Are Analog consoles still worth it?

24 track

Doctor of Teleocity
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Most of us have Daws to work from , this is good , but how many of us actually cut our teeth on the analog work flow ?
Ive used Neve consoles with the Necam automation, trident boards , large Soundcraft studio boards , etc studer , ampex, revox , tacam , teac recorders , I still have a teac machine , Revox PR99 , and a fostex 8 track RTR and 2 years ago sold 2 Studer A80's 1/2" mastering decks , as for consols I use 2 x Mackie 1604 VLC's 1 for monitoring system and one for line / sub mixer for my studio guitar rig and a 16 x4 chanel roland rack mount for the synths. in storage I have a Tascam 24 X8 X2 console.not to mention other associated analog gizmos .

I came across this YT vid and thought I would share it , there is some great perspectives here in case you are new to recording and or are just curious

 
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Kandinskyesque

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Thanks for the video link.
I've mainly been at the other side of the microphone but will be demoing/writing on DAW at home over the course of this year, so the information was very helpful.
The last time I done any meaningful home recording was a hybrid of analogue and digital: Atari ST with samplers and sound modules, an adat and an an analogue desk with outboard compressors and reverbs.
I now find myself as an "older guy", digitally ignorant, brain fogged and about to begin from the start all over again.
You've given me some access to more answers while I'm still at the naval gazing and 'philosophical questions' stage.
I'm grateful you posted this.
 

24 track

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I recorded for years on high end analog gear, it made the transition to digital a lot easier but I too have questions some times.
there are pros /cons and limitations to all formats , but I can do things with tape that I cant do with digital , and I edit easier with digital than i could with analog, but are limited with latencies and ram usage , so I made a hybrid studio to play in . Keeps me from going nuts with boredom LOL
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I do live sound almost exclusively, but occasionally am tapped to do broadcast audio, as well. I prefer to mix on any console which has decent overall headroom & a sweepable center freq for each band of a 4-band parametric EQ on the channel strip, analog or digital, it doesn't matter much to me. Overall, though, I prefer digital consoles for the simple fact that one large scale console replaces 3 racks of outboard processors. However, I would be amiss if I did not state that an analog console has never crashed & re-booted in the middle of a set. For that reason, I try to avoid pro digital models from prior to the Yamaha PM5D.
 

Guitarteach

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I’d call mine a hybrid.

My knob and fader filled desk is a 24 way interface too.. so its really handy and I can put all the DAW tracks to physical faders and manually mix too on the returns.

The EQ is bypassed on digital input but the Auxes and monitoring options are great when recording a full band.

Very quick and you can react to issues live much quicker.
 

uriah1

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Ya, the upgrades, software edits, hardware, etc mean you really have to be current on your daw
when you can pretty much plug and play with analog.
 

24 track

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there is no right or wrong here, and we have the technology , I've always reguarded analaog as learning to do math long hand and digital as using a calculator ,for an analogy digital for the quick answer and analog for a deeper understanding of signal flow. each has a place. for live i would want an analog type board and for recording live I would use my Yamaha AW4416 for small gigs

yamaha-aw4416-982.jpg
 

Peegoo

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It's no different from a used 1980 pickup truck for $600 or a brand new $80,000 cowboy cadillac: both will get you there just fine when you keep them in running shape. One is not necessarily better than the other, because people are all different. Same goes for the vinyl/CD/MP3/etc., argument.

Yeah, a DAW is faster and the virtual signal routing makes things pretty simple (Patch bay? What's that?), but there's a huge learning curve. If you're hooked on plug-ins, you will not enjoy working in analog.
 

StrangerNY

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I've done tracking on a couple of Neve boards (the one in the old Bearsville studio came out of The Who's studio) and mixed on Trident SSLs back in the day, but I don't have the money or the space for getting anything near that level of equipment. And even maintaining a board on the level of a Neve is rough - Bearsville had a room full of channel strips and compressors and mic pres and a tech on call who was on site 3 days a week when I recorded there. We were blowing up one module or another a couple of times a week. Without a major operating budget or being a soldering iron whiz kid, having an old analog board would be pretty dicey.

