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-   -   Otari Status/Concept Q&A (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/764273-otari-status-concept-q-amp.html)

Svens 13th September 2012 07:30 PM

Otari Status/Concept Q&A
 
A while ago I was in the market for an Otari Status console. I wanted (moving) faders and good automation/recall for mixing . There are a lot of stories about those consoles, how they work and how there automation works but a lot of stories sound different to eachother. I took some time to check out what has been written here on GS and sent a PM to Michael Sandstedt who seemed to know pretty much about these consoles. Soon Michael replied with comprehensive and very useful answers which was great. He thought it would be nice to share it here so other people could read it too....so, here is the email:

I asked Michael..

-What do you think of the automation/recall on these consoles? Does it come close to what a Euphonix does in terms of recall and how is the learningcurve of it...and is the recall/automation reliable?

-Do you need to have an external computer to make the snapshots, or is an external computer needed to do the SMPTE automation for the moving fader? I hear/read different things about that.

-Is there a way/resource to get the original automation/console software? I emailed Otari about that but didnt hear anything so far.

-I worked with SSL's (4K and 9K, DUality) some Neves, DDA Profiles. What do you think about the "sound" of the console, and is it reliable, decent?


Here are Michael's answers:


In order to have dynamic automation with the Status, you need the following: the Eagle software, the Hovernet interface card and an older PC running windows 98. The hard-to-find item is the Hovernet card. Without all of this, you will still have snapshot automation. BTW, the snapshot automation with the Status is very good. It has SSL-like total recall. That is to say, the faders will set themselves, and then you must manually null the rest of pots. Most of the switching with the Status is automated as well, so really you just need to null the pots. Personally, I think the null procedure is MUCH faster with the Status than with an SSL 4000 or 6000. It really is a very functional system.

Now, as far as Euphonix, I assume you are referring to the C3000 and other models that do a complete recall with no user interaction. The Status does not do this; you must null the pots manually (a la SSL). But, it is still total recall; all parameters can be stored and recalled. And, no, the learning curve is NOT steep (certainly easier than SSL for instance).

As for how closely the recall tracks to your original settings, I would think that again it would be similar to the SSL 4000/6000. Recall will get you very close, but you may find your recalled mix doesn't sound quite right. Normally, people end up doing some tweaks after recall.

The snapshots are stored on floppy disk. Also, you need a floppy to boot up. Make SURE the Status comes with the bootup floppy. Without this, the thing is truly worthless. I do believe it is possible to make copies of the boot disk either with an old floppy drive equipped computer, or within the console (I can't remember how, but I know there is a way).

As for the Concept, I have never owned one, but have used one on occasion. I believe the Concept requires the use of an external computer to be useable at all. This does not mean that you need to be staring at the computer screen all day, or at all. But, unlike the Status which has switching and snapshot functionality built into the chassis, I'm pretty sure this functionality resides outside of the chassis for the Concept. If you can have look at the Concept while it is installed and verify that it is functional, you can be assured that you will have everything you need.

Now, these consoles are highly automated. This means that a catastrophic computer failure (in the case of the Status, I'm referring to the internal computer) can cause the thing to be totally useless until the computer is repaired. This has frightened many buyers. But remember, this is the trade-off with so much automation, and it is the same trade-off that you make with the SSL (and everybody likes SSLs, right?). But, it is something to consider.

So, working my way through your questions....

Otari will be totally useless for service. Don't bother. A good resource is Thomas Eaton: Thomas Eaton Recording . He is a long-time user of the Concept Elite and has a lot of great info on his website. Unfortunately, his site is down at the moment. I'm not sure what the deal is, but hopefully it comes up soon because the site offers all sorts of good info. But, there really are no good resources to obtain the Hovernet card, Eagle software, or any of that. If your console comes with this stuff, you're good to go. Extra credit if you can find a console that comes with spares (many do; actually, most serious studios that used the Concept kept a spare computer on hand). But, DO NOT BUY a console that is not complete and/or working. And if you buy a Status that is not equipped for dynamic automation, don't believe that you may be able to add this functionality later. You will be VERY hard-pressed to find the necessary card/computer/software being sold separately. As for spare channel strips, these come up on eBay frequently and that is probably the best source for that.


