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Consoles: Acoustic Nightmare?
Old 17th October 2013
  #1
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Consoles: Acoustic Nightmare?

Hello, sorry in advance to make you participate to my own craziness :P

I hope to find crazy enough people who can understand :P

I got a quite good acoustic, not the ideal space, many compromises to be done, no acoustic equations apply here.. so.. but yeah.. I got a +/- 5db and I'm quite proud

I'm finally liking a lot what I hear and I'm really quite picky

To give you an idea I built a "desk" that's tilted so to avoid comb filtering.. and everything is tuned the best way I could (in the last 5 years or so)

Well

I want a console

I don't know where to start, I'm scared TO DEATH to screw my acoustic... If I remove the desk I have now, I know it will be worse.. and if I put a Console were is the desk.. I don't know if it will be better (I don't know if the Console will do the same effect of the desk.. in some way the desk is breaking the sound avoiding reflections comb filtering)

But I need a console, for various reasons.

The other option is to put the console on my back.. and put a couple of Auratone in there (because that part of the room gave me a worst response, so Auratone will work anyway)

But in that way I think I'll never use it for mix and I'll always have to check EQ in the sweetspot, during tracking

At the same time if putting the console where is the desk will give me comb filtering I don't know if I'll be able to trust what I'm hearing

Ok I don't know what's the question.. just tell me your story if you've been in my same dilemma

Thanks
Old 22nd October 2013
  #2
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Do you really need a console? How about a sidecar or a summing device?

Compromises.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HermanV View Post
Do you really need a console? How about a sidecar or a summing device?

Compromises.
I really need a console, not too big.. mid one.. like 1.5 large 90/1mt deep
Old 22nd October 2013
  #4
Gear Guru
Trade off

A large console/table/worktop may be unwelcome at HF and MF. However it can add a useful LF boost to meter-bridge near fields and perhaps more importantly it can be used to block the floor reflection.
DD
Old 23rd October 2013
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
However it can add a useful LF boost to meter-bridge near fields and perhaps more importantly it can be used to block the floor reflection.
Whew! And here I thought there was no silver lining to large console surface area and bridge mounted monitors creating comb filtering that doesn't meet LEDE certification.





Cool. I think that calls for a beer.

Old 23rd October 2013
  #6
To the OP, I have a large console it's really no problem, Also every big studio in the world has a console usually pretty big, somehow they figure it out. I think you will too
Old 24th October 2013
  #7
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akebrake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
Hello, sorry in advance to make you participate to my own craziness :P
No need to apologize! IMHO This is a very legitimate and interesting question.
…And regarding your heading (Consoles: Acoustic Nightmare?)
Don’t tell the customers !

Most large commercial rooms (shown on front cover of mags) usually don’t show response curves to the public. (e.g. Ugly comb filters plots )

Of course everybody with NS 10 on the bridge have combfilters. They don’t care or do not know.

Good news: It looks far worse than it sounds.

Quote:
I got a quite good acoustic, not the ideal space, many compromises to be done, no acoustic equations apply here.. so.. but yeah.. I got a +/- 5db and I'm quite proud.

I'm finally liking a lot what I hear and I'm really quite picky
When you work in your own controlroom you can afford to be picky…
If you are disturbed (by reflections) why don't do something about it?

+/-5 is a fine frequency response and if you have the decay under control too, its excellent.

Suggestions:

1. Find a console with the same shape, size and angle as the desk you have now or…
2. Build a custom desk/ DAW control with modules from SSL / Neve, API… cleverly integrated in a similar shape, size and angle, as the one you have.
3. Buy the console you like and start tweeking monitor placement.
Don’t expect the acoustics to be the same when a huge console is placed in the room.

Control room acoustics is much more than comb filtering and diffraction around the console.

The control room shall be a practical working environment ment to serve the client and the engineer. Nice atmosphere, comfort, light, air, good coffee and also able to deliver good sound. And most important (?) mixes that travels well to the outside world. A fullgrown console is part of that system. Pick your priorities!

