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Sony OXF-R3 (Oxford) Console thoughts
Old 22nd January 2004
  #1
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Lindell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sony OXF-R3 (Oxford) Console thoughts

Whats ya´ll thoughts about mixes done on the Sony Oxford console?

The user list is kind of impressive. They stopped making ém though....
Hitfactory
Ocean Way
Walter A
Real World
Mick Guzauski
George Massenburg
NBC


/L
Old 22nd January 2004
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I don´t know much about the console but the Eq and the dynamics (TDM Plugins) are definetly killer sounding

I love Peter Gabriel´s work, but I´m not sure if he ever mixes on his Oxford. Up was mixed on his SSL-E.
Perhaps OVO and his Rabbit proof fence soundtrack ???
Old 23rd January 2004
  #3
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Re: Sony OXF-R3 (Oxford) Console thoughts

Quote:
Originally posted by Lindell
Whats ya´ll thoughts about mixes done on the Sony Oxford console?

The user list is kind of impressive. They stopped making ém though....
Hitfactory
Ocean Way
Walter A
Real World
Mick Guzauski
George Massenburg
NBC


/L
User list doesn't mean much if you don't like it.

I loved working on it. Working on pro digital boards is a different feel(and sound) than working on the little"digital toy boards".

But given my choice, I still prefer to mix on analog.
Old 23rd January 2004
  #4
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e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
I hate that console. When the first one came to L.A. I was in the room for 2 months dealing with all kinds of problems. A couple months ago I used the one at Hit factory/Criteria and while it was finally at least stable, I still am not a fan of the EQ. The compression is decent/useable for most of what I need. The faders always felt foreign to me. I always felt like I had to work 4 times harder to get things the way I wanted them to sound on it.

I prefer the Neve Capricorn MUCH more, even with it's flaws.
Old 23rd January 2004
  #5
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🎧 20 years
I hate that console. When the first one came to L.A. I was in the room for 2 months dealing with all kinds of problems. A couple months ago I used the one at Hit factory/Criteria and while it was finally at least stable, I still am not a fan of the EQ. The compression is decent/useable for most of what I need. The faders always felt foreign to me. I always felt like I had to work 4 times harder to get things the way I wanted them to sound on it.

I prefer the Neve Capricorn MUCH more, even with it's flaws.
Old 23rd January 2004
  #6
Registered User
 
🎧 20 years
Ditto for me, cue. Don't like the Oxford much. Sounds vastly shiny-clean-digital-happy. Only Mick G has ridden it to a good place, in my ears at least. Mick is baaad.

And e-cue, our other differences of opinion notwithstanding, the Capricorn is so much the best sounding digital console. It has, (dare I say this about a digital device?), balls. Not the most ergonomic of layouts, but it do sound fine. In fact, sounds a whole lot like my Paris rig. Yes, indeed it does, though you may call me many names for saying so, if you feel the need tutt

You get to Nashville sometime, and I bet we will agree on some other gear as well, sitting in the same room, in person.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 23rd January 2004
  #7
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Big Gee's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yep gotta prop up Shaman's post.

Never used the console but the TDM plug-ins, which use exactly the same algorhythms as the console, are by far the best sounding EQ plug-ins available for the Pro-Tools platform. In fact, probably some of the best sounding digital EQ i've ever heard. Yes they are clean but the high end is amazing and I personally think they are pretty warm as digital goes.

Old 23rd January 2004
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I made colour strips for my Control 24, to imitate the Oxford Eq panel & for faster operation - kind of a poor man´s Oxford.
I hope, Digi´s new desk will include some of the Oxford´s genius user interface

To me the EQ is THE CONSOLE EQ for the everyday work - it´s tight, versatile and sweet sounding.
Not that I want to miss my Massivo or 2055 for tracking/buss/mastering - but it´s THE digital plugin EQ to beat.

The same with the dynamics and the wonderful transmod, for which I recently sold my 2 transient designers.
Sony just makes exceptional algorithms
Old 24th January 2004
  #9
Registered User
 
🎧 20 years
Actually, that Faith Hill record has some straight PT mixes as well, while you're comparing. His name is Serban Ghenea. Dann Huff (one of the producers on the CD) told me that mixer doesn't use a console, just PT, but I don't know if he analog sums or not.