As for sound, these are pretty clean sounding desks. So, not much analog mojo to speak of. But, the sonics are very good (head and shoulders above Mackie and all of that prosumer nonsense). Really, these desks are mostly cool for the automation features. The sonics are good, and won't get in the way for sure. The noise floor is low; distortion is not much of an issue. I can't comment on headroom so much because I've never pushed one of these desks very far. The signal path is quite complex though. Bear in mind that your signal will be traveling through a lot of FET switching by the time it leaves the L-R buss. I've never felt that the sound was lacking, but I probably would track mostly with outboard, as apposed to through the desk, if given the choice. On the mix end, the automation is just totally kick-ass. And honestly, this can really improve your mixes.

OK, as for faders. I have been a tech for a long time. I spent several years working for Midas Consoles of North America, and so I'm quite familiar with VCA's, motorized faders and the advantages of both. Frankly, if you're not a bit of a tech yourself, I would stay away from motorized faders. Sure, they're cool. But, they are super high maintenance. And, they don't actually add any sort of useful functionality.

Another point: buying from a broker has many implications. You likely will not get to see the desk installed and working before purchase. I would say that with the Status and Concept, this is probably not such a good idea. Second, you will pay premium for really no particular benefit.

So, given all of that, I would definitely go for the Concept. Go check it out. If it's working and you like the feature set, go for it! If you're really stuck on moving faders, I suppose I can't talk you out of this. But, as a tech, I would definitely steer you away from them.

Also, the Status was available with and without a built-in patchbay. The patchbay will make install WAY faster. All of the Concepts came with the patchbay though.


Whew... So there's some info for you. Definitely check out Thomas Eaton's website if you can.

Oh, for sonics I'd say it's nothing like a Neve. Possibly similar to the DDA though.

Great answers, right? I love Gearslutz for all the knowledge that's here and the sharing of it. Thanks again Michael!

Musiclab 14th September 2012 01:06 AM

there are a few things in there I would disagree with, first being at this time the best source for knowledge, support and parts is Soren Wittrup at CS Electronics in Chicago, there is NO ONE who knows the Otari Concept and Status consoles better. The other being the moving faders, frankly I find mixing with the moving faders to be a far better way to mix than having to stare at a monitor. I have a C1 with 80 moving faders, yes they are an expense, but at least to me they are worth it. On the C1, you'll either find Diskmix or Eagle, although Diskmix is more common on the C1 and Eagle is what is on the Concept Elite consoles. Although you might find a C1 with Eagle it is more rare. I got my console with Diskmix and Soren had an Eagle system that I bought from him, Eagle has a much finer resolution, and controls more of the console, Diskmix pretty much just does Faders, Mutes and Snapshots. Eagle does Faders, Mutes, Switches, and almost any switch like the eq in and out on a channel or taking an aux in and out. It also has recall whereas Diskmix does not. As far as the sound, I think Michael was pretty right on, it's very clean, with lots of headroom, I think Soren told me the mic pre's on the C1's are discrete, but I could be wrong, I haven't used them yet, I have lot's of nice outboard pres. The eq is supposed to be better on the Concept Elites, on the C1, sometimes it's perfect for the source and sometimes it's REALLY not.

Svens 14th September 2012 07:37 AM

Thanks Lou! Btw, I never said that Michael is the Otari Status/Elite-guru here so no need to "disagree". But he sure does now a lot about them and replied with a lot of useful information which I really appreciate and is worth sharing. I've seen a lot of posts where Soren was mentioned too, all with great credit.

Cheers,
Sven

jkx 19th November 2012 02:16 AM

Thanks for all the info! We bought an otari status (wich i confirm that can work computerless loading from its own hard drive) and it seems to be great, ve'we just need to know it better than ourself now :) To have the working automation i read its needed only a 16550AF UART serial card. A friend of mine told me that serial port parameters are ALL to have a good communication between machines, anyone knows them for our desk? I read all the manuals but i've never found anything about them! Ah, i just thought to share all manuals (elite and status) i've got in pdf considering i had to mail the whole net to have them :) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/edmhcw2xg1a1tnu/jpVo6jDr5W

Musiclab 19th November 2012 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkx (Post 8458968)
Thanks for all the info! We bought an otari status (wich i confirm that can work computerless loading from its own hard drive) and it seems to be great, ve'we just need to know it better than ourself now :) To have the working automation i read its needed only a 16550AF UART serial card. A friend of mine told me that serial port parameters are ALL to have a good communication between machines, anyone knows them for our desk? I read all the manuals but i've never found anything about them! Ah, i just thought to share all manuals (elite and status) i've got in pdf considering i had to mail the whole net to have them :) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/edmhcw2xg1a1tnu/jpVo6jDr5W

the only person who would know is Soren Wittrup.

