Digital Consoles for Live Sound
Mar 22, 2010 12:00 PM, By George Petersen
DiGiCo's new SD8-24 offers the identical power of its entry-level SD8 console in a footprint less than a meter wide. It features the same fixed architecture and Super FPGA of the SD8 and DiGiCo's unique Stealth Digital Processing. Features include the 48/8 Stage Rack and a 100-meter digital MADI snake; up to 60 mono or stereo channels with full processing; 24 mono or stereo buses; onboard local I/O with eight mic/line inputs, eight line outputs, and eight AES I/Os; eight stereo floating-point effects processors; snapshot cue control with crossfade; 25 touch-sensitive faders; touchscreen control; networking and remote control; MADI connection; 24x32 bands of graphic EQ; eight channels with 4-band dynamic EQ (mono or stereo); and eight channels of multiband compressor (mono or stereo).
Also new is the EX-007 controller, which is designed to substantially increase the number of available faders and the number of channels controllable from an SD7 console and from a distance of up to 100 meters over Cat-5. Two EX-007s—each adding 24 faders, two additional touchscreens, metering, and other standard functions—can transform the SD7 into a 100-fader mixing console. Besides simply adding more faders, the EX-007 can be used as a remote surface for controlling entire mixes within an auditorium while the SD7 is placed elsewhere, thus freeing up more seats.
On the horizon, DiGiCo plans to integrate plug-in specialist Waves Audio's new SoundGrid technology into DiGiCo's single-FPGA Stealth Digital Processing products. SoundGrid will allow DiGiCo platforms to access existing plug-ins with low-latency performance. More details should be announced later this year.
Designed for midsized and small spaces, the Venue SC48 from Digidesign is a one-piece system combining I/O, digital signal processing, tactile control, and plug-in support. Features include a Pro Tools LE FireWire interface and software included for audio recording/playback, 48 analog XLR mic/line inputs, 16 analog line outputs (expandable to 32), 16 aux sends, eight groups, eight mono matrixes (linkable as up to four stereo matrixes), and 26 touch-sensitive, motorized faders (16 input, eight output masters, one mains, and one flex channel). A single expansion slot is provided for maximizing output count or adding Aviom A-Net connectivity.
Now in its second generation, Harrison's Trion Live MkII features a traditional surface rather than a central, shared-knobs approach. Hardware enhancements include transformer-balanced mic preamps with a high-impedance input setting for line-level and wireless mic inputs, and a combo I/O unit intended for smaller configurations with 24 A/D converters, 16 ADCs, and 16 AES I/Os, with MADI (optical or copper) interfacing to/from the board's MADI router, which now has 12 4x1 summing points. Harrison also offers plug-ins for live users, including 2- and 6-band denoisers, de-esser, and a sub-harmonic generator, while adding FFT displays to its harmonic notch filters and buzz/hum killer.
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