So... Analog or Digital

metti

Active Member
I honestly believe there are exactly five current-series consoles worth consideration for live sound reinforcement applications:

Soundcraft GB8 (when entry-level techs are likely to be around and need analog)

What about the GB8 makes it specifically worthy of consideration over the other similarly priced and featured consoles on the market (A&H GL2800, Yamaha IM-8, Crest HP-Eight, etc)? I like the GB8 but I am unclear on why it is the one and only analogue console larger than a MixWiz that is worth looking at. For example, the GL2800 is similarly priced and has more aux sends and is much more useful as a monitor console or FOH versus the GB8 which is really only good at FOH. I also don't really see how the MixWiz, SL, or 01V96 could be compared to an LS9 which costs several orders of magnitude more and offers vastly larger functionality then any of them.
 

jeffsw6

Member
What about the GB8 makes it specifically worthy of consideration over the other similarly priced and featured consoles on the market (A&H GL2800, Yamaha IM-8, Crest HP-Eight, etc)? I like the GB8 but I am unclear on why it is the one and only analogue console larger than a MixWiz that is worth looking at.
You could prefer other brands and slightly different feature-sets than the Soundcraft, and spend a little more or a little less. As I mentioned, once you know which of these five consoles is best for your application, you have basically defined your feature requirements, and are free to branch out to another brand of inexpensive analog console. Of course, the phrase "no Allen & Heath" is a bit more common than "no Soundcraft," and Crest does not have a digital console offering and will soon be selling re-badged Peavey amplifiers under the Crest name. Similarly, the IM-8 is yet another Yamaha analog that sounds like Yamaha analog.

I also don't really see how the MixWiz, SL, or 01V96 could be compared to an LS9 which costs several orders of magnitude more and offers vastly larger functionality then any of them.
These consoles span a range of price from ~$750 to ~$7500 and are good in different entry-level applications. The most expensive console in my list costs one order of magnitude more than the cheapest one. For that, you do indeed get more functionality; but you can't expect some bar-band BE to walk up to it and be able to mix his band at a small fair/festival you might be providing for.

IMO, this way of thinking greatly simplifies the process of choosing a console. There is certainly room for personal preference; but narrowing down the options from hundreds of products that are just competing for shelf/banner ad space, to a few stand-outs, is very helpful.
 

museav

CBMod
CB Mods
Departed Member
It might surprise some people, but for entry-level work, I honestly believe there are exactly five current-series consoles worth consideration for live sound reinforcement applications:

  1. Allen & Heath MixWiz
  2. Yamaha 01V96VCM
  3. PreSonus StudioLive (with significant caveats; if multi-track recording)
  4. Soundcraft GB8 (when entry-level techs are likely to be around and need analog)
  5. Yamaha LS9
I think anything above the price of an LS9 is no longer "entry-level," and the above five consoles have compelling feature and value advantages over all competing products, once the specifics of a buyer's needs have been identified.

IMO if every console-buyer started off with those five choices, and only those, they would think hard about their needs. Then they might settle on, say, the GB8, but decide to go with a less-expensive LX7ii or GL2200 instead and give up a few things; however the user would probably end up making a much better purchasing decision because they thought hard about what kind of console suits their application, not just which brand they prefer or how many channels they are willing to carry around.

My $0.02 :)
Rather than starting with products and trying to fit your needs to those products, I recommend starting with what you are trying to do and letting that support or eliminate specific products from consideration. Once you start identifying input counts, aux requirements, busing, physical size limitations, budget, etc. that tends to narrow down the field. Add in considerations for what effects and processing you need or want to support and the choices get yet fewer. Start factoring in the potential users and operators and the number of viable solutions gets even smaller. In some cases, what products you even have available to you may strongly affect the potential options. But the bottom line is that you can't determine what may be a good console choice if you don't first know what defines it being a good choice or not.

I also think that one often has to assess what "live sound" means in terms of each application. House versus touring, concert versus theatre, FOH versus monitor and so on can affect what is required or important in a 'live sound' console. However, it is again the needs driving the hardware and not the other way around.
 

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