Aug 20, 2014 8:12 PM, By Bennett Liles
The best thing about installing a house mixer today is that you’re no longer stuck with what you originally bought.
The best thing about installing a house mixer today is that you’re no longer stuck with what you originally bought. Many of the installation mixers currently available can be upgraded and adapted with options to suit the specific venue, performers, and audiences. When changes are made to the house sound system, the mixer, like an electronic chameleon, can be upgraded in channels and processing to match its surroundings. Our survey ranges from single-space rackmounted models to large desks with touchpanel channel assigning and DSP.
Based on the popular digital iLive series, the GLD scalable live digital mixing system from Allen & Heath provides 48 input processing channels, 30 configurable buses, and eight stereo FX returns. The line consists of the GLD-80 with 20 fader strips in four layers and the GLD-112 with 28 fader strips in four layers. Each has an analog-style processing control section, a graphical 8.4in. touchscreen, motorized faders, an LCD channel display that can be named and color coded, and a rotary control for direct access to gain, pan, and aux/FX sends. There is also record and playback capability from USB memory sticks.
Alto Professional designed the Live 2404 with 24 channels and four buses, including 18 XLR inputs with dynamic audio (DNA) microphone preamps. Using the USB port, a mix can be recorded directly to PC or Mac, and using the bidirectional port, sound files stored on a computer can be streamed to and played through the Live 2404 console. Inputs 1-8 feature onboard analog compression, and the 18 balanced inputs have switchable phantom power, three-band EQ with sweepable mids, four aux sends per channel, and a nine-band graphic EQ for main or monitor outputs. The main section features LED VU meters and a headphone jack with independent level control, and the operator surface is color coded for easy navigation.
The ProDesk-8 line of mixers from ABP Dynasonics provides a very intuitive operator interface with more than enough capacity in subgrouping and auxiliary sends to serve as the house mixer for a fairly large venue. Based on the popular Spectra series consoles, the ProDesk units feature a narrower module pitch and shallower front-to-back dimensions for a more compact solution while offering four stereo line input channels, one channel of which is fitted with USB digital audio inputs. A particularly handy item is the 8-channel mute group system with individual channel mute group active indicators and mute safe switch.
Ashly laid out the MX-508 to be a rackmountable solution with some large console features in a small, eight-input package. Each channel has a variable gain pad and a 20dB pad switch; there is a 48V phantom power switch on the front panel. XLR balanced and TRS inputs also have three-band EQ with sweeping mid frequency, two aux sends (one pre, one post), and insert jacks. MP3 players and smartphones can be connected to a 3.5mm stereo line in jack on the front with a level control to main or aux 1 output. There is also an independent mono out with its own level control. Additional mixers can be linked through the premaster sub-in/out jacks.
The Atlas Sound AAPHD mixer amplifier series introduced at InfoComm 2014 features five models designed for use in 70.7V speaker systems. The AAPHD features a unique, patent- pending automatic system test. The Push Here Diagnostic circuitry is designed to check the connected speaker lines for wiring and impedance errors. Additionally, most models incorporate a Remote Input Selection feature, which allows the user to select an input and control the volume level from an optional remote wallplate.
The all-new Tactus Digital Mixing System from Crest Audio is a customizable touchscreen-operating interface that works with Waves audio processing plug-ins to provide a complete modular mixing platform. It includes the Tactus.FOH (the audio processing core), the Tactus.Stage, a 32-in/16-out remote stage box, and the Tactus.Control, a dedicated hardware control surface. Interconnecting via standard Gigabit Ethernet cabling and an internal Gigabit switch, the system puts all of the audio routing, processing, and mixing tools within easy reach and allows multiple configurations in a range of channel counts to best suit each application.
Among the Crown Audio line of mixer/amps is the 1160MA with four inputs and a power output of 160W. As a solution for single-zone paging, restaurants, and small-office sound systems, the 1160MA can provide 4Ω and 70V/100V output to connect to a wide range of speaker systems. Each input has a detented level control and recessed potentiometers for bass and treble. Each model in the line, which includes the 180MA and 280MA, features a blue power LED on the front panel and a green output signal presence indicator showing levels above 100mV. The green signal presence indicator for each input channel shows signals that exceed –24dBu (line) or –70dBu (mic).
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