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Digital console for live work
Old 22nd May 2007
  #1
Question Digital console for live work

Hi there,


I'm in the market for a 40ch. live F.O.H. console & monitor rig. I own analog and digital.

Posibilities:

Digidesign Venue

Soundcraft/Studer Vi6 or Vi4

Digico D5

Is there more? And what are the experiences?

Sets need to be able to interface with either a Tascam X48 (TDIF) or HD24 (ADAT).
Old 22nd May 2007
  #2
Gear Nut
 
gyom's Avatar
 

Digi Venue is pretty cool!

and what about the Yamaha PM5D? pretty cool too!
Old 22nd May 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 

The most rider friendly will be the PM5D. If you are only buying for yourself, though, you need to test drive some. If you are going to drop $75,000+ on a console then you want to make sure you only do it once.
Old 22nd May 2007
  #4
I have briefly used a PM5D (and then I would get an PM5D RH.) But I feel it is not for all. I cannot rent this console to other engineers.

I'd take it if I would be with one band only. Maybe a cascaded DM4800 with the phat channel would be an option then too. The money left could be spend on in ear. But I feel it is still very 'not the user interface for every engineer'.

Muziekschuur
Old 22nd May 2007
  #5
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ddageek's Avatar
 

The Venue or the D5 but yamaha is the one your going to find on riders, to some extent I think the Venues Plugin structure leaves to many options for a one nighter!
While I agree I don't ike the PMDs layout if your out on the road you have to know how to use it because it is what the PM3k once was the standard! So of any of them it is the one thats going to to be excepted!

Of course you could chuck the digital and buy a Used XL4
Old 22nd May 2007
  #6
Has crossed my mind.... Or some PM5000's?
Old 22nd May 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I personally usually go for Yamaha boards. Once you know the setup of one, you pretty much know them all (with a few differences, of course). Unfortunately, the one with the best setup also has the worst sound (the M7CL). Love the way it is laid out- easy to get to everything. Unfortunately, it is also a rather noisy board.

The 5D is good for recording because it has inserts in addition to the digital routing (on the non-RH version). turning the insert on allows it to be used as such, but otherwise, you can feed a backup recorder analog... Also, allows for analog comps to be used with ease...

On the analog side- the PM5K is a huge improvement in sound and routing on the 4K. Certainly can't go wrong with either that or a good Midas. Doing festival gigs, though, you'll miss the recall ability of a digital console.

--Ben
Old 23rd May 2007
  #8
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

The PM-5D RH is the most common desk on concert riders today. PERIOD.

While the desk does not sound phenomenal, it sounds ok (better when clocked at 96k) and is more engineer-friendly than Venue or D5. Yes, I have mixed on all three, often. I actually prefer the DiGiCo D5T for sonics, recall, and programmable depth (live update is wonderful, which is why I like the T over the standard D5) and the Venue sounds OK but digi has yet to address MANY issues with the desks and they are still quite prone to fatalities on live dates. This I say from SAD, bad experience. If I were to buy one, I'd buy a D-Show console running v2.5 software, which has fixed some of the bugginess. digi is now starting to offer a 10k "almost everything" plug-in bundle, which is a MUST in my opinion, to make the desk worth even trying. While it is a familiar format, its still young & buggy compared to DiGiCo and Yamaha PM5D. But all three have pros and cons...

Oh, all three SUCK to read in day light, even under a tent. stike I usually can program inthe early morning and have to wait from 10am-2pm on summer show days before I can read a monitor again.

Hope these thoughts help.
Old 12th October 2007
  #9
How about the Vi4/Vi6 or i-live consoles?

How about the Soundcraft Vi4/6 or the Allen & Heath i-live?

I'd like to work at 96khz.


Muziekschuur
Old 12th October 2007
  #10
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I saw them at the convention last weekend.
They look very cool and seem to be tactile enough for live work.

I would love to hear them one of these days.

ESP out on Long Island has Soundcraft desks.
Glenn Davis asked me to come by and check them out one of these days.

If anyone wants to tag along, give me a shout and we'll make it so.



Quote:
Originally Posted by muziekschuur View Post
How about the Soundcraft Vi4/6 or the Allen & Heath i-live?

I'd like to work at 96khz.


