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Fully automated consoles?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by killersoundz, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    It seems fully automated consoles are in short numbers. I'm just poking around thinking of the best studio solution for my needs. I've never been a huge fan of Protools, mostly because the information is very vague. From what I've read you need the HD cards, HD192's (only 16 channels a peice) A/D converters and a control surface. That to me is crazy and the price does not justify it for me.

    Other then protools are there any other studio setups that have good workflow? I was thinking of a fully automated console and some good converters and interface for Sonar and then saving the projects not only in Sonar but on the console as well, so I could recall all of the settings on the board. Does anyone do this or is it very practical? If someone could shed some light on protools and make it sound more appealing to me I'd be interested. I was looking at the Icon series control surfaces they have and they seem nice. How exactly is a protools setup hooked up?
  2. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    The manual is available for download at digidesign.com
    The official Digidesign forum is at duc.digidesign.com

    I make a very good income using Protools HD3, it paid for itself in a few weeks!!!

  3. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    With the ICON, do you still need A/D converters?
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Just buy yourself the new Mackie digital audio console. They come in two flavors.

    Perhaps what you want is a hybrid system? Analog console for tracking into the system and mixing in the box without the console?

    There are numerous other " control surface" console's designed to be compatible with numerous different software's. Choose one.

    Or keep things really simple and forget the controller interface, just use a mouse with the box. Automated consoles today are a misnomer. The consoles aren't really automated, the computer is. The console is just a large cable TV box controller with more buttons and knobs. The only really true automated console/recorder could be considered is the Fairlight and other high-end devices from companies like SSL and Digidesign.

    Looking in all the wrong places
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  5. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Comon Remy, you're old school as I am.
    Thers no replacement for a board fade, or a segway using faders, or writing your automation with the beat in real time.

    You just cant do it with a mouse, fader moves is an artistic motor response from brain to hand.

    Adjusting plugins is much more tactile using a knob on a control surface, than clicking with a mouse, I cant stand sweeping a notch filter with a mouse!!!

    Im using a HUI now, and looking at a Mackie D8B for under $2000.00 used
    that has both HUI, and a console. (Apogee converter and clock).

    Thats a great low budget to an ICON.
    Oh to answer killer's question, yes you still need A/D I/Os
  6. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    What? Digidesign's site has informative videos, DigiZines and all kinds of downloads. You aren't look very hard.

    If you stack up what a Digi HD2 will do, up against everything else, you would be hard pressed to come it at the same price. I too have an HD3 rig. I do not use control surfaces. I used to. But working in PT really wasn't about that when I bought into audio on a computer. The purpose was to change the way that we work, eliminating the need for all of that stuff.

    As far as editing goes, there is no other software that does ALL of what PT does. They all do some of it. But nobody contains ALL of the same features. That said, there is some cool stuff that PT could do, that doesn't. But, they have to walk thee middle of the road and be all things to all people.

    As far as processing in real time with no latency. PT is above the rest. Yeah other third party cards can be added to a native system, but NONE of them works for everyone, the same way, without issue.

    The whole thing with a PT system is that you buy it, you install it in a mac, and it works, as long as you bought a tested configuration. The next thing is that there are more PT systems in the world than all others together, and if you want to do serious projects and make serious money, with serious people, you had better have it, and the top two or three MIDI composer programs as well.

    With PT, you are buying a complete system. All of the components work seemlessly together. Working in any other platform is like working multiple programs and pieces of hardware simultaneously. All of that excluding Fairlight and Sydec's Soundscape, etc. But we still are not comparing apples to apples.

    BTW, the Icon is a control surface.

    The Mackie digital "desks" are turds IMO, as they are over priced Pentium4 computers with lame software that still has bugs, that hit the market too late. If you want to spend that kind of cash on something that you could build for yourself, minus the touch screens for $2k tops, then go for it.
  7. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Really, Ive been using the HUI for 7 years non-stop now. Nice "Control surface" for my PT HD3
    The old Digital 8 bus is still a contender. At under $2K used, you can find
    then with AES cards, and Apogee clocks. Makes for a nice "Hybrid"
    Digital mixing, along with a HUI control surface layer.
    The one Im about to buy has 6 years on it, and has major TV, and album credits run through it!!!!
    Call me an idiot, but my income from these turds, have 5 zeros attached to them :roll:
  8. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    The HUI is not a digital desk. It is a controller, not the same comparison. The D8B is a turd deluxe. It is fine if you have an in with the guy that bought the wharehouse, as Mackie was rolling over new and parts inventory with fork lifts. I worked with one for a year. If you visit the messageboards, you will find that everyone has the same issues at some point.

    1. The umbillicals are fragile and need to be replaced.
    2. All of the ribbons have issues, requiring repeated reseating.
    3. Poor I/O card connector engineering causes that piece of sheetmetal to flex, and requires cards to be reseated, etc.
    4. The cpu processor fans are noisy in time.
    5. There is an issue with the phantom power and some mics, like Earthworks. Neither company could figure out why DC was sent to an outputs when 6 different SR70s were blugged to any mic input, upon bootup.
    6. The faders chatter.

    Yeah, I enjoyed rebuilding mine every other month. I enjoyed buying others to part out. Yeah, it was really productive.

