The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Digital vs Analogue Console
Old 10th May 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Digital vs Analogue Console

Hi guys...

I m building a studio and I have 2 different thoughts:

1. Audient ASP 4816 with Universal Audio Apollo x16 on a mac with logic pro, with some pres, compressors and effects

2. Presonus StudioLive 64S on mac with studio one 4, with pres, compressors and effects...

I like the analogue thought but I have somehow been affected from some great stuff that presonus can do.

I need your opinion. What would you choose?
Thanks in advance
Old 10th May 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Showcase's Avatar
 

We are all artist, no one here can tell you what tools you paint the best picture with is.
Old 11th May 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Sure!

... But I m asking for opinions.
Old 11th May 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

The Presonus 64 and Studio Live 1/4 is an amazing looking combo.

Towards the end of the year I am considering this myself.

I already have S1 just sitting there. Havent used it for years but I may have to get back in the box soon.

I have some synths and Tascam DP32 at the moment but sometimes use my friends studio with MCI console and all the best microphones.

Sometimes its better to bite the bullet and get product out into the wild instead of procrastinating between midi and committing to audio.

The 4816 is a little more expensive but analogue and nice to add outboard with some good convertors.

Nonetheless it all goes digital in the end.

Cheers
Old 11th May 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the answer nickknack. That' s true...

What confuses me is that:

with 4816 you have great quallity preamps (even if you don't use external pres ) and eq, flexibility to choose software (I use logic ) and flexibility on choosing audio interface. (eg Universal Audio Apollo x16).


with Presonus StudioLive 64S you have more inputs (you have to use external pres for sure), more flexibility, moving faders, great accessories like (presonus EarMix 16M), but you have a digital eq, an embeded usb 2.0 audio interface that I' m not so sure about their quallity when compared with 4816 and I think you have to use studio one (if you want to be 100% compatible) ...

Very difficult choice...
Old 11th May 2019
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
mike-661's Avatar
For an all analog solution the 4816 is a great little desk. I had one in one of my small rooms when it first came out. The preamps were nice, the build quality was good, the summing was good. The bus compressor was sonically a tad too aggressive for my taste. If it had automation or recall it'd be a KILLER desk!

If you use outboard in mixing it's a no brainer that you should have an analog desk. Ultimately I ended up with an SSL Matrix in that "small room" and couldn't be happier! (I personally would NEVER use the Presonus in one of my rooms, YMMV)
Old 11th May 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Not sure if the pres on the live 64 can be bypassed.

Presonus pres and convertors are getting better by the year.

The 64 is one hell of a looking console.

Cheers
Old 11th May 2019
  #8
Here for the gear
 

mike never thought for a matrix2. it looks an excellent choice even if it is somehow “old”, thanks.

Even if presonus can bypass the xmax pres (nick, it can), I ve never saw it in a pro studio before.

I m not sure about it’s interface converters quality and the quality of built in EQ.

I m thinking

Vocalist -> u87 -> vt737 and then;
presonus interface recording and edit with built in eq?

Where this gem will be stored and edited. Is it in good hands or not?
Old 11th May 2019
  #9
SRS
Lives for gear
 
SRS's Avatar
 

SSL just came out recently with the Six. It's analog, however pretty small and affordable. I have a SSL XL Desk and love the analog chain. Couldn't be happier. I also use Apollo 16s and a Mac with either Logic or Pro Tools, as you've mentioned looking at.
Old 11th May 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kztest View Post
Hi guys...

I m building a studio and I have 2 different thoughts:

1. Audient ASP 4816 with Universal Audio Apollo x16 on a mac with logic pro, with some pres, compressors and effects

2. Presonus StudioLive 64S on mac with studio one 4, with pres, compressors and effects...

I like the analogue thought but I have somehow been affected from some great stuff that presonus can do.

I need your opinion. What would you choose?
Thanks in advance
Sorry to be blunt but I find these kinds of uber-vague "I'm building a studio" type-questions absolutely bizarre when there's such a phenomenal amount of context so obviously lacking from your first post.
  • There's no reference to what you plan to record and how
  • There's no reference to the studio space you are building/moving into
  • There's no reference to what you know and what you seek in terms of sound or workflow other than some very generalised assumptions
  • There's no reference to gear you've actually worked with before - your personal experiences, preferences etc
  • There's no reference to any previous research you've done on this or any other sites, indeed you've just registered specifically to post this in the High End Forum
  • There's no reference to your budget
  • There's no reference to specific features you know you are going to need in your studio for the work you do
  • There's no reference to who you think your clients will be
  • There's no reference to your business plan
Given that all this is so spectacularly lacking, I have to ask the inevitable... is this a hypothetical college assignment?

