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Ira Seigel

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About Ira Seigel

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  • Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
  • About
    Live sound mix and record
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Yes

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  1. Thanks to all you folks for your insights and advice. Yes, I knew that the Coopers weren't intended for live mixing - and I'm guessing Audio Developments mixers aren't either, but I'm going to try an AD149. Philip, you're right that all the attention in live mixing consoles these days is in digital stuff. You have to be an IT guy these days to get an audio gig. The Waves plug-in craze still seems to have its grip on engineers, and recallable scenes is definitely a valuable feature. But I've done tours mixing on a laptop with a mouse, and the experience is not very satisfying. I've done many many shows on large-format digital consoles, and I've spent more time looking at screens and futzing with trackballs than actually looking at the stage and following the movements of the artists. When the equipment becomes an obstacle to overcome and not a creative tool, it's time to rethink your approach. I've been an OTB (Out-of-the-Box) kinda guy for awhile, using unusual mics for purposes, trying different techniques, experimenting with this piece of gear or that approach. Many times I've shown artists how to get a better amplified sound out of their instrument. So I'm philosophically ditching my digital history and reverting back to analog mixing, outboard gear, etc. I'll leave the digital editing to people who enjoy it more. There have been a few comments on these forums about showing up at a location with a Mackie mixer. I totally understand their feelings. This IS show business, to some extent, and people do (unfortunately) tend to get gigs based on the number of blinky lights they have on their gear (rhetorically speaking). I wouldn't be taken all that seriously if I showed up at a venue and wanted to plug my MixWizard into their million dollar PA. The CS208 sure does pack a lot of punch into a very small (and portable and flyable) box, and I was hoping that I could compromise a few of my needs to make it work for live mixing. And I wouldn't use a lot of the features that you guys find so useful. But the lack of a mute button is a deal breaker. Evan at Vark said he could change the momentary PFL switches to latching ones - at least in the output meter section - and he suggested trying the mic/line switch as a way to mute an input. But I'm going to give the AD149 a try. There just aren't that many high-quality, portable analog mixers on the market. Cheers, Ira
  2. Hello again Jon, I thought I'd contribute a little more to this thread, now that I have something interesting to relate. I received by Cooper CS208 mixer from Trew last week, and I immediately put it to work on a very simple task of controlling a couple of talk mics for the Opening Night Gala of the Seattle Symphony. I learned some good things and some disappointing things. The mic pres in the Cooper (and in the CS104 which I also have) are excellent. And the EQ section of the 208 does exactly what the labeling says it's supposed to do. Very clean, very precise. The size and weight of the mixer would be great for flying and for touring. I don't know how a CS208 works in a film or location sound scenario, but for live PA mixing, unfortunately, it leaves out a couple of major features. The dealbreaker feature - or lack of - is there's no MUTE button. Being able to turn mics on an off during a show is vital. I'm not sure why it wouldn't be in location work. Maybe someone could give me some insight. The button to turn ON the input comes with a warning in the manual "DO NOT USE DURING RECORDING". The reason is that if you want to turn the mic off using this button, you might blow up your speakers; a horrendous POP comes thru the stereo buss. The only other way to mute a mic that I could find is to use the switch to turn OFF the send to the submasters you're using. Not at all convenient, and still a very small "click" sound could be heard in the PA. A "headscratcher" feature I was faced with was the PFL function. A momentary switch on each input module. Fine, no problem there, although a latching button or switch would have been better. But to assign the PFL signal to a meter requires another momentary button to be pushed simultaneously. So to see the input signal on a meter requires 2 hands! That's just dumb, IMO. Why not have one of the meters always able to see a PFL signal, if one is being sent? Or, conversely, why not have the button controlling the PFL signal to the meter be a latching button, which would then require only one switch or button to be held (the one on the input module)? I'd be very interested to hear the thoughts of some Cooper users on these issues. So I've written to Tom at Audio Developments to ask him some questions about their AD256 for live mixing. Maybe I'll get to try one before my winter tour with a singing group. The SSL Six has some good features but is too small for my purposes, and I don't want to carry Mackie or Behringer around with me. The AD mixer looks like a contender. Oh, and I didn't mention that my strong preference is to use an analog mixer for my tour, not digital. Thanks, Ira
  3. Jon, Back in the old days, when we had roadies to unload and push around our gear, a 10U rack was nothing. I still have 2 16U racks in my garage. They used to be loaded with gear and cabling and weigh 400 pounds each. I mixed an awful lot of shows with bands like REO Speedwagon with that stuff. Of course, nowadays much of the functions of all those pieces of gear can now be handled by laptops and servers and programs called plug-ins. Curmudgeons such as myself, however, still believe in hardware and analog where appropriate. One piece of gear that “you people” might use is the Cedar. I’m really intrigued by this piece, and I want to see if and how it would work in a live lecture or TED talk-type event where the speaker is using an Omni DPA or Countryman headset mic on a very ambient stage.
  4. Hi Jon, Thanks for your encouragement and question. As an experienced live sound mixer and neophyte sound recordist in concert halls and other venues, there's a good deal of overlap in the gear that I use and you use that could "cross over". High end, portable mic pres are one example: the Lunatec, Grace and Millennia portable preamps are 3 examples that I own that I use with stereo ribbons (Royer and Mesanovic) for music ensemble recordings. The Cooper CS104 and the ultraportable Sonosax SX-PR have wonderful pres and make great front ends for recording onto a 702T or 744T. I use the MKH416 shotguns for ambient channels on recordings, and I use them live for feeding audience to a performer's IEMs or mixed in with a console feed to video cameras taping a concert or event. (Mounted on standard mic stands, not boom poles.) Basically, anything lightweight and portable that can save my back is something of interest to me. And you being location people, that's your interest, too. At this point in my recording experiences, I have no use for time code yet. That's probably the biggest difference between our worlds. Regards, Ira IATSE Local #15 A1
  5. Thanks for your thoughts Chris. Being a rank amateur in your field - I'm a concert sound mixer - I fear that I'd have little useful to contribute. More like asking questions than contributing my newbie-level knowledge. I had hoped to adapt some of the equipment used in your profession to my needs recording live concerts - classical quartets, choirs, symphonies, jazz, e.g. - so I'm still learning. Cheers, Ira
  6. Hello, I'm pretty new here. I haven't made the required number of posts. I'll do that, so that I can put these units up for sale in the proper forum, if they're of interest to anyone. Thanks, Ira Seigel
  7. I don't know if you're still paying attention to this thread. But I sent to Vark a CS104 that I, also, bought from eBay. I'm looking forward to getting it back, with the direct out mod and some adjustments to the preamp gains. And a power supply and the direct out breakout cable. Vark has been excellent to deal with, and the tech, Evan, seems to be VERY diligent in every detail of his work.
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