GLD vs. Pro1 Comparison: by Peter Wituszynski

This article is the first of four guest posts this month.  Recently, I wrote a hands on review of the GLD console but you really can’t make a wise purchase without comparing more then one product.  It’s not often that people have the oppertunity to compare two brand new consoles on the market head to head, hands on but a friend of mine did just recently.

Pete Wituszynski is the volunteer audio director at Restoration Church in Dover, New Hampshire. He loves all things production and enjoys the challenge of pulling church services together. He will receive his BS in Electrical Engineering from UNH this May, and always looks forward to meeting and hanging out with other techs, especially in the New England area. Connect with him on Twitter: @peterwit

 

Allen & Heath GLD vs. Midas Pro1 Hands-on, head-to-head comparison review

This past Christmas, I got to demo an Allen and Heath GLD and a Midas Pro1 side-by-side for a week of services. The GLD was shipped from our usual equipment vendor, and the Midas came from a local dealer who knows a few people in our congregation. These are both $10,000 audio consoles, but they are aimed at different audiences with different feature sets. Both mix audio quite well, so I am mostly going to compare the features and quirks that set them apart.

THE GLD

The GLD arrived on Monday, one week before our Christmas Eve service. I unpacked it on Tuesday, just in time for a frazzled rehearsal soundcheck. Patching the board was quick, but the touchscreen needs to be finessed a bit when dragging and dropping. With Allen and Heath, you put any fader anywhere you want it, including mix sends and master faders. It was easy to lay out channels the way I wanted them, and I was able to fit most of my inputs across the top layer of both banks. That way, I could use DCAs if I wanted, but I could also just leave everything up to grab quickly. Everything “fit” very well within the 20 faders and the layout was logical to use. One of the first things we tried to do was attach a USB keyboard to make the naming and patching go quicker, but we discovered that the GLD forces you to use the on-screen qwerty keyboard. It’s about as easy as texting on an iPad.

Our unit arrived with the 24 channel snake unit and one 8-channel expander. These stage racks are just the right size for our church, letting me put 24 inputs behind the stage and 8 more on a drum riser. That’s some nice physical flexibility, and the 12 outputs gave me just the right number of aux sends.

As far as sound quality, I was impressed. There was an unmistakable improvement over our 1993-ish analog GL4 console. There was certainly more clarity in every channel, and even my playback tracks sounded better. The processing feels very “standard”. There’s a comp, gate, and 4-band EQ on every channel. I have no complaints about any of that, however I was expecting a little more in the way of FX processors. There is only one delay plugin, with different “presets” you can choose from, but I did not see a way to change the delay rhythm (triplets, for example) and while it sounded good, it felt like it could use more “character”.

 

The Pro1

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