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Genesys vs AWS 900 vs 5088 vs 1608 Consoles
Old 15th February 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Genesys vs AWS 900 vs 5088 vs 1608

Hi

We are a medium sized (150 sq m aprox) studio based in Oslo, Norway. We have (in our opinion) beutiful control room and 55 sq m main recording room, in addition to 3 iso rooms. We have a decent collection of mics and good set of pre´s, for full list, see end of post. We track a wide range of music ranging from acoustic jazz to heavier stuff, but main emphasis these days is on acoustic music. We are tracking through apogee converters into a Tascam DM4800 and Logic Pro. This works great, but the mixer does not add a lot to mixing although summing in this mixer works far better than summing in logic.

We are now in the market for buying a serious mixer. We have considered vintage stuff but are scared by electricity bills and maintenance issues. So we feel that a modern board is a better solution. we are 4 persons running this studio, so obviously you have 4 opinions on what we need. personally I feel TR is a must, but this is not something that is shared amongst all of us.

Requirements
We are mainly considering the AMS/NEVE Genesys and AWS 900, but also API 1608 and RND 5088 are being discussed. We are also open to other suggestions. We need minimum 24 channels, preferably with eq on all channels and at least 8 assignable comps. Headset sends and tracking issues are not a problem, we will upgrade to PT HD and probably monitor from DAW, so the inline issue on AWS 900 is not a problem. But, as you understand we are quite open on this matter, since we never have worked seriously on a larger console. Any opionions are interesting, even though personal experience with any of the aformentioned products are preffered. Good pres would of course be nice, but is not deal breaker if pres are considered a problem (like on AWS 900). The board will mainly be used for mixing.

Thanks

André
Parachute Studio


Mics and pres
Neumann U 47
2 Soundelux Elux 251
2 Royer 121
2 Coles 4038
2 DPA 4011
2 Beyerdynamic M 201 TG
5 Sennheiser MD421
2 Shure SM7b
1 Electrovoice RE 20
and a lot more mics of different qualty, shure, AKG, Audix, ADK and so on

8 channel api 3124
2 channel AMS Neve 1073 DPA
2 channel EMI Chandler TG2
2 channel Great River
2 channel millennia HV-3b
8 channel presonus M80
Old 15th February 2010
  #2
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T_R_S's Avatar
If you need fast recalls and future expandability - Then Genesys is the way to go.
Old 15th February 2010
  #3
Bottom line?

What is the bottom line for your purchase?

Even though people say initially its not important, its always the most important because it will determine what is doable and not.

Your asking about 4 mixers in very different price brackets. I can tell you that to meet the requirements of 24 EQ's and 8 dynamic channels you will be in the north of $80K & above price bracket which puts the options in a whole different stratosphere. Total recall and or instant reset moves it to a very specific group as well.

I can tell you that in my opinion sonically they are all in the same ball park, that modern clean and open sound. It basically becomes a choice of what flavor of "clean" you favor. None are what i would call complete full blown out mixing consoles and all have their short comings. Also none of them are really big/impressive looking, so if its something that you will be setting up as the center piece of your control room to impress clients then factor spending for some kind of desk to put around it as well.
Old 15th February 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 

bottom line

is 80-100000 $ But it all depends. I wouldn't say they are in completely different price ranges any of these mixers? Ok, I realize that a fully loaded 32 channel 5088 or 1608 will be a bit more expensive. But it is not like going up to say a SSL Duality or API legacy?Or am I completely wrong here? Even though we try to keep a bottom line, we are more interested in finding the right solution which gives the best value for money, within reasonable limits. I think we can afford any of these mixers, that's why they're all on the list.

If you don't count in the money. Which do you prefer?

If you do count in the price, which do you prefer?

Best,


André
Old 15th February 2010
  #5
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I would go with SSL, because it is way more proven, and there are not many Genysis out there, and worried if they would stay in business. I have worked on the SSL and it is a really nice improvement over mixing ITB, more width, space, clarity, and I have 2 SSL Xracks(Summing, Comps, EQ) in my studio that I like alot. If you go SSL, you could do what Skip Burrows did and get 24 SSL Xrack comps(I would get 16 9k series, and 8 E-series) and hardwire them to the AWS 900 inserts.

Another possibility is to get an SSL Matrix, and 24 Comps, and 24 EQ's in SSL Xrack format, and have a variety of E series and 9K modules. Or instead of getting all SSL EQ's, get half API's which are fairly easy to recall, because of all clickable settings. The main bummer here would be no filters on the SSL EQ's.

Nice mic collection you have, how do you like having 2 soundelux 251's, how are they on drum overheads or room mics? (I am thinking of going that route.)
Old 15th February 2010
  #6
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jindrich's Avatar
 

All those four consoles are pretty good and serve their purpose equally well. Sonicwise they're on the same ballpark (haven't heard the 5088 though) which is modern clean and trasparent sound. Preference of one over the next is much based on personal habits and methods.

