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First Ever Console Consoles
Old 5th September 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
First Ever Console

I'm looking to buy my first ever console.

Mixing 'in box' is ok... But I spend more time looking at the numbers and parameters these days, than mixing with my ears. I'm thinking a console would go a ways to help me fix that, and get hands on!

Not having ever owned, or even used a mixing desk before, except the virtual one in cubase 4, I dont want to go mental on features/ complexity. I guess something basic but still sounds good.

Currently using an i88x (I need to check how many outs I can get from that) but something with say... 16-24 channels would be great.

So if you more experienced guys now of anything that might be suitable, that will be a good starting point but wont break the bank or make my sound worse... Please chime in!

Cheers.
Old 5th September 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
idylldon's Avatar
 

You need to narrow down a price range as it will make it easier to offer suggestions. "Won't break the bank" means different things to different people.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 5th September 2007
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
You need to narrow down a price range as it will make it easier to offer suggestions. "Won't break the bank" means different things to different people.

Cheers,
--
Don
Thanks Don.

Say around $1500-2000?
Old 5th September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
idylldon's Avatar
 

You should consider a Soundtracs Topaz, which I think you can find used in your price range. I've seen them sell for quite a bit less than your lower figure lately. They seem to be well liked by those who have used them; in fact, one of the gurus around these parts, Harvey Gerst, has one in his B room. That's a pretty good endorsement, IMHO.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 5th September 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
You should consider a Soundtracs Topaz, which I think you can find used in your price range. I've seen them sell for quite a bit less than your lower figure lately. They seem to be well liked by those who have used them; in fact, one of the gurus around these parts, Harvey Gerst, has one in his B room. That's a pretty good endorsement, IMHO.

Cheers,
--
Don
Thanks again Don.

What aut the Soundtracs Solo 32/8/32? There is one for sale here in Australia that looks to be going fairly cheap... Are these above or below the Topaz spec wise?
Old 5th September 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
idylldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blister View Post
Thanks again Don.

What aut the Soundtracs Solo 32/8/32? There is one for sale here in Australia that looks to be going fairly cheap... Are these above or below the Topaz spec wise?
Sorry, but I don't have any firsthand experience with those. I'm sure someone who does will chime in, though, so hang in there.

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 5th September 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blister View Post
Thanks Don.

Say around $1500-2000?
I spent a year shopping for parts on ebay and built myself a 40 channel D&R series 4000 for about $1600.

I had to recap it and repair the powersupply but it was totally worth it.
IMHO it will eat any console under $10k.
Old 5th September 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 
Rack n' Ruin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blister View Post
Thanks again Don.

What aut the Soundtracs Solo 32/8/32? There is one for sale here in Australia that looks to be going fairly cheap... Are these above or below the Topaz spec wise?
Pretty much the same as far as I know (I own a Topaz and an IL3632, but have only ever "seen" the Solo as such).
If it is a Solo-Logic, then grab it NOW as they are fantastic.
If it is a "straight" Solo, then in my opinion, the simple answer is, get it if it seems affordable to you as it is a nice chunky console that will most definately serve your purposes.

Rack
Old 5th September 2007
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blister View Post
Currently using an i88x (I need to check how many outs I can get from that) but something with say... 16-24 channels would be great.
8 analog, 8 ADAT, 2spdif.

great interface...i went from m-audio's garbage to that and it was the biggest single improvement i made to my studio.

im using it with a soundcraft series 400b....the soundtracs is probably a better bet though....4 more subgroups and 2 more auxes....although, i do love the obnoxious amount of gain before distortion on the soundcraft...but i guess thats to be expected from a FOH console that was designed to drive long cable runs.
Old 5th September 2007
  #10
007
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007's Avatar
 

I also recently acquired a Soundcraft 400B (16X8X2) a few months ago (in great condition for $450 - I really lucked out cuz I've seen some on the bay for over a grand), also happens to be my first console after doing everything with Digi002R and of course, mixing ITB. Admittedly, I haven't mixed through the 400B yet, just need a bit more time at home to set it up that way, but the difference in tracking has been incredible. Granted, I have no real experience with bigger/better boards, the only pres I've ever used were pro-sumer grade, but to my ears, the pres on the 400B - and the EQ!!!! - are just so sweet sounding!

