Saying bye to SAC after 6.5 years

Discussions about the use and operation of SAC (Software Audio Console)

Saying bye to SAC after 6.5 years

Postby shmick » Tue May 03, 2016 8:24 pm

Overall, it was a relatively pain free ride for us, which is pretty amazing since we're a portable church that has to setup and teardown every week. It will be replaced by a fully loaded A&H GLD-112 in the next few weeks.

The decision to replace SAC was done so to allow new volunteers to get up to speed and to allow "hired guns" to be able to run the system should there be a week or 2 when no volunteers are available.

I'm looking forward to trying out the DANTE card, as it looks like we'll be able to send all 48 inputs + MAIN + AUX Mixes to the Mac Mini that will be running REAPER to record it all.

I'm still amazed at how much digital consoles cost once you start getting above 48 inputs and need more than a couple of dozen mix buses. We were definitely spoiled by the seemingly limitless I/O we had with SAC. It's a shame that Bob didn't realize the potential market growth if it had better control surface support and a few other minor things. We didn't bother moving to AMP as it would have put us into a similar situation with regards to volunteer training and the ability to call up a sound company to have a hired hand run the thing.
Host: ASUS P5Q SE/R, Intel E8400 O/C'd to 3.8ghz, 3 x RME HDSP 9652, XP Pro
Gear: 9 x ADA8K, 4 x Audiorails, 1 x BCF2000
Config: FOH + 12 stereo IEM mixes
Misc: Dual Linkwitz-Riley plugin, Studio Levelizer, Studio Reverb, Frequency Analyzer, SAWStudioLite
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Re: Saying bye to SAC after 6.5 years

Postby BrentEvans » Wed May 04, 2016 11:32 am

Welcome to gld. I just ran my first show on mine... You'll wonder why you bothered with SAC in short order😃
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Re: Saying bye to SAC after 6.5 years

Postby shmick » Wed May 04, 2016 6:48 pm

If the GLD was out in 2009, we might have looked at it, but really, there was nothing that matched the I/O count and routing ability of SAC for anywhere near the same money. Even used consoles were way too expensive. I really wanted SAC to succeed. I was even considering putting together a side business selling turn key SAC installs. That changed after I saw the never ending responses from Bob of "you need to think differently. Get used to doing things my way. Your ideas are crap. Etc, etc."
Host: ASUS P5Q SE/R, Intel E8400 O/C'd to 3.8ghz, 3 x RME HDSP 9652, XP Pro
Gear: 9 x ADA8K, 4 x Audiorails, 1 x BCF2000
Config: FOH + 12 stereo IEM mixes
Misc: Dual Linkwitz-Riley plugin, Studio Levelizer, Studio Reverb, Frequency Analyzer, SAWStudioLite
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Re: Saying bye to SAC after 6.5 years

Postby RBIngraham » Thu May 05, 2016 9:03 am

Sorry to hear you're leaving the world of software mixing. But based on what you've said that was probably a wise choice. Although frankly if guest engineer is a high priority, I would only go with Yamaha at that point. Even Allen and Heath can be screwy and unintuitive if you ask me. But maybe that's just because Yamaha is so popular in the US? Anyone that has more than a couple thimbles full of knowledge knows how to run a Yamaha. Very few know how to really fly on the A&H or Digico stuff. At least around here anyway.

As for console costs I think it's worth being realistic that these companies are out to make a profit and have a lot more costs than the one man shop writing software code. And time has only proven that what really costs money is the control surface. If you wants real faders and knobs and nice displays those will cost money and that is why the legit pro desks will only ever get so cheap. But the feature sets only keep going up. A console with the abilities of a cheap ass X32 would have cost you at least $10K just a few years ago. Of course the desks that cost 10K now, have feature sets that do a lot more than the X32, even if for a while the X32 was ahead of the game. Heck even Bob Puff has shown that if you want to do software mixing and do it well it's going to cost you. He has had outside coders helping him, particularly with the GUI. So even that has costs to do properly.

You'll like Dante. It has a few quirks but for the most part once you have things set up, it just works.

That's the thing with the higher channel count, larger bus count desks most of the folks that really need that level of sophistication and can afford all the stuff you actually plug into all those inputs, can usually afford to cough up the bucks for the consoles... if they really want to and set their mind to it. :-) The other thing I always emphasize to colleges when talking about system design is that DSPs are your friend. Yeah if you want 24 discrete In Ear mixes you're going to need some hardware and decent buss counts to pull that off. But a nice DSP can really reduce the need for how many discrete mixes you need out of your console. Rather than trying to do every delay/fill system with a matrix or something like that out of your console... just do stem mixes into a DSP and use the DSP for what it's best at and the console for what it's good at. And when you do need a ton of dedicated In Ear mixes or even traditional monitors, nothing beats the personal mixer. Then the console routing is simple and you can add more mixes just by adding more personal mixers. A concept that seems to escape many on our favorite forum. :-)
Richard B. Ingraham
RBI Computers and Audio
http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/
SAC details and goodies at: http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/SAC.html
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