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A&H ML5000 Question

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by khof2525, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. khof2525

    khof2525 Member

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    All - I do lighting and sound for a community theater. The theater is purchasing a replacement audio board - Allen & Heath ML5000. I have downloaded the users guide to become confortable with the board before install. I am not real clear on the automation options. The board can store up to 128 "scenes". Are these scenes just for mute and VCA settings or can you store say Chs 1-4 unmuted at "0" dbm, other Chs muted, Aux 1 on, etc? Anyone work with this board?
     
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, it stores mute and VCA assignments as scenes, that's the way it was with their lower end boards (same with Soundcraft). I'm not sure if the VCA faders are automated or not.
     
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  3. Dillon

    Dillon Active Member

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    ML5000 does not have automated faders. You are correct that the 128 'scenes' only store mute and VCA assignments. I'm not sure if Aux/Matrix mutes can be included in these scenes.
     
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  4. TomyN

    TomyN Member

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    Hi,

    my good old GL4 stores any mute present on the desk, so I assume that the ML5000 stores them also.

    Tomy
     
  5. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    Is it really nessecary to have scenes on a soundboard? I have ran many shows on a yamaha pm1200, and never have i thought "this would be easier if i had something to mute this for me."
     
  6. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    When you're running somethin' like nineteen wireless, 8 orchestra mics, 4 floor mics (for speech and tap dancing), 3 overhead mics, and a direct box from the keys in the orchestra, it make a huge amount of sense.
     
  7. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Scenes can work well when you have a ton of mics on a console you have to keep an eye on--but Mute Groups you handle manually also work just fine for this.

    IMO Scenes are more for when you are running the same show over and over again or may have different operators or new operators who may not know a show running the board on different times--then all they have to do is set a level and advance thru the scenes as the SM calls it and not have to figure out who is who to turn on or off... This is also handy when you have different FX or playback and multiple mics to hjandle at once--very handy. You can set up entrances/exits and individual cues for dozens of mics or FX that may need to go on or off and in that sense a Mute Scene can work very well.. Some shows will set up scenes for shows as a "back up" in case they should lose their sound guy and have to have someone step in and mix the show. Those folks would not know the actors or cues well enough to be able to mute or unmute in a timely manner--and an SM could simply call a pre-set scene up. I have rarely used the scenes but on occasion I have had to... In a show automation system or when you have one person who has to focus more on sound fx cues or playback, or multiple operators in a long run, they can be very handy to have on-board. The main drawback is they take a lot of time to plan out and organize (as the console scene ability is usually limited in number) but once you get them set up they are very handy.

    -w
     
  8. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    okay i see.
    I can understand storing the mutes, but didn't they make compressors for sudden changes in audio levels?
     
  9. audioslavematt

    audioslavematt Active Member

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    What does a compressor have to do with mute scenes and VCAs? Last I checked a compressor didn't mute channels that weren't used. A gate will, but it can still open up when you don't want it to.
     
  10. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    well i ddn't mean it like that. It was late last night, and my mind wandered into the compressor, limiter area. Sorry for any confusion.

    Kevin
     
  11. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Depends, are you talking rock, or theatre? For theatre, the goal is general a more subtle reinforcment of the natural sound, so compressors tend to be a no-no, except is special cases (for example, sometimes a tube comp is used on leads to provide a bit of warmth, or any sort [at the designer's discretion] with a verrrrrrrry light touch of what amounts more to limiting than compression just to catch really "out there" moments).

    Instead, good musical theatre mixers will keep their fingers on the faders at all times, riding them with the actor to compensate for changes in level, and bringing them up and down for each line. Yup, line, not scene. This is where programmable VCAs come into play; look here (look for post #22) for an earlier post of mine with details, that will shed some light on why this style of mixing is greatly aided by mute and VCA assignment automation.

    It does require a certain amount of practice and a very strong knowlege of the show, and the performers, but it's not as hard as it sounds to get to the point where you can ride levels and anticipate an actor's dynamics in a way that almost seems to be psychic. I have a habit, when I go to shows, of "air mixing" on my lap (or against my arm if my arms are crossed). This can be good practice, although it can also lead your companions to question your sanity. This past weekend, I attended Jason Robert Brown's concert as part of the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center Jazz, and knowing his music as well as I do, I found myself actually able to anticipate most of Jason and his guest performers' dynamics even though (at least in the case of the guests) I'd never heard those particular performers do those songs before. It's all about practice, and it's really cool when you first find yourself getting into that groove and becoming good at anticipating things like that.

    Anyway, this is drifting a bit off-topic, so I'll stop my rambling for now :)

    --A
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007

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