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'surround sound' on an LS9


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Am trying to decide between buying an O1V96 or an LS9 for our next mixer upgrade, but am not sure which way to go. We mostly do live sound applications for either conference or presentation events but do occasionally also mix small bands.


Most of the time we work in stereo, but occasionally we need to deal with 5.1 surrround from say a DVD player. We currently do this by connecting the DVD player to a home cinema amp to get 6 analog outputs and feed via DI boxes to amps and speakers. We take the L & R feeds into our mixer and add in mics or other stereo sources and feed to the L & R amps/speakers.


The O1V96 would appear to be geared up for 5.1 channel operation and allow me to take the 6 analog inputs and feed to 6 outputs - L,C,R,LS,RS,LFE using the main outs and the 4 omni outs. However, for live sound mixing of things such as bands and stereo events, the LS9 I am told is more geared up for live sound (other than Graphic EQs I'm not sure what this means).


I might be persuaded to spend the extra money for an LS9 if people think that it really is better for doing live sound mixing but I want to know if it is possible to operate it in a '5.1' mode to allow 5.1 sources to be mixed (I don't want to change the relative levels as such within a source, just mix between multiple (2 max) 5.1 sources plus mics and stereo sources and mix it such that the non 5.1 sources can be fed to all the speakers - i.e. have the stereo sources fed to the LS and RS as well and the mics. Also, is it possible to group the 6 channels in such a setup so that on one page I can have each 5.1 source as a single 'master' fader for that source?

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You're comparing apples and oranges here (or maybe apples and expensive imported mangoes). The LS9-32 lists for around 3 times the cost of the 01V96.


However, you get what you pay for and the LS9 is a far easier board to use in a live situation...a fader per channel rather than layers and a lot less emphasis on scrolling through menus.


Since all you're asking for is the ability to use multiple outputs to feed separate channels, then either desk should be able to handle what you want. Do be aware though that, even with channel grouping for control, two 5.1 sources will mean using 12 standard inputs which, especially on the 01V will quickly push you into expansion cards, extra mic pre-amps and so on. This will eat into the price differential.


If your surround needs become more elaborate (i.e. you want to create your own 5.1 mix out of discrete tracks) the other mixer you could consider would be the DM1000 which is priced halfway between the two mixers you mention. Again, it's not quite a convenient for live work as the LS9 but, in the studio, it's set up to do true 5.1 mixing with the ability to easily fly tracks around the room and so on.


However, from your initial description of just wanting to play back 5.1 discs, I suspect the LS9 is the one for you if the budget allows.



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