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To Console or Not to Console...
Old 12th April 2019
  #61
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TobyToby's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I use an analog console to mix because it has a greater dynamic range, s/n ratio and lower THD and IMD than any ITB mixing format. My mix buss does -134 db IMD at a 2000v/us slew rate with a 30 MHz bandwidth. I get -90 db stereo crosstalk at 10k hz, best I've measured in an analog format. I get zero degrees of phase shift, 20~20k hz. It's time-aligned like no converter/filter can do.

It can't be bested for depth and imaging by any computer based format. It's true 3D mixing with stuff coming out from the sides and behind. It shines on acoustic music recorded in a live room. It's overkill for post, film, jingles and dance music.
That must sound like a benchmark that is hard to archive. Where can I find and listen to a mix that you or an engineer made on your console. I wanna levitate in that sound you are describing
Old 12th April 2019
  #62
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted be25781 View Post
I wonder how many people would not have a console if we would all be loaded and able to pay for a Neve 8068 or a fully equipped Duality, and have the space for it.
Yeah. Not me. Doesn’t work with my workflow. And - heresy coming - Neve is nice but I don’t want a whole console of it.
Old 12th April 2019
  #63
So I’m pretty sure it’s a toss up between the new API Box II or an SSL XL Desk. Both have perks - either would work for my needs - I guess it’s a matter of do I need the extra tracks on the SSL abs do I need their clean pres
Old 12th April 2019
  #64
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"To console or not"

Like asking if someone is getting married or not.
Old 12th April 2019
  #65
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
"To console or not"

Like asking if someone is getting married or not.
He's already married. That's why he needs to be consoled, HAAARRRR!

joking.
Old 12th April 2019
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
How are you running things? I spoke with some folks at Vintage King, in theory, I could record through API to Pro Tools and dump to tape during summing after tinkering in Pro Tools, either 24 track or as low as 2 track. That sounds pretty appealing to me.

I use Pro Tools, and the Apollo's for my I/O, plus a Crane Song Spider and UA 2192 for converters. I'm using all the API inputs, plus the Spider, and then some other mic pre's and outboard wired into the summing side. It is rare I need all the inputs at once, but I want to have certain things ready to go at all times.

The API preamps sound great, although the Spider is probably better. I don't really use the Apollo preamps, but I would (proudly) if I needed them. The 500 slots in the API are super convenient, as are the internal compressors.

It's a really great setup, and everything just works and feels cohesive. The importance of that can not be overstated. For me it's all about the marriage of flow, design, and sound. I wish it had more sends and busses, but that would mean moving to a 1608. And if I were going to do that... I'd also talk to Geoff Daking, but you're talking waaaay more money for either of those desks.

You could totally work with that 'da Box' and 24trk tape, but if you get acquainted with the UAD Studer and UAD Ampex you may not even want to bother.
Old 12th April 2019
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
So I’m pretty sure it’s a toss up between the new API Box II or an SSL XL Desk. Both have perks - either would work for my needs - I guess it’s a matter of do I need the extra tracks on the SSL abs do I need their clean pres
I think the XL Desk has the better features, hands down. The dedicated returns and the bussing are a big deal. Ultimately I went API for *that* sound and I thought it would be more tweakable down the road with other op amps.
Old 12th April 2019
  #68
That being said, it is possible to plop several API preamps into the SSl as well correct? I have never heard an SSL desk ( have heard API) but numerous friends have encouraged me away from it BUT it seems like I could sort of best of both world it with the SSL I dunno though....
Old 12th April 2019
  #69
Deleted be25781
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
That being said, it is possible to plop several API preamps into the SSl as well correct? I have never heard an SSL desk ( have heard API) but numerous friends have encouraged me away from it BUT it seems like I could sort of best of both world it with the SSL I dunno though....
Well I think the API is prettier.
Old 12th April 2019
  #70
Old 12th April 2019
  #71
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
That being said, it is possible to plop several API preamps into the SSl as well correct? I have never heard an SSL desk ( have heard API) but numerous friends have encouraged me away from it BUT it seems like I could sort of best of both world it with the SSL I dunno though....
API console with Neve style pres and EQs is also a pretty amaze-balls combo, especially if you plan on doing a lot of tracking...I’m rocking an API 1608 loaded with Chandler little devil EQs and Comps, and also AML EZ1073 and comps patches in. It’s just great.
Old 12th April 2019
  #72
Deleted be25781
Guest
You can build a sweet desk around it.
Attached Thumbnails
To Console or Not to Console...-jonan-api-2.jpg  
Old 12th April 2019
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
I've heard about this console before and mods you've done for other desks. I've also heard you're not fond of D&R, lol. Nevertheless, I keep wondering what you could do with mine. It already specs out well, up to 200khz w/o VCAs (30khz with) and also claims -90db crosstalk. drBill used to rep them and claims D&R had the lowest phase distortion in the biz. I've always been a big believer in slew rate specs but don't know what it is for the D&R. It uses TL072s throughout, good but could be even better. I picked up a couple of tape decks as a hobby and need to buy a scope. Still have to calibrate the desk but would like to measure it more thoroughly. Currently reading "Electronics for Dummies", hahaha.

