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  • Recommendations for rider friendly consoles

    Evidently the new owners of my venue are going to refit our showroom (est 700 seat 35' X 14' proscenium w 25' grid/ fly-rail system - House has about a 32' ceiling). This is scheduled for 3rd or 4th Q 2017.

    I know it's a year out and technology changes quickly these days but I'm trying to get a feel for which console(s) would be rider friendly in the majority of cases (you'll never satisfy everyone). The artists will be (hopefully) mid level national acts, some regional acts and an occasional theatrical/dance show (possibly longer production runs but most likely 2 to 7 days).

    I stopped checking out the new crop of digital boards around 4-5 years ago. I realize the PM5-D is becoming dated as is the Digidesign venue series. I'm familiar with the Behringer X-32 and it's close cousin the Midas version. What are folks asking for (or at least accepting) these days as a main & monitor consoles? I realize this can now be the same console but if we sell management on a couple of discrete boards, we can have some choices.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    FWIW I'll probably post later about main speakers, amps, monitor speakers, IEM systems (maybe even lights) etc in the future. Try and keep the focus on mixers for now in this thread. I don't know about budget (I'm sure it's NOT unlimited) but these guys seem willing to spend the money to do the job right so shoot a little high if possible.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
    J.R. Previously jrble

    See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

    Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
    If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

  • #2
    You might want to research/ask over here:
    http://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/board,9.0.html

    This stuff goes obsolete SO fast these days. The important thing seems to be to have enough quality CAT-whatever lines available between the stage, monitor world, and FOH (and maybe a back room for recording/broadcast?). Dunno if an analog snake and/or trough is still important to have for the occasional dinosaur act? DMX to FOH? At 700 seats dunno if a 32 channel board is enough? The Midas branded X32 system sure seems to have legs and is cheap enough to have a spare console .

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    • #3
      Good question JR, and one that frankly doesn't really have a single answer to. I've been out of the touring/venue side of things for 2 years now, but it seemed as though no matter which console you chose it won't be the right console for the next act. Also, we found that most acts in that mid level market were carrying consoles so it didn't matter what console we had.

      You could always get one of the "standards" such as Yamaha, DigiCo, Midas or Avid, but then you are stuck with that choice. It may be a better idea to go with a Midas M32 or two (for the "brand name aversion" to the new parent company) and then put a few $$$ into shielded Cat 6 everywhere (3 or 4 runs to FOH) and accept the fact that for the most part acts will bring in their consoles.

      Is this the venue you have been running (Gillys) or is it another showroom?
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm curious if you think it's still a good idea to have an installed analog snake and/or trough these days?

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        • #5
          The M32 is likey a good choice. Even if the band doesn't have one (or an X32) themselves, they may well have a show file for one. As Agedhorse points out, most people won't object to a console with the word "MIDAS" on it, and it is the most prolific digital console in the world .... so many people will know how to operate it.

          I vastly prefer the digital snake. Being able to switch inputs, or banks of inputs with a scene is really nice. This is especially true if you have multiple bands you are switching between.

          Keep in mind that you are limited to 38 inputs total.
          With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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          • #6
            Originally posted by agedhorse View Post
            Good question JR, and one that frankly doesn't really have a single answer to. I've been out of the touring/venue side of things for 2 years now, but it seemed as though no matter which console you chose it won't be the right console for the next act. Also, we found that most acts in that mid level market were carrying consoles so it didn't matter what console we had.

            You could always get one of the "standards" such as Yamaha, DigiCo, Midas or Avid, but then you are stuck with that choice. It may be a better idea to go with a Midas M32 or two (for the "brand name aversion" to the new parent company) and then put a few $$$ into shielded Cat 6 everywhere (3 or 4 runs to FOH) and accept the fact that for the most part acts will bring in their consoles.

            Is this the venue you have been running (Gillys) or is it another showroom?

            There are a couple of empty 2" conduits (pull string inside between FOH and stage. Yes at least one of these will get filled with cat 5 cables.

            Currently there are already 70+ terminated audio lines next to said conduit (more than enough - I hope would hope .

            The venue being remodeled is the showroom (there's even "talk" of seating expansion but this is of course $$$ so it's probably just "talk"). Yes I still mix Gilley's (a terrible venue) when there's no need for me in the showroom.

            OneEng (still don't know how to do multiple quotes). I'm seriously considering the Midas M32 (actually 40 channels capable with proper outboard rack boxes). This is probably sufficient for monitors (my world) as we rarely see more than 32 - 36 inputs (plenty of auxes & out converters to feed all of those stereo IEMs). I REALLY like the software as well. also as you say it does have the name Midas name which seems to impress people. I recently got acquainted (barely) with a Digidesign SC48 and was impressed with how it worked. Maybe one of their upscale boards for FOH (S6L looks nice). Either board could fill both FOH & monitor roles with the right control surfaces. Having similar branded mixers would allow sharing of stage boxes but there's also limitations to that (like changing the pre gain without messing with the other's mix).