Quote:
Ok I don't know what's the question.. just tell me your story if you've been in my same dilemma
Not same but similar...I have been trying to pursue owners/users to think about console size, angles, hight of racks, position of monitors etc during my years working with studios, measurements, installation and education but with very little success…
Seems like many don’t think it matters much or I am a bad "sales man"

Cheers

akebrake

PS Here, an example of what happens to the frequency response if you put a small monitor on a small object (table), in this case 0.6x 1.2 meter (2x 4ft) A larger desk gives more low end boost. Combfilter is not that evident with 1/3 octave smoothing
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/9374742-post82.html
Old 24th October 2013
  #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Seems the point is I'm too sensitive to comb filtering.. I started enjoying listening and working with music just now that I've solved most of the comb filtering problems.. then maybe there are different kind of comb filtering and the one from the console could even be useful as someone say...

But I think I want to keep the monitors in the way they are now.. so I'm considering putting a console in the other side of the room (which is SMALL).. with a pair of Auratone on the meterbridge and then I'll find a pair of big speakers for cheap to check the low end if needed (or I'm crazy enough to put a sub to a pair of Auratone :P:P)

Then maybe I'll try to put the console in front of the monitors to see if it is really that bad.. BTW I'm not talking big consoles, I have a small room.. max console allowed will be around 1.5 to 2mt large (and I hope closer to 1.5 than 2)
Old 25th October 2013
  #9
rez
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rez's Avatar
maybe you need to do something like eric valentine has done with his custom console, because one special aspect was the problem with comb filtering and he describes what he has done about that here: http://recording.org/hybrid-recordin...m-console.html

peace, rez
Old 25th October 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
Seems the point is I'm too sensitive to comb filtering.. I started enjoying listening and working with music just now that I've solved most of the comb filtering problems.. then maybe there are different kind of comb filtering and the one from the console could even be useful as someone say...
it's not merely a frequency-response issue ("comb-filtering") due to superposition (summing) of the direct signal and indirect work-surface reflection, but also a time-domain issue as you are inducing an indirect (high-gain) reflection within the image-shift region.

the vertical polar response of the speaker and physical size of the work surface dictate the reflection characteristics - but for all intents and purposes we can assume this reflection will be colored.

due to the short path length, the reflection will be comparable in gain to the direct signal.

by all means, how can one argue that a high-gain, early arriving, spectrally colored reflection be "useful" in a critically accurate reproduction space? ...adding insult to injury, the myriad of edge diffraction sources induced by the non-uniform work surface and associated objects within the direct signal path.
Old 25th October 2013
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Seems the point is I'm too sensitive to comb filtering.. I started enjoying listening and working with music just now that I've solved most of the comb filtering problems.. then maybe there are different kind of comb filtering and the one from the console could even be useful as someone say...

But I think I want to keep the monitors in the way they are now.. so I'm considering putting a console in the other side of the room (which is SMALL).. with a pair of Auratone on the meterbridge and then I'll find a pair of big speakers for cheap to check the low end if needed (or I'm crazy enough to put a sub to a pair of Auratone :P:P)

Then maybe I'll try to put the console in front of the monitors to see if it is really that bad.. BTW I'm not talking big consoles, I have a small room.. max console allowed will be around 1.5 to 2mt large (and I hope closer to 1.5 than 2)
don't put the monitors on the meter bridge, put them on stands behind the meter bridge. Your idea of putting the console on the other side of the room is a bad one, if you want to mix thru your console. If you don't why buy one? In my opinion you are seriously over thinking this.
Old 26th October 2013
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
how can one argue that a high-gain, early arriving, spectrally colored reflection be "useful" in a critically accurate reproduction space? ...adding insult to injury, the myriad of edge diffraction sources induced by the non-uniform work surface and associated objects within the direct signal path.
OMG. A billion recordings made in the last 30 years, most of which were made through HUGE consoles...I'm surprised not one single record buyer has ever complained.

