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Small console for extra preamps
Old 1st May 2012
  #1
Gear Addict
Small console for extra preamps

Hey,

So I am moving soon to a new space and having a lazy pre-move phase I thought to ask rather than continue on researching.

I'm looking around for a sweet console to add some extra channels to my setup.

Right now I have 8 channels of the ISA from focusrite and don't really feel like spending all kinds of money on various small preamps and instead I want to get a quiet console with at least 12-16 channels. Just so I'm set for extra utility preamps. I have a lot of extra conversion available so might as well have a neat amount of preamps just to experiment with esoteric setups while the main signal chain is working as usual.

I know H&K is good, I've heard some of the smaller soundcrafts and they seem decent as utility but I would really like to get a longer list of manufacturers and mostly models to look out for.

I think it would be interesting to pinpoint some sweet consoles which are no longer manufactured or in abundance on the second hand market - to lookout for when out and about - you might end up getting one for a steal.

So please fire away, ladies and gents,
B
Old 1st May 2012
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

APB-DynaSonics ProRack
Very nice sounding little mixer with direct outs on 16 out of 20 mic pres.
Mic pres are based on Burr-Brown chips.
EQ, 4 Groups, 4 master output buses.
Flexible and well built (in New Jersey).
It costs more than A&H or Soundcraft, but it is worth it IMO.
Old 3rd May 2012
  #3
Gear Addict
Thanks T + bump
Old 3rd May 2012
  #4
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
D&R Vison. Rack frame or tabletop frame available. Excellent pre's & EQ's with 8 aux sends, groups, etc. depending on your need's - it's custom configurable....

Here's a rackmount verson :

Old 3rd May 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 

Used crest x-rack , Soundcraft Delta or DDA/Dynacord/EV/Altec Interface, Or Midas Venice ! Plus the Above suggestions
Old 4th May 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
Used crest x-rack , Soundcraft Delta or DDA/Dynacord/EV/Altec Interface, Or Midas Venice ! Plus the Above suggestions
Is the Delta dlx the right one to go for?

The crest x-rack you have in mind is the in ear monitor console thingie?
Old 4th May 2012
  #7
Gear Addict
Bumpy bump bump :3

Is 500-700 quid a good price for a Soundcraft Delta dlx?
Old 4th May 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Ramsa. Any model.
Old 5th May 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOP View Post
Is the Delta dlx the right one to go for?

The crest x-rack you have in mind is the in ear monitor console thingie?
DLX has a 4 band eq with fixed hi low sweep mids. besides the Crest M they have the x20r stereo plus 4 aux by the guys who would latter build APD!
Old 5th May 2012
  #10
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
DLX has a 4 band eq with fixed hi low sweep mids. besides the Crest M they have the x20r stereo plus 4 aux by the guys who would latter build APD!
Do you think that 400-500 quid would be a good price for 16 channels of Soundcraft Delta DLX ?

Or would it be better to spend 700-100 on 12 channels of Midas?
Old 5th May 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 

Delta is or has the potential to be the ultimate clean console! I'll take a modular delta over a V Midas any day plus the delta is Modular and you can expand it!
Old 5th May 2012
  #12
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
Delta is or has the potential to be the ultimate clean console! I'll take a modular delta over a V Midas any day plus the delta is Modular and you can expand it!
But you have to get the channels moded right?
Old 6th May 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 

Stock Delta / Venue over a V Midas Modded Delta is serious WOW !
I had a stock Early Delta with 8 buses but didn't like the fact that the aux pre post switching was on jumpers which was a pain. Shouldn't have sold it !
Old 8th May 2012
  #14
Gear Addict
So, did I make a good deal?

Small console for extra preampseBay - The UK's Online Marketplace
Old 8th May 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
ddageek's Avatar
 

You did good , if it's in good shape and has a PSU!
Read the manule and when you get it go through everything ! Buy some Caig and be ready to clean pots and connectors.
Old 8th May 2012
  #16
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddageek View Post
You did good , if it's in good shape and has a PSU!
Read the manule and when you get it go through everything ! Buy some Caig and be ready to clean pots and connectors.


Thanks for the help.

So yeah - thanks everybody.
Since I might not have internet for the next few months, I made a small list for my self (based on your recommendations) just to keep an eye out for the good stuff while I'm out and about.

If anybody has anymore ideas, please leave a comment as one never knows when a console might appear at a charity shop or even ebay at a good price.
It is good to buy specifically the thing that you want but sometimes there are alternatives and knowing what they are kept me going with music at times.

I'm setting up a little workshop area to work on sound treatment and will also try and get the soundcraft all nice and clean.

I'll report when I get my hands on the thing and have a chance to look at all the modules and test things out - time to book my tickets for london town.

Old 8th May 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I've been impressed by the clean open sound of the Mackie Onyx series. The Yamaha RM800 is also highly regarded.
Old 15th May 2012
  #18
Gear Addict
Hey,

So I managed to lug the Delta DLX back to my temporary workspace.

It is a big mother and heavy as ****.

I was so brilliant as to somehow misplace one of the potentiometer caps which is a huge eyesore for me.

Mine has 12 mono channels, 4 stereo channels, 4 groups and a master section.

I was thinking about selling off the 4 groups and getting 4 mono channels instead - any thoughts about that?