To me it's almost unthinkable that someone would actually go out and spend $16,000 on a thoroughly professional high-ticket item like an Audient 4816 console to use vaguely with "with some pres, compressors and effects" without having conducted some seriously in-depth practical assessment as to whether this desk meets all of your working/routing/size/I-O count/business criteria, and with full reference to other available options at that price point, ideally that you've already mixed several albums on or assisted people who have.

Then again, maybe there is some sort of parallel universe - other than on an exam paper - where this is quite normal. I dunno.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 14th May 2019 at 02:05 PM..
Old 11th May 2019
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
As digital technology changes, and software makers find different things to focus on, an analog console will pretty easily still be able to integrate to interfaces and software. A digital console has a finite shelf life.
Old 11th May 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
stevelindsay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
As digital technology changes, and software makers find different things to focus on, an analog console will pretty easily still be able to integrate to interfaces and software. A digital console has a finite shelf life.
Exactly, this was my reason for installing a 4816 into my studio rather than a digital console. A fine analog console will always be a fine analog console; a fine digital console will be a fine digital console until it is superseded by newer protocols etc.
Old 11th May 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Or you can still get a Mara Machines fully restored MCI 24 track tape machine for less than $ 9000

Cheers
Old 12th May 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Sorry to be a bit cynical but I find these kinds of uber-vague "I'm building a studio" type-questions absolutely bizarre when there's such a phenomenal amount of context so obviously lacking from your first post.
  • There's no reference to what you plan to record and how
  • There's no reference to the studio space you are building/moving into
  • There's no reference to what you know and what you seek in terms of sound or workflow other than some very generalised assumptions
  • There's no reference to gear you've actually worked with before - your personal experiences, preferences etc
  • There's no reference to any previous research you've done on this or any other sites, indeed you've just registered specifically to post this in the High End Forum
  • There's no reference to your budget
  • There's no reference to specific features you know you are going to need in your studio for the work you do
  • There's no reference to who you think your clients will be
  • There's no reference to your business plan
Given that all this is so spectacularly lacking, I have to ask the inevitable... is this a hypothetical college assignment?

To me it's almost unthinkable that someone would actually go out and spend $16,000 on a thoroughly professional high-ticket item like an Audient 4816 console to use vaguely with "with some pres, compressors and effects" without having conducted some seriously in-depth practical assessment as to whether this desk meets all of your working/routing/size/I-O count/business criteria, and with full reference to other available options at that price point, ideally that you've already mixed several albums on or assisted people who have.

Then again, maybe there is some sort of parallel universe - other than on an exam paper - where this is quite normal. I dunno.


Dear James, thit is my first time posting in a forum, so I kinda feel that I m receiving some bad reactions here. You know, I m starting to taking it a little bit serious because I m not a bot, a spammer or a business rep that wants to take advantage and promote his job. The truth is that I m not aiming to be a forums admin or moderator. I don’t even know If I want to be an active member that will react to any post forever. I just want to give it a try!!!

You are right! I ve quickly red the rules, but I thought that for such a general question (comparison of two mixing desks) there was no need to introduce my existence in so much depth! Maybe I should have avoided the uber-vague type questions and go straight to the point?

Anyway, I m really sorry for breaking the rules and let me introduce my self and what i want.

I don’t have the studio yet. I m currently collecting equipment and gear. I m doing research and plans, I have a 200 sqm basement still in concrete and my budget is about 150000€ for the equipment (including instruments). My initial plan is 30% completed... Calculations report that I need 3 years or more.

I m planning to record from jazz to heavy. I will have 1 vocal booth 1 live room and a cr.. I m also thinking of having a rehearsing room for bands.

I ve studied sound engineering 20 years ago and worked in a big pro studio for 3 years as a sound engineer. Then I changed my mind and profession so it is not what i do for living right now (I own a software development company). I love sound engineering, so now that I have money, I m spending time to refresh and enrich my knowledge. I see it as a hobby which will might grow to a second business in the future.

I’ve used Analogue mixers with tapes or audio interfaces, digital mixers, adats, compressors, limiters, eqs, effects, daws, macs pcs, microphones etc... but only for a small period (about 3 years). For that reason I don’t have many personal preferences!!! I use logic I love macs and I think I prefere analogue summing.

Sorry but I don’t get what you mean with that: “There's no reference to any previous research you've done on this or any other sites, indeed you've just registered specifically to post this in the High End Forum”

I’m doing research about acoustics, instruments, and studio gear for many years, in many forums, music stores and books... Do you want me to reference all of those ? Sometimes you need to ask experts using their language, in order to confirm that your thoughts are right!!! I didn't know that first you have to explain how you know their language. That’s what i did. I ve searched this forum trying to find a case exactly like mine, but I didn’t, so I did the post. As i said, it is my first post on a forum.

