qu shootout

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of [XAP]Bob [XAP]Bob 8 years, 3 months ago.

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    Profile photo of f428

    So, I’m contemplating the Qu (24 or 32) to replace my original SL 16.4.2 console that I bought in 2009. However, features aside (and there are some significant ones that favor the Qu versus ANY StudioLive (classic or AI), I’m more interested in the sound of the console.

    Does anyone have or know about a shootout involving a Qu, the Soundcraft Expression, X32, and a StudioLive? There’s one that has everything except for the Qu, but I’m looking for all of them, especially the Qu.

    Profile photo of robbocurry

    Reviews should be taken with a pinch of salt, go get a chance to play with one and make up your own mind:)
    What sounds good to me may not to you. The solidity and build quality of the desk alone, puts it way ahead of the “rivals” IMHO.
    I don’t own an Expression, wouldn’t touch an X32 but had an SL16.4.2 and 16.0.2 and it’s way better than them on so many levels.
    I love my QU24, so I’m biased. Take what I say with a pinch of salt too!

    Profile photo of GCumbee

    I am a dealer so I am biased but I am also a user of QU and GLD. Have sold several QU’s. 16,24,32 and customers rave about them. Have not done A/B with other dig boards but I have regularly used a QU16 over the past year in situations where in the past I had used analog consoles and only the console was different and I was amazed at how much better the systems sounded. Plus having everything you need in one package streamlines setup and teardown. People are amazed seeing just a console and no processing racks. I highly recommend them.

    Profile photo of mamerica

    There are so many conflicting reports and reviews on the internet that it’s just about useless. Find a mixer with the features you need at a price you can afford and buy it. Frankly, arguing about which pre sounds better is subjective at best and a waste of time at worst. There are lots of general audio sites where wannabe engineers argue this kind of stuff til they’re blue in the face. I don’t think anyone here really wants to take the bait.

    Profile photo of dcongdon

    OP – I have seen the youtube video you referenced in your post (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaK-yaGB0BA for everyone else). At first, I was impressed with hearing the different consoles and the engineer’s evaluation. I wanted to see the QU added to the line up as well since it is in the same market price-point. But like others have said, the shootout is more subjective than the video leads you to believe. The mix from each console is dependent on the consistency of the engineer’s settings and familiarity with the unit’s features. After factoring in youtube audio compression, I take any comparison in audio quality with a grain of salt.

    Note: If anyone is planning to make a shootout, have your engineer mix in a separate room from the band. We aren’t in the room and do not have a similar PA attached to our computer. Mix straight out of the console to a stereo recording. This would give the viewers a better representation of the “sound” of each console.

    I wish they would have given the engineer a week with each console before evaluating their strengths. The video seems to think we’ll buy a digital mixer on impulse, so first impressions matter most. This approach seems backwards. It is more important that the console matches your workflow and you need more information to determine that.

    I also don’t see any incentive for dealers to produce a shootout. Their primary goal is to sell the customer the best product for the customer’s application. Producing a shootout potentially sets one brand above the rest–creating a sense of bias and damaging relationships with the manufacturers. The youtube video does an okay job of talking about each console’s strengths, but it is a fine line. If you want a video to tell you which console to buy, it’s unlikely you’ll find one.

    When we decided to move from analog to digital, we spent a lot of time in Pro Audio showrooms with our headphones. We also rented a few desks when we felt more time was necessary. Hopefully, you can find similar resources in your area to decide if the QU is right for you.

    Best of luck!

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    Nowadays pre’s and DACs are all pretty much “good enough”.

    IMHO workflow is where the value is most added, and warranty where the build quality is advertised…

    Profile photo of

    I have heard all of those desk at large volumes. inside and outside.
    Every peice of apparatus has a flavour and then it becomes personal choice.
    And, I was never going to change from analog
    I was determined to carry like a snail, small & huge desks and rack of EQs & comps and downward expanders around on my back.
    Then I thought, gosh my chriopractor and acupuncture bill is creeping up.
    Maybe I should think about trying to loose some gear?
    I borrowed a QU16 and checked out the sound with an SM58
    Never my choice of mic for my own reasons…
    Once I heard the transiet-ness of the QU16 with my boxy voice and an SM58… it bit me like a pitbull and wouldn’t let go!.
    suddenly yes! there is hope for my back yet!
    I got another QU16 and suddenly had 2…. wow
    but hold on… there is room in my case!?
    A road case I used to lug around
    what… 3QU desks.

