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  • Digital Console Benefits

    My niece is getting married next weekend .... so being a good Uncle, I am doing DJ services as our wedding present (although my wife is also sliding them some cash even though they have repeatedly told her no).

    I am sitting here on this fabulous day in Michigan setting up for next weekend .... virtually speaking

    I have my mixer (X32 Rack) setup and have created scenes for my keyboard and vocal (I am also singing at the wedding). I have my speakers setup in the basement too.

    I just learned how to use the ducking feature of the gate. Very cool for the wedding announcements. Also, the X32 has a little blue dot that runs up and down the gain reduction curve so you can not only see how your gain reduction is setup for ducking, but where the background music (at volume) puts the little ball relative to where ducking is going to occur.

    I have also tweaked in a special vocal reverb for the song I am singing "When I say I do" along with a really nice grand piano patch with some verb on my Juno G.

    There were lots of discoveries along the way .... like the aux inputs don't have gates.... so I had to move the inputs to DI's from the computer.

    What I am really geeked about though is the fact that my real band setup that I have worked so hard to get fine tuned, is safely tucked away in a scene.

    So several things that I didn't even know were going to be useful, have been quite a God-send.

    With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

  • #2
    You could do the gig with a mackie 1202 tho
    www.rock-bot.com
    Live-Band-Karaoke

    bassist and sound reinforcement

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    • #3
      The ducking feature would be great. I did a wedding recently and made a small error - I used the "tape in" ports on the mixer (Mackie Onyx series) for the background music iPod. It turns out that is just not possible to route "tape in" to "main out" at the same time as a channel strip....I wound up tapping the break button to make annoucements. Frustrating.
      Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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      • #4
        So it just turns out I'm sitting here with MacBook on lap in Xedit setting up a gig I have next Friday and thought I'd check the forum. Yea OneEng, pretty cool indeed to not even have to fire up the console to start thinking things through. As is common in this little city where I live each of the three musicians in next Fridays gig all play in other projects as well so I copied Jeremy's seven drum-channel configurations from one project and Mike's two guitar settings from another. Sure I'll absolutely have to tweak EQ and dynamics for the venue when we get there but it's really nice to have a starting point, channels named, etc. Yup, a Mackie 1202 could work but this is definitely a step forward.
        ...dave

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        • #5
          My ZED 10Fx would work as well ..... but it wouldn't do it with as much class as my X32 ..... the verbs aren't nearly as nice either..... and I would have to ride the volume knobs instead of using the ducking feature ...... and if I were trying to run my band with it as well, I would have to re-route any analog cable runs that were routed differently and take a picture of the channel strip to be sure I got everything back.

          Sure, we can "get along" without any of these cool features. Most of us remember a time when WE were the TV remote .... as your dad grumbles from his easy chair "go change the channel for me" As quaint and endearing as that is, none of us would purchase a new TV without an IR remote today.

          Dave,

          It is a much different world in pro audio than the one from 20 years ago.... a much better one IMHO. Hard to give up off-line editing once you have had it for a while

          With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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          • #6
            Yea digital mixers have their benefits but also have shorter shelf life because the technology advancements is always changing. Here ago might get a kick out of this. http://www.creativeapplications.net/...s-iphone-ipad/

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            • #7
              I guess I'm just destined to be a caveman. I recently purchased a used 32 channel Soundcraft monitor mixer to use with my A&H gl2800 for FOH. For me there is just a feeling of control to look down at any moment and see everything I need to see. I don't debate the convenience of digital, I just don't see a need for it when my analog gear does exactly what I need and the workflow is very direct. If I was doing a lot of theatre I'd probably change my mind.

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              • #8
                The digital consoles (x32 in my case) do just keep on delivering. It is so gratifying trying to do some new setup (like ducking) and finding out you can. Other than having to lug around so much gear, the wireless mixing feature is turning out to be one of the biggest benefits for me.

                I do find myself guilty of the "heads down mixing" criticism voiced by many seasoned pros. These systems are complex, constantly changing, and there are too many things you can play with during the show. That is no excuse and probably this syndrome is just due to lack of experience. I think my attention was too often on the board and not on the performers even when I used a Mackie 1604 with very little outboard gear.
                --Mike"If your not confused, you don't know what is going on!"Live Sound for the Mt. Shasta areaShastaLiveSound.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by twostone View Post
                  Yea digital mixers have their benefits but also have shorter shelf life because the technology advancements is always changing. Here ago might get a kick out of this. http://www.creativeapplications.net/...s-iphone-ipad/
                  I don't see any reason why the digital mixer would have a shorter shelf life than an analog console. Can you elaborate?
                  With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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                  • #10
                    Not a electro/mechanical shelf life but a limited life just as computer advances in technology. A digital console will be more advanced as far as topology chip cooling/firmware and even much higher sampling
                    and resolution.