            Anybody know about the new Yamaha CL , the A&H Dlive or the soundcraft Vi consoles? All good names but again........rider friendly???

            Still looking

            J.R. Previously jrble

            See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

            Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
            If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dogoth View Post


              There are a couple of empty 2" conduits (pull string inside between FOH and stage. Yes at least one of these will get filled with cat 5 cables.

              Currently there are already 70+ terminated audio lines next to said conduit (more than enough - I hope would hope .

              The venue being remodeled is the showroom (there's even "talk" of seating expansion but this is of course $$$ so it's probably just "talk"). Yes I still mix Gilley's (a terrible venue) when there's no need for me in the showroom.

              OneEng (still don't know how to do multiple quotes). I'm seriously considering the Midas M32 (actually 40 channels capable with proper outboard rack boxes). This is probably sufficient for monitors (my world) as we rarely see more than 32 - 36 inputs (plenty of auxes & out converters to feed all of those stereo IEMs). I REALLY like the software as well. also as you say it does have the name Midas name which seems to impress people. I recently got acquainted (barely) with a Digidesign SC48 and was impressed with how it worked. Maybe one of their upscale boards for FOH (S6L looks nice). Either board could fill both FOH & monitor roles with the right control surfaces. Having similar branded mixers would allow sharing of stage boxes but there's also limitations to that (like changing the pre gain without messing with the other's mix).

              Anybody know about the new Yamaha CL , the A&H Dlive or the soundcraft Vi consoles? All good names but again........rider friendly???

              Still looking
              I have never been sure you could get the 2 channels dedicated to the USB input out of that purpose. You might want to check that. Still, 38 channels covers most situations quite well.
              With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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              • #8
                I thought it (X32 & M32) was 32 mic ins plus 6 aux ins plus a bunch of internal effects returns.

                One thing that's often forgotten is that 32 mic plus at least 4 stereo effects returns (or is is 8, 4 effects may only be insertable) plus the aux inputs all paged so there's really quite a few real world inputs to deal with. If you need more than the 32 mic inputs (plus all the others), I would expect that the act would be carrying anyway or might not like your choice of console up the food chain.

                If you are doing opening acts that drive the need for more need channels, use the installed analog snake for the headliner and the digital snake for the opener. Patch between them as part of your show build and recall with the proper patching and you now have the equiv. of 2 separate 32 channel consoles, each build handling as many as 32 (mic) channels but no more than 32 mic channels at a time. This is actually one of the driving features that caused me to see how powerful it could be in some situations.

                -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's the spec for the M32: http://www.music-group.com/Categorie.../p/P0B3I/specs
                  Note the I/O ports for AES50.

                  It appears that this gives the console huge expandability (huge to my thinking). I would want to talk with the Midas people first to verify this. I realize the extra outboard, networked I/O boxes would be an extra expense but even if it doubled the cost of the board, it's still seems to be a good deal. In reality, I've never used all 48 channels of the M7 CL that's currently in place (being used exclusivly as a monitor board). I realize FOH almost always has a lot of extra "production" channels like track playback and outboard analog FX returns. Again This would be in an extreme situation but why not have the capacity available if it's cheap enough.

                  I'm not sold on this console yet and have a year to explore the possibilities. That's why I'm starting now .

                  Midas does sell the Pro series which is a lot more expensive & capable (I wonder if the remote software is as intuitive as it's little brother's?). I'll have to wait to get a feel for the budget when the time draws near.

                  If anyone gets wind of any new developments that would (most importantly) meet most (Ha! Ha!) specs please le me know.

                  Thanks for the advice so far.

                  Cheers
                  J.R. Previously jrble

                  See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

                  Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
                  If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't believe you can use the AES50 simultaneously with the 32 analog inputs, BUT you can switch between them for opening act and then the headliner.

                    You have 32 mic channels, at least 4 stereo return channels, all channels have insertable gates and comps, plus you have 6 line level aux inputs (may even be stereo but do not remember and often I run my production playback in mono anyway to cover for reversed channels, missing channel, single grab & go fader. I do run production backing tracks and professionally produced video playback tracks in stereo but I always check they be sure that they are giving me what the say they are.

                    IME this would cover probably 80% of what you might do in the room, and of the remaining 20% my hunch is that they would probably be carrying anyway. That's what held me back from a big boy digital console purchase... everything I could have used it for was carrying consoles so there was no return on investment at all compared with the analog PM console that I already had that was paid off and did everything else plenty fine. In fact, a digital console had to be rented in once a year for about 5 years... and always a different console specified. Sure glad I did't take it in the rear end on how that investment would have turned out.

