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Digital desk with ability to lock functions?
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
It is the knowledge as the equipment becomes more affordable. The days of digital knowledge being esoteric have become obsolete.
well, i'm convinced that the knowledge i got from working with some of those digital dinosaurs - although somewhat outdated by now - helped me to become a better engineer: there's (almost) always something we can transfer to modern days and be it just to tell manufacturers what NOT to cooy when evaluating prototypes...

Quote:
It reminds of the story of the Mexican engineer sent to Toronto how to use the Neve 8014 mixer. He spent three days training. The 8014 was a 16 input, 4 bus, 4 aux bus mixer with 1073 pre/eqs. These days anyone with more than a rudimentary knowledge of mixing could walk up to it and start operating it. But not then.
the gaucho possibly wasn't the smartest tech i suspect...
...although: last year, a well-known producer/engineer rented one of my studios to transfer some tapes: maybe two hours after he came in, one of my assistants went to see whether everything was fine: 'yes, sure... - well, uhm, have you got a minute? could you maybe check whether this sounds okay? i think something is wrong.'
turns out the producer had no clue how to put a tape onto an a800 and even less how to monitor on the mci jh500; he then transferred tapes although the sheets clearly mentioned the original machine was aligned completely different?!

i don't miss the analog days and sold almost all my analog gear this spring! :-)

Quote:
Knowledgeable engineers use canned presets as starting points.
my issue with presets/default settings is that they are absolutely useless for inexperience folks! - experienced folks will always find their way around a desk (and mostly don't use presets)...
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #32
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cutting the chase and straight to the point: thank you for your your great posts Deedeeyeah.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
I guess you have not worked with various digital desks. Sd an example on the Yamaha DM series create a scene where the unwanted channels are not assigned. Zero output. From you might wanting, setup a Dugan mixer and have a basic scene.

It is not clear the level of competency of you guests but around here (~half million population city}, half an hour from Toronto and ~45 minutes from Niagara Falls, I am getting more younger engineers who do not know how operate an analog console. X32s and QU16s are the becoming the norm.


The assumption is that anyone might be using the desk. And I mean anyone... your grandmother, a champagne flute holding friend of an artist during a show opening, or an incredibly competent touring engineer who spends 2/3rds of the year on the road. A Yamaha DM series desk isn't something I would really wish on any competent audio user.

I have oodles of experience using digital desks, particularly Allen & Heath and Digico stuff. One of the reasons scenes and simply locking channels isn't suitable for what I need is from experience showing and watching people use these kinds of desks. Most people are intelligent enough to find the big marker tape labels saying "mic 1, "mic 2" and "laptop". Even if they aren't, pushing up faders on channels with nothing plugged into them really isn't remotely catastrophic an issue. Where the problems come, from my experience, is when roaming fingers push a button that changes the state of the desk... of which they don't know how to return.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #34
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
The assumption is that anyone might be using the desk. And I mean anyone...
So anyone with no knowledge. Do you let anyone play a trumpet?
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
So anyone with no knowledge. Do you let anyone play a trumpet?

It is not my, nor is it your trumpet to say who can and can't play it.

At some point the conversation needs to depart from idealism and notions of perfection, and acknowledge that a fundamental aspect of audio engineering is finding solutions to problems, while navigating that thin line that separates the various stakeholders in the game.

Such is life, really. If I had my way it would be a Digico SD11, and that would be that!
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
To the OP.... I really do think you should focus more on getting a mixer that can do the job well vs one with many levels of user access. There are literally millions of digital desks out there that don't have any user access control being operated in HOW and any number of venues successfully. I would be more focused on the number of channels and the likelihood that others will know the desk already.

Can I ask why this situation requires user access control?

Most venues run user level controls of some nature, from my experience. Whether it be the inclusion of a house engineer/tech as a booking prerequisite, or hotel ballrooms allowing only venue staff to operate, or expensive touchscreen controlled AV systems that remove the console from sight, or hiding graphic EQs behind plexiglass covers, or stacking speaker processing and amplifiers behind locked doors. All of it constitutes user access control in some way.

