Thread: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Well, I wouldn't. At least not the lower tier ones I've had experience with. Mousing through nested menus to get to a control that I need right NOW is not my idea of a useful live console.

    One knob, one function.
    Ah, yes. Live is definitely a different ball game than studio work.
  2. #22
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Well, I wouldn't. At least not the lower tier ones I've had experience with. Mousing through nested menus to get to a control that I need right NOW is not my idea of a useful live console.

    One knob, one function.
    I'm pretty much with you on this John. But I did have a eye opening experience this week. I worked with a guy who was running a bar/club sized show on a Behringer Producer 32 board. There were only like 14 or 16 channels going, but his efficiency was impressive. He also had a tablet of some kind (didn't look like an iPad) where he set levels and gain from the stage. I've seen that going on before, but never up close, where I understood what exactly he was doing.
    During the show he was quickly flipping through the banks to adjust monitor eq, effects, balance, etc...

    It sure did make me think that my aversion to those style boards is really rooted in my stubbornness rather than any real restriction. I don't think I'm going out and buying one today, but it did soften my stance.

    -r
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    The closer a technology is to your human instinct being able to respond to it, the more useful and timeless the technology will be. Like the steering wheel.

    There is so much creative time wasted complying with the 'protocol' of digital devices in any form. This is coming from someone who has never really worked on a large console outside of some brief schooling.

    I've been using Protools for 12 years and I have never wanted physical faders more than I do now. I do think some things just can't be programmed around. Although all that tablet/digital console shit is impressive when someone is fluent in it.
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Well, this is really an insightful post. Thanks a lot jkuehlin!
    I had failed to consider the needs of the post market. Indeed, I can see how a large console could be necessary for such workflows. It seems though that digital consoles would be preferable over analog ones, in these cases? Just asking.
    Yeah man. Disney, Skywalker, Sony, Universal, Technicolor, Park Road (that's Peter Jackson's post audio hub in New Zealand)...they don't put them in there for looks. You don't see them quite as much in the music world, but what's ironic is that a ITB (in the box) mixing isn't all that different anyway. The Harrisons, Studers, and Neve 88D's have incredible sounding DSP. Avids was pretty dang good on the System 5 (though it has been gutted and removed in the new S6 line). I took a long hard look at the SSL C300 before picking the Avid System 5 as well.

    A music studio might opt for an SSL Duality over an SSL C300, but that has a lot to do with workflow. By the time sound FX, Foley, dialogue, and the score are all put together, the final dubstage room is going to be getting everything digital anyway. And they're going to be streaming it into their systems over huge networked madi and dante feeds.

    Funny you mention your plans, because I've also decided that it's a much better idea for me to start focusing on markets such as games and post (although more as a composer, in my case), and leave my musical aspirations to be more of a really nice hobby. I guess we'll see about all this.

    This thread has turned up to offer a lot more than I initially thought. Keep 'em coming!
    You can do ok as a freelance composer, but you really really have to have good networking chops and you MUST learn your way around the intellectual property side of that business. Assuming you know how to build a competitive portfolio, and your work can truly stand for itself, as anything in life, everything else is going to come down to your people skills. So basically, the tools are the same.

    Other than that, on a technical level, they're pretty close. Gaming has a middleware factor, but its easy to adapt to. Cinematic production differs in the the use of Atmos and 7.1 formats. You have ADR and foley used in both film and gaming. Now broadcast is a completely different animal. But all of these are viable options for someone with a refined career in music.

    Biggest note of caution would be that your musical instincts (which is what a music mixing skill set really falls back on) don't always transfer into sound FX design and foley editing. Totally different profession. You gotta love sound and pure noise creation. If you ~really~ think about, the non-musicality of film mixing, though still artistic in essence, is a deal killer for a lot of music guys who want to transition into post.
  5. #25
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    I'm pretty much with you on this John. But I did have a eye opening experience this week. I worked with a guy who was running a bar/club sized show on a Behringer Producer 32 board. There were only like 14 or 16 channels going, but his efficiency was impressive. He also had a tablet of some kind (didn't look like an iPad) where he set levels and gain from the stage. I've seen that going on before, but never up close, where I understood what exactly he was doing.
    During the show he was quickly flipping through the banks to adjust monitor eq, effects, balance, etc...

    It sure did make me think that my aversion to those style boards is really rooted in my stubbornness rather than any real restriction. I don't think I'm going out and buying one today, but it did soften my stance.