                    Funny how the choices work out when it's your money. I made more money with the $15k analog console over 15 years than I would have with any of the big digital boards. Now that's all different with the Midas M-32 and such mid level boards because there's no additional investment in outboard gear (I had $10k in my FX and Dynamics racks, so FOH was really $25k, and at this cost even the bigger digital consoles are a bargain BUT my FOH was paid off and fully depreciated and had plenty of life left in it so it remained a money maker. Now another factor is it was all really top of the line gear (Lexicon, Yamaha, DBX, Drawmer etc.) so it was not production unfriendly to begin with
                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The X32/M32 is a 40 channel mixing engine..... which is to say that it can mix up to 40 inputs at one time.

                      Because of the pretty flexible routing of the mixer, you can re-map the aux inputs to an AES50 for the additional mic inputs instead of using the six 1/4" aux inputs.

                      Keep in mind that these 6 inputs ..... even when re-mapped, do not have a gate or compressor on them .... however, they do allow you to use any of the insert efx which you could use instead of the default channel processing present on the standard 32 mic inputs.

                      You can find this option on the new X32 Edit V3.0 under "routing". On the inputs section below the matrix you will see a drop down box with a label saying "Aux In Remap". It is normally mapped to the .... well, aux inputs You can set it to other inputs though.

                      This is where I get the 38 inputs (not really a complete 40 FLEXIBLE inputs since 2 are USB player L/R). The 2 USB inputs can not be re-mapped as far as I know. Maybe someone more savy than me can let me now how this could be done.

                      Still, not a bad bit of board really. 38 inputs (plus USB player), 25 mix buses (16 general purpose, 6 matrix, plus L/R/C), 8 DCAs, 8 stereo efx engines (4 parallel (like verbs and delays), and 4 inserts OR you can split the efx engines and have 8 mono parallel EFX and 8 mono inserts.

                      Additionally, every channel eq has a 100 band RTA overlay that is configureable to see pre or post eq RTA. In fact, most of the channel efx are pretty comprehensive compared to their direct competition IMO.

                      As an example, the compressor and gate on the channel have a configurable key filter that can be used. There are settings for ducking and expanding on the compressor, and really a host of different settings not found on other consoles in this price range once you start digging into the specifics of each effect.

                      I found a really neat use for ducking one channel based on input from another channel when doing my nieces wedding. As I announced the party, the music would be automatically ducked. Pretty cool.

                      I own the X32 Rack which is why I am so familiar with the capabilities of the mixer
                      With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mapping the 6 AES mic channels to the Aux ins would get you more mic channels, but a lot of these shows have a fair amount of playback that would use the Aux in's anyway (if they are the kinds of shows I'm thinking of and similar to the circuit I used to do)

                        I am pretty sure the remapping is a new feature from a software update.
                        Last edited by agedhorse; 09-28-2016, 08:37 PM.
                        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                        Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have a friend who (unknown to me at the time) has an M32. It is just as OneEng and Andy said. Even though you can attach multiple outboard mic pre boxes, the mix engine will only see 38 of them at any given time (yes the remaining 2 are USB fixed playback). Being used as a monitor console, not having dynamics available on 6 of the inputs wouldn't be an issue. Most times the same could be said if used as a FOH board (there's almost always a few "production channels" that don't need this processing.

                          The price is right and (sans any new developments in the industry ) it may well become one of our available in house mixers. Any money saved there could be put toward better output side gear (amps, speakers, IEMs etc.....). I wish I had a better idea of their budget but I'm not sure managment knows that yet (our room is just one phase of property renovation with a date on it at this point).

                          FWIW Our A/V department & whole convention facility >100k sq' is getting refitted beginning Jan 17. I'm distantly attached to that department (as borrowed labor). Most of those guys don't understand basic gain staging & routing of even simple analog mixers. I'm curious what they will do with a batch of X12 & X18 digital mixers. I might be spending a lot of time playing teacher (hope I get paid for it ). I don't really want to get involved with the design of the room audio there (as I prefer to distance myself from corporate stuff as much as possible). My guess is they will install either a Media matrix or a Crestron system (the former is a lot more user configurable but the latter is a bit more flexible (it more easily handles video, lighting & other assorted control jobs.)).

                          Sorry - didn't mean to derail my own thread LOL.

                          Back to mixers: If anyone has used or even seen in action the Yamaha CL, A&H Dlive or the soundcraft Vi consoles, I'd like to hear about it as I still want to explore them as options.

                          Thanks for your replies so far.

                          Cheers
                          J.R. Previously jrble

                          See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

                          Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
                          If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Soundcraft Performer can mix up to 66 channels at a time and is well respected by those that have used it (me not being one of them btw). You might want to take a look at that.

                            Still, if you are interested in people being familiar with the mixer (having a good chance that someone else will know how to use it), the X32/M32 is impossible to beat at this time.
                            With Greater Knowledge Comes Greater Understanding

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, one advantage of a lot of units in the field is familiarity.

                              There was also some discussion about linking consoles in the digital domain, I don't recall seeing any additional follow-up on this though. (using 4 pages of 16 channels and shared processing). Somehow, my guess is that it's a lot harder to do than for marketing to suggest
                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                              Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

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