That said, I personally think the SSL stands above the other three.

For a start on price. At €45k plus (deductible) VAT, it is the cheapest of the four, if one accounts a full 24ch console. That might not be the case in the USA right now, but in the EU, where USA goods don't reflect the current $ vs € currency situation (while it does happen in reverse), the AWS has no price rival.

On the other hand, the AWS900+ must be seen as four products in one:

-24ch analog console
-24ch of moving faders and full total recall automation
-Comprehensive master section, with professional dedicated stereo to 5.1 monitoring
-Full multi-DAW controller and complete session management software


None of the other 3 consoles offer those features, let alone at the AWS price. If you've ever worked at a commercial studio, specially in the present time, you know that those things, automation, recalls, DAW control, etc are as important as anything else.



Anyway, the best way to find out which one is better for you is to arrange a demo with all of them.
Old 15th February 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thanks for all replies :-)

bforest4:

Nice mic collection you have, how do you like having 2 soundelux 251's, how are they on drum overheads or room mics? (I am thinking of going that route.)

I really like those mics, especially as room mics. havent used them often as overhead, but some of the other guys have. Øystein, are you there? try using 1 251 and a 121 in MS stereo, and compress it heavily. wow.

jindric:

the problem of getting demos is that apart from the SSL AWS 900 none of these are available in norway. So then we have to travel. but we do consider taking a trip to UK, and check more of these consoles out.

Have anyone tried the 1608? We are really serious on that one to, even though it does not have TR. It appears to have more of a "sound" to it, than the other ones. Any opinions?

Everyone:

You have to understand the basics of this. We started in what we believe to be the right end, we got a good recording room a great control room and a decent collection of mics. From my point of view, you can never beat the acoustics. This have made the studio run very well, especially as a tracking studio.

We have now decided that we'd like to invest in a mixer. These days, you can track without, you can even mix without one. But IMHO it adds something to a studio. So the price tag is not the most important. It's what it adds to the studio.

Thanks for all replies. Looking forward to more opinions!
Old 16th February 2010
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by parachutestudio View Post
is 80-100000 $ But it all depends. I wouldn't say they are in completely different price ranges any of these mixers? Ok, I realize that a fully loaded 32 channel 5088 or 1608 will be a bit more expensive. But it is not like going up to say a SSL Duality or API legacy?Or am I completely wrong here? Even though we try to keep a bottom line, we are more interested in finding the right solution which gives the best value for money, within reasonable limits. I think we can afford any of these mixers, that's why they're all on the list.

If you don't count in the money. Which do you prefer?

If you do count in the price, which do you prefer?

Best,


André
An API 1608 blown out is $50K(and its only 16 channels)while a fully stocked Neve Genesys & a 32 channel 5088 is north of a $100K(around $125K) so yeah the price difference is pretty huge. The AWS900 is somewhere in between.

These days you can't excuse the price unfortunately. Spending that kinda money really is a major purchase and you have to be really sure. I did get to check out all of the choices and didn't choose any because none fit all the requirements that i needed and sonically none to me really justified the big expense.

It really is a personal choice that you really have sit down and listen for yourself.
Old 16th February 2010
  #9
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

I was in the same situation 2 year ago.
I decided for Api 1608 for many reasons:
1Engineering and sound, all are really the same of a top console. Tracking with a 1608 is absolutely like tracking with an Api Legacy.
The same sense to reach instantaneously the sonic goodness, " the best and fastest track to sonic nirvana I've seen in years", like said Barry Rudolph in his Mix Magazine Review.
And i can absolutely confirm that, like all have tested 1608.

2 Construction and look: Api 1608 is robust and massive, build in a solid alluminium frame; great Api knob, Great Alps fader,Great Yellow VU meter, all is like a great console must have.
Look awesome, the 32 channel,with central frame, like now i have, is 2,30 metre,and has presence of a classic console,but with a look impressive, in a twilight control room it is absolutely majestic!!

3 Modular and expandable: on this desk you can have all!! You can have transparent pre like Grace 501,or Forssell smp500, Nevish with Avedis Ma5,or Grace pre,, so for neve-esque EQ..
Then you have all kind of comp: dozens of model, i have 4 Bac500 and i love so much this fet compressor, all you pass in,all is amazing.. then you have firchild-anamod am660, little devil comp, api 525,527, komit,etc,etc,etc...
Then there are Electrodyne 501 pre and 511 eq that are really stunning.
What a dream to have a console with all that fullness of color and style.

4 Client Appeal: Api is Api. Only Neve has the same attractive, then often clients and musicians are much curious to enter in Api sound, compared to usual SSl sound ( i don't know 1 musicians that prefer SSl pre's , when he can have Neve,Api,etc,pre; so SSl console never is a really "tracking" console.

