Flying The Analogue Flag

Quotes from Soundtracs users...



Sound on Sound 2010 ;25th anniversary edition:

Craig Silvery ( Hot shot producer of the month )

"yes Im an analogue freak ," admits Silvey "There is a definaite sonic advantage that you can hear almost immediately when you use it. To my ears the difference between doing my mixes in Pro Tools and then bringing them out on the desk is atronomical . The summing is different .

Audio Pro International:
With a string of top ten hits Adam Fox is the recording engineer behind '427 studios', currently working with songstress Vimala :

Favourite console : I like the Soundtracs stuff and have used them a lot in the past . I belive in this day and age of everything digital an old analogue desk should still be at the heart of the studio .A collection point for everything audio and a latency free monitoring set-up that has a decent tone and good flexibility

Email from Lars about his CM4400

To: 'tim jones'
Subject: SV: Soundtracs CM4400

So there are transistors in the Sountracs mic amps?

Yes certainly

I’m a big fan of the board and use it every day in my studio. Just did a little test where I did a mix “inside the box” with a Sonar system routing the master l & r channel into the Soundtracs. Sounded ok, but then I took the same mix and routed the sub-groups (drums, keyboards, guitar etc.) in Sonar into groups on the CM4400. The mix instantly got wider, deeper and with more punch. Even with none of the Soundtracs eq’s inserted.

That’s what I like to hear !!! Great stuff , Keep on flying the analogue flag !
Cheers, Tim

Thanks for the support Tim!
Best rgds,
Lars Lind

Finally Ulli in Germany has finished his studio ,he is using the little known SOUNDTRACS ERIC. Check out his web site

Richard Beacham bought a Midi PC form Ebay  in April 2006:

The desk belonged to Charles Raund in Buxton, I got it on Ebay for L440, a bargain, but the desk was filthy and was used in a smoking environment , so my initial thiughts were that it was gonna be about clapped out. But, after getting it home and lovingly cleaning it up this weekend, I have had chance to run a multitrack recording of my band through it, and sofar everything seems to be working fine, A few dropouts on the tape return on channel 13 but that has calmed down after a while and is now fine. One thing I have noticed, is that the insert points are wired differently than any other desk ( mackie/Soundcraft) that I have used, with the signal return being on the tip, so that scared me for a bit until I figured it out :)

So far I'm loving the EQ, You are right with the 'Warm as toast' analagy, the sound of the Kick drum and snare are awesome through this desk, much , much better than my old Spirit Studio,

One point that has miffed me a bit is that there doesnt seem to be a way to add inserts over a 'sub-group' ,as I usually like to put a compresser over my drum mix, the only way I can think of doing this is to go out of the mixer from the tape outs and back in on 2 new channels and use the insert points there, Any Ideas???

Anyway, thanks for the tips, much appreciated, the computer works at the moment as I have tested the midi mutes with my sequencer.

All the Best Tim, Keep up the good work on the website, as you seem to be the only one on the web with any info at all for these desks, so thanks for that!!

P.S. How much were these desks originally and what years were they in production?

Best regards
Richard Beacham


: Interesting Email form Holland asking about the Soundtracs CP6800 :

Hi, I found your email-address on the Internet.


I have the option of buying a second-hand Soundtracs CP6800. I am having doubts whether I should do it or not. Could you give me some additional info on the console?

Yes, please look at the STUDIO SYSTEMS web site for specifications and users comments

I am reading quite a few posts about the preamps. Most of the users are NOT very enthusiastic.

I think your referring to the GEAR SLUTZ comments? I think its very unfair this kind of posting can sit there for “ever and a day” Soundtracs sold around 200 CP 6800 consoles all over the world ,some to quite respected musician producers (see web site ) even Walter Becker had the Soundtracs IN LINE console (exactly the same “pre amp”). Also EVERYONE I have sold CP 6800s to in the last ten years have been 100% happy with them.

In general, they say the preamps sound dark and with very little headroom. How do you feel towards the quality of the preamps? We now use several preamps (Universal Audio, Presonus, Avalon, DBX and Earthworks). We also use a Digidesign Digi002 rack with 8 preamps onboard. How do the preamps of the CP6800 compare to this list?

- Compared to an SSL, API or Neve console, how good is this one?

- What would be a fair price for a CP6800?

- How much maintenance would it take to keep a console like this?

Of course the 6800 pre amp doesn't have the build /design quality of SSL, Universal Audio or any other high end pre amp, its not trying to be that, but OJ thanks very much for your interest. If your asking for a second-hand value on the console then I guess around £1500 UKP. If you do buy it I would love to hear your comments. Just for the record I think a decent second-hand 20 year old SSL would still cost around 20 grand

As for maintenance , I will keep that console going for you as long as you need and I can give you any technical advice you need, no problem, always here to help

Thanks VERY much for you expertise,

OJ Strijbis, Holland

AudioPro . Dave "Jade" Wooster from Coolworld, Luton
I am a firm believer in both worlds . You can do a ceratin amount with editing software : cleaning and editing that be almost impossible to do on the desk (analogue) The nice thing about bringing it into an analogue desk it that it does seem to bring a ceratin amount of realism back into the tone.

Whether you believe in fact that analogue still sounds better than digital is all relevent to what your listening to it through, some people are listening to it on a phone vesus some one listening on a £2000 hi fi system. You have to try and hit it somewhere in the middle.

