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Fletcher: Small Console Recomendation... Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 19th December 2002
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Curve Dominant's Avatar

Thread Starter
Fletcher: Small Console Recomendation...

Uhhh...analog, of course (!!).

Preferably with "glowey things" inside, but not exclusively.

Say you were forced to produce with a Digi001 (provided of course there were enough guys with guns pointed at your head).

The 001's got 8 analog inputs and 8 analog outputs. So you could use this small board to record into, or mix out from, the 001, or both.

Do you (or anyone else please feel free to chime in) have some recommendations (new or vintage) ??

Thanks in advance.
Old 19th December 2002
Gear addict
CrazyBeast's Avatar

Hate to tell ya - but this seems to be a holy grail type thing.

There was a decent thread here:

not too long ago. It's something we all want and a glaring market opportunity methinks...
Old 19th December 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I can't think of too many tube consoles until it gets either really old, really expensive or both. Consoles are kind of a personal thing, you get the one that sounds good and has the features you need. Sometimes the features are more important then the sound, that's why things like the D8B exist. I can recommened consoles for $1K, $6K and $500K. See where this is going?
Old 19th December 2002
Lives for gear
Knox's Avatar

I read a good review of a small frame TL Audio desk. It was fairly cheap for a tube console. NOT the big TL Tube desk . . . something else. It was in some trade rag recently. Don't know how many inputs you are looking for or if they are linkable.
Old 19th December 2002
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Curve Dominant's Avatar

Thread Starter

I'm not totally adverse to the prospect of designing/building a fresh console. Could be fun.
Old 19th December 2002
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Curve Dominant's Avatar

Thread Starter
That would be the TLA M3. 16/2. Lists for around $3500. Yeah, I saw that piece too, kinda tempting, but I haven't demo'd it yet, and don't know anyone who has.

I'm imagining something that is ultra-basic on features, but way big on sound. An "anti-D8B" if you will.

Figure you got all the "features" you need in the PT edit and mix windows. Now, you want to mix out that audio and amplify it with some nice warm chocolatey tube-driven harmonic distortion.

Same deal recording into the 001: A small yet fat, warm, fierce-sounding little console to track with. Something you can push aggressively, abusively... maximum rock & roll, nome sayn?

That's what I'm looking for.
Old 19th December 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
It's not a tube piece, but Neotek series 1 consoles can be pretty affordable. They were made in many sizes. Neotek stuff sounds great.
Old 19th December 2002
Check out the Inward Connections MP-820

It can be configured in any way you want. Everyone that has one has been raving about it.

But i will tell you that its not cheap.tut
(this ain't your brothers mackie).heh

If money is not an object with you, than I would really check it out.

That's really the bottomn line. That is why you don't see a lot of new "smaller consoles". They are too expensive to build and everyone wants different features.

And no one wants to pay for it.
Old 19th December 2002
I'm in to about my third month researching this topic.
I've been looking for the right console and I've got the money ready to go.
Various forums and their members and people like Fletcher have been a great help. Any more info I can get from this thread would also be a helpful addition.
It's all down to personal taste I guess but I'll input where I am up to from the perspective of someone looking for a flavour to go between my drum set up and DAW (Pro Tools HD).
I think the most affordable choices are 'used'. Of course that can bring with it extra maintenance hassles.
In the 'new' category my top pick would be Daking. However that's way over my budget. Good things have been said about both Manley and Inward Connections. I'd like to have a console with eq however - I think IC make an eq module but it just adds to the already pretty steep RRP. While we're on the subject, I can't believe that TAB console is $10,000, nice as it looks.
Something similar (vintage) can be had from EAB (German tube consoles). They usually run less than $10,000 depending on the number of channels. EAB has been described as like having V72 inputs and Pultec eq. I'm told it is a very particular quality and not suitable for all applications.
My top used picks would be Helios or Api 1604.
Again both out of my price range. Misty Hill Audio has some REALLY nice small Helios for around $30,000. Api's tend to run in the high $20,000's - close to $30k. You can sometimes find a cheaper beat up one, a major restoration project. Still there is plenty of documentation and there are always loose '500' modules available on Ebay.
So where does that leave us....
I wont even talk about Neve. You are paying a premium for the 'N'. I've seen beat up broadcast consoles with crappy (IMHO) 2 band eq going for $5k plus.
I'm not convinced by Neotek although the overwhelming opinion around the net is that they are great.
Studer gets a nod from a lot of people. You get a lot of bang for your buck and it's good quality kit. I decided it was a bit vanilla for me. I'm probably being too prejudiced.
Of the used brands, that leaves Quad Eight, Calrec, Trident and Raindirk as the closest contenders for high end lust factor.
I wouldn't personally touch the later models by these companies. I'm told the QE 248 is full of chips. Calrec still make digital consoles, primarily for broadcast and theatre. The Trident 65 and Flexmix were cheaper lines and weren't comparible with the 80 series or even the 24. The early Raindirk consoles were very similar to Helios (even some sporting the A&D F760 compressor which can be worth $2,000 on it's own) and are definitely sleeper consoles. There is a 40ch Raindirk (Helios type) console on Ebay right now, starting bid at $15,000. It came out of Olympic Studios, so it has to be good IMO.
A vintage dealer just said to me I should forget vintage consoles (which are declining in value in his opinion), buy a Sony digital (the cheaper one) and load my studio with tasty outboard. Don't think I agree with him but that's another approach.
Old 19th December 2002
I forgot to say.....
I haven't heard anything good about the TLA mixer.
Muddy (and not in a good way) was the vibe I got from a couple of sources.
Also, extra console discussion can be had at:
Old 19th December 2002
And another thing

