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Consoles in home studios…
Old 15th August 2022
  #31
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Puppets ➡️
Just wanted to start a thread based specifically around the use of consoles in a HOME studio.
I think while you may have intended your thread to be original and 'specific' the reality is that both 'console' and 'home studio' are catchall terms that cover everything from small Mackie in dorm-rooms to 128 channel Neves in people's basements. I mean, have you seen some of the photos of people's 'home' studios in the thread about that??

If you have made the decision to buy a console and haven't read the hundreds of existing threads there are on this exact topic, I'd suggest starting there and then posting a much more detailed description of exactly what you plan to do with it; what features you need and what budget you have etc and whether you are looking to buy new or used,. Plus a shortlist of maybe 3-5 boards you're interested in that you think might meet your criteria.

If you haven't made the decision to buy a console and have read the hundreds of existing threads there are on this exact topic, then I wouldn't place too much store on that because they won't honestly get you very far. So just go with your gut feeling, because what other folks say is almost always irrelevant to your own mindset and situation. Those of us who do have a console will say: "I'm glad I have a console because my OTB productions sound great and I enjoy the workflow, inspiration and physical/psychological vibe of sitting down to work in front of a console every day", while those of us who don't have a console will say "I'm glad I don't have a console because my ITB productions sound great and I enjoy the workflow, inspiration and physical/psychological vibe of sitting down to work in front of a screen with a mouse every day".

Last edited by James Lehmann; 15th August 2022 at 06:02 PM..
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #32
Gear Addict
 
Janne19691's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have Midas Venice 240 four group outs connected to four analog inputs of RME HDSP 9652 (PCI card). Nothing fancy, I just like to track through a mixer and use the inserts. I also have a few mic pres (Focusrite 428 and Symetrix SX202) that are connected to Midas line ins. I am mixing ITB.
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #33
afv
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
We don't have a home studio but none the less can contribute to the conversation.

We discussed this a few times about the cost of power to have a console,
the size requirements, resale issues, inhouse repairs, cabling... and gave up years ago. Sold our console.

patchbay + control surface replaced our console (size-wise).
This is the best arrangement for different types of work/usage.

pres - line patch - a/d - control surface - d/a - line patch - speakers

Patch lines are mult-splits for mixers, reamp, monitor & headphone feeds, all can jump in before OR after AD/DA.

The control surface doubles as a console,
if you need automated faders for example.
Sandwiched between AD/DA with spdif
to bypassed the internal preamps & conversions.
This kept a clean signal route and barely requires a screen/DAW.

Preamps, sends & mix bus can patch to comps/equalizers/etc.
Patches can go anywhere.
To another room, tape, consoles, reamp to preamp or pedals, headphone mixes, parallels, and summing mixer.

A console might contain the features of routing & tone,
the problem remains. A giant board needs a giant room.
Modular things like ...
patchbays, control surfaces, converters, rack gear, 500 series,
all can be moved around (with ease) compared to a console.
Neve & SSL (for example) ventured into 500 series & rack gear.
Control surfaces have great automation, mixing, recalls, and routing.
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by afv ➡️
We don't have a home studio but none the less can contribute to the conversation.

We discussed this a few times about the cost of power to have a console,
the size requirements, resale issues, inhouse repairs, cabling... and gave up years ago. Sold our console.

patchbay + control surface replaced our console (size-wise).
This is the best arrangement for different types of work/usage.

pres - line patch - a/d - control surface - d/a - line patch - speakers

Patch lines are mult-splits for mixers, reamp, monitor & headphone feeds, all can jump in before OR after AD/DA.

The control surface doubles as a console,
if you need automated faders for example.
Sandwiched between AD/DA with spdif
to bypassed the internal preamps & conversions.
This kept a clean signal route and barely requires a screen/DAW.

Preamps, sends & mix bus can patch to comps/equalizers/etc.
Patches can go anywhere.
To another room, tape, consoles, reamp to preamp or pedals, headphone mixes, parallels, and summing mixer.

