Is it all over for SAW?

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Re: Is it all over for SAW?

Postby randyhyde » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:55 pm

soundguy wrote:
So now you're trying to be "realistic", but being incredibly unrealistic. Not sure what fantasy land you're living in, but other than the overkill Midas XL8 which can be had for half that, most consoles *I* see are in the $20K-$50K range, not far from the A&H systems you frequently drool over on this board.

Actually, I've toned down a bit over the past year when I discovered that I would never make my money back on my "preferred" iLive system. At this point (and probably for the foreseeable future), a new console (actually, pair of consoles, monitors and FOH) would have to cost less than $20,000 for me to realistically make my money back. I've done my homework over the past year and discovered that I could get by with a pair of GLD consoles (GLD-80 + GLD-112) for what I do. That being said, I've lost exactly *one* job thus far because I'm using SAC. Not pleasant, and possibly a Harbinger of things to come, but not sufficiently bad that I *have* to replace SAC right away.


So let's do a realistic analog. I can justify the purchase of a $90ish SM57 rather than a DPA mic at $1,800.

Again, not realistic at all. Now I've used a few DPA mics on a live jazz concert with high profile musicians which was webcast, but only because I borrowed them directly from the DPA rep in exchange for a credit.

That was a quick 'duck', eh?

Most of the "high end" mics you'll find in a touring mic locker are in the $500 range such as a Shure KSM32 ... and a few larger companies will have a pair of 414s at about $1K each. From there it's downhill to the Shure and Senn dynamics. Of course a few wireless vocal mics are the exception.

Then, perhaps, you should have used the KSM vs SM analogy. Either way, it's a bit strained.


I wasn't talking about any expensive gear ... YOU went there. My point was simply this ... and let me clarify. If something that costs $500 is considered a good ROI, then just about anything that cost *less* than $500 would be a better ROI, which is the majority of everything in your truck besides amps and speakers. If everything is a good ROI, then nothing in that price range is any better ROI than anything else.

The mistake you're making is claiming that SAC costs $500. It does not. You can buy a piece of software for $500 but that is not a SAC system. You'll spend $5,000 before you have anything reliable and reasonably high-quality. And, yes, there are lots of consoles we can compare prices and features that run below $5,000 (even those, using numbers you like, at half the price of a decent SAC system).


Your distaste for SAC is well known.


As is your unconditional love.

Obviously, you don't read too many of my posts, do you? :)

I think I've stated dozens of times that don't have a problem with SAC as the right tool for the right job such as a church or bar band gig, just not the concert stage rental market.

Really? I just don't see that. You constantly bash SAC in just about every post I can remember reading. And it's pretty obvious from your posts that you don't really use SAC. Because you rarely seem to complain about the *real* problems with SAC and just stick with nebulous things like "Bob's support" or "rider compatibility."

SAC will never be a contender for the "National/International A-List" concert acts. Never. If that's what you're defining as the "concert stage rental market" then we're in agreement. However, to me the "concert stage rental" market includes lots of owner/operator sound companies doing weekend festivals and SAC is great for those gigs. Despite your objections, SAC *does* sound great (obviously, this requires having decent preamps-A/D-D/A and other decent equipment in the chain; nothing especially outrageous [e.g., rednet or Aphex] but decent [e.g., stay away from Behringer]); if SAC didn't sound great, my company wouldn't be getting compliments on the sound at most gigs we do -- true, a part of this is the guy behind the board but a great engineer won't make up for a bad sounding system (though, as I've found, a great sounding system can smooth over mediocre engineers). I'm not saying that other sub-$10,000 boards don't sound great as well; just saying that you can't complain about SAC not sounding good (as you have, for example, when discussing SAC's compressors).

SAC fails to work in my environment because the learning curve is too high and when you have a high turnover of sound engineers going through your company (average employment is probably two years) it just isn't cost effective to train everyone on SAC to the point they can go off and do a show (and trouble-shoot problems) by themselves.


Come back to me and talk about ROI when you're spending your own money on the sound gear you use. Personally, I don't believe you personally purchase gear that is significantly better than what you can do with SAC for under $10,000.


Dude, I've been spending money on sound gear for 40 years, including a recently purchased PA ... and we're "talking" now. And you are just nuts to think that you can't buy a console "better" than SAC for $10K. Now this is where your buddy DF talks about useless features nobody gives a shit about to justify Bob L's "better than consoles costing hundreds of thousands of dollars" bullshit sales pitch that has failed his business.

As for the "bang for the buck" issue, I think the realistic story is that a well-appointed SAC rig is equivalent to a system costing about three-times as much.
And, yes, having worked on some of the sub-$10,000 boards recently, I do have to agree that you immediately begin missing features that are built in to SAC. The reverse is also true, every board is going to have one or two features that you find it inconvenient to work around -- real DCAs are a classic example -- but SAC *is* relatively feature rich and after several years of banging around on the console you start to depend on those features.

