DiGiCo Launches New Products at AES
DiGiCo will launch the latest in its series of I/O rack modules at the 131st AES convention in New York, making the company’s audio systems even more flexible. The new MINI and NANO racks offer a wide range of input and output options for any DiGiCo SD audio system.
Multiple DiGiCo mixing consoles can be positioned in an ‘Optocore’ 2G optical loop, ideally suited to complex live or broadcast productions where multiple consoles need to share and sub-mix I/O. A perfect example of how this can work in the real world is a scenario of FOH, Monitors and a live broadcast feed.
Instead of all the I/O connections having to be in one place, they can be distributed throughout a venue at the most convenient points.
“With a digital system it makes no sense to have long lengths of analog cabling between your audio sources or amplifiers/loudspeakers and a central I/O rack,” says DiGiCo Marketing Director David Webster. “In a theatre you might want 56 mic inputs and 24 outputs as a main I/O rack, then a few more each side of the stage, perhaps a few for an event in the foyer and some more in an adjacent rehearsal room. Now you can use an SD-Rack for the main onstage I/O rack, but have a NANO rack each side of the stage, another in the foyer and a MINI rack in the rehearsal room, all communicating and working with up to five redundant consoles.”
Alternatively, at a sports broadcasting event, a combination of I/O racks can be distributed about the field of play, all backed up on a redundant single or multimode optical loop. Up to 14 rack IDs can be defined on each loop providing a full optical distribution system.
The MINI rack has 4 x standard SD hot swappable I/O card slots. These can be populated with any combination of the SD-Rack I/O cards; currently these include Mic/Line, Line output, AES I/O, AES IN, AES OUT, ADAT, AVIOM, DANTE and an in development HD-SDi card. Standard on the rack are MADI I/O connections along with the choice of either HMA, OpticalCon or ST optics.
Half the physical size of the MINI rack, the NANO offers two SD hot swappable I/O card slots, with the same card options. Optical connections are again user defined with HMA, OpticalCon or ST options.
Thanks to DiGiCo’s Gain Tracking, all consoles can share the inputs of all racks, while any slot of eight outputs on any rack can be allocated to any console on the optical network, provided it has not been previously allocated by another console.
“Another advantage of the system is cost savings,” continues Webster. “For example, if the FoH engineer only needs eight outputs, he can use a slot of outputs on the rack that the monitor guy is using – so it means you don’t need to buy two racks.”
Together with DiGiCo’s SD and D racks, the MINI and NANO racks provide a completely flexible I/O rack solution for any situation.
The SD10-24, like the original SD Ten launched at ProLight+Sound earlier this year, is a console that boasts features and benefits that instantly distinguish it from the others in the SD Series and every other digital console on the market, just in a more compact package.
“When we introduced the SD8-24, which was primarily designed with the corporate market in mind, it was an immediate hit,” says Gordon. “The SD10-24 is based on the same thinking; to provide a smaller footprint console for a particular segment of the market, but with no reduction in functionality or number of inputs and outputs.
“With the SD10-24 we have smaller venues in mind and, because we also have the SD10-B broadcast specific product, we are producing an SD10B-24 as well, which we are confident will be particularly useful for OB trucks, where space is often very limited but a high channel and buss count is required to handle 5.1 audio systems.”
The SD10-24 measures just under a meter in width, with a worksurface constructed from anodised aluminium, overlaid with polycarbonate panels to provide clear and concise user feedback. It boasts the same large 15-inch, touch sensitive screen as the SD Ten, providing both information and fast control of all the main parameters.
The control surface features 25 100mm touch sensitive faders, providing fast access to the console’s large number of channels, which include 96 with full processing, 12 of which can be configured as full Flexi Channels – and outputs that can be assigned across the surface. All inputs have dual mono inputs for fast ‘Main’ and ‘Alt’ channel switching.
Smart Key Macros are provided, accessed via four layers of ten backlit LCD keys. The user can program these to control any functions, simple or complex, that they want to recall at the push of a button.
Local I/O, positioned on the rear of the console, comprises eight mic inputs, eight line outputs, eight mono AES I/O, two MADI connections with redundant cabling connections, 16 GPI and GPO connections (with the option to expand to 32 GPI and GPO), MIDI, plus Wordclock, MADI and Optocore for synchronization.
As you would expect from DiGiCo, the SD TEN features extremely powerful processing. Standard input channel processing includes channel delay; single and multi channel presets; HPF and LPF with an industry leading 24db per octave; four bands of parametric EQ with band curve selection; compressor and date; dual insert points and access to all bussing.
Standard output channel processing includes output delay; eight bands of parametric EQ (previously only seen on the SD7); compressor and gate; dual insert points; groups with buss to buss routing, plus Auxes that have direct talk to output with dim control.
Dynamic EQ provides both expansion and compression on all four bands of parametric EQ. These powerful processors can be assigned to any of the input or output channels, whether stereo or LCR, with ten units being allocated as required. In addition, any input or output channel can be mastered via the multi-band compressors – perfect for managing complex in ear monitoring or difficult input channels – again, ten units can be allocated.
48 assignable busses can be configured as mono or stereo groups, or auxiliary busses. There is also an additional stereo or LCR Master buss and 16×12 output matrix, highlighting the SD range’s renowned routing flexibility. Meanwhile, dual solo busses give monitor engineers the comfort of accurate monitoring security.
Insertable FX and graphic EQs can be routed, controlled and snapshot recalled for the most complex show design. The 24 graphics can easily be inserted and controlled from the worksurface and 10 Stealth stereo FX units can be configured at any time from the palette of thirty-three Stealth FX. Integration with Waves plug-ins offers yet more processing options.
Unlike all other Sound Grid platforms, DiGiCo provides complete control of plug in parameters, as well as recall of snapshots and single loading/saving, directly from the worksurface. Sixteen stereo Sound Grid racks can be inserted, with up to eight plug-ins in each rack.
Like all DiGiCo consoles, the SD10-24 software runs on a standard PC or Intel-based Macintosh for offline preparation and remote control of the console. One SD10-24 can also be linked to another, using a standard CAT5 crossover cable, providing 74 faders for control. In this configuration, the audio engine of the first SD Ten provides complete redundancy for the other.
DiGiCo has also developed the Remote Rack PSU or RR-PSU for its SD range of digital mixing consoles. This simple, yet elegant, solution comprises two modules: one with a single multi-pin connector, the other a 3U rack mount unit with a corresponding multi-pin connector and two power supply sockets. These two modules are connected via a 5m long cable, which allows the power supply to sit in a remote location, thus removing any fan noise from the level sensitive area.
The RR-PSU can also be used in conjunction with the SD11, with the additional benefit of turning the SD11 into a redundant PSU system.
“Under normal circumstances, the PSU fan noise produced by our consoles is insignificant,” says Gordon, “but in some level sensitive theatres and halls we wanted to take our console to a further stage of quiet. The RR-PSU is another addition to our ancillary range of equipment that makes this possible with our SD consoles. Combine it with an SD11 and you have the makings of an amazing little broadcast console.”
The DiGiCo RR-PSU can be used with SD8, SD9, SD10, and SD11 consoles.