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Technology Showcase: HOW FOH Mixers

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Bennett Liles

Options abound for every type of worship service.

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Like some of its predecessors, the Studer Vista 8 features the Vistonics operating concept that integrates rotary control and buttons within the TFT display to keep the operator's line of sight for controls close to that for visual monitoring of system parameters. Arranged above and below the screen are fader, mute, and on/off buttons for easy reach and limited eye scanning. The operating desk consists of a control bay and between two and seven channel bays — each of which incorporates 10 100mm faders, the Vistonics graphical operating unit, additional assignable rotary encoders, and more buttons and controls. Each channel has a high-resolution dual-color bar-graph meter with additional gain reduction display for the compressor/limiter and expander/gate. In the Global View area, there are color-coded buttons to select the functions of the rotary controls.

For smaller church sanctuaries and activity centers with live music events, the Tascam DM-4800 is a contender with its extensive remix capability and software applications. The control desk offers 48 channels and 16 returns for a total of 64 inputs. The DM-4800 also has 24 buses, 12 aux sends, 24 channels of TDIF, and eight channels of ADAT built-in. Multiple track recordings of church services and other events can be recorded, and the board can be quickly reconfigured for mixdown. The mixer can expand with cascading capability for two DM-4800s as needs grow. There are also per-channel LED ring encoders for pan, aux sends, and EQ along with four expansion card slots for FireWire, ADAT, AES/EBU, analog, TDIF, and surround monitoring cards.

The Yamaha LS-9 is available in either a 16- or 32-input version with recallable head amplifiers, mini-YGDAI expansion slots for interfacing with digital audio distribution systems, four stereo input channels, digital patching, 16 mix buses, eight matrix buses, and one stereo and mono bus. The LS-9 also features built-in sound recording with a USB interface and full console scene store and recall. The setup can be expanded to 64 inputs with additional external preamps and mini-YGDAI interface cards. Illuminated switches, 100mm motorized faders, and LED-level meters are on every input channel. More detailed system settings are located through the display access keys, and one touch of the home key will instantly return the operator to the main operating mode.


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