That's another thing you can do with consoles you can't do digitally, pop the top and switch out the carburetor.
My issue with D+R isn't their designs but their component selection. I don't believe 5% carbon film resistors belong in a high quality audio piece. The 072 opamp is limited to +40 db open loop gain at 10k hz, use an opamp with 80 db OLG at 10k hz and you instantly take 30 db of THD off the plate.

Even the 2% Asian metal film resistors used in my console are lacking. I replaced them with 1 or .1% Dale CMF55's or Vishay VAR bulk foils, the difference next to the same console without them was very noticeable. The console without them was sold.

D+R uses a variation of the "trans-amp" sum grounded base design as seen in Soundcraft and others. Mine was converted to current feedback with current feedback opamps or 'transconductance' opamps, a different class. Therefore the sum amps are not limited to 100 or 200k hz, but rather the roll offs set by the feedback resistors = 30 mhz. Do a phase vs frequency sweep on my AP and you see a flat line, 20~20k hz, no other analog console can do that.

The issue with attempting to describe these sonics that most have never heard is akin to describing the Mona Lisa to a blind man.
Old 12th April 2019
  #74
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
My issue with D+R isn't their designs but their component selection. I don't believe 5% carbon film resistors belong in a high quality audio piece. The 072 opamp is limited to +40 db open loop gain at 10k hz, use an opamp with 80 db OLG at 10k hz and you instantly take 30 db of THD off the plate.

Even the 2% Asian metal film resistors used in my console are lacking. I replaced them with 1 or .1% Dale CMF55's or Vishay VAR bulk foils, the difference next to the same console without them was very noticeable. The console without them was sold.

D+R uses a variation of the "trans-amp" sum grounded base design as seen in Soundcraft and others. Mine was converted to current feedback with current feedback opamps or 'transconductance' opamps, a different class. Therefore the sum amps are not limited to 100 or 200k hz, but rather the roll offs set by the feedback resistors = 30 mhz. Do a phase vs frequency sweep on my AP and you see a flat line, 20~20k hz, no other analog console can do that.

The issue with attempting to describe these sonics that most have never heard is akin to describing the Mona Lisa to a blind man.
Would love a link to recordings you've done.

Well, I'm no longer wondering what you can do with mine. Now I'm wondering how I can find the money to mod it, haha. Don't get me wrong, I'm coming off a Mackie and I'm seriously happy with my console upgrade am delighted with it's sonics. I wasn't implying it compares to yours, just that it specs out well (despite those film resistors). I also know that's it's not as simple as swapping out parts (all my chips are socketed if that's the case), the whole circuit design must be considered. Redesigning circuits is way outta my league, I'd be happy if I could restore those old decks. It's just that I've always aimed for the best at everything and you've set the bar. Only way to top it would be with you're help. This isn't going to financially happen anytime soon, more like a long range plan.

Anyway..... mine's prettier.