5 Value in time: i'm sure that what i've paid is what i can realize when ( never) i sell it. Also now, in Europe, we can buy Api with an excellent euro/$ change, so that when and if $ will come to evaluation, we realize also a gain!!

For all this reasons, for me Api 1608 have not competition and is the best choice you can make
Old 16th February 2010
  #10
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Let me tell you about what dealers won't mention, each of the console's shortcomings:


AWS900+ (€45k +VAT 24chs, all options in)

-Not expandable. 24ch one size fits all. You can still add XRACKs and XDESKs for more inputs and fully integrate them with the console though, including recall, but you can't get 8 more moving faders or so if you wanted to
-only (freq variable) HPF but no LPF on input chs, and no small fader (that is compared to a 4000 SSL though, as none of the other desks here have that either)
-you can't route the 8 busses directly to the mix, you need some external unit for that


API 1608 (€37k +VAT for 16 chs loaded with Pres+EQs, no auto)
-Doesn't sound like a classic 1604 API but rather clean like all modern consoles
-No way to fit in any sort of moving faders, although it was promised from day one
-Entire Preamp section located where the PAN should be (near the faders) and viceversa. WTF?
-Insert point is after the EQ, you can't insert a comp before EQ, unless you patch all modules into the patchbay and manually insert things
-smaller than their siblings, very unimpressive looking to clients (16ch), needs some Argosy with huge armrest to look decent
-550A too limited for mixing (but you can fit others in)


Portico 5088 (€51k +VAT, 16ch loaded with 5032 Pre+EQ module, no auto)

-Integration between the penthouse modules and the main line mixer could have been MUCH better designed. As it comes, you'll have to use the patchbay for absolute everything, all the time, like going from tracking to mixing, overdubbing, etc. No insert point whatsoever and with some modules you can't even insert a comp before the EQ or viceversa. Patchbay use non stop, as if the penthouse was outboard and not part of the console.
-when hitting solo on a ch you ALSO have to select solo on the master section or you won't hear it, and again to deselect it. Annoying.
-the 5032 pre+eq has a very limited eq, you better fit the EQ module, but then have to pay extra for the pres (and fit them somewhere else not inline with the ch)
-too basic center section


Neve Genesys (€54k +VAT 16chs loaded with Pres+EQs and automation)
-Was great on paper but the final product is a bit of a mess IMO. For a brand new hybrid console there are a lot of ergonomical issues, like the soft rotary knob is at the top near the meters, color coding could have been better, sometimes you have to press switches to activate stuff where you shouldn't, there's no digital scribble strips (!), DAW control is pretty limited to the 8 fader groups (non moving? dont remember), etc etc
-it's still (last I checked) a work in progress, someday it might be finished though (many features don't work yet)
-EQ is a "pseudo1084", but with no filters and no transformers, just a simple 3 band eq. And withthe 8ch fitting into a cassette the size of a single 1084, I wonder how they might be alike at all?? (3x8= 24 transformers for each 8ch)





That's it as far as I can remember. I've previously stated my preference for the AWS+ as it is the only one that besides being an analog desk, has all those many other features you'll need (or are used to) in current productions, like great and very powerful automation and total recall of the entire desk, fully integrated DAW control simultanously for Logic and PTHD, etc.

Plus there's all the other stuff that makes an SSL what they're famous for, like: the direct outs are pre/post selectable, insert point can be set anywhere before/after EQ, things can be routed in many ways, there's PFL everywhere, dual digital scribble strips, hit a single button and all faders are set to 0dB or all chs selected to MIC/LINE/Busses, There's soft controlled monitor calibration, quite sophisticated 5.1 and bass management, very handy Autocue for tracking, off-line Session Management and TotalRecall integrated into the DAW session and saved to USB sticks, G bus compressor, six different Solo modes, comprehensive foldback section, Tally red-light, several Talkback modes, Oscillator, soft Meter calibration for VUs and LEDs plus DAW metering, digital In-Line mode, fader grouping, complete Transport controls, integrated TFT display for all info, fully featured Automation modes with Mix pass history and autotakeover, snap, trim, Moff, variable glide times,.... etc, etc etc, It's also tried and tested with over 400 units sold and comes with SSL's worldwide support.




Anyway, book an entire day to demo each console, after all nothing we can tell you can match that personal experience.