A console might contain the features of routing & tone,
the problem remains. A giant board needs a giant room.
Modular things like ...
patchbays, control surfaces, converters, rack gear, 500 series,
all can be moved around (with ease) compared to a console.
Neve & SSL (for example) ventured into 500 series & rack gear.
Control surfaces have great automation, mixing, recalls, and routing.
Great response. Very insightful...
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #35
AB3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G ➡️
My mixer is for mixing, not recording. I have pre amps and a personal monitoring system for that. Sure mixers might not be necessary but I get a better sound using one than not and it's far more enjoyable.
Same here. My board is a A&H GS3000. I also use it because I drive a lot of keyboards and the like through midi that get recorded on the mixdown. I suppose I could put the keyboards on tracks for mixing in the box, but I do not like the sound of the keyboards that way and maybe that is just because I have done it that way for so many years.
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #36
Gear Maniac
 
Jim Roberts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As others have mentioned, it is really use case-based and is an individual decision. I used to run a large-ish control surface (32 faders) with a lot of 500 series to front end everything to the converters. When I moved to a more hybrid workflow, I've been using an SSL Matrix2 - so still leveraging all of the 500 series kit on the front end plus plenty of outboard along the way and on the mix bus. This works well in my relatively small footprint (the Matrix is VERY efficient from a footprint perspective). Now that I am building a larger room, I am considering an SSL Origin as the centerpiece - large but efficient footprint without that massive power and HVAC needed for older consoles as well as lower projected maintenance costs. I'm considering this because 1) I will have the proper space for it 2) I plan to do plenty of tracking (bands/ensemble) and mixing and 3) I will continue to work with a hybrid workflow and I am convinced that this is the right centerpiece to compliment my existing outboard investment, my DAW investment and will still leverage a good part of my cabling and patchbay investments. Can I make the ROI work to justify this? Possibly not, but it brings me happiness and will make for a heckuva tracking and mixing room. YMMV

Last edited by Jim Roberts; 15th August 2022 at 06:19 PM.. Reason: Forgot to add one comment on maintenance cost
Old 15th August 2022 | Show parent
  #37
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Imhungry, its a fair point you make about just buying how many pres you may need for home usage in a modular 500 series format (or other lunchboxes or rack units for that matter), however I look at it from a perspective of what is the budget. If I can get more high end mic pres along with converters and EQ and routing and automation and a workflow many prefer for that SAME budget amount then I don't care about how many "extra" of anything there is that may never be used. The trade off for that however is real estate (pros and cons, always hanging around with audio gear choices lol). There are plenty of "extra" features in a DAW app that will never get used by most operators. Same concept as you never fret over what is not being used.


Deedeeyeah, I consider all desks as viable options but yes I agree it's hard to understand why many never consider digital modular systems or digital desks for recording studio / home studio usage. You have seen me chime into some desk threads here to explain why having hundreds of high end mic pres along with high count converter channels in a modular form that doesn't even need to be in the control room is a viable option especially for those with racks of outboard and with purchasing costs being less than one fully populated 500 series rack. All we can do is share some knowledge and explain what benefits certain options bring to the table.


James, great post and summary! Plenty of threads and pics of desks and home setups here. Spending time reseaching will only make those disiplined enough to do it better Engineers as understanding choice of tools goes into using them better.


AFV, great points made but in addition, there are digital modular systems that have a control surface as the mixer which can be eliminated (just use software and mouse) or can have smaller digital mixers used as their control surface. Their modules can be placed anywhere, 100's of feet apart also so while there is real estate taken up, you control where the location(s) are. This is one area where the high end live / broadcast / fixed install parts of the biz can benefit studios.


Elegentdrum, I would love to have some of that great outboard you have gathered in a home studio. Your picture shows what many have to do in a home, make the most out of the space available. Don't know what your specific speaker stands are but have you considered mounting a wall shelf on each side of the window and toeing in the speakers which would allow closer placement to the wall of your rack modules? That would open up at bit more space. The picture below would be an example of what I'm talking about. Think of the video screen as your window. While placed higher up the wall than you would need because of the taller racks used you can see about toe in and in this case toe down also.
Attached Thumbnails
Consoles in home studios…-otari-concept.jpg  

Last edited by Bassmankr; 15th August 2022 at 06:55 PM..
Old 16th August 2022 | Show parent
  #38
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr ➡️
Imhungry, its a fair point you make about just buying how many pres you may need for home usage in a modular 500 series format (or other lunchboxes or rack units for that matter), however I look at it from a perspective of what is the budget. If I can get more high end mic pres along with converters and EQ and routing and automation and a workflow many prefer for that SAME budget amount then I don't care about how many "extra" of anything there is that may never be used. The trade off for that however is real estate (pros and cons, always hanging around with audio gear choices lol). There are plenty of "extra" features in a DAW app that will never get used by most operators. Same concept as you never fret over what is not being used.


