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Best console under 20k for production?
Old 15th October 2018
  #1
Best console under 20k for production?

Hi all - looking at used consoles is quite nerve racking because we don’t necisarillay have an in-house tech and these old desks can be a crap shoot. We’re building out another room in our facility for production, tracking/mixing... general and all around utility c room. Looking at everything from old Studers to tridents and all inbetween. Any must see desks in our range you love and recommend? Market seems kinda thin right now, studio 1117 has a Capricorn for $15k but I’m a bit confused how these old digitaldesks integrate, rather, what are today’s non obvious limitations of these old 16bit consoles? - any advice or opinions are appreciated! Thanks
Old 15th October 2018
  #2
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Studers are pretty darn reliable and sound great.

Audient sound great and are reliable also.

How many inputs etc and what other requirements do need or require. This will help a ton to narrow down choices.
Old 15th October 2018
  #3
In that situation, I would go new or nearly new from a reputable dealer.

Plenty of great smaller format tracking consoles for that sort of price.
Old 15th October 2018
  #4
The last thing I’d buy would be an old digital desk (or digitally controlled analogue like a euphonix) and the 2nd last thing I’d buy would be a new digital desk.

In that situation, people want familiarity and ease of use.
Old 15th October 2018
  #5
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i wouldn't buy an old digital console either yet i can highly recommend new digital 'broadcast' consoles: i got studer vista's and use them for tracking and mixing, in the studio, live and for broadcasting - in 2018 i wouldn't be buying an analog console anymore (i did some 35 years ago) unless it would attract tons of people who are also willing to pay a reasonable amount of money for it.
Old 16th October 2018
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i wouldn't buy an old digital console either yet i can highly recommend new digital 'broadcast' consoles: i got studer vista's and use them for tracking and mixing, in the studio, live and for broadcasting - in 2018 i wouldn't be buying an analog console anymore (i did some 35 years ago) unless it would attract tons of people who are also willing to pay a reasonable amount of money for it.
If one or two people are going to be running the room, whilst it wouldn’t be my approach I can see why you’re keen.

If you’re hoping to attract clients without providing them an engineer, it’s a bad idea - you need a console with zero learning curve.
Old 16th October 2018
  #7
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Drumsound's Avatar
You can get into a used Neotek Elite or Elan and have money left over to give it a good once over from a tech. New the Audient ASP4816 is right on the mark,
Old 16th October 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
If you’re hoping to attract clients without providing them an engineer, it’s a bad idea - you need a console with zero learning curve.
not my business: i'm the power and the glory in my rooms :-)

(the vista is probably the most simple yet capable digital desk you can come across: on the audio engineering and handling side, there is close to zero learning curve - but there are indeed a few things which can be done that are mind-boggling and studer only allows the very experienced users to mess up their gear)
Old 16th October 2018
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
not my business: i'm the power and the glory in my rooms :-)

(the vista is probably the most simple yet capable digital desk you can come across: on the audio engineering and handling side, there is close to zero learning curve - but there are indeed a few things which can be done that are mind-boggling and studer only allows the very experienced users to mess up their gear)
It’s more that you’ll put people off without trying. There’ll be a whole subset of people who won’t even consider a room set up like that.
Old 16th October 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
It’s more that you’ll put people off without trying. There’ll be a whole subset of people who won’t even consider a room set up like that.
could be yet i'm simply not interested (enough) in this part of the business, so i guess i'll stick with the way i'm selling my rooms.

what are the proportions of work you generate by renting out your place to guest engineers versus work you are engineering? if not the latter, do you then assist?
Old 16th October 2018
  #11
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Console and under 20k don't jive.
Maybe console and under 100k would
Old 16th October 2018
  #12
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I don't get the point of buying a digital console. I mean don't you have that in any daw?
If I'm looking for a room with a console I'm looking for an analog room and either a Neve or SSL.
Old 16th October 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
could be yet i'm simply not interested (enough) in this part of the business, so i guess i'll stick with the way i'm selling my rooms.

what are the proportions of work you generate by renting out your place to guest engineers versus work you are engineering? if not the latter, do you then assist?
I'm not talking personally - I'm talking about the OP's situation - and it depends on what they're looking to do. It does sound like there'll be unattended sessions in this production room, and you don't want complication in a situation like that.

I don't have a studio - I work for others in a studio - I occasionally set people up and "assist", but mostly I'll get someone else to cover those. I have a small production room that's basically a laptop and speakers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
Console and under 20k don't jive.
Maybe console and under 100k would
Ah, rubbish. Plenty of great under US$20k options.

