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Guide to Audio DSPs

Digital signal processing is everywhere. You can find it in speakers, mixers, dedicated processors, and more. Today's DSPs tackle everything from live sound to corporate boardrooms. Here's a sampling.

Digital signal processing is everywhere. you can find it in speakers, mixers, dedicated control processors, you name it. And today's audio processors tackle everything from live sound in performance venues to small presentations in corporate boardrooms. It's all possible thanks to the growing range of fixed and expandable systems that sport as few as two inputs and six outputs, to as many as 80 inputs and outputs at a time. And, because of the rise of personal computing, using DSPs to control sound needn't be a mystery. Compatibility with popular computer software, such as Microsoft Windows, gives users a sense of familiarity. Ethernet and USB connections increase a processor's flexibility and ease-of-installation by taking advantage of pre-existing communications.

Some companies, such as BSS Audio, use proprietary software to manage DSPs on a network. And everywhere, technological change is a constant. Yamaha, for example, now supports add-in modules for most current digital audio networking platforms, including CobraNet, Dante, EtherSound, and A-Net. And for users who demand more control, new systems such as Electro-Voice's Dx46 provide customizable interfacing with amplifiers and external controls.

Architectural Acoustics by Peavey
www.aa.peavey.com

Model: Digitool MXAA_Digitool MX_1.jpg(300)
Pricing: Contact vendor
Digital processor type: General system controller
Typical application: Installed
Key processing functions included: EQ, gating, filtering, compression, delay
Dynamic range: 104 dB (input); 109 dB (output)
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 48-kHz
Internal processor performance: Two 32-bit processors
Number of input channels: Eight
Number of output channels: Eight
Digital formats supported: RS-232
Network(s) supported for comms/control: RS-485
Power consumption: 20.5W at 120V
Form factor: 2RU
The Digitool MX is a fully programmable audio processing and control system. It includes parallel DSP processing, a multilayer front-panel display, and multiple interface and control options. Signal processing is accomplished using two 32-bit parallel SHARC processors with a combined power of 132 MIPS. It also includes four control voltage inputs.

BSS Audio
www.bss.com

BSS_BLU-800 RearCL_2.jpg(300)Model: Soundweb London BLU-800
Pricing: $5,861 to $7,063
Digital processor type: General system controller
Typical application: Installed
Key processing functions included: EQ, compression, limiting, gating, filtering
Dynamic range: 108 dB typical, 22 Hz to 22 kHz unweighted
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 48-kHz or 96-kHz
Internal processor performance: 48-bit
Number of input channels: Up to 16
Number of output channels: Up to 16
Digital formats supported: AES/EBU or S/PDIF
Network(s) supported for comms/control: London Architect and HiQnet System Architect
Power consumption: 35W AC
Form factor: 1RU
The Soundweb London BLU-800 offers configurable I/Os, configurable signal processing, CobraNet audio, and a high-bandwidth, fault-tolerant digital audio bus. The BLU-800 uses open architecture that is fully configurable through HiQnet London Architect. A rich palette of processing and logic objects and a drag-and-drop method of configuration provide a simple and familiar design environment.

Electro-Voice
www.electrovoice.com

Image

Model: Dx46
Pricing: $1,700
Digital processor type: Loudspeaker processor
Typical application: Live, installed, mobile, and commercial sound
Key processing functions included: PA and temp limiters, dedicated array EQ, four delay sections, -6 dB switchable analog pad inserted before A/D converters on inputs, five contact closure inputs, 60 factory presets, 30 user presets
Dynamic range: 116 dB A-weighted
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 24-bit Delta-Sigma
Internal processor performance: 48-bit double precision
Number of input channels: Two
Number of output channels: Six
Digital formats supported: AES/EBU
Network(s) supported for comms/control: Full IRIS-Net control and configuration via Ethernet or USB
Power consumption: 25W
Form factor: 1RU
The Dx46 brings the same technology found in NetMax-and RCM-26-equipped tour-grade amplifiers to a new compact form factor. Providing six channels FIR-drive processing in addition to EV's loudspeaker-protection package, the Dx46 provides USB and Ethernet interfaces for connectivity to IRIS-Net software. IRIS-Net allows control, configuration, and supervision through standard or customized interfaces of an Electro-Voice sound system, including amplifiers and external controls. The processor provides complete input processing, with graphic EQ, PEQ, and delay, as well as specialized array EQ and array Delay blocks on each output.

