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The DAKING MKII Review: By Skip Burrows Dynamic Microphones
Old 5th February 2019
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The DAKING MKII Review: By Skip Burrows

Good Day All,

I wanted to share my experience with everyone here on the forum. I had a recent install of the New Daking MKII recording console. I don't believe everyone here has had a chance to see this amazing desk so I thought I would give you a bit of information from my point of view. This thing is really something amazing... Videos are are shown below!



The channels: Each channel is a transformer coupled class mic/line input. This is followed by high pass filter. An amazing sounding Comp/limiter follows. The compressor section has every control put into a simple arrangement that makes setting up extremely fast and with stunning results. Geoff and team came up with a way to make a VCA comp sound soooo much better than any other VCA based comp I have ever heard. Put simply, most VCA's have a little crappy op/amp at the ass end for current makeup. The VCA on the MKII doesn't have this and allows him to use a custom Class A op/amp to do the makeup. I can't even begin to tell you what a difference this approach makes. In addition, the comp/limiter has a key input on every channel. It is also possible to by selecting the key input but not having anything patched into the key input to change the compressor into a Feed forward mode. The normal setup is a feedback design. To my knowledge this is the only console anywhere that can change between feedback and feed forward on each channel! IMVHO this approach changes the entire texture of the comp and make it one of the most musical I have ever heard.

EQ: The Eq section has a Low pass filter with 4 inductive Bands. The top and bottom are baxendall shelving types and the 2 mid bands are peaking types. Its almost impossible to make this thing sound bad. Believe me I tried and the source still sounded musical. Not really overstating how great this EQ sounds. Alway does what you want it to and never seems to add what you don't want! Really a wonderful design.

Routing. Every channel has 1 stereo aux and 4 mono aux's. Each one can be switched between Pre and post fader. The stereo aux has a button that pulls it off the 5&6 aux summing amp and places's it to routing matrix. This makes for all sorts of creative uses. Another really neat addition is the ability to split the aux's from the left side and right side of the desk. If you have a 32 channel console then you can have channels 1-16 Aux's feed 1 group of processing and channels 17-32 feed a different group of processing. Really killer!

Recording: There is really killer recording and mix routing on this desk as well. A simple button press in the center section allows you to put the desk into "RECORD MODE" similar to an SSL console it puts the direct out post eq/comp/filters and places the DAW or tape return on the large fader. This is done by a simple press of a button in the center section. On mix, another simple button press puts the board into Mix mode. Which feeds the DAW into the line input and all the channel facilities are available for mix processing. Most desks today that offer this cost 3 or 4 times as much.

Center Section Goodness: The center section of the MKII is really well thought out. You have the normal controls for Control room volume, Studio Source and volume as well as CUE inputs and level. The Solo and mute group controls also reside here. Some of the really cool stuff requires a closer look. The VU meters can change their source to anyplace you would like. IE input/Insert send/Fader out ETC. You can also change the ballistics of the meters at the touch of a button. Can can change the level of the meters to avoid slamming the crud out of them in case you like to drive that way! The VU meters with all their features really do provide something that nothing else can to my knowledge.

Inputs, and more inputs: The center section offers 8 mono returns all with their own VU meter and full routing. Aux's and routing are provided for each return. This is also something not offered anywhere else in the market. There is also a 8 channel Sub Mixer for returning stems or other things. This submixer offers solo,mute and Pan. You can also split off the Aux 5&6 from the Mono returns and pull them to the Summing mixer. There is also a button that sends an alternant input to Aux's 5&6 to each channel. This one button will double the number of channel inputs to mix. So a 16 channel desk can return 46 total line inputs!!! very cool indeed.

Patchbay as standard: A well designed patchy is offered as standard, All other consoles in this range don't include this. IMVHO a console without a Patch bay is extremely limited and hard to use. To purchase one aftermarket is also rather expensive. So having it included is really a wonderful bonus.

Sound: Every once an a while a designer will come up with something special. Not just features and gizmos. What I mean is the sound quality and texture. Class A architecture really does add something special to the sound of the MKII. It has almost unlimited headroom and will keep on smiling at you with that Big DAKING sound. I tried to kill the Mixbuss but this thing kept laughing at me. It's really hard to make this console sound anything but superb.

SUM IT UP: I have worked on almost every type of console on the market. All have good points and their not so good points. However the DAKING MKII is Really something special. Geoff & Dave deserve a lot of respect for such a forward thinking design. The Funny thing is no one hardly seems to know anything about his new console. I'm being a good friend to all and trying to spread the word. If your in the market for a real console, Then trust me there is no better one i've used than the new DAKING MKII. Thanks for reading..
Cheers to all
Attached Thumbnails
The DAKING MKII Review: By Skip Burrows-flyer-pg-1.jpg  

Last edited by Skip Burrows; 20th February 2019 at 09:50 PM..
Old 7th February 2019
  #2
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nomatic's Avatar
Thanks Skip!