BTW, in terms of sonics, they are all similar as mentioned previously. If you're looking for vintage sound, forget all the above and find an old 8014/8026/8058 Neve.
Old 16th February 2010
  #11
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Sensorychaos's Avatar
 

Quote:
Let me tell you about what dealers won't mention, each of the console's shortcomings:


AWS900+ (€45k +VAT 24chs, all options in)
-Not expandable. 24ch one size fits all. You can still add XRACKs and XDESKs for more inputs and fully integrate them with the console though, including recall, but you can't get 8 more moving faders or so if you wanted to
-only (freq variable) HPF but no LPF on input chs, and no small fader (that is compared to a 4000 SSL though, as none of the other desks here have that either)
-you can't route the 8 busses directly to the mix, you need some external unit for that


API 1608 (€37k +VAT for 16 chs loaded with Pres+EQs, no auto)
-Doesn't sound like a classic 1604 API but rather clean like all modern consoles
-No way to fit in any sort of moving faders, although it was promised from day one
-Entire Preamp section located where the PAN should be (near the faders) and viceversa. WTF?
-Insert point is after the EQ, you can't insert a comp before EQ, unless you patch all modules into the patchbay and manually insert things
-smaller than their siblings, very unimpressive looking to clients (16ch), needs some Argosy with huge armrest to look decent
-550A too limited for mixing (but you can fit others in)


Portico 5088 (€51k +VAT, 16ch loaded with 5032 Pre+EQ module, no auto)
-Integration between the penthouse modules and the main line mixer could have been MUCH better designed. As it comes, you'll have to use the patchbay for absolute everything, all the time, like going from tracking to mixing, overdubbing, etc. No insert point whatsoever and with some modules you can't even insert a comp before the EQ or viceversa. Patchbay use non stop, as if the penthouse was outboard and not part of the console.
-when hitting solo on a ch you ALSO have to select solo on the master section or you won't hear it, and again to deselect it. Annoying.
-the 5032 pre+eq has a very limited eq, you better fit the EQ module, but then have to pay extra for the pres (and fit them somewhere else not inline with the ch)
-too basic center section


Neve Genesys (€54k +VAT 16chs loaded with Pres+EQs and automation)
-Was great on paper but the final product is a bit of a mess IMO. For a brand new hybrid console there are a lot of ergonomical issues, like the soft rotary knob is at the top near the meters, color coding could have been better, sometimes you have to press switches to activate stuff where you shouldn't, there's no digital scribble strips (!), DAW control is pretty limited to the 8 fader groups (non moving? dont remember), etc etc
-it's still (last I checked) a work in progress, someday it might be finished though (many features don't work yet)
-EQ is a "pseudo1084", but with no filters and no transformers, just a simple 3 band eq. And withthe 8ch fitting into a cassette the size of a single 1084, I wonder how they might be alike at all?? (3x8= 24 transformers for each 8ch)





That's it as far as I can remember. I've previously stated my preference for the AWS+ as it is the only one that besides being an analog desk, has all those many other features you'll need (or are used to) in current productions, like great and very powerful automation and total recall of the entire desk, fully integrated DAW control simultanously for Logic and PTHD, etc.

Plus there's all the other stuff that makes an SSL what they're famous for, like: the direct outs are pre/post selectable, insert point can be set anywhere before/after EQ, things can be routed in many ways, there's PFL everywhere, dual digital scribble strips, hit a single button and all faders are set to 0dB or all chs selected to MIC/LINE/Busses, There's soft controlled monitor calibration, quite sophisticated 5.1 and bass management, very handy Autocue for tracking, off-line Session Management and TotalRecall integrated into the DAW session and saved to USB sticks, G bus compressor, six different Solo modes, comprehensive foldback section, Tally red-light, several Talkback modes, Oscillator, soft Meter calibration for VUs and LEDs plus DAW metering, digital In-Line mode, fader grouping, complete Transport controls, integrated TFT display for all info, fully featured Automation modes with Mix pass history and autotakeover, snap, trim, Moff, variable glide times,.... etc, etc etc, It's also tried and tested with over 400 units sold and comes with SSL's worldwide support.




Anyway, book an entire day to demo each console, after all nothing we can tell you can match that personal experience.

BTW, in terms of sonics, they are all similar as mentioned previously. If you're looking for vintage sound, forget all the above and find an old 8014/8026/8058 Neve.
Really great and usefull post. Thank you.
Old 16th February 2010
  #12
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=api1608;5113728][QUOTE=jindrich;5113608]Let me tell you about what dealers won't mention, each of the console's shortcomings:




API 1608 (€37k +VAT for 16 chs loaded with Pres+EQs, no auto)
-Doesn't sound like a classic 1604 API but rather clean like all modern consoles
It has all the vibe and punch of an Api, with more headrom and more more routing capabilities of a 1604

-No way to fit in any sort of moving faders, although it was promised from day one
Why? You can fit Flying faders and with a custom variation can use Tonelux Shadow Mix
-Entire Preamp section located where the PAN should be (near the faders) and viceversa. WTF?
Is it a problem for you? For me no, i think no engineer find this a problem
-Insert point is after the EQ, you can't insert a comp before EQ, unless you patch all modules into the patchbay and manually insert things
You can use Api Eq's like an outboard, so you can route signal like you prefer.
-smaller than their siblings, very unimpressive looking to clients (16ch), needs some Argosy with huge armrest to look decent
I consider 32 channel with central frame, so it is 2 time an Aws900!! and cost 80k with 24 Eq's, equal to a AWS 900+ SE ( 79,5K at Vintage King)
-550A too limited for mixing (but you can fit others in)
550A are musical and on Drum,Bass,Guitar, Voice are magic. Ted jensen uses 550 for mastering!!!!

