Jump to content
Ira Seigel

Cooper 104 (2 of them) modified by Evan at Vark

Recommended Posts

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hello and welcome,

might be more useful and enjoyable for everybody if you browse the forum and contribute in threads that you're interested in then just posting a pre-sale post to bump up the post count.

just a thought and all the bests

chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2019 at 1:18 AM, chrismedr said:

hello and welcome,

might be more useful and enjoyable for everybody if you browse the forum and contribute in threads that you're interested in then just posting a pre-sale post to bump up the post count.

just a thought and all the bests

chris

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ira, no need to feel bad about contributing what you know. I think that the best way to use this forum is to read read read, and if you have questions on other people’s opinions or experience, then ask away. But as you know, sound being a technical field, anything that can be read in a manual, or here, would be what many consider to be a waste of a question lol. 

 

I am however curious as to what equipment from our world that you would like to implement into your live sound system. It sounds intriguing and I would love to hear about it. 

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Ira, as someone how from time to time is confronted with making recordings from classical orchestras, choirs or festival music for cinema and tv i think its good to have you here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/19/2019 at 10:18 PM, JonG said:

Ira, no need to feel bad about contributing what you know. I think that the best way to use this forum is to read read read, and if you have questions on other people’s opinions or experience, then ask away. But as you know, sound being a technical field, anything that can be read in a manual, or here, would be what many consider to be a waste of a question lol. 

 

I am however curious as to what equipment from our world that you would like to implement into your live sound system. It sounds intriguing and I would love to hear about it. 

 

Cheers

 

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 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool. I often wonder why more live music engineers (particularly in the classical music genres) don’t use field recorders. I see all kinds of AC powered rigs with racked mic pres, various rack recorders or laptops, and sometimes even CD burners. Also a lot of redundancy for “just in case”, but still all on AC. I recently helped an engineer out where they had a rig such as this, all for a stereo pair. I couldn’t help but to think that a 702T with a battery backup would be a lot more stable and portable solution than a 10u rack of various equipment and redundancies. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything under 8 channels, I use my 788T.  Sometimes still, outboard mic pres, even as the SD pres are pretty darned good.  CD burner?  Alas, yes still.  We have trained our clients to expect a CD 2-mix after the performance ends and we can not break the habit no matter how we try. :)  And yes, always a backup of some sort.  Live recording after all and still on AC power.

 

D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/19/2019 at 10:18 PM, JonG said:

Ira, no need to feel bad about contributing what you know. I think that the best way to use this forum is to read read read, and if you have questions on other people’s opinions or experience, then ask away. But as you know, sound being a technical field, anything that can be read in a manual, or here, would be what many consider to be a waste of a question lol. 

 

I am however curious as to what equipment from our world that you would like to implement into your live sound system. It sounds intriguing and I would love to hear about it. 

 

Cheers

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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. "

As a long time user of Cooper Mixers (I had one of the first Cooper 106 off the first run) I can without hesitation celebrate its virtues in the cinema world of sound for picture. Andy never designed any of the Cooper mixers specifically for live sound (though many of us did use it on occasion for live mixing) but every Cooper mixer was in fact designed and tailored to work the way Production Sound Mixers wanted to work. Looking at something simple like the PFL switches you mention, they were originally hard switches (on/off) and almost everyone hated that so Andy changed them to momentary (on) switches which was preferable for the way we used PFL. Most of the other things that you wished the Cooper did differently are a result of it never actually being designed to work the way you wish it to work in live mixing. You have to remember as well that the Cooper design is over 30 years old  --- with the 208 it was a truly progressive move to have 4 output busses (but in today's world this seems woefully inadequate). All of the routing and mixing was really geared for the majority of recording which was to one single mono track, then supporting 2-track recording and settling in finally with the Nagra-D (4-track) machine in mind. Even the early Coopers did not really address the need for ISO direct outs in the same manner that we all have gotten used to now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is probably no more film-sound centric mixer than a Cooper, other than the PSC boards.  Almost nothing about them is suited to PA work, particularly the EQ band centers, routing etc.  OK in a pinch, but long term you'd be better off with a cheap Mackie, QSC or AH for PA work.  The reverse is also true, this is spoken as someone who was forced to use cheap PA boards for film sound...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+1 tp Philip Perkins! This is the best advice (and with considerably less words than my post, sorry I was so long-winded). Philip is so right, pick a mixer that is designed for live sound/PA work and you'll have all those things you have identified as missing from the Cooper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t have any real experience with Coopers or AD mixers, although they both look exquisite to my eyes. I use a customized Neve mixer on my sound cart, which was originally a little mixer built into a suitcase, designed for broadcast. They were made between 1978-1983 if memory serves. However I don’t think that you’d be too happy with those mixers either. I think the only thing it has that you would want is the on/off switches on the channels. Mine was highly modified, with direct outs, phantom power on/off switches on each channel, a completely redone master section, and a number of other changes that make the mixer more versatile. 

 

You may give the SSL XDesk a try. It’s a line only mixer, but you could use any number of mic pres or field mixers in front of it. Sound Devices 442s and Cooper 104s are quite plentiful on the used market these days. 

You may also try looking into Sonosax

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was your Neve formerly owned by a mixer in the SF area? 

 

The main deal with PA boards anymore is scene and routing saving+recall, tons of FX plugins, and Dante interfacing.   Even small churches

and clubs have digital PA boards now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Ira Seigel said:

You have to be an IT guy these days to get an audio gig.

Pretty much. I carry a wifi router and iPad to the majority of my gigs.  

 

27 minutes ago, Ira Seigel said:

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.

50 out of 100 hours behind the console are spent navigating through the layers and menu's. It's a joke by the marketing department on us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...