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console vs no console

 
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permanent hearing damage
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 491
Location: philly

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: console vs no console Reply with quote

so my Soundcraft Ghost blew up this weekend. It's probably not a difficult fix, but have yet to take a look. Also worth noting I'm not much of a tech. I have plenty of external pres and only use the ghost for routing (mostly pulling down the level of any hot pre output), monitoring and headphone mixes.

It blew up mid session, so had to use some crappy little mixer I have for my PA to use as a volume knob for my monitors, but aside from a good hour or so wasted figuring out the mixer for my Orion, I managed okay.

I'm thinking i could get by just fine with something like a Presonus Central Station, but am a little concerned with the hot pre outputs, though I suppose I could always stick some pads on there, no?

But wondering if I might be better served trying to find a sidecar/line mixer. Also, will feel awfully weird showing folks a control room without a console. Doesn't seem like mixers without mic pres are very easy to come by. Or are there some specific things I should be looking for?

Thanks in advance.
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A.David.MacKinnon
mixes from purgatory


Joined: 07 May 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

In my freelance work I'm seeing console-less controller rooms more and more often these days. if there is a console its often badly integrated into the work flow and I end up using it only as a volume control for the monitors.
I wouldn't stress about client expectations. 90% don't know and don't care about the gear.
If it makes sense for you to ditch the ghost you should go for it. Sell it and put the money into something you'll use more.
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I'm Painting Again
zen recordist


Joined: 07 May 2003
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Location: New York, New York

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

without the ghost you might find you get a better or at least more pure sound out of your outboard pres going to the recorder..you might lose the overall signature of the Ghost on all the tracks however - good or bad thing - i don't know - subjective


If you need variable trim to the conversion / tape you can build or commission a bank of variable (or not) H pads or use something like the Shure pads (-15/-20/-25) after your preamps or buy ATTY's or something

I use the Shure's on the outputs of my APIs and they gain up where I like them and the peaks land in the perfect spot on the -20 setting

Atty has a trim pot but more $

shure not as flexible for level and has potential to mechanically stress your XLR jacks if you plug em directly to the pre outs and have the cable weigh it down (a support bar or similar is a solution here)

custom build - you have to build it

I hope that gives you some things to think about if you go with a pad solution
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apropos of nothing
dead but not forgotten


Joined: 13 May 2003
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Location: Hillsborough, NC

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

Granted I'm only self-recording, but I use several MOTU boxes and no mixer on the way in, for 24 channels or so. I have the analog outs of the MOTUs summed to a Mackie 12-channel mini-mixer for master volume knob for monitoring. I like it a lot for a solution because it takes up almost no space and is reasonably transparent. I mix in ITB.

I guess for commercial work, there's something to be said for the wow factor of a big board, but the last studio session i did, the fellow who was running it said that's the large extent of his use of his, except as a controller for PT channel levels. FWIW.
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Drone
buyin' gear


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:12 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

I just use mine as preamps, no routing.

I was going to build a little preamp box to replace it, then I bought some condenser mics and was too lazy to figure out phantom power.

My cat likes to sleep on it, or the other mixer which is covered with a towel.
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Nick Sevilla
speech impediment


Joined: 03 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:05 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

I'm from the time of consoles,
so I route all my audio through it, and have several speakers also routed through it.

I have a 5.1 Surround speaker setup, which uses the GROUPS to monitor through.

I record with the direct outputs of the console, so rarely need the groups assigns.

Speaker assigns:

Stereo to a two speaker selector with JBL 3 series and 4308 series.

Mono to a single mono amp with an Auratone 5C speaker.

Groups 1-6 are a Surround assign to an Onkyo receiver (the most widely sold model in the Us for a few years)

Groups 7-8 are a set of Yamaha MSP5 speakers.

I have all this calibrated.
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drumsound
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:43 am    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

I like having a console in front of me for many reasons. Headphones, quick mixes, level to computer, sends to outboard, etc.

If you want to go console-less and you want to adjust level from pre to computer There's a cool attenuator box from Little Labs.
http://www.littlelabs.com/redcloud.html
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roscoenyc
george martin


Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:35 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

drumsound wrote:
I like having a console in front of me for many reasons. Headphones, quick mixes, level to computer, sends to outboard, etc.

If you want to go console-less and you want to adjust level from pre to computer There's a cool attenuator box from Little Labs.
http://www.littlelabs.com/redcloud.html


Me too on the console.
Working with bands it all goes so much faster!
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drumsound
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:42 am    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

roscoenyc wrote:
drumsound wrote:
I like having a console in front of me for many reasons. Headphones, quick mixes, level to computer, sends to outboard, etc.