    -r
    I'm going into the fourth week of having this console set up in my living room. I'm giving myself time to thoroughly adapt to it before moving it into battle, and besides, we're going though a major facility change. I wondered how the banking and screen layers would factor into the ergonomics, and I've found that if you REALLY have a lot of control of your channel strip, its actually faster, once your muscle memory starts to take over.

    I hated the presonus studio live. Liked the Behringer/Midas better. The Roland is horrible, and I've never attempted to use a Tascam D (whatever). I have a pair of Yamaha CL5's that I use for live capture, and they're set up nicely, but nothing like a Studer Vista or System 5. In my experience, its all about the designers minimizing the screens and putting huge thought into how it affects the workflow. So sort of concur, all depending on context.

    Unless I was downright lied to by the seller, that is the actual console in the studio it came from. But I'll promptly retract this if I find out anything was untrue. I don't have all frames installed because the walls in my living room aren't wide enough, and it would block the side door if I tried.
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?


    There is so much creative time wasted complying with the 'protocol' of digital devices in any form.
    What do you mean?
  7. #27
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    I'll come help you knock out some walls if you want...

    I think you're spot on with the practice thing. Basketball would be easier if you didn't have to dribble, but once you've become good at it you start to forget it's an unnatural thing to do when running.
    On the flip side of that ... bad designs make it harder. Try replacing a basketball with a football and that sweet crossover move you've learned goes out the window.

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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    I'm pretty much with you on this John. But I did have a eye opening experience this week. I worked with a guy who was running a bar/club sized show on a Behringer Producer 32 board. There were only like 14 or 16 channels going, but his efficiency was impressive. He also had a tablet of some kind (didn't look like an iPad) where he set levels and gain from the stage. I've seen that going on before, but never up close, where I understood what exactly he was doing.
    During the show he was quickly flipping through the banks to adjust monitor eq, effects, balance, etc...

    It sure did make me think that my aversion to those style boards is really rooted in my stubbornness rather than any real restriction. I don't think I'm going out and buying one today, but it did soften my stance.

    -r
    The Behringer actually appears to be the best one of the low end digital live boards. I don't have much direct experience with them but have played several clubs that had them and they're not too bad as those things go, and they have Midas designed preamps - probably the same ones as the club level Venice series.

    I still have a problem with the nested menu/shared control strip thing - I don't want to have to either think opr search when I need a function in a live environment, and sometimes I need to simultaneously adjust things in more than one channel at a time.

    I suspect that a lot of the guys who use these things are used to the semi-crippled workflow of the DAW, where you don't need to work in real time.

    The ability to use an Ipad as a remote is kinda nifty, especially setting monitors with only one engineer, but when the WiFi connection locks up while you're actually mixing a show it's a REAL problem - A couple years ago that happened in the middle of a punk mini-festival I was associated with when the remote controlled Presonus rig supplied by the sound company locked up and refused to switch screens in the middle of one of the featured acts.

    I had been asked to help out after having resigned my position as technical director which I had held from the beginning of the production group for "political" reasons - after that happened they came back and asked me to give them the technical specs for the system and backline we'd been renting, which I did, and offered the use of my Midas, but they chose to go with a reduced spec system that barely (and I mean barely) made it through the event to cut costs due to overspending in less crucial areas. Gotta love events run by committees of people with their own individual agendas who know nothing about actually running a show...

    Still have not received the free shirt and hoodie I was promised...
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Yeah man. Disney, Skywalker, Sony, Universal, Technicolor, Park Road (that's Peter Jackson's post audio hub in New Zealand)...they don't put them in there for looks. You don't see them quite as much in the music world, but what's ironic is that a ITB (in the box) mixing isn't all that different anyway. The Harrisons, Studers, and Neve 88D's have incredible sounding DSP. Avids was pretty dang good on the System 5 (though it has been gutted and removed in the new S6 line). I took a long hard look at the SSL C300 before picking the Avid System 5 as well.

    A music studio might opt for an SSL Duality over an SSL C300, but that has a lot to do with workflow. By the time sound FX, Foley, dialogue, and the score are all put together, the final dubstage room is going to be getting everything digital anyway. And they're going to be streaming it into their systems over huge networked madi and dante feeds.
    Out of curiosity, what made you go with the System5 instead of the newer S6?

