There’s no doubt in my mind that digital consoles are the new standard in audio production. They’ve proven themselves to be great tools for the job – all of the modern ones have compressors and gates on each channel, great 4-band parametric eqs on each channel and output, built-in multi-fx, graphic eqs, etc. All of the clunky unreliable outboard gear is now obsolete.
It’s in the best interest for ANYONE who wants to do live sound to learn how to use these consoles. You can get used Yamaha 01V consoles for dirt-cheap and they’re great little workhorses. Used Yamaha LS9 consoles can be found online for a few thousand, and they are worth every penny. If you want to be serious, you can spend more and get an Avid SC48 or Yamaha M7CL, or whatever brand of mid-range digital console you like.
I’m going on about this because I am carrying a Yamaha LS9 on this tour and am having the openers mixed on my console by house engineers – most of whom have no idea how to use the console and are either afraid of it, or don’t want to know how to and dismiss digital as something that isn’t worth knowing. These people also probably think that VHS tapes, 35mm SLR cameras (sorry photogs everywhere), and 8-track are all better formats. They aren’t. The market has dictated that, and nobody is buying analog consoles anymore, so all the audio techs out there had better start figuring that out or they’re going to be left behind. I guess this isn’t a bad thing for me though, it may land me more gigs in the future.