When you hear a tech manager mention that they are upgrading their system to a digital format, you may automatically assume they’re talking about a video or display system. However, many audio technicians are just now upgrading their analog mixing consoles to digital consoles. Here are a few reasons they may integrate digital consoles into their audio system without completely scrapping their analog equipment.
Same Solution, Smaller Package
Most audio technicians swear by their analog mixing consoles. Over the years they have put together a fantastic analog system that can do anything they want. However, just like any system that has been operating for many years, it is time for an upgrade.
Moving from analog to digital allows for a smaller format console at a fraction of the cost of receiving the same options in analog form. This includes compression, gates, limiters, and other effects. All of which would need to be purchased and processed for every channel, subgroup, or overall mix. Digital consoles allow for multiple functions on a single control, compared to an analog console that typically allows one control per function. Digital consoles also allow for expansion and the connection of external devices.
Still want to use existing equipment from your analog system? No problem! Depending upon the components you are upgrading, you can still use existing equipment, such as effects, with your digital console.
Over the years you have invested a lot of time and money into your analog audio system and like many audio technicians, you hate to part with your system. Maintenance of your system requires a skilled technician, and if you are not that person, it will cost you downtime and money to continue to repair your analog equipment. If your system’s broken components can no longer be fixed or replaced, it’s time to consider a digital upgrade. Analog and digital components can live together in an audio system. The system’s users and how much it’s used will determine the upgrade path that works best for your system.
Want to know what the AVNation team thinks about analog and digital mixing desks? Listen to The Live Life Episode 21 to learn more about what to consider when upgrading your analog mixing console to a digital console.