Deedeeyeah, I consider all desks as viable options but yes I agree it's hard to understand why many never consider digital modular systems or digital desks for recording studio / home studio usage. You have seen me chime into some desk threads here to explain why having hundreds of high end mic pres along with high count converter channels in a modular form that doesn't even need to be in the control room is a viable option especially for those with racks of outboard and with purchasing costs being less than one fully populated 500 series rack. All we can do is share some knowledge and explain what benefits certain options bring to the table.


James, great post and summary! Plenty of threads and pics of desks and home setups here. Spending time reseaching will only make those disiplined enough to do it better Engineers as understanding choice of tools goes into using them better.


AFV, great points made but in addition, there are digital modular systems that have a control surface as the mixer which can be eliminated (just use software and mouse) or can have smaller digital mixers used as their control surface. Their modules can be placed anywhere, 100's of feet apart also so while there is real estate taken up, you control where the location(s) are. This is one area where the high end live / broadcast / fixed install parts of the biz can benefit studios.


Elegentdrum, I would love to have some of that great outboard you have gathered in a home studio. Your picture shows what many have to do in a home, make the most out of the space available. Don't know what your specific speaker stands are but have you considered mounting a wall shelf on each side of the window and toeing in the speakers which would allow closer placement to the wall of your rack modules? That would open up at bit more space. The picture below would be an example of what I'm talking about. Think of the video screen as your window. While placed higher up the wall than you would need because of the taller racks used you can see about toe in and in this case toe down also.
Not bad Idea, but it's a rental, need to move to a better floor plan in a year or two. The speakers are heavy, Focal Twin 6be. I picked the stands to be sturdy. But they are a bottleneck for cables. 250 cables/snakes behind all that.
Old 16th August 2022 | Show parent
  #39
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum ➡️
Been working this out for a while. Almost finished. Soundcraft BB100 Amek rebranded Because the mixer is full featured (inserts, Line in, Direct outs, 4 buss, 8 aux). Took up 84 points on the patch bay. With only 8 mono and 2 stereo channels.
That's a crazy well-featured, small-format broadcast/post-production desk!

I know you have mentioned it in other console threads but can't remember seeing a photo of it until now.

Very nice indeed - all those Auxes and a spectacular Master section for such a small footprint!

Last edited by James Lehmann; 17th August 2022 at 11:57 AM..
Old 16th August 2022 | Show parent
  #40
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor ➡️
A professional console in a professional studio for hire is still desired when tracking bands/multi musicians, especially for setting up headphones mixes. The speed and ease of use totally makes it worth it for those kind of large productions.

But if most of your clients are just the single singer/rapper type of productions, then yes a console won't get the full use it was intended for, apart for the pictures/videos in front of the console for Instagram and Tik Tok.
I love a console for tracking but not for headphone mixes - far quicker to do that from the DAW these days!
Old 17th August 2022 | Show parent
  #41
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G ➡️
My mixer is for mixing, not recording. I have pre amps and a personal monitoring system for that. Sure mixers might not be necessary but I get a better sound using one than not and it's far more enjoyable.
I use the mixer three times. Tracking, to find the sound. Submix-bouncing, often for drums. And then the actual mix. The main thing that get's changed is inserts and Aux sends are partially re-patched.
Old 17th August 2022 | Show parent
  #42
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I use an old, FireWire connected Tascam DM-4800 for mixing (preamps going in through ADAT), which only set me back about 1000 euros at the time. Its main advantage is the possibility to connect lots of outboard equipment without the need for a patchbay - everything stays permanently connected and can be accessed internally through the board.

