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Critique this API Legacy Plus plan! 500 Series EQ\'s
Old 27th September 2008
  #1
Critique this API Legacy Plus plan!

Please critique the following module inventory for outfitting a 48 channel Legacy+:

Ch 1-12: Preamp + Filter
Ch 13-24: Preamp + Compressor
Ch 25-28: Preamp + Compressor
Ch 29-32: Gate + Compressor

All of the above with 550 eq
All of the following with 560 eq

Ch 33-40: Gate + Compressor
Ch 41-44: Filter + Compressor
Ch 45-48: DI + Compressor

Too much of one?
Too little of another?
Just right?
Old 27th September 2008
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Congrats that you're making this move.
We have one of the API Discrete consoles that Paul built. These were before the Legacy.
We have a filter on every channel. Now that I've lived with it for a while, I wouldn't want to work without it.
Good luck!
Old 27th September 2008
  #3
I don't think you need the gates or the di's I would have them be outboard, I'd go with filters and compressors and pre's and compressors.
Old 27th September 2008
  #4
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flymax View Post
Congrats that you're making this move.
We have one of the API Discrete consoles that Paul built. These were before the Legacy.
We have a filter on every channel. Now that I've lived with it for a while, I wouldn't want to work without it.
Good luck!
man i just have to say that your studio looks like pure seXXX. looks like theres lots of vibe and very conducive to live off the floor stuff. i could seesomething like neil youngs harvest being recorded there.congratz
Old 28th September 2008
  #5
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I agree, lose the gates and di's, and I would split the 560 EQ allocation to half 560, half 550B. And the 550 allocation should be all 550a's. I prefer the 3 band 550A punch and mojo to the added flexability of the 550B 4 band EQ which is cleaner and more neutral. What happened to the Duality pictured on your website? My ultimate setup would have the Duality(more flexable and totall recall) and a ton of Neve and API outboard in racks or a custom desk. Great looking studio plan!
Old 28th September 2008
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bforest4 View Post
What happened to the Duality pictured on your website? My ultimate setup would have the Duality(more flexable and totall recall) and a ton of Neve and API outboard in racks or a custom desk. Great looking studio plan!
Thanks! The Duality certainly has the advantage that every channel has all features--preamp, filter, compressor, gate, etc., plus the digital control side as well. However, the market I've been surveying seems to pull really strongly toward API. This is not to take anything away from SSL or the Duality, but in my neck of the woods the API is what's getting people really excited.
Old 29th September 2008
  #7
Hi-res renderings of possible allocation

Here's a low-res (400x130) rendering of how the 200-series options might be allocated:



For really hi-res versions (up to 13320x4320 pixels) check out the links at Console Sketches. At 3K you can regonize what's what. At 6K you can start to read the lettering. At 13K, you can read everything pretty clearly, including all patchbay assignments.
Old 29th September 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
looks beautiful. if i may suggest something it would be to have the patchbay remoted. no need to have all that space in front of the speakers devoted to a patch bay. very nice choice of outboard on it though.
Old 29th September 2008
  #9
The patchbays are not in any way blocking the speakers:



The incline angle is the same as for the Sound Kitchen:

Old 29th September 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
The patchbays are not in any way blocking the speakers:
didn't really mean blocking the speakers. what i was referring to was that all the real estate taken up by the patch could be alotted to another part of the console. as it is now, i think you'd pretty much be spending most of the time in front of the right speaker.
Old 29th September 2008
  #11
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I'd try to keep all the EQs within arms reach from your listening position.
You're heavy to the right
Old 30th September 2008
  #12
Gear Head
 
SmignalFlow's Avatar
 

You're talking about knowing the market for consoles in the projected area...but you don't know that most engineers can't mix stereo in front of one speaker? Your username now makes sense.

