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Otari Concept Elite Consoles
Old 6th September 2007
  #1
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kristoffer's Avatar
 

Otari Concept Elite

Hi! Has anybody any experience with the Otari Concept Elite console? We're building a new studio and are looking for a good console and there's one for sale here in sweden in our price range.

All opinions are most welcome.
Old 6th September 2007
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Hi Kristoffer,

we have an 96 channel Otari Elite+ here in The Netherlands (I even think it's the only one in my country).
The console itself is beautiful, with lots of headroom and lots of routing options, which can become pretty complicated if you have e.g. a lot of inserts and busses. I think in quality it stands next to the high-end modern consoles, but be sure you have the right manuals because you will need them!!
Be aware that all the connections from/to this console works with Dsub-connectors. There are not many people left who know this console so it's best to learn this console inside-out. How to fix things, how to callibrate it, how the software works/communicates with the console. It would also be smart to have a second PC with a hovernetcard for backup. The good thing is, Otari Japan still supplies most parts for this console.
Old 6th September 2007
  #3
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PhilE's Avatar
I used one years and years ago and it sounded good- shame we were tracking to DA-88s!
I dont remember much more than it doing its job, sounding nice and not being too hard to negotiate (I was still quite the rookie then!)
Old 6th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
There is one at a studio bear here that I use now and then because I like the piano.

Its not bad, not exceptional either, but certainly a workable console, especially of you have some excellent outboard to fill in the sonic blanks. Its pretty neutral sounding and quiet enough, but I think you will find yourself wanting some higher end pres and comps pretty fast.

Still it routes well and covers a lot of necessary functions that a studio needs. I'd consider it.
Old 6th September 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 
kristoffer's Avatar
 

Thanks for the replies!

We're going to buy a couple of good preamps and compressors as well, and you can always buy more of them later, so that's not a big problem.

How's the EQ in this console?
Old 6th September 2007
  #6
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
EEEEk

in their day...Otari consoles put more studios out of business than any other

Support sucked when they were new...now...you better have a creative genius as a tech
Old 7th September 2007
  #7
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PhilE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
Those are analog right?
The vrt television in belgium has 4 (the only four?) digital otari's, and man, ive heard horror stories about those mixers.. utterly unreliable apparently..
Do you mean the Status? Digitally controlled analogue... they were always [email protected] out from what I've heard- although I had a tinker with one that worked fine (sounded poor though... I was expecting it to be more like the Elite at the time)
Old 7th September 2007
  #8
PDC
Lives for gear
 

The Otari's didn't put studios out of business. It goes deeper than that.

Back then, if you had an Otari in a music studio, you didn't have the money for one of the two names people wanted. Or, you were doing TV work, advertising, etc where it didn't matter what you had, as long as it sounded good and looked cool for the client.

I know of several good sounding records mixed on Elites. I know of several long running network shows whos audio was done on them as well.

Otari support has always been good. I sold Otari back in the day, and then used it moonlighting. The console is not current, and as with any company who has discontinued a product, Otari isn't likely to have everything you need or someone that knows the console intimately. I have talked to Otari, and they do have most things. In fact, I heard there are enough parts to build consoles.

I have a friend who holds an Elite in his warehouse. I would like to have it. It was hardly used at all. I would like it as a desk for my ProTools crap, and for monitor mixing while tracking.
Old 7th September 2007
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

that is what Dave Fridman is using up at tarbox. He has mixed some fun records.
I dont know the otari consoles, but I know that dave is using it. does that count?
Old 7th September 2007
  #10
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Otari consoles don't get a lot of love around here. I've said it before but I've had an Otari 54 in here for about 12 years and I absolutely love that thing.
Old 8th September 2007
  #11
Gear Nut
 
kristoffer's Avatar
 

I have done some work (as a mucisian) on a Otari 54, and I have heard a couple of albums recorded and mixed on the same console, and I think it's sounds great. Does the Elite and the 54 sound anything alike?
Old 8th September 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
The 54....I believe, was pretty close to the time when Otari bought Sound Workshop, so it was essentially a Sound Workshop rebranded, and as such a bit better.

