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Mini Consoles
Old 22nd October 2002
  #1
Mini Consoles

Help!
I recently got excited about the prosect of recording drums via a 'classic' console into Pro Tools. My regular mixer is a humble Mackie 32-8.
The dilemma is, aquiring enough decent MicPre's to cater for a 4 or 5 mic set up would probably be more expensive than a very small 'classic' console or sidecar.
This was confirmed when I saw a Studer 169 (10ch) for $2,700 and an 089 (12ch) for $3,250.
Then someone I respect told me the Studer consoles were a bit harsh.
There are another two immediate options however;
1. An EAB RE85 (8 - 2) for $4,500.
60's German valve console.
This has been described (probably generously) as like 8 V72's and 8 Pultec eq's.
The eq is fixed 100k & 10k only BTW.
I'm sure the raw sound of drums going through the console would be pretty nice but would cut and boost of two frequencies be far too limiting for proper drum recording?
2. On the other hand I could really push the boat out, sell half my studio and buy a used Api 1604.
Regarding both these options, would it be just a whole lot easier to buy a rack of Api 300 series MicPre's and 'get over' the vintage thing?
I already have a few decent eq's: Helios, Calrec & Api.
Any opinions on the above consoles or others I should look at would be gratefully accepted.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

More info needed!!!!

What are you recording?
How many inputs you need?
Was ur budget?
What u recording to?
Is it purely for tracking and or mixing too?

but u seriously can not go wrong with that little API type console thats on Ebay right now!!!

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 22nd October 2002
  #3
Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
More info needed!!!!
Wiggy
Wiggy, it's all there in the original post.
However to expand....
>What are you recording?
Primarily drums.
>How many inputs you need?
Enough for 5 or so mics. I suppose it makes sense to look at 8+ seeing as that's the PT interface format.
Was ur budget?
Nothing specific. I started looking at less than $3k but I'm already up to $5-20k.
Probaly $3-5k is more do-able.
What u recording to?
DAW as in Pro Tools HD.
Is it purely for tracking and or mixing too?
I'll probably try mixing in Pro Tools....I don't work with bands so I don't need a traditional tracking console.
BTW I saw the Api. It's tempting but probably out of my budget.
Thanks anyway.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Holy Frijole!

That board looks sweet.

But don't worry Chrisso, I ain't got the squids. grudge

Good luck though!

R.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #5
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
FWIW, I've never found the Studer stuff to sound harsh.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #6
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Yeah, harsh would certainly not be the first adjective I'd use. These were broadcast and classical location type boards, so I don't think they'd have gained a reputation for that if they were overly harsh.

I've found the pres to be pretty darn good, although I usually track through a combo of outboard (API,Tele,GR) pres as well as the Studer. They have a lot of gain and sound pretty smooth, but not particularily characteristic. The EQ is also good - kicks absolute ass on any modern small format console that I've heard (no names...). EQ could be a little quieter though, and I wish the high and low weren't fixed.

And, as I've mentioned in another thread, lately I've been playing with summing out from PT into the Studer and quite liking the results.

There aren't a lot of options is this category (small format, good quality, add-on to a DAW setup). I'd love to check out the Helios/Calrec/Neve/Audix consoles in this arena, but to be honest, I was pleased as punch when I found my Studer 269 and still am. I have a feeling the upkeep on one of the others would be more substantial, and I would definitely factor that into any purchase (Oh, and make sure you get a manual!!!).

The price you quoted seems a little high for the smaller 169 console, but maybe I just got a good deal...

Best of luck.

Ohhh, that API on E-bay sure is nice though...
Old 22nd October 2002
  #7
Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast

And, as I've mentioned in another thread, lately I've been playing with summing out from PT into the Studer and quite liking the results.

There aren't a lot of options is this category (small format, good quality, add-on to a DAW setup). I'd love to check out the Helios/Calrec/Neve/Audix consoles in this arena,
Yeah.
I haven't come across a small Helios as yet, I think it would be a pricey option though.
The Calrec's are usually good value.
Which was the thread where you mentioned the PT & Studer combo?
Old 22nd October 2002
  #8
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisso

Which was the thread where you mentioned the PT & Studer combo?
Hmm. One where a fellow from Chicago mentioned doing the same thing through a Helios 16x2. I'd have to search for the thread, but it's on this site...

