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Back to Analog - Mixing Console Find
Old 18th November 2021
Here for the gear
Back to Analog - Mixing Console Find

I recently found a Midas Venice 320 for cheap, a PA rental place had it for sale and I couldn't resist. I've been writing and recording in a hybrid studio for about 15 years and have always toyed with the idea of getting a console. Last summer I bought an AH MixWizard and configured that with my dbox and with little expectations, I was totally surprised by the sound and the incredible options it opens up for routing, never mind loving the tactile feel of mixing with knobs. Sold the AH, bought the Midas and here I am with an Antelope Orion 32 + (FireWire and Thunderbolt supported) that I just bought off Ebay.

Goal: to mix tracks through the console and sum them back into Logic through a few pieces of outboard gear on the mix bus.

I have a few questions related to setup and what gear I may want to sell to offset some of the cost of the Orion and the Midas. I've scoured GS to see if someone else has posted similar but I didn't find anything that covered my specific questions, so here goes...

Current setup: Mac Pro 2008 (8 core processor upgrade, SSD and tons of RAM) / Logic 9 / OSX 10.6.8 - snow leopard / Apogee Ensemble Firewire / Dangerous Dbox - I record all my tracks solo, no live band recording and I have several high-end mic pres.

I'd like to replace the Ensemble with the Antelope Orion 32+ / still checking with Antelope to see if they unofficially can provide me with drivers or support for the Antelope in OSX 10.6.8 or perhaps I mount the Orion to another Mac, configure it and then use it as a standalone somehow although that isn't entirely clear to me at the moment.

Q: Do I still need the dbox? It's been great for monitoring but with the output options on the Orion and on the Venice console, is it really necessary? I have one set of monitors and I've used the talkback once in 10 years.

Q: For the Orion, I'm setting up 24 tracks, should I be running those to a patchbay? or directly to the board? Any advantages disadvantages?

Also, I'm budgeting around $60 - $70 for each db-25 to 1/4 balanced (10 ft), am I short-changing myself, given the quality of the Antelope Orion, by not going Mogami? My cables are going to stay put so I don't need the best-rugged cables.

Appreciate any advice or suggestions!


Old 18th November 2021
Gear Maniac
🎧 5 years
I have a 2008 8-core- currently in semi retired mode but I am still using 10.6.8 on my flashed 4,1. I am sticking with 10.6.8 because I have a maxed out SSL Duende rack. 10.6.8 seems the most rock-solid OS to me, some of the later ones are a bit on the awful side for my taste.

As for Antelope Orion 32+, I am unfamiliar with the piece so I checked the website, legacy drivers, etc. From the little I gathered I don't like your chances, the registration and setup looks like a mess to me. Unless he Ensemble can't do what you need, maybe stick with it?

My guess is you don't need the DBox with the new setup- even if you stick with the Ensemble.

next 2 questions at once, I do recommend a patchbay and using high quality cables at much shorter runs. 10 foot snakes have turned into ridiculous cable spaghetti messes. Unless you plan to 'hard wire' the outboard gear to the mix bus, a patchbay will save a lot of headaches and broken jacks.
Old 19th November 2021
Lives for gear
I have very similar setup. Apogee Symphony + Ensemble + Midas Venice 320. I use Ensemble mostly for effect send and return in stand alone mode. Midas Venice sounds just great. Level matching is somewhat inaccurate, but considering current price, zero complain. I use a 600 ohm transformer on main bus before SSL comp.

Ensemble is not a bad sounding converter at all even today but my Symphony sounds considerably better than Ensemble, so I think it's not a bad idea to upgrade Ensemble to something else. I felt Ensemble's weakest link is TL2074 op amps, and I upgraded them, but still not as good as Symphony while noise floor was improved a lot. I think I'll keep it until it dies, because it is very stable in stand alone mode (96K 6 in 6 out).
Old 19th November 2021
Here for the gear
Thanks for the feedback on the cable setup, I figured the patchbay was the best option, I just hate spending a lot on cables after spending $3K on the Antelope Orion and the Venice.

I looked at the symphony, that whole ecosystem seemed obscure (me just being lazy) to be honest, the ensemble has been great and the monitor through the dbox aswell. I just wanted to change it up and try something new.

I'm happy using logic 9 on Snow Leopard 10.6.8, I get the odd crash but for the most part, runs very stable and I have everything set up just the way I like.

Mixing on a board is just really refreshing, I like to make decisions with my ears more than my eyes and I like the idea of taking a stab at something and committing to it there and then. Do it - Done!

Just need to figure out if I'm going to take the next step and buy an M1 mac mini so I can support the Antelope Orion, I could probably get an older mac that would run fine.
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