You can tell I've been obsessed with this the last few months.
I shouldn't have recommended the 40ch Raindirk as it's not going to be the ideal SMALL console.
Obviously there are small EAB (valve), Helios, Neve (broadcast & sidecar), Api (1604) and Raindirk consoles out there.
With Trident, Calrec, Quad Eight and Neve (again) you are either looking at a cheaper large format desk or a chopped off sidecar.
Finally, someone recommended the new Api 1u strips such as the 7600, 7800 and 8200 as an alternative to a console.
Old 19th December 2002
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Why toobs?

I've been into old Yomama sound reinforcement desks for a while now... they're kinda like real consoles [class A / discrete electronics, lots of nice sounding transformers, etc.], but people are just about giving the damn things away these days.
Old 19th December 2002
First off, get another 8 out via the light pipe



And a 2 ch quality input via SPDIF


Now you have an 18 in 16 out DAW with 2 x primo input to do all overdubs via and 8 also cool inputs for say a drum kit / live set up (RME or Lucid 8 ch unit),

Note: summing 8 ch only makes it hard to 'get your hands on' much individually in the analog realm.

Then look for a 16ch desk you can afford,

Allen & Heath Mix Wizard is affordable use it for

Mix down touch up eq & summing

Buy a seperate high quality stereo pre and dont expect it from your console or you will chase your tail for ever.. Unless you buy a spendy vintage Neve side car style desk that is..

Old 19th December 2002
Lives for gear
subspace's Avatar
It appears to me you're describing the Manley 8+8 here, maybe one of the moderators has tried one? 8 channels of mic pres to track with, and 8 channels of line inputs to monitor through, with a tube 2 bus. Plus, you get an aux send on the line inputs that'll do a separate cue mix.
If you don't need the mic pres and the monitoring channels available simultaneously, Cranesong makes an 8x2 mixer that has nice pres, as well as A/D converters that do a little tape warming trick of their own. It's not toobs, I know, but you might be able to get by with it instead.
On the vintage side, the API 1604, Neve 5315, Trident Trimix, etc. are small consoles with good pres, but they aren't really minimalistic. They have EQ, sends, and bussing, just less than their larger kin. The new "summing consoles" are kind of a different thing altogether, which is what you said you were after, no?
Old 19th December 2002
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar

When you're done tracking, you can use all 16 inputs as line inputs... you still only have 8 aux sends on the 'fully line input' channels, but you can use all 16 inputs in "mix" mode... of 14 or 15 inputs when doing overdubs [and using the unit's internal mic amps].
Old 19th December 2002
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atticus's Avatar
I agree with the Manley 16x2 call, but I'd grab a better clock to tighten up those 001 converters. If you don't the Manley mixer might be offendedheh
Old 19th December 2002
Gear addict
CrazyBeast's Avatar

Yeah, to make this setup work you really need a good 2 ch spdif and 8 ch lightpipe. Takes the 001 out of the equation more or less.
Old 19th December 2002
Lives for gear

Gotta say - I've started using the eq on my Ghost again. It rocks. Can't say much for the rest of the board. The mic pres are mediocre at best. I don't recommend this board but the eq is great.
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