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Need a console Consoles
Old 4th February 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Need a console

Hi

Looking for a console that sounds great, has preamps, eq, good master and monitor section. can be front end recording into DAW but also be switched to work in a control surface mode for hands on Daw automation. I was hoping there is a console that can also receive audio/channels from protools back into the channel strips on console for more analogue processing or perhaps even analogue summing.

8-16 channels is enough preferably with 5.1 mix capabilities. can add channels Modualar/expandable.

What is echo return, I have never owned a pro analogue console before as I mainly just do sound post but looking to upgrade and diversify.

Only thing I could find was SSL matrix 2 but it does not have preamps and am I a not able to expand channels due to it not being modular.

I am hoping there is a Hi def solution under $30,000 US. Any ideas would be sincerely appreciated. Please advise also if over $30,000 US within reason.

Kind regards
Old 4th February 2017
  #2
SSL Nucleus, SSL AWS, Neve Genesis, and the Matrix as you've discovered.

Only the AWS is a real "console". DAW control limits you to consoles from the last 10 years really.
Old 4th February 2017
  #3
Ps do 5.1 ITB. Your competitors do.
Old 4th February 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Allen Heath GS-R24M Has those capabilities. Out of production but available used
Old 4th February 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 

An Echo return in the context of an analog mixer is probably an Aux return but they also have Insert returns too. With both Auxes and Inserts you have an output (Send) routing signal out of the mixer and an input (return) where you can return the outboard gear processed signal back into the mixer. So echo in this case would likely be for reverb. Some mixers will have their own effects DSP in the mixer itself so you don't need to use outboard gear however their quality level is pretty low.

Given you are at a basic understanding of analog mixers having never used one and you have a large budget that you only want to "buy once", my advice is to buy nothing for now and take the time to explore options and learn. Hopefully you will audition too before any purchase.

If you are going to use the board for post then look at what others in that field are using (and more importantly why?). Remember there is a tradeoff for most things audio and what you gain in one area you may lose in another. This is where taking your time and understanding those gains and loses is invaluable before purchase. It will also give you time to refine your needs even more as you are educated on all the options.

One last point about DAW control, while some device might function as a DAW controller today, given history there is a good chance it won't in the near future. Using the Mackie HUI protocal is kind of a universal thing now that should be around for a while in DAWs however it's dumbed down and many features are not included with it. So one more thing to research given your budget as you don't want an expensive, worth little resale boat anchor down the line.
Old 4th February 2017
  #6
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8-16 channels is enough to do 5.1 audio for post production to you? This is analogue-land -- that shouldn't be enough; that doesn't even give you three 5.1 inputs. On top of that, you need multiple 5.1 mix buses available to deliver a 5.1 mix. If you have only one, you are going to be spending a ridiculous amount of time printing down for delivery. And processing (since you'll need to print most of that down.) And recall for fixes will be a nightmare (because everything will need to be printed down.)

If you want to do 5.1 mixes for audio post on an analogue console, it's going to be a console costing way more than $30-$40k and will need to be fairly large. I'd only do something like that on a Neve 88RS/R with scoring panel/stem mixer and the project would require the budget and time to match.
Old 5th February 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Hi All

Thank you very much for your comments. I have been doing sound engineering for a good while now. I had a Public Address company, live sound that I sold then put more energy into the studio. Although I have had little experience with pro analogue consoles in the studio I do have some with live as well as experience with control surfaces. I finished a purpose built studio from the ground up, all masonry, concrete filled, sand filled, 3 ceilings, double glased windows and all of the rest of the usual's. This is my 3rd studio but is the only one built from the ground up, and I am getting ready to commission new equipment for the studio. I am currently running an insane P.C, HD Omni, digi 192 blacklion xb mod, native as the core of my studio for the most part sound post, sound design, adr, foley, music comp. However looking to diversify into tracking studio for small bands in the small town in which I live. I have currently 16 in 32 out with omni and 192 BL.

Now I feel I did pretty good last year but its really hard to be looking to pay $160,000 on a AWS which is pretty much all I made last year. Again I live in a small town, not much work most of my clients are abroad all over oz in film.

Yes I want my cake and eat it too, looks like I might go for a smaller track count and put off a pro console for a while and just focus on post production until I can justify. Yes I do like purchasing every thing only once that's how I got this far.

Who knows something might come on the market while I sit on my hands, also be cool if someone bought out a digital patchbay like ssl matrix except the outboard/analogue settings could be recalled automatically and patched through a digital matrix to anywhere on the console both in and out.