Quote:
Most large commercial rooms (shown on front cover of mags) usually don’t show response curves to the public.


Well sooprise sooprise sooprise! whudda thunk.
Old 26th October 2013
  #13
JWL
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JWL's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
don't put the monitors on the meter bridge, put them on stands behind the meter bridge.
Plus one on this. Also, just make sure that the face of the console is angled such that it aims direct reflections away from your ears, that will eliminate the most severe problems.
Old 26th October 2013
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
don't put the monitors on the meter bridge, put them on stands behind the meter bridge.
I agree. But what I don't understand, is the fact to this day I see commercial studios around the world with large consoles, room to put monitors on stands, yet some still use near fields on the console bridge. This tells me something. From the sound of it(no pun intended) you would think there is an 800lb gorilla in some studios that very few stuido pros wants to admit. Heck, the NSA should do so well.

But, I guess they "work it out." Must be in the design criteria base. Whatever. HOWEVER, this conundrum has special meaning to me. But I'll post my own thread to address it. Later.
Old 27th October 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post
by all means, how can one argue that a high-gain, early arriving, spectrally colored reflection be "useful" in a critically accurate reproduction space? ...adding insult to injury, the myriad of edge diffraction sources induced by the non-uniform work surface and associated objects within the direct signal path.
Read Mixing With Your Mind by Mike Stavrou.. he explain it quite well.. He finds reflections from the console useful for getting levels.. he says it gives him some reference

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitchfork View Post
I agree. But what I don't understand, is the fact to this day I see commercial studios around the world with large consoles, room to put monitors on stands, yet some still use near fields on the console bridge.
Don't think they are necessarily fool.. many like that reflection

I don't but that's another story
Old 27th October 2013
  #16
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akebrake's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Seems the point is I'm too sensitive to comb filtering..
Too sensitive? That makes two of us!

But, I believe everybody listen for different things and have different priorities.

E.g. A skilled freelance engineer visiting different rooms with different speakers and consoles understands that he/she cannot rebuild the places to his/her taste and just uses his/her experience to work around the problems.

If you are not happy with the sound (in your own place) you have two choices:

1. Live with it.
2. Do something about it.

Cheapest "trick" is placing loudspeakers and listener at best possible positions in the room.
Speaker placement methods


Nowadays you can use a cheap omnimicrophone and free (!) software (in stead of USD 20k some 20 years ago). An excellent help in fault finding and minimizing problems .

Cheers

Ake
Old 27th October 2013
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Hey elan....I see you're overthinking things again. Don't ponder on this as long as it took you to get the Innerclock.....just get a console and start smiling.
Old 27th October 2013
  #18
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omnialinx's Avatar
Yeah man way over-thinking this. I get like that too sometimes. I almost spent thousands once modding a console that wasn't even worth $600.
But to your point;
I've worked with and have read about a few producer/engineers whose only acoustical treatment is the racks and racks of gear lining the walls of the control room.
To be honest it didn't sound weird and they made excellent records. Now that's the other extreme but it goes to show its very dependent on the people and the room.
Me? I cringe at the sight of an untreated room. But I'm a little OCD so...

Sent from my HTCEVOV4G
Old 27th October 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Hey elan....I see you're overthinking things again. Don't ponder on this as long as it took you to get the Innerclock.....just get a console and start smiling.
Yeah you are right... but unfortunately when you have a low budget you have to be sure to not throw away money.. plus you are in UK and it is easy to sell stuff, here it can takes many years to sell a console even a small one... it took me 1 and half years to sell a Soundcraft M-series I had bought for live.. it was new and the selling price was half the new price......

