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Help me with a live sound system upgrade please! Mixers (Digital)
Old 5th March 2014
  #1
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Help me with a live sound system upgrade please!

My church currently has a Mackie tt-24 system with the DS3232 digital snake. We already had major issues with one tt-24 mixer and had to replace it with a refurb. The refurb has about 3 channels that simply don't work.

A couple weeks ago we started getting random pops (they sounded "digital") throughout multiple channels that were connected to the digital snake and our drum channels simply stopped working. We reset everything and did some troubleshooting, finally isolating the issues to the DS3232 snake itself. You can't find another DS3232 out there to buy and the support for the tt-24 system is nonexistent so we're looking for a new system.

We currently use about 30 inputs but need expansion for up to 40 as we're starting a church orchestra and will need to mic that group up. We have 2 cat5 cables under the floor for the digital snake and the send to our Hearback personal monitoring system. Here are the basic requirements:

1. At least 40 individual channels
2. Digital snake
3. Digital outs for recording multitrack (USB, Firewire, or ADAT)
4. Would prefer digital routing to our Hearback system (right now we use the ADAT outs on our tt-24 to feed Hearback).
5. Ability to save snapshots of the system so somebody's child doesn't wreck the system :-).
6. Onboard FX and dynamics processing

I really like the concept of the tt-24 with all its routing flexibility, but we've just had so many problems. I'm really intrigued by the Midas M32 or even the X32 but I don't think there are enough channels available on those mixers for us in the future.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
Old 5th March 2014
  #2
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luciolis's Avatar
 

Yamaha CL1 or Midas Pro1
Old 5th March 2014
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTuck View Post
We currently use about 30 inputs but need expansion for up to 40 as we're starting a church orchestra and will need to mic that group up. We have 2 cat5 cables under the floor for the digital snake and the send to our Hearback personal monitoring system. Here are the basic requirements:

1. At least 40 individual channels
2. Digital snake
3. Digital outs for recording multitrack (USB, Firewire, or ADAT)
4. Would prefer digital routing to our Hearback system (right now we use the ADAT outs on our tt-24 to feed Hearback).
5. Ability to save snapshots of the system so somebody's child doesn't wreck the system :-).
6. Onboard FX and dynamics processing

I really like the concept of the tt-24 with all its routing flexibility, but we've just had so many problems. I'm really intrigued by the Midas M32 or even the X32 but I don't think there are enough channels available on those mixers for us in the future.
Perhaps you can clarify some of your needs.
  • You say "We have 2 cat5 cables under the floor for the digital snake and the send to our Hearback personal monitoring system." Does that mean one cable is used for the Hearback system and you have one cable left for a digital snake or that you have two cable for the digital snake? Are the cables CAT5 or CAT5e and are they shielded STP or unshielded UTP? Different digital snake manufacturers may have different cable recommendations, for example Behringer seems to recommend STP CAT5e for the X32/S16 AES50 connection as well as using Neutrik Ethercon connectors.
  • Are you wanting a minimum of 40 mono mic/line channels or could the 40 channels be some combination of mic/line and line inputs?
  • How many inputs and outputs should the digital snake support?
  • Are you wanting to record all 40 channels? Some mixers may limt you to 32 channels or require using a format such as Dante or MADI rather than USB or FireWire to record more than 32 channels.
  • What outputs do you want the mixer to support?
  • Do you have a preference on the minimum number of faders?
  • Are there any physical constraints such as any maximum dimensions?
  • Do you have a budget in mind?

I believe that you can assign the first 2, 4 or 6 of the Aux inputs on the X32/M32 to stage box inputs giving you the potential of up to 38 mic/line inputs plus Aux 7/8 that is default assigned to two channel USB playback, so not quite up to your 40 channel minimum, but close.