                    392hz sampling and 48bit?
                    Get my drift?

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                    • #11
                      Shelf life is often proportional to marketing efforts. The digital world is supported by greater marketing efforts IMO.
                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

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                      • #12
                        I would agree that with digital mixers, it is possible to add significant value to the work-flow and feature set much more rapidly than an analog mixer design.

                        For that reason, it is also possible that GAS will set in more quickly for those of us that are susceptible to this disease

                        It may also be (as Andy points out), that we are more heavily targeted by marketing in the digital world than the analog one.... thus spurring on our GAS symptoms.

                        I don't believe that the digital mixer as a device is obsolete any quicker than an analog mixer .... and in the case of something like the X32 Rack, it may actually endure longer than its analog cousins since there are very few physical components to wear out, and those physical components are seldom used.

                        Remote control surfaces are also making the actual brain center of the mixer a more abstract piece of equipment which in theory should also extend the useful life of the mixer.

                        Agedhorse .... what happened to your avatar? No horses butt
                        With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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                        • #13
                          Changing attitude...
                          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/Fender Musical Instruments Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                          Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
                            Not a electro/mechanical shelf life but a limited life just as computer advances in technology. A digital console will be more advanced as far as topology chip cooling/firmware and even much higher sampling
                            and resolution.

                            392hz sampling and 48bit?
                            Get my drift?

                            Yep this what I was referring to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
                              Not a electro/mechanical shelf life but a limited life just as computer advances in technology. A digital console will be more advanced as far as topology chip cooling/firmware and even much higher sampling
                              and resolution.

                              392hz sampling and 48bit?
                              Get my drift?
                              True indeed. Moore's Law shows no sign of being repealed so I'd expect the internals like sampling rate etc to keep advancing and getting more precise -- though I'm not sure I could hear the difference in most live-sound settings I get to work in.

                              However, what I'm really intrigued by is the evolution of the overall system layout, workflow, and visualization of important information and relationships. It just seems inevitable that preamps and (all?) system processing be done stageside with (wireless?) remote control from FOH. While I'm getting ever more comfortable wandering the venue mixing from iPad, physical faders and basic controls still make sense when possible given we're inherently tactile creatures when interacting with the rest of the world. So why not a compact, 10-pound, 17-fader surface with a 11+" high-resolution display? Finding a FOH "base station" location in a venue would be a whole lot easier if the surface wasn't 36" wide weighing 50 lbs and requiring a 1" snake with 32 XLR connectors. Then I'd still wander around with the iPad to investigate edge cases in the coverage. Related: A while back I got "a tour" of the new Presonus AI speakers with wireless iPad control of onboard DPS for individual cabs. As I noted in a post here I don't have a sophisticated enough ear/experience to tune the 8(?) PEQs on each individual unit (at least I didn't hear anything at that time that warranted it) but given the right tool -- something similar to the Smaart room-analysis feature of the SL boards? Interesting indeed.

                              Likewise adding a RTA background to the EQ display on the X32 was something I've wanted since I first started working the SL mixers -- of course now I would like full control of the RTA [like averaging and decay rate] as allowed by the AudioTools app! I also recently got to do a 3-day live-sound workshop using a SC48 focused on mixing acoustic instruments and vocals. The display on the (Wave I believe?) multi-band compressor plugin, for one example, allowed me to visualize which frequency ranges were seeing gain reduction much better than the virtual conceptualization in my brain. Again, very interesting stuff.

                              Now before the old road dogs here jump in and correctly point out that all this new wizz-bang isn't needed as in the end it's fundamentally the ear, talent, and experience of the engineer that really matters and that an analog + rack has worked great for many years let me say I totally agree. I mean I got along just wonderfully for the first 52 years of my life without a cell phone and was planning on being the last on the planet to get one but now have also grown quite reliant on having Siri answer the most trivial question as soon as it comes to mind let alone track the thunderhead bearing down on my mix position or stream music of an artist I just learned about ten minutes ago or finding that fricking paint store that moved locations or... Now am I a better person for it? Wrong question. Will the wizz-bang digital world allow me to become a better sound guy? Hard to say -- but I see no reason to go backwards that's for sure.
                              ...dave

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