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  #1  
Old 01-04-2012, 10:13 PM
DJBIGREG DJBIGREG is offline
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Digital vs Analog Processing

After being out of it, I'm getting back in the game and building a new mobile dj system. My old rigs were all analog eq's, crossovers, and lmiters. I'm trying to build a system that will easily let me run tops full range one day, then add an amp and one or two subs a different day. (I'm trying to avoid the active speakers route). The digital boxes look inviting since they get a lot done in one or two rack spaces and they are very flexible. However, I have no experience with them. I know it's sort of an open question, but what are your thoughts and experiences with units such as the dbx Driverack PA+?

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:37 AM
atf104 atf104 is offline
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I avoid that DBX piece like the plague. The whole concept of a dsp that DOESN'T interface with a computer is beyond me (and a battle probably lost/won in some marketing meeting at Harman). If you want to go as low price as you can, I'd recommend a Rane RPM26. If you have some dough, you can get into a BSS which has what I think is much better sounding converters with a BLU-100. Either DSP can easily use a simple analog control such as a toggle switch for example, to activate a preset, instantly switching between multiple configurations (top full, 2-way, 2-way -6dB for example). This negates the need to have to use your computer to adjust anything.

I'm not sure if you're using a computer to DJ, but the software for Rane and BSS will easily run at the same time as most DJ software (not officially recommended but I've never had any problems doing this), so you can adjust the system live while you're spinning.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:35 AM
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RETRODISKO RETRODISKO is offline
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I have used pretty much Drive Rack 4800 and the Small one, are good and solve the issues, easy to use,
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  #4  
Old 01-05-2012, 07:03 AM
Special.K Special.K is offline
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I don't oftern use DSP's for installations but in our hire systems we use them all the time. We have some Drive Rack PA's we use for small systems and i have never had issues with them, nothing special but for the price they are great!
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:38 PM
DJBIGREG DJBIGREG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atf104
I avoid that DBX piece like the plague. The whole concept of a dsp that DOESN'T interface with a computer is beyond me (and a battle probably lost/won in some marketing meeting at Harman). If you want to go as low price as you can, I'd recommend a Rane RPM26. If you have some dough, you can get into a BSS which has what I think is much better sounding converters with a BLU-100. Either DSP can easily use a simple analog control such as a toggle switch for example, to activate a preset, instantly switching between multiple configurations (top full, 2-way, 2-way -6dB for example). This negates the need to have to use your computer to adjust anything.

I'm not sure if you're using a computer to DJ, but the software for Rane and BSS will easily run at the same time as most DJ software (not officially recommended but I've never had any problems doing this), so you can adjust the system live while you're spinning.

Thanks for the tip. Looking at these now. However, you brought up a very good point in regards to the quality of the converters. Do you feel these units (the Rane and the BSS) stack up well against an eq and a crossover in a chain such as a Rane ME15B and a Rane AC22B in terms of minimal sound degradation? I do use a laptop so on the fly adjusments can be possible. My concern is, if I go with digital amplifiers, my music will have been processed (A/D - D/A) three times before it reaches the dancefloor. Can that be good?
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2012, 01:39 PM
DJBIGREG DJBIGREG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Special.K
I don't oftern use DSP's for installations but in our hire systems we use them all the time. We have some Drive Rack PA's we use for small systems and i have never had issues with them, nothing special but for the price they are great!

I think I know the answer to this question, but, why not use DSP's for your permanent installs?
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:37 PM
Special.K Special.K is offline
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In my opinion using a eq and crossover is going to sound nicer but for everyone like me there is twenty people that will tell you the DSP sounds better!
The DSP is going to be more convenient and will give you limiting options you can set when others are playing on your system!
It is the biggest problem these days, way to many conversions adding there own distortion however little but there is lots of people going on about it so I won’t ramble!

I think for a portable system, a DSP can be handy and most of them are single rack units and will fit into your amprack with out the need to take a extra case with eq, crossover and limiter!

In a club installation, I only need the crossover and eq and in fact the last couple of systems I have installed currently have almost flat eq’s just pulling out the bar shaking frequencies, I only need to add limiting if I can’t win the argument against the DJM900. I have had issues with DSP’s resetting and/or completely shitting them selves during power serges and mains power can be problematic in most parts of Australia I find (not for me my house/workshop runs off 22 solar panels)! I have recently decided we are no longer installing switch-mode powered amplifiers as well as we have had them dying on us a lot lately and I have come to the conclusion that the power is getting worse and filtering the power is expensive!
This means 3am service calls and if it's the DSP it takes out the whole system untill we can get there, plus some of our systems we only get to service once a year and so they need to servive by themselfs!
For a portable system, you will be there to sort out any issues as the night goes on and this makes a huge difference in my mind!
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2012, 04:39 PM
Special.K Special.K is offline
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Oh i need to add to the service calls comment, that i'm fat, lazy and i live in the country about 2hours from any of our venues!
And my partners Matt and Simon are quite oftern touring with bands and dance partys!
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2012, 10:56 PM
der geile ami der geile ami is offline
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For under 1000 bucks, i recommend the bss minidrive (hope im right that its under a grand), something from xilica, or the dbx 260. stay far away from dbx driverack pa stuff.