Pentagon, yes 8-16 channel strips would be fine for input. I would have another 8 inputs on my converter as well as another 16-24 outputs on converters. I like the idea of modular/expandable small format pro consoles. Just add when your ready $$$

Bassmankr, cool figured as much. I haven't heard that terminology but thats what you get when you dont read the manuals doh!! Yeah I think I will sit on my hands for a bit. My budget doesn't quite fit my expectations. I do want to diversify however time and tide.

Snoggin, I will have a gander.

Physco Monkey, I do some outboard processing but yeah stuff summing down to more than 2 channels. So pretty much just music I will sum for or t.v. But not 5.1.

Yeah nothing really doing everything I want but as the nature in sound and film. What you gain you loose. Matrix 2 falls short of what I want and once you build your preamps up you looking at a lot of dosh so may as well go for a turnkey solution instead of lego.

Again thank you all, I guess I keep researching. A lot of research actually as a console is not the only thing I need to commission in new studio.

Ciao
Old 5th February 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
There are digital mixer for this, but the quality is not like the analog stuff I don't think. Look for 8 buss mixers. On the cheap, perhaps a 20 year old "BIG" if you can find w/ 8 buss.
Old 5th February 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoggin View Post
Allen Heath GS-R24M Has those capabilities. Out of production but available used
looks good. probly not nearly as good sounding as neve api or ssl but looks to do what I want. Will keep researching, this might have to do until I get capital up.

Cheers
Old 5th February 2017
  #10
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Time to start reading the manuals. They will they tell you about signal flow, routing options, and how their features are truely implimented. The good news is that for many analog desks you can find them for free online. Once you understand a desk's options then you understand the workflow options / limitations too.

A good simple patchbay works wonders with analog desks if there is not one as part of the desk. There is a thread here on an available prototype of a digitally controlled patching matrix that may be of interest however you really don't do a lot of patching if your patchbay is setup correctly for your needs. Mostly you would just patch in different outboard to see if it works with that track / buss.
Old 5th February 2017
  #11
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Silvertone's Avatar
I would say the best bet is a DM2000. Hybrid analog and digital console with decent mic pres.

A lot of top dog mix engineers and producers I know have these in there personal rooms. Every project I get in tha has been recorded and mixed using these consoles have really impressed me. That is a lot harder to do than you would think.

I know I'd have one if my business ever needed such capabilities.

Good luck on your search.
Old 5th February 2017
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Someone mentioned being wary of DAW control in a console, because that part of the system might become useless. I think a good sounding analog console and a small. much less expensive DAW controller. The console will be useful for many years and the controller will be easier to replace as technology moves forward. I personally don't mind controlling the mix with the mouse, and almost never use the FaderPort I thought I had to have when I made my DAW transition.
Old 5th February 2017
  #13
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I have an analog console and use pro tools control on an iPad for DAW control when mixing

Really pretty great
Old 6th February 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Someone mentioned being wary of DAW control in a console, because that part of the system might become useless. I think a good sounding analog console and a small. much less expensive DAW controller. The console will be useful for many years and the controller will be easier to replace as technology moves forward. I personally don't mind controlling the mix with the mouse, and almost never use the FaderPort I thought I had to have when I made my DAW transition.
I would agree.

Again - no-one mixes 5.1 analogue, not anyone who has clients anyway. It works far better digitally, and recalls etc are possible this way. If you're looking for an analogue desk with 5.1 monitoring control, you're really really limited too.

So - either you go for a stereo analogue setup (knowing you'll mix 5.1 or anything post really ITB, or a digital/hybrid mix setup with analogue front end. Either way, you'll need a dedicated 5.1 monitor controller (SPL, audient, dangerous all make these). I would
personally then take the controller/analogue tracking desk approach, otherwise (again) you're very limited in choice, the most realistic option being an ssl aws.
Old 6th February 2017
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Again thanks everyone, some great insight here. Yup definitely seems what you gain you loose looks like I am coming back in circles in terms of the build I was looking at. Analogue console front end for tracking, summing and monitoring, ITB mixing, 5.1 monitor section separate, converters separate. More research needed.

Thanks very much.
Old 6th February 2017
  #16
Gear Nut
I eventually went with a SSL g desk but I almost went with a Calrec Q series. These desks can be found for a fraction of their original cost and are usually pretty well kept up by the broadcasting staff . Lots of Lundahl transformers throughout. A good SSL is 35k min. API is 60k min. There are Calrecs around for 10'to 20k depending on size. Best deal going in my humble opinion.