Muziekschuur
Old 13th October 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I toured with the PM5d and found its audio quality to be sub par. I ended up with a rack of external mic pre's and compressors, exactly the thing I was looking to get away from by going digital. I have been told that it sounds better if you clock it externally, but I have not tried this. I recently started using a Digidesign Venue with the Profile control surface. It sounds much much better than the PM5d, even if you only use the default eq and dynamics. The control surface has more useful information on it's first layer. I have not tried the Digico, but have been told by my provider that there have been reliability issues. I have not tried the Soundcraft offerings, either. I want to hate Digidesign. I do not own or use Pro Tools. But this console just sounds great and works the way I want it to. My one negative with it is the lack of true line level inputs. I want to continue using my analog lead vocal signal path, but cannot get it into the desk at a line level. You can either keep the rack on stage and use the mic input and pad it down or have the rack at house and insert is, which adds another set of AD/DA conversions.
Old 16th September 2008
  #12
Vi6 tomorrow.....

I'm gonna audition the soundcraft Vi6 tomorrow.....

Should be fun.


Muziekschuur
Old 16th September 2008
  #13
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
I have worked on a Vi6 with ESP a couple of times and I love the desk.
It sounds freakin' amazing and the learning curve is small.
Besides all that, it looks awesome!
Old 16th September 2008
  #14
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lozion's Avatar
 

Innovason Sy80.
Great surface and DSP.

Innovason/Sy80 Introduction
Old 16th September 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Has the Digico SD8 or the Midas XL4 hit yet ? Got a demo on the SD7 and it was nothing short of amazing. What a well-designed console with lots of really cool bells and whistle type features. I just need clients that can justify the rental of one

--Ben
Old 16th September 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
lozion's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Has the Digico SD8 or the Midas XL4 hit yet ? Got a demo on the SD7 and it was nothing short of amazing. What a well-designed console with lots of really cool bells and whistle type features. I just need clients that can justify the rental of one

--Ben
XL4???

you must mean XL8?
Old 16th September 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 

No... My friends in the live world were telling me about both- perhaps they are unreleased, but they are both scaled down versions of their larger and more expensive brethren. Perhaps they are an AES release... Anybody else out there hear of these?

--Ben
Old 16th September 2008
  #18
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lozion's Avatar
 

xl4 is analog & has been out for about 5 years...
The new xl8 is digital.
Old 16th September 2008
  #19
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
Has the Digico SD8 or the Midas XL4 hit yet ? Got a demo on the SD7 and it was nothing short of amazing. What a well-designed console with lots of really cool bells and whistle type features. I just need clients that can justify the rental of one

--Ben
DiGiCo make awesome digital consoles that work well and sound great.

And, their service is second to none!
Old 16th September 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lozion View Post
xl4 is analog & has been out for about 5 years...
The new xl8 is digital.
Doh! I must have a wrong model number. You're absolutely right... Am I on crack or is there something in the pipeline that my colleagues were talking about?

--Ben
Old 17th September 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Pro6 is the new Midas digital. I haven't been keeping up with it but I don't think a price and release date has been set yet. You may find out more info here: PSW Sound Reinforcement Forums: LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => So is there a New MIdas Digital Console coming out
Old 17th September 2008
  #22
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bishopthomas View Post
Pro6 is the new Midas digital. I haven't been keeping up with it but I don't a price and release date has been set yet. You may find out more info here: PSW Sound Reinforcement Forums: LAB: The Classic Live Audio Board => So is there a New MIdas Digital Console coming out
To be honest I can't understand peoples "obsession" with Midas digital consoles. In England 7 of the top companies grouped to gether to buy an XL8 between them. I spoke to a major PA supplier in England that didn't join in and he said that he felt it wasn't finacially viable and having look at the console felt that due to the type of construction used it could potentially give trouble after a while on the road. He shared my view that despite Midas having a great reputation as an analogue touring desk maker, this was no reason to automatically believe that they knew how to build the ultimate digital console.

With digital the rules go out the window. As mentioned by Steve above the Digico's are very good, albeit expensive. PM5D and M7's tend to be the most rider friendly. The Digidesign Profile is an interesting and versatile design, I would suspect that the Soundcraft and Studer (same design heritage) should be exceptional, and although I haven't used their live desks, I have used the Vista 8 which (IMHO) is one of the best sounding consoles I've ever heard.

Regards



Roland
Old 17th September 2008
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
I personally usually go for Yamaha boards. Once you know the setup of one, you pretty much know them all (with a few differences, of course). Unfortunately, the one with the best setup also has the worst sound (the M7CL). Love the way it is laid out- easy to get to everything. Unfortunately, it is also a rather noisy board.

--Ben
agree with that! as you can see on the yamaha ca-site they just released a remote-stagebox solution for m7/ls9. or get a stack of ad8hr, remotecontrollable pre's and you're fine.
personally i like the yamaha-approach for live situations and as other said, it is often demanded on riders.
Old 17th September 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Frost's Avatar
 

In my world the Venue is becoming the standard high end digital console. It also sounds good and as long as you know what you need it loaded with, you can find them in any major market. Sounds much better than a 5d to me. I would still like to try the soundcraft one of these days.