I've got an old 16 channel Kelsey board in an Anvil case down in my storage, but it hasn't been out of the case in probably about 15 years. Looks like this, only with a meter bridge with 8 VU meters:

s-l300.jpg


It's a nice board, but it's so big and clunky I've barely got room for it - even the stand-alone power supply is huge. That's why a DAW is great for space-challenged guys like me. I bought a channel strip plugin from Harrison which is pretty good - it somehow simulates that nice bottom end that the old analog stuff did so effortlessly, and that's about as close as I'm gonna get unless I buy a bigger house.

I do still have a really nice Technics 2-track machine in case I get the urge to mix to tape, but I haven't used it for much besides transferring old reels to digital.

- D
 

raito

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Given my workflow, an analog console makes sense. I have a Soundcraft GB-8. Its just me here, so I only need at most a couple of stereo channels into the DAW for recording. But I also need to be able to get to the next track quickly and I don't like repatching between. It's also a decent way to add effects for me.

You'd think with my background I'd be all in the box, but I don't much care for that for the music I play. All the DAW/MIDI stuff is just a way for me to be able to play parts live and capture them while hearing what I've already recorded.

I don't go back to the console in order to mix. I don't have enough interface channels for that.
 

Ben Harmless

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I broke from the live and recorded audio world about the time that digital consoles became the standard for live stuff. I don't feel like I missed stuff. It's an extra skillset to develop to use the proprietary systems, and as far as I can tell, the technology is only just beginning to mature. Reasonable minds may differ.

If you were to hand me a studio today, I'd probably pass on a console. I really miss having my hands on faders - and especially having my knobs for my aux sends right there in front of me, but the routing, flexibility, and other options for managing recorded audio are just too great, and organizing everything so that it can be sent back through a console for mixing just seems like it's not worth the hassle. I've never really sat down and evaluated the idea of passive analog mixers, but I'm skeptical.

I'm the guy who left the game though, and only recently got back into it a little - and when I did, it was at a nice studio without a console.

What I really want is a MIDI controller that doesn't cost as much as a console, and provides the same functionality in a smaller footprint. I can handle EQ in the box, but I'd like say, 24 faders and maybe 4-6 knobs per channel for aux sends. Maybe some mute buttons. That's all. There's no reason why that should be hard, but it's been brought to my attention that the world is not fair, and I guess I'll have to live with that.

...But I still do kinda miss live mixing on a Midas the size of my Civic.
 
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24 track

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I broke from the live and recorded audio world about the time that digital consoles became the standard for live stuff. I don't feel like I missed stuff. It's an extra skillset to develop to use the proprietary systems, and as far as I can tell, the technology is only just beginning to mature. Reasonable minds may differ.

If you were to hand me a studio today, I'd probably pass on a console. I really miss having my hands on faders - and especially having my knobs for my aux sends right there in front of me, but the routing, flexibility, and other options for managing recorded audio are just too great, and organizing everything so that it can be sent back through a console for mixing just seems like it's not worth the hassle. I've never really sat down and evaluated the idea of passive analog mixers, but I'm skeptical.

I'm the guy who left the game though, and only recently got back into it a little - and when I did, it was at a nice studio without a console.

What I really want is a MIDI controller that doesn't cost as much as a console, and provides the same functionality in a smaller footprint. I can handle EQ in the box, but I'd like say, 24 faders and maybe 4-6 knobs per channel for aux sends. Maybe some mute buttons. That's all. There's no reason why that should be hard, but it's been brought to my attention that the world is not fair, and I guess I'll have to live with that.

...But I still do kinda miss live mixing on a Midas the size of my Civic.
you may like this vid



 

loopfinding

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analog consoles are a "nice to have" when you're in a studio that has a 2 inch tape machine and money to blow.

for the average "just get it done" recording it's unnecessary. do it ITB and get midi controllers with motorized faders if you really want.
 

boxocrap

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I recorded for years on high end analog gear, it made the transition to digital a lot easier but I too have questions some times.
there are pros /cons and limitations to all formats , but I can do things with tape that I cant do with digital , and I edit easier with digital than i could with analog, but are limited with latencies and ram usage , so I made a hybrid studio to play in . Keeps me from going nuts with boredom LOL
Keeps me from going nuts with boredom LOL...instead of just going nuts with a kabillion synths:lol:
:lol:
 




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