Ok and here comes the other part I can’t get:
“There's no reference to who you think your clients will be”
I think I ll record from, my group, dream theater, slayer, vinnie colaiuta, dave weckl, madonna and Bruno Mars to the best artist out there. Why this is relevant?

“There's no reference to your business plan”
I don’t have an official business plan (actually I have but it is incomplete), but even if i had a corporate business plan, I would share it only with an investor or a bank. Why this is relevant too..?

I don’t know if these answers your question for the hypothetical assignment, but let’s assume for a while that this post is for a hypothetical assignment... Again I can’t find something wrong. As long it is not violating definitions, trough discussion, it can serve people with knowledge. I think that this is the main purpose of forums and internet blogs. no?

And for the last part. Excuse me but I don’t know what is your relationship with exams and parallel universe. For me it is all about how you see things and judgment, but this is another topic that we can discuss in another forum if you like.

Or let me give you this quick exam:
Please read the case bellow:
-you can spent 80000$ for a car.
-I can barely spent 2000$.
-you are just an enthusiast.
-I m an automobile expert and a high skilled driver.

Is there a rule or a law, that forbids you to ask me questions about your choice? (eg diesel or gas, manual transmition or auto)

my answer:
If there is a law or a rule, then it is in a parallel universe! In reality
I m here to correct you, to the points i think you are wrong and suggest you things, because I have the knowledge. I m the expert and I see that you have the opportunity to learn and use my experience to make the correct choice and buy your new car!!!

I don’t want to promote my self by telling you what i ve done so far and thinks like that, but please believe me. I’m smart enough to know my needs and especially to administer my budged!
Even if I m not, I think you are here to protect me and not to judge me. And If you 're doing that (protecting me) you are definately doing it wrong!!!


Thanks for your time (definately wasted with off topic conversations).
Old 12th May 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 

It’s never as simple as just comparing two products. Without context you simply can not make a determination, let alone if the two products are the only or best options available. Next, now with the context of home basement studio yet to build out and budget you can narrow some of the choices. Now with the context of a three year build out time you have to consider there will be other options yet to appear and given buying new digital and its extreme depreciation rate that other options will be present in the future that may make more sense to wait. Next is the context of how many people will you be recording at one time and from there how many tracks will you be mixing to determine channel counts and converters needed, and at what sample rate? Etc. etc. etc.

Even with legitimate inquiries (we get more than our fair share of covert marketing and student homework), context is a very important element to getting useful practical answers. No rules but if you want a decent answer you are seeing what needs to be considered first.
Old 12th May 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kztest View Post
...I like the analogue thought but I have somehow been affected from some great stuff that presonus can do...
in 2019, i wouldn't buy any analog console anymore and i strongly recommend getting a digital console!

i can't see any of the "great stuff" on a presonus though...

do yourself a favour and compare it to almost any other digital console, old and new, within your budget - even without knowing your specific needs, i'm pretty sure you can find a better tool.

[owner of large analog consoles for 35+ years and (even larger) digital consoles for close to 20 years here]
Old 12th May 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
I would only buy an analog console.

Your DAW is your digital console.
Old 12th May 2019
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
It’s never as simple as just comparing two products. Without context you simply can not make a determination, let alone if the two products are the only or best options available. Next, now with the context of home basement studio yet to build out and budget you can narrow some of the choices. Now with the context of a three year build out time you have to consider there will be other options yet to appear and given buying new digital and its extreme depreciation rate that other options will be present in the future that may make more sense to wait. Next is the context of how many people will you be recording at one time and from there how many tracks will you be mixing to determine channel counts and converters needed, and at what sample rate? Etc. etc. etc.

Even with legitimate inquiries (we get more than our fair share of covert marketing and student homework), context is a very important element to getting useful practical answers. No rules but if you want a decent answer you are seeing what needs to be considered first.
That’s a very legit and decent answer and thank you very much for your interest... I really appreciate it.

I know that think about 3 year build, I was somehow waiting answers like analogue never dies etc, but it is time to open my mind!

I want to be able to record at least 16 channels simultaneously so I need an interface with 24inputs and 24 outputs and a mixer that can handle them...
Old 12th May 2019
  #19
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
in 2019, i wouldn't buy any analog console anymore and i strongly recommend getting a digital console!

i can't see any of the "great stuff" on a presonus though...

do yourself a favour and compare it to almost any other digital console, old and new, within your budget - even without knowing your specific needs, i'm pretty sure you can find a better tool.