Electro-Voice_N8000-1500_4.jpg(300)

Model: N8000-1500
Pricing: $4,525
Digital processor type: Digital matrix and system controller
Typical application: Mobile, live, and installed sound
Key processing functions included: Modular DSP including PEQ, GEQ, matrixes, routers, mixers, dynamics, AGC, automixers, and FIR-drive DSP
Dynamic range: 115 dB (N8000 analog I/O, A-weighted)
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 24-bit Sigma-Delta, 128 times oversampling, 48-kHz sampling rate
Internal processor performance: 48-bit double precision
Number of input channels: N/A
Number of output channels: N/A
Digital formats supported: AES/EBU, S/PDIF, CobraNet, Dante
Network(s) supported for comms/control: Ethernet, USB, and RS-232; optional CobraNet or Dante
Power consumption: 90W max
Form factor: 2RU
The N8000-1500 provides flexibility and audio quality via its modular design and processing. Input options include analog line/mic level as well as multiple digital options. The N8000-1500's new DSP-2 engine is composed of three dual-core processors, expanding its total processing power to 1500 MIPS. Each of the N8000-1500's four I/O slots can be equipped either with an audio input module or an audio output module, enabling various configurations (8x8, 8x16, 8x24, 16x16, and 24x8) in a single device. Optional CobraNet or Dante interfaces offer up to 32 additional inputs and 32 outputs. The N8000-1500 matrix can be configured in the field into one of six layouts and can be controlled with IRIS-Net.

Extron Electronics
www.extron.com

Extron_dmp64_5.jpg(300)Model: DMP 64
Pricing: $1,590
Digital processor type: Audio matrix mixer
Typical application: Installed sound
Key processing functions included: Automatic gain control, compressor, limiter, noise gate, ducking, volume, high pass, low pass, shelving, parametric EQ, delay, feedback suppression
Dynamic range: Greater than 105 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, at maximum output, unweighted
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 48-kHz, 24-bit
Internal processor performance: 32-bit/64-bit floating-point processing
Number of input channels: Six mic/line inputs with 48V phantom power
Number of output channels: Four line level outputs
Digital formats supported: N/A
Network(s) supported for comms/control: RS-232, IP Link Ethernet control
Power consumption: 14W; phantom power to all input channels
Form factor: 1RU, half-rack width
The DMP 64 is managed by Extron's DSP Configurator Software, a PC-based application featuring the Graphical User Environment for complete system visualization within a single window. In addition to the primary 6x4 routing matrix, the DMP 64 offers four virtual buses to allow inputs to be grouped and processed together. There are 32 presets that allow DSP settings, levels, and routing to be saved and recalled. Six I/O ports allow the DMP 64 to sense and respond to external triggers.

Peavey Electronics
www.peavey.com

Peavey_VSX 26_6.jpg(300)

Model: VSX 26
Pricing: $600
Digital processor type: Loudspeaker
Typical application: Live sound
Key processing functions included: Features per input: 27-band graphic EQ autograph algorithm for automatic EQ settings, compressor/limiter, delay (340 ms); Features per output: crossover/bandpass filter (Butterworth, Bessel, Linkwitz-Riley), parametric EQ (five-band, HP, LP Notch, Horn EQ, All-Pass), compressor/limiter, delay with polarity inversion
Dynamic range: 105 dB
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 48-kHz sample rate, 24-bit 256x oversampled Delta-Sigma A/D, D/A
Internal processor performance: 32-bit
Number of input channels: Three
Number of output channels: Six
Digital formats supported: AES-EBU
Network(s) supported for comms/control: N/A
Power consumption: 14W at 120V
Form factor: 1RU
The VSX 26 includes Peavey digital processing technology, upgradable software, and functionality for use in single- or multizone applications. Any combination of input to output is user-configurable to match a system's needs. Symmetrical and asymmetrical crossover configurations are user selectable, while USB ports are available for memory storage or interfacing with PCs and Macs.

