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Focusrite console (Forte and Studio)
Old 22nd April 2005
  #1
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pw8888's Avatar
Focusrite console (Forte and Studio)

Did anyone can give me an opinion on the focusrite console ?
Sound ? (I have a buch of ISA110-ISA130...)
Flexibility ?
MAintenance ?

Thanks !

Phil
Old 23rd April 2005
  #2
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Get in touch with Chris ??? @ FF Uk. He is EXTREMELY knowledgeable about all the consoles, thier histories and quirks. He is the Expert when it comes to knowing stuff about the 'high' end of FF gear nowadays.

Cheers
Wiggy
Old 23rd April 2005
  #3
I think there where only two Forte console built. And around ten Studio consoles. They did the cut down version "Studio" console after Rupert left Focusrite.
The Forte console was the one Rupert built. It had a full channel strip with compressor, the Studio console didn't.

How do they sound?.... no freakin idea man...
Attached Thumbnails
Focusrite console (Forte and Studio)-studioconsole.jpg  
Old 24th April 2005
  #4
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Drumsound's Avatar
JJP likes his!
Attached Thumbnails
Focusrite console (Forte and Studio)-owha-jjp.jpg  
Old 24th April 2005
  #5
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88fingerz's Avatar
 

I was wondering if anyone had any take on the software plug=in version?
http://www.digidesign.com/products/d...roduct_id=4241

Looks...er....SUITE!
Old 24th April 2005
  #6
I spent 10 days on one at Londons Master Rock studio's..

Mad multicolor look to it..

Had to climb up on it to adjust stuff at the top..

Dunno where that console went to in the end (studio closed in the 90's)

Here's a tiny picture I found on the web below...



Re Focusrite - I have a stereo ISA 215 and am using it to eq inner kick & snare today on some backing tracks..(only using the eq - using Neve 1073 for mic pre's)
Attached Images
Focusrite console (Forte and Studio)-images.jpeg 
Old 25th April 2005
  #7
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angelo's Avatar
 

Hi,

I cannot say a thing about the sound of the consoles compared with the ISA 110's (althought I own several RED 1's), but I recently did a search on the Focusrite consoles and this is what I found:

http://home.catv.ne.jp/dd/real/news/chuuko.htm
http://www.manleylabs.com/ghost.html
http://www.resolutionmag.com/pdfs/MAKER/ROBJEN~1.PDF
http://www.fongelectronic.com/pages/maintenance.htm
http://www.proaudiodesign.com/category.php?groupID=6

http://www.trinitysoundcompany.com/focusrite1.html

Via above link I did a check trying to find if the consoles bought originaly by the mentioned studio's and so far this studio was the only one still using the board:
http://www.beartracks.com/equipment.html

This might not answer your question but there's some interesting information in there.

Angelo
Old 25th April 2005
  #8
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toolskid's Avatar
 

paging AidyHall!!!

you've spent a little bit time behind one of these no???
Old 25th April 2005
  #9
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aidyhall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid
paging AidyHall!!!

you've spent a little bit time behind one of these no???
Hiya,

Yes indeed, I have spent much time with the Focusrite that used to reside in Studio A at Metropolis, which is now with Mark Daghorn at New Rising Studio, I believe.

Fantastic sounding console, great mic pre's, really sweet EQ's (no dynamics on the board I used). Sonically, my only complaint would be that you couldn't really 'grab' anything with the EQ, the mid-range was just too smooth, almost soft. Having said that, on more than one occasion, I remember mixing stuff in other rooms that I had tracked on the FF, being reasonably happy with the mix halfway through the day, and thinking "I'll just check the monitor mix..." Woah!! The monitor mix is cleaner, clearer, more punchy, etc .... Hard work sometimes to beat the rough monitor mixes off that console!

Maintenance-wise, it was a nightmare. It ran really hot, hotter above the meterbridge than a J or K, and it was only the techs' constant attention that kept the thing running .... I wonder how New Rising are finding it?
Old 26th April 2005
  #10
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pw8888's Avatar
Thanks for everything guys....

Aidyhall, thanks to post your experience behind this board !

Do you sometimes work with Neve VR ?

Or are you more into SSL board ?

I know very well both of them and I like to know how you can compare it sound wise ?
Would you do Jazz record on it ?Or is that more a Rock oriented console ?

thanks

Phil
Old 26th April 2005
  #11
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drew's Avatar
did a record on the one that used to be in Paramount Studios in LA and it was a joy to work on.

http://www.dmazurek.com/mp3s/fumanchu.mp3
Old 27th April 2005
  #12
Gear Addict
 
aidyhall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by pw8888
Thanks for everything guys....