    You can do ok as a freelance composer, but you really really have to have good networking chops and you MUST learn your way around the intellectual property side of that business. Assuming you know how to build a competitive portfolio, and your work can truly stand for itself, as anything in life, everything else is going to come down to your people skills. So basically, the tools are the same.

    Other than that, on a technical level, they're pretty close. Gaming has a middleware factor, but its easy to adapt to. Cinematic production differs in the the use of Atmos and 7.1 formats. You have ADR and foley used in both film and gaming. Now broadcast is a completely different animal. But all of these are viable options for someone with a refined career in music.

    Biggest note of caution would be that your musical instincts (which is what a music mixing skill set really falls back on) don't always transfer into sound FX design and foley editing. Totally different profession. You gotta love sound and pure noise creation. If you ~really~ think about, the non-musicality of film mixing, though still artistic in essence, is a deal killer for a lot of music guys who want to transition into post.
    I'm not a complete stranger to the medium, since I actually work on film for a living (VFX, but I know some other parts of the production process), and have done audio post work before for TV and more recently, web-series (simple stuff... nothing I'd put on my portfolio). I've also done some music for companies that license the pieces to other agencies.
    Would you say that music composing gigs for games/post extend to foley/mixing often? I would have guessed those would be tasks for different teams, but it's good to know they could overlap.

    Thanks for all the info man! I guess I need to get a composer portfolio up soon. Maybe I can start with the tunes I've already licensed and move to cover additional styles. Gotta get on it.

    Cheers!

    P.S. I know we've veered slightly OT, but that's the Womb... it goes where it wants. :-)
  10. #30
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    The ability to use an Ipad as a remote is kinda nifty, especially setting monitors with only one engineer, but when the WiFi connection locks up while you're actually mixing a show it's a REAL problem - A couple years ago that happened in the middle of a punk mini-festival I was associated with when the remote controlled Presonus rig supplied by the sound company locked up and refused to switch screens in the middle of one of the featured acts.
    I haven't been very attracted to the recent trend to have gear depend on an iPad/iPod/external mobile device to work. It's a nice option (I use my iPad to drive PT so I can have it record while standing far in a vocal booth or something), but I hate gear that use it exclusively to be able to work. The chain of things that can go wrong live is already feeble enough. Why add more risk to it?
  11. #31
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    I'll come help you knock out some walls if you want...

    -r
    haha... that would...make a nice car port?

    Dub stages are big empty rectangles to begin with (think movie theater with a mixer in it).

    But then again, who needs doors. Doors are like...so overrated.
  12. #32
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Out of curiosity, what made you go with the System5 instead of the newer S6?
    3 biggies: DSP cores, I/O, and redundancy.
    3 bonus features: full digital control over analog preamps, internal analog hardware patch system, and onboard fold down summing (that is also Atmos compatible).

    Avid wants you to think of an S6 as the evolution of the Sys 5, but it couldn't be further from the truth. The S6 is more an evolution of the MC pro, or the little artist controllers. I may be telling you stuff you already know (and if I am forgive me). You can dump 2000 digital or analog (or any combo of the 2) into the Sys 5. You can't do that with an S6...your i/o and virtual patchbay is restricted to whatever ProTools will let you support.

    It was big to me that you can patch i/o without ever touching a bay or a cable. Because of the sheer channel count and the ability to move returns anywhere in any signal chain, you can just leave all your outboard gear permanently patched. You can't do that in PT because you'll run out of i/o real real fast.

    The fold down summing is fascinating. So if you have 4 different systems, lets say stereo LR for music, 5.1 for broadcast, 7.1 for cinema, and 26.1 atmos for whatever, you install them all on top of each other, and can toggle back and forth with the Sys 5 adapting and compensating for the differences in eq and gain output on every single speaker. The actual setup an tuning is way over my head...but once its set, you can trust it. This may be old news to Harrison and Studer guys, but I thought it was pretty dang neat.