Pehaps its my imagination, but it always seemed to me that the more Japanese influence on an analog product the worse it got.

That being said, the console I worked on sounded good.....not killer....but good. It did what was needed.

There is one around here for sale if anyone is interested. I think its 18 inputs. PM me and I'll hook it up.
Old 8th September 2007
  #13
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Hi!

Looked at this one to....

Could'nt get it in my studio (3meters 300kg). Look like a bargain though...


Best,


///Jamzone
Old 30th March 2009
  #14
Gear Head
 
iwalkthruwalls's Avatar
 

I think it's very cool and interesting that Dave Fridmann is using it, but I think you need an external PC with a hovernet card (running windows)... Not feeling that but I'm sure it sounds great...

What are these going for? I'd look into a 'wunderbar' if you can do it...

Best of luck!
Old 30th March 2009
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Jon Nolan's Avatar
 

Tom Eaton has one. His stuff always sounds grand, so....

thomas eaton recording

he posts here. Nice feller. Drop him a line maybe?
Old 12th August 2010
  #16
Here for the gear
 
amerio's Avatar
 

Hi, Kristoffer. I'm a owner of the last Otari Elite+ ce4039 built from them.
I bought new directly from Otari Germany in 2004. I choose it for the good quality/sound/price. With it a do a lot of my work everyday from 2004 without any problem. Just now I will change only the Talkback button, that will arrive directly from Otari Japan. It isn't really simple to use because have a lot of functions for an analogue desk, but it sounds clean, pristine and neutral. I record a lot of jazz and classical music with it and everytime it is a pleasure. Only thing is the heath: you need an air conditioner to refresh the room. It is a little "energy sucker" because it is ANALOGUE, but sound is really good and good. Compressors on board are close to dbx sound and remember that preamps were done from API engineers. At the end it is a good console that works! Only a suggestion: call a good tech to connect it. I done and those money was a perfect investiment. I use ProTools and most of the time I mix on the desk. Ciao heh

P.S. I had a Grammy Nomination 2008 for Best Jazz Vocal Album!!! Recorded & mixed with Elite+.
Old 12th August 2010
  #17
I own a concept one with 80 moving faders, the mix buss sounds fine, to be honest I have lot's of nice mic pre's so the ones in the console, are not even connected, the eq is not great, I recommend getting some outboard eq for important tracks. Now here is what's really important, you have to make sure you're getting a working computer with a working hovernet card, if not you have a big useless 800lb table in your room. If it runs the eagle automation make sure you find an old pc that is the same spec as the computer that comes with your console and keep it as a spare. The same applies if it runs diskmix, although I believe all of the Elite's run eagle, which is hipper than diskmix.

The Concept system is different in that the console is almost a peripheral to the
computer. It is cool in that you have a dual path with 4 band eq on BOTH paths. To my knowledge the only other console like this with dual paths were the D&R
Cinemix. It seems there are people parting out C1's so I've been able to get many spare parts, I have 6 channel strips, a spare analog master, spare patchbay cards, 2 spare Digital Masters and a spare quad processor card.
I haven't seen as much for the Elite, but then again I haven't been looking.

Last thing is don't be afraid of it, if it's working now, and the price is right snap it up
Old 12th August 2010
  #18
Here for the gear
 
amerio's Avatar
 

Yes, it is very important to have a computer with Hovernet on it.
I have a spare computer with a second Hovernet, but without timecode card.
Runs the console without problems but no timecode for automation. Like spare part is perfect. Windows 98 edition 2 works perfect.
Old 12th August 2010
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Can I ask... what is the current value of the Otari Elite in the USA? Anyone know? Thanks.
Old 13th August 2010
  #20
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kristoffer's Avatar
 

Long time since I started this thread, and the Elite(+) has been used in our studio for almost a year now (had it in storage for awhile while building the studio). I have been doing some basic repair and cleaning to it, and it works great now. The only problem is that some of the faders isn't working as well as I'd like, but I'm looking into buying new ones soon.

