After a few months with a GLD112

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    First post here.
    I would like to give some feedback after a few months using a GLD112 system.

    I work as a freelance sound engineer in France, mostly with theatre and dance. I was hired by one on the regular places where I work to tour with a small opera, Brett Bailey’s Macbeth. 10 South African singers, a chamber orchestra based on the former Yugoslavia based No-Border Orchestra directed by Premil Petrovic. The music is based on Verdi’s Macbeth and has been adapted by Fabrizio Cassol.

    We figured it would help to travel with a sound-board instead of rebuilding the mix in each place since very few venues had a similar desk (CL3, Vi1, SiEx3 or would have needed renting out a desk). Having a small but very positive experience on the iLive system at a near-by venue, I found the GLD fit our needs on this tour. We got a GLD112 with one AR2412 and one AR84.
    I got a lent of the Dante card from the iLive system at the other venue to record in multi-track.

    I found a rather similar interface as on the iLive system with an even friendlier touch-screen. Not disappointed by the first impression and very quickly figured things out. New board, new show on tour, no time to waste! 🙂
    What I like most about this desk is the ability to work on the same parameters but with different points of view (mix button of inputs or outputs for instance) or different ways to access the settings (physical knobs and faders, touch screen, iPad app, computer). This can be confusing for some people, but I really caught up quickly with this as the desk adapts to you more than you have to adapt to it. At least this is my personal impression.

    I had most instruments rather close-mic’d (30cm to 1m depending on how close I could get) and some shotgun, hanging mics and PZM for the singers. About 20 microphones on the whole.
    We went to very different venues with very different house sound systems with some flexibility or not. I was requested to have a natural sound but also to balance the stage design which has the musicians stage-left, the main singers centre-stage and the chorus stage-right. In most places I had a main pair of speakers acting as front of house with side fills and either one or a pair of centre-fills flow downstage. In some places I had front-fills in mono or stereo, some other places had a second set of speakers for the seats at a balcony or at the back of large tribunes. I used the matrices to fold down stereo front-fills/sub-bass feeds. Nothing unusual, but a lot to adapt.
    One thing I had to deal with was where to place the main stage rack and the small one. Some venues have all the inputs into their processing in the sound booth, some have it stage left, some stage right and some in a different booth altogether. What would be great is to have to possibility to connect an AR168 directly to the mixer instead of having 2 ethernet cables going between the mixer and the stage (or some VLANs on ethernet switches) for when there are numerous outputs at the soundbooth. I don’t know if the hardware allows this though.

    I time aligned all inputs to have a clear sound and then fiddled with the delays of the different sets of speakers I had. Hass effect is great for discreet sound reinforcement. I used the iPad app a lot to listen and adjust walking around the seats. I found that the delay slider is much too small and it is difficult to adjust precisely the time on the inputs. Is there any chance we could have a fine tuning option on the iPad? The other settings that use sliders have either a graphic setting like some compression parameters or don’t require so much precision.
    I like the blown up control on the Soundcraft app for rotaries.

    Other than that I got a lot of praise for the sound. I guess when you enjoy working on the equipment it’s easier to get things to sound good. Good microphones help too. I brought my set of Sennheiser MKH’s on tour.
    The EQs sounded great. They made it possible to get a decent sound one evening when the rain was battering on a tin-roof venue housed in a warehouse.
    For this sort of music compression is not a good idea. I leave this for more rock or pop orientated music. I got caught once by the preview that makes it look like the compressor is engaged when it’s not. but from what I understood it’s something you learn the hard way. 🙂

    I had one issue where the house technician used his network to connect the console to the stage rack. He used his system with a QL3 and Rio racks. The switches were Cisco SG300, which are layer-3 switches. Suddenly during rehearsal the sound became very glitchy, as if we had lost the digital clock. When we took out the switches the problem went away.

    Most local sound technicians were curious of this board. It’s not very often you see it in such venues.

    Going home after the tour, the theatre that was in charge of producing the tour decided to keep the desk. Otherwise I would have gladly bought it over from them.
    Now, the GLD has been in that venue for six month. So some feed back I collected from people who weren’t familiar at all with the desk!

    For a few shows that needed a little more flexibility than the ubiquitous 01V everyone knows, I suggested to the touring technicians the GLD. Most people understood quite fast how to use it. I configured everything very quickly with the help of the touch screen. Some people came with their show ready on their computer.
    The Mix button can be a bit confusing for some.I always start by assigning the “main” mix to one of the soft keys. Here it would be great to have an option to invert the LED so that it’s shining when not on the “main” mix.
    The Mute instead of an On switch proved confusing to one user that just had spent several months working with a Yamaha desk and who hadn’t had much time to get used to the board.

    Most people were happy with the sound.

    On one show we had 2 computers (one main and one as back-up) each with 13 channels. We assigned each set of 13 channels to DCA. But we needed to pair channels together one set to the other. So in case the main computer crashed all there was to do is to mute one DCA and un-mute the other. The gangs, although very useful were not in sufficient number for this. For some applications we could use quite a few more than 8.
    The ability to make (a lot of) stereo pairs with the specific pan behaviour that goes with it would be great. We sometimes have electro-accustic performances where they play a stereo material over a great number of speakers.

    As others suggested having the iPad to display the meter-bridge would be great. I used a computer for this, but having one less thing around the desk in some cramped situations is always welcome.
    Anyhow the iPad is really comprehensive compared to the offering of most of the other big names in the mixer industry.

    In some situations with headset microphones feeding back it would have helped to have the possibility to insert a graphic EQ or an other parametric EQ on an input. Otherwise this is possible using matrices and groups if there aren’t too many output channels, but if this is not something foreseen it’s a lot of work to reorganise the mix structure instead of inserting an additional EQ on an input.

    Overall using this desk has been a pleasure. I hope you can find this little feed back helpful.

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