I have been curious about this console....
Old 7th February 2019
  #3
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
I literally just got off the phone with Geoff...

He's a dear friend, and a great designer!

I'm very interested in this new console.

I am the guy that funded the very first prototype, and build of his original
console.
And I owned #1 .
We go back a long way.

But this new console, looks pretty damn amazing!
And a very forward thinker, since he also was a studio owner early on.

Thank you for that review Skip!
Old 7th February 2019
  #4
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Skip Burrows's Avatar
 

Check out these cool console videos

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomatic View Post
Thanks Skip!

I have been curious about this console....
I came across these cool console videos online. They really show some of the forward thinking on the new console. I really don't think you can get these features on any console made today. Not even SSL has these features on their newer consoles.. Enjoy them...











Old 7th February 2019
  #5
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Pale Pyramid's Avatar
Thought this would be about the new compressor just released. What a let down.

Jk. That is a handsome desk. It looks comfortable and inspiring like and old Neve or Helios desk but also very modern at the same time. Great design effort.
Old 17th February 2019
  #6
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I would like to talk about one issue that I feel is important with large format recording consoles and that is serviceability. Many new consoles are not able to be serviced by the owner or their local technician. You must send in entire modules for service at a very high swap out/repair price and no documentation is available. The parts are all mounted on one motherboard and cannot be serviced without really good surface mount component desoldering skills. Many designs disassembly is difficult making troubleshooting tough. Then there are no extenders for extending a module out of the console for servicing.

Geoff and I designed this console with ease of servicing in mind. Yes, most of the parts are surface mount but we designed a number of small daughter cards that can be easily swapped out and replaced. Then they can be sent in for repair or the repair can be done more easily on a workbench. For places like schools it is good because spare modules can be stocked, and quickly replaced, so the console can be back up and running quickly.

I will insert a few pictures to show you what it looks like.

First, the meterbridge is on hinges so it can be rotated out of the way so the input modules can be removed. Nothing on the meterbridge has to be disconnected.
[IMG][/IMG]

Then the modules slide up and out by removing two screws and disconnecting the dB25 in the rear. Then the module can be placed on an extender and operated outside of the console. I don't have a good picture right now of a module out on an extender but here are some pics of the module daughter cards that can be swapped out. They have a single screw to hold it in and it has a right angled header that slides out to remove the module.

[IMG][/IMG]


Here is a closeup of the input module daughter cards. Some of them...
[IMG][/IMG]


Here is a picture of the rear of the module. You can see that there are XLR connectors for getting into and out of the module. All the signals are on the XLRs and they also appear on the single dB-25 connector. So you have an option. For testing it is great to have one single connection. We make a dB-25 extension cable to make connecting the module back into the patchbay when it is out on the extender really easy to do.
[IMG][/IMG]

Then I should go on to the monitor panel in the center section. This comes up and over with plenty of length on the ribbon cables to allow you to lay down the panel upside-down onto the console.
[IMG][/IMG]

This panel consists of a sandwich of two PCBs. So by removing six or seven screws, you can fold back the two PCBs for servicing.
[IMG][/IMG]


Dave T
Old 17th February 2019
  #7
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I should also talk about our graphics on the console.
All the writing you see on the modules, the fader panels and the meterbridge, are done on a reversed laser engraved overlay. This means that there is no way you will ever rub off any of the lettering on the faceplates. You will not get dirt and grime in the lettering that you find with engraved/filled lettering that are done on the top of panels in other desks. The overlays are thick and not just a sticker on the metalwork. They are very durable.

This picture shows the center section meterbridge and you can see inside down onto the motherboards.
[IMG][/IMG]

Any comments or questions?
Dave T
Old 17th February 2019
  #8
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Yesterday I put up two new videos talking about the features of the console. I still have a couple of more to finish editing and will be coming soon.






Dave T
Old 17th February 2019
  #9
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deuc647's Avatar
 

That daughter card philosophy is honestly the most well thought out ways to configure a channel strip ive ever seen. That is pure brilliance.
Old 18th February 2019
  #10
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Hats off to Geoff and David.

A work of art.

Cheers
Old 18th February 2019
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
That daughter card philosophy is honestly the most well thought out ways to configure a channel strip ive ever seen. That is pure brilliance.
it's clever and modular, just like neve did back then.. so that you could swap cards.. although this new console is probably much easier to fix in case you Need because of the few clever arrangements and connectors shown above.

in today economy this is really fantastic.. hats off!



