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Any analog-like digital mixer?
Old 1st August 2020
  #1
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Any analog-like digital mixer?

From years we mainly use digital mixers. Well, they are very good and so flexible, they have many features, they sound great (well, not all.....), they are digital! But they are not so easy to use like good old analog boards. I remember when each button was used for only one function. And one knob, one level. And so on. For me, no comparison with any touch screen operation. So, my question (maybe a little bit stupid): does exist a digital mixer working more or less like an analog one? I'm afraid it does not, but maybe I'm missing something.
I'm a visually impaired person, so I choose X32 for my home studio due to its accessibility options. No touch screen in it. Also, I found many useful utilities to control all board options via OSC commands and perform more operations, so I have no problem to use my desk, but only via networked computer and not directly from console panel. For me, only main features are available through the mixer panel: faders, channel selections, send out, but not effect section for example.
Some months ago I thought going back to analog, buying a good old Mackie 3204VLZ4, but it would be a bad downgrade I'm afraid, so I decided to keep my X32.
So, if a digital analog-like board would available, it could be a very good choice. Some years ago I saw a Presonus board (maybe from Studiolive series) with very few display related controls, but probably it is discontinued now.
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Old 1st August 2020
  #2
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DirkP's Avatar
Not enough channels for you I guess, but the Model 12 from Tascam - unlike the Model 16 and 24 a digital mixer, but with the same controls - fits the bill.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #3
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Depending on your budget and how many channels, Wheatstone makes some very nice consoles. Though designed for broadcast use, the L8, L-12, L-16, LX-24 and LXE series come with some very powerful features and very much mimic analog consoles.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #4
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Thank you so much for your very kind replies. I need, more or less, the same number of channels and buses as in my actual Behringer X32, so 32 channels, 16 buses, and some additional aux ins/outs. Yes I know Tascam boards, but unfortunately channel number is not enough for me. I never seen Wheatstone boards. Just visited web page now but I suspect they are TOTALLY out of my budget (around €3000 or 4000, absolutely under €5000). Any additional idea would be really appreciated. Thank you again.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #5
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Have a look at the Korg hybrid mixer.

https://www.korg.com/au/products/drs...1608/index.php

Hope that helps.

Cheers
Old 2nd August 2020
  #6
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Sound interesting. And it is really new (July 2020).
I would need something a little bit bigger. Do you know if a bigger model is planned by Korg? Maybe any 32 or 48 channels with more buses? Thanks.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #7
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loujudson's Avatar
I'm always recommending my favorite mixer, as analog-like as you will find - Allen & Heath Qu series. 16, 24, or 32 channels. It has a touchscreen but you can almost ignore it most of the time. You just have to get used to one set of controls selectd for one channel at a time. It is MUCH simpler and more intelligently designed that the X-32, I know because I have Qu mixer in my own system but am forced to use X32 at a venue. Read the manual and you might like it!

https://www.allen-heath.com/key-series/qu-series/
Old 2nd August 2020
  #8
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Yes, I evaluated Qu-32 when I bought my X32 two years ago. But I discarded it due to touch screen. I will read the user manual, sure.
Could you please tell me which operations require touch screen usage? In X32, as you know, most operation are display based, although it has no touch screen but for me it is similar (cannot see any LCD display). Do you think that in Allen & Heat more operations have independent controls and knobs? Thanks.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #9
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loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superpiano View Post
Yes, I evaluated Qu-32 when I bought my X32 two years ago. But I discarded it due to touch screen. I will read the user manual, sure.
Could you please tell me which operations require touch screen usage? In X32, as you know, most operation are display based, although it has no touch screen but for me it is similar (cannot see any LCD display). Do you think that in Allen & Heat more operations have independent controls and knobs? Thanks.
Well, you do need the touch screen for routing ins and outs, and things like that. The big difference for me is when you select a channel, you get all the controls, input gain, lo cut, EQ (frequency, Q, and amount), all together on the front panel.

With the X32, one has to select each function separately, many more button pushes. But this doesn't seem to bother most people. It just isn't at all "analog-like" for me in the slightest.

I also have a lingering prejudice against Behry from way back in the 90s, everything they make I try to avoid.
Old 2nd August 2020
  #10
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So, your prejudice against Berry was right but only in the past. I had an old board around 15 years ago in which most knobs and buttons failed after few years. It was a big disaster. However, today it is totally different. No problem with my X32, and it seems that many many people are satisfied using these latest generation boards.
Anyway, if touch screen is needed for routing, probably Qu-32 would not solve my problem I'm afraid.
Anyone know a very reliable and flexible, totally analog board? As I mentioned earlier, just evaluated Mackie 3204VLZ4, but it is too old, having only 4 buses (16 in X32), and I'm not sure about knobs reliability in long time. Is there any other possible choice? Obviously my main idea remains the same as in thread title: a digital board running as an analog one. But I understand that I'm asking too much. Thanks.
Old 3rd August 2020
  #11
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Otari and Euphonix had digitally controlled analog consoles that now sell used in your price range. The digital part just controls functions and analog audio is never is converted in them. Their manuals are downloadable to learn more.

There are former top dog digital live desks that at least here in the US at insane bargains right now and in your budget (talking about over 100k systems). An example is the Yamaha PM1D that is modular with none of it's modules needing to be in the control room. You can use it's control surface mixer or use a smaller footprint compatible mixer or have no footprint at all using an old laptop with no horsepower to control it's functions. The real work is being done with it's brain module. Going that route you will get high end remote controlled mic pres (the same pre as in Yamaha's last greatest analog desk, the PM5000) and lots of converters, all for very little money. Channel count / buss count / routing choices / etc. will all be way above what you have now and can be configured to be redundant (multiple I/O and brain modules as well as multiple mixer control surfaces operating in mirror mode for redundancy - you don't want the show to stop in a massive live event). The downside is being limited to 44.1k or 48k sample rate which is a non issue for many pros. As I've brought up this option a couple times to specific poster's needs recently you can check my old posts for more info. Manuals and software control app are free to download and explore without need for any of the hardware to function.
Old 3rd August 2020
  #12
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i assume having an (almost) full set of knobs to control all parameters of equalizers and dynamic processors would be useful? - not sure how the yamaha m7cl or even better the yamaha pm5d would do for you but they have more encoders than most other desks and both can be found within the price range you mentioned.

soundcraft vi desks might be another option but they (so far) go for a bit higher prices, maybe except for the vi1.

i'm using studer vista desks which by far have the most encoders (40 in every section of 10 faders) but these desks are way above the price range you mentioned.
Old 4th August 2020
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superpiano View Post
......... I never seen Wheatstone boards. Just visited web page now but I suspect they are TOTALLY out of my budget (around €3000 or 4000, absolutely under €5000). Any additional idea would be really appreciated. Thank you again.
You would be correct. The L-8 starts at $11,500 USD. The others are substantially more expensive. Like most digital consoles, the processing occurs in the digital domain. The surface is like a giant midi controller with all signals being routed through an outboard unit that Wheatstone refers to as a blade.
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