Trident 78 16 Channel 8 Buss Console - Consoles - Recording - Vintage King
Audient ASP4816 - Vintage King

SSL XL-Desk - Unloaded - Vintage King (OK that's pushing the price and needs a bit more to make it a true "console" but that's just a few new options I quickly found!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I don't get the point of buying a digital console. I mean don't you have that in any daw?
If I'm looking for a room with a console I'm looking for an analog room and either a Neve or SSL.
Well sure, if that's what your budget can cover. But there's no point investing in an SSL, even a vintage G or whatever if you're not going to use it fully, and this situation wouldn't merit it - read the original post!

I kind of agree on the digital console aspect, but as deedeeyeah points out, it's situational. It works for him; it might work for me in some workflow situations, but it wouldn't be my choice for a production room setup.
Old 16th October 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I don't get the point of buying a digital console. I mean don't you have that in any daw?
If I'm looking for a room with a console I'm looking for an analog room and either a Neve or SSL.
clearly not everyone's business - reasons for getting a digital console are that they (at least the more sophisticated 'broadcast' consoles) can do things neither an analog nor a daw can can provide: amount of dsp, channels, groups/busses/auxes/mix minus, masters/dca's, gpio's (and some additional features): unrivalled on very large sessions!
Old 16th October 2018
  #15
You guys are spending too much $. A local cat got a Harrison MR-4 40 input with automation for five hundred bucks. That was $180k new.
Old 16th October 2018
  #16
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fairly limited 3-band eq plus a variable hpf if i remember right? not really what i'm dreaming of in 2018...

you are right that some large desks which had stratospheric prices some 40 years ago (like my mci-jh500) can be found for close to nothing these days. but not everybody is as tech-savvy as you are to maintain them...
Old 17th October 2018
  #17
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Neotek is a fantastic option - fantastic solid sound and cheap/easy to repair
the same with trident.
Old 17th October 2018
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
You guys are spending too much $. A local cat got a Harrison MR-4 40 input with automation for five hundred bucks. That was $180k new.
If in good condition, and spares/maintenance is easily available in his local area - exactly the sort of thing a production room like this needs (no automation really needed though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
fairly limited 3-band eq plus a variable hpf if i remember right? not really what i'm dreaming of in 2018...

you are right that some large desks which had stratospheric prices some 40 years ago (like my mci-jh500) can be found for close to nothing these days. but not everybody is as tech-savvy as you are to maintain them...
But for the OP it'd be perfect I reckon. With the maintenance caveat. We have to remember the reason for the request. Wouldn't be my choice personally of course!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyMac View Post
Neotek is a fantastic option - fantastic solid sound and cheap/easy to repair
the same with trident.
Neotek yes - used to work in a studio with one, simple, works, not expensive, sounds good, easy to use as a freelancer. Ticks all boxes.
Old 17th October 2018
  #19
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127Riot's Avatar
 

I have a digital console and so does everyone else, it's called protools.
Old 17th October 2018
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
You guys are spending too much $. A local cat got a Harrison MR-4 40 input with automation for five hundred bucks. That was $180k new.
I've seen you post that many times now.
Old 17th October 2018
  #21
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For 20k I'd be looking at a trident 78 or audient
Old 17th October 2018
  #22
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EvilRoy's Avatar
"Track on a Neve, mix on an SSL" was what I kept in mind when shopping for a mixer last year. I can see why many prefer a big iron loaded desk for tracking but I was looking for clean and transparent. I can track through outboard iron or process later, although I wouldn't thumb my nose at a Neve. $20k gives you lots of choices on the vintage market, but it's best not to get too locked in to any particular model in case a great deal passes you by on a different one. There's not much you can't get with $20k these days. Forget SSL, big API, top of the line Neve, Trident, 9098 etc. but you can still land a smaller Neve, Trident or a top of the line Soundcraft Jade, Neotek, D&R, DDA, Studer, Calrec, MCI, Amek etc. Don't hold your breath waiting for a $500 Harrison.

I almost went with a Neve VR60 for $10k, gorgeous desk. It needed work and is high maintenance so I thought the initial cost was deceiving. I wound up getting a loaded 32 frame D&R Cinemix last year for $11k. 84 db gain on mic pres, 24 bus, 64 mono w. 64x4 band sweep, 10 stereo with 4 band fixed, 10hz-200khz vca out, moving faders, 5.1 master section with automated joysticks, surround stems matrix, like new. Same sonic ballpark as a Neotek. I was lucky enough to pick up enough dynamics cards to cover all the monos for $500. I can recall them with a button push. It's far more mixer than I was looking for and probably a little above market value due to the condition, but I jumped on it. Unlike a lot of old automation systems, this one speaks midi. Currently porting the vst2 plugin for it to run inside Logic. D&R was made in The Netherlands and sold many more in Europe, bit of a rarity over here. $20k most certainly buys a nice console.