[owner of large analog consoles for 35+ years and (even larger) digital consoles for close to 20 years here]
Thanks for the reply. Can you please suggent an audient 4816 digital alternative?
Old 12th May 2019
  #20
Gear Maniac
tldr: definitely digital

I'm a very old, out-of-practice [but working on it] musician who's been engaged primarily in software development for the past 20+ years. In an effort to reenter music [primarily composition], I've been putting a fortune into high-end gear.

Interestingly, a console is not yet even on my list of items to acquire. I would have thought the opposite a couple years back. But, I've mostly adopted an ITB approach. Now, clearly this kind of thinking isn't going to fit everyone's workflow, requirements and aspirations.

However, I would rather see something like a Sound Devices Scorpio [seems I've been pimping that in almost every post I write lately] with 'trivial controllers' like the icon - than a traditional console [analog or digital]. [1]

This, along with DAD AX-32s [or MTRX, if you find you have to support Pro Tools] is the most compelling architectural backbone for building out capabilities of humble studios that I see. The Scorpio may ship by the end of June or so?

There should be more, but here are three points:
  • It is a trivial build-out, comparatively speaking.
  • It won't fit in your back pocket; but you could actually get on an airplane with it - very mobile.
  • Video is becoming a critical requirement for all business sectors, and the Scorpio will support sound for video and film production at the highest levels. While this path requires additional knowledge and equipment, it is not an impossible leap.

For me everything between the mic-pre limiters and speaker amps is digital. I even use Dante.

Go digital, definitely digital.


Best wishes for your success,

Ray H.

Footnote [1]: As a software engineer, this separation of concerns between the controller and mixer reflects a generally more attractive architectural approach for me.
Old 12th May 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 

as others have pointed out, you may not need a desk (analog or digital) to record, mix or master music; i guess most people get away with an interface and a daw.

i'm recording all different genre, mix live, in the studio, for broadcasts, theater, dance: no way of not using a console! also, large digital consoles have features you will not find in any daw (physical inputs, bus count, routing options etc.) and vice versa.

hard to suggest any digital desk: maybe ring up a large rental company in your area and ask them whether you might sit down on some of their desks at their warehouse? check out models from yamaha, soundcraft, allen&heath, digico, midas: they all have something nice to offer (and imo by far outperform presonus in any regard).
Old 12th May 2019
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
tldr: definitely digital

I'm a very old, out-of-practice [but working on it] musician who's been engaged primarily in software development for the past 20+ years. In an effort to reenter music [primarily composition], I've been putting a fortune into high-end gear.

Interestingly, a console is not yet even on my list of items to acquire. I would have thought the opposite a couple years back. But, I've mostly adopted an ITB approach. Now, clearly this kind of thinking isn't going to fit everyone's workflow, requirements and aspirations.

However, I would rather see something like a Sound Devices Scorpio [seems I've been pimping that in almost every post I write lately] with 'trivial controllers' like the icon - than a traditional console [analog or digital]. [1]

This, along with DAD AX-32s [or MTRX, if you find you have to support Pro Tools] is the most compelling architectural backbone for building out capabilities of humble studios that I see. The Scorpio may ship by the end of June or so?

There should be more, but here are three points:
  • It is a trivial build-out, comparatively speaking.
  • It won't fit in your back pocket; but you could actually get on an airplane with it - very mobile.
  • Video is becoming a critical requirement for all business sectors, and the Scorpio will support sound for video and film production at the highest levels. While this path requires additional knowledge and equipment, it is not an impossible leap.

For me everything between the mic-pre limiters and speaker amps is digital. I even use Dante.

Go digital, definitely digital.


Best wishes for your success,

Ray H.

Footnote [1]: As a software engineer, this separation of concerns between the controller and mixer reflects a generally more attractive architectural approach for me.
Great suggestions Ray, Thanks.
Old 13th May 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
A control surface that records automation is the key. Good trasports buttons. Good punch in scheem, Good track arming system. This from the perspective of recording live mic tracks. If you are speding your time creating with softsynths, loops, etc. different software will fit the bill.

Pick a control surface. I went for the nucleus. The presonis control surface does not look bad.
Old 13th May 2019
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
as others have pointed out, you may not need a desk (analog or digital) to record, mix or master music; i guess most people get away with an interface and a daw.

i'm recording all different genre, mix live, in the studio, for broadcasts, theater, dance: no way of not using a console! also, large digital consoles have features you will not find in any daw (physical inputs, bus count, routing options etc.) and vice versa.

hard to suggest any digital desk: maybe ring up a large rental company in your area and ask them whether you might sit down on some of their desks at their warehouse? check out models from yamaha, soundcraft, allen&heath, digico, midas: they all have something nice to offer (and imo by far outperform presonus in any regard).
True.. I like the way daws work and i like the controller concept too, but in my case i need those physical inputs, routing, monitoring etc, too!!