Old 12th April 2019
  #75
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127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyToby View Post
That must sound like a benchmark that is hard to archive. Where can I find and listen to a mix that you or an engineer made on your console. I wanna levitate in that sound you are describing

I’d like to hear this to, Ive seen many posts about it. Can you provide a link to your work done on this console?

Thanks
Steve
Old 12th April 2019
  #76
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127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The issue with attempting to describe these sonics that most have never heard is akin to describing the Mona Lisa to a blind man.
Agreed,
Rather then describe can you post a link to your work done on this console? I’d love to hear it.

Thanks in advance
Old 12th April 2019
  #77
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
Agreed,
Rather then describe can you post a link to your work done on this console? I’d love to hear it.

Thanks in advance
All the music in the entire world, mixed on all the consoles in the world since the beginning of time can't match up to Jim's console. What is the world to do?????
Old 12th April 2019
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHolyMountain View Post
That being said, it is possible to plop several API preamps into the SSl as well correct? I have never heard an SSL desk ( have heard API) but numerous friends have encouraged me away from it BUT it seems like I could sort of best of both world it with the SSL I dunno though....
True, but if you are already thinking that I'd just go for the API. So far so good here, but I do like the feature set of the XL Desk.
Old 12th April 2019
  #79
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127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
All the music in the entire world, mixed on all the consoles in the world since the beginning of time can't match up to Jim's console. What is the world to do?????
Well obviously there’s only one thing to do since this board is better then any other. It’s our duty as gearslutz to hype it up past Neve status and make each channel worth $7.k to $10.k. Only issue is, I’ve only heard one person brag about how perfect it is but never heard one single snippet of audio to back up the claims.

I genuinely want to hear this super console jim Williams keeps mentioning.

IME
What’s perfect on paper, meter, or scope, does not equate to perfect sound at all. Most records that I like were done by pushing the gear beyond its limits and out of normal operation spec.

I think perfect polished Protools mixes sound like perfect fake sh!t.

I do believe amazing sounding recordings can be achieved on subpar gear. However, I believe this would be due to Jim’s Engineering skills & a great band more so then a mediocre mixer that he souped up with better electronic components.
Old 12th April 2019
  #80
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
I’ve only heard one person brag about how perfect it is but never heard one single snippet of audio to back up the claims..
I don't even care if it lives up to Jim's claims, exceeds them by 100X's or makes all other consoles sound "horrid" in comparison. I've enjoyed music my whole life, long before Jim's console existed. So I'm OK with music gear just the way it is. I don't need superstardom mega-consoles to make music. I don't even need a CONSOLE to make music. I can even....<gasp> make great music in Pro Tools. I know, heresy....

PS - I can't hear into the MHz range....
Old 12th April 2019
  #81
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EvilRoy's Avatar
 

I personally think Jim has earned the benefit of the doubt. If he quotes a spec, I trust it. Difference is subjective, someone’s night and day is someone else’s insignificant difference. I just want to hear the Mona Lisa. Don’t think a streaming mp3 would do it justice though.
Old 12th April 2019
  #82
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
I personally think Jim has earned the benefit of the doubt. If he quotes a spec, I trust it. Difference is subjective, someone’s night and day is someone else’s insignificant difference. I just want to hear the Mona Lisa. Don’t think a streaming mp3 would do it justice though.
Make sure you get to the ENT doc first to get your hearing up to shape - at least into the 500k range. Otherwise you'll miss the benefits of a 30MHz bandwidth.
Old 12th April 2019
  #83
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127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
I personally think Jim has earned the benefit of the doubt. If he quotes a spec, I trust it. Difference is subjective, someone’s night and day is someone else’s insignificant difference. I just want to hear the Mona Lisa. Don’t think a streaming mp3 would do it justice though.
I agree and do Not doubt Jim’s technical skills or the specs he speaks of, never did.