There might be other options in that range, but if the rane passes, i think the lack of display is a no go for mobile work. Yes, a laptop with controller software is always useful, but should anything need ot be done quickly, or a specialized cable go missing, etc direct access is important, regardless how clumsy hardware interfaces usually are.

Could one get better sound with analog gear? Possibly, but forget about consistency when using the same gear for different setups, and for the same price point, digital is untouchable.

if one goes with digital amps, there might be enough dsp juice to negate hte need for external processing and that puts something like hte driverack pa into the minor leagues.

if money is no object, check out products from lake
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2012, 03:57 PM
atf104 atf104 is offline
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Hi Greg, "degredation" is really a minimal concern among all the other factors in fidelity. Even if you go with "digital" amps, you don't have to use the processing in them. And I'm not sure if you mean a Class-D amp which has a "digital" (high-frequency) power supply or an amp with front-end processing. Either way, I personally still prefer centralized processing. The one move I am looking to make is to BLU-PIP cards which Crown/BSS just released, when it's not a high-end design (where I use Thrive amps). BLU-LINK is the BSS digital audio bus that simply sounds amazing and is flawless in operation. If I had to build a mobile rig right now it would be BSS London processing > BLU-PIP cards in the amps. Amazingly simple design for the field, with fantastic fidelity.

Regarding BSS, the only people I tend to see use Minidrive at this point are legacy guys who have refrained from jumping in on learning Soundweb London. With the new low-end fixed I/O pieces (100 series), it's a no brainer to go BLU. And having a display and controls, my gawd, the last thing I want is people playing with my DSP at a mobile. I'm using DSP, I have a computer, end of story. If I need to be able to do live controls / changes, make live adjustments, no problem, Soundweb London custom control panels. Besides that I end up going Rane.. Bulletproof, the RPM processors...

Greg, here's an example of a custom control panel in BSS:



You can make one that has literally any control function (eq's, input switching, preset changing, etc). Biamp has similar functionality but this is the one reason I love BSS so much, the flexibility in the software..

But I digress, for a mobile system, I firmly believe analog is living in the past. I've never seen/heard a system that was of the fidelity level where high-end digital couldn't match it, given a good tune/setup. The positives outweigh the negatives. I've lost track of how many driverack PA's I've seen out there and they're not a bad processor, but for a couple hundred bucks more, I want my computer interface, end of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJBIGREG
Thanks for the tip. Looking at these now. However, you brought up a very good point in regards to the quality of the converters. Do you feel these units (the Rane and the BSS) stack up well against an eq and a crossover in a chain such as a Rane ME15B and a Rane AC22B in terms of minimal sound degradation? I do use a laptop so on the fly adjusments can be possible. My concern is, if I go with digital amplifiers, my music will have been processed (A/D - D/A) three times before it reaches the dancefloor. Can that be good?
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:52 PM
allen allen is offline
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I've been using an Xilica DSP in my system for some time now and have no complaints.

Allen
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2012, 10:22 AM
der geile ami der geile ami is offline
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how much for an entry level bss blu?
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2012, 01:08 PM
DJBIGREG DJBIGREG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atf104
Hi Greg, "degredation" is really a minimal concern among all the other factors in fidelity. Even if you go with "digital" amps, you don't have to use the processing in them. And I'm not sure if you mean a Class-D amp which has a "digital" (high-frequency) power supply or an amp with front-end processing. Either way, I personally still prefer centralized processing. The one move I am looking to make is to BLU-PIP cards which Crown/BSS just released, when it's not a high-end design (where I use Thrive amps). BLU-LINK is the BSS digital audio bus that simply sounds amazing and is flawless in operation. If I had to build a mobile rig right now it would be BSS London processing > BLU-PIP cards in the amps. Amazingly simple design for the field, with fantastic fidelity.

Regarding BSS, the only people I tend to see use Minidrive at this point are legacy guys who have refrained from jumping in on learning Soundweb London. With the new low-end fixed I/O pieces (100 series), it's a no brainer to go BLU. And having a display and controls, my gawd, the last thing I want is people playing with my DSP at a mobile. I'm using DSP, I have a computer, end of story. If I need to be able to do live controls / changes, make live adjustments, no problem, Soundweb London custom control panels. Besides that I end up going Rane.. Bulletproof, the RPM processors...

Greg, here's an example of a custom control panel in BSS:



You can make one that has literally any control function (eq's, input switching, preset changing, etc). Biamp has similar functionality but this is the one reason I love BSS so much, the flexibility in the software..

But I digress, for a mobile system, I firmly believe analog is living in the past. I've never seen/heard a system that was of the fidelity level where high-end digital couldn't match it, given a good tune/setup. The positives outweigh the negatives. I've lost track of how many driverack PA's I've seen out there and they're not a bad processor, but for a couple hundred bucks more, I want my computer interface, end of story.

I was in fact referring to Class D amplifiers. Thanks again! This is valuable input!
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