Hire a consultant. If you already have one, get a better one.
Old 30th September 2008
  #13
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robmix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal View Post
didn't really mean blocking the speakers. what i was referring to was that all the real estate taken up by the patch could be alotted to another part of the console. as it is now, i think you'd pretty much be spending most of the time in front of the right speaker.
I agree, get that patchbay out of the mix position. Then move the center section to the actual center of the console. Ahhh . . . . much better.
Old 30th September 2008
  #14
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robmix's Avatar
Oh yeah, I'd bail on the API gates too. Get an SSL X-rack or bunch of drawmers.
Old 30th September 2008
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
I agree, get that patchbay out of the mix position. Then move the center section to the actual center of the console. Ahhh . . . . much better.
The physical center of the console and the acoustic center of the control room are both within the center section. The center section itself is offset 4.5 inches to the left of the physical console. Moreover, the console is positioned so that the center section lies dead in the middle of the acoustic center, meaning that the slightly asymmetric options section is hanging 9" over to the right. Thus the engineer who centers themselves on the center section is, in fact, centered.
Old 30th September 2008
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by robmix View Post
I agree, get that patchbay out of the mix position. Then move the center section to the actual center of the console. Ahhh . . . . much better.
I meant to also address the patchbay question. Clearly the patchbays have to go somewhere. Here's what we're trying to protect:

1. A high-integrity reflection-free zone (RFZ). This means putting *nothing* between the console and the front wall.

2. The symmetry of the control room. This means not putting the patchbays on one side wall or the other.

This leaves four choices: the credenza(s) behind the console, the wall behind the producer's couch, the mix position, and a location in a room other than the control room.

Our current plan calls for having the credenzas be a pair of rolling racks that can either sidle up to the mix position, sit behind it, be well out of the way along the rear side walls, or detached completely and rolled out of the control room. When the credenzas are removed the control room is reduced to the fundamental elements of console and monitors. Because of the design of the Legacy Plus, the console won't work right if we disconnect the patchbays, so locating the patchbays in the credenzas is a harsh tradeoff.

Location at the couch or in a separate room are both pretty darned inconvenient. That leaves the mix position...

BTW, I've seen quite a few API Legacy console photos with the patchbays as I have rendered them. If that's a bad idea, then at least there's experience that it's a bad idea! But I haven't heard from that experience.
Old 30th September 2008
  #17
Gear Head
 
SmignalFlow's Avatar
 

Why do you think someone that is MIXING wants to sit at the center section and not move from his perfect acoustical spot? Great for listening, sure...but not great for working.

Put the patchbay in the wall. You're gonna be running wires through walls, obviously. Why not have the control room wires just end at the wall?

I also do not understand, from your blog, "first 16 channels geared to tracking, the next 16 to mixing, and the last to tracking or mixing". Do you know what an inline console does? It allows you to use one channel for BOTH recording and mixing. If you've got all this money to throw around, fill the ****ing thing with mic preamps and equalizers and move the "specialized" stuff [gates, for instance] to the outsides of the console. Use the whole console as an inline console.

I'm genuinely sorry if this comes off as brutal, but have you actually worked in a recording studio before?
Old 30th September 2008
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmignalFlow View Post
Why do you think someone that is MIXING wants to sit at the center section and not move from his perfect acoustical spot? Great for listening, sure...but not great for working.
A number of engineers I talk with are very excited about having an analog console, but also want to be able to handle digital workflows. I've just updated my renderings with an el-cheapo model of the EU Pro controller:



The blog posting has a link to a larger image (2400x1200). The 40" wide DAW surface may help restore some concept of balance that's missing with the large empty spaces in the previous renderings.

Quote:
I also do not understand, from your blog, "first 16 channels geared to tracking, the next 16 to mixing, and the last to tracking or mixing". Do you know what an inline console does? It allows you to use one channel for BOTH recording and mixing. If you've got all this money to throw around, fill the ****ing thing with mic preamps and equalizers and move the "specialized" stuff [gates, for instance] to the outsides of the console. Use the whole console as an inline console.
You are right--I was trying to make a point that maybe shouldn't be made. An SSL console has every feature on every channel, so you don't need to think at all about which channels have what handy. With the API you can think a little or you can just use the patchbay. I was being a bit too lyrical.

