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Old 09-28-2011, 08:59 PM   #24
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cowtown
Posts: 1,555

Originally Posted by yep View Post
I don't want to go too far down the road of arguing hypotheticals, but I'm kind of surprised to hear this initial optimism specifically for live applications. It's been a awhile since I did live sound for a living, but I keep in touch, and my experience is that flying-fader digital consoles tend to be looked on with something close to horror by FOH sound techs unless you're talking about rarefied, big-budget tours with redundant DAW rackmount systems and dedicated travelling sound engineers.

If anything this breed of hybrid software-based digital console seems to be primarily a tool for home/budget studios, with the ability to use it in occasional live sound for poorly-supported gigs.

But I can't imagine choosing such a thing for a primary FOH console when reliable analog mixers from Mackie, Soundcraft (or Behringer, for that matter) are available for the same price. What use does a FOH mixer in a nightclub really have for motorized faders and onboard digital reverb? How is motorized fader recall useful when you have to mix it live anyway?

If anything I would have thought the opposite: that this was primarily of interest to budget studios who wanted to break away from mouse/keyboard mixing...

Do bands now bring their own mixing consoles to grimy bars with junk equipment? If so, where do they put the existing console? Do they re-route all the snakes at soundcheck and leave it set up for the other bands?

I've done stuff where the band had its own rack and brought its own rackmount mixer and sent stems to the FOH mixer to keep their sound intact, and I have definitely seen the band's tour manager or soundman work the console for their set, but this notion of showing up at the corner bar with your own full-blown console is new to me...
FWIW, and I hate to dive into thread necromancy here, but in my market (Midwest US), very few bars have house sound systems or engineers and virtually all bands haul their own frontline and backline...and lighting, more often than not. System quality varies wildly, of course. I've seen everything from powered-mixer-with-speakers-on-sticks to full-on 48-ch Soundcraft rigs with processing racks as tall as I am and EAW-powered-with-MA5000 human liquification units. It's a 50/50 split as to how many of these bring a soundman (I won't glorify it with the term 'engineer') and how many run from stage.

VERY few local bands are getting paid enough to hire in sound and still have anything left at the end of the night. They MAY have been able to scrape together enough over time to buy their own system and run it until it falls apart from old age, though.

The last nice club I saw with a house system (LS9 and powered Meyer boxes) went tits-up within two years. Good sounding rig though, even if the LS9 isn't my choice for a live board. Had fun playing there while it lasted.

Anyway, for bands in a situation like the above, something like the X32 (or the StudioLive, or the 01V, etc.) can be a practical solution to hauling fewer racks, spending less time on interconnect (which is the slowest most error-prone part of load-in/load-out)

This isn't national or regional touring acts, and these aren't 500+ capacity venues...these are local bands and neighborhood bars. The money isn't huge, but like businesses, there are FAR more of them at the bottom end than there are at the's a pyramid. If the product is even nominally usable, it'll sell truckloads. Doesn't mean it will be good, just that Behringer will make money hand over fist. They'll only get one chance, though...if it tanks, they'll have blown whatever little R&D money they spent.

sstillwell is offline   Reply With Quote