A while back, I considered selling the Tascam as it's far from future proof, but after trying out a new interface in combination with a patchbay for a while, I reverted to my current setup as it makes my life easier. And yeah, it's a bit more fun to work faders and knobs IMO.
Old 17th August 2022 | Show parent
  #43
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
A macro view of both studio and live SR work will reveal many, if not most, shared attributes. The OP has requested a micro view of the prevalence of consoles deployed in home based studios. It is virtually impossible to eliminate the subjective bias for this or that protocol or gear and the proverbial "rabbit hole" of custom and personal preference when discussing such a request.

The digital revolution is now well beyond 20 years into developing unsurpassed sonic quality in flexible small footprint desks that replace a truck load of yesterdays outboard gear. In all of these threads a disclaimer pursuant to the planned usage is always a good idea!

My SQ5 with a DX32, loaded with "Prime I/Os", or my DX168 provide unsurpassed front end capture for my acoustic genre work. The SQ5 provides excellent 96K processing for tracking and the ME personal monitoring system is now the world standard for both studio or live SR endeavors. I deliver the tracks from the SQ5 with tie lines to my Waves Digigrid/LV1system for two mixing and layered do overs.
A DX4816 expansion stage box will accommodate 48 D-Live inputs and 16 outputs along with, out of the expansion box ME personal monitoring. 48 is the max channel count the SQ line can accommodate: however the small footprint SQ5 with 17 faders delivers essentially the same function and processing as the 32+ faders on the SQ7.
Over the past 5 years I have expanded my work flow to include a two camera audio/video recording capability in both my studio and for live concert performances. The duplicity of needs for both endeavors made my gear choices very simple.

The OP's question needs a reasoned answer that covers most all of the must do chores of a home based project studio. To that end a small SQ5 deck will deliver, with any of the DX expansion boxes, world class 96K sonic capture and processing that can be delivered direct to DAW processing either with USB or the tie lines for multi-tracking, or external multi track HD capture for up to 16 channels. The A&H SQ line is not a dedicated studio or broadcast console: however this small footprint digital desk will deliver better recordings with a fraction of the problems yesterdays dedicated recording desk will present.
Hugh
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #44
Here for the gear
 
Torroidal's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 ➡️
Same here. My board is a A&H GS3000. I also use it because I drive a lot of keyboards and the like through midi that get recorded on the mixdown. I suppose I could put the keyboards on tracks for mixing in the box, but I do not like the sound of the keyboards that way and maybe that is just because I have done it that way for so many years.
I too have a GS3000 (32/8) using it for the same reasons you mention (realtime mixdown of HW synths/samplers, HW FX etc)
I also have added a GL2200 to a pair of (the "Tape") channels using the MixB function. The occassional song and other recorded things in the DAW also is routed from two channels from the audio interface to two channels on the GS3000 to get an analog touch. .
Old 1 week ago
  #45
Gear Head
It’s been over 8 years since I started my adventure. I enjoyed the workflow and experience with tape and consoles in studios. I wanted to create my own environment and have a unique recall an old fashioned way - I choose whether or not to keep going on the same track after walking away for a while. Since it’s just for me and who I invite that’s totally feasible. I enjoy the craft of putting it all together so I went big. And I went with something that needed a ton of work.

It was all coming together finally before a big pause tied to an unrelated home construction project that forced me to take it apart. But taking it apart also gave me a chance to completely rethink and expand my patch bays.

It’s a Wheatstone TV-600 that my first goal was for hybrid mixing as it originally had all stereo line level channels. Before the tear apart I managed to get a set of mono channels with pres which is one of the changes the patch bay updates will organize. When I first got it much care was needed and zero included cables. 55 slots with DB25 as primary format has honed my soldering skills.

I still have an old Ramsa board I’ve had longer that I’ve often purposed for tracking drums as it has line outs for every channel. It also has routing through the patch bays I’m keeping through the expansion.

Every one gets to pick their own solution to their taste especially when it’s a home base. Mine will get back up running better than ever eventually.
Attached Thumbnails
Consoles in home studios…-075f2a31-2daf-4dbb-9fc3-b66875c830a9.png  
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #46
AB3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The Ramsa boards had a sweet sound.
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