Quote:
I'm genuinely sorry if this comes off as brutal, but have you actually worked in a recording studio before?
Yes. Virtually every engineer I've met in those environments are amazingly courteous, helpful, and humble--in a good way.
Old 30th September 2008
  #19
Gear Head
 
SmignalFlow's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
A number of engineers I talk with are very excited about having an analog console, but also want to be able to handle digital workflows. I've just updated my renderings with an el-cheapo model of the EU Pro controller
You can have an analog console in the middle of your room and still have "digital workflow". I would encourage you to visit some commercial rooms that are booked a year in advance [in my estimation, the only way to keep a room like this] and see how they handle the digital workflow while having a console. I promise you that it does not entail having analog on the right and digital on the left.

Also...what exactly does the computer do that a HUGE inline API console with automation doesn't do?

What I see here is a waste of about 25 square feet of real estate and a huge wrinkle in actual engineer workflow.
Old 30th September 2008
  #20
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goldenlotus's Avatar
 

I think the EU controller imbeded in the console is a GREAT idea. Most places have a PT cart off to the side anyway. Don't let these guys discourage you I think a lot of people (including me) would really enjoy working in that room.
Old 30th September 2008
  #21
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robmix's Avatar
The way the console is laid out now you've got the engineer making eq and level decisions in front of the right speaker. It looks like 30% of the left side is taken up by the patchbay . . . . I'd still favor moving the patchbays to a credenza or the wall. This lets the console footprint be a lot smaller, divide the channels equally to either side of the center section, and figure out some cool mounting for the control surface - maybe a retractable arm or shelf.
Old 30th September 2008
  #22
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daniel c's Avatar
 

Hi,

I just had a look at the hi-res photo and I have a couple of thoughts/opinions to throw out there.

If you use 96 point BantamTT patchbays then you will only need one rack of them instead of the two that you currently have displayed. And putting a few more patchbays in where the GML gear is will give you enough for your outboard ties. That's if your design is set onhaving the patchbays in the console and not in another part of the room

I don't think you really need your options bay with the Rupert Neve console in there. Seems like wasted space, even with the EU Pro on there, which is really only great if you are running Logic or Nuendo IMHO.

As others have said, I think you should have the channels more central. From experience, it is a pain when all the channels are off to one side in front of one speaker. It makes it harder to immediately hear panning and level adjustments. If the patch bay has to be with the console on the left hand side, then you should go;

patchbays - 16 ch bucket - centre bucket - 16 ch bucket - 16 ch bucket


As for the controller, I think that you should find another way of integrating it into the room rather than the console, as others have suggested.

And as far as preamps and filters etc goes, my preference is for filters on every channel, mic preamps on at least 16-24 channels and not worry about compressors/gates/DI's etc as I am sure that you will have plenty of options in your rack. Right?

But it looks like a great project and you seem to have something really special going on there.
Old 30th September 2008
  #23
G'day!

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel c View Post
Hi,

I just had a look at the hi-res photo and I have a couple of thoughts/opinions to throw out there.

If you use 96 point BantamTT patchbays then you will only need one rack of them instead of the two that you currently have displayed. And putting a few more patchbays in where the GML gear is will give you enough for your outboard ties. That's if your design is set onhaving the patchbays in the console and not in another part of the room
I investigated the 96/TT patchbay option and that doesn't work with the Legacy because it has its own custom long-frame patchbay modules. Many of the console switches (Mic pre, EQ bypass, insert enable, etc) switch relays on the patchbay, and if you go with a vanilla 96/TT patchbay that console functionality is lost.