I add: why you can find aws900 for 30-35k,used?
Perhaps because you have a plastic control surface with pre that you rather use if you have Neve,api,etc, with eq that no always are appropriate, with only bus compressor, no modular,no expandible?
There is no competition..
Api is a magic tracking desk, and a beautiful mixing tool, and for me is much appropriate consider Duality as alternative.
I wrong?
Ok, find an api 1608 32 channel used at 30k...

RND 5088 is a serious contender, for sound and Analog Feel and engineering. ;-)
Old 16th February 2010
  #13
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Funkwerk's Avatar
 

I need to backup API1608 on this one.

and further more, headroom, the API has plenty of it and has a very low noise floor.
I have bussed huge mixes through a 32 channel 1608 and everything remained open and transparant but with punch and character..
When you ride the faders you can hear that sweet spot where everything just starts to sound phat & big.

The only competition (soundwise) is the 5088 which is incredible as well.
And I think it's a matter of sonic taste which you would choose.
API is now a very stable company which could favor a decision in that dirction.

I have not had any hands on experience with the new AMS NEVE.

The SSL is IMHO not so great. It just sounds somewhat plastic to me.
As is the feel of the console. You get good DAW support but that's about it. I have also noticed that this console will run out of headroom farily quickly.

(I have seen Ronald Prent working on a 72 channel Duality and renting a API 1608 to substitute for the busses. (check his facebook and you'll see pictures of it)).

I would choose a great analog console over it any given day and get a seperate controller for your DAW. Plus it will hold value a lot longer.
I have seen prices drop for used AWS900 ridiculously.

Good luck with your decision.
Old 16th February 2010
  #14
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GYang's Avatar
Noone can say that API is better than Genesys or that SSL offer better package than Rupert Neve.
All four are very tightly calculated to compete against each other, so at the end of the day YOU ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

I spent some time to try most of mentioned consoles and to work on some of them for several days (with the least experience with Genesys).
Neither console offers ALL functionality. Period.
This brings us to prioritisation.
What I didn't wish to have on analogue console it is DAW control. Why?
First of all, in my case 98% of pre mixdown work is done without using analogue part of the console (I have separate monitoring independent of console). To keep console turned on just to use it as big mice never looked appealing to me. Instead, I have several (from small like Transzport via Mackie Control to big like WK Audio) DAW controllers that are better adapted to task of controlling DAW part of job.
In that respect SSL that offers this functionality lost advanatge over other consoles while still retaining one big disadvantage in being LESS ATTRACTIVE sounding than any of other mentioned consoles. Clean, yes, but not so alive and dimensional as other.
API might have sexy look, but has the most limited functionality of all other consoles in terms of flexibility and re-configuration. Sound is in ballpark of other excl. SSL.
Rupert Neve Design provides various possibilities to configure console (including switchable inserts, so its not true that switchable inserts are not possible on this desk), offer exceptionally good sounding compressors, EQs and preamps. Together it has modern sound with hint of vibes from yesteryears (when necessary). When loaded console looks absolutelly fabulous and it is built like tank.
Genesys appearance is way less attractive to me (I expected it to look more impressive, but tastes might differ here). I didn't find any concrete reason what Genesys offers more in terms of sonics over API or Rupert Neve console. Different nuance of same thing (and I would never call it better or more pleasant than Rupert Neve or API console). In best case all three are equally KINGS here.
Finally, I came to conclusion that Rupert Neve's 5088 would serve my needs in the best way and even if I find some (small) drawbacks on this console I find it as the best balanced package and final price is competetive (not low or lower) with both API or AMS Genesys.
SSL would not be my choice even at half price of 5088 or API, dunno why, it simply never looked to me as solid peace of analogue engineering.
I don't think that any of three other consoles represent great choice, so even if you choose it with closed eyes it will hardly be mistake.
Old 16th February 2010
  #15
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drew's Avatar
If you can swing it, get a 24 channel Duality (can be had for approx $155k) and then you can expand later.

Just an idea.
Old 16th February 2010
  #16
Gear Head
 

Thanks for all replies. Its really great to have such qualified persons answering.

