We here at TASCAM are thinking about designing a FOH console based on our popular DM-24. Although the DM-24 can certainly be used for FOH, it is really laid out as a recording console. This new FOH console would use the DM-24 engine under the hood, but it would look completely different. In fact, it would look very much like an analog console. So I just wanted to share the idea with you and get some feedback.
This product would be aiming to replace analog boards like the Mackie 32-8.
Same price as the DM-24 $2999.
32 mic pres and 32 faders.
Each channel has a compressor and a 4 band parametric EQ. The first 16 channels also have gates.
There are 2 built in effect processors including a TC Works reverb.
Each channel has a trim control, a meter, mute key, solo key, select key, ring encoder knob and a fader.
The ring encoder knob per channel would function as PAN settin or AUX send level. If the AUX button is lit, which ever AUX key you press (aux 1-8) the level per channel will show on the encoders.
There is a master section in the middle of the board. Channels 1-16 would be on one side, while channels 17-32 would be on the other.
In the master section you have 4 encoder knobs with scrible strips. There are function keys in a row next to the encoders. EQ (on/off) HI, HI MID, LOW MID, LOW, COMP, GATE, FX1, FX2, Word Clock and RET to AUX LEVEL. Choosing one of these functions allows you to edit the currently selected channel settings for that function.
If you press EQ-HI MID the srible strips might say GAIN +4 dB, FREQ 5 kHz, Q 8.65. The Q could even be simplifed to something like wide, med, narrow or notch.
If instead you press the COMP key, the scrible strip would say THRES -10dB, RATIO 4:1, etc.
There would even be a PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN key for functions that have more then 4 editable parameters.
But the idea is you only have the 4 knobs and scribble strips for all channel parameter editing. The way I see it, you don't edit more then one parameter per channel at a time. Having all of these settings available in the master section is actually faster to use then having multiple knobs per channel. It also makes the board smaller and lighter. This board would be about the size of a 61 note keyboard.
There would only be 2 fader layers. Channels 1-32 and the master layer showing buss masters and aux masters.
Snapshots would be just like the controls on the DM-24 now, but you would have an LED showing the snapshot #. These could also be triggered from the footswitch.
The meterbridge would be built in. The 8 meters in the master section can switch between aux masters and buss masters. Channel meters and stereo meters are always on.
The are 8 analog buss outputs on the back.
There are 4 S/PDIF I/O for use with digital effect units. There are also 8 analog aux send outputs and 8 return inputs. 4 ADAT digital outputs are provided for 32 tracks of live recording. The direct outputs are send just after the A/D converter per channel. They are always on.
Each channel has an XLR/TRS input with an insert.
Phantom power in groups of 4.
The stereo outputs are on XLR jacks.
There is no LCD screen or recording functions like transports to get in your way. This is a very simple board to use. The manual will be about one page long!
Is this design something that would work for you as a FOH engineer? And remember, we're only talking about a $2999 board here.
Any feed back would be great!
Thanks for your time,