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Console automation

Member for

20 years 8 months
So, what's out there in (large frame, analog) console mute/fader automation land? What options exist, VCA & motorized faders, and how do some of the options sound? What kind of prices could I expect for retrofitting a 40 input console? Fletcher, I remember you mentioning a VCA auto system that you were impressed with the sound of. Then there's Neve, Uptown, etc... Any thoughts, anyone?

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Member for

20 years 9 months

Mixerman Sun, 07/08/2001 - 18:06
I prefer motorized faders over VCA's myself. But some people like the sound of VCA's.

How much are you looking to spend on the automation? Flying Faders is roughly $1000 per channel. So it's kind of silly for me to make any reccomendations without knowing your price range.

Mixerman

Member for

20 years 8 months

Jon Best Mon, 07/09/2001 - 10:27
Good point, one which I repeatedly make to other people.... :)

Well, the console is a 44 input Quad 8 Virtuoso that will hopefully be commissioned in 4-6 months. I got it for a good bit less than it's worth, so I can spend some money on it, but a new Uptown System 990 for ~35K is pretty much out of the question, which kicks GML and Flying Faders out of bed as well. It's got early Necam faders installed, and I have the control electronics, but that's it- I could probably kludge something together with that, although I've been kind of warned off of that option. I am resigned to either a used system, or a VCA system (or both), but I don't want to go over 8K or so, and something less would be ideal. Thanks!

Originally posted by Mixerman:
I prefer motorized faders over VCA's myself. But some people like the sound of VCA's.

How much are you looking to spend on the automation? Flying Faders is roughly $1000 per channel. So it's kind of silly for me to make any reccomendations without knowing your price range.

Mixerman

Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Tue, 07/10/2001 - 04:24
Jon, several years ago we installed a 'CAD Megamix' inboard system in a vintage API desk. I was damned impressed with the way the system worked, and sounded. I have no idea if they still make the system or not.

As far as 'out of console'/'aftermarket' automation systems, I think the 'Uptown' is my favorite. Works great, easy to install, and exceptionally easy to learn to use. Overall a great sounding and working system.

Member for

20 years 8 months

Jon Best Fri, 07/13/2001 - 17:58
Well, I got some clarification from them the other day- around $23K for 44 input System 990, and around $40K for the same board with the System 2000. These may be list prices, if they usually work through a dealer network. Dunno.

It's academic at this point, as I just faced the fact that I can't really afford to do the renovations/downtime necessary to fit the damn thing in the control room, that is unless I sell the console... Catch 22, Gift of the Magi...

I'm sure I will be kicking myself in a year and a half when I'm looking for this type of console...

Originally posted by Mixerman:
Jon,

I thought that Uptown was quite a bit more economical than that. Why so expensive?

From what I understood, Uptown was about $15,000 for that many inputs. Does anyone else know the answer to that?

Mixerman

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 07/17/2001 - 12:24
Hi Jon,

I think you will find mixing with VCAs a lot like mixing with a mouse. They just don’t allow you to "perform" a mix. Its much more of an intellectual endeavor rather than "feel."

I think you’ll find that the biggest expense in a moving fader package is the faders themselves. When I installed Uptown 990 in my Series 80 the only option was for P&G or some Japanese faders (at about $200 less per fader). The cheap ones reminded me of 02R faders. I’ve had no problems with the 990/P&G system in 4 years.

You also have to have new fader plates machined (unless you have P&Gs already) which is about as rewarding as buying drywall

On the other hand I‘ve had no software updates since ATI bought them up. The system still runs on a 386 chipset (even a brand new system, anything else is too fast)—God help me when that machine crashes. I’ll be looking in dumpsters for a replacement.

Uptown used to offer a small (8 ch.) outboard box that could be put in line/group inserts. Personally I would much prefer that to running the audio through VCAs.

BTW: how's that JH-24 treating you?

Member for

20 years 8 months

Jon Best Wed, 07/18/2001 - 19:37
Originally posted by JGriffith:
Hi Jon,



I think you’ll find that the biggest expense in a moving fader package is the faders themselves.



BTW: how's that JH-24 treating you?


That's about what I figured, with the faders. I think, since I (regretfully) am going to have to let this console go, that I will pick up the original P&G's, which are available for cheap, and sell it with them- I'll hold on to the Neve moving faders and start talking to Mark McQuilken about a roll your own system for the next console, in a year and a half or so.

The JH24 is great! Solid as a rock. I did have to replace the green LED on the remote for track 24 in the middle of a session, and it scares the crap out of me every time I look over there- all I had was a red one, and I keep thinking I've erased the timecode....

I need to go get a green LED... :)

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Mon, 08/06/2001 - 20:36
What Uptown does not tell you for 23K is you get no fader buffers to drive the internal mute logic on the desk to drive uptown.Which is I think 90$ per channel . Our tech builds ours for us for a few bucks a card and is going to soon give us 2000 feature for an extra 1.00 in parts . Just food for thought . good luck but man you will be a cleanin faders once a month bro. -Mark
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