Very rarely is access entirely unfettered, and even if it appears to be that way there are usually other systems in place that keep the collective venue stakeholders happy... like someone reseting the venue after use.

A fundamental part of the brief from the key stakeholders in the venue is to spec equipment within the set budget that caters to the variety of users coming through the venue. One way or another, it will include user access controls, whether it is analogue or digital. Some people will know their way around the desk already, but many won't. That has already been established.

I'm not looking for the perfect solution, just the best tool for the job. Because, well... that constitutes me doing the job well.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #37
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
It is not my, nor is it your trumpet to say who can and can't play it.

At some point the conversation needs to depart from idealism and notions of perfection, and acknowledge that a fundamental aspect of audio engineering is finding solutions to problems, while navigating that thin line that separates the various stakeholders playing the game.
I have been doing live sound and recording sound for 45 years. What do you know?
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
I have been doing live sound and recording sound for 45 years. What do you know?
What an obtuse reaction.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #39
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
What an obtuse reaction.
I tried to report this but it has already been reported to management.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #40
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
Most venues run user level controls of some nature, from my experience. Whether it be the inclusion of a house engineer/tech as a booking prerequisite, or hotel ballrooms allowing only venue staff to operate, or expensive touchscreen controlled AV systems that remove the console from sight, or hiding graphic EQs behind plexiglass covers, or stacking speaker processing and amplifiers behind locked doors. All of it constitutes user access control in some way.

Very rarely is access entirely unfettered, and even if it appears to be that way there are usually other systems in place that keep the collective venue stakeholders happy... like someone reseting the venue after use.

A fundamental part of the brief from the key stakeholders in the venue is to spec equipment within the set budget that caters to the variety of users coming through the venue. One way or another, it will include user access controls, whether it is analogue or digital. Some people will know their way around the desk already, but many won't. That has already been established.

I'm not looking for the perfect solution, just the best tool for the job. Because, well... that constitutes me doing the job well.
using an additional simplistic mixer with a very limited feature set and which cannot get abused or maybe even better, just a fader bank, isn't an option? - the yamaha dme i mentioned in an earlier posts can get remotely controlled/channels can get assigned to a fader bank, i vaguely recall having used gear from allen heath, i had a set of vca's for remote of channels on my mci desk etc.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #41
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
Most venues run user level controls of some nature, from my experience. Whether it be the inclusion of a house engineer/tech as a booking prerequisite, or hotel ballrooms allowing only venue staff to operate, or expensive touchscreen controlled AV systems that remove the console from sight, or hiding graphic EQs behind plexiglass covers, or stacking speaker processing and amplifiers behind locked doors. All of it constitutes user access control in some way.

Very rarely is access entirely unfettered, and even if it appears to be that way there are usually other systems in place that keep the collective venue stakeholders happy... like someone reseting the venue after use.

A fundamental part of the brief from the key stakeholders in the venue is to spec equipment within the set budget that caters to the variety of users coming through the venue. One way or another, it will include user access controls, whether it is analogue or digital. Some people will know their way around the desk already, but many won't. That has already been established.

I'm not looking for the perfect solution, just the best tool for the job. Because, well... that constitutes me doing the job well.
I see your POV and understand why you want said control; however, my concern would be the inevitable groups that come in and NEED to make routing changes, add new channels, etc, etc. that would require unlocking whatever you had locked in the first place.

I would still recommend getting something that MOST people will recognize and be able to operate. Something that has scenes that can be preloaded to take care of common setups (solo, duo/full band/speaking, etc).

What is the "set budget" if you don't mind telling us? This will limit the suggestions as well.
Old 26th November 2020
  #42
Gear Maniac
 
I haven't read a bunch of the replies. what I read had little to do with the question.

So, how many inputs and outputs are required? Will this be for a permanent installation?