    It was the sound that grabbed my attention

    It didn’t honk like one of those other brands!
    The QU has not fried out right when the show was going to start like that other brand
    It didn’t hurt my girlfriends ears like the other brand you mention.
    And the other brand just had no clarity? Like a cardboard box.
    *** mostly relative to the engineer of course***

    The QU felt strong, sturdy with out plastic bells and whistles.
    and… I could understand the workflow instantly especially the EQ layout after multiple years of editing in a studio.
    maybe I’m biased as I have had about 13 A&H desks over the years
    and have had very few problems.

    Personal preferences

    Its what ever dose it for you!
    What ever you decide on, make sure you can get it fixed!
    (just in case)

    Hire one? Borrow one?

    AND there will be more free updates.
    The QU 32 is a brand new product with all of those faders’.
    whats that? yes 32 faders on one layer.
    and when connected to a mac they all gone up and down effortlessly
    NA NA NA I spent years getting the faders to recall
    with my other desk? Surely this can not be so easy?

    bit of a rave there huh?
    Your question is like asking which are the best sounding speakers.

    Hope I have helped you

    Profile photo of robbocurry

    Well said Dave!
    Loved every word:)

    Profile photo of f428

    Definitely not hung up on pre’s like everyone else is. The sound is influenced by the entire circuit and the algorithms that direct everything. I wish that one shootout would have set all the eq and dynamics the exact same, so we would only hear the differences of the console. Instead, it sounds like someone adjusted the master eq for each console.

    That being said, part of me wants to give the Behringer a chance, but I’ve just had so many bad experiences with that company.

    I love my Studio Live with regard to the integration of the software, but the sound is definitely harsh. My classic SL16 also does some strange things audibly that I could never figure out, still can’t either. The AI sounds better, but I am bothered by the compressor before eq, and the “simplicity” of the dynamics, for lack of a better term.

    Then there’s the Soundcraft. Every sample I’ve heard sounds great, but there are annoying features (eg. shelf EQ for #1 & #4) which just don’t make sense. And then I have to buy a card to interface, which while only $400 could bump me up to a 32 qu.

    Regarding the qu, it seems perfect. But I just cannot get past the qu-drive 18 channel limit, nor the usb 2.0 connectivity. Also unsure about the software integration, which Presonus has nailed (imo). And the qu24 screen is too small. I know, iPad, iPad. But I don’t own one and probably never will into the near future.

    Therein lies my dilemma.

    Profile photo of JohnnyD

    nor the usb 2.0 connectivity

    I’d be interested to hear what you feel is lacking about the USB connectivity?

    Profile photo of f428

    Just that it is 2.0 usb. I feel as though i’m already buying outdated. Yes i know it works all channels with the pc, but it just seems like a limitation, regardless of the console.

    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob

    Why not 10GbE then?
    The point being that there is no point in adding a pair of thunderbolt ports when a single USB2 port is plenty fast enough.
    You can’t pump audio onto the desk at more than real time, so there is no sense in having anything faster – that’s not building down to a price, but up to a standard (fast enough to support the required data rates).

    USB3 is backward compatible, and I imagine that USB2 will remain available for a very long while – Keyboards and mice are still USB1 for the most part, because there is no need for higher data rates in those instances.

    18 track limit is fine for the QU16 😉

    As for the “won’t own an iPad” – I’m sure that an iPad2 with a poor battery could be picked up reasonably cheaply – then it just sits on the desk plugged in – you’re buying a reasonably expensive mixer, an extra £100-£150 for a larger screen isn’t that significant. After all you’re probably already paying £40 for a Sandisk Extreme, £200 for a flight case…

    Profile photo of mervaka

    f428: I still don’t think you’ve answered the question. What’s the limitation of USB2 you’re hitting? If none, then your argument is pointless.

    Profile photo of LKY


    I see what your sayin….USB 3 is on most computers…

    But, you wouldn’t be complaining if it was FireWire…even though that’s older!

    Being version 2 it’s reliable and mature…I’d bea bit worried ifit was Ver 3 only!

    Profile photo of robbocurry

    Apart from all the sense that’s been said about the USB I’d like to chip in regarding the screen size.
    It’s perfectly workable for me, big digits and all. Besides there are banks of knobs for all the adjustment, and two ears to verify some of the changes;)
    The screen just needs poked occasionally to let the knobs do stuff. Yeah it would be nice if it was bigger but it’s accurate and a touch screen unlike the Bullwinger.
    Reading the specs online maybe this seems a concern, but in practice it works fine:)
    I suggest (again) you get a play with one!

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