    I'm not a complete stranger to the medium, since I actually work on film for a living (VFX, but I know some other parts of the production process), and have done audio post work before for TV and more recently, web-series (simple stuff... nothing I'd put on my portfolio). I've also done some music for companies that license the pieces to other agencies.
    Didn't realize that. I assumed you were a music recording guy trying to transition to post, as many sometimes do.
    Would you say that music composing gigs for games/post extend to foley/mixing often? I would have guessed those would be tasks for different teams, but it's good to know they could overlap.
    No. Now its very common for an epic and overgrown post facility to have multiple dub rooms as well as foley rooms. But in my experience, the composers don't interact with the foley guys a ton. If you are the guy who OWNS the studio, you may be in a different boat. As competitive as post work is (with hundreds of enormously skilled post guys out of work), it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to let your potential clients know that you do have the tools for ADR and foley, and sound design if you're willing to do it. But by no means is that necessary for a composer. So to clarify, they begin to overlap if and only if you position your facility to do so.
  13. #33
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    ...after that happened they came back and asked me to give them the technical specs for the system and backline we'd been renting, which I did, and offered the use of my Midas, but they chose to go with a reduced spec system that barely (and I mean barely) made it through the event to cut costs due to overspending in less crucial areas. Gotta love events run by committees of people with their own individual agendas who know nothing about actually running a show...
    Know anyone who would want a 64 channel Legend? $8000. Everything works. Comes with original ATA road case. Power supply and cabling included. Feel free to PM me.
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Know anyone who would want a 64 channel Legend? $8000. Everything works. Comes with original ATA road case. Power supply and cabling included. Feel free to PM me.
    Want one? Sure. Be able to afford it now? No. Have a place to put it? Unfortunately I'm in the middle of moving and may be moving again in a year.

    If I was currently doing a lot of live stuff I'd jump on it in a hot minute.
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    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  15. #35
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    I never wanted one. A big console and twenty Neumanns sitting around 90% of the time is ridiculous. It's what you rent a recording studio for.
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    This would be cool. Not large; but cool.
    http://vintageking.com/emi-abbey-roa...eatles-console
    Last edited by tylodawg; September 12th, 2016 at 07:45 AM.
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  17. #37
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    3 biggies: DSP cores, I/O, and redundancy.
    3 bonus features: full digital control over analog preamps, internal analog hardware patch system, and onboard fold down summing (that is also Atmos compatible).

    Avid wants you to think of an S6 as the evolution of the Sys 5, but it couldn't be further from the truth. The S6 is more an evolution of the MC pro, or the little artist controllers. I may be telling you stuff you already know (and if I am forgive me). You can dump 2000 digital or analog (or any combo of the 2) into the Sys 5. You can't do that with an S6...your i/o and virtual patchbay is restricted to whatever ProTools will let you support.

    It was big to me that you can patch i/o without ever touching a bay or a cable. Because of the sheer channel count and the ability to move returns anywhere in any signal chain, you can just leave all your outboard gear permanently patched. You can't do that in PT because you'll run out of i/o real real fast.

    The fold down summing is fascinating. So if you have 4 different systems, lets say stereo LR for music, 5.1 for broadcast, 7.1 for cinema, and 26.1 atmos for whatever, you install them all on top of each other, and can toggle back and forth with the Sys 5 adapting and compensating for the differences in eq and gain output on every single speaker. The actual setup an tuning is way over my head...but once its set, you can trust it. This may be old news to Harrison and Studer guys, but I thought it was pretty dang neat.

    Didn't realize that. I assumed you were a music recording guy trying to transition to post, as many sometimes do.


    No. Now its very common for an epic and overgrown post facility to have multiple dub rooms as well as foley rooms. But in my experience, the composers don't interact with the foley guys a ton. If you are the guy who OWNS the studio, you may be in a different boat. As competitive as post work is (with hundreds of enormously skilled post guys out of work), it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to let your potential clients know that you do have the tools for ADR and foley, and sound design if you're willing to do it. But by no means is that necessary for a composer. So to clarify, they begin to overlap if and only if you position your facility to do so.
    Thanks a lot for all the info man! I'll definitely aim to start with composing/recording. I guess we'll see where it goes from there.
    Cheers!
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    Cool, yes.

    Worth the money? No way.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  19. #39
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    So the one of the rooms where I camp out these days has 80 Channel SSL 9K.
    The room books out @ $150 /hr - If we sell the desk it's going to cost $15+ to fix the hole in the floor and build a new computer desk along with a good monitor.controller - So could get 100K for the 9K??? maybe/maybe not .... Now the room no longer books out @ $150 /hr.... The math these days sometimes is not easy.
  20. #40
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    Default Re: Are (large) consoles still a thing?

    So the one of the rooms where I camp out these days has 80 Channel SSL 9K.
    The room books out @ $150 /hr
    Fucking hell!

    Where are you located?

    $150/hr???

    What do you get for that money?

    Or perhaps the more pertinent question would be what don't you get for that money?

    Cheers,
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