Quote:
As others have said, I think you should have the channels more central. From experience, it is a pain when all the channels are off to one side in front of one speaker. It makes it harder to immediately hear panning and level adjustments. If the patch bay has to be with the console on the left hand side, then you should go;

patchbays - 16 ch bucket - centre bucket - 16 ch bucket - 16 ch bucket
Actually, I got some more advice on this, which is that as long as the center section is in arms reach, it's far more valuable to have channel buckets close by than the center section. Thus I'm going to look at:

patchbay - patchbay - centre bucket - 16ch + 16ch - 16ch - 6ch options - producer's desk

In this fashion there will be 32 channels within easy arms reach, the center section and 8 more channels a bit of stretch, and finally 8 channels and 6 option channels requiring one to actually move the chair.

Quote:
And as far as preamps and filters etc goes, my preference is for filters on every channel, mic preamps on at least 16-24 channels and not worry about compressors/gates/DI's etc as I am sure that you will have plenty of options in your rack. Right?
Yes we will. But I want the console to present as much useful stand-alone functionality as possible. I want the console to be a "complete instrument" a la Daniel Lanois.

Quote:
But it looks like a great project and you seem to have something really special going on there.
Thanks!
Old 1st October 2008
  #24
A new middle

OK...I've rearranged the buckets and now things are far more symmetrical, in that the master section and one channel bucket are in reach of the left hand, two channel buckets are in reach of the right hand, and with a slight move of the chair, the patchbays, options section, and producers desk are all accessible.



A link to the big image is accessible from the blog.
Old 1st October 2008
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Here's what ours looks like.
There's a command 8 that we can integrate when need be. There's also FF so it's not used so much. The bay is remote and off to the side.
Old 1st October 2008
  #26
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....
Attached Thumbnails
Critique this API Legacy Plus plan!-dreamland-04.jpg  
Old 1st October 2008
  #27
Gear Head
 
SmignalFlow's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flymax View Post
....
This makes WAY more sense to me. It's a recording/mixing console instead of eye candy for a 3D image.

Get that patchbay away from the console and put the console in the middle of the room. Rooms like the one you're projecting do not book without an assistant. In that case, the engineer will not give a solitary **** about touching a patch cable.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #28
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clueless,

your mockup looks great but consider people will be using PTHD more than Logic. You need a D-Command instead of the Euphonix.

Now, I'd put the the D-Command (8 fader) in the center, along with a screen, and then input buckets at the sides, it's just like in any big console (SSL 4K/9K, Neve VR/88).

That would make a truly great analog console+editor. Consider people spend lots of time at the PTHD screen, having it this way they could listen in STEREO (they all do in mono as mostly everybody has the PTHD station on a trolley at a side.
Old 2nd October 2008
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
clueless,

your mockup looks great but consider people will be using PTHD more than Logic. You need a D-Command instead of the Euphonix.

Now, I'd put the the D-Command (8 fader) in the center, along with a screen, and then input buckets at the sides, it's just like in any big console (SSL 4K/9K, Neve VR/88).

That would make a truly great analog console+editor. Consider people spend lots of time at the PTHD screen, having it this way they could listen in STEREO (they all do in mono as mostly everybody has the PTHD station on a trolley at a side.
Actually we dont look at the screen much except for checking levels when tracking.hehhehheh
Old 5th October 2008
  #30
Gear Addict
Worked 3 days this week with a 32 ch Legacy Plus. It had 20 mic pres & 550l on every channel. Having not worked on Api console before I have to say it was very easy and straight forward and it sounded just brilliant. Was quite impressed by the console layout/ergonomics too which is important for work flow. I was tracking strings & percussion so I didn't use much processing apart from very minimal eq on a couple of things.

If I was to mix on it I would miss not having filters (it has a very simple hpf on every channel but not good enough imo). Would be nice to have some compressors too (especially if they sound even a bit like the 2500?) and a couple of noise gate/expander modules minimum (if doing rock stuff). Automation would also be a huge plus. And a few 560s for different flavour.

Not sure if I'm answering to your question directly but this is how I felt about the Legacy Plus.
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