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To Console or Not To Console
Old 3rd February 2009
  #1
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
To Console or Not To Console

To Console OR Not To Console. Been asking myself this question BIG time since I'm planning the relocation of our studio to a bigger space and this time, tailor fit room sizes, dimensions and treatments.

IF To Console
- Analog OR Digital?
- Analog with Digital Controls?

Our current studio set-up has a small control room;
- ProTools HD2 with Command|8
- (BUT Learning Logic 8 BIG TIME!)
- Rosetta800, Aurora16, BigBen clock
- three sets of monitors (ns10, 4328, mix cubes)
- decent outboard (STC8, la2a, p38, sc2.2, eclipse, mp2nv, eq2nv, vintechs, el8x, lil freq, SPL transient designer, Pendulum PL2, TubeTech PE1C (2), MC77, Eventide Eclipse... 2 lunchbox
- 3 96pt TT patchbays
- Masterlink, Panasonic DAT SV3800, Tascam Dual Deck
- Folcrom

I mix ITB, summing onto the Folcrom. Usually I take tracks out of PT into outboards then to PT or straight to Folcrom.

Compounding the issue is the fact that I'm seriously thinking of going into 5.1 surround, too.

- - - -

I'd like the new Control Room to "look" more pro. I'm concerned that just a Command|8 and the lack of a Console might devalue the gear and the room. I really like mixing ITB and just summing OTB - I believe this is the best compromise that enables me to get the the best sounding mix possible. I want that relatively "big" (not so big) analog console on the front center of the control room.

I don't really need a console for the inputs coz I have lots of nice preamps already. I was thinking the TOFT ATB16 can be nice to have if only for the EQs and the analog bussing and sends/returns - I can sum on it, do parallel processing on it or I can also MIX stems on it. I can also record and mix "live" in real time, which is tough if not impossible to do with Command|8 banking through channels and parameters...

That said, I've gotten quite fast using the Command|8 for mixing, using the mouse to draw automation only during the finer passages...

I love analog sound, look and feel but I also love digital control. I'm afraid and maybe lazy (ok, for sure lazy) to mix completely OTB, that will be so hard with the really bad level of talent nowadays.

Compounding the dillema is my quite recent interest in 5.1 surround. The new Control Room dimensions can handle a 5.1 speaker set-up (JBL LSR4336s and a SUB). For 5.1, I would prefer to have a Control Surface with Surround Panners. I haven't worked with surround mix controllers so I don't really have a clue how they work and which make and models are available. Do the Euphonix MC MIX and MC Control have surround panners?

- - - -

Oh yes, the budget for the analog console is $5k to $10k max.

help me out guys. Comments and thoughts?

- Gerry
Old 3rd February 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Does it all boil down to what's going to "look" best to bedazzle the customers?

In that case... get Toft to build you a 128 channel console... where only 16 really work.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Tube World's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Get a console if you need the mic pre's and on board EQ. If not go with a nice controller, Tonelux or Xlogic pre's on the side.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
Does it all boil down to what's going to "look" best to bedazzle the customers?
Like I said, the TOFT ATB is really attractive and something that I can use - EQs, sends/returns, bussing... is within budget (and from what I've heard off it, sounds really nice, too)

There won't be much bedazzling of customers, I'm looking to bedazzle myself. It's possible other GS folks have been or are in a similar dilemma/situation.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I'd go with the console. I like the idea of mixing stems from PTs through an analog console and have had a lot of success with it. How does the folcrom work for you? What pre's are you using with it? Have you compared it to the neve or dangerouss 2 bus?
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Tonio Ruiz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I love mi toft atb32, I use it mostly for mixing cause I don't have a recording room here right now, but she sounds very good, and looks so nice
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It really depends on exactly who your clients are and how they produce their records.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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matskull's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you like to mix ITB and are "affraid" to mix OTB and you allready have good preamps, I'd go with the controller.

If you go with a console, you'll also need good converters (if they aren't allready).
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Be aware that digital desks will be worth $0.00 the moment the software is superseded. Analog desks will remain functional, and therefore valuable, as long as human hearing relies on the compression and rarefaction of air.

.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis ➑️
Be aware that digital desks will be worth $0.00 the moment the software is superseded. Analog desks will remain functional, and therefore valuable, as long as human hearing relies on the compression and rarefaction of air.

