Replacing analog desk - going digital - advice needed

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by davemurphy, Sep 20, 2011.

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  1. davemurphy

    davemurphy Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    hi folks,

    first posting to this forum, so please have patience with me.

    I have a 36 channel Angela Amek analog desk and need to upgrade to a digital solution.

    My primary constraints are that this is a teaching facility and therefore need to facilitate both ProTools and Logic Studio.

    I'm thinking of replacing the desk with 24 channel control surface, a DAW, external Preamps and monitoring solution.

    Currently I'm looking at a:
    D-Command ES 24 (8 main fader + 16 expansion pack),
    PT|HD 3 Accel,
    192 I/Os x 2
    JLCooper Surround Panner ES Option for Pro Tools
    ProTools Pre (amp) x 2

    I have three questions that you may be able to advise me on.
    1. Does Logic play with this system, and if not what is required to make it compatible?
    2. Are there better, alternative solutions out there?
    3. Is there anything 'obvious' missing from this list? (I've tried following the signal path from microphone to disk.)

    many thanks in advance and I'm really looking forward to feedback/discussion.

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Hold be back... (smile)

    Well, I've never had the opportunity to use your beautiful classic desk but I'll toss in a siderail for ya and tell you to keep that gem and possibly use it in a hybrid setup.
    I've been to Pro Tools hell and back and I am now hybrid and Sequoia 11, going on 12 and really happy about this more and more. Pro Tools "HD" has a sound of its own and its not pretty IMHO but that's just me and I'm radical and not normal by any stretch. That doesn't mean its not awesome. PT is a kick ass DAW and I don't blame you for wanting it. Its the industry standard and for good reason, but, its not the best sounding system by any stretch.
    I tend to dump things at the time everyone is buying in. Kind of like "sell high buy low" but not because of profit on this one, more like its old news to me and hybrid is merging for good reason.
    Since you already have good taste you may want to read a bit more on hybrid before selling it or making big decisions that may take 4 years to figure out what the hell happened lol. . Okay, I'll stop now and enjoy the discussion.


    Are you using external pre-amps and other hardware or are you sticking with the turnkey HD system and going plug-ins all the way? Keep in mind, HD is going to be replaced soon enough with something bigger and better so if you are getting the HD I'd wait a bit longer for the real deal there.

    Sorry to siderail you but I hope it helps with some clarity.

    Welcome to our community!
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Hi Dave,

    I don't envy your position. You need to bring your teaching studio up (or down) to the standards that are found in most modern commercial studios, yet you have a lovely analog desk that could well give better mixes and a better sound than most of these ITB setups.

    Are you having to sell the Amek to fund the transition to software mixing, or is the software plus control surface fully funded and you simply have to make the space available?

    I'm not a great PT fan myself, but I recognise that PT is likely to be the most common system encountered in professional studios, so you would be failing in your teaching duties if you did not expose your students to it. However, as audiokid mentioned, PT|HD is likely to be going through a major upgrade sometime soon, and so now is probably not the best moment to be investing in a HD 3 Accel rig.

    Logic, though, is a good DAW and is worthwhile investment. The difficulty comes when you consider what hardware you need. Logic is a catholic system (small "c") and will work with most interfaced audio hardware, but until you know what interface hardware any future version of PT|HD might need, you are rather stuck when it comes to purchasing the actual I/O interface.

    This should not stop you drawing up and even purchasing a list of pre-amps to give you a range of acoustic colours that your students can compare.

    Meanwhile, if you are throwing out the Amek, I will personally drive over to Ireland and retrieve it from your skip.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I assume you have read Umberto Eco's Essay (1994) claiming the mac is Catholic (big "C") and PC is Protestant. (He actually said "DOS" but I didn't want to frighten the children.)
  5. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:

    I would suggest contacting Middle Tennessee State University. That facility just installed one of the API Vision consoles. IIRC, it's one of the few solutions that will actually play well with both ProTools and Logic... provided you have the budget. (Let me know if you're interested and I'll put you in touch with the right person directly... my oldest and dearest friend is a professor there.)

    Otherwise, I really don't see the D-Command working and playing well with Logic. It would probably be able to access the converters, but you wouldn't have control over the pre's under Logic, nor access to the HD cards DSP. (Not that Logic would want access to them anyway, from what I understand.)


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