Let me ask you: How many gigs have you done using a SAC system? On what "real-world experience" are you basing your statements?

You can jump in here as well. And if I were to buy a console today, I think the B X32 at around $2.5K or the "core' with iPad under $1700 would smoke SAC in REAL WORLD application (not fantasy land applications based on useless features "no one else has").

meh. I'm sure if I were in the market for Behringer gear (which is still a non-starter at the level I work at) I'd say the same thing. The X32 (or M32, or better yet the QU-24) looks like it would be a *fine* B-rig console. However, by the time you buy a couple of them to handle monitors and FOH (a requirement at the level of shows I do with my A rig) I seriously doubt it would come close to "smoking" SAC. That said, I would point out that I have several VST (and native) plugins that couldn't be duplicated on any of these systems. Features that I use all the time and are *far* from useless. Of course, if you're happy with Berhinger reverb... (Granted, the Lexicon reverb on the QU-24 is not bad.)

OTOH, if you're happy with Berhinger gear, however, more power to you.

Oh, and by the way, why don't you describe this PA you just bought for us? Again, if you're such a connoisseur of high-end sound system and if you're not really a SAC user, why do you waste so much time on SAC boards? Just trolling? Did Bob do something to you personally to really piss you off and make you want to attack his product every chance you get (which is about the only impression anyone can get by reading your posts)?


For some outfits (like mine), the cost of training makes SAC a bad fit (I still have to personally attend most gigs where we use SAC because of the technical knowledge gap that exists; one of the reasons I am really interested in the A&H QU-24 board -- I can send a crew to a gig and not have to worry [as much] about something going wrong).


Here's another reason your "ROI" comments make no sense to me. How in the hell can you justify all of this "training" required (in your mind) to have someone set up a SAC system, and it's excessive expense? If it's true, and you have all of the "training" problems you have been complaining about FOR YEARS NOW, how can you possibly use the term "good ROI"?

Soundguy

I cannot justify the excessive training costs. Obviously, you haven't been paying much attention to my posts. This is the #2 complaint about SAC I have (right after poor control surface support) and why I would never recommend SAC for a company such as my own. When I send my SAC rig out, I almost always have to go out with it because I'm the only one who knows it well enough to solve deeply-rooted technical problems. Because I can't afford to pay my engineers full-time for six months to really get into SAC deep enough to deal with the little issues that come up, it's dangerous to send them on a job by themselves (yes, they are trained in the operation of the box, just not all the little details like system configuration and stuff like that). That said, SAC has paid for itself (and by SAC, I mean all the hardware as well as the software) a couple of times over. If the GLD had been available three years ago when I bought SAC, I'd probably have been happier with that. It wasn't. SAC was definitely the best choice at the time. I'd have a hard time choosing a console today, but for my business SAC would probably get weeded out when I look at training costs, dealing with guest engineers, and brand-name recognition. Because I *can* attend most shows where I need to use SAC, I've avoided training people to the level I'm 100% comfortable with them running a SAC-based show by themselves (i.e., it almost falls into the owner/operator model). My current plan is to get a QU-24 console for my B rig so that I can handle two concurrent shows and not have to worry about SAC at "the other show."

SAC is not without its problems. This board wouldn't exist if SAC were perfect. But SAC *is* usable (even on concert stages) and it does sound pretty damn good. Particularly for owner/operator sound companies moving up from analog, SAC can be a good choice. It is the wrong choice for many applications; however, you can make that statement about any console on the market. SAC's usable in far more situations than you'd like to claim, and far less useful in as many situations as Bob would like to claim, but it does have a pretty good niche in many areas. And DF is the perfect example of SAC's niche -- people that want a feature-laden digital board that sounds good without spending five figures to get it. SAC is getting some serious competition in the sub-$10,000 range these days, it's not a no-brainer today as it was 3-4 years ago, but one can easily come up with some use cases where SAC is the better choice. For people like Donnie Frank, I do believe that SAC is worthy of consideration.
Cheers,
Randy Hyde
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Re: Is it all over for SAW?

Postby leadfoot » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:07 pm

You guys..

I use Sac just about every weekend for our band. It works and I get very high end results every time. I wish I could mix us and play at the same time.

The main thing that sucks about it, is the lack of development over the last couple years. Whatever Sac is lacking was at one time thought to be only temporary and would be updated to be the thing we all wanted it to be. I wish I knew why the hell Bob all but quit working on this.. really pisses me off. Something must have derailed him for some reason or another. I know he was tough to deal with, but he used to be Johnny on the spot in earlier periods of time.

