Monitor Controller Recomendation

Discussion in 'Monitoring' started by esencia, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. esencia

    esencia Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    SPAIN
    I'd like to improve my monitoring setup, and one of the things I'd like to have is a Mid/SIDE listening feature, so I'd like to have a controller that allows me to check mid or side content right with a button push.

    Right now, I'm DM d-box as monitor controller.
    I love d-box. I think that for that money is a stunning device!
    I've been doing some test with it to check the quality of its DA.
    1. On one case I use d-box's DA (receiving HEDD's AES output)
    2. on the other case I use HEDD's analog output to feed d-box's analog input
    Same signal, one analog input vs digital input (so using d-box DA), and the differences were shorter than I expected. Hard to hear it!

    So, at this point, I'm trying to find an alternative that could improve my sound but also that gives me more options:
    • Listening options mid/side, ..
    • With DA integrated or pure analog but with another DA to feed it.
    • High quality headphone control
    What would you recommend me?
    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    I would use independent and dedicated counterparts.
    Examples:
    • Independent monitor controller like the Dangerous Monitor ST,
    • Independent MS box like a Dangerous Master with inserts for outboard gear,
    • Independent AD >DAW
     
  3. esencia

    esencia Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    SPAIN
    Following your recomendations.. I'm using two independent flows..
    Mixing. DAW with Orion32 DA->external summing->DM->Liaison
    Printing. DAW2 HEDD192 AD->Digital print using an Apollo 8 to wavelab

    So here, I'd like to know what would be the best monitor controller that would improve my d-box quality.
    Ideally , I'd appreciate that the monitor controller not only was able to select different inputs but also listening options: left, right, mono, mid, side, dim, ...

    As for the final print the critical point is to listen to the converter signal, I have two options. Use a specific DA to feed the monitor controller or find a monitor controller with a top DA integrated.

    I love DM stuff, but I'm not sure if monitor ST allows you to monitor mid or side signal alone
    New Avocet IIA with the new quantum DA is a more expensive option but probably one of the top alternatives as Grace 905...
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Excellent, you have the best workflow in mind
    Yes, use the O32 for your first DA and a specific DA for DAW2 that is monitoring your capture DAW output. I would monitor the analog out of the sum of the liaison as well.

    I would without question, sell the D Box, get the Dangerous Monitor ST and use the ST as an independent transparent monitoring of 3 analog inputs (3 critical points) >
    1. recording tracking DA >
    2. all (analog mixing or mastering outputs >analog output example: analog console out, liaison out, summing console out, M/S out etc)
    3. Independent uncoupled Capture DA output

    No, and its a good thing. You are evolving :)

    You will want to monitor the output of your (front, M/S and backside) of the analog processing (critical). You will want to monitor a digital MS as well (have choices) of the output from your capture DAW's digital MS processing. This allows 2 types of MS processing and 2 outputs of those monitoring sections.

    Regardless, if you are using analog gear, you will eventually come to a point that an independent MS on the output side is the best. You put this after of sum from the Liaison, summing console. Its the last part of the process to a superior MS step. Otherwise forget it and simply stick with an MS ITB done on the capture DAW as the last steps before you are mastering.

    If you need money to fund this and have to make decisions... I would sell the Liaison and the D Box and switch it for the Dangerous Monitor ST and Master and add a good 2 channel ADDA in a heartbeat. The liaison is switching router. I use an SSL X Patch which allows far greater switching via midi commands or manually with a mouse.
    After running 32 lanes of analog out, 16 channels of switching routers, 24 channels of summing , after all my test, the Dangerous Master and 3 inputs is all I discovered I needed. The rest is bloat. Most of all the high end gear can be done better in your DAW like Samplitude or Sequoia. The mastering processing in that DAW blows away all analog MS processing.

    Congratulation I say ! You are arriving at what I consider to be the best workflow to hybrid mixing and mastering. You are correct seeing the need for an MS matrix and are now trying to figure out how to do it properly.
    If you are OTB, building an analog matrix for (doesn't matter) mixing or mastering (no different).... the Dangerous Master is what you need because it completes the analog summing process.

    The Dangerous Master has 2 main monitor out, inputs for analog front and back end with an M/S in the middle (where it really gets fun!). You connect one the analog mains of the Dangerous Master to one of the 3 monitor inputs of the ST.

    Confusing? A tech support wordsmith I am not but if you are going this direction... independent counterparts allow greater control in both listening (cause and effect) and processing every step of the way.
     
  5. esencia

    esencia Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    SPAIN
    Thanks! Your influence is one of the reason why I'm arriving at this point! :)

    I love my Analog chain.., love DM stuff. They simply sound amazing! After all my effort to pay all of it, I will keep it with me years (hopefully)..
    I own Dangerous Master, Dangerous Liaison as my mastering console. DM 2-bus+ and d-box for summing.
    So I own an amazing M/S analog possibilities here :)

    My main ADDA is HEDD (that Crane Song will upgrade its DA to me with the new and awesome quantum converter for just $350).
    Orion32 is a better unit if you use HEDD's clock , it´s unbelievable but true.. And I think that it will be even better with GRIMM's CC2 clock http://pinknoisemag.com/pink-papers/pink-paper-002

    Dave hill is working on a new disruptive AD, with the same philosophy of quantum DA, that will be launch as a new unit called Interestellar (in the Solaris Manual they mention it). So probably.., they will offer another update to HEDD's users. So I'll keep it with me for a while. It´s an awesome well designed unit with upgradable options.

    So my main weakness is the the monitor controller.
    The only two options that I'm considering based on my experience of DM & Crane Song are *Avocet IIA and Monitor ST. I think that I could find the avocet for about 2600€+taxes, and the DM for 2450€+taxes...
    *Avocet will give 3 analog inputs+3 digital inputs + M/S listening options + top Quantum DA..
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Awesome!

    I am not a believer but can be open minded. I used the 10M and it did absolutely nothing. Why? Because my system is already stable and didn't require an external clocking. That being said, having the ability to actually hear cause and effect better (using an independent monitoring system like the Dangerous Monitor and stellar converters) Allowed me to, what I think, debunk the hypothesis of external clocking being an asset.

    I would challenge you to post examples of comparisons between your external clocking to the Orion. I would also ask, what interfacing are you using for the Orion 32? And also ask what DAW system you are using as well?

    Thank you, that is wonderful to read! I suspect you are loving all this. It really is cutting edge. Amazing yes? :)

    I personally would stay away for a monitor controller with built in ADDA.
     

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