Our console is a "film" version, so no preamps on this one, but we've been buying some good outboard preamps and we're looking into buying some more soon.

The compressors are useable, but there's better (and more fun) stuff in our rack.

We have two computers with Hovernet cards (actually the original Otari-computer broke, but it was no problem moving all the cards into another (old) computer and installing eagle software to run). The only thing that bugs me about the computer is that I haven't been able to get a long (about 12 meters) parallel cable (db25) to work, so I can't have the computer in our machine room.

/k
Old 13th August 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 

12 meters is pretty long for a parallel cable, in the computer world practical limits are around 4 meters. If you have not already, try a heavy sheilded cable, maybe with the addition of a sheilded conduit.
Old 14th August 2011
  #22
Here for the gear
Looking for Concept Elite / parts

I am looking to purchase a Concept Elite. Any out there?

I found a Concept 1 in good shape, but only running Diskmix. Anyone have an extra server / hovernet card that will run eagle?

I will be committing to the C1 early next week, so any Elite sellers out there call me ASAP>

Thanks,

Alan

(716) 870-8059
Old 14th August 2011
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfields View Post
I am looking to purchase a Concept Elite. Any out there?

I found a Concept 1 in good shape, but only running Diskmix. Anyone have an extra server / hovernet card that will run eagle?

I will be committing to the C1 early next week, so any Elite sellers out there call me ASAP>

Thanks,

Alan

(716) 870-8059
Just make sure the computer is working with the console. The biggest problems with this console is the hovernet/computer deal.
FWIW my console has been trouble free for over a year now since we sorted out the bugs. Diskmix isn't the hippest automation, but it works fine, the biggest drag of Diskmix is the muting and once you get the hang of that, it's fine
Old 30th August 2011
  #24
Here for the gear
question

Did I read above that you had 2 spare DMM modules for your Concept One? Want to part with one of them?

Alan
(716) 870-8059
Old 31st August 2011
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfields View Post
Did I read above that you had 2 spare DMM modules for your Concept One? Want to part with one of them?

Alan
(716) 870-8059
that's correct I do, and I absolutely do not want to part with them. FWIW Diskmix aint so bad, don't be afraid of the C1
Old 28th December 2011
  #26
Any Eagle automation users here? I just got Eagle and installed, there are a few things that I can't seem to make sense of in the manual, On diskmix you could take a snapshot with out tc running and save it, you didn't even need to be in diskmix, I had some snapshots that were very useful for me like 1 for tracking where say aux 1&2 got used for a cue mix and were pre fader and the other sends weren't, or where I reversed the input on the first 24 channels depending on whether I was using my tape deck or DAW for those inputs. Also is there a way to scroll the view with a key shortcut, Eagle only show 36 of my 40 faders and it's a pita to use the mouse for that.
Old 28th December 2011
  #27
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Alex Breaux's Avatar
 

I almost bought one of these.. Great desk.. There was one on LA Craigslist last week for $2500. I told my friend to buy it. It might still be there. 48ch I believe.
Old 28th December 2011
  #28
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lozion's Avatar
 

Hey guys, bumping this thread for another reason, our Concept One Hovernet host computer is about to go to heaven so I need to know what would be a good replacement config. Being an Apple head, I'm not too savvy about the myriad PC options out there. Thanks.
Old 30th December 2011
  #29
Anyway I figured out the snapshot issue, my question now still seems to be is there any way to have a key command to scroll the screen. Are key commands for the different views
Old 30th December 2011
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Lou, I have not messed with the software in a while and mine is in pcs. still but how about messing with your video card's resolution settings in Windows? Going with a higher resolution number in your "Contol Panel", "Display" options will give you MORE screen content but shrink the size of that content. Maybe you can find a resolution that has enough screen space to display all the tracks in one window but be large enough to read easily.
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