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Where else would I go?
Old 3rd March 2003
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Where else would I go?

Guys, sorry to wear you out with questions but I have just done a little more research and need some wisdom to settle a repetitive issue.

I have been going back and forth between the propects of buying/leasing an used/new SSL for PTHD mixing vs a new EliteII. The last time I brought it up, you guys(thanks thrill and others) were generous in helping me see some benefits and I had decided to investigate a used/new SSL purchase/lease.

Well, having hit another delay, I have had time to think and was reflecting over automation aspects. This and my wishy-washy posture towards being a commercial facility have got me floundering again. Here is the issue.

A used SSL "G" in the price range <100Gs doesn't have moving faders, it has VCA automation (am I right) and having automation in an Elite would mean putting in "Flying Faders" or "Uptown" which would not add anything in the audio path. Throw into the mix, the neat little gadgets causing "good" distortion/color in the channels and mix buss of the elite and subtract the commercial aspect of name recognition and here I am wondering, again, is the sound of the SSL "G" really superior?

It is not that I distrust the advice given but didn't know if I was giving a full picture to decide with. Sorry if bringing this up again ticks you guys off. But if you can help, I DO GREATLY appreciate it.

Thanks
Old 3rd March 2003
  #2
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd prefer to have moving faders, but there's no way I'd buy an Elite over an SSL if I ever wanted to make money as a commercial music facility. Can you add moving faders to the 4k?

Who are your clients and what do they think? I'd listen to them. They're the ones who call the shots.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Guys, I'm sorry. Let me just wipe the stupid off my chin and shut-up. I know you can't decide for me. I'll go back to lurking and listening.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #4
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RSMITH123
Guys, I'm sorry. Let me just wipe the stupid off my chin and shut-up. I know you can't decide for me. I'll go back to lurking and listening.
Hey RSMITH,

There is nothing wrong with thinking out loud.

I think Jon hit the nail on the head.

What do your clients think?

I am sure you can get an 4000G somewhere with moving faders for less than $100K. It would take a lot of research on your part, but its definitely possible. There are more and more of the bigger places closing(check Nashville) and I am sure you can negotiate a deal. You will just have to figure out how to get the console to your place.

That is another thread all together.
heh
Old 4th March 2003
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Funny enough, I'd rather book a room with a Neotek then an SSL. I've never been a huge fan of the SSL sound but they do attract clients.
Old 4th March 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Your ears may choose something else, but your clients and accountant will def like the sound of an SSL....

That said, it will also depend havily if you are looking at hosting frelancers or being the engineer.. if people are coming to work with you, sonics will rule, IMHO, if you are looking at wanting others to work there, familiar is king.
Old 4th March 2003
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well,
Let me ask these questions. In terms of automation, I hear warnings of VCA Automation as it puts addition components into the audio path. This is in contrast to moving fader automation such as Flying Faders or Uptown.

Isn't the automation on a "G" console, this VCA automation?
Would it be better to buy/lease an SSL with moving faders or to get something else that does?

I'm asking based on sonics alone.
Thanks
Old 4th March 2003
  #8
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you do get a "G" with 'Ultimation'... be sure that you're really clear on the proceedure to balance the motors to the VCA's... generally I've found that the VCA's repeat what they've been instructed to repeat and that the motors can have a mind of their own if they're not calibrated to respond identically to the VCA's...

...while we're here... I have found that using the motors does indeed sound better... but the desk is much faster to use with the VCA's... so, if your motors are indeed cal'ed properly to the VCA's you can do the majority of your moves in VCA mode... turn of the motors, tweeze a few things here and there... and you're ready to roll in way less time.

Also... while "VCA's across the desk" doesn't sound as good as "all motors"... a few VCA trims in with 'mostly motors' isn't that horrible an event.

The key is really in the setup and calibration of the VCA's to fader motors.

Best of luck with it.
Old 4th March 2003
  #9
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Going further with Fletcher's post, which I'll second, is that the VCA/ADC/motors calibration procedure requires time and tools -- namely, an Audio Precision or similar that is expensive to buy and in my particular experience difficult to rent -- and it's easy to mess up.