You can use admin lock out options on a traditional modern mixer. If this is for an installation, I would design a custom solution using QSC QSYS Designer or Symetrix Composer. Admin passwords would be used to access specific mixer controls. If something less custom would work, I would use the Allen & Heath AHM64 and design custom GUIs with only the essential controls accessible to all.
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #43
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avare's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
I see your POV and understand why you want said control; however, my concern would be the inevitable groups that come in and NEED to make routing changes, add new channels, etc, etc. that would require unlocking whatever you had locked in the first place.

I would still recommend getting something that MOST people will recognize and be able to operate. Something that has scenes that can be preloaded to take care of common setups (solo, duo/full band/speaking, etc).

What is the "set budget" if you don't mind telling us? This will limit the suggestions as well.
+1.
Old 28th November 2020 | Show parent
  #44
Gear Head
In a similar vein to OP's scenario, for live theatre work, I'll often route everything that needs "mixing" to a traditional console (could be analog or digital), and set any variables which are mission-critical-don't-accidentally-change on a DSP unit without any knobs or faders to accidentally bump, (in my case, usually a MOTU AVB unit, which I like as they have a "traditional" mixer and patchbay onboard, and faders can be adjusted live via OSC commands, though there are more "industry standard" options to choose from, designed for a more general use case)

So, to answer OPs question, I'd be curious if subcontracting anything you want "locked" to a a different device might be what gives the most mileage?
Old 5th December 2020 | Show parent
  #45
Gear Maniac
 
Nice to see that someone agrees with me here. Locked out features are for DSP. Not the mixing console. If your "engineer" gets lost on the console, you need to give them a simpler mixer. They still need to be able to make all those adjustments available on the mixer if need be.
Old 5th December 2020
  #46
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The OP seems to have his mind made up and all the suggestions go nowhere.

I designed a system for a college owned venue. The custodian or some one not familiar with sound systems had access to a small 8 channel mixer installed in a rack. They could plug in the mics, turn the system on and get an acceptable sound out of the installed sound system with no real problems. We provided a laminated sheet detailing how to set up the mixer and mics for an assembly or small show with singers and instruments, With the flip of a relay we could use the same system with a 24 input sound console with all the bells and whistles. It worked well for years. There is no real reason why this same setup would not work for the OP. FWIW
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
The OP seems to have his mind made up and all the suggestions go nowhere.

I designed a system for a college owned venue. The custodian or some one not familiar with sound systems had access to a small 8 channel mixer installed in a rack. They could plug in the mics, turn the system on and get an acceptable sound out of the installed sound system with no real problems. We provided a laminated sheet detailing how to set up the mixer and mics for an assembly or small show with singers and instruments, With the flip of a relay we could use the same system with a 24 input sound console with all the bells and whistles. It worked well for years. There is no real reason why this same setup would not work for the OP. FWIW

Don't rope me into the massaging of fragile egos. This project was never about me, it's about the client and the venue. I asked a very succinct question that fits the requirements of the project exceptionally well. A bunch of people were helpful in answering it... while others chose to make it all about themselves. Even well after the gear has been installed and the client left exceptionally happy with how it all came together, people here are still trying to play a strange game of knowitalism and oneupmanship.

I'm up for talking shop as much as the next guy, but a considerable portion of this thread is like a punchline to a how many audio engineers does it take to... joke.
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #48
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
Don't rope me into the massaging of fragile egos. This project was never about me, it's about the client and the venue. I asked a very succinct question that fits the requirements of the project exceptionally well. A bunch of people were helpful in answering it... while others chose to make it all about themselves. Even well after the gear has been installed and the client left exceptionally happy with how it all came together, people here are still trying to play a strange game of knowitalism and oneupmanship.

I'm up for talking shop as much as the next guy, but a considerable portion of this thread is like a punchline to a how many audio engineers does it take to... joke.
What did you end up going with?
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
Don't rope me into the massaging of fragile egos. This project was never about me, it's about the client and the venue. I asked a very succinct question that fits the requirements of the project exceptionally well. A bunch of people were helpful in answering it... while others chose to make it all about themselves. Even well after the gear has been installed and the client left exceptionally happy with how it all came together, people here are still trying to play a strange game of knowitalism and oneupmanship.

