A possible future for digital audio boards?

soundman1024

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/05/30/nmicro130.xml

I saw this article about Microsoft's new Surface Computers. Basically it is a large 30 inch touch screen that can be touched in more than one place at a time. Do you think this could be the future of digital audio mixers? A large touchscreen with an audio console workspace. It would be simple to make virtual knobs that you press down on then slide left to right, or up and down, then lift up on to make adjustments, and virtual faders could be easy to make also. If they could make sure they are very visible in sunlight, and were larger than 30 inches, I don't see a big reason why this couldn't be a future audio console. It could be quite flexible if you think about it. You could drag the middle of the console around if you wanted. You could have a dynamics menu that pops up when you hold for it with one hand, then make adjustments with the other. The same could be for a parametric EQ. Boards could even be made that realize when feedback is going on and make a panic button on the bottom you can hit to let the board work it out or something. It would tick professionals off, but amateurs would certainly love it.

So the question is do you think this could be the future for digital audio boards? Audio people seem to be into tangible things so I don't see the industry embracing it overnight, I'm just wondering if anyone here thinks it could be the future for audio boards.
 

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in 20 years, sure. Right now, we are just touching this new technology, and no one actually has their hands on it. This "technology" will open up all kinds of things, and "we" are on the bottom of list as far as changes go. We are barely touching the edge of what digital consoles can do and the people that will stick with analogue until they die need to get put into homes before that technology fully matures.
 

stantonsound

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I will say that the features and the "real" cost of the new Yamaha digital consoles, for instance, is something that many sound engineers and companies are looking at.

I was pricing a new "A" system, dropping my "A" to "B" and selling off my current "B" system. I was talking to an old school engineer......old like he toured with Mozart..... and he was telling me that he was thinking of going with one. I said that the cost is really my only concern. He showed me the figures and I am sold.

The new digital consoles, I will use the Yamaha LS9 for instance, has built in effects, compressors, limiters, gates, and more on each channel. There is also an eq (both graphic and parametric from what I have read) built in with a feedback suppressor). In addition, instead of a 48 channel plus console, where I have the opening act, the main act, and usually one other in the middle, I can sound check and save each, so all I really need is a 24 (but I would still get the 32). There is an internal digital music recorder and player as well.

In short, I can get rid of all (or most all) of my FOH rack gear. Counting my compressors, gates, eq's, effects processors, etc.... I have more than $4,000 in that rack and can do less with it than the digital console, which is somewhere around $14,000.

Price and dependability, along with ease of use, will really push the digital consoles forward. Buy, a touchscreen with no faders, I don't see that just yet.
 

BenFranske

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Agreed, digital consoles have their drawbacks but the elimination of processing racks is fantastic. I don't think you'll see an all touchscreen board for at least some time. People want, and almost need, tacticle feedback in dimly lit theaters. If you want to look at a reasonably priced but nice digital console for schools look at the Yamaha M7.

I'm a production engineer for a large high school concert in Minnesota and over the past four years we've switched from an analog PM3500-52 (rented) to the PM5D (rented) to a M7CL-48 (own) as well as moving through several analog monitor and record boards to digital for those as well. During a similar time frame we moved from a rock 'n roll PAR lighting rig complete with analog control dimmers to an almost all moving head intelligent rig and back to a theater style mix of moving heads, CMY wash and conventional lights but that's another story.
 

len

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I've seen a couple digital sound boards, and I thought the Soundcraft had touchscreens built in. Am I just another misinformed lighting guy?
 

soundman1024

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I've seen a couple digital sound boards, and I thought the Soundcraft had touchscreens built in. Am I just another misinformed lighting guy?
What we're looking at with this is a console where 100% of the workspace could be touchscreen.
 

SHARYNF

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You might be amazed to learn that there are a lot of pro's using a remote wireless tablet to control the system today. It is definitely gong to happen, not the best for all uses but for some works great
Sharyn
 

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You might be amazed to learn that there are a lot of pro's using a remote wireless tablet to control the system today. It is definitely gong to happen, not the best for all uses but for some works great
Sharyn
That is one of my only gripes with the DM1000 I am using now, if it has an Ethernet port instead of a USB port the possibilities could be endless with studio manager.
 

Hughesie

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come on analog for life,

standing front of house in front of this huge sound desk with all your fx via your rack located beside you
and getting the audience member asking what all the buttons do
it's part of the job

crest X8 48 channels
so big though
digital might be good, i like the behinger ones that have a audio card inside them so you can take a feed or use it for monitoring
 

stantonsound

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I recently worked a Rascal Flatts show, and they use a digital console ( DiGiCo D5) and a GrandMa for lighting. The FOH position at the shed was quite large, with room enough easily for two of the analog setups for sound, and about as much room for lighting. With just two guys, and two small consoles, it did look a little funny.

Just a note, they use an analog PM5000 for monitors.
 

bobcap

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Jun 2, 2007
I have been using a DM1K for a year. I use a tablet PC wireless to mix on and it controlls via remote desktop another laptop. That laptop is running studio manager and is connected via USB to the DM1K.

Now I just bought an LS9/32. I use the same tablet but I run SM directly on it and connect over eathernet to the LS9 via a wireless router.

Works for me. The good part is when a regional band shows up and wants to run the FOH mix I hand them the tablet....

Bob Cap
Advanced Audio Inc.
Gilbert, MN
 

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I have been using a DM1K for a year. I use a tablet PC wireless to mix on and it controlls via remote desktop another laptop. That laptop is running studio manager and is connected via USB to the DM1K.
Now I just bought an LS9/32. I use the same tablet but I run SM directly on it and connect over eathernet to the LS9 via a wireless router.
Works for me. The good part is when a regional band shows up and wants to run the FOH mix I hand them the tablet....
Bob Cap
Advanced Audio Inc.
Gilbert, MN
Interesting setup, now I have to go buy a tablet.... thanks... Using the DM1000 without studio manager makes it the worst experience ever, with studio manager its a breeze. It really surprises me they don't spec it to come with a laptop next to the console.
 

avkid

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digital might be good, i like the Behringer ones that have a audio card inside them so you can take a feed or use it for monitoring
Um.. yeah i'm gonna need you to leave now...
:lol::lol:
 

stantonsound

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crest X8 48 channels
so big though
digital might be good, i like the behinger ones that have a audio card inside them so you can take a feed or use it for monitoring

How can anyone compare Crest (or just about any professional piece of equipment) to behringer? I used to own some behringer dimmer racks, and I still feel dirty!
 

stantonsound

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Point taken, but Behringer....really!?!

(Actually, I have worked with some of Crest's higher end gear, and it is pretty good. They have the installed system at Bank of America Stadium where the Carolina Panthers play, and having worked with it, I am impressed.)
 
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