Yikes

Having recently retired, I thought I would get all of this free time back into my life.

In a way, that much is true.

Only I have been filling it up.

Big time.

This weekend I will be recording and doing front of house for a concert event on the Saturday evening and then an audio training session on the the Sunday afternoon.

Fortunately, the console I am using for the Saturday evening event is the same console that I will be working on for Sunday’s training session.

The problem with all of the new digital consoles these days is that they are really software platforms with physical controls.

And learning the ins and outs of digital boards is more and more like learning the ins and outs of software applications.

Back in the analog days, most consoles had somewhat familiar control structures. A bit like going from one car to another. It didn’t take much time to get a handle on the basics.

With digital boards, well that all has changed.

I find that the software platforms, although very powerful, can also be somewhat cryptic in terms of the user interface. Inconsistent terms, menu trees, and proprietary user interfaces can make for a bit of a tense experience when using some of these boards on a more casual basis.

I’ve spent most of my years working on analog Neve and SSL desks and I am very familiar with how they operate. With live sound, anything from analog Midas to Soundcraft boards. Oh, and a lot of time on smaller analog desks from Allen & Heath, Mackie and others over the years.

But now, the digital desks from Yamaha, Midas, Digico, Avid and others all have very different approaches to the workflow of audio engineering whether live or studio.

It’s almost like once you have learned one platform, you really don’t want to learn another. It can be like starting over.

At least this weekend will be on desks that I can work around pretty well.

But I spent most of the day today programming the console for Saturday’s event.

Yup. Programming a sound board without the soundboard in front of me.

Just like running a software application. In fact, it was a software application. Offline configuration.

Cool.

And complex.

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