I want an analog console (console advice)
Old 29th February 2012
  #151
Pragmatic Snob
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
My JoeMeek TwinQcs (original bright green unit) isn't outputing compressed signal from the compressor (although, strangely the meter will display gain reduction)

Nerd FYI: that's not actually strange, because the GR metering is most likely being fed by the attack/release section of the detector. So you can have a defunct gain reduction cell that does nothing but pass signal at unity, but the detector is still doing its job telling the GR cell what to do and telling the GR meter what the GR cell is supposed to be doing.

Did that make sense? It made sense in my head...


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 1st March 2012
  #152
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Nerd FYI: that's not actually strange, because the GR metering is most likely being fed by the attack/release section of the detector. So you can have a defunct gain reduction cell that does nothing but pass signal at unity, but the detector is still doing its job telling the GR cell what to do and telling the GR meter what the GR cell is supposed to be doing.

Did that make sense? It made sense in my head...


Gregory Scott - ubk

It actually makes perfect sense. What you're telling me is that everything else in the compression circuit is doing it's job except for the actual element that does the reducing. So, even though the rest of the unit is working perfectly, the signal's gain is still not being reduced. This is because the detector works independent of the gain reduction element... which, by the way, would be what part of the circuit? Bueller?

And to Greg (RecordingHopkins), sorry I didn't respond to your comment in my previous post... yes! Boro console owners unite. If I need assistance getting this thing installed in my basement when the time comes, I'll look you up, for sure. What console do you have again? It's a soundcraft, right?
Old 1st March 2012
  #153
Lives for gear
 
shortstory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
Well, the original poster returns with finalized news on my console hunt. As crazy as many of you might think I am crazy for wanting a) a real analog console, and b) an expensive, time consuming electronics repair project.... I bought the Harrison!!! It's the MR-4 and it's going to be one heck of a project.

It was NOT in the floods in Nashville. In fact, it wasn't even in Nashville when the floods hit. It was in Alabama. The power supply has been rebuilt. The faulty component was a 30A Center Tapped Rectifier, which took 30 days to come in. I will be building a new power supply for this guy in the future.

My repair tech, good friend, electronics expert Rick is allowing me to keep the console at his bench for 2 months and is giving me free access to his electronics repair/test equipment for me to start learning my board inside and out while he's out on the road with Lyle Lovett. This is the same guy that regularly maintains/repairs the Midas XL-4, Soundcraft 5000 series, Yamaha PM-1800 and the rest of the modular consoles that the sound production company he works for owns. He knows electronics as he's done that his entire life but he also knows consoles and he's got me on the path to building up a store of replacement components for those times when you need it.

Right now, the console is standing on one side in my garage on a flat bed dolly. I've included photos. This is going to be a very exciting learning project and when it's all said and done, I should have a really nice board at my disposal. It's got ARMS automation in it, which I've heard isn't the greatest, and I could totally do without it, but it's nice to know I've got it. It's also got, strangely, 4 stereo channels which I have yet to find anything about in my literature on this beast.

My only serious issue with this guy will be deciding on how to interface it. It's loaded with tuchel connectors, and those can be expensive. But all in all, I'm really excited and looking forward to a year of electronics learning and hopefully console happiness at the end with real knobs and faders. One per function. No mice here.
Congratulations! You've got an amazing piece of music making gear there. I learned on a Harrison 31 years ago and it will sound wonderful. I always felt Harrisons were under-rated.

And thank you for keeping analog alive in such digitally depressed-suppressed-oppressed-repressed-compressed times.

All the best-
Old 1st March 2012
  #154
Hey Cary congrats on the MR4, Steve Remote used to own one for years. I worked on his once and worked at another studio that had a 3624. Harrisons are nice sounding desks, enjoy!
Old 2nd March 2012
  #155
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
<clip>

And to Greg (RecordingHopkins), sorry I didn't respond to your comment in my previous post... yes! Boro console owners unite. If I need assistance getting this thing installed in my basement when the time comes, I'll look you up, for sure. What console do you have again? It's a soundcraft, right?
Sure thing! Yep, it's a big ol' Soundcraft Sapphyre inline console.
http://hopkinsmediaservices.com/studio.aspx
this link will die in the next month or so. New website on the way!
Old 3rd March 2012
  #156
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I think in your price range your most colorful option is Sound Workshop. They have balls and grit in stock configuration, a tad noisy, but are easily cleaned up with a recapping and some newer amps, the latter of which let you eliminate some caps in the process, which equals better clarity, transient punch, and phase accuracy.