I only have one decent mic - a Rode NT1A - and everything I put through it and into the 400B sounds just so thick and gooey and just down right beautiful. Needless to say the hunt for standalone boutique pres has taken a back seat since I have 16 sweet ones already, now I'm onto compressors and other processing, one bit at a time. Since at least the 002R's main outs are routed to 2 channels on the board, I will somtimes take my mix buss from PT or Live and re-record it through the board using the EQ's and onto a new stereo track....the low end is sooooo nice and warm! Definitely look into one of those, or even a 200B, Allen & Heath System 8 Mark III, Topaz, etc...
Old 5th September 2007
  #11
Gear Nut
 

id stay away from the 200b....very noisy in a bad way.
Old 6th September 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Well, I put a bid in on the Soundtracs Solo and am the highest bidder

Soundtracs Solo 32 Mixer - eBay, Mixers, Pro Audio, DJ Equipment, Musical Instruments. (end time 08-Sep-07 00:09:03 AEST)

Although, i'm a now a bit peeved off witht the seller, as he has just mentioned, and not in the auction, that it's a Solo 32 'live'?

Anyone know if this unit is different to the normal Solo 32? I'm assuming it's intended use is for live performance... Wiill it be any good in the studio?

There is also a 400B for sale, which will go much cheaper too I reckon. Looks like it's been well loved though.

Soundcraft 400b 24 channel audio mixer - eBay, Mixers, Pro Audio, DJ Equipment, Musical Instruments. (end time 06-Sep-07 22:13:38 AEST)

Just found an 800B also!
Soundcraft 800B - Audio Mixer - 32/8/2 - eBay, Mixers, Pro Audio, DJ Equipment, Musical Instruments. (end time 09-Sep-07 21:30:00 AEST)
Old 6th September 2007
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
boxymoron's Avatar
 

err, 200B's are not noisey at all, at least compared to any of the mentioned consoles. You probably had a bad experience with one that hadn't been well maintained. I just finished cleaning and testing all the modules on mine and the noise with all 32 channels assigned and @ 40dB gain measured well below 80dB's. There's also a star ground mod that can lower that even more.
Old 6th September 2007
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Well, i've been outbid on the Soundtracs... which is almost a relief considering the seller was not being completely honest in the first place.

That leaves a couple soundcraft desks...

The 400B or the 800B are still avaliable. The 400B ends in 7 hrs and is only around $400 right now... Will probably finish under a grand. The 800 is up to $999 and has 3 days to go! Australian moula.

Opinions?

I could always hold out for another Soundtracs... Is there anything else that might suffice?
Old 6th September 2007
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick x0x View Post
8 analog, 8 ADAT, 2spdif.

great interface...i went from m-audio's garbage to that and it was the biggest single improvement i made to my studio.

im using it with a soundcraft series 400b....the soundtracs is probably a better bet though....4 more subgroups and 2 more auxes....although, i do love the obnoxious amount of gain before distortion on the soundcraft...but i guess thats to be expected from a FOH console that was designed to drive long cable runs.

Soooooo... What other gear would I need to facilitate these outs to a mixer? Assuming, of course, that all I have is the i88x, which is true. heh

Also, are there particular features that I need to make sure any new console I buy has in order facilitate the ADAT and SPDIF?

Of course... If I'm running at 48kHz the SPDIF is a nonevent aint it?

Man.... I'm so GREEN!

Thanks for your help here... I really appreciate it.
Old 6th September 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

What Brand Names do you guys recommend for Having a console in the same price range and for the same purpose?









---------------- Now playing: Micah Stampley - Holy Visitation via FoxyTunes
Old 6th September 2007
  #17
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blister View Post
Soooooo... What other gear would I need to facilitate these outs to a mixer? Assuming, of course, that all I have is the i88x, which is true. heh

Also, are there particular features that I need to make sure any new console I buy has in order facilitate the ADAT and SPDIF?

Of course... If I'm running at 48kHz the SPDIF is a nonevent aint it?

Man.... I'm so GREEN!

Thanks for your help here... I really appreciate it.
the behringer ada8000 will get you the 8 adat outs into analog outs....reading gearlutz has actually convinced me to grab one when the funds are available....i actually use my spdif out to feed an emu sampler directly from my daw...but im sure there are decent spidf to analog converters out there....i run everything at 48khz, no problems.

unless that 400 is an 8bus, try and get the 800...its got more flexibility.