I might even get rid of the 4 stereo channels for another 4 mono since I have enough conversion at hand to just plug all line level sources straight into the A/D

I was wondering the other day about using the console for summing though.
For that purpose it might be better to actually keep the stereo modules as that means 2 channels per module.
A setup with 16 mono, 4 stereo (8) and one master module would mean 24 channels of summing which follows channel limitations of other gear quite nicely unlike 20 ch of summing.

What seems to be the best marriage of extra preamps for tracking with a summing box for mixing is as follows:
8 mono strips
12 stereo strips
Modded master module.

This would give 8 preamps to provide extra channels for tracking (which is quite a lot actually) and 32 channels for summing.
Summing 32 channels seems like the point where analog summing could actually give a sensible advantage.

Any thoughts?
Old 15th May 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOP View Post

Summing 32 channels seems like the point where analog summing could actually give a sensible advantage.

Any thoughts?
I see what you mean, but that's not always the case. I mixing board with a nice sounding main L and R stereo out could sound just as good, if not better, with setting up a simple 4 stereo buss sytem to the main LR.

I see it as, if you don't need to ride many faders for the main mix on mixdown, you could send all the drums, bass guitar , and any other sources that don't require any changes to one stereo buss. I can't imagine wanting 32 stems to deal with if 28 of those would do find going to one stereo buss together. And then dealing with the other 4 tracks would be a breeze.

steely
Old 17th May 2012
  #20
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
I see what you mean, but that's not always the case. I mixing board with a nice sounding main L and R stereo out could sound just as good, if not better, with setting up a simple 4 stereo buss sytem to the main LR.

I see it as, if you don't need to ride many faders for the main mix on mixdown, you could send all the drums, bass guitar , and any other sources that don't require any changes to one stereo buss. I can't imagine wanting 32 stems to deal with if 28 of those would do find going to one stereo buss together. And then dealing with the other 4 tracks would be a breeze.

steely
Hey,

What I was thinking of doing was to, at least in PT, have my VI, mono and stereo tracks set to their respective AD channels for input and to their respective DA > strip on mixing board for output and then have the Main L/R outs of the mixing board fed into a pair of AD and then onto a stereo track in PT. All the while without using a master fader track in PT.

In my imagination this would stop PT from summing everything down to the master fader giving me more processing to divert to VI's and give me the audible benefits of analog summing.

Using busses that don't have to sum should in theory require minimal extra processing so I would have a template with 24 buses and 24 tracks sent to those buses instead of sending the tracks directly so that if I say have 20 tracks with the same guitar part I can just duplicate the track with all of it's settings instead and would then have an option of sub mixing on those 24 buses if I need to have more than 24 tracks in total.

However with your idea from what I understand I would have to sum say 28 tracks in PT on 4 stereo buses and then send those 4 stereo buses to the 4 stereo strips I have in my soundcraft. Then have the rest of the tracks send individually to my mono strips and have the whole thing summed into the main outs on my main module on the desk.

I don't really have any experience with analog summing in the ITB world so my impression was that the whole point of doing analog summing was to avoid summing ITB or taking it down to the minimum (as with my original idea where I might have 24 stems individually but also the option of doing a submix of more tracks to send to one of those 24 analog inputs) and getting the pleasing harmonic distortion/crosstalk/yadayada that happens when an analog console has to put loads of mono tracks together.

If I send just 4 buses to the console then I would possibly get less of "that analog sound", possibly some coloration but at the same time PT would still have to process summing on those buses.

Am I getting it wrong?

Analog summing requires taking it into account when mixing so one of my hopes was to do my mixing directly on the console from the get go.
Set my general levels and most of the panning on the console itself but do fader riding in PT.

I wanted to build my self a little desk on wheels that would hold the soundcraft on top, my midi controller below that and a little control surface like the command 8 or maybe even one of those one fader ones they no longer manufacture, somewhere in the middle or sticking out on the side.

I have a big red rack for my converters and my minimal amount of preamps and outboard so I could have that more or less stationary but move my "mixing desk" around a bit to make it comfortable.

Does it all make sense? I'm a subconcious thinker, jazz improvisation and all so I may describe it in a bit of rambly way but it does seem to make sense for me.

I just wanted to avoid spending extra money by minimising the need for "convenience" equipment like patchbays or array's of motorised faders.

One of my ideas was to print out nice prints (I'm trained in graphic design and photography so this would bear minimal amount of time and cost) of all the guis for the plugins that I have and having that on one of the walls behind my screens so that when looking for a solution to a problem I can just look at all of my gear and the prints instead of memorising all of the plugins and what features exactly do they offer (which comes with experience but I want to save my long term memory for repertoire as much as possible.

So yeah - just a few thoughts.

I got the console for the preamps but It would be sweat to use it in order to make the workflow better.
One of the big PITA's of having stuff on the screen is that you need to be in front of it to see what is going on.

I have a small extra screen which I am trying to setup right now so that all the plugin gui's open on it. I want to place it on top of my main rack so that I don't have to look at more than one direction when fiddling with outboard.

Old 21st May 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
I am trying to figure out how to take out modules from the Delta DLX without breaking anything. I did have a little try but din't take any module completely out as it was clear that with taking them in and out it's only a matter of time before something gives out.

I kind of wanted to mod the channels my self but now I'm wondering if there is any point.

Edit: I was looking also at new products from sound-craft and their "recording and post-prodution" line of M consoles seem a weak contender.

Hmm,
B
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