Need some advice on choosing a console...

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Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby Paul Henry » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:49 am

Hi guys, I need to ask you guys for some advice.

One of the venues that I work at needs to replace their analog board, so obviously we are considering digital.

I haven't had hands on time with many of the lower cost digital consoles except the Presonus and the Soundcraft Si so I need to ask your opinions and advice.

We need at least 24 channels, preferably 32.

Sound quality is the primary concern, followed by ease of use.

So the question is, if you had to pick the best sounding, best bang for the buck, low to mid priced digital console which would you choose?

I don't think they are willing to spring for the Midas Pro 1, so that means we are probably looking at mixers under $8K.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby jlepore » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:45 pm

Ask me in a week after I actually run a show on an M32. Have played in the shop with it, but until you do it under fire and have to make a show happen, you just don't know. In reality, the Pro1 price has been coming down (especially since the release of the M32) so you may want to check on deals there.

I would definitely avoid the Presonus at any cost.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby Paul Henry » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:09 pm

jlepore wrote:
I would definitely avoid the Presonus at any cost.


Thanks Joe.

Yeah I really don't like how it sounds.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby gdougherty » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:23 pm

In the under $5000 range, M32 hands down. Under $10k the GLD-80 is very attractive with room to grow into 40 channels, though I'd also consider the Soundcraft Si Performer.

If you can stretch it the QL5 is a pretty sweet board.

For an inexpensive board that meets your specs, the M32 is going to be hard to beat. 32 mic pre + 3 stereo line pairs, Digital snake capable and a full 32 channel recording interface out of the box.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby BrentEvans » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:33 pm

gdougherty wrote: Under $10k the GLD-80 is very attractive with room to grow into 40 channels, though I'd also consider the Soundcraft Si Performer.


Having used both, the Soundcraft wins in more areas than it loses. It's ready to go out of the box, it's fixed architecture so you don't run out of mixes, and IIRC, it can do more mixes than the AH... and it supports way more input channels in the mix engine. Add to that more faders. The only place the AH wins is the effects engine and that it has a USB recorder on board. Entry price is comparable between the two.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby Butch » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:08 pm

BrentEvans wrote:
gdougherty wrote: Under $10k the GLD-80 is very attractive with room to grow into 40 channels, though I'd also consider the Soundcraft Si Performer.


Having used both, the Soundcraft wins in more areas than it loses. It's ready to go out of the box, it's fixed architecture so you don't run out of mixes, and IIRC, it can do more mixes than the AH... and it supports way more input channels in the mix engine. Add to that more faders. The only place the AH wins is the effects engine and that it has a USB recorder on board. Entry price is comparable between the two.

You don't like the Lexicon effects ????

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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby BrentEvans » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:26 pm

They work just fine but the ah had more variety iirc.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby RBIngraham » Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:50 pm

jlepore wrote:Ask me in a week after I actually run a show on an M32. Have played in the shop with it, but until you do it under fire and have to make a show happen, you just don't know. In reality, the Pro1 price has been coming down (especially since the release of the M32) so you may want to check on deals there.

I would definitely avoid the Presonus at any cost.


Just to be curious and to be be fair about it..... Is your experience on the Presonus units with the more recent AI versions or the older models. Now I'm just going by what the factory reps have told me, so take that for what it's worth, but supposedly the AI versions and the new rackmount software UI only stuff is a very different console on the inside from the originals and not just in terms of feature set.

We have had demos in our office for both and they seem fairly decent to me, but obviously that's different than actual field exerience. Plus I'm never very good at all that "golden ear" kind of shit. As long as it doesn't sound like crap or I am able to actually A-B two products side by side, I rarely notice much differences in console "sound". Only things like diferences in how comps and gates respond and how well they work. I guess that is part of how they sound obviously, but to me that's different than over all sound quality.

For example, I always poo poo'd that M7 preamps sound like crap thing till I had the opprotuntity and time to comapre it with something else (ironically with a Behring ADA8000 hooked up via ADAT to the M7). Plugged in the same wireless mic to both preamps and discovered what everyone had been talking about.

Anyway, just curious if your experience is perhaps based on older models and maybe they have improved them?
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby jlepore » Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:11 pm

I have not had my hands on one in a few years. I have not seen any of the newer variety I guess. I never got past the absolute shit preamps and the totally non-recallable control surface. They are playing in the same price range as you can get a decent desk for, so I would never give them a second look probably.

While I don't particularly like the X32 preamps, they are decent when necessary. I will have my hands on an M32 this weekend and will find out how those preamps compare to the real Midas preamps (say Pro1 or DL251). That said, using an X32 with a DL251 sounds amazing. I guess it proves the math is good - it just suffers a bit in the preamps.
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Re: Need some advice on choosing a console...

Postby jlepore » Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:25 pm

Ok .. had a show on a M32 last night.

The preamps sound ok - not quite as good as the Pro series, but better than the X32. My biggest problem was the navigation is just as slow as the X32. Many button pushes and multiple levels to get to things you need. It was definitely slowing me down and causing me to think a lot more than I usually like - it takes you away from actually being totally connected to the show. I suppose once you learn where things are all hidden, it may be easier, and programming the 3 banks of user keys might bring some of the hidden stuff back up to the surface could also help.
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