Mixing Console

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by willcam, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. willcam

    willcam Guest

    Someone is offering to sell me a Big by Langley mixing console for a very low price. However, I do not know very much about the desk. I have been unable to locate a user manual, or any instructive info for it. A few questions:
    1. Can the desk be used as an analog desk without the "Supertrue" automation software?
    2. Can the desk be used without any software at all?
    3. Where can I find instructive materials?
    4. Any major known malfunctions of the unit?
  2. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    Well its a Amek Board . you cant go wrong with that..
  3. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I had to laugh at that one!!! I've owned more than one Amek, they were both fun and a nightmare when they were NEW!!! You can go to AudioAsylum, or better yet, google Amek and see what you can research on the Big. I used to mix on one that was in a remote truck. It was OK, but there is no support for the Supertrue OR Virtual Dynamics systems.
    Remember that the company is no longer in business, support is sketchy at best, from 3rd party sources. Are you good with a soldering iron? Can you ID and properly replace bad capacitors? Are you good at troubleshooting ? Be prepared for a LOT of that with an Amek product in general. IMHO, I'd stick to a Midas if you want an analog mixer on a budget.
  4. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    I really couldnt find any info on the BIG except it was made by Amek.. I was in it so deep looking for what he wanted . I had to post something....lol
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Quite understandable...
    The Amek name has ties to Rupert Neve, so that association implies a certain level of quality. And the boards the Graham Langley designed ARE good ones. It's just that they start to show signs of aging early on because the engineering is pretty stressful on many of the components. If Will is knowledgeable and competent with electronics down to a "component level" as many members here are, and he's in a region with good internet and Fed-X support, I say go for it. But if his idea of soldering is fixing a headphone cord and he lives in Bora Bora, I'd say, skip it. It's all relative.
  6. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    I used this board for about 5 years in our studio and liked it a lot.
    One thing you might want to look into is the power supply.
    The older ones had 2 power supplys and were quite problematic from what I remember. The newer ones had a single power sup. that was a little more robust.
    You can run them without the automation but there are a few things that the automation is good for. I used it mostly for zeroing out the board. You can set up a default setting for every knob and switch, and at the end of the session, the screen will show you which knobs and switches need to be moved. (langley can also talk to you thru the board if you like which can be fun as well as irritating) Also without the computer hooked up, many of the buttons will be on or off randomly when you power up, so you'll need to reset those.
    And SOLO SAFE mode and GROUPS can only be activated from the software.
    We found that an op amp will go bad every now and then on the buses. So you will need a service manual so that you or a tech can get in there. Once you see where the op amps are, it's quite easy to pop in another one. You can usually get them for about $10-$15 each, so it's not a BIG deal. I had to replace maybe 4 of them during the 5 years.
    The sound of the board is very good. We found it much easier to get good mixes quickly compared to our previous console which was a Soundcraft.
    The only thing I didn't like was that there is no seperate line/mic volume. There's a mic/line switch which seems to be just a pad. So you need to be very careful. If you plug in a keyboard and the switch is set to Mic, you'll eventually blow the preamp. This is another good reason for having the automation set up to help reset the board to help cut down on those kind of surprises.
    The only other thing that I didn't care for was that the auxes were passive. IOW, they couldn't be set to be louder than the input. If you wanted them to send at the same vol as the input, you had to turn them all the way up. OTOH, this forced you to be more aware of using a proper gain structure.
    I wasn't aware that Amek wasn't around anymore. But the people that serviced them are. You just need to find them.
    It's a good board (if you get one that was made after about 1995) Fairly ergonomic and cosmetically impressive.
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    Cocoa, FL
    Home Page:
    ...It makes the world go round!
  8. Jbrax

    Jbrax Guest

    This is a Great Post
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