We actually are really curious on the API 1608, mainly for the sound. But it does not have TR, which I do feel is a problem because of the workflow in our studio. The looks are the most impressive of the four. But pricewise, it is also getting kinda expensive for not having TR and auto. 32 chn with eq (no comps...) 65000 GBP

We do agree that the feel of the SSL is not too nice. It feels kinda plastic. And there are plenty of studios in the area that has one. (SSL is the only one we are able to audition without going abroad)

What pussles me is that everyone seems so negative towards the Genesys. To me it looks like a very good product, and apparently it sounds good. I don't like the idea of adjusting eq using 4 soft controllers. But, if the sound is good. I'm happy to sacrifice that. It does however get quite expensive if you stack a 24 chn with 24 eq and comps, auto and TR (74000GBP list).

We might take a trip to Britain to check all desks out. Got an invite to AMS/NEVE through the dealer. Anyone in Britain here using any of these consoles?

A duality would be nice. Not sure if we can swing it. But it would be nice. Very nice.
Old 16th February 2010
  #17
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

If you absolutely need TR, you can on api 1608.
A good technician can for sure to fit Tonelux Shadow Mix, here i consider this with my faith tech and in next future i think to fit TR.
Then you can instantly fit Martinsound Flying Faders, you can also look for an used 32 ch.
Make choice for all other aspect, but not for TR question.
In the end if you want finest sound you have to choice between 1608 and 5088.
Genesys is a compromise ans aws900 is in an inferior league.
Old 16th February 2010
  #18
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syra's Avatar
Before I got my duality I demo'ed the AWS900. I didn't want a very colorful desk, neither a very clean one with no impact on the sound. The sound of the AWS is what convinced me on the duality. It was perfect for my needs considering I work on rock, electronica and jazz, all in the same week. I got my Neves and API's for thick color WHERE I need it - not everywhere. The SSL sound to my ears smoothens out the annoying digital high-mids while extending bass and width perception. Plus if you need auto, TR and the best routing capabilities... as in what I think every MODERN mixer would NEED, then its a no-brainer.

If I was a more traditional rock guy with a classic approach in mixing, I'd go with the API.

5088 functionality issues turn me off. Have no opinion on the Genesys.
Old 17th February 2010
  #19
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Perhaps another option (you asked), and one that I would choose, would be to go with an ergonomic controller like the Smart AV Tango and a great collection of outboard compressors and FX/reverb (since your pre's are already covered) and take the rest and eat at Bagatelle's every night for the next six months. Or buy a car.... Maybe even both.

Or, if you are die-hard set on getting a console, a 24ch Wunder with P&G automated faders will come in at the same price as the Genesys, albeit with no compressors on every channel (Who needs that?) or TR, but will look and sound really good.

Knowing how saturated the market is in Norway, I'd go the first route. But if you guys are steadily booked, have a good lease and the money to invest (iffy term in this case), go for a console if that's what you want. But for goodness sake, go to London and try them out, then buy from the US as the kroner is so strong against the dollar that you will get way more for your buying dollar. (Although some items, like Manley, Apple and Gibson, won't allow overseas shipping.)

Good luck and take your time.
Old 17th February 2010
  #20
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littlenemo's Avatar
 

Have you considered the Daking console ?
Old 17th February 2010
  #21
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Sigh..

Sorry with all due respect jindrich but have you actually recorded/mixed on the 1608 or are you regurgitating what you've been reading here?
I use an 1608,vintage 70's discrete Neve and Tonelux[Amazing too and a deserves its own separate thread ] rig on a daily basis..and mixing on the Rupert 5088 pretty extensively for over a year now so i think I have a reasonably decent handle of how they sound/perform.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
-Doesn't sound like a classic 1604 API but rather clean like all modern consoles
Well Yes and No.
yes it does sound different to a 1604.
it many respects it actually sounds better.
Contrary to what some folks say here[including our esteemed Mr. Thrillfactor has said..who to my knowdledge briefly demoed one but I do not believe he's actually mixed or recorded on one]
..No it is not completely clean like all new modern consoles..especially the 5088 and AWS900!.
I've had the luxury of using both quite a bit this year.
Ive heard the diff.
I've also worked on a classic 70's API 3288 for years.
It certainly is cleaner[& way more headroom] sounding than the older API's but if you've worked on a Legacy than you will understand exactly what I'm talking about in that it still has the 2520 and Transformer cajones and punch throughout.
the older transformers break up sooner than the newer ones.you can still hit the thing hard and get more vibe but you have more headroom in the process.were I really appreciate this is in the busses/auxes.
it also definitely has more oomph than the 8200 summing unit[basic summing cards into two tranny/2520's]
why do i know this?
well,I have stereo fx/stems returns running on one into the other stuff.

the API will bend and compress in a really cool way when you hit it hard.
Rock n Roll.
Lately I've been tracking on the Neve and mixing on the API/Tonelux and it is
I actually much prefer mixing on it to the Vintage Neve.
If one is expecting thick and buttery ala Neve this isn't it.its punchy open API.