Svens 25th November 2012 06:09 PM

Wow, thanks a lot jkx! I (and a lot of other people and owners) was looking for this! Awesome!

jkx 26th November 2012 04:42 AM

Added to the DB Folder Diskmix for Concept One and Eagle for Concept Elite. If anyone has the eagle/diskmix/console disk for the status... i'll load them too (and i'll use them for me).

ddageek 26th November 2012 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jkx (Post 8458968)
Thanks for all the info! We bought an otari status (wich i confirm that can work computerless loading from its own hard drive) and it seems to be great, ve'we just need to know it better than ourself now :) To have the working automation i read its needed only a 16550AF UART serial card. A friend of mine told me that serial port parameters are ALL to have a good communication between machines, anyone knows them for our desk? I read all the manuals but i've never found anything about them! Ah, i just thought to share all manuals (elite and status) i've got in pdf considering i had to mail the whole net to have them :) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/edmhcw2xg1a1tnu/jpVo6jDr5W

Thank you just download all the Status stuff, even with a hard copy its nice to have it on the computer!

clearwave 29th November 2012 03:07 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for posting! I bought a Status a couple of months ago. I agree with his assessment of the recall and the sound of the desk.

I haven't tried to get the fader automation to work yet. I've heard the hovernet card is built into the Status so I wouldn't need one of those. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

jkx 6th December 2012 04:59 PM

There's anyone with vca faders (mix and chan path) working on a status desk that can export data from novram and send me the files of the console disk? I can't calibrate mine 'cause for it i've always got an aux pot in the wrong position...

I add that i have a working automation pc right now and it has to be on Win 95, win 98 was stuck on the opening of the right comm port in otari sw. Soon i'll post the Eagle automation floppy.

jkx 11th December 2012 08:35 PM

Uploaded on DB some console floppy v2.1 and eagle automation received from users. Still waiting for some working calib data and novram data.

knobs_faders 22nd March 2013 04:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Finally. Next week I take a trip cross country to pick up my new(used one owner) Otari Concept one 80 with Eagle automation .Work on the control room is almost complete. This is a new studio rebuild after a house fire in 2007 when I lost everything.. Never thought I would rebuild. The Otari will go where the Presonus is now sitting,and still building baffles waiting on delivery of that Corning 703 lol.
Neal

Musiclab 22nd March 2013 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knobs_faders (Post 8869551)
Finally. Next week I take a trip cross country to pick up my new(used one owner) Otari Concept one 80 with Eagle automation .Work on the control room is almost complete. This is a new studio rebuild after a house fire in 2007 when I lost everything.. Never thought I would rebuild. The Otari will go where the Presonus is now sitting,and still building baffles waiting on delivery of that Corning 703 lol.
Neal

If you're talking about a 40 frame 80 input C1, you are going to need more room

Bassmankr 23rd March 2013 02:05 PM

The Otari Concept 1, 40/80 frame desk is 88" (7'-4") wide.

clearwave 29th March 2013 02:14 AM

Does anyone have an Otari Status 18R console with working automation? I have a lovely 18r console and a Windows 98 machine with build 83 eagle software installed.

What do I do next? Some said I need a hovenet card installed in the computer. Some say it already in the console.

knobs_faders 14th April 2013 02:48 AM

Newer Version?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by clearwave (Post 8891758)
Does anyone have an Otari Status 18R console with working automation? I have a lovely 18r console and a Windows 98 machine with build 83 eagle software installed.

What do I do next? Some said I need a hovenet card installed in the computer. Some say it already in the console.

Build 83? I checked mine last night. I have build X82 whats different in Build 83?
still trying to figure out how the Dynamics software works….
there are also 2 groups of switches on the DMM I am trying to Figure out… with assignments?

knobs_faders 14th April 2013 03:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by knobs_faders (Post 8869551)
Finally. Next week I take a trip cross country to pick up my new(used one owner) Otari Concept one 80 with Eagle automation .Work on the control room is almost complete. This is a new studio rebuild after a house fire in 2007 when I lost everything.. Never thought I would rebuild. The Otari will go where the Presonus is now sitting,and still building baffles waiting on delivery of that Corning 703 lol.
Neal

ummm yep It fits:lol:

Rick Sutton 14th April 2013 03:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knobs_faders (Post 8946394)
ummm yep It fits:lol:

Welcome to "Club Otari".

knobs_faders 14th April 2013 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick Sutton (Post 8946400)
Welcome to "Club Otari".

