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We're looking for a new desk for an FOH house-of-worship setting. Right now we're using an Allen & Heath GL2200, 32-channel. We love it. It's done everything we want, but it's getting up there in years and we need more aux sends.

  • We have a fairly flexible budget, but system under $10k would be best.
  • It would be installed permanently, we don't need to flightcase it.
  • We already have clean power
  • We'd really need to have at least 10 aux sends, plus stereo mains output.
  • We'd like to have more inputs, but we've gotten along fine with 32. This is a want, not a need.
  • It shouldn't be any bigger physically than our GL2200, otherwise we have to start moving things around in the booth and we don't want to do that.

Volunteers are (exclusively) using this, so it would be nice to have something with a not-terribly-steep learning curve. We're open to (and leaning towards) a digital desk.

What do I need to consider? Does anyone have experience with something that would be a good fit?

  • Are you willing to consider a digital desk? – ArtOfCode Sep 9 '15 at 19:28
  • @ArtOfCode Absolutely, it would seem to be the only way to get more channels/auxes without being ginourmous. – Undo Sep 9 '15 at 19:29
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Broadly-speaking, it would be silly to consider anything other than a digital desk at this point. That said, there will be a learning curve for people that are used to analog desks.

I've been operating a Yamaha LS9-32 at church for the past four years or so, and have found it to be an excellent board.

Now, for your requirements:

We have a fairly flexible budget, but system under $10k would be best.

Ours was purchased four years ago for ~$8500 US. I'm not certain, but logic says that it would be cheaper than that now.

We'd really need to have at least 10 aux sends, plus stereo mains output.

It has 16 aux sends in addition to the stereo mains.

We'd like to have more inputs, but we've gotten along fine with 32. This is a want, not a need.

The LS9-32 has 32 faders and 32 inputs on-board, and you can add an additional 32 inputs via an external digital input module if needed. The additional 32 channels are accessible on the desk by switching from the "1-32 Layer" to the "33-64 Layer".

It shouldn't be any bigger physically than our GL2200, otherwise we have to start moving things around in the booth and we don't want to do that.

The LS9-32 is roughly 35"x20". I wasn't able to find the specs of the GL2200 to compare size.

In addition to the above, here are a few high-level features that I enjoy:

  • Each channel has a 4-band, fully-sweepable parametric EQ, and two dynamics "slots"
  • The channel dynamics slots can be used for compressors, gates, limiters, de-essers, etc.
  • The LS9 has on-board effects "racks", with a wide variety of reverbs, delays, choruses, etc.
  • On-board recorder, with inputs you can assign arbitrarily to discrete channels, auxes, or mains
  • Motorized faders along with a generous scene memory
  • "Guest mode" - with this, nearly all of the board's features are either unavailable or locked. Prevents guests or new users from doing something stupid
  • The Yamaha "StageMix" iPad app. This is huge. It's a free app that connects to your board via Wifi. Nearly all of the functionality of the board is available through the app. This lets me do things like be on-stage during sound check to listen and adjust monitor mixes. Also, I can roam the floor, on-axis with the PA and hear the actual mix instead of having to guess from the sound loft.

Our sound staff is exclusively non-pro volunteers (including myself), and while there was a bit of an adjustment period, all of them were able to pick up the basics fairly quickly, and have been expanding their usage and knowledge of the board each time they're on the schedule.

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  • +1, Yamaha is always a best bet with big boards like this one. – Adam Sep 15 '15 at 7:24

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