Symetrix
www.symetrixaudio.com

Image

Model: Zone Mix 760
Pricing: $1,539
Digital processor type: Paging and music management zone mixer
Typical application: Installed and live sound
Key processing functions included: Microphone pre-amplification, compression, AGC, matrix mixing, paging, feedback elimination, filters, and equalization
Dynamic range: Greater than 105 dB A-weighted
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 24-bit/48-kHz
Internal processor performance: 330 MIPS
Number of input channels: 12 (four switchable mic or line, eight mono-summed stereo -10 dBV line level)
Number of output channels: Six
Digital formats supported: N/A
Network(s) supported for comms/control: Standard Ethernet for control
Power consumption: 25W
Form factor: 1U
A Windows interface connected over Ethernet helps to make the setup for Symetrix's Zone Mix 760 easy and efficient. The 760 is also compatible with Symetrix's RS-485-based Adaptive Remote Control (ARC) wall panels for user control. The audio processor is well suited for use in courtrooms, legislative and government chambers, corporate boardrooms and training facilities, and houses of worship.

Symetrix_AutomixMatrix780_8.jpg(300)

Model: Automix Matrix 780
Pricing: $2,399
Digital processor type: Automixing, submixing, routing, processing
Typical application: Installed sound
Key processing functions included: Microphone pre-amp, compression, AGC, automixing (gating and gain-sharing), matrix mixing, feedback elimination, filters, equalization, limiting, and delay
Dynamic range: Greater than 110 dB A-weighted
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 24-bit/48-kHz
Internal processor performance: 330 MIPS
Number of input channels: 12 (eight switchable balanced mic or line, four balanced line level)
Number of output channels: Eight
Digital formats supported: N/A
Network(s) supported for comms/control: Standard Ethernet for control
Power consumption: 25W
Form factor: 1U
An interactive front panel provides access to the 780's vital parameters, or it may be custom programmed for user and technician control. The 780 is also compatible with Symetrix RS-485-based ARC wall panels for user control. Open Collector outputs can drive LEDs directly for status updates or integrate with external logic and automation systems.

Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems
www.yamahaca.com

Yamaha_DME24N_10.jpg(300)

Model: DME 24N Digital Mixing Engine
Pricing: $3,849
Digital processor type: General system controller
Typical application: Installed and live sound
Key processing functions included: Delay, gate, ducking, expander, compander, compressor, de-esser, limiter, mixer, delay matrix, router, crossover, crossover processor, speaker processor, room combiner, feedback suppressor, ambient noise compensator, auto gain control, SPX processor
Dynamic range: 106 dB
A/D, D/A conversion sampling rate: 24-bit/44.1-kHz,
48-kHz, 88.2-kHz, and 96-kHz
Internal processor performance: 32-bit
Number of input channels: Eight analog, mic/line with 48V
Number of output channels: Eight analog
Digital formats supported: AES/EBU, ADAT, MADI, TDIF, HD-SDI
Network(s) supported for comms/control: CobraNet, EtherSound, Dante, RockNet, Optocore, and A-Net via card slot
Power consumption: 75W
Form factor: 2RU
The DME processor series provides an array of components that can be combined and programmed to accommodate most requirements. High sound quality, DSP power, scalability, and networking capability supported by an intuitive interface offer freedom and efficiency for designing audio system for installations or live sound. Remote control options include RS 232/422, MIDI, or TCP/IP from products such as AMX and Crestron or through the DME Designer Software.

 


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