Thanks Rick..

Musiclab 14th April 2013 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knobs_faders (Post 8946346)
Build 83? I checked mine last night. I have build X82 whats different in Build 83?
still trying to figure out how the Dynamics software works….
there are also 2 groups of switches on the DMM I am trying to Figure out… with assignments?

He has a Status console so there may be a different version of the software

clearwave 15th April 2013 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musiclab (Post 8947929)
He has a Status console so there may be a different version of the software

Yes, I have a Status 18r. My understanding is the software version numbers are different between the different Otari models. I have build 83 I'm trying to get to work with my console.

I've recently been told I need windows 95 and windows 98 will not work. I'm gonna give win 95 a shot in the next couple of weeks.

ddageek 15th April 2013 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clearwave (Post 8950738)
Yes, I have a Status 18r. My understanding is the software version numbers are different between the different Otari models. I have build 83 I'm trying to get to work with my console.

I've recently been told I need windows 95 and windows 98 will not work. I'm gonna give win 95 a shot in the next couple of weeks.

build 82 or 83 win 95, version 2 win 98.

Musiclab 16th April 2013 12:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddageek (Post 8950981)
build 82 or 83 win 95, version 2 win 98.

win 98 should work fine

ddageek 16th April 2013 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musiclab (Post 8952143)
win 98 should work fine

You know more than I just quieting my status manual.

clearwave 19th April 2013 04:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Musiclab (Post 8952143)
win 98 should work fine

I discovered today the win 98 does not work with build 83 Eagle software for the Otari Status console. Win 95 does work.

Bassmankr 19th April 2013 03:07 PM

You may just have to configure the com ports in Windows 98 (msconfig). Give Soren a call as he is the guru on Otari.

clearwave 19th April 2013 03:13 PM

Thanks for the suggestion! My system is running fine on 95 so I'll just keep it as is.

For future reference, are you running build 83 Eagle for Status on 98?

Bassmankr 19th April 2013 03:27 PM

Concept One I'm putting together here. Has Win 98 on computer running Eagle which I believe is build 83 but I have not booted up in some time so I'm not rock solid on the build number. I should have things together within a week and will send you a PM with the info.

knobs_faders 24th April 2013 01:05 AM

Eagle Console bootup
 
On Bootup of the Console. while loading
after change refresh interrupt
block transfer trkbrdgt.bin
track assign bridge
RRC?LOAD ERROR BLOCK TRANSFER TRKBRDGT.BIN DONE
BLOCK TRANSFER 11 *CONFIG/QCPS.DAT

What is this Load error?
in the .dat File is B48/40
i have even tried it as B48/48…
its a 40 channel board.
what should this Be?
it is the only error that shows up when Booting up.
I took video of the boot up.If you want to look at what I am talking about..
This console has 2 mini joysticks on the DMM… it loads a joystick.. But still does not work.
I thought I would be able to use the Buss /channel assign Buttons for Routing? Not working…
How Does One know If you have Dynamics? after Eagle Loads.. the Dynamics load, but also do not seem to work?

Musiclab 24th April 2013 03:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by knobs_faders (Post 8977774)
On Bootup of the Console. while loading
after change refresh interrupt
block transfer trkbrdgt.bin
track assign bridge
RRC?LOAD ERROR BLOCK TRANSFER TRKBRDGT.BIN DONE
BLOCK TRANSFER 11 *CONFIG/QCPS.DAT

What is this Load error?
in the .dat File is B48/40
i have even tried it as B48/48…
its a 40 channel board.
what should this Be?
it is the only error that shows up when Booting up.
I took video of the boot up.If you want to look at what I am talking about..
This console has 2 mini joysticks on the DMM… it loads a joystick.. But still does not work.
I thought I would be able to use the Buss /channel assign Buttons for Routing? Not working…
How Does One know If you have Dynamics? after Eagle Loads.. the Dynamics load, but also do not seem to work?

Neal just talk to Soren, he'll get you squared away