It would be fun to to post some examples somewhere using our different consoles. Maybe if we're using the same DAW we could even send data CD's to each other and try summing though our different [email protected]

I actually think that in the small to mid-level studios this is going to be a real differentiator as more and more people record themselves (ADAT, PT, etc), but then want to clean/fix it up...


I have some recent samples where I did:
1: an internal bounce
2: summed through the Studer
3: through the Studer and then applied some Cranesong HEDD on the way back in

For that batch of songs I had a clear favorite across the board....

Cheers.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #9
I have to admit to still feeling a bit nervous about the Studers, despite reassurances.
Any comments on the EAB?
There is a link to a partial description of a similar console:
http://www.tab-funkenwerk.com/RE85.html
Old 22nd October 2002
  #10
Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast


The price you quoted seems a little high for the smaller 169 console, but maybe I just got a good deal...
Dear Mr Beast,
Just by way of working out whether you got a great deal, I've just dug up a 269 at another online dealer for $4,200.
BTW it looks very similar to the 169, I'm supposing it was the same era only more channels.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #11
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisso
I have to admit to still feeling a bit nervous about the Studers, despite reassurances.
Any comments on the EAB?
There is a link to a partial description of a similar console:
http://www.tab-funkenwerk.com/RE85.html
That looks freakin awesome! But, given what you want it for (drum tracking) I'm not sure that would be my first choice. I have a Telefunken V78, and on snare it is the absolute bomb! But, I don't care for it too much on kick.

Given that you have some really good eq (I'm jealous), I might look at the 3124M+ (mixer option) and another color?!

Will you be able to try any of these consoles out in person? That's the most important thing of course. I sat around with some mics, headphones and tried to run things through their paces best I could before deciding anything.

This is a tough one and everyone's needs/ears are different.

Best of luck.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #12
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
Here's the link to the other recent thread on this:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...&threadid=1179

I use a Trident Trimix for tracking and mixing with my DAW. I needed a console with good mic pres for tracking rock and nice EQ/ summing abilities for mixing the tracks coming back. The Trimix does a fine job and can be configured as a 16x10x14 board in a 3' wide frame.
I also looked at the Studers when I was shopping but needed a bit more functionality - subgroups, a monitor section, etc. Looked at an API 1604 and a Neve sidecar as well but they're worth more parted out than I could offer. The IC based stuff may be all that's left intact soon...
Old 22nd October 2002
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Maybe smaller format Neotek MK I and MK II boards? I'd be looking at old, clunky boards originally geared towards now "obsolete" formats (16 track, 8 track, 4 track decks or even less). I don't know if that includes any MCI's or Quadeights. Also, stuff not so easily parted out and racked (anything where the fader is mounted on the same panel as the rest of the strip is likely, for example).

One interesting point on old solid state German modules from Telefunken/Siemens/Tab et al., is that in a lot of cases summing and distribution modules can be had super cheap when people part out the boards, so it's feasible to assemble the components to build up a small console. I think Tabfunkenwerks has done a few science projects like this. I imagine the modules will end up being the cheap part, though.

Bear
Old 22nd October 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

hey that's MY EAB!!!
and it's also me with the Helios.
I use the EAB for very specific 'color' situations or when I really need to **** with something.
It has a very pultec'ish sounding EQ.
and yes the pres are somewhat of a lesser version of the V72.
overall an awesome sounding beast but I wouldn't use it as your only console-summing unit.
I mostly use the Helios.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #15
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Tholen
hey that's MY EAB!!!
and it's also me with the Helios.
...
I mostly use the Helios.
Dude - I'd drive to Chicago just to check that thing out! Ever since I saw a photo somewhere of one of those wrap-around, red Helios consoles I've had a serious case of Helios envy. Weren't some of the Marley records done on one also?

Sigh...
Old 22nd October 2002
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Neve Sucks!'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast


I have some recent samples where I did:
1: an internal bounce
2: summed through the Studer
3: through the Studer and then applied some Cranesong HEDD on the way back in

For that batch of songs I had a clear favorite across the board....

