[ardour-dev] Where to go digital

Iain Kennedy iain at psand.net
Mon Mar 6 15:37:52 PST 2006

On Mon, 6 Mar 2006, R Parker wrote:

> --- philicorda <philicorda at ntlworld.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, 2006-03-06 at 12:53 +0000, Iain Kennedy
>> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> We use ardour for a mobile internet radio station
>> and are gradually
>> I used to try and get a hot signal into the a/ds all
>> the time, and use
>> analog compressors/limiters for protection.
> Never bothered. Not because I had a clue but probably
> because I didn't have a clue. And thank goodness for
> that.

I'm with you there.

> After a
>> while I found
>> leaving more headroom does not add significant noise
>> when it comes to
>> mixdown.
> That is my experience and has been for years.

As soon as we start adding limiters in, if we go the 'ardour and MIDI 
worksurface' way, we'll run out of analogue ins to the RME, which will 
mean we need two and have to move from a laptop to a normal PC, which 
isn't great from a power point of view at events.

And my gut feeling now is that we'll stick with a limiter on at least one 
of the studio Mics.

> I have a Solo Soundtracs that cost us $10,000.00 U.S.
> new. I love the sound of this consol and it's EQs. I
> can't imagine anyone would get more than $800.00 U.S.
> for a used one. There are plenty of good sounding
> analog consols on the sales block. Maybe the only
> caveat is that these old girls need some loving care.
> Not a big deal.

Unfortunately, we're really pushed for space and would ideally like our 
mixer to fit on top of a 19" rack box- thats why the small format mixers 
appeal so much (like the Allen and Heath WZ3:14:4:2) - and there don't 
seem to be so many of them second hand as they've not been around for so 
long. Overhauling used kit shouldn't be too much of a problem.

> I insert the Soundtracs into the inserts of a Tascam
> DM-24 that replaced a Mackie 8bus. The DM-24 has
> comparible functionality to the 8bus and that at a
> fifth the cost. I don't know what ADC/DACs are in the
> DM-24. They aren't Apogee and maybe not even the TI
> owned Burr/Brown. They are good enough for every job
> that falls under $25,000.00 U.S.

Good point - my little behringer has inserts, I hadn't thought of them for 
anything other than the limiters.

> Unless a band is a repeat customer, everyone of them
> says, "Ron, we have never sounded this good." I know
> what I'm doing and one of my better insites is knowing
> that good sounding affordable gear is available.
> Another is that I'm too naive to worry about the noise
> floor; not really but it serves the purpose.
> ron
>> What's your desk like? If it has ok pres then you
>> could take 16 or so
>> direct outs from the channel inserts to the a/d
>> converters, and get
>> cheaper converters than the RME (ones without mic
>> pres). Then the desk
>> is just for monitoring.  You could also still use
>> the limiters in-line
>> between the desk and the converters if you are
>> worried about clipping.

We're currently using a pair of (mismatched) Behringer desks - a 10 
channel B1002 and an 8 channel MX802a . They've done their jobs, but we're 
really after something a bit more capable, as we're sometimes taking 2 or 
3 balanced feeds from around events to feed into our radio shows/record, 
as well as possibly having people in the studio playing decks/doing 
interviews or playing live instruments.

>> You don't really need subgroups for setting up
>> monitor mixes, if your
>> desk is just for monitoring and has a few aux sends
>> then these work
>> fine. (aux busses are essentially subgroups anyway.)

You've made me think my desk must be pretty rubbish now :) We definitely 
need something with at least more aux's.

>>> We've done a reasonable amount of investigation up
>> to this point, but it's
>>> fairly crucial that we make the right decision, so
>> any help you have to
>>> offer would be greatly appreciated.
>>> Regards,
>>> Iain
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