Just sold my Soundcraft Ghost - looking to upgrade to a better mixer for around $5K. My options, as I see it, are to find a used console or possibly one of the new line of summing line mixers (Chandler mini,API, maybe D2B etc.) I can live without aux sends, inserts, etc (I'll patch in ext gear), so it comes down to quality: Do these latest small, high quality mixers trumph a $20K used console that's now around $5K? Will probably use a Digi 002 with an ext D/A box for the 16 outs...
Anyone use the chandler mini mixer? Looks very cool for around $6K...
you don't step up from the ghost with 5k normally. double that and you can do it easily. and in that instance, it's more like a 30k console for 10k. that's the route i took. now, i wanted inserts and stuff i couldn't get in a smaller setup, so a console is definately a better choice for me. i'm a happy camper. if you don't need as many inputs as i do and don't need the other console comforts, you can certainly get great sound with a summing box. if i didn't want a console, i'd have a folcrom for sure.
if you are on the secondhand market a 5k (with a bit of search and luck) will bring you a very nice console and anyway an upgrade from gohst (i dont like this desk).
I also never understood the summing trand, if you have the place get a desk for more options and functionality.
It depends on what you want and need to do. If you want to grab handfuls of faders, then you need something with faders. If you want to use the DAW's recall automation then you really want something that doesn't have faders at all, because if they can move they will move. Then there's EQ: Do you want analog EQ or do you want to use plug-ins? There are advantages to both. Do you already own a bunch of outboard EQ? Do you like to use a variety of different outboard devices on different tracks? Or would a console full of identical equalizers appeal to you? I think you could get a lot of console for $5k (that's more than we have invested in our Amek, and I'm pretty happy with it). You could also build a hell of a system around a summing device for $5k including some really good DACs.
Decide which features you want, and which features would get in the way or cause problems. $5k for a $30k console isn't a bargain if it what it does is different from what you need it to do.
If you've got a facility where you do a lot of band recordings, nothing beats a nice console where you center your workflow around.
On the other hand, if you're doing mostly mixing, some DAW with outboard summing (if that's what you want) will do fine.
However, nothing says better "this is a real studio" than a nice big desk. Music is about emotions and that desk certainly gets some positive emotions starting.
I know that in my future studio (hopefully will be built with the next 3-4 years) I have a nice CR centered around a nice console...
if you don't need as many inputs as i do and don't need the other console comforts, you can certainly get great sound with a summing box. if i didn't want a console, i'd have a folcrom for sure.
that's very much my situation.
i do all mixing, with a few plugs ITB, then sum the whole thing in my API8200a.
i love working like this.
my apartment is my studio, it has grown steadily and i have happily surrendered to its taking over my home, that's one of the reasons that a console would not work for me. even a small one would take a lot more room than the API piece and then i might have to deal with other issues like ground noise, etc. the API is very, very, very quiet.
i like being able to patch stuff in the real world, like eq's, i don't like plug-ins.
going back to the original post:
"Do these latest small, high quality mixers trumph a $20K used console that's now around $5K?"
i dunno about that.
my API 8200a made a huge improvement in the quality of my mixes compared to the ITB stuff i was doing before but would i get better results mixing on a large desk?
my very inexperienced guess is that yes, it would again be a huge step up in quality.
that's assuming of course that the used console you are refering to is in clean, good working condition and it's not some cheap piece of sh_t. (insert your most hated example here, i'll go first... mackie)
Will probably use a Digi 002 with an ext D/A box for the 16 outs...
The 002 has 18 outs but only 10 of which can be routed digitially (8 lightpipe/2 SPDIF) to an external D/A converter. For the other 8 you're only coice is the bulit in outs on the 002 itself which IMO are less than stellar. The other drag about this setup is that while the 002 can do high sample rates, the only possible outputs to use at those rates are the 8 built ins. Lightpipe limitations render it useless at 96K unless you SMUX which, of course, Digi doesen't support.......