    The endless list goes on. Yeah, some people used these things on SOME parts of production for TV and movies, but major production has ever been cut from start to finish on one, and the percentage of these overpriced PentiumIIs still in operation is very small to those manufactured. It became such a liability for Mackie that they just ditched the whole thing, which was originally touted to be the first and last console that they would make, as they would never stop supporting or developing it. It has Mackie on the nameplate and that sealed it's fate right there.
  9. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Yeah, whatever, you would know being in Kansas.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I have a friend with 2 of those which have been totally reliable over the years and he loves them. Go figure? Maybe too much sand and dust in Kansas?

    It's funny to finally see George Massenburg sitting behind a Digidesign console! LOL From the guy who used to make some of the greatest equipment ever.

    Where's Toto???
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  11. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    The thing about protools that bothers me is I'm a musician myself and I would mostly be buying this system to please myself, not others. Spending THAT much money on a big gigantic mouse (ICON) seems crazy. It's not a board, it won't give you amazing preamps and amazing analog sound, its just a big mouse. But at the same time what can you do if you want a real nice analog board (would like recommendations) but still want to track digitally and have it easy to mix and easy to switch out projects while remembering all the parameters?
  12. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    I'm with sheet
    but I stopped at an HD2 'cos it was enough for me and I don't need more
    I also have multiple 001 and AM3 systems that I loan to people

    if you must use an external DSP with an LE or HD system then the new 'ish SSL Duendo looks cool
    and gives
    filter-EQ-comp/lim (it can change the order) vst and rtas based I think
    the bus comp
  13. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    May 28, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Home Page:
    I have extensive experience with the D8B, BEFORE I moved here, in a mobile situation. The church that I went to work for also had one, which had been in the shop more than it was turned on at the church. Part of this due to Mackie not being able to find prints and parts from previous vendors, who has since gone belly up.

    I don't like any gear that I have to stop my work flow and take apart, rebuild, etc. I resent the idea that location means anything. I fiber content to both coasts for international shows TV and radio weekly. Just because I live in KS, doesn't mean that I am out of the loop, or not in the know. I am just not as "smart" to live in a place where apartment rent is four times my mortgage, where gas is only $2. right now, and where my kids are not subject to the wacko educational system. I did the LA thing thank you.
  14. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    >>But at the same time what can you do if you want a real nice analog board (would like recommendations) but still want to track digitally and have it easy to mix and easy to switch out projects while remembering all the parameters?<<

    Well, you have given us very little to go on: do you track drums? Vocals? Guitars? How many concurrent RECORDING channels do you really NEED? Will it be for DEMO or COMMERCIAL work?

    For now, I think you'd be happy with a USED (yes, I dare say used) MOTU 2408MKII (you can get them for about $200.oo now) system. You can get up three of them and it will give you 24ch on A/D/A to/from computer and whatever board you buy.

    If you want to use EQ, compression, etc... inside the DAW look into one of the SPL ANALOG summing mixers.

  15. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I too have a friend that has a D8B and it has been in service for over two years and has been performing flawlessly for that whole time. He uses it on a daily basis and has never had problem one with the board. It is in a smoke free control room that is in a converted barn.

    I also was at GC when someone was trading in their D8B and it looked like it had been though the war. Dust, cigarette tar, spilled coffee and who knows what else all over the desk. The person trading it in was complaining that it was unreliable and that the faders and knobs were "sticking" Gee I can't understand why....

    Some times people are their equipment's own worst enemy. The effects of smoking, allowing liquids around the equipment and bad general housekeeping duties are things that every one should be aware of and its negative effects on the life of their equipment.

    As to living in Kansas. It does not make you any less of a person. I know from personal experience, I too live in the Midwest and in a town literally surrounded by corn fields and I work with some very sophisticated clients and equipment on a daily basis so being in a rural setting is not by any means a measure of how technically or artistically savvy you are.
  16. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    No one said he was less of a person living in Kansas, he stated NO major production was done on a D8B start to finish. How would he know this general statement being in Kansas???
    Im in a location where 90% of the "major" work is done, and can attest to the fact he's wrong.
    I was second chair to a man that used 2 D8Bs on every major music, variety, and award shows in the early 2000s, with 3 DA88s on the inputs.
    The man has 19 emmys "most emmys won", 3 of those, the shows were mixed using a D8B.

    Ok, its a turd!!!!!

  17. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    The fact that one may win awards, make millions & gazillion of dollars with ANY piece of equipment in no way whatsoever proves the worthiness of such equipment as an absolute.

    Andre Agassi could very likely win tournaments with a mediocre racket in his prime as well...that doesn't make the mediocre racket become EXCELLENT simply because he used it.
  18. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    Did you not read the original statement????
    He stated NO MAJOR production was done on a D8B.

    That was a rebuttal!!!!!!
  19. CircuitRider

    CircuitRider Active Member

    Feb 10, 2002
    Home Page:
    I use a Tascam FW-1884, and it works great for my workflow. I switch back and forth between mixing on the consol and mixing directly on the PC depending on my mood, the application, and what I had for breakfast. I like being able to fade (and sometimes pan) on-the-fly by hand, but it's nice to be able to go in and tweak, modify, or smooth a curve here and there.

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