.
Right, look at how well analog consoles have held their value over the years

OTOH, my Control 24 has worked great for years and I'm sure will continue to be supported for many more. If and when it becomes obsolete it will have paid for itself many times over.

-R
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman ➑️
Right, look at how well analog consoles have held their value over the years

OTOH, my Control 24 has worked great for years and I'm sure will continue to be supported for many more. If and when it becomes obsolete it will have paid for itself many times over.

-R
You hit the nail on the head with the fact thata console is a tool and a business expense, which can be amortized over its working life. Given this, a digital board is a smart way to go, considering the maintenance costs and ease of workflow, depending on the studio.

But I disagree that digital boards will retain more value over long periods of time.

On the other hand, I personally think that new digital boards are WAY too expensive given that they are merely software controllers. I speak from personal experience after searching for a film-scoring console in the $100k price range.

Greg

.
Old 3rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Deleted 2848499
Guest
I DON'T want this to turn into another Toft vs. Oram Thread...so please don't even! tutt

but the Oram T series and Dream Consoles are worth looking at...

Or ssl matrix

The matrix is cool because it's a basically a digital patchbay. 16 Channels for tracking, 40 inputs at mixdown, and you can route to all your favorite Pre's, eq's, comp's, & FX withouth leaving the desk. heh

If a digital/Analog hybrid is something that interests you, check out this thread.

Project: Turning an SSL Matrix into a Neve 8014

hope this helps
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PVAUDIO ➑️
How does the folcrom work for you? What pre's are you using with it? Have you compared it to the neve or dangerouss 2 bus?
Most of the time I SUM through Great River MP2NV and EQ2NV.
I also like the sound of API 512 and Purple Audio's BIZ. I'll be experimenting more with the API once I receive the 550b EQs.

I have not used other summing boxes. Before I had the Folcrom, I used to take my 2-buss mix out of PT into preamps and EQs especially when the materials asks for a bit more distortion and color.

With summing I hear the mix open up, greater headroom.

Gerry
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
It really depends on exactly who your clients are and how they produce their records.
Last year, I did not get 3 projects where the clients came to visit the studio, looked around, said "where's the console"... and never heard back from them again. These clients were the older, experienced type.

The comments on value of analog console vs digital controllers are top on my mind, too.

My purchasing strategy has been to separate the analog and digital purchases as much as possible; dedicated AD/DA independent from DAW, Hardware before plugin.

Thanks for your thoughts folks. This discussion will really help in making that decision.

Gerry
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Man I would get the creeps if I went to a studio and there was no console. That just isn't a recording studio (to me). Of course I know it's done . . . but it wouldn't be any place I would book.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knox ➑️
Man I would get the creeps if I went to a studio and there was no console. That just isn't a recording studio (to me). Of course I know it's done . . . but it wouldn't be any place I would book.
a lot of artists don't and can't comprehend outboard preamps. And I'm not really a hard sell kind of guy where I would even try to "convince" people why my pres and outboard are better than...
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiZKiD ➑️
Or ssl matrix

The matrix is cool because it's a basically a digital patchbay. 16 Channels for tracking, 40 inputs at mixdown, and you can route to all your favorite Pre's, eq's, comp's, & FX withouth leaving the desk. heh

If a digital/Analog hybrid is something that interests you, check out this thread.

Project: Turning an SSL Matrix into a Neve 8014

I'm actually subscribed to that thread and even PM'd jindrich as to the state of that project.

Anyway, I really want to keep the analog and digital parts separate and independent. I know I wouldn't get an SSL just for the patchbay matrix, if I wanted to sum on SSL's I'd get the Xrack with summing cards (which is top 5 on my future gear acquisition targets).

By the way, really nice web site you have there and fantastic music, love the compression on the lead vox 9on the first song that loads).

thanks for chiming in.

Gerry
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Curtis ➑️
Be aware that digital desks will be worth $0.00 the moment the software is superseded. Analog desks will remain functional, and therefore valuable, as long as human hearing relies on the compression and rarefaction of air.

