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Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

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Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:59 pm

Don't want to start a war or anything but I cannot decide between these 2 controllers.

In his review of the grace 905 Hugh has stated that the monitor controller is the single most important part of the monitoring chain. And having invested in a great sounding space that now finally delivers a good REW SPL graph, good monitors (KH310s) and about to invest in an audio interface that has a 136DB dynamic range on the monitor outs (Antelope Audio Orion 32HD Gen 3) I am trying to take this proposition as seriously as my wallet will allow. I am putting off buying any more outboard, preamps or mics til my monitoring chain is done and unless Im mistaken the controller is the last piece of that jigsaw. For the record I cant afford a Grace 905 or CS Avocet (though that is what I would probably buy if I had the money). The Antelope Satori is in a similar price bracket to the Dangerous Monitor but no one talks about that so I guess it might not be so hot.

So at twice the price is it an unfair fight between the Monitor ST and the MC3.1? I absolutely love the features of the MC3.1, it seems Drawmer have tried to go above and beyond with the low, mid and hi solo features and as far as I can tell it ticks all the boxes Hugh outlined as necessary in a monitor controller, plus it has a digital IN (that I have currently no use for). However, I cant deny the Monitor ST is a sexy looking thing that I would be pleased to have sitting on my desk and, most importantly, it is supposed to have a truly clear uncoloured sound. I cant find any info from Drawmer about how clean their controller is, other than their saying that is is 'ultra clean and low noise'.

Do I go for the cleanest possible sound I can afford (Monitor ST) and not have some features Id quite like. Or go for a possibly slightly less clean controller with all the features I probably need?
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby James Perrett » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:33 pm

Drawmer stuff gets the job done without fuss or flourish. They've been making decent gear for something like 40 years and If I was in the market for a monitor controller they'd be top of my list because, if it is anything like the other Drawmer gear that I own, I know that it will outlast me.
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:38 pm

Looking further into the Antelope Satori, it seems it has 4 cue mixes. It has always struck me that 1 cue mix is not enough for capturing a band, so this is quite a good feature (I normally arrange cue mixes through Logic and my Headamp Pro). And it has a summing mixer, though they dont say much about this. Be interested to know if anyone knows anything about or has experience of the satori....
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:45 pm

Drawmer stuff gets the job done without fuss or flourish.

I have a lot of respect for drawmer products and have used and owned several of them. And Im happy getting things done without fuss or flourish, but if I understood Hugh correctly the clarity/transparency of the monitor controller is its prime/most important feature. So should I go with a controller that is the cleanest I can afford, or get one that isnt as clean but has other handy features?
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Luke W » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:25 pm

If I had to pick between just those two, I'd probably go for the Drawmer. I prefer the rack/remote format of the Dangerous, but the MC3.1 wins feature-wise for me. I wouldn't want to be spending the sort of money the Dangerous costs and be missing something as simple as a polarity switch, that's bit of a deal breaker personally.

I've not used any of the Drawmer controllers but they're meant to be very transparent and as James says they're going to be built like tanks. I can't imagine the difference in quality being anywhere near significant enough to make the Drawmer the weak link in the chain for most people.

It may be worth a look at some of the offerings from Crookwood, I've recently placed an order and as well as the kit itself ticking every box the service was really friendly and helpful, which is always nice.
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:56 pm

Thanks Luke, yes Ive looked at the crookwood site too but they don't show prices so I just assumed they were out of budget (not showing prices normally means prices are really high).

Im intrigued by their stuff though. I find their range quite complicated which is another reason I was hesitant to contact them. I dont want to sound like an idiot...
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Jack Ruston » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:59 am

I've owned the Dangerous and the Drawmer 2.1. Get the Drawmer. Even if cost was no object I'd stick with the Drawmer. I haven't used the 3.1.
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby ConcertinaChap » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:26 am

I had a problem with my MC2.1 when it was well out of warranty. Drawmer put real effort into diagnosing and then fixing the rather weird issue at no more cost to me than the initial postage to them. I cannot speak too highly of their after sales care, very good to deal with.

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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:40 am

Yup. Drawmer provide great customer service. Sent me a UK mains adapter baseplate free, to save me hassle of trying to get the correct one from Thomann (who sent me a Euro plug baseplate transformer and a UK adapter that didn't fit).
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Luke W » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:02 am

jodaki wrote:Thanks Luke, yes Ive looked at the crookwood site too but they don't show prices so I just assumed they were out of budget (not showing prices normally means prices are really high).

Im intrigued by their stuff though. I find their range quite complicated which is another reason I was hesitant to contact them. I dont want to sound like an idiot...

I was pleasantly surprised at the cost, I assume the lack of pricing on the website has something to do with the range of options available, they're very configurable so I'm guessing the price can vary quite a bit depending on what features you need. It's a clever system though, I managed to get pretty much exactly what I needed in terms of I/O, and if I need to expand it in the future it can be added without totally replacing the system.

But from the comments above it sounds like the Drawmer is the option for you, so I'd save the money and go for that. :thumbup:
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:06 am

All the devices mentioned are very good and I'd have no qualms about sound quality with any of them. So it's really a case of what features and facilities do you need now and potentially in the future?