I've done a lot of mixes on Sound Workshops, and by far they have the most character and personality of the options you're kicking around with the exception of the MCI and Trident. MCI will require a full time tech, though. Tridents are badass.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Are you saying that a full time tech would be required for the 500 or the 400? The 500 I can see where you would think that but the 400 series is super simple. Have you ever seen the circuit boards on these? You can damn near put your fist down on bare spots between components on those.

I own one (416b) and, although I'm still working on getting it %100 operational, that's been largely due to my lack of time versus what it would take someone, time wise, to put the initial outlay into it, if they had a more agressive refurbishment schedule. Once these things are brought back up to speed there's just not a whole lot that can go wrong with them. I don't think a full time tech would be required at all for a 400 series.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #157
Lives for gear
 
Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Not as tired as I am with the shitty sounding records many of you are producing. That's why I press this, you can do better. So, tried that in YOUR MCI yet?
Jim, if we all produced super clean jazz I suppose I might agree with you. But do we all do that? Absolutely not. Your comment is a bit much don't you think?
Old 3rd March 2012
  #158
Lives for gear
 
sonic dogg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
Never worked on the APC 1000, so that may indeed be a great Amek. The 2500s are good too, forgot to mention that. But they also (just like Trident) made some pretty crappy stuff too !!

Didn't mean to come accross so boldly, but I stand by my position on the outboard issue. You need at least 20 channels of "mojo" type outboard (or plugin equivalents) to cover all the bases on rock/pop/metal mixes -- unless you do all that at tracking, in which case you'd better be at the top of your game !! And I don't mean 10db of GR either (unless for paralell comp), I'm talking just on the inserts and barely even seeing the GR needle move at all. I'm talking stuff like la2as, pultecs, cl1b, 436c, gates sta level, 1176 (blue stripe & black rev d/e), la3a, la4, dbx 165 -- ya know, pretty much all the "standard" mojo stuff or newer variations thereof. The real pros use these for "color" rather than any type of real compression.

In all honesty, the outboard is much more of a factor than any console IMHO. That's why you see so many of these guys going hybrid these days, though to me that's like trying to run a marathon with prosthetic legs.

I've had the good fortune to sit in on 3 MAJOR rock artist tracking sessions that were later mixed ITB. What I can tell you is that 99.9% of all the "mojo" processing was done in the tracking phase with all the standard $MONEY$ "mojo" gear. It's pretty funny when you see $150,000 worth of mics, pres, comps, verbs, delays, eqs, etc. being used as the front end into PT; even funnier to know that 99.9% of all the knob tweaking and ear candy was accomplished at that stage by peeps who were at the top of their game and knew what they were doing.

Then you're falling off your chair laughing later when you hear peeps around here sayin: "hey, they mixed that record fully ITB so that means it's all just about talent".

PT Barnum is more relevant today than ever

Isnt this the way all great recordings have been made?

If you dont get it at tracking you're simply polishing a turd......we have heard that before.

as for recall thats why we like the hybrid thing. Track with the goodies like we always have and use the computer to house and recall all the fine points of the mix.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #159
Lives for gear
 
saltydog2012's Avatar
 

I love my soundcraft ghost le32
Old 3rd March 2012
  #160
If you like your buddy's Trident24--go for it. They are respectable for the low price they fetch these days.
Old 28th March 2012
  #161
Lives for gear
 
ianbryn11's Avatar
 

This thread has been a good read... OP found his console.. Congrats!

i am hunting for a 16 channel desk. was thinking about the toft. The most important thing to me is good sounding pres and eq's and sensible routing. i haven't done much otb mixing, But i do have a humble outboard setup which i use during tracking. It would be great to integrate them into my mixes. Also recently got into 1 inch 16 track. Thus the need for a good board with the right i/o possibilities.

5K for a console is a lot of money for me. But i am very curious to see what possibilities or workflow changes come with the use of a good console.
Old 28th March 2012
  #162
Lives for gear
 
soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

For what it's worth I am very glad I held went with my MCI 428B some years ago. Paid $8K and it came with a guarantee, which I took advantage of on several occasions. Consoles and such are complex critters, and stuff will happen. But maintaining them is not such a big deal if you have a good tech and some soldering ability.

And of course the sound is *better*.

www.inglewoodsoundbarn.com
Old 28th March 2012
  #163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Jim, if we all produced super clean jazz I suppose I might agree with you. But do we all do that? Absolutely not. Your comment is a bit much don't you think?
Maybe blunt, yet true. The last ten years have produced the worst sounding crap I've heard yet. Sorry to rain on someone's parade. Listen to the 60's~early 90's for comparisons. Then tell me if I'm off base on this.