.
I am 101% aware of that. As I mentioned, my purchasing strategy has been to go for separate and independent pieces of analog and digital gear. Controllers especially I am very wary of, sexy but reliant on too many variables such as host DAW version, OS version, machine compatibilty, etc.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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BradM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FWIW, the clients I talk to never ask about consoles, mics, preamps, outboard, etc. when visiting my studio. I always wish they would, but their eyes glaze over in about 10 seconds when I start getting too geeky about gear. They do however ask about rates and get pretty excited when they find out they can use any of my vintage or handmade custom amps or the upright piano on their record. And they also seem to dig the blue LED's on my tape deck.

Brad
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan ➑️
FWIW, the clients I talk to never ask about consoles, mics, preamps, outboard, etc. when visiting my studio. I always wish they would, but their eyes glaze over in about 10 seconds when I start getting too geeky about gear. They do however ask about rates and get pretty excited when they find out they can use any of my vintage or handmade custom amps or the upright piano on their record. And they also seem to dig the blue LED's on my tape deck.

Brad
I can't seem to talk gear with clients; I did a bit when I was getting my first boutique pieces but I noticed folks didn't care/understood/give a damn. You're right, they ask about the rates and discounts first, before they even listen to the music and sounds we have done and can do. But for older, traditional, experienced artists - not having a console seems to be a deal breaker, they don't even bother ask about discounts anymore...

But just to clarify, this is not only to please the clients. This is to please ME first and foremost. Will having a console complement what I already have and my work style/habits or will it be a furniture and eye candy only?

Thanks for chiming in Brad, I've seen some of your posts and it's apparent you are very passionate about gear, that's goooood!

Gerry
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
Russell Elevado's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
definitely go with an analog desk. this will compliment your set up more nicely (sonically). mix half ITB and half OTB. put all your stems out on the board and once you get into a flow, you'll never go back because it will make your mixes sound that much better. more width and depth.

good luck!
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Elevado ➑️
definitely go with an analog desk. this will compliment your set up more nicely (sonically). mix half ITB and half OTB. put all your stems out on the board and once you get into a flow, you'll never go back because it will make your mixes sound that much better. more width and depth.

good luck!
thanks for chiming in Russell. Better sound and sonics is indeed the most important and crucial factor in whether to get a console or not.

Already, it seems I will get a Toft ATB24.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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BradM's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Gerry,

My girlfriend might argue that I'm too passionate about gear at times. heh

It seems you may be in a perfect position to weigh in on this thread. Check it out and share your thoughts. We ITB folks that lack a truly integrated "console" solution need to band together:

No console, no Summer - whats next?

Brad
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If the clients expect to do a lot of recalls and mix revisions, you probably would want a digital board such as a digi Icon. If they are tracking a live band, you'd want a large analog console.

Each is better for a specific application only.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan ➑️
It seems you may be in a perfect position to weigh in on this thread. Check it out and share your thoughts. We ITB folks that lack a truly integrated "console" solution need to band together:

No console, no Summer - whats next?

Brad
I've read that thread a couple of times. It's a very deep thread on electronics and I'm not an electronics guy. Also I don't think I qualify as I have a summer. I am quite confident that when I get an analog console, it will be pure analog - it may have digital IO options and other features but not dependent on them to function.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
SoundWeavers's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➑️
If the clients expect to do a lot of recalls and mix revisions, you probably would want a digital board such as a digi Icon. If they are tracking a live band, you'd want a large analog console.

Each is better for a specific application only.
Indeed, it seems there really is no middle ground. Gotta have both and for different purposes and situations. Thanks for chiming in Bob, much respect.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
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Greg Curtis's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundWeavers ➑️
thanks for chiming in Russell. Better sound and sonics is indeed the most important and crucial factor in whether to get a console or not.

Already, it seems I will get a Toft ATB24.
Great! Go for it!

.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
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mdjice's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
you mean this:




or this: ??




Hmmmm... hard choice!!....heh
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
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tommy_asakawa's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Speck Lilo

Speck Electronics - LiLo Line Mixer

check out the specs
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan ➑️
FWIW, the clients I talk to never ask about consoles, mics, preamps, outboard, etc. when visiting my studio. I always wish they would, but their eyes glaze over in about 10 seconds when I start getting too geeky about gear. They do however ask about rates and get pretty excited when they find out they can use any of my vintage or handmade custom amps or the upright piano on their record. And they also seem to dig the blue LED's on my tape deck.

Brad
Ain't that the truth! Engineers care about consoles and preamps, musicians about instruments.
πŸ“ Reply

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