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Mixers/Consoles 5.1 Surround mixer recommendations?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by macman47, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. macman47

    macman47 Member

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    Hi there we are a small black Box theatre with a new 5.1 Surround sound system the only item missing is a mixing board that is capable of mixing surround sound. We are not a large venue so we don't need a HUGE number of I/O's.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    0196VCM or 02R96VCM. Great consoles, incredibly flexible, surround panning 3.1 or 5.1, or even 6.1 with the 02R96VCM.
     
  3. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Honestly, someone wasted a ton of money.
    There is no way that the entire audience is actually going to get the full experience.


    Whatever the console, it must be digital.
     
  4. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    I have worked on the mentioned 02R96, and can add a second opinion to their great versatility, and general awesomeness.
     
  5. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The O1V96 would be sufficient. Bumping up to the O2R seems like a needless expense. It is not likely you will need all of the extra inputs. in a Black Box. Although both are nice boards.

    ~Dave
     
  6. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the above mentioned board by another happy user of Yamaha digital. Agreed with Davey, for a blackbox, the 01V96 would suit your needs very nicely. I've yet to fill up a Mackie 1402 in ours.
     
  7. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Have to agree with Phil here, you might want to step back first and describe what you have. When you say that you have a 5.1 surround system do you mean that you have a speaker system with dedicated inputs for left, center, right, left surround, right surround and sub/LFE signals that is designed to deliver five channel sound to all seats? Or simply that you have a system that has left, center, right, left surround, right surround speakers and a subwoofer? Or even that you already have a processor or receiver in place that decodes surround sound encoded sources?

    There is a huge difference between having a five channel system and having a system with a surround sound decoder, this could definitely affect any aspects related to the console. There are also differences between having five speakers and a sub and having a system that delivers a desired result to more than a small portion of the audience.

    So maybe you could explain what you really have and how you plan to use it, that might help make sure that any suggestions focus on your specific application.
     
  8. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Another thought came to my mind. Do you actually need a mixer in there at all? If you are just running SFX playback, you may want to consider getting a computer, Stage Research’s SFX or Q Lab software, and a multi channel sound card (such as the Echo AudioFire 12). You can create an almost endless variety of surround effects with either software, and just go out of the sound card into the amps or processor(s). For the cost of a new Yamaha O1V96, you can get a PC, AudioFire 12, 8-channel snake (or other cabling), and the SFX standard edition software, and have a little bit of money left over. Of course, this will not work if you intend to use mics or anything that may need a preamp. Just another way you may want to consider approaching it.

    ~Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  9. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    I'll admit to not knowing anything about the OP's situation than what he posted, but I could see a reason to not go with strictly a PC-based playback solution. There've been shows we've done in our blackboxes where we've needed mics, and while it could be done on a PC, I still prefer to have a console in front of me, if nothing more than to act as a matrix of sorts sending out to the 5.1 (I use that term just to describe LCR, SL, SR, sub, not coverage) system and any other effect speakers.
     
  10. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Eboy, we are in agreement about the mics. That is why I mentioned that caveat in my previous post. I can think of many reasons to prefer a board over a computer solution. However, the SFX software (not sure about the Q Lab) has an active matrix built in that is much more flexible than that of the Yamaha O1V96. Again, speaking in just terms of SFX cue playback.

    Another great thing about a computer solution is that the fade times, looping of cues and other items are adjustable on the fly in the software, where as on a traditional playback device, the sound designer would have to go back and edit the cue / source material. Also, the detail of information stored in the software cues is much more specific than that stored in the board cues of the aforementioned digital mixer. The SFX system is all one Go button, where as the board you have to recall the stored scene (or adjust levels / routing manually) and then push play on the playback device; more opportunity for operator error / inconsistency. Certainly there are many pros and cons for either system. I am just trying to give additional info for the Op, not start a debate.

    ~Dave
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the computer playback solution - this is how you should handle playback. Qlab is great, and I use it with the Audiofire 12, which has it's own amazing software program that comes with it for internal routing of the inputs if you want automated line input routing changes during the show for some strange reason.

    However, if you have the money, the 01V96 is the perfect console for a blackbox. You can set up basic presets for shows and recall them instantly, it's got a good variety of outputs for recording shows (use the console's preamps for some house mics, send the output to video recording or live feed, you never know what applications are going to come up).
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Maybe I missed something, but it seems like we don't really know much about what they need. We don't know what groups use the system, the types/level of productions, the abilities of the operators or the budget. we don't know how many or what type of inputs are involved, what type of processing may be desired, what the surround sound capability is or how they plan to use it, etc. I think that maybe we need to know more about the situation in order to have a good basis for any suggestions.
     
  13. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. My apologies, I didn't intend to start a debate; just tossing around ideas to consider. I missed the caveat at the end of your post about the mics, my mistake. But we are in agreement essentially. I use Qlab all the time now and hate going back to CD and MiniDisk.
     
  14. jkowtko

    jkowtko Active Member

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    Here's an answer that I hope covers all the major cases ...

    * If you do not have access to each of the 6 speakers individually and only have the ability to access two inputs to a surround-sound processor (like your home surround system), then any board will do, since they all have LR outputs, and that's pretty much all you can feed into it.

    * If you DO have direct access to each to the six speakers individually, then --

    - If you need "surround panning", then one of the digital boards mentioned above is probably your best bet. (the 01v96 is a favorite and is quite powerful)

    - If you don't need surround panning but just need the ability to playback a 5.1 audio file and/or DVD, then any sound board with 6 bus outs should do. In this case you'll need an input device such as a DVD player or sound interface with SCS/Q-Lab/etc, and channel each of the 6 outputs from your device to six discrete inputs on the board, an the each of the inputs to it's own dedicated output. I did this for a long time on a Mackie CFX20, using the individual group outs and two auxes as my six outputs. So you will likely need a board that has 4 groups, giving you at least six buses total to work with. And you can continue to mix in other stereo and mono input sources as well.

    * If you have 5.1 surround files to use as input to the system, then you will need the 6 bus board, surround panning or not.

    * However, if you only have stereo input files and want to produce surround sound, then I don't think any sound board will do the processing -- you'll have to get a separate processing unit (like a home surround receiver system, or the professional equivalent) or convert the files first using separate software.
    - If you are starting with stereo files and would like to convert them to 5.1, there are some programs out there that will do it for you.

    I personally have used the V.1 Stereo to Surround converter plug-in (http://www.stevethomson.ca/vi/) with very good success, and in the small theater I am affiliated with, it does sound pretty good throughout the audience seating :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2009

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