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Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

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Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:35 am

My old Samson C Control is dying. Mute button fails intermittently. So time to look for an alternative. Need two stereo ins, three pairs of speaker outs, phones etc. Would much prefer a rackmount job or something with a very small footprint otherwise. Budget, up to £400 say?

Fire away...
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:42 am

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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:31 pm

As someone who had first a C Control and then a Big Knob (pause for obligatory joke) before my MC2.1 you won't regret the Drawmer - you'll wonder how you ever managed with the Samson - and if Hugh says the Audient is as good then I'm sure it is.

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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:38 pm

Thanks Hugh, and CC, will check out. What are your thoughts on the Presonus Central Station? I'm drawn to it simply because it's a rackmount.
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:46 pm

before my MC2.1 you won't regret the Drawme

What's so good about the Drawmer CC? Do you not miss having any metering?
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:56 pm

I've got meters on my audio interface, in the interface software and in my DAW. I never looked at the meters on the Samson or the Mackie when I had them, they seemed redundant to me. The Drawmer is just a class act and built like a tank and comes with excellent support even when out of warranty. The model that Hugh recommends has a better ergonomic layout than my MC2.1, I should say, but it wasn't available when I bought the MC2.1.

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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:03 pm

I suppose it depends how you use it and set it up. I look at the meters on my controller a lot, as I have it plugged into my mac's main audio out as well as my Focusrite interface. So it's interesting to see the relative levels of songs on iTunes, for example.

Did you notice a significant difference in audio quality with the Drawmer compared with your Oversized Organ etc?
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Luke W » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:42 pm

If you're really keen on a rackmount format, there's a kit for the MC2.1 to fit it into a rack and also brings the 3.5mm input around to the front panel.
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 1:51 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:What are your thoughts on the Presonus Central Station? I'm drawn to it simply because it's a rackmount.

I reviewed the Central Station here: https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/presonus-central-station

It's good, although a passive system will always involve a degree variation dependent on the connected source and destination equipment that you won't get with an active system like the Drawmer or Audient etc.

It probably wouldn't affect you if the idea is to rack mount the unit in front of you, but there have been several complaints about a reduction in quality when using the remote volume control option... which is to be expected, to be honest, because of the nature of the thing.

As for the metering thing, I take your point and I too like to have meters following the monitor controller source selection.... but it's usually easy enough to hook up an external meter of some sort.
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:01 pm

There seems to be a lot of chatter online about the Presonus's reliability, too, relating, funnily enough, to its meters. I had a quick look on ebay and there's one there with a meter problem too so it's fairly common by the look of it.

The Audient is top of my list at the mo after your review Hugh, even though it's not rackable, but I can probably slot it hard up against the bottom of a rack to get the cables out of the way. Surprised there isn't more in the way of rack mount 1U options, though, until you get up to the really expensive Dangerous etc options.
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Luke W » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:29 pm

https://www.pennelcomonline.com/en/Penn-Elcom-1U-Rack-Panel-Slotted-for-Cable-Entry-with-Brushes-R12681UK-PBS/m-6397.aspx

I've got a couple of these in the racks in my desk to bring cables up/down and keep things nice and tidy.
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:32 pm

:D Me too!
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:38 pm

Ooh, now now they are handy - I might just buy one to sit beneath my shortly to be delivered Fireface UC, as four of its input sockets are on the front panel and would be far neater for my purposes on the back :thumbup:


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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:08 pm

Yes indeed! Another step closer to the Audient with this in the setup!
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:12 pm

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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:22 am

I had the Presonus for several years and it served me well, however I didn't use the remote unit. I changed to the Drawmer CMC2 (desktop) because I reduced my rack capacity and that's been fine too. But really, if I wanted to go back to a rack mount, I'd be happy enough with the Presonus.

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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:15 pm

Any thoughts on the Presonus Monitor Station, our very own MW gave it a good review...would I really notice the difference between this and the Audient which is another £100? See here https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/presonus-monitor-station
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:42 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:...would I really notice the difference between this and the Audient which is another £100?

I've no idea what you'd notice, or what your expectations or requirements are, and I haven't used that unit in earnest, so I can't answer that. Martin has good ears and I'm sure it will be at least as good as the Samson you want to replace.

What I can say, though, is that the Audient and the Drawmer controllers I've tried personally have all impressed me, both in terms of pure audio quality -- and especially so for the price -- as well as the features and facilities they provide.

However, if you need four artist cue headphone feeds and a phono input then the Presonus is a good solution. If you don't you're spending money on things you don't need, when it would obviously be better if your money went into the things you really do need.

For me, though, the monitor controller is the place where I check and analyse the signal, and that's why I'm keen on features like mono to a single speaker, and the ability to audition the stereo difference (side) signal. Sometimes these things can be selected and controlled in the DAW's monitoring section (if it has one), but that's no help if you also monitor things other than the DAW. Drawmer and Audient appreciate the benefits of these kinds of facility and now offer them in their controllers where none of the other low-cost models do. These are also both British manufacturers who prioritise audio quality and I think that's something well-worth supporting.

At the end of the day, you need to decide based mostly on budget and required facilities. I note the Presonus has the basic metering that you desire.
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:13 pm

I have the C-Control set up with my main Genelec 1030 monitors and Avantones with matched levels on the main volume and my Canford mono grotbox on the third output. I use the mono and mute switches constantly. Plus a use the single headphone out, to a separate four way headphone amp if needed. I use two input sources. And, as stated, I use the meters all the time.

So my needs are fairly basic, no need for talkback etc.

The question to myself is, therefore, when the Presonus and the Audient offer essentially identical features, is it worth spending the extra £100, much as I'd like to support British business? Wouldl I hear any difference (I have a well-treated room)?

On the other hand, the Drawmer CMC2 which BB recommends has everything I need bar the meters and is the same price, give or take, to the Presonus; so could I live without the meters? Not sure I could....

Aaaaagh!
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Re: Recommend a monitor controller—rack mount ideally

Postby Wonks » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:16 pm

Would you simply like a free C controller? I recently bought a Drawmer CMC2, so my old but fully working C controller is surplus to requirements.
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