Plus my room had a comb filtering problem, for instance do you remember the PMC? I bought them.. I wasn't able to use them.. too hyped in the highs and annoying.. I sold them, listened to the buyer house and I liked them a lot.. here were unusable.. and part of this was because of comb filtering

So to me it is important not to have it.. but yeah if I find the worthing console at a good price.. I'll do anything possible to find a right placement for it that avoids comb filtering... unfortunately I had put a Tascam US2400 in the mixing position, tilted as the desk (was on the desk..) and there was no way to eliminate the comb filtering, no matter the position

I hope that's because it is kind of empty inside.. and the metal sheet of the case, rings badly.. so a console should not do that.. but we'll see :P

Which are your suggestions Karloff.. give me some console name :P
Old 27th October 2013
  #20
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

What money have you got to spend, how many channels are you looking for and what sort of music/sonics do you like?
Old 27th October 2013
  #21
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Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
What money have you got to spend, how many channels are you looking for and what sort of music/sonics do you like?
Money the less I can :P but I've seen some of these going low, like certain Soundcraft (6000), D&R, Soundtracs... for as low as 700 eu to 3000k... I'm saving money for know.. and taking a look around to see if I can score something for cheap... also considering some Studer 10/12 channels (buying another in a second time).. but nowadays they are not going for cheap as few years ago

I'd need 24 channels, better if 32 (if 16 or less tell me anyway I could decide to get a second one to achieve a total of 32 or 24 tracks), 6 to 8 sends, to give you some extreme example, I love Radiohead and Aphex Twin, Soulwax sounds and I do productions that aim to these kind of sounds (if you can tell me which is the Soulwax console they have in their studio, you can see the youtube video, would be really appreciated.. I also tried to find without success what Aphex uses)

I need very good EQ that can let me "make the sound" I'm hearing in my head, meaning vibey or if clean that they can accept powerful boosts without sounding too grainy, unfocused, nasal, constrained in the lows etc

I don't need stellar preamp, I have the ones of the interface which are very very good and a couple of outboard.

Oh and reliability is probably the biggest concern :P

I'll put mostly line, sequence, instruments.. always patched (I do production and mixing, no need to record more than a guitar with a couple of mic, a bass, vocals, or stuff that come at hand)

And it should be able to handle more passes (I record, edit, process, edit again, process, record, mix..... ) maybe with some mods

Obviously I can do compromises on what I'm asking, but depends.. so for now I'm picturing my ideal board :P
Old 28th October 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rez View Post
maybe you need to do something like eric valentine has done with his custom console, because one special aspect was the problem with comb filtering and he describes what he has done about that here: http://recording.org/hybrid-recordin...m-console.html

peace, rez
Oh that's very interesting, unfortunately he didn't say much about what he did on the console to make the sound travel through it... seems the painting is like "granular".. but it doesn't say what paint did he use or what he did inside the console to make it sound transparent.. do you have more info about it? It is also a shame a thread like this got like one reply

Another thing to add.. I have very good converters that don't give me any "phase blurriness" ... so "unfortunately" if something sounds crappy.. it will be magnified because there's nothing other masking anything.. it has also very good EQ and dynamics compared to analog.. so I mean the EQ should be quite worthing ... yeah I prevent the answer "why don't you get another interface like the one you have and stay ITB" because I need hands on control, routing flexibilities (patch bays are driving me mad during creative tasks) I'd like to have everything always ready

And yeah, about reliability, I think if I find one that hasn't problems, that hasn't been used very much or very well built.. I won't use it every day all the time (thinking about editing or things ITB to which I won't need a console) and I also treat stuff very well.. so I think it will last forever in my hands
Old 28th October 2013
  #23
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

No idea what those Soulwax lads' console is, but it looks very tasty. The switches look a bit like Cadac. Which would be an amazing desk to have, but more than your budget.......

For your budget I would look out for a Raindirk Concord (what I have, comes in 28ch) or Neotek Series I/II/III console. both will give you great eq and a cool sound. Or D&R for more neutral and likely a little more reliability. In the end, if you're getting an old console, check THAT console out thoroughly to know what you'd be dealing with. All older ones will be some sort of maintenance commitment, however big.