I can personally tell you of 4 guys I know of that have really used the 5088 and API and choose to purchase the API because they preferred it sonically.
different strokes.
After working on the 5088 a bit I thought for minute about getting the 5088 instead but having worked on both now,[yes the 5088 is an amazing mixer]..I'm really glad i stayed w/ the 1608..just my personal taste mind you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
-No way to fit in any sort of moving faders, although it was promised from day one
-Entire Preamp section located where the PAN should be (near the faders) and viceversa. WTF?
You can put Flying Faders II on there no prob..running from your PT rig.
The older 70's API console I had had the pans in the exact same place.
after you've worked on the console for a few days the pans are a complete non issue.

[BTW.based on how many people who've purchased the things,the API faders still just might happen]

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
-Insert point is after the EQ, you can't insert a comp before EQ, unless you patch all modules into the patchbay and manually insert things
I think you don't fully understand the patchpoints on the 1608..
either way,a Complete non issue.
there are full insert points pre and post eq.and everything is on the patchbay
i do it everyday
the only diff is you can't use the insert button to preview in/out pre eq.big whoop.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
-smaller than their siblings, very unimpressive looking to clients (16ch), needs some Argosy with huge armrest to look decent
well heck it isn't that much smaller than the old 3288 I worked on..actually about the same depth..super easy to get to the eq's etc.
and its a damn sight taller than the AWS.
All the clients that have used it absolutely love the look and ergonomics of the thing..especially when you have the 16 channel expander [32 ch's] a pt controller/keyboard/large monitor hanging over competing for space.
also looks bad ass when you've got all the different third party **** in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
-550A too limited for mixing (but you can fit others in)
Yes,The amazing thing is you can fit a **** load of aftermarket modules in there.
the list grows everyday.
The new Harrison 4 bander/w hpf/lpf filters are thumbsup I just demoed them [and ordered 6].. a-mazing.
Chandler?Anamod? Helios type 69 eqs and F760 comps?!etc,etc..fugataboutit!

Another nice thing is you can change out for various third party op amps for different textures..i've been playing with some red dot's etc and its really cool.
Old 17th February 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 
jindrich's Avatar
 

I was expecting 1608 owners to step on to defend their purchase decision, and that is very fine. I've given my opinion about the 4 mentioned consoles and that's it.

ANY of those consoles have their strengths and shortcomings, and each engineer will prefer one over the other. I expressed my preference over one of them and detailed why. Simple as that.

The API is fine, but is not better than the Legacy or the Vision. What I said about the 1608 (and about the other consoles) still stands. Regarding the API, a 32ch 1608 with Flying Faders2, which is the only possible option for moving faders at this time, will cost twice as much as an AWS900+ (at least in the EU), its switchable insert point comes after the EQ (though you can have all points wired to the patchbay to have it pre and lose the switch functionality), the 16ch version is quite small, the Pre section is located in an odd position, etc etc. That's all facts, just like the 5088 has functionality issues or the SSL has MDAC faders that don't pass audio.


As to which of those consoles sounds better, well, that's very subjective and also depends on the style of music you might do, classical, Jazz, Pop, RNB, Rock, HipHop, Acoustic, Electronica...etc.
What I've seen is that the API is preferred for smaller indie/rock studios, while the AWS has been adopted by dozens of grammy engineers and producers (which might work in more than just one genre), probably because the SSL gives them all the options and functionalities they're used to with their bigger brothers.



I insist again that the best way to get a proper idea all of the possibilites and differences among those consoles is to demo them presonally, with as much time as a possible, which is what in the end I recommended.
Old 17th February 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
jindrich's Avatar
 

One more thing.

Roundbadge, you're complaining here on GS about Lexicon (and I'm 100% with you on that matter) regarding the pcm96 firewire disaster and their false advertising.
Any word about API, who promised moving fader automation for the 1608 -something that helped close more than one sale, and now, several years later, there's still nothing about it? API still has it on their website: "Future Moving Fader Automation"

SSL promised the same kind of automation when the original AWS900 came out, and soon thereafter they delivered AWSomation.
Old 17th February 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Cucaio75's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
One more thing.

Any word about API, who promised moving fader automation for the 1608 -something that helped close more than one sale, and now, several years later, there's still nothing about it? API still has it on their website: "Future Moving Fader Automation"

SSL promised the same kind of automation when the original AWS900 came out, and soon thereafter they delivered AWSomation.
Yes, this is absolutely true...
Old 17th February 2010
  #25
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
I was expecting 1608 owners to step on to defend their purchase decision, and that is very fine. I've given my opinion about the 4 mentioned consoles and that's it.
Well ..actually No.
It's not about defending a purchase as it is more about correcting some potential fallacies I've seen posted on this site.
And of course you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
But folks looking for serious opinions on a very high dollar purchase should also hear it from actual users as well.
they are all fantastic consoles all w/ plus'es and minuses
The Duality has great DAW integration .
I've seen/heard it in action a bunch of times[I've drooled over @ Syra's many times! ] lol.
So I would definitely defer to him when it comes to the nuts and bolts new SSL stuff.
He uses it every single day .
I have heard enough stuff done on it to have an idea on how it sounds though.

