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Rotary mixing desk?

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Not really. They are just less expensive and take up less space. . If you're doing allot of work sitting down with multiple inputs, Riding volume levels, you can move many sliders at once with two hands. 10 fingers, 10 sliders. You're limited to two knobs with two hands with a cheaper board. Quality wise it can vary allot. Sliders don't indicate better quality, and knobs poorer quality. If you have used boards with sliders its a whole lot easier to mix though, live or in studio. You can visually see where multiple levels are at a glance too.

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Great reply. :)


Another thing to keep in mind is that faders come in different lengths too. 100mm faders is the professional standard, but you'll find 60mm and even 45mm faders out there too. Longer faders are easier to use and more precise, but take up more physical space.


If you look at pictures of some of the earlier mixing consoles, such as these two shots of 50s/60s era Universal Audio mixers (with Bruce Swedien at the controls in the first photo and Bill Putnam Sr. in the second), you'll see that it would be difficult for most people to adjust more than two volume knobs simultaneously. The switch to faders was a significant improvement, and given equivalent parts quality, I'd usually rather have faders than rotary knobs.






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Looks like something you'd see at the NASA Museum.


Radio and TV stations used knobs in many early studios too. Much of that gear was state of the art at the time and built by actual engineers who worked there and did the mixing. Its pretty amazing the work that could be done twisting knobs like that. They used big knobs on allot of those old consoles because the larger circumference made for a slower turn and smaller, more accurate tweaks. I've read where they could fade up to 4 channels using the side of their hands, Or just bussed it to a master volume.


There are allot of ways of skinning the cat, many we just don't appreciate because we never had to work our way up using primitive stuff. Some of that old stuff did sound great though. Much better then what you hear on the final medium of the time. What they couldn't get from the gear the musicians made up for in their musical compositions and flawless performances. When you didn't have multitracking it was all an hourly venture which cost big bucks. Those who could pull off a great performance were usually the professionals who performed just as well live.

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  • 2 years later...
I have one and the advantage is that its cleaner. dust and everything doesn't get inside the faders


It will get in there eventually - trust me.


Regardless of the style of faders your board has, it's still a good idea to cover it up with a vinyl cover when it's not in use.




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