Digital Mixers - Are they outdated? Somone said so

Discussion in 'Non-TASCAM Equipment and Accessories' started by TorchMusic, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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    A kind person who was passionate about ITB mixing mentioned the below:

    He said,

    "What's the point of using a digital hardware mixer in 2013 anyway? Show me one digital hardware mixer that wasn't out of date and virtually worthless 2 years after its appearance! Get a powerful computer and buy control surfaces to taste! Digital hardware mixers are a stupid concept and a waste of time and money. The world has zero need for a super short-living "tool" that offers solutions for issues that doesn't exist. They overcomplicate digital workflows like crazy, increases the potential for errors (digital interconnection synchronization is expensive and complicated), mess with your recall possibilities and none of them even come close to modern ITB setups with regard to ease of use, flexibility, quality and price! "

    What are your thoughts on what he said?
  2. Jarno

    Jarno Member

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    OMG!
    Zero latency monitoring with full F/X and with exactly the same user interface as used for mixing. Zero latency for my analog F/X boxes. Control hardware and mixing engine software designed together and working togerther without any glitches.

    I'll show you my DM-4800. OK, it doesn't have color touchscreen and colourful blinking lights as some new consoles (B-brand one for example), but hey ... It's a mixing console ... not a tactical console of starship Enterprise.

    If all you are producing is dance music with nothing more than virtual instruments, then yes.

    Statements like that are stupid.

    Is he talking about personal computers? Short-living tools, which are obsolete in one years after buying them. And anyone old enough having lived before them knows they offer no solutions to any existing issue.

    How complicated my system (40 analog + 2 digital inputs and 20 analog outputs) would be without my DM-4800? I don't even want to know. My digital mixing console makes things simple.

    EDIT: Tried to construct a controller/audio interface system which could replace my DM-4800. It would consist of 10 different equipment units and cost more than twice my DM. Yes. These digital mixing consoles are really expensive and complicated things. :rolleyes:

    How does it mess my recall possibilities. Every setting in my studio (except analog gear knob positions) can be recalled just fine.
  3. Gravity Jim

    Gravity Jim Well-Known Member

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    That sounds to me like an EDM hobbyist trying to sound like a real, live pro.

    The argument isn't valid. In fact, no argument is valid for everyone, and people who bloviate on line as if there was only one optimal solution to every problem are, to be blunt, idiots.

    I spent a year evaluating various ITB and OTB systems for my studio, which produces actual, paid professional work for advertising and games, and no computer/control surface concept came close to a digital mixer for ease of interfacing with analog signals (which people who make real records still use plenty of), high-speed hands-on control of a wide range of sources, or sheer processing power. And no digital mixer delivered the bang for the buck that the DM's do.

    I guess the argument almost makes sense if you're only assembling loops and VIs. But you can tell your friend that he or she should take a look at some actual recording studios for a sense of whether or not a console, digital or otherwise, is obsolete.

    As for "show me one," I can't show you my Yamaha 02/R because I sold it just over a year ago... but before I did it was both an industry standard and the cornerstone of my workflow for over a decade.
  4. Muziekschuur

    Muziekschuur Member

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    It's this or a firewire cable. And yes... That analog cable then transfers into your head....


    It's true digital consoles don't hold their value. But analog consoles don't neither. So... You want to see a 5000 dollar console and a 2000 dollar computer be worth 2000 dollar in two years. Or see a 40.000 dollar console without any analog or digital gear surrounding it brake down to 7500 dollar in 5 years and have 2000 dollar maintenance added to that number....

    In the end it's a choice with consequences. And neither are free choices... You can create good music with both.
  5. captdan

    captdan Well-Known Member

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    Jim, Jarno & Musikschuur nailed this one to the wall. But, if you don't mind an additional 2 pennies (cost ya nuthin. ;) )....

    I've been on various audio forums since 1999. I don't know how many incarnations of Macs & PCs have come and gone, but likely more than a few. Along with those obsolete devices are a thousand fold obsolete opinions. Multiply that by another thousand, and you'll arrive at the approximate number of interweb cretins, miscreants, and trolls who've annoyed their victims for more than a decade. Apparently an example of one individual's 'bloviations' (perfect term, Sir Jim) appears above.

    I could say a lot more, but I have paid mastering job to complete. And I would be WAY less happy if my trusty DM3200 weren't in the monitoring chain - OUTSIDE a box - like the one in my machine room - becoming more obsolete by the day.

    CaptDan
  6. wkrbee

    wkrbee Active Member

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    I remember my Dad buying a 286 computer with- GASP- 40mb hard drive and 1 Meg of RAM for $2000.I paid $2000 for a Sony P3 laptop.Both examples "quicky outdated" equipment.From the poster's comments I have gotten"Fruity Loops is too hard".Why do you think Roland TB303s and 808s are/were popular with the Rap crowd?Instinctive to use with no musical training needed...
  7. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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    Thanks, Everyone for chiming in on this. I'm the new owner of a used DM 4800 and I don't know enough about it to know whether I made the right decision. Sometimes you can only estimate your needs and calculate your solutions. My issue with ITB mixing is a weakness I personally have with what I call "referencing". If I move a knob with a mouse and then do something else, for whatever the reason, I have an issue finding that knob or fader again. The one thing the DM has helped me with is "referencing", which I feel is a part of work flow.