I'm up for talking shop as much as the next guy, but a considerable portion of this thread is like a punchline to a how many audio engineers does it take to... joke.

So now you are saying that the whole job is complete and the client is happy with the outcome so why ask the question to begin with. I am really confused???
Please explain...Thanks!
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #50
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneEng View Post
What did you end up going with?


We tracked down a bunch of Yamaha LS and TF series desks, but they ended up choosing an Allen & Heath QU desk for a variety of reasons. The TF was probably my pick in terms of functionality (less knobs and all that jazz), but the QU fitted their space requirements much better whilst still doing the same job. There is a some nifty stuff happening under the surface that makes it really straight forward for anyone to blast out a live stream using a variety of hanging and handheld microphones. Mix minuses and all that jazz.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
So now you are saying that the whole job is complete and the client is happy with the outcome so why ask the question to begin with. I am really confused???
Please explain...Thanks!

The total project had 15 billable hours involved in it. I asked the question over two weeks ago, after already meeting with the venue. If you need help with the basic arithmetic about how that works, I'll gladly post something condescending.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #52
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Best thing you can do is create 1 or 2 default states, and save those 20 times at the end of the save list.

The other thing is clear labels how it is intended to be used. What each channel is for. And instruction to find preset 1 to reset the board. All taped down to the board it self.

The reset board should have all the mic flowing to the main at low level.

Color tape on each mic cable, and the same color on each channel is fastest to new people to understand the setup.

In that situation you will be often recording the mix to a PC, and using stereo track from the PC and from Iphones/thumbdrive files.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
If your client wants you to do something that is going to not work, it is your responsibility to lead that horse to water you know. That is all we are saying. If people are getting lost on the mixer, locking stuff out isn't going to solve your problem.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #54
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDStudios View Post
We tracked down a bunch of Yamaha LS and TF series desks, but they ended up choosing an Allen & Heath QU desk for a variety of reasons. The TF was probably my pick in terms of functionality (less knobs and all that jazz), but the QU fitted their space requirements much better whilst still doing the same job. There is a some nifty stuff happening under the surface that makes it really straight forward for anyone to blast out a live stream using a variety of hanging and handheld microphones. Mix minuses and all that jazz.
That is a good choice for simplicity in a digital mixer. The Qu series also has a solid reputation for reliability. I am not a fan of the lack of LCD scribble strips; however, if you keep things down to 16 channels or less, it is a very nice 1:1 fader to input setup that is easy to get right.

The ME1 monitoring system is expensive, but if you were just driving wedges, this won't matter.

You should set them up with the latest Mixing Station app for the Qu. It works on any inexpensive Android tablet and is very configurable for a custom remote mixing experience.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #55
Gear Maniac
 
The most important thing for anyone using a digital mixer for the first or second or still not comfortable times is to set aside a few hours before the gig to play with the mixer and get comfortable with it. Everytime I rented someone a LS9 or PM5D or whatever digital, part of the rental was you showed up and we walked you through the console and made sure you seemed comfortable with it before the case got a lid on it and the EZ tilt gets rolled back. Sending someone blind on a digital console is just asking for trouble.
Old 7th December 2020 | Show parent
  #56
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Dixon View Post
The most important thing for anyone using a digital mixer for the first or second or still not comfortable times is to set aside a few hours before the gig to play with the mixer and get comfortable with it. Everytime I rented someone a LS9 or PM5D or whatever digital, part of the rental was you showed up and we walked you through the console and made sure you seemed comfortable with it before the case got a lid on it and the EZ tilt gets rolled back. Sending someone blind on a digital console is just asking for trouble.
Every time I work on an LS9 I have to "re-remember" how to use it ..... it gets auto-purged from memory evidentially (My church uses one in its 2ndary worship service and I run it from time to time).

All joking aside, I agree with you. In fact, while I am pretty competent on an X32 (I own the X32 Rack), Generally I load in the show file from the console into my laptop so I can quickly check out how it is routed and setup. Even the SAME console setup differently can cause no end of trouble if you don't realize how it is setup. It's better to get this kind of learning out of the way before you are in the middle of the gig.
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