In its M3000-40C console, Yamaha has an interesting answer to the question of affordability vs. versatility.
The Yamaha M3000 ($12,999) features input modules that offer a four-band sweep EQ, with adjustable wide/narrow Q in the mids and low mids and shelf-type ultralows and ultrahighs. The EQ sections conveniently overlap in frequency and provide a +/-15 dB range. The EQ zones are: low: 30 to 600 Hz; low mid: 80 to 1,600 Hz; high mid: 400 Hz to 8 kHz; and highs: 1 kHz to 20 kHz. The input module features highly usable input adjustments that include a 26 dB pad, polarity reversal and 48 V phantom power switches, and a 12 dB/octave high-pass filter infinitely variable from 20 Hz to 400 Hz.
The input section offers what appears to be 16 auxiliaries that can be switched to a variety of operations. The first eight busses are controlled in increments of two. If the master is assigned as fixed, then the module’s 1 through 8 switch is a group assign. This disables the rotary auxiliary send.
If the variable switch is engaged, the rotary acts as a true aux send – switchable pre/post in groups of four. The numerical switch must be depressed to engage the aux send to the aux master. The remaining eight busses function as full-time auxiliary sends, also switchable to pre/post mode in groups of four. Each channel may also be assigned to one or all of eight VCA masters.
The master section features 16 bus masters (in contrasting colors), as well as eight VCA group faders that show nominal level sends, just like the PM4000. This console, again like the PM4000, also possesses a master output section that closely resembles its favored status touring predecessor. The matrix section allows you to send any group to any matrix master send or to the stereo bus – or you can send the stereo bus to any matrix master.
The back panel is straightforward with an XLR, a TRS insert and a line-out connection for each input. There is also a provision for adjoining console’s PFL/SOLO to be linked to the M3000. All outputs are XLR/balanced for quiet communication to outboard effects, processors, amplifiers, etc. One nice feature is the presence of both RCA and XLR connectors on the four stereo inputs.
A great feature of the Yamaha M3000 is the MIDI-based scene recall function. The owner’s manual offers a succinct explanation of the operation of this feature. The scenes are easily assigned and previewed via the onboard computer control.
I found the interconnections of outboard equipment to the M3000 an easy matter as the back-panel labeling was legible and the connections accessible. The only shortcoming of the M3000 was the lack of inserts for the matrix master connections – any EQ for the matrix masters must be patched in-line.
The overall sound quality of the console was excellent. The input EQ section sounded good and was easily accessed and the faders were smooth and responsive. The one thing I noticed (and so did the other engineers) about this console was its remarkable headroom in both the input sensitivity and the output sections.
With 16 busses, eight matrix outputs and a 128 scene recall system, Yamaha has crafted a console that couples tour-level needs with ease of operation and joined affordability with rock-solid construction. The console is also available in a 56 channel version. Whether your needs are house or monitor, world tour or local venues, I highly recommend this console for your consideration.
Contact: Yamaha at 714-522-9011.