One possible consideration on the X32, and likely on the M32 as well since it is based on the same firmware and software, is that you have to assign inputs in blocks of 8 channels. That's not a factor if you use 8, 16, 24 or 32 inputs at the stage but if you wanted to use between 9 and 16 inputs at the stage then you'd have to assign that as 16 channels (or as 32 channels to use 25-32 inputs and so on). The card slot and AES50/stage box outputs also have to be routed in blocks of 8, e.g. outputs 1-8 on a stage box can be outputs 1-8 or 9-16 on the mixer but not mixer outputs 1-4 and 9-12.

The Midas PRO 1 and Yamaha CL1 recommended are good examples of consoles that will support a larger number of inputs but that are also compact, which has the side effect of limiting the number of faders. That's why I asked if you had a preference on the minimum number of faders as some people prefer having more than 16 faders when dealing with that many channels along with mix masters and potentially VCAs, sends on faders, etc.
Old 5th March 2014
  #4
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

iLive or GLD from Allen & Heath.
Old 5th March 2014
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
iLive or GLD from Allen & Heath.
If you're on a budget, I think the GLD would be a good choice. 80 or 112 depending on FOH size constraints and preference for number of faders, but you can usually get around a large channel count pretty well with the 80.
Old 5th March 2014
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
iLive or GLD from Allen & Heath.
You should be able to multitrack record 24 channels via ADAT using an MMO card or possibly larger channel counts via ADAT if you used some of the modular racks and worksurfaces with multiple MMO expansion cards but otherwise I believe that multitrack recording of more than 24 channels would require using a Dante, Ethersound or MADI expansion card.
Old 5th March 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by museAV View Post
Perhaps you can clarify some of your needs.
  • You say "We have 2 cat5 cables under the floor for the digital snake and the send to our Hearback personal monitoring system." Does that mean one cable is used for the Hearback system and you have one cable left for a digital snake or that you have two cable for the digital snake? Are the cables CAT5 or CAT5e and are they shielded STP or unshielded UTP? Different digital snake manufacturers may have different cable recommendations, for example Behringer seems to recommend STP CAT5e for the X32/S16 AES50 connection as well as using Neutrik Ethercon connectors.
  • Are you wanting a minimum of 40 mono mic/line channels or could the 40 channels be some combination of mic/line and line inputs?
  • How many inputs and outputs should the digital snake support?
  • Are you wanting to record all 40 channels? Some mixers may limt you to 32 channels or require using a format such as Dante or MADI rather than USB or FireWire to record more than 32 channels.
  • What outputs do you want the mixer to support?
  • Do you have a preference on the minimum number of faders?
  • Are there any physical constraints such as any maximum dimensions?
  • Do you have a budget in mind?
- Yes, we have one Cat5 that is currently being used to connect our DS3232 to the Mackie tt24 mixer. We have another Cat5 that is feeding our Hearback system. I'm not sure what type of Cat5 cable it is to be honest.
- Pretty much all 40 channels are going to be a microphone or instrument so I'd rather have a mic input with a preamp. We currently use 22 inputs from the stage + 8 wireless mics for a total of 30 channels but I want to have up to 40 individual channels for future expansion.
- A 32 channel digital snake should be all we'd need for our wired inputs.
- We don't have to record all 40 channels. 16-32 channels would be fine.
- We currently send audio to the Hearback system with ADAT outs that convert to a Cat5 cable that runs directly in to the Hearback hub. That would be ideal, but I guess an ethernet/cat5 type out would work as long as we could route specific aux sends and channels. Otherwise, balanced XLR stereo main outs is all we use for FOH I believe.
- Number of faders isn't a huge deal, but I do like the that the tt24 has 2 banks of 24 so you don't have to switch banks very often.
- Physical restraints also aren't really a huge deal. We have a large sound booth that can be modified if necessary.
- Well... not really. I'm looking for options in the 5-15k to present.

I really want the M32 to work for us but it sounds like it simply won't have enough channels for what'll need in the near future with additional mic requirements. I do like the seamless integration of the P16 monitoring system because we've had issues with the Hearback system as well and we may want to replace that as well.