I did a gig recently using a venue. Corporate talking heads gig. The main presenter had a strong Sibilance and a weird whistle in his voice. I added a de-esser and it improved. Added another de-esser and fixed the rest. how else would you have 2 extra de essers patchable on one channel?

Frost
Old 17th September 2008
  #25
Lives for gear
 

For me, I don't care about rider-friendly. I'm an end user and will rent whatever I use. Rather, I'm more concerned about sonics and ease of operation,

I use the PM5D a lot these days and recently I've been using it with a rack of AD8HR preamps going into an ethersound system. I've been very happy with the sound that has gotten me. I also usually clock to a quality clock- either a big ben or a Brainstorm DCD-8.

That being said, there are certain things about the 5D that just bug me and I'm looking to upgrade for a couple of my higher profile gigs. When I got the demo on the Vi6, I was very impressed with the layout of the console. I would expect it to sound good, but I haven't heard it. The newer offerings from Midas and Digico also look interesting, but I haven't had a chance to work on any of them in a show situation. Then again, with shows being recorded to Pro Tools HD, perhaps a Venue would be a better move...

The next major gig where this is an issue is still a ways out for me (my big SR gigs are in the summer usually) so I'm keeping an eye out for what is new out there and what will work for me.

--Ben
Old 17th September 2008
  #26
allen + heath ilive and soundcraft Vi6 are the 2 best sounding digi consoles in my opinion and pretty easy to use...
Old 17th September 2008
  #27
Lives for gear
 
lozion's Avatar
 

Again, you should check out the Innovason sy series.
Integrated DSP cards, fiber optic link to stage box with mic pres on stage. Great sonics & reliability, and most important: Ease of use, select your channel and tweak real knobs as parameters... A definite solid contender. Why it is fairly unknown is because it is french made so a bit rare on the US market, although Sennheiser is the North American dealer and should be easy to contact for a demo...
Food for thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle View Post
For me, I don't care about rider-friendly. I'm an end user and will rent whatever I use. Rather, I'm more concerned about sonics and ease of operation,

I use the PM5D a lot these days and recently I've been using it with a rack of AD8HR preamps going into an ethersound system. I've been very happy with the sound that has gotten me. I also usually clock to a quality clock- either a big ben or a Brainstorm DCD-8.

That being said, there are certain things about the 5D that just bug me and I'm looking to upgrade for a couple of my higher profile gigs. When I got the demo on the Vi6, I was very impressed with the layout of the console. I would expect it to sound good, but I haven't heard it. The newer offerings from Midas and Digico also look interesting, but I haven't had a chance to work on any of them in a show situation. Then again, with shows being recorded to Pro Tools HD, perhaps a Venue would be a better move...

The next major gig where this is an issue is still a ways out for me (my big SR gigs are in the summer usually) so I'm keeping an eye out for what is new out there and what will work for me.

--Ben
Old 17th September 2008
  #28
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huub's Avatar
I've seen, or rather heard some glitches from venue systems.. Dunno, could be user/set up error or something but, couple of months ago we were recording the oxegen festival in ireland, went out and saw rage against the machine (were not allowed to film em) and during the show there were little ticks and about 10 drop outs on the main L/R!!
The FOH guy said he did absolutely nothing when the first one happened, not even touched the mixer..
Old 18th September 2008
  #29
Vi6 Vi4 and the new Si3

Yesterday I visited XL-audio in the Netherlands and there Soundcraft demonstrated their new Vi6/Vi4 and SI3 digital desks.

Price range:

Vi6 around 60.000 euro (system incl. flightcases)
Vi4 around 40.000 euro (system incl. flightcases)
Si3 around 22.000 euro (not sure this would incl. an flightcase)

The system sounded very nice. I love to hear one live.

The Vi6 comes with 64 mic inputs 8 lexicons (said to be comparable with the pcm81)
The Vi4 comes with 48 mic inputs .....not sure about them. Upgradable for 3000 euro's to add another dspcard to have the same processorpower as the Vi6.
The SI3 comes with 64 mic inputs, 8 efx comparable with.....? Will have dual powersupply and 4 card slots.

I do have some photo's here, unfortunately can't seem to upload.

So here are some internet grabs:
The SI3: pic 1

The Vi4: pic 2

The Vi6: pic 3
Attached Thumbnails
Digital console for live work-products_si3.jpg   Digital console for live work-products_vi4.jpg   Digital console for live work-products_vi6.jpg  
Old 18th September 2008
  #30
And remember: the core of the Soundcraft digital consoles seem to be the Vista5 engine. Wich is tested in the broadcast invironment for severall years.

On the machines were some templates wich were dated to 2006.

Muziekschuur
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