Studio Consoles 2011

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Matt Gallagher



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Console manufacturers have adapted to our evolving workflows by offering a range of solid products aimed anywhere from large-format studio installations to desktop audio production. Here, we present manufacturers’ current offerings, listed alphabetically. These consoles and audio controllers include a variety of features such as embedded converters, onboard DSP and effects, FireWire, USB and analog I/O, modular design and more. All in these products offer something for every budget and need, so dig in and enjoy.

Alesis MultiMix 16 USB FX

Alesis MultiMix 16 USB FX

AlesisMultiMix 16 USB FX is a 16-channel mixer with built-in DSP effects (reverb, delay and phaser) and a footswitch bypass control that has eight XLR inputs with gain trim, switchable highpass filters and 48-volt phantom power. It offers ¼-inch line-level inputs on all 16 channels, a high-impedance input on channel 2 and a tape RCA stereo input. Channels 1 through 8 feature 3-band EQ (with sweepable parametric midrange control on channels 1 through 4), while channels 8 through 16 have 2-band EQ. The MultiMix 16 USB FX also contains an aux out and stereo returns, as well as insert jacks on channels 1 through 4. The MultiMix 16 USB FX, MultiMix 8 USB 2.0 and MultiMix 8 USB all contain a USB recording interface (16-bit, 44.1/48kHz bidirectional stereo) for Mac and PC that requires no software drivers. Main and headphone outputs have independent level controls, and the mixer includes Cubase LE software.

AMS Neve Genesys

AMS Neve Genesys

AMS Neve hand-builds the modular Genesys console in its UK factory, combining analog design and true Neve preamp circuitry with hands-on DAW control and connectivity for Pro Tools, Logic, Nuendo and more. The Genesys’ basic 16-fader configuration comprises 16 channels of mic/line preamps, 16 channels of DAW mixing, 32-channel analog summing at mixdown, eight auxiliary buses, eight group buses and 5.1 monitoring. Every switch is “soft,” so every routing decision and switch setting can be saved and instantaneously reset. The console can also recall optional Neve analog EQ and dynamics cassettes. The Genesys is expandable up to 64 faders/128 inputs with Encore automation, Total Recall, transformers on mic preamps and Neve AD/DA converters.

The Neve 88D digital console uses classic Neve transformer mic inputs and Gigabit-linked Super-High-Definition converters. Its DSP engine is capable of mixing 1,000 tracks at 96 kHz with classic Neve 1081R mic preamplifiers, dedicated 8.1 surround monitoring of multiple sources and the latest Encore Plus automation. It also offers high-PCM sampling rates, DXD mixing and 40-bit floating-point processing. Its conventional channel strips with touch-sensitive illuminated logicators provide a simple and direct method of control feedback. A knob-per-function center panel aids sweet-spot mixing, while a “small fader” path and a simple layer structure are designed to provide easy access to large numbers of channels. The 88RS analog console is designed for 5.1 surround sound production as it has no VCAs, uses in-line console architecture and offers four main output faders (L/R, C, S and Ls/Rs). The 88RS is supplied with an Encore Plus automation system and has motorized large and small faders, two faders per channel strip, AFL surround solo monitor, enhanced "S" channel strip, spectral Neve formant equalization, Neve soft-knee compression, 24-step precision volume control and remote mic amp option. The addition of the stem mixer and 8-track scoring panel makes it a viable choice for scoring, music recording and mixing.

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