Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,710 Member Since:14/02/2011

#1 [url]

Jan 6 16 12:21 PM

I am completely out of the loop in the Live gear realm. Once you purchase all the hardware/software to go with this, how does it compare cost wise and function wise to other digital offerings out on the market?

OK it's cold here

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,311 Member Since:31/05/2015

#2 [url]

Jan 7 16 8:40 AM

As a live mixer who has has frequently had to deal with situations that are rather less than ideal and often involve dealing with acts that do not have adequate time for a soundcheck (opn a packed multi-act bill), let alone advance programming of a digital, I still stand firmly behind the platform of a reliable, bulletproof Midas analog console. I don't want to have my mixing options hampered by which channels happen to share the same screen in a hieriarchy of nested/scrolling menues. An what happens when your Wi-fi tablet "console" temporarily lkoses its wireless connectivity right at a crucial point in the show - which I have seen happen?

Give me real knobs and faders and continuous access to ALL channels and parameters simultaneously, all the time.

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mario i

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,586 Member Since:28/01/2011

#3 [url]

Feb 8 16 2:07 PM

Touch screens may be ok for studio use... but very impractical for live.
This past weekend I had to mix an entire show off an iPad..... NOT something I want to repeat.

I wasn't an issue setting up stage monitors up or using it for sound check, actually it came in handy.
It was like being in an open concept studio with no walls. You're standing beside the artist
dialling in what they need, communication is excellent in that regard. I never would up using the Talk Back mic.

I actually dialled up the drums, set gains etc, while I played the drums ;) - the drummer had to run out to got some stuff.
By the time he came back, the drums were almost dialled in, with a final check done while they practiced a few songs.
None of this one drum at a time. ;)

Mixing the entire show a la remote... ULGH...stressful....

Here's the hitch, many big corporate events have the dosh to get some top notch entertainment packages into a large banquet hall type events.
The problem, the organizers and reception hall owners give little if any thought to speaker placement let alone mixing requirements & location.
Their goal is to squeeze as many people as possible into the hall for dinner and the show.

So, great band, great system, great technical staff....and we're told "You have to setup beside the stage"... no if's and's and but's.....

Not to mention I overheard there were more tables this year than last (17 years this event has been happening) and they want to cram in more tables next year....
I made it work, and got complements all around.

That's our job, make it sound and look good (my colleague did lighting).

If I had the choice, my console would've been setup where I wanted... but my job was to satisfy the clients needs and so I made it work
and was bloody happy for that iPad.

It wasn't used to impress anyone.... it just got the job done.
If anything I tried to hide the fact I was walking around with it...


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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,262 Member Since:16/07/2012

#4 [url]

Feb 8 16 2:14 PM

that is the big payoff for this technology, not being tied to one bad mixing spot. But I can see the nail biting when something goes south, which it will.


Alan Garren
Waltzing Bear Audio

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Gold Finger

Posts: 663 Member Since:01/02/2011

#5 [url]

Feb 8 16 2:47 PM

Not having to be in one spot is pretty great, as is having wireless or a single cat5 instead of wiring a 100' plus snake to FOH. Digital also brings us total recall, scene navigation, highly customized matrix and "VCA" routing, multiple mixes, stage controllable monitors, built in recorder functionality... and that's off the top of my head. Reliability and redundancy are important considerations, as with any mission critical application, and you tend to get what you pay for in that respect, with the higher end digital consoles built to pass audio in the rare event of a crash. I would want a redundant control, no going with a single tablet alone. Having said that, a nice XL or Heritage is a thing of beauty.

I've worked on pretty much anything supplied. Occasionally things go south, lines, microphones, DI's, power mains, instruments, performers.. come to think of it I've seen all those things, but have yet to experience a digital console go down once. Maybe I'm just lucky.

Last Edited By: ericb Feb 8 16 3:03 PM. Edited 1 time.

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mario i

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,586 Member Since:28/01/2011

#6 [url]

Feb 8 16 2:49 PM

Sweat is constantly ruining down your brow....

Will the WiFi router jam?
Will you mistakingly hit the "ON" (which mutes the mains) button...?
Will your fader movement on the iPad correspond to what you're thinking?
While on one page, do you have to jump to another page? How long will it take?

Of course I've had things happen on analogue consoles too, during stressful moments
you can just as easily forget to un-mute a channel....Channels can go bad too.

These things happen, it's how you deal with them and react while it's happening that sets you appart.

The bassist for example during the show had issues with his Bass changing gain,
the band knew it and heard it, but the crowd never knew anything went down.

1) He kept his cool and played on.
2) I rode the faders to compensate for the FOH.

They were quite happy to learn I was on top of it and kept up with him.