One device which should be on that list is the new Audient Nero:
Image

https://audient.com/products/monitor-co ... /overview/

I've just reviewed it and am very impressed. Drawmer have dominated that part of the monitor controller market for a while now, but the Nero really takes them on head to head.

The only downside with the Drawmer and Nero is the need to run all your audio cables in and out of the desktop box, which can be a pain sometimes, depending on your installation.

And finally, I'm a HUGE fan of Crookwood! I started out looking at a C1 monitor controller and ended up with an M1 mastering console and it's absolutely brilliant for what I do... but the C1 is easily one of the best monitor controllers out there in terms of sound quality, functionality and future-proof expandability. And the desktop controller is just that with just a flat ethernet cable running into it -- all the audio plugs into the rack box. And I love the relay clicks! :-D

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/crookwood-c2 Image
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/crookwood-m1
Image

(My control panel has been extended since I took that picture because I added the MS width control and I/O attenuation panel last year. I also had the blue LCD and buttons upgraded to the current OLED and yellow buttons).

Crispin is a lovely guy to deal with, giving superb support, and the product is nothing like as expensive as you might fear! The mastering console, for example, is around half the price of any equivalent, but sounds as good (if not better) and is far more versatile.

Finally, I don't know the Satori, but Antelope's stuff is usually very well-made. It comes with possibly redundant facilities though like the summing bus which may make it more expensive than it needs to be for your requirements...

H
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:19 am

Thanks everyone, I specced up a suitable unit with Crookwoood: the C3-4AS ( 4 inputs) with DAC

But Im hedging my bets for the moment because of these quandries:

cmc3.1

Pros:
- easy input for phono and mini jack (I quite like the idea of plugging in my rega planar and iphone/computer!)
- probably not much practical use but I like the idea of low/mid/hi soloing

Cons
- All those wires!

Crookwood C3-4AS

Pros
- great audio and build quality
- not so many wires on the desk
- looks like something I might have found lying around on my high-school physics lab.
- nice DAC

Cons
- only offers xlr and 1/4 inch jack connections (no minijack or phono as yet) so Id have to use adaptors for phone, computer and record player (Im not a fan of adaptors generally).
- no Output trims so would have to calibrate speaker volumes via the speaker volume controls.
- iphone input has no gain control (volume adjusted on the phone, so potential for panics if volume is too loud when phone/computer is connected)
- at £2337 its nearly 3 times the price of the drawmer controller (roughly the same as an Avocet IIa)
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Jack Ruston » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:12 am

The Drawmer stuff has an amazing advantage over all the others...

When they designed that range, to keep the cost down they opted to omit relay switching for the ins and outs. The plan was to use TV switches to unlatch each in out button as a new one was pressed. But apparently you can't get TV switches anymore, because TVs no longer have them. So they had to use latching, and were concerned that people would complain about having to unlatch the selected in out as well as select the new one. Obviously the outs would be slightly more convenient if they automatically switched, but it's easy to just press two buttons at once. But with the ins, it's a massive bonus, because it means you can mix them. So I have the DAW on 1, my analogue cue mixing on 2, and the system audio on 3 via a dragonfly usb DA converter. It allows me to conveniently monitor all of these things simultaneously.
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:33 am

Thanks for all the input (pun intended :)

I had a basket of stuff at studiocare ready to go including the cmc3.1 but theya re obviously too busy with other customers so Ive bought a crookwood M4-A4 with all the breakout stuff. I know the drawmer would be more than fine for me but I prefer the idea, aesthetic and functionality of the M3. As much as all that thjough, I like the fact that Crookwood's MD man's the phones and talks through everything with the patience of a saint even with ignoramouses lie me. Really fantastic service. And like Hugh said, the prices are surprisingly good..
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:01 pm

jodaki wrote:- no Output trims so would have to calibrate speaker volumes via the speaker volume controls.

I just spotted this one... You can adjust the relative trim levels of multiple speakers on the Crookwood. It's not the most obvious function I grant you, but you can do it by using the 'Relative Mode' option and storing the appropriate different relative levels.

Normally, each separate speaker output has independent (absolute) level settings, but if you select the Relative Mode, when you switch between monitor outputs they all track the level of the Main output. But you can also set different offsets between the main and other speaker sets, and you can store those offsets so that they are retained.

This is all detailed in the manual, and is easy to set up.

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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:07 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:you can do it by using the 'Relative Mode' option and storing the appropriate different relative levels.

Ah that's good to know. As you can see it didnt put me off anyway :) Im really looking forward to getting in to it when it gets here. I got the M 4-in 4-out (plus headphones) version. The M-side of things I wont really use much right now but will do and it was only £200-ish to add it.
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby Luke W » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm

I was about to say I've been browsing through the manual and spotted the speaker trim info, but it looks like Hugh beat me to it.

I'm in a similar position to you as I have a C3 on the way, very much looking forward to getting it installed. Then I should probably stop reading good things about nice kit on here...
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Re: Dangerous Music Monitor VS Drawmer MC3.1

Postby jodaki » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm

Yes, RTFM is always good advice :headbang:
Just done it.
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