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DDA D Series vs Midas Venice - Gearspace.com
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DDA D Series vs Midas Venice
Old 26th January 2013
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
DDA D Series Console vs Midas Venice vs Allen & Heath GSR24

Hi guys!
I've got the Toft ATB which I'm liking the eq but don't think it's the right console for me (too noisy, low headroom, etc)
So I've decided to put it on sell.
I'm looking for a console with nice eq and great summing ability for my rec studio.
I don't really care about preamps as I'm using outboards but it'll nice to have a decent ones.

I've offered a great condition DDA D Series but I don't know much about it.
But I read some positive reviews.

I've tested at a friend's studio the Midas Venice and I was really impressed. I liked the eq and the summing was amazing. At its price it seems like a great options.

There's also, Allen & Heath GSR24 as an option. Would love to have motorised faders but concerned that the eq and summing not so great.

Wondering what you guys think and which is a better option?
Cheers!
Old 26th January 2013
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Anyone??????
Old 26th January 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I have a 40channel DDA D here at Liscombe Park. - its actually a 24 and a 16 strapped together. Its a good, clean sounding board, quite simple but fully modular in design so its easy to fix and there's nothing to mess the sound up! My desk does not have the optional transformers, though I've been thinking hard about getting them.
I use the first 24 as returns from my PTHD, and the last 16 as FX returns and other inputs. Headphone feeds also from here.

Couple of quirks - channel metering is an LED ladder that starts at 0dB and goes up. Not too useful. Inserts and channel outputs are unbalanced, but I've never had a problem. This board has been running for about 20 years, on the road first, then retired to the studio - it would take a lot to replace it, maybe a Neve?
If you fancy a look, PM me
Best, Steve
Old 26th January 2013
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks Steve!
Could you tell me how it's eq's and summing headroom etc?
Old 27th January 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Hi Davideo,
Re Summing, its pretty subtle but definitely better than inthebox. If you push it, theres more of a fuzzy edge, but I usually strap a Chiswick Reach comp across the main inserts and run the faders at -5 I find it nicer that way, YMMV . The 2 mic inputs have 55dBgain, the Line inputs run at 0dB, no adjustment. You can ignore the Line in and use Mic-B so you have gain control. If you hit the red on the channel it's rough, but thats at +20. Good.
I'm like you, in that I have a bunch of preamps I use for inputs, but the DDA is no slouch - I regularly use it for Toms, Leslie, Synths etc.
Re the EQ, its a 4-band, with 2x sweep mids, Q1.5, hi and lo shelving. Dave Dearden is a past master at EQ design, and this is very useful for general tone-shaping. If I want something extreme or surgical, I'll use a plugin but the DDA is great for gentle sweetening.

hope that helps!,
Best,
Steve
Old 27th January 2013
  #6
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks allot Steve!
Old 27th January 2013
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Funk-O-Meter's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
They're two different animals from the same ancestor. Or rather.. the Venice is a DDA about 12 generations later. DDA was as you probably know the predecessor to Midas. And while Midas has made some cheaper desks to hit a price point they've never made crap consoles. Both Venice's the old and the new sound great. The new one has tons of EQ taken from the XL3 ( 4 sweepable bands with the middle two having Q knobs!) and either a huge firewire i/o set (mine has 32x32) with really good sounding converters (think Apogee quality) or a 8X8 USB i/O. The summing is really nice as is the EQ and pre's. I've not had any fader time on the Toft so I can't compare directly but the new Vince is half the price for a ton more and I really like the way it sounds. Add quality outboard and it's pretty much impossible to beat for anything less than 3 times the price. That's before you at the cost of 32 channels of A/D and D/A!! Check out my recent little review for more. Did I mention 32 channels of A/D and D/A?
Old 27th January 2013
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah, I think I'll go for the Venice. When I tested it I was shock how good it sounded.
I use the lynx aurora and SSL Alpha link for conversion so won't use the firewall.
Thanks!
Old 28th January 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Will the A&H gsr24m be a better option then the Venice in term of eq and summing?
Old 28th January 2013
  #10
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
If you want to hear a mix using the venice I recorded this on a MCI JH16 and mixed with a venice. WAX AND TAPE DEMO - YouTube
Old 28th January 2013
  #11
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds great!
Old 29th January 2013
  #12
Gear Head
 
CynicEidolon's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I've had live audio drive time on AH and the Venice. And, well... My Venice arrives tomorrow. Just saying. Lol.

