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To Delta or Not to Delta --- Mixing a Soundcraft Delta 200 w/ High End Gear? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 27th March 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

To Delta or Not to Delta --- Mixing a Soundcraft Delta 200 w/ High End Gear?

Hi all,

Over the past year or so, I have been accumulating fairly "high end" outboard gear in an effort to move towards mixing outside the box. At this point, I am looking into ways to better integrate this gear into my mixing environment, so as to improve work flow and avoid repeated AD/DA conversion.

A friend of mine is now offering to give me, free of charge, his Soundcraft Delta 200 console and is suggesting that I get it modified/improved by Jim Williams. The console would, it seems, allow me to insert outboard EQs and compressors with far less hassle.

I guess my question is this: Does it make sense to integrate a "mid level" board in with "high end" gear. After recording with great preamps and mics, will running the audio through the Delta 200 be a detriment to the sonics? Is it silly to use a "mid level" console with "high end" EQs and Compressors hooked up to it? Also, does anybody have experience with Williams' modfications?

Any thoughts, questions, comments, complaints, criticisms, reservations, revelations, or visitations from God would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
NER

(sorry for the lengthy post)
Old 27th March 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
hedgehog's Avatar
 

would be interesting for me as well. I have also a Delta 200 next to my hi-end pre's and comps.

I must admit that I have the impression after a few tests that it sounds different, maybe in a good way compared to summing ITB. Guess I go for it in future.
Old 27th March 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
Hello. I think if you are using good outboard pres, you'll be fine..I'm doing the same with a DDA and it's in the same genre as the SC. If you have Jim to mod it ( summing buss especially) it should work..Good luck
Old 28th March 2009
  #4
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BradM's Avatar
I have a Soundcraft Delta 200 8x4x2 that I recently bought from Jim fully modded. I also have a second Delta 200 unmodded sitting at my house, which I bought a while ago with the intent to get it modded. All I can say is it's night and day difference. The stock mixer is really versatile, and has great routing, but sounds a little pinched, 2D and can be harsh at certain EQ settings. The modded console is incredibly transparent, dynamic, quiet, and musical. The EQ sounds as good as anything else in my rack. It's really a very high end tool and I would even be so bold to claim that it probably sounds cleaner and more hi-fi than many well respected consoles that people seem to get all giddy over. In my mind the ideal console passes signal and doesn't degrade what's already there.

If you are looking for something to change the sound of what goes through it then look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a very functional board that gets out of the way of the music then get the Soundcraft, have it modded, and record some music.

Brad
Old 28th March 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
eskatonic's Avatar
 

I completely agree with Brad. I have a 28ch Delta 8 bus version of the console (and a 8x4x2 that I am selling for $200 w/ 2 power supplies) which currently has 4 channels + the master section redone by Jim. I am sending him more channels & groups as I can afford it... the changes to the sound are night and day. The harshness in the eq's high frequencies completely disappear and the summing yields a super wide mix. I've recently been playing around dumping the groups (yet to be mod'd) directly to an inward connection summing mixer to compare the mixes against those summed by the delta.
Old 1st April 2009
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for all the posts guys. So far, everyone has very positive things to say about the Delta boards. Seems like maybe I should go ahead, take my friend's board off his hands, and get it modded.

Anybody have any other comments? Anybody with an opposing view? Any thoughts would still be appreciated.
Old 1st April 2009
  #7
For what it's worth, I bought the Delta I use after I did the work for others. My room is filled with the stuff that came out the best after rework. Nothing has touched that console yet and doubt anything ever will. It was the best $750 I ever spent. The only thing in the racks that hasn't been touched is the Bricasti M7, nothing to do there, it's done right.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 1st April 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Jim,

If you don't mind giving out any secrets, I'm curious which items made it to the top of the list. What modded hardware is filling your racks?

thanks,
Brad
Old 2nd April 2009
  #9
Aphex 651's
dbx 166
81 series Neve EQ's (custom built)
MXR graphic EQ's
Lexicon LXP's, MPX's
Alesis HD24XR
BurrBrown, Mytek and Crystal converters
Adcom power amps
JBL monitors
AKG mics
Kimber Kable
Audio Upgrades mic pre's

No botique gear except the M7 and an Eisen module I've yet to finish.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 3rd April 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
dandeurloo's Avatar
I have a few items modded by Jim and I will say stellar job. My neoteks sound a ton better and I would only guess that the Sound craft is amazing!
Old 7th April 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
Here's a mix I did this weekend using my fully modded Delta 200. The console performed beautifully. This was tracked to 1" 8-track and mixed to DAW at 24/88. Actually this could be a mix to 1/4" that was transferred to the DAW. I can't keep my files straight. I'm not sure how long this link will be good for, but here it is. The band is called Raze the Stray and is fronted by fellow GS member, Norman Nomad.

Console EQ was used for the acoustic on the left (midrange boost), the drums (slight mud cut), and the top end on the vocal. Drums were just three mics and were tracked through a UBK FATSO on Glue. Vocals were tracked with a Daking FET II comp and mixed with an SSL buss compressor clone I built and a 1084 clone. In the mix the acoustics went through the UBK FATSO on Splat. Everything was cut live in the same room including vocals. So hence why it actually sounds like real imperfect musicians and not sample-replaced, autotuned junk.

Send big files the easy way. Files too large for email attachments? No problem!

Brad

Last edited by BradM; 7th April 2009 at 09:08 PM.. Reason: link added
Old 29th May 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

The way of the delta

I too will be going the way of the delta. I just picked up a 16 ch dlx. Found another 16 here in town for spares, and just bought a power one hdd 15 5a. I am going to start using it stock at first with the new power supply. Then i will send the master section and channels to Jim Williams as i can afford it.

i am excited to start mixing with my out board gear again.

Mark Schaper
Johnnyland Recording
Old 29th May 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

What's the cost of Jim's mods?

-R
Old 29th May 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Here's a mix I did this weekend using my fully modded Delta 200.

Console EQ was used for the acoustic on the left (midrange boost), the drums (slight mud cut), and the top end on the vocal.

Brad
On my speakers the finger squeaks on the left hand guitar are really loud and weirdly unpleasant or artificial sounding. Not sure it's a great recommendation for the board's eq.

Just my opinion. Personally, I'd be looking for more meat in the whole mix.

Thanks for sharing.

-R
Old 29th May 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
TornadoTed's Avatar
I have a Soundcraft Sapphyre which has a similar design to the Delta I believe. Jim modded the master section and I also did his high and low shelf mod to the EQ myself. It is a great desk, I love it. I would say the EQ is the weakest part of the desk but the mixbuss is great, there is really low crosstalk and noise also.
Old 14th May 2015
  #16
AMZ
Here for the gear
 

I've been searching for an 8 Channel Delta mixer with Deluxe inputs if anyone has one for sale.
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