Based on my actual working time with the RN 5088 ,It was actually overall too clean for my tastes.love the 5 band eq's though.
Now if I could have the API sound w/ the Duality bells and whistles .. wow!

At least that's what i would want when looking at a new console.
don't ya think?..actual user input as opposed to just tech specs, internet hearsay or guys that had a quick afternoon demo in a room[monitors.etc] they aren't necessarily familiar with?

using the 1608,5088 in a real practical working situation vs. basing "opinions" based on internet info.

BIG difference
Old 17th February 2010
  #26
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by parachutestudio View Post

We are mainly considering the AMS/NEVE Genesys and AWS 900, but also API 1608 and RND 5088 are being discussed. We are also open to other suggestions. We need minimum 24 channels, preferably with eq on all channels and at least 8 assignable comps. Headset sends and tracking issues are not a problem, we will upgrade to PT HD and probably monitor from DAW, so the inline issue on AWS 900 is not a problem. But, as you understand we are quite open on this matter, since we never have worked seriously on a larger console. Any opionions are interesting, even though personal experience with any of the aformentioned products are preffered. Good pres would of course be nice, but is not deal breaker if pres are considered a problem (like on AWS 900). The board will mainly be used for mixing.
Don't forget the completely modular "built it any way you want" Tonelux option.
I use it every day.
Seriously great stuff!

Tonelux Designs, Ltd. Professional Recording Consoles and Modules
Old 17th February 2010
  #27
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
One more thing.

Roundbadge, you're complaining here on GS about Lexicon (and I'm 100% with you on that matter) regarding the pcm96 firewire disaster and their false advertising.
Any word about API, who promised moving fader automation for the 1608 -something that helped close more than one sale, and now, several years later, there's still nothing about it? API still has it on their website: "Future Moving Fader Automation"

SSL promised the same kind of automation when the original AWS900 came out, and soon thereafter they delivered AWSomation.
I totally agree with you 150% on the follow through on the API auto thing.
although it wasn't a purchasing dealbreaker like the Lexicon thing.
but yes that was a bummer to guys who expected it and they should probably remove it if they haven't already.
Me personally I'd do tonelux If Paul was into making it work or eventually go with FF's .so at least there are viable options out there.
with all the 1608 sales happening they might still do it though ..
Should he decide to do it,Paul Wolff could do big sales there as well but i dunno what his dynamic is with API these days.
And yes the auto/recall// DAW control on the Duality is so fvcking great!
wishful thinking for me..you're talking big bucks $
Old 17th February 2010
  #28
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
The API is fine, but is not better than the Legacy or the Vision.
The Legacy, while great on paper, has several shortcomings:

1. Only schematics available from API are the Input channel, and a good block diagram of the Center Section. Thus, troubleshooting can be a real problem.

2. Summing amps are 2520s, while output boosters, at least for the master section, are 2510s, which can't source nearly as much current as a 2520.

3. EQ positions can't take vintage or new 500-series modules. Since they are thinner, they can only take specific EQ modules.

Caveat emptor.
Old 17th February 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post

Based on my actual working time with the RN 5088 ,It was actually overall too clean for my tastes.love the 5 band eq's though.
Those are nuances we all discussed a lot.

Neve 5088 is clean, but has very dynamic, rich and full sounding type of clean character and in this particular department way more than SSL and slightly (but apparently) more than API. It's definitelly not in direction of coloured character, vibe, distortions etc.

It's different quality that I hear as depth and width of stage, more very fine details that are not even slightly smeared (not always necessary for production, I might agree here easily).
5088 is simply stronger in that part and IT IS CRITICAL point for my preferences, although it might take more time to get it more vibey sounding (through numerous outboards luckily on my disposal).
I'm not sure that I heard similar resolution from Genesys, too (due to short time I spent with this console).
To find out what really fits better, one should have parallel access in sonically sound rooms and try to spend several hours with each console.
Although nothing will do API thing probably better than API (and it is very much appreciated quality of API offering), in case where maximum quality of sonics in terms of their definition, resolution and non loss of finer details is required without becoming sterile (as digital paths) or somehow less dimensional (as SSL) than trying Neve 5088 is must.
Old 17th February 2010
  #30
Gear Head
 

NEVSSL

how about this NEVSSL solution? I kinda dislike the fact that the RND doesn't have TR. But theres a lot of things i like about the console. And SSL delivers TR to their x-racks. So how about having 32 chn of 5088 and 16 chn of SSL Xrack Eq and comps? Then add up a couple of 550B and some LA-2As and stuff?

Wouldn't it be kinda nice? The 5088 could be delivered without no eq comps or pres. Remember that we do have 16 chn of good pres already. Could easily add 16 more.
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