In any event, his mixes hold up well in comparison to other mixes on that same CD, which is a pretty serious accomplishment, IMO. I think his were the first mixes I knew *for sure*, first hand, were done on PT without a console that I thought were pretty much all the way there. So it can be done, at least in that genre.

I suppose now I need to find out how he sums and prints.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 24th January 2004
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 20 years
Having mixed 2 albums on an OXF I must say that I really like it. I still prefer a 9000 anyday but if you're on complicated projects with 120 tracks, need 5.1, instant recall, crazy routing, it's a great tool. I was staff at guillaume tell studios who had the first proto so I've seen all the teething but it's really rock solid now.
I really love the faders despite what e-cue said and the automation rocks. I have big paws and I like the big solid buttons that I can get my fingers around. One of the the reasons I don't dig VR's fo mixing. For mixing a movie soundtrack it's the desk I would choose. Overall I think it's great when all you're sounds are tracked nicely and you don't want a sound from the desk, like classical, jazz or clean acoustic stuff. I like the delay on each channel. It's great to be able to shift the kick slightly to make it sit. The eq's are ok . Not fancy or artistic but they get the job done. I haven't worked on a capricorn and I'm not in a hurry. I haven't compared the TDM plugs to the OXF but Sony assures me it's the same exact algo. and that no one has been able to spot a difference in listening tests. Love it or hate it it's still a worthy tool that is not half baked. Sony went to a lot of trouble to push the envelope.
Old 24th January 2004
  #11
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🎧 20 years
I really dont like the TDM eq plug in. I just dont understand why people think it sounds good.

Each to their own I suppose.

OTOH I love the dynamics plug in. Its eat!
Old 24th January 2004
  #12
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
Ditto for me, cue. Don't like the Oxford much. Sounds vastly shiny-clean-digital-happy. Only Mick G has ridden it to a good place, in my ears at least. Mick is baaad.

And e-cue, our other differences of opinion notwithstanding, the Capricorn is so much the best sounding digital console. It has, (dare I say this about a digital device?), balls. Not the most ergonomic of layouts, but it do sound fine. In fact, sounds a whole lot like my Paris rig. Yes, indeed it does, though you may call me many names for saying so, if you feel the need tutt

You get to Nashville sometime, and I bet we will agree on some other gear as well, sitting in the same room, in person.


Regards,
Brian T
You know that's what i liked about the sound of the Oxford, that its very linear. I think as i am getting older, i am moving farther away from the "bassy sound" of certain consoles and going more in the linear direction.

The benefit of the Capricorn is its "sweet spot", its much bigger than on most digital consoles(I also like the spot on the bigger Soundtrac digital consoles). There is much more headroom to play with. They don't die when you hit them hard. I was never crazy about the automation on it though.
Old 24th January 2004
  #13
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Lindell
Interesting to hear your opinions....
I just listened to the latest Faith Hill album where Mick G mixed two songs and TLA and Mr. Wallace mixed a couple of other songs.
There´s a slight over all different sonicly between these guys mixes. I do enjoy all the mixes and it doesn´t strike me that Micks mixes is done on a digital Oxford desk. The stereo image is full, the bottom end is there.....

Let´s continue discuss this thread.....

Cheeeers,
Lindell
Oxford or not we are talking about Mick G.

Mick can make a Mackie sound like a million bucks.

He is one of the guys that to me proves mixing isn't just the gear and knowledge, its also talent.

But you have to remember that he mixes mostly ballads these days(typecasted), so they are not hard rocking tunes like Wallace and TLA have to deal with all the time.
Old 26th January 2004
  #14
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The Oxford was not like any other desk so nobody knew how to use it. Sony was reduced to giving them away in some cases and even their own studios in NY, Tokio and London did not want them. Studio N in Cologne had two and the customers stayed away in droves.

This was a prime example of a giant Japanese pocket calculator - a 'solution' looking for a problem that nobody had.
Old 26th January 2004
  #15
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by The Byre
The Oxford was not like any other desk so nobody knew how to use it... Studio N in Cologne had two and the customers stayed away in droves.
That says nothing about it´s quality. It´s just that people eat the same SSL sandwich every day and even big engineers become lazy some day.tutt

I read an Interwiew with Tschad Blake on his work for Peter Gabriel´s up, where he pointed out, they tested the Oxford at Realworld against some other high league digital desks and it went out as the winner.
Old 26th January 2004
  #16
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote: "they tested the Oxford at Realworld
against some other high league digital desks"
___________________________________

That's the problem. No one (well almost no one)wants digital!

