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Transportation Costs with digital desks

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Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby OverDrawn » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:47 am

Is there a point to use digital mixing desk instead of analogue desk and outboard gear, with regards to save money while equipment transportation? And why do people think so?
A rack with outboard gear shouldn't be so huge.
Or are people saying so, just because the analogue boards are much heavier and bigger?

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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby tacitus » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:26 am

If you've got to hire a van, it probably won't make a huge difference, bearing in mind the boxes of cable, mike stands, mikes etc. etc., but you will save size on the mixer itself and if it's a job with snakes, you can save a lot on that, too. Whether it saves you much actual cash is probably not the point - if you go digital just for that the payback would be fairly slow, even for snails.
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:33 am

There are many factors when choosing gear. Size and weight are among them. You've got to take a lot of other stuff as well! Is your truck only JUST big enough? :-)
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby Persian Bit » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:46 pm

I don't think professional sound crews switch to digital boards just to save on transportation costs. In both cases, nearly the same stuff [as said in above comments] have to be transported and yes, for sure a rack of outboards doesn't make a huge difference.BUT if you're already using a digital desk you still need that flight case with outboards [analog processors, audio interface to record the show,wireless mic receivers,...].

I believe the main reason to use digital desks on the road is to have total recall and automation on everything and the ability to load and memorize scenes and layouts for each song [which is almost 70% of any sound check]. Then come the other factors like processors and FX on every channel, less need for outboard racks except for really necessary stuff, smaller size and weight, etc.
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:07 pm

I think transport costs are not a valid reason for going digital. I speak as someone who has just gone digital both at work and for my own personal rig. The work rig now has an Allen & Heath iLive system at it's heart. Main advantages are no outboard racks (all processing takes place in the desk and recording is handled by DANTE straight onto a PC), no huge snake (ok a cat 5 snake but it's no comparison the the 48 way monsters we used to use) and the ability to setup monitors from an iPad while standing on stage.

My own mixer (for my own bands and occasional mates/small gig work) is a Mackie DL1608. I've gone from a desk the size of a coffee table with 12 mic preamps, only two monitor mixes, a small rack of outboard and a 12x4 way snake to a desk not much bigger than a couple of telephone books, no outboard, no snake and far more processing than I had before (it also has 16 mic pres and 6 auxes just as a bonus). All control is by iPad, docked or by WiFi, the only physical controls on the desk are preamp gains and a headphone volume. The control app is intuitive (mostly), stable and evolving. Definitely the future for pub bands methinks.

Cost with an iPad is around £1200, to get the same facility in the analogue world would probably cost nearer £4000.

Pic here https://dl.dropbox.com/u/15685857/DL1608%20case%20b.JPG
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby OverDrawn » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:59 pm

Surprise :d I am using Mackie DL1608 as well.
The thing is - I am doing a research project about digital mixing desk convenience on stage. One of it is saving on transportation cost, and I need people opinions, do they save with digital and why? That is what concerns.

Thank You everybody for replies, tell me more if you have something to say!
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:03 am

OverDrawn wrote:Surprise :d I am using Mackie DL1608 as well.
The thing is - I am doing a research project about digital mixing desk convenience on stage. One of it is saving on transportation cost, and I need people opinions, do they save with digital and why? That is what concerns.

Thank You everybody for replies, tell me more if you have something to say!

I think you've already discovered - nobody has much to say on this subject. Transportation cost is not something we worry over when choosing a desk, once we're beyond the "it must fit in a Mini" level :-)
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby mpostor » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:27 am

I'm using the same van for moving my digital equipment around as I did when I owned analog.
With the digital equipment being lighter, I'm sure it's saving fuel, but not in huge amounts. Pennies more than pounds methinks.
As said before, once you're beyond having to cram everything into a small hatchback, the capabilities of the desk tend to be more important than physical size.

What I am saving with digital is time. Lots of it.

With the analog desk, I had cases and cases of processors, EQs, snakes, etc that all required lifting and carrying about the place. Once lifted into the venue, it would then need wiring up before it could be used.

With the digital setup, it's three cases (desk, stagerack/pre-amps, cables) and they're all on wheels. It moves around easily and there's a lot less lifting involved.
Setting up involves plugging in power and CAT5 cables on the desk and then power and CAT5 on the stage. No inserts, EQ, etc to patch.
Overall, this has saved around an hour setting up and half an hour at strikedown.

Using the equation time = money, going digital has defintately made me a saving, as I don't need to be on site for as long as I did previously.

As far as transportation goes, there's more room in the van, but it's still the same van.
With everything else being carried around (lighting rig, PA system, etc), the desk is only one piece of the puzzle.

HTH.

Stu.
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby Bossman » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:04 pm

mpostor wrote:What I am saving with digital is time. Lots of it.

With the analog desk, I had cases and cases of processors, EQs, snakes, etc that all required lifting and carrying about the place. Once lifted into the venue, it would then need wiring up before it could be used.

With the digital setup, it's three cases (desk, stagerack/pre-amps, cables) and they're all on wheels. It moves around easily and there's a lot less lifting involved.
Setting up involves plugging in power and CAT5 cables on the desk and then power and CAT5 on the stage. No inserts, EQ, etc to patch.
Overall, this has saved around an hour setting up and half an hour at strikedown.

Using the equation time = money, going digital has defintately made me a saving, as I don't need to be on site for as long as I did previously.

+1
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby TSH-Tim » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:44 pm

You also save your back ! while an XL3 sounds the nuts carrying a 370kg desk up stairs isn't much fun at the start of the gig and differently not much fun at the end of the gig
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby Dave Rowles » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:28 pm

TSH-Tim wrote:You also save your back ! while an XL3 sounds the nuts carrying a 370kg desk up stairs isn't much fun at the start of the gig and differently not much fun at the end of the gig

I'd only spec an XL3 (or large analogue desk) if I'm going to have lackeys to move it for me.
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby TSH-Tim » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:59 pm

There always one tech who spec's it thou lol
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Re: Transportation Costs with digital desks

Postby robare99 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:18 pm

Studiolive user here. I went digital, mainly because I was running out of inputs on my old desk. When I decided it was time to upgrade I started by looking at current analog. Then I started looking at digital and the SL24.4.2 was a great for for my needs. Then they added recording and iPad control. It's a great little desk, and replaces racks of gear, which saves time and money.

I'm not doing any rider shows in my small niche so there's no worries about it being rider friendly or not.

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