Cheu
Old 19th February 2019
  #12
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Congrats Skip
lovely console.
layout, design and function.
My Daking Modules from 1993 still sounding/working flawlessly.
can't say that about a lot of other newer "boutique" stuff I've purchased.
Old 20th February 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Congrats Skip
lovely console.
layout, design and function.
My Daking Modules from 1993 still sounding/working flawlessly.
can't say that about a lot of other newer "boutique" stuff I've purchased.

same here, hunter.

i've had 2 pairs of the original daking vertical mic preamps/eqs and a pair of the original vertical limiters for almost 20 years.

they were used on literally every single tracking and mixing session i ever did in my 20 years making records.

they've been in storage for the past 7 years while i've been dealing with health issues. just got them out the other day and recorded my new (to me) 40's radio king and they blew me away as they always have.

2 coles ribbons over head. beyer 201 on snare. oktava ribbon out in front of the kit. over heads through the daking limiters. sounded...amazing. made me inspired to start working on music again.

geoff makes amazing gear. always has.

a daking desk has always been my holy grail in the audio world.

maybe someday.
Old 20th February 2019
  #14
Fantastic, functional design.
Old 22nd February 2019
  #15
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thingsbreak's Avatar
 

What a beautiful console!
Old 22nd February 2019
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Space1999's Avatar
 

I have been thinking to myself that ever since I saw the ads for the mixer that it was really unbelievable and wondered why it wasn’t splashed out everywhere. That made me think they must cost a mint.

From what I have been told, not so. An unbelievable pricing on these consoles. I have been hooked on Daking ever since the studio I freelanced at bought a sat of pres with EQs. They sounded unbelievable. And the EQ section used on a snare was shocking! I thought to myself, my God this is unreal.

Glad to see the MKII out from under the bushel basket as it were.

Pat
Old 22nd February 2019
  #17
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crestifer View Post
same here, hunter.

i've had 2 pairs of the original daking vertical mic preamps/eqs and a pair of the original vertical limiters for almost 20 years.

they were used on literally every single tracking and mixing session i ever did in my 20 years making records.

they've been in storage for the past 7 years while i've been dealing with health issues. just got them out the other day and recorded my new (to me) 40's radio king and they blew me away as they always have.

2 coles ribbons over head. beyer 201 on snare. oktava ribbon out in front of the kit. over heads through the daking limiters. sounded...amazing. made me inspired to start working on music again.

geoff makes amazing gear. always has.

a daking desk has always been my holy grail in the audio world.

maybe someday.
awesome!
I soo soo badly want to find some vertical Daking limiters for my OG vertical lunchbox.
I think I saw you posted a pic on Instagram.
bet it sounds thunderous!
I'm a huge fan of minimalist micing..lately 2 mics.
Old 24th February 2019
  #18
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
awesome!
I soo soo badly want to find some vertical Daking limiters for my OG vertical lunchbox.
I think I saw you posted a pic on Instagram.
bet it sounds thunderous!
I'm a huge fan of minimalist micing..lately 2 mics.

yeah man, i've been tracking down a pair of duco toms for my radio king kit for ages. now i just have find a snare. i had a 7x14 but sold it when i got sick.

i honestly can't believe how good those 75 year old drums sound. when i was working with bands i always wanted to get drum sounds with as few mics as possible. finding the right drummer was always the issue there...haha.

those vertical modules are so hard to find. i had a pair for years, then ended up buying a lunchbox with 2 pres and 2 limiters from a great dude on the east coast. at one point about 10 years ago i had 6 of the vertical preamps. stupidly i sold a few when i had my health issues come up.

i'm always searching for them, they are so few out there...and everyone, like you and i, always seem to hang on to them because they are so good.

i've always been jealous of paul orofino because he had the first daking console and still has i think 4 lunch boxes full of those original preamps and limiters.

geoff makes great gear. like you, i've used almost everything out there...and i've always found the daking stuff to be perfect desert island gear. i can use that stuff on anything, always, and it always sounds amazing.
Old 24th February 2019
  #19
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crestifer View Post
yeah man, i've been tracking down a pair of duco toms for my radio king kit for ages. now i just have find a snare. i had a 7x14 but sold it when i got sick.

i honestly can't believe how good those 75 year old drums sound. when i was working with bands i always wanted to get drum sounds with as few mics as possible. finding the right drummer was always the issue there...haha.

those vertical modules are so hard to find. i had a pair for years, then ended up buying a lunchbox with 2 pres and 2 limiters from a great dude on the east coast. at one point about 10 years ago i had 6 of the vertical preamps. stupidly i sold a few when i had my health issues come up.

