (though the benefits of higher rates are as always arguable)

Pros:
- Convertors have better specs than the Venice F, and likely sound great.
- 25 pounds lighter than the Venice F for each frame size, which moves it into "1 person lift" territory.
- The EQs seem well designed and usable. They have intentional overshoot so despite not having width adjustment, will become slightly narrower on deep cuts.
- Pre and post switches for all aux sends
- Very functional stereo channels, which include a mono mic pre that can be blended with the stereo line in, a direct out for the mic pre, and a USB return. This allows things like putting a vocal on the mic pre and returning the reverb onto the same channel, and the reverb can be a plugin on a computer.
- On a personal note, I already have a 26 channel interface and convertors (ProFire 2626), so the move from Firewire to USB isn't a downside. Using external conversion also gives the option to record at 96K.
- It's very affordable. I think once stock levels get good the U24 will be around $1500 street price.

So, has anyone heard it? What did you think?

I'm seriously considering ordering one of these in the next couple of weeks. I'd even be willing to be the guinea pig / lab rat to report how it sounds.

Cheers,

Harley.

Last edited by barleyguy; 5th March 2013 at 03:57 AM.. Reason: Removed part about IC mic pre, because it's discrete.
barleyguy
Thread Starter
#2
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #2
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
I ordered a VeniceU 24. I should have it in a few days (being shipped from Midas in Seattle to a dealer in Denver). I'll post my impressions of it when I get it, and maybe snap some pictures and things.

Anyone else that's tried it, feel free to post your impressions as well...
#3
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
I'm very interested in a 24u as well, possibly even just the 16u. Trying to get rid of a Daking IV pre for it. Will be good to hear back from you once you get it in and start using it. Anxious to hear if the pres and EQ are decent for tracking as well as whether it does ok on mixdown or at least won't get in the way.
#4
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #4
#5
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post
I ordered a VeniceU 24. I should have it in a few days (being shipped from Midas in Seattle to a dealer in Denver). I'll post my impressions of it when I get it, and maybe snap some pictures and things.

Anyone else that's tried it, feel free to post your impressions as well...
Btw, how did you find out the pres were discrete and in what way are they?
barleyguy
Thread Starter
#6
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #6
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
Btw, how did you find out the pres were discrete and in what way are they?
The brochure for the Venice U says that the mic pres are discrete. I'm not sure of the exact design, but I think it's derived from the XL3.

Midas Consoles | Brochures

The webpage for the product doesn't mention it at all though, which is why I was initially suspicious.

I don't have any tracking lined up soon, so I probably won't be able to do much of a test of the mic pres, other than recording myself singing or playing badly.

I do have lots of multitrack sessions I can try mixing through it though.
#7
5th March 2013
Old 5th March 2013
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Slikjmuzik's Avatar
Oh ok, I thought you might have spoken with them or something. Just seems like a small space to really implement a good discrete design. I'm probably wrong...
#8
6th March 2013
Old 6th March 2013
  #8
I just ordered a u24 on good faith. It should be here within the next week or two.... I have high expectations after reading some things about it.
However I won't hesitate to return it if it really is all hype!

I will keep you guys posted on my impression after I have some time working on it.
barleyguy
Thread Starter
#9
16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
  #9
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
I received my VeniceU 24 earlier this week. I plan to put a review in post 2 with pictures and some short sound samples, but I'd like some time to evaluate. Here are some first impressions though:

Things I like:

- Sound quality: Excellent. On the burning question of "does this sound like a Midas console?" the answer from my perspective is an emphatic yes. The summing quality is very good. I'd go so far as to say that if you can't make a record with this board, or mix a great sounding show, the hardware is not the problem.

- Ergonomics: Very good. 100mm smooth faders, logical layout, and visually colorful.

- Workflow: Looks great. 6 auxes, 4 groups, well designed stereo channels, separate local and master outputs, mono bus, matrix. There's nothing I need for workflow that this board doesn't have.

Things I don't like:

- Fan cooled. The internal power supply has a fan. I'd estimate the mix position noise in the 30-35 dB range. In a live setting, there's no way you'd ever hear it over the crowd. But in an otherwise silent studio setting, for me personally it's too loud. Luckily, it's a standard 80 mm case fan that's an easy mod. I'm swapping it out for a 120 mm Scythe Kama Flow 2 with a 120->80mm adapter. That should give the same or better airflow with no perceivable noise. Unfortunately I'm probably voiding the warranty.

- Heavy. I'm not sure the exact weight because the net weight on the box is higher than the weight on the website. But it's in the 45 pound ballpark. About 25% of this weight is a steel plate on the entire bottom of the board. On one hand, I appreciate that they built this out of steel, because it makes it road worthy. But on the other hand, they could use a material that's lighter and just as strong, like magnesium, titanium, or aluminium (the British version of aluminum). If they did that, they could probably cut 5-10 pounds off the weight with no decrease in durability.

That's all for now. Like I said, I'll put some more detail in post 2 in a week or two.

Cheers,

Harley.
#10
16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post
About 25% of this weight is a steel plate on the entire bottom of the board. On one hand, I appreciate that they built this out of steel, because it makes it road worthy. But on the other hand, they could use a material that's lighter and just as strong, like magnesium, titanium, or aluminium (the British version of aluminum). If they did that, they could probably cut 5-10 pounds off the weight with no decrease in durability.
i'm sure they did that because it would be too light without this steel plate! The desk is empty isn't it? SMD components?
barleyguy
Thread Starter
#11
16th March 2013
Old 16th March 2013
  #11
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosynth View Post
i'm sure they did that because it would be too light without this steel plate! The desk is empty isn't it? SMD components?
Yes, it's almost all surface mount (other than some capacitors and transformers), with the circuit boards mounted to the top. You're right that the weight is an advantage, from the perspective of not sliding around during use. If it was 10 pounds lighter I could carry it with my arms instead of back though.
#12
8th May 2013
Old 8th May 2013
  #12
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post
Yes, it's almost all surface mount (other than some capacitors and transformers), with the circuit boards mounted to the top. You're right that the weight is an advantage, from the perspective of not sliding around during use. If it was 10 pounds lighter I could carry it with my arms instead of back though.
just to say when i spoke to midas they said the convertors in both the f and u series are the same.
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