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AURUS
AUDIO MIXING CONSOLE

AURUS – The concept

Almost all audio parameters are available to the user at any time in this impressive interface in direct access. A workflow reminiscent of analog times. And that with extensive dynamic and static automations.

AURUS – Integration of the NEXUS audio network

Few systems from other manufacturers are as well integrated with each other and at the same time as flexible as the large mixing consoles from STAGETEC with the NEXUS audio router. We have turned the typical way of thinking on its head: The entire STAGETEC mixing console is part of the audio matrix.

AURUS – Processing & workflow

Direct access to almost all audio parameters in each control strip speeds up work and allows simultaneous operation of parameters in multiple channels.

AURUS – Audio quality

To date, no other manufacturer offers such perfect integration between mixing console, I/O network, and control functions as STAGETEC has achieved with its mixing consoles and NEXUS.

AURUS – Scalable DSP

A modular DSP core with 128 busses and up to 800 channels provides extensive flexibility for daily work

AURUS – Technische Daten
AURUS – Technical data
AURUS – Media
AURUS - Downloads
INTEGRATION NEXUS
PROCESSING & WORK
MEDIA
DOWNLOADS

AURUS large mixing consoles are STAGETEC's flagship products

 

In addition to the outstanding audio quality customary for STAGETEC and the well-known high-quality design of all electronic and mechanical components, these mixing consoles are characterized by the generous equipment of the user interface. "Direct Access" is the name of the philosophy that is based on findings from aviation research:

A pilot can memorize an almost unlimited number of buttons and switches and operate them blindly even under stress. The reliability and speed of his actions decrease rapidly when functions can no longer be directly accessed.

Thus, all important functions are available in the AURUS with just one handle on the surface. All common audio processing functions can be accessed directly from each channel strip. The clarity is high, the distances are short, because access to the central control is almost unnecessary. The­ operating speed of­ an AURUS mixer is unrivalled­­.­ The concept also allows several engineers to work simultaneously on one console without any problems, as all the necessary encoders and buttons for all functions are available in each individual control strip.

Theatre – Broadcast – Studio – Live

An AURUS console not only gives a powerful impression, it is also a powerful tool. The software of the consoles, which has been continuously developed over many years, offers the necessary functions for all conceivable areas of application.

  • For the theatre, for example, extensive scene automation with completely freely definable fade times and fade curves per scene and per channel.

  • In the broadcast sector, an unrestrictedly flexible bus structure with intelligent on-air/off-air solutions or the optional automix for talk shows.

  • A powerful, dynamic automation for studios, capable of controlling up to 16 external tape machines and DAWs and offering the possibility to automate any workstation parameters in the mix with the optionally available DAW control.

  • In live use, direct access to all parameters of the connected NEXUS network, such as the microphone inputs with the optional integrated microphone active split, further optimizing working speed.

Functions in abundance in a coherent system

AURUS mixing consoles are now in their fourth product generation. This claim has been clearly defined since the first generation: Highest audio quality, most extensive editing functions, fastest workflows and perfect integration with the NEXUS audio network. Right from the start, STAGETEC's audio algorithms have been famous for their sonic neutrality. The way the filters work has been praised time and again. With a total of 10 EQs or filters per channel, the equipment is luxurious; the gain of ±24 dB allows clear adjustments to the signal. The dynamic units have also repeatedly made a name for themselves in the international trade press. Like all other functions, the expander gate, compressor, de-esser and limiter are permanently available in each channel and can be freely arranged as independent blocks in the signal chain. Not only the Direct Access philosophy but also a wealth of sophisticated functions that make the daily life of the sound engineer simple and pleasant ensure the undisputedly fast operation.

The AURUS Console - the central part of the big picture

To understand the immense possibilities offered by STAGETEC's system concept, it is helpful to understand the overall system in which the audio consoles are embedded:

The NEXUS audio routing system consists of so–called base devices that can be interconnected in any form to form large networks. Audio I/Os are mounted as plug-in cards in base devices. Almost every audio format is supported – including AoIP formats. In this way, a system can be created that has exactly the required inputs and outputs at each position defined by the user.

The mixing console itself can use any of these inputs without restrictions. No separate inputs are required. The flexibility is thus virtually unlimited. Likewise, all buses and outputs of the mixing console can be flexibly routed to freely selectable outputs throughout the entire system. The number of channels that can be operated is independent of the size of the mixing console surface. The number of audio channels and buses that can be used simultaneously is defined by the number of "RMDQ" DSP cards used.

The DSP cards used can be scaled by the user as required. Later retrofitting is possible. Since the NEXUS routing system allows absolutely all inputs and outputs of the NEXUS system to be routed freely to the mixing console DSP, the total number of channels that can be used is de facto unlimited. Further to audio routing and processing, a NEXUS system provides extensive logic, monitoring and control functions that can interact with external systems in a variety of ways.

In addition to the many helpful, console-internal functions, the interaction with the NEXUS system and all other connected devices is one of the conveniences that make working with an AURUS console so enjoyable, especially in large, complex and time-critical productions. 40 user keys offer the possibility to fulfill all wishes from simple routing changes in the audio network up to PTZ control of connected cameras. Of course, such operations can also be stored in scenes and run automatically, similar to timecode cues or MIDI commands.

Integration with the NEXUS audio network

 

Few systems from other manufacturers are as well integrated with each other and at the same time as flexible as the mixing consoles from STAGETEC with the NEXUS audio router. The reason for this is that STAGETEC has turned the typical way of thinking upside down: Unlike competing products, a STAGETEC mixing console does not have its own audio matrix, but the entire mixing console itself is part of the matrix. This fundamentally different way of thinking opens up much wider possibilities: If the mixer is located in the middle of all inputs and outputs of the entire system, the integration is logically many times better than if inputs and outputs from outside first have to be fed into the mixer. The same applies to all control options. STAGETEC has consciously overcome these self-imposed limitations of other systems since the beginning of the development of the NEXUS router.