Music back then didn't hurt my ears. Can't say that now. This is the difference.
Old 28th March 2012
  #164
Lives for gear
 
heyman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Maybe blunt, yet true. The last ten years have produced the worst sounding crap I've heard yet. Sorry to rain on someone's parade. Listen to the 60's~early 90's for comparisons. Then tell me if I'm off base on this.

Music back then didn't hurt my ears. Can't say that now. This is the difference.
Yes, but are the problems coming from the computer (tracking and mixing) or the mastering facility.?? I think it is one the other or sometimes both.
Old 28th March 2012
  #165
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Maybe blunt, yet true. The last ten years have produced the worst sounding crap I've heard yet. Sorry to rain on someone's parade. Listen to the 60's~early 90's for comparisons. Then tell me if I'm off base on this.

Music back then didn't hurt my ears. Can't say that now. This is the difference.
Jim - I'd say that has to do in great part to the fact that you don't like the MUSIC being made, and you don't appreciate the mastering constraints.

There's TONS of records from the 70's and 80's that SOUND like crap. But somehow, the creative muse was alive and well back then, so we embrace the "whole" package. Upon recent digitizing of my vinyl collection, I was kind of appalled at the grunginess of those recordings. Certainly not what I'd call "clean" by any stretch of the immagination....
Old 30th March 2012
  #166
Recordings back in the 60's - 70's and 80's were all over the map quality wise to me as well (and today). But back then, I do not fault the equipment for that as much as the people themselves. A lot of drugs were involved in many of those recordings. As they say, their is no questioning taste and for some reason, many people without taste get involved in the music business imho. Albums are recorded in different spaces, with different equipment often with engineers going with the flavor of the week techniques which may or may not be appropriate or pleasant. Often albums are under financial stress, contractual stress, relationship stress, and with drugs added to the mix and so we - the listener - get to "enjoy" the results.

Today it is way too easy to over-do digital plugs, digital distortion, and way over the top brick wall limiting. Because of the additive way plugs are increased during a mix, we often do not hear clearly the downside it creates to the sound as it creeps in imho. Its simply like the frog in the hot water analogy. Add this to all the other problems as listed above we have a new and fantastic way to make our mixes sound like ###@@. This is why for me, many mixes are worse now because digital over-do is more doo-doo than analog over-do.

More power like we have today means more responsibility, but we are dealing in a business were shock-appeal can sell (I call it bad taste) so why not rip the listeners face off? Or - audio is a drug and the loudness war won a long time ago so yes - I want the loudest final master as possible (yes i do a lot of these for clients).

For me and my record label, I like analog because it is down to earth quality and a console is the center of that work flow for me. Yes, I use digital and plugs but tubes, outboard gear and the way it makes me craft a mix makes for the best results in most instances. If you have the money and space, and are into recording music to create music what sounds musical and is tasteful, in my book analog and a console is a great way to go.
Old 30th March 2012
  #167
Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
Yes, but are the problems coming from the computer (tracking and mixing) or the mastering facility.?? I think it is one the other or sometimes both.
The gear is better than it ever was. There are some great new products and all that old stuff is still around.

I don't believe it's the gear per say. Many of these same pieces have been used on good sounding releases.

I suspect it's the indian, not the arrow.
Old 24th April 2012
  #168
Lives for gear
 
Keith Moore's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I suspect it's the indian, not the arrow.
I have to agree with this one. I just recently did a mix that was record at a very high end recording studio. I ended replacing the kick drum which I hate to do. The toms sounded like shit and should have been tuned and dampened properly. The vocals were distorted and had zero dynamic left in the track. Plus most of the tracks were recorded too hot and I needed to apply the trim plug-in.

A few years ago I did another mix session that was also done at a pro facility. The bass player asked me if his vocal track was distorted. I listed to it and said yes it most definitely is. He replied telling me that the engineer told him that it sounded like that because he was singing so loud that he was distorting the room. They were a 2 piece folk band.
Old 25th April 2012
  #169
Lives for food
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Breaux View Post
........................................... I just threw up in my mouth.
Why? You have some sort of record player for your car that you'd like to tell us about?
Old 25th April 2012
  #170
Lives for food
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
There's TONS of records from the 70's and 80's that SOUND like crap. I was kind of appalled at the grunginess of those recordings. Certainly not what I'd call "clean" by any stretch of the immagination....
The sonic grunge of the old stuff is sometimes additional magic for me, especially if the song itself is killer.

The sterile, clean, razor blade highs approach to sonics is one of the most boring things about the current sonic landscape for me.

Anyway, the op has a nice analog console that will add it's vibe (certainly not a sterile itb vibe), so that's cool.
Old 25th April 2012
  #171
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Breaux View Post
........................................... I just threw up in my mouth.

