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Console Downtime Contigency Plan
Old 14th September 2011
  #1
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Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Console Downtime Contigency Plan

Do any of you guys regularly tracking through a vintage console have a contingency plan in case it goes down in the middle of a busy session?

Having recently bought a big old console, I'm trying to plan for this eventuality myself. I think I could get by with just a basic monitor controller, as long as I had enough outboard mic pres to make it through the session. However, I plan to sell off some of my expensive outboard pres in lieu of this console. Therefore, I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to pick up some really cheap multichannel pre or sidecar just to use in this scenario.
Old 14th September 2011
  #2
Most pro level consoles being modular, downtime is minimised - only if there's a monitor or centre section problem will a session be stopped.
Old 14th September 2011
  #3
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Most pro level consoles being modular, downtime is minimised - only if there's a monitor or centre section problem will a session be stopped.
....or a PSU failure......but you could (should?) have a spare one of those.....
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
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Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Thanks for the replies, guys.

Whenever I've experienced problems with big consoles before, it was usually something to do with the PSU's. I'm going to look into backups for those, but it's possible it could be more practical to have an alternative solution.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
In the past 5 years, I can only think of 3 times where our console brought the session to a halt.
You gotta know a good tech that can be available anytime for repairs... and while those repairs are happening, you can use that time for a million other things. edit, finishing writing the song or lyrics, map out what is left to do on the record, etc. If all of that is done, then you could probably find a way to continue working ITB. Maybe have a little Mackie on hand to use as a monitor control while you work in the box?
Old 14th September 2011
  #6
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 

The work we do will not accommodate any downtime. With a room full of 50 L.A. union string players, every minute is hundreds of dollars. And, since the sole purpose is to track an orchestra, there is no "plan B."

So, we have a working spare PSU ready to be slid in. Our 96-channel board uses 3 PSUs, so there is a chance that, in the highly unlikely event that 2 PSUs go down, we could just work with fewer channels.

All of our recording rigs and KVM stations are on very robust UPS.

Business interruption insurance, also.

And, the recent blackout in San Diego tells us that our utilities are not something to completely trust.
Old 14th September 2011
  #7
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Yep Back up PSU( think Powerone and going 2x the current needed) understanding routing and patchbays can pretty much get you through anything! Knowing how to use a board that is not 100% has made me lots of $$ !
Old 14th September 2011
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
Yep Back up PSU( think Powerone and going 2x the current needed) understanding routing and patchbays can pretty much get you through anything! Knowing how to use a board that is not 100% has made me lots of $$ !
What's up Eric!
Yup, my DDA brother here. Good points.

You still using a DDA? So much for our DDA user group....nobody seems interested. Not sure if a DDA is "vintage" either, but they are certainly getting old now heh

Yeah, back up psu is a good plan. Almost a necessity if you do this for a living. Maybe a master section too.

If you have an old console, recap it before putting it in service 99% of the time it's electrolytic caps, faders, or switches.

I had my back up supply go down. I pulled it out to test it, and it hadn't been recapped. Recapped it, and it's working fine.

The point on the available current is good too.

I am using psu's are for larger model DDA's, and have 2-3 times available current to what the console draws. This is also good if you want to put newer higher current draw chips in. You already have the available current there if you do change them out.

Extremely good point on knowing your console and how to do maintenance on it as well. Then, you are never screwed, except for maybe waiting for parts from digikey, or mouser and the like. If you keep parts on hand, even better. Then you can be up and running in a matter of an hour or something, depending on what the problem is.

Having a tech at the ready is cool, but just learning the basics will save tons of time and money.

john
Old 14th September 2011
  #9
Having as many spares as you can of anything you can think of. I have 6 spare channels, 3 digital masters, 2 analog masters,[my console is a digitally controlled analog console] One day I'll have spare PSU's although my console has 2 for the main supplies and a 3rd for the moving faders
Old 15th September 2011
  #10
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Yes, you could have one of the custom monitor controller guys build you a monitor section.

It's not as expensive as you might think......Crookwood, etc.

Plus, it's FUN to design your own gear (everyone's doing it, these days).

Check it out!


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