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Medium/Large Format Consoles

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Cucco, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey all! I'm in an interesting time right now where I may go from doing all on-location symphonic recording to actually opening a studio and recording anything and everything. I feel as though it would be to my benefit to have a console but haven't completely sold myself on the idea yet. Here are my needs:

    - A good sounding console (duh :? ) with 24 to 32 mono channels.
    - Decent EQ on each channel
    - Direct outputs as well as a good summing bus (8 bus or more)
    - Healthy compliments of sends/returns

    What I'm not too concerned about are:

    - Dynamics on each channel (a plus, but definitely not necessary)
    - Great mic pres - I'll be using a lot of external pres. Nice ones would be fine, but I don't need APIs all the way around

    So I guess I'm looking for suggestions. I don't necessarily need a digital console and I know good analog consoles are on the cheap nowadays on the used market. Of course, I also understand that I have to be careful with used consoles too.

    I'm curious to see how consoles such as the Ghost and A&H Stuff (all new) stack up against 5-10k consoles in the used arena or even other companies' new stuff. Suggestions and comments welcome.

    Currently, I mix in the box on Sequoia. If there is adequate reason to avoid a console alltogether and simply get a couple more great A/Ds I'm willing to accept that too.

    And Kurt - I know you hate the Ghost. :wink:

  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I don't hate "The Ghost". I think it's fine for what it is and if someone likes it, fine. .... I just don't think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm not the only one btw ...

    Boards like The Ghost are fine for what they are but there is better to be had. However any console thet's going to offer full performance is most likely going to be a maintenance pig. It's the nature of the beast.

    Even larger studios are turning to a smaller consoles inteneded only for monitoring purposes and keeping the signal path in the front end rack. I recommend spending your cash on good pres, eq's and comps and not on a big board.
  3. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I'm in that corner to a point - Although - my (JEM's) old Ghost had the Creation Audio Labs mods performed on half the preamps and the entire master section, plus the upgraded power supply.

    It seriously puts it in another class. If I had to stuff a board in a room with a $10k budget, I'd probably get a new or gently used Ghost and have the CAL guys do a number on it.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Exactly.....BTW there are three different power supplies that were available on the Ghost.The PS275 is the only one to consider as it has much more headroom than the other two.I'm sure someone will disagree even if they've never heard a GHOST.....I've owned mine for 3 years now. The upgrades are very popular now.Gearslutz has a long thread on this very subject.
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Damn straight - I'll tell ya, as I was able to literally A/B the original preamps with the mods (as only half the preamps were done last I heard the board). Just amazing.

    Hell, the power supply was an impressive difference... But the power and those op-amps... You'd never know that it was a sub-$10k console...
  6. XHipHop

    XHipHop Guest

    Neotek's are mad cheap right now. I got a 32 channel elite 2 years ago for like $9000.

    Today someone offered me an elan for $3500 in NYC. If you want i can pass you his info.
  7. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    I've gone mixerless altogether, excepting a line mixer for multed cue sends...

    If you have the hi end pres, and are looking for a top notch mixdown unit, there's a couple of ways to go...The Manley 16X2 looks really good for my future needs...as does an API summing box (7800?)...and don't forget the Chandler TG mixer, with a couple of aux sends IIRC. The caveat is EQ in most of these systems, but with software EQ getting better all the time, by the time I get around to one of these they may be indistinguishable...

    All that aside, I'd be willing to bet that as soon as you got hold of a decent mid-large format mixer, you'll be using it more and more....

    Ever tried a DDA or Wheatstone/Audio Arts? I'm trying to score an Audio Arts 16X2 right now....killer EQ, more auxes than imaginable, overbuilt power supply, etc...
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    See, that's hitting on the real point.

    I've got a good 24 channels of outboard pre - hence the reason I'm not too worried about the pres in the console. For 10K, I could get a few more channels and a couple phat effects processors!

    So I'm curious - is it really worth it?

    I don't really need an outboard summing bus per se, but it might not be a bad addition later on down the line. I guess I just like the ergonomics of a console, but how many people are doing this "in the box" nowadays? Not to put people off, but I mean how many of the "big boys" are doing this nowadays, not small in-home studios and the like.


  9. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    If you are wanting to spend lots of dough, it would be pimp to get some kind of awesome line mixer, a bunch of outboard compressors/processors/EQ's/etc., and just use your preamps you already have if they are good. I wouldn't put almost all your budget in a full console that you don't really need.

    If you are wanting to maximize your budget and quality, I would just use your preamps, record through an Apogee Rosetta or the like, mix in the box, D/A back out to some hardware compressors/reverbs/EQs or whatever when needed, and mix it all down in the computer. This would be the most flexible method I would think. Kids now days will want you to do all kinds of "Pro Toolzing" with their crappy takes if you are taking in all kinds of customers. :D

    If you are opening a studio space, you are probably going to need to keep a bunch of budget left for some good-sized main monitors and the soffitting of them and the acoustics of it all and stuff.

    Sounds like fun! :cool:
  10. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    You're not putting me off one bit...but:

    From what I understand in phone conversations, private mails, and publically posted stuff, the "big boys" tend to track using external pres to DAW, PT, or Radar, process as needed, then "mix" using summing from a small dedicated summing unit or an SSL, Euphonics, or other automated system...

    And FWIW, many of the "big boys" I communicate with are looking for ways to downsize their workspace footprint (like we are discussing) without sacrificing quality....perhaps they have learned something from us little old chump-change guys...I dunno...

    There is a reason people like Tonelux, Chandler, Manley, Daking, and other stupidly hi end manufacturers are making the smaller footprint boards...because a lot of the "big boys" want them.
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Good info!

  12. Costy

    Costy Guest

    I think that's may be the way. In my opinion, if a console doesn't
    have good pres and dynamics - it's relatively worthless. You have
    EQ plugs in your box. It seems to me that you are going to shell
    out a fews grand on 24 sliders... A few "big" boys I know mix with
    the box (digi PT in their case). No control surfaces either. I do the
    same. Just an opinion.
    But why don't you have a couple of "test" sessions ? Make a
    couple of demos for some band, and see what piece of gear is
    missing most.

    Hey, Jeremy, by the way, in the begining of May I may drive
    through your area. If you drop me your contacts (via my web)
    I could stop by...
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Cool Dude. You can swing by whenever you'd like. I'll send you my stuff via e-mail.

    Of course, my wife is due with our first kid right around then, so give me a little heads up in case she's popped by then. :cool:


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