But! Here's why. I don't like the sound of the AH or the feel. It sounded/felt cheap, plastic. Maybe more more for a project home studio. I just didn't like much about it. The EQ's (compared to the Venice) felt like you had to really get into them before much happened then, it felt too much. Lol. Also, I know there have been a few QC issues with Midas but I've had more bad things happen with an AH desk than any Midas.
Old 30th January 2013
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks! That actually exactly what I'm feeling about the toft atb.
Old 27th March 2013 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hey Kennyplex, the tune sounds great! It's nice to hear some audio to go along with the comments. Did you track and mix with the Venice exclusively, or did you use outboard gear (pre's, eq)? Just trying to understand how much of what we're hearing is the Venice, and how much is being colored by other gear. Thanks
Old 27th March 2013
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funk-O-Meter ➑️
They're two different animals from the same ancestor. Or rather.. the Venice is a DDA about 12 generations later. DDA was as you probably know the predecessor to Midas. And while Midas has made some cheaper desks to hit a price point they've never made crap consoles. Both Venice's the old and the new sound great. The new one has tons of EQ taken from the XL3 ( 4 sweepable bands with the middle two having Q knobs!) and either a huge firewire i/o set (mine has 32x32) with really good sounding converters (think Apogee quality) or a 8X8 USB i/O. The summing is really nice as is the EQ and pre's. I've not had any fader time on the Toft so I can't compare directly but the new Vince is half the price for a ton more and I really like the way it sounds. Add quality outboard and it's pretty much impossible to beat for anything less than 3 times the price. That's before you at the cost of 32 channels of A/D and D/A!! Check out my recent little review for more. Did I mention 32 channels of A/D and D/A?
The DDA is the predecessor from Audient. Midas never made cheap desks.

Sent from my Nexus 7
Old 8th October 2013
  #16
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
couldn't help but resurrect this one, guys...

last friday i took delivery of a 24x8x2 dda d series desk and i would like to share my experiences and the path that led me to my current state of happiness.



i ran a studio a year ago that was equipped with an atb 16 nicely loomed out to a TT patchbay on its way to a radar 24. we also had a pair of la-3 and dbx 160vu and a few other nice bits. my business partner and i had lucked into a situation where a seasoned professional just loaned us him entire home studio setup for about 18 months for no charge... during that time i slowly fell in love with the setup, even though the toft had a fair share of headaches. a few channels were intermittent... it was a very early serial number, lower than 25 i think... anyway

that guy one day decided to take his rig back and i went from feeling at home on the atb to trying to enjoy getting reacquainted with my a&h zed16...

well, a few weeks ago there was a guy in austin selling a toft 16 for $1000, which i thought was a killer deal, but unfortunately I missed it and was pretty miffed. BUT i am so happy i missed out.

last week I discovered a DDA d series 24x8x2 in orlando, +1 on the transformer option, and here's the kicker... originally purchased, owned, and maintained by the U.S.A.F.! The shockmounted case for the power supply has an "Air Force Band" stencil, pretty sweet... who else would you want to buy something from than the military!?!? I'm honored to be the 3rd owner of the desk. The 2nd owner is a pro guy who took great care of it and make some records that got national airplay on it. He is now upgrading to a chop neve desk and I am lucky to get this hand-me-down.

long story short, as fate would have it, console dude was traveling thru atlanta (where i am) with his band and a trailer... so he was able to deliver the 500+lbs beast to me... which took care of what couldve been an enormous headache and expense!

only setback was the fact that the foam in the roadcase for the console disintegrated all over the desk (yikes!) as it was cooked in a uhaul trailor from orlando to atlanta on a nice sunny early fall kinda day... i was horrified at first when we opened the case.. near heart attack... but i spent 48 hours with the vacuum and the air can and the paint and toothbrushes and the goo gone and the cotton balls and isopropyl and the qtips... Horace now shines and he is the sturdiest, most awesome desk on which i have ever had the pleasure to work.
I named him Horace in honor of Horace Gammet, one of Col. Bruce Hampton's dreamt-up characters.. All of the guys in my band have been in Bruce's band in one way or another...

so yeah, now Horace shines. I am having a ball. He is currently living on my girlfriends floor (she is being an angel about this) and I brought over a couple things just to fire it up. don't laugh, but i'm currently achieving 10 channels of d/a by hacking direct outs on my zed 16's inserts.... using a silly array of adapters, insert snakes, chewing gum....

but it has allowed me to get an interesting look at the 16 channel recording of the buena vista social club i did this past weekend. so i've got the mix fanned out on Horace, and the first time I turn the stepped monitor volume knob and push these mile long faders-that-feel-like-tanks up... my jaw drops and i'm like "this is the first moment of my life"....

then i'm like oh man i want snappiness in that stick-on-drumshell sound so i start reaching for hi freq and hi mids and it's like some celestial being just dropped a spoonful of venus all over everything and tectonic plates are shifting around and it sounds great!

i love the little imperfections in the fader throw from fader to fader, i love using the test osc. to get everything all lined up! stepped controls everywhere, this is a toft slayer in every conceivable way. to think i lucked into paying less per channel than that 1000 atb 16 in austin is making me feel happy.

now i just need a maxed out burl mothership and a desktop and i'll be good to go.

keep the computer monitor to the side of the desk! don't put it in between the speakers! mine's only where it is now because of cable length restraints.

sorry to babble, but i really feel like my life is just beginning and i wanted to share my experience in the hopes that it can be of some use to someone someday. it's like when i saw the movie "rockers" i realized, oh ok, now there's 2 phases in life, before one sees "rockers", and after one sees "rockers"...

can't wait to track thru these pres... vocals thru the little EV 605a on quick mic amp tests sounded luscious on my limited voice.


Last edited by LawsonF; 8th October 2013 at 01:43 PM.. Reason: wanted to add picture, had to figure out how.
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