@boxymoron....you're probably right...the 2 200series desks i heard were actually 200bve....if im not mistaken those were broadcast desks...these looked like they were in decent enough condition, but who knows what they were subject to back in the day...i could just imagine a control room full of guys in shirtsleves, each smoking a pack of cigs while they were producing the 6 oclock news everyday throughout the 80s.
Old 7th September 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Herman Munster's Avatar
 

I'm just curious - if you're just wanting to "get your hands more involved" why not get a dedicated control surface? Seems to me this might be less expensive and serve the purpose you want. Are you also planning on buying a Lexicon reverb, hardware compressor, etc.? If yes, then a console might be worth it, but if you're still planning on mixing ITB a control surface makes more sense to me. Just my opinion....

The other option would be something like an Onyx 1640 with the firewire option. This is what I'm considering. If you got it modded through Warren (where are you War?) it could serve as interface, control surface, console, etc. This would be much less expensive than a $1600 console, interface, etc....
Old 7th September 2007
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herman Munster View Post
I'm just curious - if you're just wanting to "get your hands more involved" why not get a dedicated control surface? Seems to me this might be less expensive and serve the purpose you want. Are you also planning on buying a Lexicon reverb, hardware compressor, etc.? If yes, then a console might be worth it, but if you're still planning on mixing ITB a control surface makes more sense to me. Just my opinion....

The other option would be something like an Onyx 1640 with the firewire option. This is what I'm considering. If you got it modded through Warren (where are you War?) it could serve as interface, control surface, console, etc. This would be much less expensive than a $1600 console, interface, etc....
I hear ya. Control surface would serve my purpose for mixing, but I want to be able to fiddle with real knobs - excuse me - if you get my drift. Most control surfaces have one rotary controller that does every-bloomin thing... plus there the added benefit of analogue character, which is groovey.

As for outboard... I have a pair of RNC's and RNLA's, dbx-117, TC G-major and an Ibanez ADR1000, so although not high end, my humble collection is capable enough for my needs.
Old 7th September 2007
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blister View Post
Well, I put a bid in on the Soundtracs Solo and am the highest bidder

Soundtracs Solo 32 Mixer - eBay, Mixers, Pro Audio, DJ Equipment, Musical Instruments. (end time 08-Sep-07 00:09:03 AEST)

Although, i'm a now a bit peeved off witht the seller, as he has just mentioned, and not in the auction, that it's a Solo 32 'live'?

Anyone know if this unit is different to the normal Solo 32? I'm assuming it's intended use is for live performance... Wiill it be any good in the studio?

There is also a 400B for sale, which will go much cheaper too I reckon. Looks like it's been well loved though.

Soundcraft 400b 24 channel audio mixer - eBay, Mixers, Pro Audio, DJ Equipment, Musical Instruments. (end time 06-Sep-07 22:13:38 AEST)

Just found an 800B also!
Soundcraft 800B - Audio Mixer - 32/8/2 - eBay, Mixers, Pro Audio, DJ Equipment, Musical Instruments. (end time 09-Sep-07 21:30:00 AEST)
Hey Blister
You just saved me a whole lot of Headf***s with this post of yours I was the high bidder on the soundtracs console I did not relise that the bugger had changed the listing Just by reading this thread you started I relised what was going on and I just canceled my bid
Thank you, It must be my lucky day By the way Is the web site on the bottom of your post anything to do with that wine bar in Lygon street? Be good to know I am in Melbourne and live close by I may have a soundcraft 400 b available in a short while PM me if you are interested
Cheers
Chris
Old 7th September 2007
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Blister's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mossboss View Post
Hey Blister
You just saved me a whole lot of Headf***s with this post of yours I was the high bidder on the soundtracs console I did not relise that the bugger had changed the listing Just by reading this thread you started I relised what was going on and I just canceled my bid
Thank you, It must be my lucky day By the way Is the web site on the bottom of your post anything to do with that wine bar in Lygon street? Be good to know I am in Melbourne and live close by I may have a soundcraft 400 b available in a short while PM me if you are interested
Cheers
Chris
No probs matey! Dang glad I found out too... Having said that, the seller has still not canceled my bids and there are only two hours left on the auction!

AS for the Bar.... Nope. heh Thats just my own meager website, which is currently in the process of a serious overhaul.

As for the SC desk... PM sent.
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