    The Metering is extremely helpful. Even with my Ensemble some of my recordings would not be right, because of metering issues. I think half the battle of a good mix is keeping decent levels.

    I was also feeling regret because I had to sell my Apogee Ensemble to get this. But, maybe I'm wrong but I get a slightly more open sound from the DM 4800. I would almost say they are even.

    If the sound quality becomes an issue, in the future, I could spend 5000.00 on a summing box ,converter & use the DM as a patch bay control station. It still comes out A LOT less.
  8. captdan

    captdan Well-Known Member

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    "If the sound quality becomes an issue, in the future, I could spend 5000.00 on a summing box ,converter & use the DM as a patch bay control station. It still comes out A LOT less."

    True, it does.

    An old engineer friend of mine tells people repeatedly: "It isn't the gear - it's the ear." He's mastered probably several thousand CDs. He claims he's heard better mixes on $450 dollar digital portastudios than some product done on $200,000 consoles. I don't know if that's true, but I'm convinced familiarity with one's devices, listening closely to everything as accurately as possible, learning, re-learning, trying again, never giving up and - hopefully - improving along the way - is what this game is really about.

    You own a tool capable of world class audio. The question is - are YOU up to the same level? That's something only you can answer for yourself.

    YMMV

    CaptDan
  9. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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    No, I'm not up to it yet. I would not think that way until I was familiar with the DM 4800 as I am with my DJ mixer. This will take some time, since I'm still going through the "what in the hell does this do" process. I try to learn one feature at a time, as I need it and continue using what I know in the meantime.
  10. captdan

    captdan Well-Known Member

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    Then your concerns are premature.

    It's part of the process, something you no doubt experienced learning your DJ mixer, right? ;)

    CaptDan
  11. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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  12. Muziekschuur

    Muziekschuur Member

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    The DM4800 and where you are now..... means a lot of time is what you need to invest. I knew so when I bought the DM24. I was at the SAE and I had two days to learn a 02R. Oh boy what a nightmare.

    But if you are in a analog studio and the studio technician will normalize every fader and knob... It will take a lot of setting up time too. An analog studio will have more knobs and faders. The DM4800 has less. But they are well placed. A certain amount of the mixing will then happen in your head. So be prepared to focus and learn. And You'll need coffee. Lotsa coffee.
  13. Jarno

    Jarno Member

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    Hey TorchMusic! Have you presented our replies to the person who made the original allegations? And if so, what was his response? I would be interested.
  14. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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    This is my reply I made back to him before posting on here.

    My reply -Really good Point.


    Excellent Idea! first thought I had before buying the DM 4800.


    My reply-
    You brought up some very good points. My only reply is... Have you seen the controller market? Overpriced is an understatement.

    1. MixLogic M24 2880.00
    2. Avid controller bundle 3600.00 (24 faders)
    3. Mackie Control Universal and 2 sidecar 2200.00

    Audio interface 32 x32 (let's say decent, but not exceptional converters)

    1. 2 RME Fireface 2-800 40 1800.00

    I guess what I'm saying is for the price of only a control surface, you're getting a control surface and a decent interface. Worst case scenario, I use it as a control surface only.

    His reply-

    My reply (all this before posting in this forum)

    I just can't see spending the same or more for a dedicated control surface. I've seen a used Avid Artist control/mix and they look like shit. They are not going to last any 10 years and maybe not even 3 years. They're made of of plastic and never got a reputation for having "high end" faders.

    He hasn't replied yet. I was going to see what he says first before voicing your thoughts with him. Though this mixer has A LOT of great features. One of my core features is the 24 faders. I had an 8 fader controller before and the problem was I would forget which bank I was on. So, I'm adjusting channel 16 when I think I'm adjusting channel 8. I never got used to this and eventually sold the controller. This is when I realized that, for me, I need to see my whole (or at least the majority) of my mix in front of me. The DM 4800 gives me this important element. The cheapest controller was 2880.00 and to me, is ugly. I paid less for the DM 4800 (used). Now I can mix my drums and other instruments better because I can "see" them better. I have Layer 1 for vocals and acoustic stuff, Layer 2&3 for Virtual instruments.
  15. captdan

    captdan Well-Known Member

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    I hope he edits my initial reply. Last thing I need is to inflame somebody in cyberspace with my snarky 'miscreant' characterizations. ;)

    CaptDan
  16. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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  17. Gravity Jim

    Gravity Jim Well-Known Member

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    "... Shoddy computer... won't be able to run the latest formats."

    Okay, now I know for SURE you're listening to an amateur. That statement doesn't even make sense.

    Seriously, don't listen to people who don't know what they're talking about. Maybe a control surface ITB solution will be best for you, maybe not... BT learn the tech and make up your own mind. Taking advice from a blowhard will get you nowhere.
  18. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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    The "using as just a control surface" went out the door last night. I love using the analog layers (or whatever they are) to mix with. Later today, I'm going to play with the fat channel and add EQ to some of my Virtual Instruments instead of using plugins. If I can get configure the buss correctly, I"m going to "print" back to Logic.
  19. Gravity Jim

    Gravity Jim Well-Known Member

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    Now you're getting it. :)

    The EQ stage is very good... I have a bunch of high-end plug-ins and I reach for the console EQ first. Also, "printing" back to your DAW is a cinch. Once you have integrated the console into your work the way you're now doing it, you'll never go back to thinking of it as a control surface.
  20. TorchMusic

    TorchMusic New Member

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    One Button at a time :)