So many of us really hoped Sac would become what we all knew it could be, but it's a harsh disappointment and realization that more and more it looks like it never will. Time has passed and others haven't been sitting on their hands, I feel particularly disappointed having invested so much time and a huge part of my life just hanging around these forums, helping and waiting, only to be repeatedly neglected by the man I put so much faith in. (for some strange reason)

Anyway, I still use Sac quite often, and it can do most of things only very expensive desks can do. Even with Behringer preamps that still work for me since the first ones came out. Mixing is about so much more than the gear, I've seen so many bad sound engineers, DJ's that think they know how to mix, especially in recent years, these kids just have no clue. I've been a musician and sound engineer(on the side) for 30+ years. I've worked for some fairly large regional guys, played all over, I'm nobody, at the same time, I know what to do.

I understand you can't use a product that goes down on you during a show. But you have to realize what Sac is before you decide to use it, it might ruin your show, yes it's possible. So if that's something you absolutely can't have, then you should know better than to risk it. You know it hasn't been sold in mass numbers to the majority of the mix engineers of the world like say a PM5D or something.. tried and tested in every imaginable way and all that.

At the same time, if you have a situation that is fit for something like Sac, like I do, it can be very good. If you don't have an application for it, but still try to shoehorn it to work for you, you should be using something else for sure. If I were working professionally mixing big shows, I wouldn't even think of using Sac.

One thing I don't get, and I mean this with all due respect, is why someone who doesn't use Sac, and is obviously a professional, would come to this place and do nothing but rip on Sac like it was his ex-wife or something. I just don't get it. That would be like me going to a guitar players website and telling them they're all idiots for playing a Bad Cat amp, and I've never played through one.

I really wish someone would just reverse engineer it and give us what we want :) Doesn't seem like Bob would care.
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Re: Is it all over for SAW?

Postby airickess » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:49 pm

Ah, I remember the good old days when this thread was about speculation on end-of-life for SAW.
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Re: Is it all over for SAW?

Postby RBIngraham » Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:40 pm

airickess wrote:Ah, I remember the good old days when this thread was about speculation on end-of-life for SAW.


yeah, but the answer to that is so obvious that we just had to go back to what we do best.... :horse:
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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Re: Is it all over for SAW?

Postby gdougherty » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:49 am

Randy, I think you'd be surprised at the acceptability of the X32. The only reason myself and many engineers I've been around over the past year wouldn't accept one is if the processing requirements exceeded the capabilities of the console. $5K would get a very capable MON/FOH setup with a pair of consoles. The more realistic option I've seen people kicking around now is an M32 at FOH and X32 on Monitors for all of $7500 or less. The faders on the newer models hold up well enough and the board is quite reliable. I have yet to have either an X32 or my own X32 Rack crash on me. I recently figured out that some oddities I'd thought necessitated a reboot were actually operator error due to the signal generator overriding the input of a mixbus until you actually turn it off. I turned down the signal but neglected to turn it off a few times. iPad control on the X32 also smokes any and all remote connectivity options for SAC. In yet another dead horse area, SAC is really missing the boat there but we all know that.

As for VST processing you can only do in SAC and the onboard effects, the onboard in the X32 actually sound quite good. Easily as good as those built into the Soundcraft Si series or the GLD and good enough that MIDAS didn't bother replacing them for the M32. Certainly much better than the average reverb plugin running in software without dedicated DSP. Using the USB card connection and something like Waves Multirack, Reaper, etc. you can actually add plugin processing to individual tracks or mixbusses and only about as much latency as the average SAC system. Realistically, I haven't missed my plugin processing nearly as much as I thought I might. Mixbusses have a 6-band parametric and full featured compressor which also sounds quite good. 6 matrix mixes with the same processing as all the mixbuses cover additional output needs well enough for everything I've done so far. For color compression, the V2 firmware adds LA-2A and 1176 emulations among other things.

The only thing I'll be dragging my SAC rig out for these days are orchestra concerts where I need at least 48 channels of processing.
http://softwareaudioconsole.wikidot.com The start of a wiki. It's slow going and there's a ton of info that should be in there yet.
Biggest item is the Command Reference on how to do most actions within SAC. It's 90% of what you need for UI proficiency.

g is for George
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Re: Is it all over for SAW?

Postby IraSeigel » Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:03 pm

leadfoot wrote:...


The main thing that sucks about it, is the lack of development over the last couple years. Whatever Sac is lacking was at one time thought to be only temporary and would be updated to be the thing we all wanted it to be. I wish I knew why the hell Bob all but quit working on this.. really pisses me off. Something must have derailed him for some reason or another. I know he was tough to deal with, but he used to be Johnny on the spot in earlier periods of time.

So many of us really hoped Sac would become what we all knew it could be, but it's a harsh disappointment and realization that more and more it looks like it never will. Time has passed and others haven't been sitting on their hands, I feel particularly disappointed having invested so much time and a huge part of my life just hanging around these forums, helping and waiting, only to be repeatedly neglected by the man I put so much faith in. (for some strange reason)

...


+1
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