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Customising Consoles - who dares?
Old 27th June 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
Customising Consoles - who dares?

Hello! Much respect to the board.

I've been salivating over the new Allen & Heath Zed 16 Firewire Mixer described in detail over here: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...ire-mixer.html

It sounds perfect for me. Almost. I like to switch between Logic and our Tape Machine. Currently using a Soundtracs MRX 32, but we're thinking we want to upgrade the tape machine to 16 track and so the Soundtracs just ain't big enough any more. So the Zed16, at the price it is, sounded like a dream come true. Untill I saw that it has no analogue outs. Not on each channel, I mean. Kinda weird that it has the digital outs for an ADAT machine, but no tape send/return.

So my question is, if I were to attempt to modify the board to add tape sends, should I be locked away in a padded room for my own good? Is it simply a question of wiring it in before the pan pot?

Block diagram is available here:

http://www.allen-heath.com/zed/dl/ZE...%20diagram.pdf
Old 27th June 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Hi
I am not 'knocking' the A+H desk but the corners have been cut in not providing analogue outs on all channels. That is the compromise.
You could add them but to do a half decent job it will cost money even if you buy the bits and fit it yourself.
You would be better off looking for a desk that does what you want.
Matt S
Old 28th June 2009
  #3
Here for the gear
Thanks, Matt, you make a good point. I also suspect I would regret limiting myself to four aux sends. I guess it really is more of a console for adding a bit of analog feel to ITB mixes, as opposed to one truly suited to mixing OTB as well as ITB.
Old 28th June 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 

No matter what, you need to know what you are doing.

I have seen VERY FEW consoles where someone didn't mess something up when they modified it in some way.

Examples:
An Neve 8068 mkII (beautiful console!) where someone had modified the 2-mix.
It just didn't sound right until somone found the mods several years later and returned it to stock/normal.

A Speck 16 x 8 that some one added switches that toggled back and forth between line and mic on all channels.
Although the added FET switching was exactly in place of the hardware switches it messed up the sound of the audio on each channel.
I sold the console to a friend and he removed the switching.
I was AMAZED at how good the console then sounded!
There have been many more pieces of equipment that were made to sound and ioperate worse by mods that the "modder" thought were a good idea.

DON'T DO IT UNLESS YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
Old 28th June 2009
  #5
Oh come on, the guy has 3 posts on Gearslutz, of course he knows what he's doing!
Old 28th June 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
I don't know how much surface mount there is in a Zed. That could make things interesting.
Old 28th June 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Oh come on, the guy has 3 posts on Gearslutz, of course he knows what he's doing!
Maybe he did the work on the Neve 8068 mkII and the Speck?

Man!
Think about it!
I am totally re-building my MCI 538C and I am not modding one thing!

I worked on a pristine D series 500 the other night and found a factory change that I might incorporate into my console.
There is a pot that allows you to collapse the Quad Mix into the 2-mix.
They did away with the pot and made it be a hard switch.
This improves the noise floor of the stereo buss (2-mix) dramatically.
It is just a slight mod, but makes a HUGE change in the noise floor of the console.

I'll be screwed when I have to re-mix all of those '70s quad records though!
I did actually use the quad mix buss on a Neve 8128 to mix a bunch of Surround Sound stuff about thirteen years ago.
Old 28th June 2009
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
wineredno1's Avatar
 

Are you selling the MRX32?
Old 28th June 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
... I'll be screwed when I have to re-mix all of those '70s quad records though!....
What a shame, what a crying shame...
Old 28th June 2009
  #10
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Funny, in the '60s, '70s and '80s most of the great records were made using highly modified consoles if not consoles that were built right in the studio's own shop.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #11
Here for the gear
For the record - I definitely didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't do it. Got a Soundtracs CM4400 now and I'm a lot happier.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Funny, in the '60s, '70s and '80s most of the great records were made using highly modified consoles if not consoles that were built right in the studio's own shop.
Yep, and most of the outboard too, Urei, dbx, etc. Every major room had a good tech and they did things.

So much for trying to replicate the sound of those old records, when the gear was modified already. Good luck with that.
Old 23rd December 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Oh come on, the guy has 3 posts on Gearslutz, of course he knows what he's doing!
there is ZERO correlation between the number of posts
and the capability/knowledge/experience of a poster

even you had to start with post nr 1
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