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Old 5 days ago
  #1
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Studio Consoles

Hey guys,

I'm a fairly new audio engineer and am looking for a mixer to slot into a studio that I'm setting up. I've done a little research into the Toft ATB 32 but I'm seeing a lot of people on either side regarding this desk. I know it's a bit pricier than most live sound mixers but I'd just prefer an analogue desk as they have been what I've learned my craft on. I know the Toft isn't going to compare super highly against the Neve and SSL desks I've used but I want a few opinions on why I should go for the Toft ATB 32 over any of the cheaper live mixers such as Allen and Heath GL3000 or the Behringer X32 (which I know strays ino the digital domain)?

Thanks again!
Old 5 days ago
  #2
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Don’t get the Toft. The 32 channel is the noisiest one of them all. They’re built to a low price point and after owning it for several years you will really see it. ALL the pots get mega scratchy, the lightbridge starts going out fast, the quality control is really bad on them. Good luck trying to get two adjacent channels set to unity in line in mode without having to run a test tone. The gain pots will be miles apart from eachother.

But really, why do you need a console? Did you go to full sail, berklee or somewhere like that? An SSL or a Neve is for an established commercial studio, not for someone building their first studio or someone starting out. Do yourself a favor and don’t spend a ton of money on a console just because your school had one. You’re probably already in debt from the outrageous tuition they charge at those schools. You’re not going to make a lot of money for years if you’re trying to get into the recording business, so you need to be smart with how you’re going to spend your money. Get a good computer, a really well treated room, some good monitors and a simple but high-end front end so you can track simple stuff. Have the clients hire a commercial space if you need to track drums, grand piano etc... figure out how to get approved to work at those. Don’t try to get it all at once right now and don’t get a sweetwater card and max it out.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
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White Falcon's Avatar
This is the 'new Toft':

Trident 68 Console – Trident Audio Developments

They discontinued the ATBs, and this is the new low cost (well...) console which they promise is built much better than the ATB.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
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Yeah I've read about the issue with the pots scratching and the crosstalk between channels being loud. The reason I'm after a console is due to my workflow being very OTB. I know ITB is just as good nowdays but I just like to see everything in front of me when mixing and even recording. I'm aware that a console isn't necessary but after using the large-format desks so frequently I find that I just output a better mix/product the less I use a mouse and numbers on a plugin and the more when I have faders to ride and EQ pots to turn.

I currently reside in a part of Australia where a fair few musicians travel to and am a SAE graduate. The goal is to eventually start a small business over the next decade or more and am looking at equipment that I won't have to upgrade for a while. I'm already running Avid HDX for that reason. I do agree with acoustic treatment and am looking into that separately.


The Trident 68 looks nice but it's approx 27k AUD for the 24 channel model which is a bit out of my price range unfortunately.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
Totally agree with everything thismercifulfate said.

That said re: Toft. The Trident '68 has less features(mainly eq). I've had a Version 3 Toft 24 going on four years now. If you take care of it (clean faders and pots periodically, keep dust to a minimum etc.). It will treat you right. It blows away the Soundcraft Spirit Studio I ran for ~ 20 years before. If the Toft is in a school or heavy commercial environment, it won't hold up. I'm the only one who uses mine and I only do a small number of projects each year. It's on 8-10 hours a day about five months a year. Channel 10 lights on the meter bridge are out, otherwise it all works great. Not that I'm a great engineer, but you can hear what it sounds by listening to our latest album, link to band site in sig.
Old 4 days ago
  #6
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White Falcon's Avatar
Just had a look at eBay Australia, and this might be a good one until you find something better:

Allen & Heath ZED436 | eBay

I know a couple of people running these as studio consoles, and they sound very good!
Old 4 days ago
  #7
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alanhyatt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by White Falcon View Post
This is the 'new Toft':

Trident 68 Console – Trident Audio Developments

They discontinued the ATBs, and this is the new low cost (well...) console which they promise is built much better than the ATB.

The Trident 68 Series is "not" a Toft Audio replacement. It was designed to be an extremely high end console that meets Tridents criteria for build quality, spec, performance and sound. It is not an extremely rich featured console, but it has everything anyone would need to do a project.

The 68 Series has been placed with very high end beta testers in the UK and the US, and everyone has gone over the top with their response as to how good this console is.

Marcas Lancaster said,"It wasn’t until I got the desk home and got through the horrific procedure of connecting everything (I had no idea how involved this was!) that I fully realized the desk had an actual ‘sound’. With monitors and material I knew well the difference was palpable.
I was shocked (in a very good way) - the sound was flattered, enhanced and somehow more ‘dignified’. I went straight to the eq and meddled intensively. Its effect was rounded, smooth, musical - by that I mean sonically attractive even when applied to extremes.", "I was very impressed to say the least. Visually, the desk impressed. The wood panels, backlit VUs, layout and build quality were all impressive. The EQ sounded 'sweet as'! I basically wanted it."


The Toft Audio was designed to a price, however, it has been a very good 100% analog desk. Did it have it's issues, yes it did, however, it is still used extensively out there with great results. With all due respect, many of the issues out there on Toft was a result of the owners not taking care of it, or improperly grounding it, as well as many mis wired cables and patch bays.

In either case, the new Trident 68 is designed to a quality standard, and as such, it still may be out of some budgets. You just can't get the results you do with the new Trident 68 without spending the money for quality...

For those who do not have the budget, the Toft Audio ATB is closing out it's remaining inventory. We have limited quantities of ATB04M, ATB08M, ATB-16, ATB-24, and ATB-32's. We also have meter bridges.

