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Midas f16 vs zed 420
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Midas f16 vs zed 420

I'm interested in getting a 16 channel board in my room to primarily act as a front end for synths and instruments into my DAW and have sort of narrowed it down to these two.

I checked out the zed yesterday in a local GC and thought it was decent. a bit plastic feeling. the faders weren't as solid as I'd like but it wasn't horrible. (100mm faders are a must for me, so I'm not considering the zed 16r)

I'm most interested in sound and build quality. while the FireWire additions on the Midas may be useful, I'm more interested in the analogue features of the boards.

build quality, sound quality.... which of these boards?

thanks...
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
SHH.. crap... was leaning towards the Venice after a day of research but just read that it had a FAN in it. most likely a deal breaker for me. I make very quiet music and and fan noises really annoy me....

hmmm.
Old 16th September 2012
  #3
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tvsky's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
the zed 420 has an internal fan also

the midas has nicer eq , better build quality , its more expensive though . the firewire makes it a much more useful desk . the 2 channel usb on the zed is very noisy
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 15 years
oh wow, zed has a fan, too? hmm.. ok. might have to live with it.

the price of either is ok by me...and, yea, the Venice seems better build quality. I can see the FireWire, especially back to the board as inputs, would seem really useful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tvsky ➑️
the zed 420 has an internal fan also

the midas has nicer eq , better build quality , its more expensive though . the firewire makes it a much more useful desk . the 2 channel usb on the zed is very noisy
Old 18th September 2012
  #5
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
any other thoughts on these two boards?

leaning towards the midas...
Old 18th September 2012
  #6
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RightOnRome's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
the zed to me is a little toyish the f16 is more pro ..have you considered the x32?
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 15 years
yeah, zed struck me as a bit pro-sumerish... faders were weak.

16 channel is best for me and the space i have....



Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome ➑️
the zed to me is a little toyish the f16 is more pro ..have you considered the x32?
Old 18th September 2012
  #8
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🎧 10 years
I own the Midas F16, but have no experience with the Zed 420. I have, however, used a GS2400 and Mixwizard quite a bit for live sound, but that is the extent of my A&H experience.

As for the Midas F16, it's a very nice sounding, super solid console. The EQ is very useful, sounds great actually, and it just feels pro all around. When I've mixed on other boards like Mackie and A&H...they feel a bit more "consumer" to me...but it's probably a mental thing.

Between the two, just based off my experience, I'd go with the Midas hands down. The FW feature is wonderful, and sounds great. I use it in my studio for tracking and mixing. You can hear a mix done through my console in the thread below. However, the song below was tracked through my old Mackie Onyx 1640i...after tracking, I upgraded to the Midas...and mixed it through that along with some outboard toys. To me, the Midas has a warmer, cleaner, and punchier sound than my old Mackie. Things "gel" better though the Midas it seems...and the EQ really is very good.

https://gearspace.com/board/work-pro...but-album.html

One thing to be aware of, the main mix inserts are post firewire, meaning if you mix on the board, and then want to print back into your DAW through the main outs (FW 15-16)...you can't use a stereo bus compressor on the main out...it won't be included in your print. The work around is to use the inserts on the groups to mix into, then send your groups to the main mix and print that.
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #9
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
thanks for the great report.!
yeah, i'm not too concerned about post-fw inserts. i doubt i'll ever use the inserts.. i have an entire separate mastering rig (see website in sig) with plenty of outboard, but i rarely use it to mix down through... and if i do, it's often coming from a tape machine anyway as i tend to mix down to tape.

so, the insert thing for me isn't a concern.

i'm definitely after a board that FEELS good.. i'll be moving from a little 4-channel Toft ATB (for sale in the classifieds!) 'cos i just need more channels.

the toft levels seem a bit quiet for me.. i'm always having to crank it.. especially the auxes... but it feels pretty nice. the faders are great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB_12 ➑️
I own the Midas F16, but have no experience with the Zed 420. I have, however, used a GS2400 and Mixwizard quite a bit for live sound, but that is the extent of my A&H experience.

As for the Midas F16, it's a very nice sounding, super solid console. The EQ is very useful, sounds great actually, and it just feels pro all around. When I've mixed on other boards like Mackie and A&H...they feel a bit more "consumer" to me...but it's probably a mental thing.

Between the two, just based off my experience, I'd go with the Midas hands down. The FW feature is wonderful, and sounds great. I use it in my studio for tracking and mixing. You can hear a mix done through my console in the thread below. However, the song below was tracked through my old Mackie Onyx 1640i...after tracking, I upgraded to the Midas...and mixed it through that along with some outboard toys. To me, the Midas has a warmer, cleaner, and punchier sound than my old Mackie. Things "gel" better though the Midas it seems...and the EQ really is very good.

https://gearspace.com/board/work-pro...but-album.html

One thing to be aware of, the main mix inserts are post firewire, meaning if you mix on the board, and then want to print back into your DAW through the main outs (FW 15-16)...you can't use a stereo bus compressor on the main out...it won't be included in your print. The work around is to use the inserts on the groups to mix into, then send your groups to the main mix and print that.
Old 19th September 2012
  #10
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5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Why did you narrow it down to those two? There are better boards if you're not really using the firewire or USB functionality, which are what require the fans if I understand correctly. Maybe even, if faders are important to you, a higher quality but slightly older desk?
Old 19th September 2012 | Show parent
  #11
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i've looked at a lot of older boards.. the tascams.. soundcrafts, etc. size is also really important.. and the midas is only 22" across.. which is perfect..

what other boards did you have in mind?

i think the firewire will come in handy, though...