Thanks for the help!
Old 5th March 2014
  #8
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Given the above info, I would suggest looking at the GLD 112, with the A&H MyMixers or whatever they're called.
Old 5th March 2014
  #9
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I met with a local guy today and he suggested a Yamaha LS9 or MC7 on the higher end. He also suggested a Roland m480 if the Yamaha mixers were beyond our budget. Each system comes with its own proprietary digital snake system as well. I'm starting to research these but I was curious if any of you have had any experience with either of the Yamaha consoles or the Roland system.

Thanks!
Old 6th March 2014
  #10
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

The Yamaha consoles are relatively "old technology" now and nearing the end of their runs. The Roland is somewhat OK, but still at the end of its developmental life.

I'll second Jhana and his recommendation of the GLD 112. It is far, far above either Yamaha and the Roland and is in the flow of Allen & Heaths developmental scheme which begins with the iLive. The Roland may have a "proprietary snake system", but the Yamahas do not have a "propietary" snake although they are amenable to digital snakes with the addition of network cards. Hardly "proprietary".

Your local guy is recommending "last generation" stuff while the A&H stuff (among others) is current and is being updated often regarding feature set and implementation. A HUGE difference.
Old 6th March 2014
  #11
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The GLD 112 definitely looks great. The only drawback I can see is that it only has 4 analog inputs and 4 analog outputs. That's not even enough to handle my 8 wireless mics that are currently racked in the sound room. I also have this hesitancy (given our experiences with the tt24) to be completely reliant on digital snake inputs like that. The Yamaha mixers both have an abundance of analog inputs (I guess that comes with the old technology?).

It is interesting that the GLD would be a lot cheaper than the Yamaha MC7, which is the more attractive of the Yamaha consoles. Sweetwater has it for $10000 + $2200 for the 24 channel stage box + $2400 for 2 of the 8 channel expansion racks. That would give us 40 inputs on the stage.
Old 6th March 2014
  #12
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Should be a lot of clean, basic M7CL-48s in the used markets for $10-$12000 in the near future. Yamaha's discounting their newer CL-5s by $12-15K with trade-in. They (M7) are much more analog-upgrade friendly in their user interface than the LS9, and, with an external clock, they don't suck. They're not Midas PRO series... but they won't make your ears bleed, either. A good transition console from analog-land. M7CL-48 has 48 analog inputs/16 out, and can be fitted with several flavors of dig in and out, as well as additional analog out. A bit long in the tooth, but still a workhorse. If I can find one cased, under $10K, I might just pick it up.

I run one regularly (consulting contract with a HOW so equipped), along with LS9 (yesterday), O1V96 (tomorrow), PreSonus (I own 24.4.2 and 16.0.2... next week)... and Allen&Heath (last Sunday), and own Soundcraft, TASCAM and Mackie analogs. Also have time on Midas Pro2C and an early Soundcraft digital.

MMV.

HB
Old 6th March 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTuck View Post
I met with a local guy today and he suggested a Yamaha LS9 or MC7 on the higher end. He also suggested a Roland m480 if the Yamaha mixers were beyond our budget. Each system comes with its own proprietary digital snake system as well. I'm starting to research these but I was curious if any of you have had any experience with either of the Yamaha consoles or the Roland system.

Thanks!

I have no experience or preference one way or the other with Roland, but I would very strongly advise against buying an M7 or LS9. They are both approaching end-of-life and are no longer a good value. They have been great boards for a long time, but they lack a lot of features that the new consoles easily provide. The GLD can do everything the M7 does, and more. And it's cheaper.

I think no matter what you choose, you'll be looking at running at least 1 or 2 more Cat5 cables to the stage. 2 runs is generally not going to be enough to handle 40 ins + outs, in addition to monitor mixers. And definitely not with any sort of redundancy.
Old 6th March 2014
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhana View Post
I have no experience or preference one way or the other with Roland, but I would very strongly advise against buying an M7 or LS9. They are both approaching end-of-life and are no longer a good value. They have been great boards for a long time, but they lack a lot of features that the new consoles easily provide. The GLD can do everything the M7 does, and more. And it's cheaper.