Aidyhall, thanks to post your experience behind this board !

Do you sometimes work with Neve VR ?

Or are you more into SSL board ?

I know very well both of them and I like to know how you can compare it sound wise ?
Would you do Jazz record on it ?Or is that more a Rock oriented console ?

thanks

Phil
Hi Phil,

Sonically, I love both the VR and the SSL-J and K, even the G-series can rock, it just depends on the project. Maintenance on a lot of the older VR's is often an issue, as they need constant re-capping.

The Focusrite console sat somewhere between a Neve VR and the J or K. It was clearer and more hi-fi than the Neve, but somewhat warmer-sounding than the newer SSL's. Great console for tracking on, for all kinds of music. Not so great for mixing on, as I mentioned before, you couldn't really get the mid-range EQ to grab anything or make things have much 'bite' to them. And there were no on-board dynamics, so you'd better have a lot of outboard compressors handy! Certainly not the right thing for mixing rock or RnB on, although it was nice for more acoustic-based stuff that needed a cleaner, more 'purist' sound. There is a cover version of "Pink Moon" by Nick Drake on a record by Lamya that I recorded and mixed in 1 day on the Focusrite. Acoustic guitars, indian violins, Jew's harp, all sounds quite nice.

I'm sure JJP at Oceanway would disagree since he does a lot of rock/pop, although I think his Focusrite console EQ is modded in some way, and he does have enough outboard to launch rockets to Mars ..... and back .....
Old 27th April 2005
  #13
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew
did a record on the one that used to be in Paramount Studios in LA and it was a joy to work on.

http://www.dmazurek.com/mp3s/fumanchu.mp3

I did a small project there also, about 4 or 5 years ago, and I liked the board although I hardly put it through it's paces. I think I was only recording 6 or 8 tracks. got great sounds though.
Does anyone know where that board went? I think I heard that there's an SSL in there now.
Old 27th April 2005
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
...

Dunno where that console went to in the end (studio closed in the 90's)

...
Why of course it has now been re-installed in Pete Townsend's Eel Pie studios in London . With a new Flying Faders system.
Old 28th April 2005
  #15
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousfun
Why of course it has now been re-installed in Pete Townsend's Eel Pie studios in London . With a new Flying Faders system.

I don't think that's the console from Paramount in LA, is it?
Old 28th April 2005
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer
I don't think that's the console from Paramount in LA, is it?
It's the one that Jules fondled:

Quote:
I spent 10 days on one at Londons Master Rock studio's..

Mad multicolor look to it..

Had to climb up on it to adjust stuff at the top..

Dunno where that console went to in the end (studio closed in the 90's)
..
Old 28th April 2005
  #17
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seriousfun
It's the one that Jules fondled:

wow, did I misread your post thinking it was a response to mine, when it was in fact a response to Jules'? I guess I'm getting bleary eyed. too ,many long days in a row staring at these screens.....

Stil wonder where the Paramount console went, & which model it was, tho.
Old 28th April 2005
  #18
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kudzu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
I spent 10 days on one at Londons Master Rock studio's..

Mad multicolor look to it..

Had to climb up on it to adjust stuff at the top..

Dunno where that console went to in the end (studio closed in the 90's)




Re Focusrite - I have a stereo ISA 215 and am using it to eq inner kick & snare today on some backing tracks..(only using the eq - using Neve 1073 for mic pre's)
Yeh...memories...I also did some work @ Londons Master Rock studio's... the desk was indeed a beast...lots of stretching/sweating....but I remember the recordings ended up sounding quite good (mixed on SSL tho..)...Studio owner Steve was a cool bloke....where'd he end up? Suede's records where done there...they're good sounding CD's
Old 28th April 2005
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer
wow, did I misread your post thinking it was a response to mine, when it was in fact a response to Jules'? I guess I'm getting bleary eyed. too ,many long days in a row staring at these screens.....

Stil wonder where the Paramount console went, & which model it was, tho.
According to reliable sources, Paramount never had a Focusrite.

Conway?
Old 28th April 2005
  #20
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drew's Avatar
i worked in the room, they had a Focusrite. Studio C, in the back of the building. it's got a J in it now.
Old 28th April 2005
  #21
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Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew
i worked in the room, they had a Focusrite. Studio C, in the back of the building. it's got a J in it now.
Me too, Paramount Studio C, definitely a Focusrite. in 1999 or 2000.

