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Digital Consoles for Live Sound

Mar 22, 2010 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

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StageTec Crescendo

StageTec Crescendo

StageTec's Crescendo is designed to fall between the company's top-end Aurus console and the fixed-bus layout Auratus, which is designed for smaller venues. Crescendo provides a freely configurable layout—simply add DSP boards for more channels—with a maximum of 128 buses. The controller surface can be ordered from 43in. to 94in. wide, depending on application requirements, with up to 48 individual channel strips handling 300 full audio channels. Visual feedback comes via TFT screens and OLED displays.

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Crescendo's audio-processing and optical-interface components are accommodated in a Nexus Star central router, which serves as an audio-routing matrix and provides a maximum matrix size of 65,536 I/Os with a capacity of 4,096 inputs simultaneously routed to all available outputs. Two consoles on the same Star router can share the audio matrix at the same time, for example, one mixer in the auditorium and another handling monitors or recording.

A new software release expands the scope of Studer's Vista 5 SR live sound console. Version 4.7 adds features dedicated to live theater, such as enhanced cue list management, including single-button creation of cues; simplified cue renumbering/inserting; the firing of MIDI/MMC events; and a large display of current and upcoming cue events. Channel VCA mute/unmute assigns can now be entered on a cue-by-cue basis while building a show, and library entries based on a play's character names can be created, for example, assigning EQ or effects to each.

A key feature in version 4.7 is Virtual Vista, a PC software suite that enables both offline setup of shows (for example, channel labels, routing, VCA assignments, and main cues to script) and direct online control of the console so sound engineers can position themselves at critical locations within a theater and make system adjustments to delay, EQ, etc.

Yamaha M7CL-48ES

Yamaha M7CL-48ES

The latest addition to Yamaha's successful M7CL console line is the M7CL-48ES, which adds EtherSound stage box connectivity for state-of-the-art system layout and signal routing capability. The M7CL-48ES's built-in EtherSound interface provides the benefits of a digital network infrastructure while allowing the card slots to be used for other purposes, such as personal monitoring systems and recording outputs. Like the M7CL-48, the M7CL-48ES can mix up to 48 mono channels plus four stereo inputs to 16 mix buses, eight matrix outs, and stereo and mono outputs. The M7CL-48ES supports up to three SB168–ES remote stage boxes as its main I/O interface, and a new Stage Box Quick Set-up feature offers fast plug–and–play connection via Cat-5 cable.

Also new is version 3.01 software for Yamaha's entire line of M7CL consoles, including the M7CL-48ES. Among the major enhancements in version 3.01 is a link option for the Channel Select and Sends On Fader between the M7CL and the editor. This lets users remotely adjust PA and monitor systems from the stage or the house. The software can be downloaded for free at

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