Wow, four new console releases in April, the new Mackie Series, the new PreSonus StudioLive CS18AI, the new “affordable” DiGiCo S21, and the Yamaha TF audio console available in 16, 24, or 32 input versions.
The Yamaha TF is definitely a console I want to explore because the price point ($2,950 – $4,200) puts it in with the Studio Live, X32, QU32, and Midas M32. I knew the sub-$5k market was going to become the hot spot for digital consoles.
A feature I love about the TF-series is the digital display with touch control. This means you can move around on it like the iPad apps but you don’t need the additional iPad – you still get a handful of encoders.
Another feature is it’s filled with presets (great for the occasional weekend warrior) for instrument EQ’s. I’m not saying to only use presets but it’s a place to start. And here’s the kicker, it also has presets for brand-specific microphones.
[UPDATE: I got my hands on a TF1 after posting this news. I found it easy to use and the touchscreen is great. You can EQ a channel from scratch or start with a preset and then alter the preset – even able to save it as a new preset.]
In the words of Sennheiser’s Michael Polten, “We are extremely pleased that our evolution microphones are part of the TF consoles via their ingenious preset functions. These presets provide users with an accurate indication of how to set the EQ, giving sound technicians a rock-solid foundation for their work.”
As for some details, here’s what Yamaha says, “The TF series (which stands for TouchFlow Operation™) comprises three compact, performance-packed digital mixing consoles, the TF5, TF3 and TF1, which feature 33, 25, or 17 motor faders, respectively, along with 32, 24, or 16 rear-panel analog inputs. Each console includes recallable Yamaha D-PRE™ preamplifiers for the first time in a digital console, which facilitates support for live music and events where full setup changes need to be made on the fly.”
I found a trade show video review of the Yamaha TF console which is very comprehensive and it’s listed below. I haven’t used it myself but from what I can tell, it’s promising. They have even designed a new way of setting the gain using a visual representation of…well, you’ll just have to see it. It’s called “GainFinder.” For a seasoned tech, gain setting is easy but for a number of you, such a feature will be very useful.