Comparing a Japanese pocket calculator with an English pocket calculator or an American pocket calculator to see which one behaves least like a pocket calculator does not help the customer when he or she askes for an analogue desk.
Old 26th January 2004
  #17
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally posted by The Byre

Comparing a Japanese pocket calculator with an English pocket calculator or an American pocket calculator to see which one behaves least like a pocket calculator does not help the customer when he or she askes for an analogue desk. [/B]
Don't you mean when he or she asks for an abacus?

-R
Old 27th January 2004
  #18
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Lindell
I have to admit I like that to! An example of what I mean is when I listen to mixes done by Mick G, the older ones was mixed on SSL 4056 and are "fat""bassy""mushy""not clear", but the same kind of song (produced of course by D. Foster) mixed on the Oxford is so much clearer. But still loads of bass, wide and sweet highs but in another way.....

I also think its easier when working on the Oxford/Digital to choose which sounds you´ll like to have fat and bassy and work around that. Not the other way around.....

/Lindell
Lindell,

Not neccesarily.

I liked most of Mick stuff before the Oxford(Toni Braxton,Christina Aguilera,Marc Anthony,JLO)all a modified SSL with the AT&T disc core automation.

The Oxford stuff lately sometimes sounds thin.

I did like his Oxford 5.1 mix of Thriller!!

Now that is a great surround mix.
Old 27th January 2004
  #19
Moderator
 
Lindell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor


I did like his Oxford 5.1 mix of Thriller!!

Now that is a great surround mix.
I have to get that DVD !!!
Old 27th January 2004
  #20
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote: "Byre, ever use a Sony Oxford? What is your first-hand experience with this desk?"

Once and once only, thanks to Sony Broadcast. I found it to be illogical and unsuitable for engineers who have never worked on one before.

Quote: "This isn't going to turn into the same type of conversation that the 'breaking in speakers and monitors' thread turned into, right?"

You'll never know when we get lucky!

Quote: "Although the initial setup might be a touch confusing, it really is a remarkable desk and quite ergonomic as well. The attempt to
lump it into the 'marketing parlance' of "Japanese Pocket Calculator" devices suggests little first-hand knowledge with the desk."

Any engineer can sit down at an Amek, SSL, Neve analogue desk and once the monitoring section and the routing has been explained and how to access the dynamics, he or she can get going.

I compare mixing desk design to car design. The Oxford is like getting into a car and finding no steering wheel and a touch screen where the gear shift used to be. I run a studio and we have to have gear that most people want to use. Now, maybe there is a market out there for the Oxford, but so far Sony has not found this market.

Of the handful of Oxfords out there (and it has been on the market for about five years) nearly all were shipped on a lease/borrow/two-for-the-price-of-one strange basis and turnover was almost nothing and even Sony studios could not be arm-twisted into parting with money for one. In the past year Neve have sold some 30 of their 88R flagship recording desk. That is a turnover of at least $10m. The same is true for the SSL K Series.

It is not me that does not like huge digital machines, but the market.
Old 27th January 2004
  #21
Registered User
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Lindell,

Not neccesarily.

I liked most of Mick stuff before the Oxford(Toni Braxton,Christina Aguilera,Marc Anthony,JLO)all a modified SSL with the AT&T disc core automation.

The Oxford stuff lately sometimes sounds thin.
Yeah, I agree. Mic's stuff is still excellent work on his part, but it doesn't tend to make me feel as depressed about my own mixing as the older stuff did. That's what I mean about the "shiny-clean-happy" sound of the Oxford. It's so clean it could be confused with "thin" or "sterile", IMO. Like an album made with 100% Massenberg mic pres and EQs, that could have benefited from a bit of Neve, Trident or API here and there. Know what I mean?


Regards,
Brian T
Old 29th January 2004
  #22
Moderator
 
Lindell's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
For surround stuff, a digital desk wins over analog. Just because of the panning, routing and automation stuff. For me it´s about choosing the right console for the job. And the Oxford seems good just after the SSL C200..... =))

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