Concerning the comb filtering I would just forget about it. Get a nice sounding console and then set the room up as well sounding as possible and get to it.
Old 28th October 2013
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
No idea what those Soulwax lads' console is, but it looks very tasty. The switches look a bit like Cadac. Which would be an amazing desk to have, but more than your budget.......
yeah I don't know.. or an MCI or a Studer or a Ant...

Quote:
For your budget I would look out for a Raindirk Concord (what I have, comes in 28ch)
Wow that's very cool!! I love all these VU meter!! Looks quite old..

Quote:
or Neotek Series I/II/III console.
Both the Neotek and the Raindirk are quite old right?

Quote:
Or D&R for more neutral and likely a little more reliability.
That, reliability, is what made me D&R quite appealing :P Also maybe are a bit newer than the other two you mentioned.. but what scares me about D&R is I don't know if I'll find them "boring clean" or "warm/analog/3d/deep/phase coherent clean"

What do you think about Dayner?

Quote:
All older ones will be some sort of maintenance commitment, however big.
Like from the 80ies and before?

What do you think about Soundtracs Solitaire? I found one quite close to me.. from 98, he says it is in very good conditions..... Soundtracs=Crappy?

Edit: I did a search about Raindirk and I found your thread :P
Anyone got spare EPROM for Raindirk Concord?

You seemed quite exhausted.. I hope to not end up in the same never ending story :P (and I hope you are settled now)
Old 28th October 2013
  #25
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Soundtracs can be cool, but I would go for an IL then, not a Solitaire. The IL has a cool, papery sound to the eq. Organic sounding and inside your budget. Actually, an IL, maybe with some mods to make the master sound a bit bigger could be a really cool option if you have the space.

The only D&R I have heard (Orion) sounds very good and 'proper' but I wouldn't necessarily personally think it vibey. It wouldn't stop you doing the 'vibey' with other tools on top though.

Neotek I/II/III and the Concord are quite old, yes.
Old 28th October 2013
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Soundtracs can be cool, but I would go for an IL then, not a Solitaire. The IL has a cool, papery sound to the eq. Organic sounding and inside your budget. Actually, an IL, maybe with some mods to make the master sound a bit bigger could be a really cool option if you have the space.

The only D&R I have heard (Orion) sounds very good and 'proper' but I wouldn't necessarily personally think it vibey. It wouldn't stop you doing the 'vibey' with other tools on top though.

Neotek I/II/III and the Concord are quite old, yes.

Thank you very much Karloff!!

Hey do you have any picture of your studio, maybe send me a PM, I'm just curious to see all the stuff you got :P
Old 28th October 2013
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
Thank you very much Karloff!!

Hey do you have any picture of your studio, maybe send me a PM, I'm just curious to see all the stuff you got :P
I do have a couple on my mobile, but not big on putting pics of my nest on the world wide web, really......
Old 28th October 2013
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
I do have a couple on my mobile, but not big on putting pics of my nest on the world wide web, really......
ok sorry, that's why I said PM, but it is ok, I understand
Old 11th November 2013
  #29
rez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
Oh that's very interesting, unfortunately he didn't say much about what he did on the console to make the sound travel through it... seems the painting is like "granular".. but it doesn't say what paint did he use or what he did inside the console to make it sound transparent.. do you have more info about it?
as i remember the special thing about that console (besides being custom built) is that the surface consists of sort of a maze with thousands of little holes in it to reduce reflections.
eric valentine was at least one time at pensado´s place and there were some segments showing his studio and that particular console.

found a small video from 2010 AES (relevant part starts at 1:16): Under Tone Audio Custom Mixing Consoles: Interview With Co-Founder Eric Valentine (Video) - YouTube

peace, rez
Old 11th November 2013
  #30
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wow that is amazing!! I wouldn't even ask the price.. but looks like the real deal!! Unique eq plus Tube master buss.. what would you ask more?
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