Here is one from eBay

Need a consoleCalrec S Series Analogue Mixing Console Desk 36x8x2x2 | eBay
Old 8th February 2017
  #17
Or you can go for a 16 channel Trident 78... it's under 20k and it sounds really nice...

Trident 78 Console – Trident Audio Developments

It's fully modular, you can configure it from 8 Channels and up, in 4-channel buckets. It's main difference with the 88 is the number of bands in the EQ and the connectors... everything else is pretty much the same.If you can go for an 88 that would be better... it's around 25k.

And... the Trident IS a real analog studio console with Class A discrete amps and many other lovely features.

Keep Rockin' !
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Old 8th February 2017
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seedubs View Post
I eventually went with a SSL g desk but I almost went with a Calrec Q series. These desks can be found for a fraction of their original cost and are usually pretty well kept up by the broadcasting staff . Lots of Lundahl transformers throughout. A good SSL is 35k min. API is 60k min. There are Calrecs around for 10'to 20k depending on size. Best deal going in my humble opinion.

Here is one from eBay

Need a consoleCalrec S Series Analogue Mixing Console Desk 36x8x2x2 | eBay
Hey thanks, will have to have a more in depth look into these consoles. Do you think a Midas console like a heritage would be ok for front end as they a dirt cheap now and sound great. I have only ever known them to be for live. I understand XL 4 series and XL 200's could be an option. I could get a XL 4 for around $20,000 US or a XL 200 for around $8000 US.
Old 8th February 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wawili_Sound View Post
Hey thanks, will have to have a more in depth look into these consoles. Do you think a Midas console like a heritage would be ok for front end as they a dirt cheap now and sound great. I have only ever known them to be for live. I understand XL 4 series and XL 200's could be an option. I could get a XL 4 for around $20,000 US or a XL 200 for around $8000 US.
$20k gets you a lot of studio console...I wouldn't spend that much on a console that had been toured. You could get a great 24 channel tracking console for that, or even a converted broadcast neve perhaps.
Old 8th February 2017
  #20
Gear Addict
 

What about the new Heritage Edition Audient? Wouldn't surprise me at all to see them wind up as a "why did we not think this was cool when it came out?" Piece of gear.... looks really nice.
Old 8th February 2017
  #21
Gear Nut
The features I was drawn to in the Calrec that you won't find in a live console are things like dedicated direct outs on each channel and multitrack facilities including metering as well as 8 stereo compressors, Sifam rms and peak analog metering. 12 aux sends, comprehensive monitoring for externals to control room and SLS monitor systems. Also the Calrec folks are very helpful in decoding the desks features as each one is bespoke. These desks were also made to be repaired in the field which newer desks are not usually. If new consoles break they get replaced as opposed to repaired with readily available parts. Some of them are equipped with 4 stereo and 12 VCA groups. That's more recording studio functionality than most solutions offer in my view.
Daniel Lanois uses a Midas in his workflow but I believe it is used for monitoring as opposed to front end. He probably uses his Neve BCM 10's for going to tape.
Old 8th February 2017
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Console

I saw a SSL for about 30k. I forget the number of channels. I think it was an e modded to a g.
Old 8th February 2017
  #23
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deuc647's Avatar
 

I think REA(forum member) is selling his AWS for a little more than 20k, **** if i had that i would grab that console and it would integrate perfectly in your studio. 24 analog channels and has the ability to be a PT DAW controller as well. Ur welcome and i expect a tip at the end.
Old 9th February 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
I'd get an rnd 5088 with daw control.
If you only need 8 channels, add some shelford modules and you'll be loving life.
Old 9th February 2017
  #25
Deal are out there, if you look for them. A local guy bough a Harrrison MR-4 for $500, automation and patch bay included. Then he found a Harrison Raven, got that 40 input beauty for $800, it's his B room now. Nothing like putting about $100k back in your pocket rather than someone else's.
Old 9th February 2017
  #26
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Skip Burrows's Avatar
 

New Daking console is bad ass!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wawili_Sound View Post
Hi

Looking for a console that sounds great, has preamps, eq, good master and monitor section. can be front end recording into DAW but also be switched to work in a control surface mode for hands on Daw automation. I was hoping there is a console that can also receive audio/channels from protools back into the channel strips on console for more analogue processing or perhaps even analogue summing.

8-16 channels is enough preferably with 5.1 mix capabilities. can add channels Modualar/expandable.

What is echo return, I have never owned a pro analogue console before as I mainly just do sound post but looking to upgrade and diversify.

Only thing I could find was SSL matrix 2 but it does not have preamps and am I a not able to expand channels due to it not being modular.