I think no matter what you choose, you'll be looking at running at least 1 or 2 more Cat5 cables to the stage. 2 runs is generally not going to be enough to handle 40 ins + outs, in addition to monitor mixers. And definitely not with any sort of redundancy.
I appreciate the input and that's exactly why I posted this here. I definitely don't want to end up in the same place we were with the Mackie TT-24 - with issues and unable to find replacements for the ds3232 stage box so I would like to get something with plenty of life left in it.

From what I read about the GLD-112 one cat 5 cable will support 32 channels on stage then we could have 8 channels (thru their AR84) back by the console to run our 8 wireless mics through. Looks like I would need to get the multi out card for ADAT outs for multitrack recording.
Old 6th March 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTuck View Post
The GLD 112 definitely looks great. The only drawback I can see is that it only has 4 analog inputs and 4 analog outputs. That's not even enough to handle my 8 wireless mics that are currently racked in the sound room. I also have this hesitancy (given our experiences with the tt24) to be completely reliant on digital snake inputs like that. The Yamaha mixers both have an abundance of analog inputs (I guess that comes with the old technology?).

It is interesting that the GLD would be a lot cheaper than the Yamaha MC7, which is the more attractive of the Yamaha consoles. Sweetwater has it for $10000 + $2200 for the 24 channel stage box + $2400 for 2 of the 8 channel expansion racks. That would give us 40 inputs on the stage.
Both the M7CL and LS9 are basically direct analog console replacements to which a digital snake capability can be added while the GLD and M-480 are both mixing systems for which the digital snake is designed to be an integral element. The digital snake being an integral component from the start versus an optional 'add on' helps explain the differences in the I/O provided on the main console and may also relate to your concerns regarding how well the digital snake is integrated with the console.

Either the M-480 or GLD systems could essentially dedicate an 8 input I/O box for the wireless microphones.

The GLD and M-480 also both directly support proprietary personal mixing systems. With the GLD you could also use the OneMix app and aux outputs to headphone amps. If you decide to replace your HearBack system then this may be something to consider.
Old 8th March 2014
  #16
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My local guy is also an A&H dealer and we're moving very heavily towards the GLD 112. I was initially very hesitant about getting a mixer that basically didn't have any analog options due to the multitude of problems we've had with the Mackie tt-24 system but most of the new systems in this arena are moving this direction.

By getting the mini multi card for the GLD, it will make it completely compatible with our Hearback system and give us 24 channels via ADAT for multitrack recording. This setup would meet all of the requirements I initially listed out and we wouldn't need to run any additional cable.

Thanks!
Old 8th March 2014
  #17
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Current Yamaha promotion includes RIO32 with CL3 or 5.
Piece o cake. Dante virtual record. Add ADAT card for feed to Hearback and you're in bizness.

8ins & 8 outs at desk...record ALL channels...tons of outputs at stage
Old 9th March 2014
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS View Post
Current Yamaha promotion includes RIO32 with CL3 or 5.
Piece o cake. Dante virtual record. Add ADAT card for feed to Hearback and you're in bizness.

8ins & 8 outs at desk...record ALL channels...tons of outputs at stage
Mike, I appreciate that info but I believe the CL series is probably beyond our budget. I'm seeing prices around $20-$22k just for the console.
Old 9th March 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTuck View Post
Mike, I appreciate that info but I believe the CL series is probably beyond our budget. I'm seeing prices around $20-$22k just for the console.
Maybe not...sent you a PM

Where are you located ?
Old 23rd June 2014
  #20
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I have some extra hear backs

I noticed that your hearback system is extensive and you need quite a few mixers. If you are interested I have some for sale. I should be able to give you a great deal. Hope this helps
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