Here are a few configuration examples of affordable consoles (between 2000€ and 5000€ roughly).
Yamaha 01V96, 01V96i & TF, Allen&Heath Qu24 / Qu32 & GLD80 / GLD112, Midas M32 & Behringer X32,
Soundcraft Si, Presonus StudioLive v3, Roland m-400.
- Yamaha 01V96
Here we have to use an add-on card: ADAT, MADI or Dante for instance.
The built-in ADAT output port of the console will be used to connect the speakers through an ADAT to analogue converter. The input port can be used to play some tracks on a computer.
The post-fader direct-out connection of each channel will be routed to the slot outputs. There is a maximum of 16 possible tracks.
The returns from the WFS can be either patched to the cascade input of the mix (aux and bus) channels of the console. Once again this is limited to 16 channels. If some of the mix channels are used for effects for instance, you can route some of the WFS returns to unused input tracks and use their direct-out to drive the amplifiers.
There is a maximum of 16 sends and 16 returns to/from the WFS processor. There are up to 14 physical outputs available on the desk: 2 master + 4 omni + 8 ADAT at 48kHz.
Documentation for 01V96 block diagram page 325
- Yamaha 01V96i
The last generation of the 01V96 has been fitted with an USB port to send and receive upto 16 channels each way. In this case the slot can be used to have more outputs for the speakers or go to 96kHz.
The post-fader direct-outs of input channels can be assigned to the sends of the USB port. The returns of the WFS processing are found on the returns of the USB port. They cannot be patched to the cascade in of the mix channels. They have to be patched to unused input channels. They can be then either sent directly to the amplifiers from the direct-outs of these channels or to mix channels.
There can only be 16 sends to the WFS processing and as many returns.
Documentation for 01V96i (owner’s manual), block diagram page 68.
- Yamaha TF
This series of consoles has a SUB port that can transport up to 34 channels each way. There is also an option for a Dante card that can be used for a stage rack or any other Dante device.
The number of input and mix channels is the same on all sizes. Only the number of XLRs at the rear and the number of faders vary.
You can patch the post-fader direct-outs to the sends of the USB port and the returns to unused input channels.
You can have up to 20 outputs. The total number of inputs and outputs can not exceed 48.
Documentation for TF series block diagram page 103
- Allen&Heath Qu24 ou Qu32
This series of consoles has been fitted with a USB port with as many tracks as there are on each desk. Each input can either be patched to the corresponding analogue or USB input: ie. input channel 2 can only be assigned to local XLR 2 or USB channel #2. A stage box gives a little more flexibility.
There are two modes to choose from for the USB. Either all signals are taken at the preamp or are post-fader. The latter options suits us.
For the return from the WFS process since there is no possibility to come straight back into a mix channel we have to assign the USB returns to unused input channels and then send the signal to mix channels.
There are as many outputs as mix channels. The total number of sends and returns to/from the WFS processing can be no greater than the total number of input channels.
- Allen&Heath GLD80 ou 112
These consoles have a port of a digital audio interface: ADAT, MADI, Dante…
The sends to the WFS can be patched from the post-fader direct-outs on the input channels to the digital audio port.
For the returns it is possible to patch the digital audio port to ext. inputs of the mix channels.
The digital audio port on the desks can have up tp 64 channels each way at 48kHz only and 20 mix outputs.
- Midas M32 ou Behringer X32
These desk have a slot for a digital audio interface: USB, ADAT, MADI, Dante… Otherwise it is probably possible to use an AES50 port.
If using the digital audio interface:
It is not possible to assign directly a post-fader direct-out to the digital audio interface. The signal has to be routed first to an other output (such as AES50 or P16/Ultranet) and then these AES50 or P16 outputs should be copied/patched to the digital audio slot.
For the returns of the WFS process, we will have to assign them to unused input channels.
The total number of inputs and outputs cannot be greater than 32.
There are several variants of Si desks with different number of slots for digital audio add-on cards:
– Si & Si+ : 1 or 2 depending on the model
– Si compact : 1
– Si expression : 1
– Si performer : 2
– Si Impact : 2 including a MADI over Cat5e cable (like a network cable but not the same as a audio over IP protocol) and USB supplied with the desk.
For more information visit this page on the Soundcraft website.
So far so good… until you start looking at the small interface where you are supposed to patch a post-fader direct-out. There is something that looks like it, but it’s taken right after the preamp or after the digital low cut filter and delay. Insert points cannot be patched either. The only post-fader outputs are the ones on mix and matrix channels. Too bad…
Presonus StudioLive v3
This series of console has a USB port for digital multitrack. Unfortunately you can only patch from the post-preamp or pre-fader points in the signal chain of an input track.
Once again, it’s too bad… This desk is relatively recent unlike the Si series from Soundcraft, so let’s hope that they enable new features such as being able to patch post-fader direct-outs in a firmware update.
- Roland M-400
The REAC port of the desk is for an audio over IP protocol which has ASIO drivers. This console has 48 input channels and 18 mix channels.
You can patch direct-outs post-fader and assign the WFS returns to unused input channels.
It’s possible to have up to 18 analogue outputs with a stage box in addition to the 8 XLR at the rear of the desk. The total number of inputs and outputs cannot be greater than 48.
Unfortunately this console is not sold any more. It has been replaced by the M-300 which has only 8 mix channels which is too little for WFS.