CLOSEOUT PRICING
ATB04M $1,499.00 - with meter bridge
ATB08M $2,599.00 - with meter bridge
ATB-16 $3,999.00 - with meter bridge
ATB-24 $4,999.00 - with meter bridge
ATB-32 $6,999.00 - with meter bridge

These are final sales...No returns. 90 day warranty...

Quantities are very limited. All consoles are "new", not "B" Stock. You can reach me if you are interested at [email protected]
Old 4 days ago
  #8
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanhyatt View Post
The Toft Audio was designed to a price, however, it has been a very good 100% analog desk. Did it have it's issues, yes it did, however, it is still used extensively out there with great results. With all due respect, many of the issues out there on Toft was a result of the owners not taking care of it, or improperly grounding it, as well as many mis wired cables and patch bays.
With all due and respect in return, you are in the wrong to blame your customers in such a crass and sweeping manner. What kind of a move is that? The fact that you’re discontinuing the ATB line even after multiple revisions speaks for itself. No one in this thread has spoken ill of Trident as a company or about you, Alan. If you can’t handle that fact that real engineers who are using or had to use your product were not satisfied and in significant numbers are reporting the same issues, then maybe you should not get involved in responding to such, as you are representing the company with your careless accusations. Have a good day.
Old 3 days ago
  #9
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FWIW, I bought one of the first ATB24 consoles put out by Toft (sadly one that won't accept the meter bridge) and it's still working flawlessly for me today. I've made many records on it that I'm very happy with. It's not a vintage Neve, but I personally think you'd be hard pressed to get something as good for the money.

Now that said, I am planning an upgrade, possibly to the '68, but the single mid-range EQ is a real bummer for me. One of the reasons I love mixing through a console is to reach up and grab the EQ without having to bring up a plugin, and this is probably going to force a lot more plug-in use.
Old 3 days ago
  #10
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alanhyatt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
With all due and respect in return, you are in the wrong to blame your customers in such a crass and sweeping manner. What kind of a move is that? The fact that you’re discontinuing the ATB line even after multiple revisions speaks for itself. No one in this thread has spoken ill of Trident as a company or about you, Alan. If you can’t handle that fact that real engineers who are using or had to use your product were not satisfied and in significant numbers are reporting the same issues, then maybe you should not get involved in responding to such, as you are representing the company with your careless accusations. Have a good day.
I don't seem to be following your thought here. First, you have no real idea how our call reports read when customers call in with issues, so telling me I blame my customers for all of the Toft short comings is a bit harsh.

The "fact" is, many issues are a direct result of the customer. Spilled beer, soda, water, 2 inches of dust inside the console. Many are incorrect wiring, being the cable or the patch bay, and many issues are improper grounding.

The other fact is, the Toft has had issues along the way for various reasons, and as such, we tried to correct them by updating to new versions to attemp to resolve noise. I have always said the Toft Audio ATB is a great console for the money, despite it's noise floor. I have always said that it sounds great, but have always admitted their faults.

I can tell you many "real" engineers have made multiple hit records with the ATB, and those "real" engineers loved it, despite it's noise floor. I also admit, many "real" engineers had issues, so please do not begin to tell me that I do not speak the truth about the Toft and I do not get involved in responding, when clearly I always respond to customers issues, and when it is the consoles fault, I admit it as happily as when it is not the consoles fault. These are not careless accusations I am making.

No one has spoken ill of Trident, and I have not spoken ill of Toft. Discontinuing the Toft was simply a matter of focusing on one console brand...not two! So please enlighten me by telling me who in significant numbers are reporting the same issues. What specifically is significant numbers?

So, let me enlighten you... We have sold over 10,000 Toft ATB's in some 15 years. About 12% of complaints have been real and legitimate complaints... Yes, 12% is still too high, but that means out of 10,000 sold, 8,800 have been totally satisfied, and are still using them today. Let me further state, anyone who calls in with issues is responded to and assisted by our technical staff...

With all due respect, I hide nothing when it comes to my products, and techs like Eddie Ciletti, Joe Vezzetti, Gary Meyerburg, and other top techs in the USA will tell you the same thing about how we are straight shooters when it comes to our products... I have not been in business for over 41 years because I deceive people about my products.
Old 3 days ago
  #11
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Salty James's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
With all due and respect in return, you are in the wrong to blame your customers in such a crass and sweeping manner. What kind of a move is that? The fact that you’re discontinuing the ATB line even after multiple revisions speaks for itself. No one in this thread has spoken ill of Trident as a company or about you, Alan. If you can’t handle that fact that real engineers who are using or had to use your product were not satisfied and in significant numbers are reporting the same issues, then maybe you should not get involved in responding to such, as you are representing the company with your careless accusations. Have a good day.
umm... Funny, I have personally been to two studios that had Toft ATB's and both had noise from what they thought was the console. Both studios had terrible wiring and grounding schemes that I was able to fix in under an hour. Just totally set up wrong by the studio.

I've only seen 2 ATB's in studios and both of them were EXACTLY as Alan Hyatt said, noisy from bad connections and terrible / nonexistent grounding. Coincidence? Yeah, no.
Old 3 days ago
  #12
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Alan, could you clear up some confusion for me about the 68 console. The Trident website says this about the EQ:
• Selectable high bands at 8k and 12k
• Sweepable High and Low Mids
• Selectable low bands at 60Hz and 120Hz

But the adjacent picture appears to show a sweeping shelving EQ for both low and high, not selectable. Which is correct? Or am I misunderstanding what is meant by the Selectable lines?
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