Quote:
Originally Posted by drbob1 ➑️
Why did you narrow it down to those two? There are better boards if you're not really using the firewire or USB functionality, which are what require the fans if I understand correctly. Maybe even, if faders are important to you, a higher quality but slightly older desk?
Old 20th September 2012
  #12
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5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Hmm, the size thing does affect it. Most of the respected older boards are a lot bigger than the usual 19" rack. There's a decent Spirit board at the GC in Madison, for example, with gorgeous faders and lots of sends, nice EQ... but it's gotta be 3 1/2 feet long and 2 1/2 feet deep...
Old 20th September 2012
  #13
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ABBA's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I suggest you get an older Midas Venice secondhand.
Lovely lovely consoles. Great value.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i can't stand 60mm faders.. or i'd definitely consider them. the firewire on the new one will probably be useful but it's not a must-have feature...

anyway.. the deal is done.. (read below)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABBA ➑️
I suggest you get an older Midas Venice secondhand.
Lovely lovely consoles. Great value.
Old 21st September 2012
  #15
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
UPS man just dropped off the f16!

very glad (after unboxing) i chose this over the zed. build quality is SO much better.. faders feel great. not at all like the zed.

and the fan is pretty much a non-issue. if i put my ear to it i can hear it, but it's very quiet... much quieter than my mac pro and quieter than the power supply for the toft board i'm replacing.

so far quite happy! going to wire it up now.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by t_d ➑️
UPS man just dropped off the f16!

very glad (after unboxing) i chose this over the zed. build quality is SO much better.. faders feel great. not at all like the zed.

and the fan is pretty much a non-issue. if i put my ear to it i can hear it, but it's very quiet... much quieter than my mac pro and quieter than the power supply for the toft board i'm replacing.

so far quite happy! going to wire it up now.
Awesome! Congrats! I love mine as well. Please do let us know what you think of it after playing for awhile. I'm really interested to hear how it compares to your Toft too.
Old 21st September 2012
  #17
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🎧 15 years
ha... trying to figure out how to get sound out the mains! only way i hear a channel is if i SOLO it....

no manual came with it (just a quick start guide)... so just trying to find my way around it....

audio out the mains would be helpful, though
Old 21st September 2012
  #18
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🎧 15 years
ahh.. i see.. gotta hit the STEREO button on each channel in the group button section (groups 1-4, mono, stereo)... i'm getting movement on the main meters now, but still not hearing it out of the phones...
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 15 years
ok.. for the life of me i can't figure out how to get signal to the headphones without hitting SOLO on each channel i want to do so..

and the manual is no help...

any ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB_12 ➑️
Awesome! Congrats! I love mine as well. Please do let us know what you think of it after playing for awhile. I'm really interested to hear how it compares to your Toft too.
Old 21st September 2012
  #20
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Do you have the PFL switch on in the local monitor section?
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by t_d ➑️
ok.. for the life of me i can't figure out how to get signal to the headphones without hitting SOLO on each channel i want to do so..

and the manual is no help...

any ideas?
Yeah...there are a few things that are a bit strange about the Venice F. I leave my "solo" switches on the stereo and mono master faders engaged...and work that way all the time...you won't have to solo each individual track that way.
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i've tried it with pfl on and off

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Chesi ➑️
Do you have the PFL switch on in the local monitor section?
Old 21st September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
so there's no way to monitor what's coming out the headphones w/o solo??? that's a litlte odd!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDB_12 ➑️
Yeah...there are a few things that are a bit strange about the Venice F. I leave my "solo" switches on the stereo and mono master faders engaged...and work that way all the time...you won't have to solo each individual track that way.
Old 21st September 2012
  #24
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Deltones's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
TD, where are your monitors connected, Master Outs or Local Outs? If they are connected to Master Outs, move the connectors over to your Local Outs. Don't forget that the Venice are mainly for live use so view the Master Outs as if you were feeding Metallica's monster PA and the Local Outs as your own monitoring environnement. And yes, the Stereo Solo button in the Masters section will need to be on at all times.

Ah yeah, I forgot. When it's set up that way, put the master fader at unity and use the local monitor knobs to adjust your volume to taste, either for your monitors or for your headphones.
Old 22nd September 2012 | Show parent
  #25
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t_d's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i'm waiting for a new xlr snake to arrive in the mail, so i don't have it connected to my system yet... that's why i'm only playing around with it with headphones.

but, once i do get it wired it, it will be output directly to the inputs of my fireface 800. it's basically a front end for that system. all of my monitoring is handled with a dangerous monitor ST.

i'll be using the main outs (?) of the midas to inputs 1+2 of the fireface and the group 1-4 outputs of the midas into inputs 3-6 of the fireface.

this way when i record synths into the daw i can either record them all onto one channel (main outs) or separate them onto separate channels of the daw (groups 1-4)

so, basically, to answer your question, i won't be monitoring directly from the midas as its only serving as a front end to a larger system.

so.. SOLO the master bus at all times? (for headphones) i guess that's easy enough...

one of the quirks of using a live board in the studio i guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deltones ➑️
TD, where are your monitors connected, Master
Outs or Local Outs? If they are connected to Master Outs, move the connectors over to your Local Outs. Don't forget that the Venice are mainly for live use so view the Master Outs as if you were feeding Metallica's monster PA and the Local Outs as your own monitoring environnement. And yes, the Stereo Solo button in the Masters section will need to be on at all times.

Ah yeah, I forgot. When it's set up that way, put the master fader at unity and use the local monitor knobs to adjust your volume to taste, either for your monitors or for your headphones.
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