Category Archives for "Consoles"
One of the byproducts of just using a DAW and not having a console in your home studio is the fact that the monitoring and communication features that we were all so used to are suddenly absent. While monitor controllers are pretty much everywhere now, that still leaves communication with the artist’s cue mix a persistent hassle, and that’s where the Radial Studio Q talkback box comes in.
The Studio Q connects in between the DAW’s cue mix output and the headphone amp and allows the engineer/producer to easily talk to the artist with the push of a top mounted switch, which can also be activated via a footswitch. There’s a built-in mic, but you can also connect a better sounding mic via an rear panel XLR. The unit has a volume control for the talkback mic as well as the cue program, and trim controls for both the internal and external mics. There’s also an adjustable dim control that lowers the level of the program when the talkback button is selected.
One last cool thing – the Studio Q also has a remote output designed to drive an LED light in the studio that tells the player (who may not be able to hear you because of the volume level) that you’re trying to talk to him.
The Radial Studio Q talkback box retails for $299. You can find out more details in the video below.
Mixers either swear by outboard analog summing amps or don’t see the need for them at all, but the ones that do are very passionate about them. We’re now into the second generation of summing amps, and the latest ones are incorporating a lot of features that the the first gen didn’t have. That’s one of the reasons why the new A-Designs Mix Factory is so cool; it has a lot of great features. But the other reason is more important – its concept was actually developed by a mixer.
The brainchild of producer/engineer/mixer Tony Shepperd (you can hear him talk about it on my Inner Circle Podcast #116) and electronically designed by famed engineer Paul Wolff, Mix Factory is a 16 channel outboard summing mixer with a lot of features. Each channel has a gain control, a pan pot with center detent, and a mute switch that also acts as a level indicator. What’s interesting is that the 16 channels are divided into two groups of 8, each with its own insert and master volume control. There’s also a master insert for all 16 channels that has it’s own insert as well, and each insert has it’s own mute button.
But mixers not only want control, they want sound, and Mix Factory delivers by providing either a clean signal path, or a colored one with Cinemag transformers that can be accessed from a front-panel button.
The 16 audio channels are rear panel accessed via two D-Sub input connectors, with XLRs for the main outputs (both pre and post master fader) and inserts. If you need more inputs, the Mix Factory is also linkable up to 64 channels. It also has an external switchable power supply that allows the unit to be used for both US and foreign markets.
The A-Designs Mix Factory goes for $2,990 street, which isn’t all that much considering what you get. You can find out more here.
NAB was pretty cool this year but one of the products that jumped out was the new Solid State Logic System T console. While this isn’t of direct interest to most of you in terms of a purchase, it’s worth knowing about since it’s stunning in both its looks and capabilities.
The SSL System T was designed from the ground up specifically to handle large-scale productions in a fully networked broadcast environment. Up to 3 consoles or control surfaces can be placed on the network to access a fully redundant pair of processor engines so there’s never any downtime for the system. The routing and I/O is based on the new Dante HC connectivity, so any Dante-driven I/O stagebox with work with the console.
The Tempest processor engine is capable of real-time, 64-bit CPU-based, floating point mixing and processing. Each processor engine can handle up to 3072 inputs and outputs and provides 800 fully configurable processing paths, up to 192 mix buses, 800 EQs, 800 dynamics and 400 delays!
Paths, processing and routing can be dynamically allocated in real time without interrupting audio, which is a unique feature in a broadcast console.
System T’s also features a control surface that incorporates multi-gesture touch screen technology, which seems to take a page out of the Slate Raven playbook.
The SSL System T is so new that it hasn’t been priced yet, but you can be pretty sure that you won’t be seeing it in a recording studio near you anytime soon. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a more music-oriented spinoff of the System T in the near future. Click here to find out more.