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  1. #1

    Analog versous digital

    I was wondering what yall think about analog mixers and digital mixers. I think that we as people moving to the digital form of media is grate. But I have one problem with this hole thing. I currently run sound for my church, and we have a 36 channel mixer. Itís from the Yamaha EMX seares, but Iím not sure of the exact mottle. This mixer is pretty old, and we are looking at getting a digital mixer. Now for me, it is going to be impossible for me to operate. Why? you ask? Because I am totally blind. And since I am blind, this new digital mixer, which is operated with a touch screen, will be inaccessible to me. My home studio is analog all the way, so I have no problem. I like analog because each knob controls itís own function. With digital mixers, you donít even get knobs to turn. So will I be forced to pick another career and ditch the one I love?
    What are you guises thoughts on this?
    Pleas post back, I look forward to hearing from you!
    Regards,
    Ivan Fegundez. Recording Technician, live sound technician, and mastering technician.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Hi Ivan,
    I have my own doubts that the industry would just go full digital and delete analog. The analog boards are simple enough to operate with great flexabilty (at the right price). I always like the K.I.S.S. philosophy - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    Naturally, there's a DIFFERENT advantage to the touch screens but (for those who can see or need to know) I still don't think it's necessary to go that route because the operational workflow is somewhat different, imho. I would advocate to look for those boards that you are use to, Ivan.

    OR take it to the manufacturer. Can they create a board that does interface with one who is blind or physically disabled and yet be transparent in use by someone who is totally able?

    This may be a spring board for the right company, if this hasn't happened yet...

    Are manufacturers going this route of touch screens with mechanically driven sliders and foregoing the analog interfaced board? That's my question to our forum at large because I don't know myself.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  3. #3
    The upside of digital mixers is the size and flexibility, most major tours are going with digital mixers because of recall and the ability to expand the ammount of inputs to accomodate warm up acts with a smaller size console. and it virtually eliminates the need for an extensive rack of outboard gear. Studios with the advent of the DAW being the weapon of choice more often than not have been favoring digital mixers and control surfaces for some time but everything still remains a question of personal taste and also budget. You may find that the digital mixers such as the yamaha pm's and some of their less expensive mixers may be able to be operated by somone unable to see whats on the screen as there are still access buttons to get you through the different screens. you can also save your own global setup that would be setup to serve your specific needs as the work surface is very flexible. and all this can be saved on a card and recalled when your are using the console. The knobs are assignable and can be setup so that you can acces the parameters that you need with little or no interaction with the screen. You might also try to convince the people involved that they may not need a digital mixer. I have seen this many times before with many of the churches in my area. It usually causes more problems than it fixes in these enviornments. It mainly depends on the the budget and the actual need for this style and also the education that is required to get mainly volunteer operators up to speed.

  4. #4
    Honestly, I don't see a major need for a digital mixer in many of the places that have been 'upgrading' to them. Audio is usually sourced analog (through microphones), usually it is output analog (through speakers); the only reason to go digital is for a digital transport and for that you can simply put an ADC array between the analog mixer and the digital transport. I'm not sure what you use your mix for at this church but, if it is simply reinforcement or is multipurpose and there is any portion that is not digitally transported, bring this up to them.
    Eric Adler (tonsofpcs)
    http://www.videoproductionsupport.com/ Chat at: http://tinyurl.com/vpschat
    Follow me on twitter: @videosupport @eric_adler

  5. #5
    There are digital boards that have traditional analog-style controls, but I'm not up on the models enough to direct you to them.

    A digital board would have sonic advantages over your old Yamaha board, but so would any good new analog board. About the only unambiguous sonic advantage of a digital mixer is that, in many cases, mix bus distortion is no longer a problem. Beyond that, there isn't a lot of sonic difference. Bear in mind that speakers, microphones, acoustics, setup, the sound mixer's skill and the performers' skill ALWAYS have a greater impact on the sound than the specific mixer choice does.

    I would view the new mixer as about a 5-year interim item. A complete digital system, from mic output to power amplifier input, is possible at this time, but standards are lacking and there are many kinks yet to be worked out. In 5 years it'll all be seamless, and then anything analog will be stone-aged. Also, any digital mixer you buy now will seem obsolete; it may still have great performance in 5 years, but it will not be fully compatible with the digital standards, whatever they turn out to be.

    Long story short: buy something analog and stash the price difference in a fund.

  6. #6
    I just sent all of your comments to the media director, and I will post any comments he sends back to me here. Pleas keep your comments comeing, and if anyone knows of a digital mixer with analog controls, feel free to post here as well.
    Thanks for all yalls help.
    Regards,
    Ivan Fegundez. Recording Technician, live sound technician, and mastering technician.

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