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Thread: small footprint consoles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Elm Tree, Ontario ,Canada
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    Default small footprint consoles

    As some of you know I'm a bit isolated here in the great white north and when I do get out and about there's not much in the way of a decent retailer without dealing with a several hour drive so I'm looking for info about smaller consoles.

    The back story is that although I've always maintained a small presence in my home for recording I gutted my studio many years ago and just never had the finances or really the desire to put it back together. However that has changed and I have built two rooms, a live room and a control room, to facilitate my writing and the writing of old friends I have worked with over the years. It's really a writing room but we want the ability to record high quality demos of our stuff and maybe record some small run stuff for sales at gigs, as some of us are still preforming.

    To this end, I installed a 32 channel D&R 4000 because most of us are analogue type guys who started out with tape and a console. We have made the switch to a DAW long ago but I've always like mixing on a console and still like to add a small element of analogueness at the end.

    To shorten the story, and the misery, the D&R is still not pristine and I'm loosing faith in my ability to get it that way and even if I did, it's causing me a fair amount of grief body wise. In the month that I've been trouble shooting the whole shebang I'm in agony from trying to see screens sitting on the meter bridge, huge neck tension. Being old is a freaking drag and I have to admit that I can't see the screens well enough to work effectively, so I'm looking for something smaller with 32 channels decent EQ and I'd like 8 busses and a decent amount of Auxes.

    I'm looking for something new or relatively new as I suck, tech wise, and getting a decent tech here is sometimes problematic.

    I have an SSL alphalink providing 24 I/O and 12 channels of great outboard pres, more than enough for our rootsy sessions. I'm just looking for 24 channels of output that sound decent and an EQ that has some Mojo. I'm considering a Toft ATB32 and a Midas venice F32 so far. I've heard Tofts but have not yet heard the F32. I don't really need the firewire in the midas and it only has 4 busses, so The Toft is in the lead at this point. I have concerns that the midas is just a Behringer now but of course the Toft is China produced as well. The Toft, I'm looking at, is new but a demo from an audio store and has developed problems in two channels, they are repairing it. It's not the newest version of the Toft so the price is ok at a little cheaper than a midas which runs around 4500$ here. A new toft goes for 8000$ which puts it out of the running.

    So I'm looking for any ideas that you guys, nearer the bleeding edge, might have, or possible consoles that, although not new, are reliable and well maintained, that I should investigate. If you have any ideas let me know, thanks and take care, Logan
    Last edited by Logan Murray; 11-01-2012 at 04:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Scott Fraser is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logan Murray View Post
    Being old is a freaking drag
    Tell me about it.

    I'm considering a Toft ATB32 and a Midas venice F32 so far.
    It is exceptionally unfortunate that Midas chose to give this new desk the same name as their worst previous offering, & the only analog desk listed on my tech rider as unacceptable for Kronos concerts. From what I can see the new Venice F has almost nothing in common with the very poor ergonomic layout of the old Venice.

    I've heard Tofts but have not yet heard the F32. I don't really need the firewire in the midas and it only has 4 busses, so The Toft is in the lead at this point.
    Four busses, but it does have 6 auxes & direct outs. The Venice F seems somewhat modeled on the feature set of the Allen & Heath GL2/2000/2200 series, which provides 6 auxes, four groups, plus stereo buss, & direct outs. The GL2 was my location recording desk when I was hauling DA38/78's around. If I had any ongoing interest in hardware mixers I'd give the Midas a serious look. But they really need to rename it, so as not to have it confused with its mediocre predecessor.

    Scott Fraser

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Elm Tree, Ontario ,Canada
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    Thanks Scott, I certainly agree that the original Venice was a miss and that this new board has a way better EQ and feature set, at least on paper (as I said I haven't heard one really). I did get a chance to lay hands on an f24 for about 15 minutes at a studio I visited to buy some Germanium pres , but I just heard some material from PT and got to mess with the EQ a bit, no idea how the mic pre sounded. Everything I looked at pretty much has direct outs and stuff and I might conceivably use a pre from the board in sessions but it would probably be rare unless they out preform the Buzz and GR and other pres I have, most of the stuff I track these days only requires 6-10 tracks at any given time and that's if the drummer is tougher than I am and can intimidate me out of the 3 mics I like on a kit. I like to group drums, almost from the start and I'd like a decent number of distinct cue mixes, around 6, as we do often record live off the floor (sort of, as the amps are usually isolated and the vocals isolated in a booth). Musicians being musicians, they all whine about the mix in the phones, and of course they all want more of themselves. I resisted this for years but it's easier to go with the flow then to put up with the *****ing, and as we usually run some outboard during tracking, auxes and groups are in demand. But I'm still keeping an open mind about the Midas. Take care, Logan

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