I would just like to hear it in action. That’s all. If he doesn’t want to share it. That’s cool to.
Old 12th April 2019
  #84
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I’d love to hear some of Jim’s stuff too. I respect his dogged pursuit of linear perfection when most of the audio world is heading in the opposite direction, and while my natural inclination is toward a happy medium I’d be very interested in hearing what music recorded through such ultralinear equipment sounds like.
Old 12th April 2019
  #85
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127Riot's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I don't even care if it lives up to Jim's claims, exceeds them by 100X's or makes all other consoles sound "horrid" in comparison. I've enjoyed music my whole life, long before Jim's console existed. So I'm OK with music gear just the way it is. I don't need superstardom mega-consoles to make music. I don't even need a CONSOLE to make music. I can even....<gasp> make great music in Pro Tools. I know, heresy....

PS - I can't hear into the MHz range....
I understand what your saying. It’s not going to alter my life either way. However when someone continuously says something is good, great, better, yada etc.. it reaches a point where I need more proof then the guy that owns it and makes money on upgrading them talking about it. I don’t want to read a long list of specs and then hear crickets chirping.

If it’s that great! He must of heard/felt something through it that made him think, wow this is amazing!

I’ve sat in front of a good amount of consoles and some do give you that wow it doesn’t get better than this feeling, provided all the other stars are aligned.

Something tells me this sound craft Delta is not the one. I don’t care how good the specs look one listen will say it all.

It might be surprisingly good for the price. But no way will it rival the big boys sorry. I don’t believe it for a second.
Old 13th April 2019
  #86
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some of my 'best sounding' gear does not have über-specs/i'm doing quite fine with standard 'high quality' gear (studer/euphonix etc.) and i guess that most people buy a console for its features, not (solely) based on its specs - most soundcraft consoles (without being heavily modded) lack both! liked the vienna though but that's a looong time ago...
Old 13th April 2019
  #87
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
I’ve sat in front of a good amount of consoles and some do give you that wow it doesn’t get better than this feeling, provided all the other stars are aligned.

Something tells me this sound craft Delta is not the one. I don’t care how good the specs look one listen will say it all.

It might be surprisingly good for the price. But no way will it rival the big boys sorry. I don’t believe it for a second.
FWIW....I used to own one of Jim's modded Soundcraft Delta consoles when I first started making records on my MCI JH-110A 8-track. Now admittedly I haven't heard every awesome console in the world, but it certainly left an imprint in my brain as some of the most liquid and 3D audio I've heard. I sold the console to finance getting a console with more channels. That ended up being a D&R Vision which I have modded extensively over the years. But it still doesn't sound as good as I recall that JW-modded Delta sounding. I can't recall if it had the current feedback summing that Jim is describing or the mods that he currently enjoys in the console he now personally uses, but it sounded amazing regardless.

Brad
Old 13th April 2019
  #88
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I like Jim's spirit of wanting to make things sound better, and the motivation and determination that entails. That's what good engineers do in any field - they take an idea and make it possible, or better. That process can be very personal.
Old 13th April 2019
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark714 View Post
I like Jim's spirit of wanting to make things sound better, and the motivation and determination that entails. That's what good engineers do in any field - they take an idea and make it possible, or better. That process can be very personal.
Personal?
He’s been non stop bragging about it in a lot of console posts. Everybody that gets a board would like to make it the best it could be. Some have the motivation, money, skill set and end up with a great board. Others use what they got and are happy with it. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re going to make claims that you have a console that pans wider and has super specs, you should expect people will ask to hear it.

Every time someone does he seems to back off the thread. Again, I don’t believe it. Maybe he’s just a tech that upgrades cheap live mixers and makes them more suitable for recording and that’s great. I’m just going to consider him a guy on a forum marketing his business with words. And now I’m done with it.

All I’m going to say is, a piece of gear can sound really unbelievably great until you have something to compare it to that kicks the **** out of it. I’ve lived it many times myself.

Last edited by 127Riot; 13th April 2019 at 12:33 PM..
Old 13th April 2019
  #90
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 127Riot View Post
What’s perfect on paper, meter, or scope, does not equate to perfect sound at all.

I think perfect polished Protools mixes sound like perfect fake sh!t.
i have a feeling you dont like digital at all....

your right, specs dont always mean that much.

My old Studer is very noisy compared to my DAW....

Buddha
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