You could easily spend a day or two doing it...and it helps to be two people to go faster...but once calibrated the desk shouldn't normally need another one for 6-12 months.

So far, I've relied on SSL's techs for this procedure. This is part of why negotiating for a year of SSL after-sales service is V F handy.
Old 4th March 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
studjo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have a VCA desk, but I can take out all the VCA which I don't use. Only the "movint" VCA are working. In recording mode you can bypass all the VCA alltogether.
Another thing to consider: the SSL has some dynamics in all the channels (some people love'em some don't). The Neotek has no dynamics...

Just some thoughts Jo
Old 4th March 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry guys, if this is flying overhead but..

If an SSL has Ultimation, it still uses VCA auto with motorized faders and changes the audio (slightly)?

Adding Uptown/FF to another desk is different (the audio never touches their stuff)?

When you talk of calibrations, are you refering to making sure that the motorized fader shows/represents the actual VCA setting?

Someone actually told me that due to the VCA automation in the SSL, it is somewhat sterile. What do you think?

Thanks again.
Robert

PS- Trying to understand, not argue with anyone.
Old 4th March 2003
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I think Sugarhill is runing an Elite in their big room. If you're looking to compete with them, IMO you definately will want to have bigger and better, at least as it appears in the brochure.

Bear
Old 4th March 2003
  #13
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RSMITH123
Sorry guys, if this is flying overhead but..

If an SSL has Ultimation, it still uses VCA auto with motorized faders and changes the audio (slightly)?

Adding Uptown/FF to another desk is different (the audio never touches their stuff)?

When you talk of calibrations, are you refering to making sure that the motorized fader shows/represents the actual VCA setting?

Someone actually told me that due to the VCA automation in the SSL, it is somewhat sterile. What do you think?

Thanks again.
Robert
Robert,

Ultimation is motor auto (just like FF) plus the flexibility of VCAs...the VCAs come into play when writing *trim* moves...when you touch the fader to trim the previously-written auto, you'll temporarily have the audio shifted to going through the VCA on that channel. Why? Since the motors are used to record your trim moves, the audio has to go through the VCA so you hear what that relative trim on the previous auto sounds like...as opposed to *absolute* mode where what you do with the fader is what you wrote to auto. When you drop out of writing *trim* auto, the audio goes back to through the faders i.e. motors.

With motors (Ultimation) on, during playback of the automation, audio goes through the faders, not the VCAs.

In this particular case, calibration is important because when writing moves in *trim* mode, the moves you made while monitoring in VCA mode ought to be the same as the playback of those moves with the VCA out and the motor on.

Someone correct me if this doesn't pertain to the G series Ultimation...I'm used to the J, but I think it's the same.
Old 4th March 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Studjo,
Point taken on the dynamics, I had forgotten that fact. I have only heard feedback on the main buss compression as "the " SSL sound, what about the channel processors? Do many of you use those processors?


Hey Bear,
Yeah you're right. Sunrise has a 4072G+ with moving faders now, as well. I actually did some work there a while back and the place was the nicest I have seen around. I am not shooting for their business per se <sp>. Even as we become "commercial", it will be towards a particular niche.

Last time I brought this up, "thethrillfactor" , Jon and others help me cement a position of either purchasing a 4056G or something close or trying to lease a newer bigger board in the "J" range. I think there is only 1 "J" room in the state, Luminous sound, in the Dallas area. They just got it and they have a nice place.

Now I am looking at this automation issue. I haven't neccessarily changed my mind but I want to make sure that when I write the check, I have made a well-informed decision.

I am kind of thinking out loud but appreciate any input here and the patience expressed.
Thanks
Old 4th March 2003
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
RSMITH123's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think I get the point.
Thanks guys.
Old 5th March 2003
  #16
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
You could easily spend a day or two doing it...and it helps to be two people to go faster...but once calibrated the desk shouldn't normally need another one for 6-12 months.
Jon... I jealous... every SSL I've worked on with 'Ultimation' seems to require a check of the VCA/motor relationship on damn near a daily basis... it seems that at least a couple of them drift from session to session... and unfortunately, you never know which ones drifted unless you check them all.
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