Thoughts on Neve 55 series Braodcast console for tracking and summing.

Discussion in 'Summing Mixers' started by Audiofreek, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I'm looking at a 42 channel Neve for my studio,price is very reasonable for a Neve.I realize this console is designed for broadcast.Having no automation means it's crippled in a mixdown situation,but is there a possibility of adding Necam,or Flying faders?Hows the mix bus?How do the pres and EQs sound compared to other used boards in the 10-15 grand range.would I be better off buying a new Allen and Heath GS-R24M at 8 grand?
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    oh, you are headed into a fun area now! I have no idea on this console but I wouldn't even consider flying faders anymore. Those are on the way out IMHO. They are big bucks to even get something stable and accurate as well. I have an older yamaha that I though was going to be the cats meow because of FF and I 100% used the DAW anyway. Even with my new analog mixer, the Neos, I don't miss that function in the least. So, I think you are thinking pretty wisely putting your money into the best iron you can afford. What ever you do, stay away for SSL crap. its a boring sound going in. And thats why you are sniffing at the Neve flavour. Good luck! I look forward to hearing your mixes with what you are planning some day!
     
  3. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Chris,
    isn't it better to leave the channel faders on the DAW all a unity gain and automate with the Neos? that makes for levels matched in and out of the DAW and all fades / boosts or attenuation’s done in analog. less math on the DAW processor makes fo better sounding audio ... at least that's what i thought. how do the guys with SSL's / Neves / flying faders do it?
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I should also note that all the mixes I get are already effected. So my process is to make it all sound bigger after the fact. My opinions and process is always coming from a hybrid mixing POV which may not be desirable for a traditional recording approach. I mean, I have no use for a Neve or any traditional console, I'm not recording a band. This would be a huge step backwards. But someone needing the flavour and tracking convenience with all those channels at once, what more could you ask for! And no mouse!

    But as far as digital mixing and mastering and being online ready to go... , my money is on Sequoia and the straightest wire to the other side going one direction. Hybrid takes the strain off the CPU (zero /less latency and phase) and gives you more options to juice energy where it counts.
    I shape stems and save the finished product on a capture DAW which for me is an second version of Sequoia 12 but Reaper or Ableton Live as a few examples would work just fine for that. In fact, I'm just preparing to install Ableton Live on my mastering DAW.
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I re wrote the last post to explain my process better. More insight into how the hybrid process integrates with the DAW.

    -----------

    I've always thought moving the faders were bad but things have changed for me since I started using Sequoia and summing OTB like this. I've experienced and heard this problem mentioned with other DAW's but I don't notice a thing degrading with Sequoia. Sequoia 12 is incredible and rock solid stable. It is the King of DAW's ( recording, mixing mastering) and I'll share why.

    When I ran Pro Tools years back (which could be different now) I could hear a noticeable zipper effect when faders moved but not with Sequoia 12. I also heard a deadening effect when plug-ins were added and often ghost processing that stayed active even if a plug-in was deactivated. This is still happening today.

    I should also mention ( and take notice of this) I use object based editing which in a nut means, the ability to surgically edit and use the entire DAW's processing to shape a wave of any given length. I can select, chop and and slice anything in a session (which is then called an object) right down to a bit and use the entire DAWs power on that "object" to shape or repair the wave.

    Things like adding a delay, compression , ducking, spectral cleaning (removing of sub freq bleeding, spikes, pitch, de-essing on the exact Sss, tape hissing, tape noise, a door slam EQ, etc) can all be automated and processed right down to the bit of a wave. I can group an object or process the whole session by selecting all.

    In other words, I can take a spike on a cymbal crash and instead of chopping or drawing it out, I might put an eq or compressor or sidechain duck on it. The result is smoother than chopping which can be a serious benefit to tracks that you want bleed in there but not when the bleed is a HH compounding the sss of the lead Vox. I could even put a 10 sec delay or reverb tail on that spot (object) ! The possibilities are endless. See the video below.

    So, the faders never see much automation. I use the faders on the Neos a lot, but I don't move them for mixing on the fly per-say. I use analog faders to push energy up or down and fine tune the analog stem feeds. I want total recall from the DAW and use the DAW to mix and prepare the analog feed.
    My Neos was also customized for me. I do not want a detent pan. Being able to dial a center line in with precision is better.

    The hybrid console lets me insert certain pieces of hardware like an API 2500 for drums, LA2A for Vox, 1176 for various flavours. These products help make the ITB tracks pop out with ease because I get them sounding different (not better) but different.
    I pan and shape the space around that stem, be it, panning or dead center. The analog process helps the stem stand out from each group. So the object is getting the group to stand out on its own but glued enough so it all sounds nice at the end of the day. I want a certain amount of things grouped together otherwise the clean digital mix is too busy sounding, harder to mix. More time consuming to say the least.

    Once everything goes through the Neos, I have a mastering loop ( Dangerous Master). This is the dedicated 2-bus analog router with special stereo attributes and a very important monitor feed.
    At this stage I can M&S process, adjust gains, 2-bus L/R, monitor offset and output gain. I can insert mastering hardware on either side of the center processing. I can A/B specific hardware to fine tune the best process as we head over and finalize the mixdown on DAW 2.

    All the time I am able to go back and forth ITB to OTB in search of the sweet spot being mixed on DAW 1.
    So you can see how important the monitoring system is here. No console monitoring will come close to being this proficient either. The Monitor ST was designed for a tree stage hybrid monitoring.

    I have three stages of a mix going on all the time and the ability to listen start or finish.

    A console would never do that for me and I could never live without my DAW. Sequoia is a hybrid monster.

    This is a big topic but in a nut shell, I use the DAW for 90% of everything and analog for meat and variation of stem color. Outboard processing is where I'm investing right now.

    Pro Tools HD or HDX verses Samplitude/Sequoia and some hardware and a nice summing console... ? How can anything be better than this DAW? You can all thank me later lol!

     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Fun video,

     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    How are you coming along with the decisions? The more I think about all this for you, the more I feel you should stay clear of older console around here because repairs and maintenance might be the worst nightmare.
     
  8. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I was also considering a new Allen and Heath GS-R24,nice little console,but no iron.Pretty good sounding mix bus from the demos I've heard.At any rate,it's going to be a while before I make a purchase,perhaps by then I'll be able to get used to the idea of not having a console in front of me,and just go with a summing mixer.I'll never buy another pure digital board,but the Slate Digital Raven control surface looks pretty amazing.I'm sure the same thing will able to be done with any touchscreen monitor,and most DAW software in the next few years.Technology is moving along pretty quickly,but they are just slowly spoon feeding us.That's why I'm looking towards vintage analog gear that will increase, or at least hold it's value.
     
  9. drknob

    drknob Member

    I maintained Neve Flying Faders System serial number 003, and I can tell you it's a fabulous automation platform. However, maintenance is very expensive, and retrofitting it to an existing console is not for the faint of heart. And.... the early systems were designed to work with an IBM AT as host, with the corresponding ISA card bus. I got it to work on an early Pentium, but yikes!
     
  10. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I've worked on Necam,with an IBM host that booted off of a 5 inch floppy,it was synced to a Sony 3348 DASH recorder.It was a nightmare,the sony would chase back and forth trying to find the postion of the time code for about a minute before we could do anything.
     

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