Serious, I guess your sources aren't that reliable.
Old 29th April 2005
  #22
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

I know Conway had a Focusrite console. I sold a bunch of the ISA110 modules out of that particular console when it was parted out. They replaced it with a J, I think? Any way the studio consoles were cool. They did not have dynamics on every channel, or many of the functions you would expect from a large format console. The automation system was primarily GML, not bad, but not supported anymore either. I would not recommend buying one, as they are a maintanence heavy beast. They sure do look cool though!
Old 29th April 2005
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berolzheimer
Me too, Paramount Studio C, definitely a Focusrite. in 1999 or 2000.

Serious, I guess your sources aren't that reliable.
Paramount-Ameraycan-oh-that-paramount...

Yes, C had a Focusrite, but I'm still not sure which.
Old 21st May 2005
  #24
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew
did a record on the one that used to be in Paramount Studios in LA and it was a joy to work on.

http://www.dmazurek.com/mp3s/fumanchu.mp3

I have fond memories of tracking at Paramount with Barry Conley. (sniff)
Old 21st May 2005
  #25
I worked on the Studio console that was at Music Mill Studios off Music Row. After several days of doing overdubs, I remember two things.


1) How quiet the console was. Unbelievably so. I had tracked the album the week before on the Trident A-Range over at Omni. When I pulled the tracks up on the Focusrite, there were things I heard in the tracks that I had never heard before. Noises and such. It was amazing how quiet it was.

2) The physical size. It was a 72 input console with center section, divided into buckets of 8. I think the modules were 1 3/4 inch wide. The thing was massive. I guess it was about 17' long. You couldn't do anything sitting down. Even with the console raked up as it was, it was a long way from the bottom of the faders to the preamp gain control. The only other console that seems bigger in my memory is the 96 input 80 series Neve at Oceanway Nashville. And it can easily seat five operators. Another one of those "don't bother sitting down" consoles.

3) I'm a Focusrite fan from way back (Can you say Air Montserrat, George Martin and the SSL drop ins? I bought and still have the very first Focusrite modules in Nashville) and it was a pleasure to work on this console, one of only a handful in the world. I don't, however, recall wishing that I could work on it every day. I liked it for what it was, but it was not my favorite of all time consoles. I do think it was the quietest console I've ever used in my life, though.

Hope that helps.
Old 21st May 2005
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88fingerz
I was wondering if anyone had any take on the software plug=in version?
http://www.digidesign.com/products/d...roduct_id=4241

Looks...er....SUITE!
I use the forte suite a lot for eq and sometimes for compression. Soundwise it´s pretty close to the Isa430, even overdriving the compression-sections sounds alike (which is good sometimes). I can´t compare it to the forte console, since I it´s pretty hard to take a seat behind one.

cheers,
Bill
Old 21st May 2005
  #27
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the new blue plugin eq has the same sound of razors in the high end that the red series did...yuck, try massenburg or sony if you want a good parametric... even renasaince sounds better.
-brian
Old 22nd May 2005
  #28
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aidyhall's Avatar
For those that are interested, I just spent a week on the Focusrite Forte console at Eel Pie Studios, that is Pete Townshend's private studio in London. The console is the one that used to be at Master Rock in London, the one Jules refers to.

It's a beast! Sounds great - or at least the parts of it that work sound great. It is both back-breaking and frustrating to use. Those fiddly push-switches NEVER do what they're supposed to do on the first push, the routing assignment thing is a nightmare. Even each aux send pot is switchable to three different aux outputs with a cyclical push-switch. Never mind the LED's that are on/off when they're not supposed to be! And the pre/post/channel/monitor path swithching on each aux from the same selector switch. WHY? It's the only large format console I know that is NOT one-knob-per-function. Not at all easy to use, and I used to work on one of the Focusrite Studio desks a lot, so I was expecting a certain amount of frustration.

Despite all that, had a great week down there. The main room is designed to double as a TV studio, so its fairly dead, which means there's minimal bleed when tracking a whole band live, and the mic selection is great!
Old 23rd May 2005
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpatural
the new blue plugin eq has the same sound of razors in the high end that the red series did...
-brian
Interesting that you say that. I never used it for high end and only use plugs for the quick mix anyway. My MP and EQ-1 mk2 are no comparison to any plug in so far - no different league, a whole different ballgame.
Old 21st August 2005
  #30
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drew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drew
i worked in the room, they had a Focusrite. Studio C, in the back of the building. it's got a J in it now.

stumbled across this pic today, figured I post it. It's from my FuManchu sessions @ Paramount in 2000.
Attached Thumbnails
Focusrite console (Forte and Studio)-paramount.jpg  
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