Author Topic: Allen & Heath GS3 (1992) 32 channel 8 buss  (Read 2750 times)

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Allen & Heath GS3 (1992) 32 channel 8 buss
« on: March 27, 2015, 02:21:05 AM »
direct outs are post fade post mute

later revised in 1994:
ALLEN & HEATH GS3 24:8:2 £3825.80

8-bus recording console with MIDI muting

Reviewed in SOS May '92

The GS3, available in 16- and 24-channel version, with 8-channel expanders, was one of the first low-cost desks offering in-line monitoring and split grouping, with the added benefit of MIDI mute automation. The 4-band channel EQ has two sweep mids and is dedicated to the main input channel path, while the monitor path has its own 2-band EQ. There are four dedicated effects sends; 1 and 2 are fixed in the channel path, while 3 and 4 can be switched between the channel and monitor paths. The monitor channels have their own Cue sends, feeding an entirely separate Cue bus from the channel Cue, and though these are dedicated pre-fade, they may still be useful as additional effects sends at mixdown. Insert points are included on the channels, groups and stereo outputs, and all channels have both PFL and Mute facilities. Each channel also has a group/direct switch, for routing signals to tape.

The MIDI muting system applies to all main and monitor channels, the aux bus send masters, and the four dedicated effects return inputs. The Allen & Heath comprehensive V4 Plus MIDI muting processor has an internal real-time mute recording facility, referenced to MIDI clocks and Song Position Pointers from an external source. Mute data is also output over MIDI and may be edited in an external sequencer. The onboard memory allows almost 2000 individual mute events to be stored. Though this isn't the simplest MIDI muting system around, it is one of the most powerful on a console of this price.

Sonically, the console's performance is good, with plenty of headroom and low crosstalk, while the number of features included wouldn't disgrace a console of a much higher price.


The channel signal path is fairly conventional for this type of console, offering three possible sources: Mic, Line or Tape. Each mic amp has its own phantom powering switch and, when recording, the output of the Mic/Line switch is fed to the main channel path. During recording the monitor section handles the off-tape monitoring and is permanently routed to the stereo mix buss. When you come to mix, the signal paths are swapped over so that the off-tape signal passes through the main channel path, allowing full use of the channel facilities, and the monitor section becomes a spare line input for connection to MIDI sound sources, say, that are being fed 'live' into the desk, or even additional effects.

Both the monitor and main paths have pre-fade cue controls, while the four auxiliary sends, which are on dual-concentric controls to save space, are arranged such that sends 1 and 2 are fed from the main signal path while 3 and 4 may be switched between the main and monitor paths as needed. When sends 3 and 4 are switched into the monitor path, Aux Send 3 feeds Aux buss 1, allowing the same effects unit to be shared between the main and monitor paths. The monitor level and pan controls also come as a dual-concentric 'pair', rather than as separate pots, but you quickly get used to this arrangement.

The master section includes four stereo returns with two-band EQ and full buss routing, plus a very comprehensive monitor switching system which incorporates dual studio monitor switching and the facility to connect and dub between two stereo machines. The integral talkback mic may be routed either to the cue mix or to the busses and is controlled by a non-latching switch to save embarrassment when slagging off the drummer!

The GS3 console has been around for a fair while now, so there's no need to go into too much detail concerning the audio section of the desk. But with the arrival of the GS3V, which now includes VCA fader automation as well as mute automation, the console is back on the map with a vengeance, representing possibly the most affordable route to automation currently available. What's more surprising, once the highly attractive retail price is taken into account, is the fact that the automation system is actually very good and very few corners seem to have been cut to deliver the goods at this price.