Cheers.
Mista CrazyBeast,
Is there any possibility to listen to the bounces you mention above??

/Mr. Gearzlut
Old 22nd October 2002
  #17
crazybeast,
Island had an Helios. The Who and The Beatles (Apple) both had Helios consoles. A lot of amazing records were cut on the Olympic Helios.
A small Helios would probably be the ideal solution for me. But how much would a 12 or 16ch Helios cost?
Mike, I've seen your eq's alone for sale at $2,000 each.
Thanks for posting the picture. The Helios looks absolutely awesome. You must have an incredible set up with the EAB as well.
I was offered a 10ch Helios a while ago but the vendor wanted serious!!! moolah.
In any case, how often do they come up.
After all this chat on Helios and Api desks a Studer is going to be a dissapointment. Ho hum.
Old 22nd October 2002
  #18
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Neve Sucks!

Mista CrazyBeast,
Is there any possibility to listen to the bounces you mention above??

/Mr. Gearzlut
Hmm. I'm not sure how much space I have at my ISP. Not much I'm afraid. I might be able to turn on web sharing for a little while at the studio.

What format? 24/16?

If other people were going to listen to them I'd probably have to level match a little more carefully and finish the mixes!

Quote:

After all this chat on Helios and Api desks a Studer is going to be a dissapointment. Ho hum.
Hey now! Don't go peeing in my wheaties!

Oh, and by the way, I guess I did get a very good deal, around half what you posted...
Old 22nd October 2002
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast


Dude - I'd drive to Chicago just to check that thing out! Ever since I saw a photo somewhere of one of those wrap-around, red Helios consoles I've had a serious case of Helios envy. Weren't some of the Marley records done on one also?

Sigh...
next time your in Chicago let me know.

It's not one of the big wrap around ones but it's still a mother****er.
and no Chrisso, it wasn't cheap.grudge but where the **** else can you get that sound? neve? nowayinhell.grggt
Old 22nd October 2002
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Neve Sucks!'s Avatar
 

Crazybeast,

Anything will do, just a minute or so of each is perfect. I just wanna hear the differens between the PT bounce and the Trimix mix. I´ve only compared my own mixes, mixed on SSL vs PT, Euphonix vs PT, Yamaha DM2000 vs PT.
I really love the spread on the Euphonix, but the punch in the SSL is not to play with....
Old 22nd October 2002
  #21
Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeast

Hey now! Don't go peeing in my wheaties!

Oh, and by the way, I guess I did get a very good deal, around half what you posted...
Gulp....sorry!
The Api and Helios consoles ARE at least $20,000 more expensive.
Old 23rd October 2002
  #22
Gear Addict
 
dynamo's Avatar
 

""This was confirmed when I saw a Studer 169 (10ch) for $2,700 and an 089 (12ch) for $3,250.
Then someone I respect told me the Studer consoles were a bit harsh.""""

The 089 and the bigger, more channels/larger frames, 189 ( which i have...still in service) are the first Studer consoles, 60's. They are Class A
all discrete consoles and use input transformers. Output transformers are avalilable in the line amp cards. Amps and transformers were all housemade.
The 169/269 are more recent consoles and use IC's, probably input transformers were offered as option, don't know much. They are, anyway, two different type of design indeed so i don't quite get that generic comment.
Even if built with high quality components recapping and service may be needed before having a real idea of the performance. Wonder if "someone" experienced a desk in poor condition...
Old 23rd October 2002
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Speak to the crew @ funky junk london and enquire about their Alice mixer.. its mean tot be very nice and then buy yourself one bitchin preamp for vox and ODubs..

Failing that skip the mixer and buy an API 3124 and a cransong flamingo.. an you wil be sorted for most things.. and its all top notch ****! that sounds primo and you wont be trading it in a hurry either.. its all keeper stuff

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 23rd October 2002
  #24
Looking around the web dealers for Helios and Api I noticed there was a surprising variety of Neve consoles available between $10-20,000.
Any pointers as to which should definitely be avoided.
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