The recent implementation of the ver.3 firmware is a perfect opportunity to take another look at the QL5. An intermediate level console, the QL series is directly derived from the CL console technology. Compact and lightweight, the QL5 targets both small and medium-sized applications in performing arts, events and installations.
The integration of a Dante port enables it to supplement existing network configurations, particularly in fixed installations.
Then what about this QL series ? Is it just a more affordable CL, but more richly featured with its 32 onboard preamps ?
The QL Series models (QL1 and QL5) share the same preamps, touch screen and faders with the CL Series.They also have in common the Premium rack, the Dugan auto mixer, as well as certain operational features, such as "Touch & Turn" controls.
But where the CL concept requires the use of digital signal transport connected to an external patch, the QL series concept is an all-in-one system with onboard preamps. Each QL can therefore work independently; though, if necessary, it can be connected with external I/O racks of the RIO series.
What about this QL series, then? Is it just a more affordable CL, but more richly featured, with its 32 onboard preamps? Not quite, since, compared to its big brother, the DSP capabilities are clearly less powerful: it has only 16 available mix buses, compared to 24, and a virtual rack limited to 8 units of 31-band graphic equalizers, compared to the 16 available on the CL.
Furthermore, in focusing on the "Touch&Turn" operating mode (which we will get back to later) and abandoning the "Centralogic" concept, Yamaha has reduced the number of direct access commands in the settings section and the required number of motorized faders, thereby reducing manufacturing costs.
By limiting the number of essential controls, the control surface is, in any case, more straightforward, though it may have lost a little in terms of the fluidity of user intervention.