i'm always searching for them, they are so few out there...and everyone, like you and i, always seem to hang on to them because they are so good.

i've always been jealous of paul orofino because he had the first daking console and still has i think 4 lunch boxes full of those original preamps and limiters.

geoff makes great gear. like you, i've used almost everything out there...and i've always found the daking stuff to be perfect desert island gear. i can use that stuff on anything, always, and it always sounds amazing.
word brother
Radio king and wfl bass drums rule.
I have an all original gene krupa white marine pearl kit w the solid snare and extra 24” bass drum.
Gorgeous
Old 25th February 2019
  #20
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rectifried's Avatar
LA peeps theres a pair of orig concentric 52270s for cheap on CL
Old 25th February 2019
  #21
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by rectifried View Post
LA peeps theres a pair of orig concentric 52270s for cheap on CL
that is a great deal. i wish they were vertical modules and i'd grab them in a second.

i'm trying to convince myself as i type this not to go ahead and buy them anyways. haha.
Old 26th February 2019
  #22
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
word brother
Radio king and wfl bass drums rule.
I have an all original gene krupa white marine pearl kit w the solid snare and extra 24” bass drum.
Gorgeous

nice. love those old drums. they still just sound the best to me.

i've never had any WFL stuff but recorded some many times. love those things too.

damn...now i'm thinking of how amazing a record would sound tracked and mixed on a daking desk.

i love all the options we have for various preamps these days but i still feel like the best albums i ever made were made with one console full of the same preamps. there was just a cohesiveness and a vibe i can't deny.
Old 26th February 2019
  #23
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crestifer View Post
nice. love those old drums. they still just sound the best to me.

i've never had any WFL stuff but recorded some many times. love those things too.

damn...now i'm thinking of how amazing a record would sound tracked and mixed on a daking desk.

i love all the options we have for various preamps these days but i still feel like the best albums i ever made were made with one console full of the same preamps. there was just a cohesiveness and a vibe i can't deny.
Agreed
The cohesion
I’d have no problem tracking everything through the daking
Old 26th February 2019
  #24
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[QUOTEI’d have no problem tracking everything through the daking][/QUOTE]

Or even tracking through Daking 19 inch rack mount modules .

Cheers
Old 26th February 2019
  #25
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Wouldnt mind a bit more info on the new models announced at Namm 2019

Cheers
Old 26th February 2019
  #26
Nice! If I didn't make records for a living, I could afford one...LOL
Old 26th February 2019
  #27
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
I still own 6 loaded Daking vertical racks, for a total of:

10 x 91579 Limiters,
&
14 x 52270 Mic pre/ Eq's
Here's a shot of 4 that are mounted in my racks, the remaining 4 x Mic pres, & 4 x Limiters are in the storage closet at the moment, and taken out when needed. (very, very, limited room here)

I originally had 32 x 52270's and 8 x 91579's which were going to used in the original version Daking Console.
Our plan was that each bucket of 12 would use the existing full sized modules, either preamp or limiter.
This was quite a few years before the 52270 console that you all know, and the final version which I owned... #1

But the original version was a beast~!
Attached Thumbnails
The DAKING MKII Review: By Skip Burrows-4-x-daking-racks.jpg  

Last edited by nobtwiddler; 26th February 2019 at 06:56 PM..
Old 26th February 2019
  #28
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
52270 #1 in my studio's "B" room
Attached Thumbnails
The DAKING MKII Review: By Skip Burrows-bdesk-1.jpg  
Old 26th February 2019
  #29
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blaugruen7's Avatar
amazing picture.

love the "3d flatscreens" ...
Old 26th February 2019
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
I still own 6 loaded Daking vertical racks, for a total of:

10 x 91579 Limiters,
&
14 x 52270 Mic pre/ Eq's
Here's a shot of 4 that are mounted in my racks, the remaining 4 x Mic pres, & 4 x Limiters are in the storage closet at the moment, and taken out when needed. (very, very, limited room here)

I originally had 32 x 52270's and 8 x 91579's which were going to used in the original version Daking Console.
Our plan was that each bucket of 12 would use the existing full sized modules, either preamp or limiter.
This was quite a few years before the 52270 console that you all know, and the final version which I owned... #1

But the original version was a beast~!

i've always been so jealous of all your dakings, paul. haha.

you have excellent taste in gear.

i remember drummer billy ward had a little 8 channel daking sidecar that i lusted after. i thought i remember that thing using the original vertical modules. i could be wrong.

maybe billy or geoff will chime in on that.

that was always my dream to have a little 8-12 channel daking sidecar.
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