Good. Now swallow.
Old 25th April 2012
  #172
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

seldom there are studios around here (europe) that have the console in a good condition, well, most desks are done, even in the bigger rooms
maybe it´s a vintage vibe, lol
recapped the old stuff sound suprisingly fresh sometimes
peace
Old 26th April 2012
  #173
Gear nut
 
SAnthony's Avatar
 

If you have reasonably good troubleshooting skills and are handy with a soldering iron I would say an MCI 528C or maybe a Harrison 32C series, MR2 or MR3. All Excellent performance once refurbished, MCI is a little easier to maintain. IF not, and you like the vintage sound without the need to work on a mixer definately the Toft!
Shawn
Old 12th April 2013
  #174
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Breaux View Post
"Upon recent digitizing of my vinyl collection"
Nope. But I had a joke.
Everyone knows that vinyl is too analog, needs digitizing?
Old 12th April 2013
  #175
Gear addict
 
clearwave's Avatar
Real consoles are fun to work on. Just keep in mind maintenance issues will come up more often. All the consoles worth owning are 25 years old and over. Filter caps are designed to last 15 to 20 years. Recapping a console isn't a big deal except it takes lots of time to do it. So if you hire a competent tech to do it, it is expensive. Maybe you can get some kid in school to do it or learn yourself. Once its done, it will last another 20 years.

Another thing to keep in mind. Consoles in the 80's started to get pretty complicated. There are more things to break, more switches, more filter caps. Components are crammed in smaller spaces so they are harder to work on. Consoles from the 70's are easier to work on, break less often, and are are easier to modify.

The trick to buying console is the fact that some have been maintained properly and some are broken down pigs.

Stuff to consider...
Old 12th April 2013
  #176
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caryhorner View Post
O.k., I just researched that Sony board. I didn't find any images of a 2900 series but I found the 3000 series and I see what you're talking about now. The boards I saw seemed more budget I think. Still modular, but not the pro quality construction and look of that 3000 board. Although, I did read someone somewhere stating that the 2900 series was more of a broadcast board and the 3000 series was of the MCI lineage. *shrugs*. I'd love to see a photo of the 2936.
I have a lot of interoffice memos from Sony Japan to the US plants. The MXP 3000 & 2000 shared many of the same electronic components, but the best were cherry picked to put in the 3000's, the ones out of spec (for the 3000) were used in the 2000's. So, it's obvious the 3000s were better units for that reason alone.

The 3000s were designed for recording studios, the 2000s designed for TV & radio work. I don't think either one was anything like their MCI lineage.

I've used a couple 2000s for about 15 years now strictly for line-in mixing to easily insert effects via a TT patchbay. I use top-notch outboard mic pres, Great River, etc.

If you use the 2000s strictly the way I do, avoiding the eq, compressors, maybe even the groups, it's a decent board for the price.

Very well built as well, not cheap at all. I've never had a single module go dead on me yet, which is pretty good for 15 years of nearly daily use. If you have an extender card, keeping the modules calibrated is very easy and well explained for the most part in the Sony manuals.

Perfectly adequate for an above average project studio like mine, IMO.
I'd much rather have an MXP3000, but don't want to pay 10X what I paid for the 2000s and don't have the space anyways.

I agree with what clearwave says above:
It's not a great mixer, but so what? It's really fun to play around with a console with modules, at lot better than DAWs, IMO. Nobody would expect to make a million dollar selling album on one of these things. Something decent enough for a demo is about all you should expect, which is good enough for me and my wife's budget.

And with U B K:
"I'd get a desk that had the features and routing you need first and foremost, and was reliable and had a solid, known service history. Sound is the third consideration, which is counterintuitive but that's my position."

makin' bacon is what it's all about, not upgrading stuff non-stop, although that's fun for me, too.
Old 13th April 2013
  #177
Lives for gear
 
chet.d's Avatar
 

Anyone considering a new desk under 10k would be IMO a bit myopic by not giving consideration to the Cadac live 1.
Monitoring section is not elaborate if that's very important to you but for what you get for 7k @ 24 channels & the sound... it's been a pleasure in my world anyway.
Old 14th April 2013
  #178
Lives for gear
 
recordinghopkins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zentrails View Post
If you use the 2000s strictly the way I do, avoiding the eq, compressors, maybe even the groups, it's a decent board for the price.
[Paraphrased] If you avoid many of the selling points of actually using a console, this is a great one! [/Paraphrased]
Old 14th April 2013
  #179
Lives for gear
 
heyman's Avatar
Old 15th April 2013
  #180
Gear nut
 
chrisenglish's Avatar
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
3rd Degree / Rap + Hip Hop engineering & production
13
Luke79 / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
3

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Search