Console News: Euphonix DF70 DSP SuperCore, SSL X-Desk Compact Mixer, Lawo Software

By Dan Daley

Consoles received a lot of attention at NAB 2009. Here’s a look at three suppliers’ offerings.

Euphonix introduced the DF70 DSP SuperCore for System 5 consoles that require extra-large digital-signal-processing (DSP) channel counts. The DF70 can support more than 450 channels at 48 KHz or 220 channels at 96 KHz. The current DF66 DSP SuperCore is the DSP engine of choice for all markets that require no more than 334 channels; it also supports a dual DSP SuperCore 100%-redundancy system for broadcasters and can handle up to six of the same DSP SP663 cards as the DF70. The DF70, in comparison, supports up to eight SP663 cards for the highest-channel-count applications. The DF70 also includes 32 MADI I/O for a total of 2048×2048 inputs managed by the console’s PatchNet routing software. The DF70 comes with six mixer models with different combinations of buses with more than 450 channels, up to 64 mix buses, up to 24 aux sends, and up to 24 external inputs. The DF70 began shipping this month.

Solid State Logic’s new X-Desk compact audio mixer got its first U.S. showing at the show. The X-Desk combines a 16-channel SSL SuperAnalogue summing mixer with a compact analogue audio hub. The mixer features 100-mm faders and monitoring with dim and cut buttons, stereo and mono aux sends, channel and master bus inserts, and accurate bar-graph level metering. The 7-U X-Desk comes with rack ears for standard 19-in. rack mounting. Multiple X-Desks can be cascaded via D-Sub connection to expand up to 150 inputs. Other features include 8x dual-input mono line channels, 16-channel mixdown, 8x insert send/returns on channels, stereo cue, and two mono auxiliary sends, 2x stereo returns with level, pan and bus assignment, and RF Screened I/O connections. The X-Desk will be available beginning in May priced at $2,899.

Console manufacturer Lawo showed its latest v4.4 software release for its mc² series mixing consoles. The new version supports the new MKII router that, with on-board computer control, offers a redundant control system for mc²56 and mc²90 control surfaces.

In conjunction with a redundantly configured MKII router, the takeover of an active control system’s tasks by the standby router card is triggered automatically as soon as the standby card detects an error on the active router card. Both router cards are permanently synchronized, so all the critical user information — including production data, automation data, and snapshots — is immediately available (manual switchover is also possible). This capability allows the control computer to be replaced during runtime, without having to take the mixing console out of service. It’s now also possible to have the operating surface at a distance of several miles from the actual mixer and its HD core control engine.

Among other v4.4 software features: enhanced and optimized GUI pages that improve overview, handling, and metering for live applications. A reverse bus-assign page facilitates the fast location of undesired inputs to the buses. Another ergonomic enhancement is the user-assignable color-coding for the mc² series can now be applied individually to every channel; color assignments are stored with the snapshots and production data.