Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
Recording SoftWare for Blind people. Can anybody Please help?

Allen & Heath GS3000 8-Bus Recording Console – with tubes (valves)! (part 7)

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Machine Control

I knew when I first found out about MIDI machine control that one day it would
become important, and I think that day has definitely now arrived. If you have
a multitrack that will accept MMC, which any modern multitrack should – tape
or disk, then there are few reasons why you should ever need to touch the multitrack
again other than to insert tapes or for editing. Next to the stereo master fader
there is a bank of seven transport control buttons: Record, Play, Stop, Rewind,
Forward Wind, Locate and Mark. Track enable switching is performed by holding
the record button while pressing the mute button on the relevant channel and
an LED glows to show you which tracks are ready for recording. This works very
beautifully. I connected the MIDI OUT of the GS3000 to my Fostex RD8 (which
is a bit like an Alesis ADAT with a BRC remote control built in) and it responded
beautifully. I did wonder whether my other ADAT would respond to track enable
commands since it, naturally, would be connected to the console to channels
9-16, but it all worked fine. So one final polish and the front panels of my
ADATs will never get any finger marks again. It might be possible to quibble
about the single locate point, but it’s amazing how much work you can get
done when you stop worrying about entering locates for every verse, chorus,
middle eight and guitar solo. The only real points of issue are the lack of
a time display for which you still have to look at the multitrack and the lack
of an audio in shuttle mode. This latter point is a problem that has more to
do with MMC than the console itself.


Solo-in-Place

Every recording console should have Solo-in-Place, it is so useful. Conventional
PFL means that when you press the PFL button on a channel, you hear that channel
alone at its full level, usually disregarding the pan setting. This is great
for hearing that the signal doesn’t have any faults, but it is difficult
to assess its artistic merit properly. Solo-in-Place however works by muting
all the other channels (even to the group and master outputs, so don’t
use it while recording – or broadcasting!). Solo-in-Place goes hand-in-hand
with Solo Safe. Solo Safe means that certain channels or auxiliary returns can
be protected from the action of the Solo-in-Place function. The end result is
that you can Solo-in-Place a single channel, and you will hear it at its correct
level, correct pan position, and with any effects you have applied to that channel.
Solo-in-Place is unbelievably effective for fine tuning a mix and as I said,
every console should have it. The Allen & Heath GS3000 does have it. By
the way, Soundcraft should look at the way Solo Safe is implemented on this
console. The Soundcraft Ghost does have it, but it’s not as good as this.


Channel Insert Point – Pre or Post EQ?

If the channel insert point comes before the EQ then it is easy to set up a
noise gate. Once you have found the correct threshold level, then it will stay
exactly the same and gating will be reliable whatever else you do to the mix
(apart from adjust the gain control which you wouldn’t have to do if you
set it correctly in the first place). But many engineers find it better to insert
a compressor after the EQ – subjectively it often sounds better, and there are
good reasons why it should. Allen & Heath have opted for the first option
and placed the insert point before the EQ. But the thing is that the muting
system, with the potential for mute automation, is so good that you would hardly
need ever need to use a noise gate. The insert point could have been post-EQ
and we would have had the best of both worlds

David Mellor

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David Mellor