Guy Berryman, Coldplay's Bass Player
Recording onto Pro Tools I wanted something that would give a warmer analogue sound

Geoffrey Daking article in PSN Sept issue

I think the analogue console is still a better interface from the standpoint of summing, EQ and user friendliness-moving a fader,muting a channel, its easy to get a bad sound from a computer -it can all go south very quickly

Long time PC Midi User Dave Gilbraith has just done this Canadian Album called "Storm Gordon" using a Soundtracs MEGAS and PC MIDI, have a listen its nectar to the ears!
"Good to hear from you & I'm very glad you enjoyed the Storm Gordon clips from the website (which is due for an update!) Of course you're very welcome to put a link on your website...

The 'Twilight World' single I mixed on a Megas (FOH 'Megas Mix' 24-ch live console) here in Toronto, otherwise they're all mixed on my trusty PC-Midi 24 back in Scotland"

The following were taken from Pro Audio Magazine:

Producer Joe Chiccarelli (U2, Beck, Hanson, Rickie Lee Jones, Elton John ,Tori Amos, George Thorogood, Bon Jovi and Bob Seger):
"I love the sound of analogue, so I still mix down to analogue"

Producer Greg Haver, from Wales (Manics, Catatonia, Superfurry Animals, 60 Foot dolls and Melanie C)
"but I'm very much an analogue desk man, much as I do love Pro Tools"

"I can't stand everything being digital, I think that sounds terrible

The Steely Dans (some American boy-band)
""Digital sound makes the fillings in your teeth fall out "

Producer Aston "Freestylers" Harvey using the Soundtracs Solitaire
"Go completely digital? No way, the Solitaire (Soundtracs) is absolutely integral to our sound, the EQ is punchy as F**K !"

Andreas Michael of Swedish Hi-End Audio distributers Flyline Music
"Analogue gear will always sound better than cold digital machines"

Ben Watkins (SOS interview):
" ....felt that his mixes lacked energy and were sounding "too digital"

: Paul O'Duffy is still using his trusty old Soundtracs PC Midi 24 for front end/tracking, I installed it for him 12 years ago and he's never switched it off, until his power supply blew - I repaired it !!! - Not bad after 12 years !!
Yes, I did Swing Out Sister amongst others - recently I've been working with Amy Winehouse and I'm just finishing off an album with a girl called Amanda Ghost (who co-wrote that god awful James Blunt record!)
Knock yourself out...My Soundtracs rocks

You can find more details on Paul's Myspace page and also at

, Pro Sound News for Mackie advertising thier ONYX range of analogue mixers. One line caught my eye:
" and our all-new Perkins EQ circuitry - based on the Wein Bridge topology found in hallowed "British" desks of the 60s and 70s - offers all the warmth of British EQ .....

The Wein bridge has been used for donkeys years on all the Soundtracs EQ products - I think I was born under a Wein bridge !!!

and the footnote: "All -new Perkins EQ circuitry provides the sweet musicality of "British" EQ circuitry..........." - nice one!

Why do you need an analogue console anyway?

Please read this stuff from 'Sound on Sound' if you've got the time:
"I would advise bands to keep a third of their budget aside for mixing. The summing of the internal busses on a Digi 01 (and PC sound cards) for example, is done with algorithms and number crunching so naturally it's your biggest compromise when you're trying to fit 48 tracks onto two. The summing of a an analogue desk, even a cheap one, is greatly improved because it's using voltages rather than numbers"

Topaz Project user:

CHECKABLE FACT: Many People still want an analogue desk to track through or mixdown to, from the outputs on their DAW system soundcard. I have discovered (as many others have) that when I send digital recordings to the line -outputs out of my computer into individual channels on the TOPAZ, the whole mix develops spaciousness, individual sound separation and warmth/depth, significantly lacking when burning direct to CD from the DAW.

: Just been to Cube Studios near Newquay in Cornwall to service Gareth Jones's recently installed Soundtracs IL 36.
he said " Tim I've had the lot in here !! A+H , Mozart , Soundcraft and this In Line is the tops !!

: Gareth just bought a JADE 40 : it has been on his wishlist for 12 years !! Now he has fulfilled his dream

I might just add he runs a huge pro tools rig with a colour monitor the size of Essex but still chooses an Analogue console to Sum and Buss ................

Typical Gearslutz posting :

What Mixer to get with Firewire?
Well, I decided that this is the next logical step. The Motu 828 just isn't cutting it. It's too dang noisey and sensitive. I was quite arrogant to think I could do it my way without a mixer, but once you start getting into outboard gear, things change. And I'm buying more and more outboard gear now.

I would like to get 8 stereo inputs and have Firewire to connect to my Macbook, but I'm afraid that's going to cost a bundle. Anyways, quality is important, but so is bang for buck. I'm kind of looking at a two edged sword there. I'm running Logic 7.2 if that helps. And I mainly do electronic music with Vocals, bass and guitar (as well as traditional instruments from sample libraries)

The way I have been working is a little wierd. I have been picking a certain 4 synths/instruments to plug into the Motu 828's inputs (4 stereo synths into 8 inputs). From there I would compose a song and if I needed to record a different synth's part, adding a 5th or 6th synth, then I'll unplug a couple of the others so I can use those inputs. SO I'd like to bypass this and find a mixer with 8 stereo inputs.

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