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hank alrich

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,758 Member Since:28/01/2011

#7 [url]

Feb 9 16 1:18 PM

Jim Finney began mixing Asleep at the Wheel via tablet quite a while back. I dont think he ever "lost a show" doing that. It's happening lots of places now, and I must say that having the op stand beside me on stage while we bring the monitors together is really keen, and fast, and direct, and gets a better result in less time than I have previoulsy experienced.

hank alrich

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,227 Member Since:23/10/2013

#8 [url]

Feb 9 16 1:30 PM

The things that will hose WI-FI, in my experience, are any thick concrete walls or columns, and if the transmitter or receiver are close to video walls. Not that it isn't possible for the WI-FI to still work, you just have to make sure to find the sweet spots.

Another big thing, is however the software works when it drops signal from something like a linked iPad - does the last value stick, or does it drop to 0 or give a null value.

People have been running on digital consoles for so long that digital vs analog seems a non-issue. Certainly any really big gigs are also running digital lighting desks.

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mario i

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,586 Member Since:28/01/2011

#9 [url]

Feb 10 16 12:07 PM

As Hank said that part of it is the game changer. Being able to stand beside the artist and dial up the monitor mix makes life so much easier. 

On this last event I did, I had all my EQ's dialed in and vocals in the monitors prior to the band's arrival, which I did on my own.

My workflow was much quicker.

I was concerned about wifi dropout, fortunately it was a big hall with nothing in the way.

I am using a "professional" grade router, so I hope this helps.


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Gold Finger

Posts: 748 Member Since:23/08/2011

#10 [url]

Feb 13 16 4:37 PM

Did a blues remote a year or so ago and the FOH was a small setup using a wifi interface. Seemed ok during setup/soundcheck. Then they had fits all night and this was a 5 hour extravaganza. Oy.
Eventually got to the point to where I had audience members coming up to me to complain because they could see I was stageside and had a laptop recording the show off my splitter+pres.
And, of course, that's where the wifi point was too because the power drop and system head was there so the FOH guys were back and forth constantly. My side of the split never burped.
After a while, all I did was point to the FOH guys while yelling "talk to them".

A pro setup thoroughly sussed out can be great. A pro setup not thoroughly sussed out can be a nightmare.
Wireless remote control of reinforcement was being shown at AES over two decades ago.
Prosumer gear, well, the moniker sez it all.
As Elliot Mazer used to tell me, "it needs to have aircraft levels of reliability". To that I would add, it also needs competent pilots.

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mario i

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,586 Member Since:28/01/2011

#11 [url]

Feb 14 16 1:29 AM

You're description sounds like they were using a Mackie or similar all singing all dancing with built in WiFi.

Not sure I'd want to use something like that myself.

I feel for you on being hassled during the show, I'm sure in hindsight you wish you had your rig setup in another room!


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mario i

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,586 Member Since:28/01/2011

#13 [url]

Feb 22 16 2:37 PM

Or move away from FOH when drunken patrons come over to tell you how to mix... ;-)
Not any recent experience...

This past weekend's show went well, had the console set a FOH position, about 60 feet in front of the band.
The WiFi and iPad was convenient during set up and and the occasional walk around to check out the mix from various spots.

Was way more fun mixing on the console this time around than the iPad and just having the iPad for those slights tweaks....


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mario i

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,586 Member Since:28/01/2011

#14 [url]

Jul 18 16 10:23 AM

Thought I'd throw a little update in this...A few weeks back was mixing FOH at a medium sized festival;
It was the "Brewers Festival" with about 30 small breweries set up in kiosks, and 2 live stages going.

I was handling FOH on the big scene, Console was the Yamaha M7CL 48 ch. I turned up for Saturday's shows an they did not have a Monitors Console setup...
Friday's was quite simple with solo or duo acts.... Saturday's was full blown bands... I was somewhat surprised, but I planned ahead
and brought my WiFi Router and iPad.

In the end they had a WiFi router for the M7CL, and one of the Techs brought his big Surface....
Great work young man !!! You get to run MON's for the day!
He was a happy camper.....well, it worked for about 15 minutes.... :(
The 150 feet distance between the Stage and FOH made it loose WiFi signal....

Back to setting mons 150 feet away.... ulgh not ideal.

Not to mention we did not get much time for sound check due to the Organizers having outdoor conferences going not too far way
and wanting us to keep it down... How I'm supposed to set levels without actually hearing is beyond me...not to mention even if you
do work on Mons for a while, it gets screwed one you turn up FOH system...

Ulgh... Anyway made the best of it, the first smaller act was perfect.

The 2nd was a 10 piece band, and with a 15 min changeover there's always something to get screwed.
First the wireless mics weren't turned - usually I leave that up to my Stage Tech...
And then somebody must've accidentally hit the Pad Button on the Bass DI.... so suddenly I had -20dB on the Bass... ulgh.

Then of course the Monitors are too loud... partly because we didn't have a proper full sound check, and secondly the musicians
never really played at full levels... so once the show started everything was messed up.... oh well...

Within 2 songs everything was fine.

My only other problem, they had me setup under a thick heavy tent, with other kiosks behind me.
The high frequency was really building up in there, and of course I had no remote control to get out of there...

Anyway, all went well... Organizers were really happy, bands were happy. Hopefully get called back next year ;)

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