Old 19th October 2018
  #24
Gear Addict
 

8 channels for 20k? Way too much for that
Old 19th October 2018
  #25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
8 channels for 20k? Way too much for that
Well, it's another recommendation that's completely NOT what the OP needs, that's for sure!

People aren't reading the initial post and thinking about a solution, just sticking in the latest thing they've read about (sorry pcbiz, but that's what it seems like - did you read the original post and think about it?)

The Tree Audio might well be a great product - if you're looking at something like a reissue BCM10, a small vintage Neve, or similar boutique product.

It's a terrible way to spend for a production room setup like the OP needs.
Old 19th October 2018
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I've seen you post that many times now.
Because its worth repeating when the same questions are asked again and again. Deals are out there for those looking for them.

"As Yee Shall Seek, Yee Shall Find".
Old 19th October 2018
  #27
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Ha next question will be where?
Old 23rd October 2018
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
Console and under 20k don't jive.
Maybe console and under 100k would
What? No... I respectfully disagree. There’s soooo many amazing desks around 20k. Unless you think electrodyne, API, Amek spectrasonics, ADM, Trident, Daking and Studer don’t “jive.” They we’re certainly good enough for the greatest artist of the last half century such as Al Green, Sinatra, Janis Joplin, The Supremes, Tony Bennet, etc... and their records aren’t too shabby I’d say. I don’t think every studio needs a 124 Chanel SSL and We sure don’t need another Neve or API in NYC where I’m at (you can throw a stone here and hit ten Neve 80 series consoles competing around $300 a day!!! How they’re paying rent I have no idea but I’m in them, working every day, paying them peanuts while they fight for the same market). I know there’s good console options for around 20k and I def want something unique that will attract unique clientele. I don’t wan to own another steakhouse in an overcrowded steak town. That’s neither bold nor smart. There definitely is “jive” within this budget I think you’re quite wrong. Imho
Old 23rd October 2018
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I don't get the point of buying a digital console. I mean don't you have that in any daw?
If I'm looking for a room with a console I'm looking for an analog room and either a Neve or SSL.
You must be unfamiliar with digital consoles, specifically the one listed in the original post which includes 32 channels of analog Neve pres and eq’s which are hailed as absolutely incredible sounding by some of the worlds finest engineers, which can also bypass all digital circuitry and be used strictly as an analog tracking desk if desired FOR ONLY 15k. I’m not saying I’m gonna buy one but I’d never say they are not relevant anymore by any means. Some of the biggest (and most dynamic) pop records of all time were tracked on Capricorn’s and this one is apparently plug and play ready, comes with full I/O for inserts and uses very little power draw. The Capricorn also fully syncs with daw at 48k (not terrible) with an insane amount of DSp rivaling the sickest hackentosh out there and is still supported by Neve. Don’t be so quick to piss on it. Plenty of old ass digital gear is still considered holy grail (lexicon 480L, eventide H3000, AMS, etc). Just cause it’s digital doesn’t mean anything. It originally sold something like half a million dollars and now is 15k and still a killer desk. It’s also arguably the most simple to use digital desk ever manufactured in its class so I’m unclear... what exactly do you despise so much about this analog hybrid desk at only 15k? I got nothin but love for you but I think you’re simply misinformed here
Old 23rd October 2018
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jml designs View Post
You must be unfamiliar with digital consoles, specifically the one listed in the original post which includes 32 channels of analog Neve pres and eq’s which are hailed as absolutely incredible sounding by some of the worlds finest engineers, which can also bypass all digital circuitry and be used strictly as an analog tracking desk if desired FOR ONLY 15k. I’m not saying I’m gonna buy one but I’d never say they are not relevant anymore by any means. Some of the biggest (and most dynamic) pop records of all time were tracked on Capricorn’s and this one is apparently plug and play ready, comes with full I/O for inserts and uses very little power draw. The Capricorn also fully syncs with daw at 48k (not terrible) with an insane amount of DSp rivaling the sickest hackentosh out there and is still supported by Neve. Don’t be so quick to piss on it. Plenty of old ass digital gear is still considered holy grail (lexicon 440, eventide H3000, AMS verbs, etc). Just cause it’s digital doesn’t mean anything. It originally sold something like half a million dollars and now is 15k and still a killer desk. It’s also arguably the most simple to use digital desk ever manufactured in its class so I’m unclear... what exactly do you despise so much about this analog hybrid desk at only 15k? I got nothin but love for you but I think you’re simply misinformed here
1993 digital technology isn't going to blow anyone away sonically. If you are going that route pair it with some blackface adat's and see how that sounds.
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