I am hoping there is a Hi def solution under $30,000 US. Any ideas would be sincerely appreciated. Please advise also if over $30,000 US within reason.

Kind regards
You might want to check out the new Daking console. Sounds a lot like a trident a range fully class a audio path, but this one has amazing routing, compressors /limiters on every channel hi and low passs filters and loads of flexible routing not to mention the best center section in the besiness. Below is a link of a few videos Also the center section has a space for a daw controller like an avid artist mix or something like that. It can also be ordered in custom colors and is expandable. In chunks of 16. Good luck!

https://youtu.be/UmFQxRHHMyQ
https://youtu.be/mK6xQ1_4dvc
https://youtu.be/TQ1UcUgADkc

Last edited by Skip Burrows; 9th February 2017 at 09:44 PM..
Old 9th February 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I would agree.

Again - no-one mixes 5.1 analogue, not anyone who has clients anyway. It works far better digitally, and recalls etc are possible this way. If you're looking for an analogue desk with 5.1 monitoring control, you're really really limited too.

So - either you go for a stereo analogue setup (knowing you'll mix 5.1 or anything post really ITB, or a digital/hybrid mix setup with analogue front end. Either way, you'll need a dedicated 5.1 monitor controller (SPL, audient, dangerous all make these). I would
personally then take the controller/analogue tracking desk approach, otherwise (again) you're very limited in choice, the most realistic option being an ssl aws.

It doesn't happen often, butI have been in on a fair few movie scoring gigs in the last few years where there was a LOT of analog - 47ronin for example , had three rooms running at the same time over at British Grove. Protools room, the Api room and the Main Neve 88rs all at the same time anon stop for a few days - it was an incredible atmosphere
Old 10th February 2017
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
It doesn't happen often, butI have been in on a fair few movie scoring gigs in the last few years where there was a LOT of analog - 47ronin for example , had three rooms running at the same time over at British Grove. Protools room, the Api room and the Main Neve 88rs all at the same time anon stop for a few days - it was an incredible atmosphere
Sounds awesome (and it's a cool film too). Were they tracking or mixing here though?

I got to sit in on some of the orchestral recording of the 2nd Harry Potter film, which was being recorded by Simon Rhodes. Actually recorded to 48 track analogue, with PT backup, and mixed in the evenings analogue on their Neve VR.

BUT - that's orchestral mixing. Nothing flying around in the surrounds, no sound design - straight orchestral score. At the same time, Lord of the Rings (Two Towers) was being mixed by Peter Cobbin in the Penthouse studio (Neve Capricorn, digital console) - again orchestral mix in the main.

I'm assuming they weren't doing the final for picture mix at British Grove? it's quite a different principle...re-mixing a 5.1 orchestral cue on analogue isn't as big a deal (or likely to happen in the same way) as reworking a film or TV show in 5.1.

Still - awesome thing to be involved in!
Old 10th February 2017
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
8-16 channels is enough to do 5.1 audio for post production to you? This is analogue-land -- that shouldn't be enough; that doesn't even give you three 5.1 inputs. On top of that, you need multiple 5.1 mix buses available to deliver a 5.1 mix. If you have only one, you are going to be spending a ridiculous amount of time printing down for delivery. And processing (since you'll need to print most of that down.) And recall for fixes will be a nightmare (because everything will need to be printed down.)

If you want to do 5.1 mixes for audio post on an analogue console, it's going to be a console costing way more than $30-$40k and will need to be fairly large. I'd only do something like that on a Neve 88RS/R with scoring panel/stem mixer and the project would require the budget and time to match.
Back in the 90’s, I was remixing RCA’s catalog Broadway shows and classical catalog into Dolby Pro Logic. Bob Warren of Dolby asked me if I would have time to also do the mixes in their new soon to be released format, Dolby Digital, now called 5.1. Sure!

Unless you require a 5.1 pan pot, any console with at least 6 busses and where you can pan between odd and even busses will do fine.
Old 10th February 2017
  #30
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"Unless you require a 5.1 pan pot, any console with at least 6 busses and where you can pan between odd and even busses will do fine."

geoffdake, great point to make as many would never realize that you can do a 5.1 mix on a lowly Mackie 24-8, eight buss mixer. It all about routing and simple pans, hence understanding signal flow via reading manuals and seeing what others use / do is a required step to a good purchase. After that you get into even more options / features like automation on the analog desk itself (not controling the DAW but the desk, "digitally controlled analog desks") so reading up on those options are worthy of research time. It will take some time and effort to understand workflow / signal flow / features since this is new territory for you.
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