If you want to go console-less and you want to adjust level from pre to computer There's a cool attenuator box from Little Labs.
http://www.littlelabs.com/redcloud.html


Me too on the console.
Working with bands it all goes so much faster!


Indeed! I can't imagine tracking dates without a console.
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permanent hearing damage
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 491
Location: philly

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

had my first tracking session without the console. took a few to get the hang of it and listening back to performances is a bit weird/cumbersome as i need to kill most of the plugs to keep the latency down for my own monitoring during performance. if i can figure out a work around for that, i may be in the clear. or i may just get used to it. still debating fixing the ghost or buying something like a midas mixer for monitoring, though that may be overkill.
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joninc
carpal tunnel


Joined: 09 Jun 2003
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Location: canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

I have a ghost too and although I no longer use it for Preamps or for mixing, i find it extremely useful for tracking to be able to monitor the outputs of my converters with NO LATENCY EVER and I often monitor with various outboard FX - and if they sound sound great, I'll print them too. Having the multiple aux sends set up all the time is really useful for me.

I'd look into getting your ghost up and running again - having to disable plugs all the time will get super annoying....
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Randyman...
takin' a dinner break


Joined: 05 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

Getting a handle on latency while tracking can be somewhat challenging, but I've been doing it for well over 5 years now (likely more), and only had 1 issue with latency - it ended up being Op Error! Everything I track is monitored wet through the DAW by all performers.

You just need to know what the offending "latent" plug-ins are and avoid them while tracking. It is still rare that I will swap any zero-latency plugs to more latent versions during mixing, but the option exists. Linear-phase EQ's and stuff with long lookaheads are the first ones to check.

Cubendo actually lists the Plugins in a sort-able spreadsheet - and you can order by Reported Latency values to give you an idea of the ones to avoid. You can also organize by number of instances currently initiated, and quickly look at the reported latencies of all in-use plug-ins for a given project.

I'm also throwing much more power at my DAW than I actually need since I stay at 32-samples of ASIO buffer 24/7, and only raise the buffer when mixing down. Tracking at 32-samples (32-In, 32-Safety, 32-out plus AD/DA latency), I easily get away with 1 or 2 plug-ins that have 32-64 sample latency while keeping the feel totally "realtime". I'm a drummer and cant stand latency - so I feel if I'm happy then anyone tracking should be happy...

I've been using Cubendo's channel sends (send to discrete outputs in Cubendo) to drive individual HP mixes (upto 8 stereo HP mixes) and it is not too cumbersome. I generally don't run more than 4 discrete HP mixes. You can see all of the sends in the mixer and click directly on them to adjust (or hide them if you need the real-estate). Then I use my RME's hardware monitor controller (the ARC) to be able to solo/audition all of the different HP mixes so I can get a feel for what they are actually hearing. The addition of the little ARC controller made my mixerless setup MUCH more convenient to drive IMO...

As with anything - Improvements in workflows and efficiency can and will come with time. Some challenges certainly exist, but the persistent among us can power through with a little ingenuity and maybe a few hardware solutions to bridge a few gaps...

Cool
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joninc
carpal tunnel


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

what kind of mega computer are you running that will allow for 32 samples? how much RAM?
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Randyman...
takin' a dinner break


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Re: console vs no console Reply with quote

It's a SandyBridge-E system, so not exactly cutting edge (2 generations old now? But the "higher end" LGA2011/X99 platform). I run with Hyper Threading off, and each of the 4 cores (yep, only 4) runs a full 4.7GHz on fairly quiet air cooling (Thermalright TRUE-120). Some of my plug-ins seem to benefit from HT being off (gives far better single-threaded performance on code that is not optimized for SMT). The QPI/DMI busses (omitting the PCI bus which MUST stay at stock speed) are also running much faster than stock = less throughput latency. Means more crunching can happen before buffer dropouts are experienced at higher CPU loads.

My projects aren't RAM heavy, so I get by just fine with 4x 2GB sticks (8GB, but true quad-channel configuration on LGA2011/X99). My setup benefits more from faster and lower latency RAM than adding tons of slower RAM.

Of course, the RME drivers are the heart of it all IMO - I would not run at the limits of other interface drivers IMNSHO. My MadiFACE-XT can run over USB3 or E-PCIe (External PCIe) - I obviously choose E-PCIe and get the same performance as a native PCIe card (no overhead like Thunderbolt actually has - seriously). I regularly use 48 analog ins and 16-24 analog outs plus other MADI and ADAT connections to other boxes. Never a hiccup at 32 samples!

Toodles Cool
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