The only digital console I ve used for a while was a tascam tm-d8000 in 2006. I was very happy with the functionality back then!

The problem is that I’m having difficulties finding a digital console that takes 24 or more inputs from line level signal (bypassing the onboard preamps) except studio live 64s and Allen & Heath Qu 24.

Also there are some other factors like the quality of their interface. How can I compare presonus or allen intergraded interface with for example apollo or prism titan l interfaces.
Old 13th May 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kztest View Post
...The problem is that I’m having difficulties finding a digital console that takes 24 or more inputs from line level signal (bypassing the onboard preamps) except studio live 64s and Allen & Heath Qu 24.

Also there are some other factors like the quality of their interface. How can I compare presonus or allen intergraded interface with for example apollo or prism titan l interfaces.
maybe you're overthinking things regarding the inputs: newer digital desks can take mic or line level inputs on their 'mic' inputs; it's just a different gain setting before the signals hit the a/d converter (although i do have line level input cards for my modular studer i/o rack, i'm not using them but the mic cards...)

but the thing that makes me wonder is this: do you want a digital desk for convenience (like saving you an external patch bay, store/recall options etc.) and have some analog outboard hooked up? if so, i suggest you might rethink your setup: imo the whole purpose of having a digital desk (or an interface/daw/controller and a maybe a speaker controller) is to convert to digital once and then keep things in the digital domain! - if not, then i'd stay analog and only convert the final mix to digital (possibly much more expensive/time consuming).

not much of a fan of 'hybrid' setups... (and analog summing imo is highly overrated: i actually prefer the digital summing of my studer over analog summing of my mci)



p.s. comparing desks is probably easier than comparing interfaces - i'd go with rme though...
Old 13th May 2019
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
but the thing that makes me wonder is this: do you want a digital desk for convenience (like saving you an external patch bay, store/recall options etc.) and have some analog outboard hooked up?
Exactly !!! My case is problematic because lucky or not i ve started with an inheritance.

I currently have:

Pres:
API Audio 3124V
Grace Design M101
2xUniversal Audio Solo 610
Full API Audio 500VPR with 2xGreat River MP-500NV, AMS Neve 1073LB, API Audio 512c, Chandler Limited TG2

Compressors:
2 x ART Pro MPA II
2 x Warm Audio WA-2A
1 x API Audio 2500
------

So I have to:
Sell them, burn them, kill them and go digital
or
Keep them and go hybrid
or
Keep them and go analog....

What would you do?
Old 13th May 2019
  #27
Lives for gear
 

you got some nice gear (especially pres)!

i'd buy a couple of good converters and connect to whatever (digital) gear you'll decide working with. i'd go madi or possibly dante these days; the rme digiface dante does both... - if you go the dante way, you can skip the rme!

[i personally prefer dedicated gear (pres, comps, eqs, converters, desk etc.) with specific functions over integrated solutions (interfaces) as it allows for swapping gear more easily without bringing down the whole system (unless you get a really powerful broadcast desk with lots of interfacing options - which is what i'm using, so maybe you better get some advice from folks using more conventional setups)]
Old 13th May 2019
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i'd buy a couple of good converters and connect to whatever (digital) gear you'll decide working with. i'd go madi or possibly dante these days; the rme digiface dante does both... - if you go the dante way, you can skip the rme!
Not familiar with separate interface, dac and adc. So for 24 line level signal comming from preamps inputs:
instead of using TB Universal Audio Apollo x16 + TB Universal Audio Apollo x8p
you think that it would be better to use RME M-32 AD Pro + RME M-32 DA Pro + RME Digiface Dante (as interface connected with usb to my macs daw eg logic?)...

Is this last setup correct?
Old 13th May 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kztest View Post
...you think that it would be better to use RME M-32 AD Pro + RME M-32 DA Pro + RME Digiface Dante (as interface connected with usb to my macs daw eg logic?)...
this - or any other adda converter of choice which converts to madi and/or dante. i like the rme converters (and use a qsm-8 myself), often prefer my studer and equphonix converters though; other folks use apogee, focusrite, lavry, lynx, dad etc.
Old 13th May 2019
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
this - or any other adda converter of choice which converts to madi and/or dante.
Great info... Thank you so much for your time! I ll consider this for sure!!!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump
Forum Jump