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Cadac digital
Old 13th October 2013
  #1
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Cadac digital

Hi guys.
I was recently sent the new Cadac console to trial and thought that some of you may like to hear of my experience. The unit in question was the CDC-FOUR. A small rack mount model that is capable of expansion with the addition of the Cadac stage racks.

Firstly, let me say that the sound of this board lived up to the stellar reputation that Cadac has.I was immediately struck by how clean musical this board sounded. The EQ sounded great and the dynamics acted exactly as I would want. Everything was on the clean side of life, but very musical and I could see myself going in for a console that sounds like this.

Unfortunately, for me there were quite a few workflow issues as well as cosmetic/design flaws that hindered it's performance. Yes you heard me, cosmetic flaws that hindered it's performance. I wrote a brief list of these concerns to Cadac and was advised that there are now some techs from Midas working there who mirrored my comments and have planned for development in the future. With this news, I can smell a new player in the compact digital market.

If they can get the cosmetics, design, workflow things sorted, then they have a real winner.

In the interest of transparency, I am testifying that I have no affiliation with Cadac and was simply trying a new console at the request of the distributor as I get to do on occasion. I own, Yamaha LS9's, Allen & Heath QU16, Allen & Heath GLD80 and Digidesign SC48. I also, mix on everything out there and on the current national tour that I am on I am mixing on Digico's, Venue's, Studer Vistas and many others, so my comparison pallet is quite broad.

Below is the list I sent to Cadac.

"Positives

* Pre's/converters sound really great
* EQ sounds really great
* Dynamics sound really great
* I love the dedicated master controllers. That is, not using the input controllers for master output.
Sonically this is a fantastic board.

Negatives

* The shades of grey on the control knob tops makes for a very difficult to view layout. Difficult to identify groups of controllers.
* The screen printing on that colour of surface makes it very difficult to read the labelling under lighting.
* The LED buttons are 50% lit when off and can be a little confusing as to their state…at a glance. Maybe 25% on would suffice.
* The layout, although extremely flexible, is quite crowded. Although I love the dedicated master controllers, they could easily utilise the input controllers for control of the masters. This would make quite a bit more space on the surface.
* The screen is quite small
* Needs a touch screen.
* Data inputting for channel names etc. is possibly the worst I have encountered. The data scroll encoding coupled with the flashing red icon is atrocious. This is by far the biggest gripe.
* The layout of the channel input sockets is a little strange, not terrible, but strange. The top left number 1 with number 2 below from right to left looking at the rear of the console is very unconventional. 1-8 left to right and below that 9-16 left to right is more conventional.
* Data encoding in general is very Nokia circa 1998. An external QWERTY or software QWERTY keyboard is really required in this day and age.
* It is very broadcast in it's design which is a little clumsy for a live board. It is very reminiscent of a Yamaha DM2000 in it's layout. In the live world, the DM2000 is called the death master as it's workflow is not great and I think now, that this workflow is very, very dated.

I know this seems like a long list of negatives for what is generally a really nice board, but workflow drives my purchasing decision much more than sound quality. There are very good sounding boards that do not cost a lot these days and workflow is my highest benchmark. The good news is that a lot of the negatives are very easy fixes with firmware or screen printing etc."



I have always respected Cadac and am very interested to see where they take this new design. Stay tuned I guess.
Old 13th October 2013
  #2
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Cadac has always been amongst the best...but the cost of developing a digital console is huge and I fear their resources must be limited. Often the expense is aided by income from other products. I wish them the best. We need another supplier who upholds extremely high standards.
We recently filled a demanding clients FOH requirements...the usual suspects didn't cut it, sonically or workflow. unfortunately premature for CDC-Eight...it was on the short list.
Old 13th October 2013
  #3
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Aisle 6's Avatar
I agree and I wish Cadac the best in their development. Another player in the market focussing on quality audio is certainly not a bad thing.
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