Bidirectional control options

Each base unit is equipped with the so-called NEXUS Logic Control. The powerful logic functions provided can be linked to macros and are able to evaluate all-important local audio parameters. This alone opens up possibilities that hardly any other system can offer. In addition, GPIOs can be interrogated and set, commands can be received and sent via serial interfaces or permanent communication can be established with an external control system via Ethernet. Since the functions are provided by different NEXUS board types, the choice is large. This is particularly evident with the serial interfaces: RS232, RS422, RS485 and MIDI are available. USB and Ethernet are already available on every CPU card.

 

NEXUS Logic Control is able to communicate system-wide with other base devices, and query and transmit states. This results in interaction within the NEXUS router and with external systems that go far beyond the options of an audio network and is partially able to completely replace external media controls. This not only enables an undreamt-of integration directly into individual buttons on the audio console but also opens up great savings potential by eliminating additional control systems and considerably simplifying work processes. In combination with the NEXUS Logic Control, a STAGETEC console offers a wide range of possibilities, the use of which sets almost no limits for the inventive user.

In straightforward, simple cases, the user keys of the console can be used, for example, to signal external states or to control them. This can simply be setting crosspoints or, in conjunction with NEXUS XRI boards, switching contacts to control lighting, light signals or other things. Warning states such as the absence of a signal level on the transmission lines or other error states inside or outside the NEXUS could also be indicated by flashing.

In addition to simply switching contacts, the NEXUS logic can also be used for more complex tasks, all of which can be controlled from the console. This can be done by calling up comprehensive system statuses, known as "NEXUS snapshots", or by implementing a pan-tilt-zoom camera control system. In a typical studio application, this could be used to switch different recording rooms between several control rooms at the push of a button. A PTZ camera could easily be used to capture not only the conductor's position but also changing soloists. Using additional video inputs, the image itself can even be displayed on the metering screens of the console. Once presets have been created, they can be saved with the scenes in the console and recalled fully automatically during the course of the show.

Everything is under control from the console

The mixing console is the heart of the system, from which the engineer has all the functions in the network under control: from the integrated microphone splitter and the entire routing in the NEXUS network to the delays, EQs and limiters of the sound system. All messages from the entire system's permanent self-monitoring are signalled directly at the console. In the unlikely event of an accident, all components are hot-swappable and playable again within just 2-3 seconds. For communication, the console's talk microphone can be routed to any bus and integrated with intercom systems from other manufacturers. The mixing console can react automatically to external errors and conditions. Triggers can be remote or local, for example, the failure of the playback player or a key cue from wireless monitoring. The external functions to be controlled can be of any complexity. From the scene automation of the console, each snapshot can always create new settings, regardless of whether these are native parameters or are to be controlled via GPIO, serial protocols, Ethernet or MIDI devices from third-party manufacturers.

Clock, timecode and control signals

Due to its extremely accurate clock rate, NEXUS is often used as a clock master. Conversely, synchronization to any digital inputs including hierarchy definition and dropout-free sync transitioning is also possible. NEXUS has always offered the option of transparently transmitting time code, sync and serial protocols via the system and distributing or switching them to different taps. Of course, almost any serial signal can be used to control the entire system from base devices and consoles.

In a timecode environment, AURUS consoles can be both master and slave. NEXUS allows the time code to be distributed throughout the network with maximum precision and output to external systems. Parallel to the time code, STAGETEC's mixers generate MIDI, RS-232 and other signals to control external devices. This makes automation a breeze in larger shows.

Intelligent functions for efficient working methods

The mixing consoles based on STAGETEC's Star Routers offer an unparalleled range of functions in signal processing alone. This is complemented in the console by control options that optimally support the daily work of the sound engineer. In addition to the features described in the following, there are countless others that would go beyond the scope of a website to describe. If you also take into account the additional functionalities provided by the NEXUS network connected to the mixing console, you'll find that there's an almost unfathomable variety of possibilities.

The standard functions of the input channels

The basic idea of all large mixing consoles from STAGETEC was to be able to run larger productions simultaneously from just one console with several engineers. To make this possible, almost all functions have been integrated directly into each channel strip: Gain, all EQs & filters, compressor, limiter, delay, playout, pan and more can be adjusted without having to access the central control. All encoders, keys and faders of the entire console can be operated simultaneously at any time.

Each of the extremely handy filters offers up to ± 24 dB gain. The two notch filters, available in all AURUS and AVATUS consoles, are especially worth their weight in gold in difficult situations when used live. For all EQs and dynamic units, the consoles also offer a MEM setting, which allows easy A/B comparison of settings or "dual EQing" during the sound check. Of course, these MEM settings are also stored in all snapshots and libraries and can be recalled or exported.

Just as helpful as the immediate operability of all important signal parameters are the various options for forming stereo, link or master/slave groups and using them. In combination with the SPILL function and the globally defined VCA mode, even larger quantities of grouped channels can be handled very quickly, flexibly and space-savingly.

 

In ever more complex productions, the requirement today is to be able to store snapshots and scenes quickly without delaying sample operation. Numerous settings must be able to be made efficiently in the shortest possible time during creation. In the case of cast changes, on the other hand, the focus is on ensuring that necessary changes can be incorporated flexibly and quickly into existing projects. For these and many other requirements, STAGETEC consoles offer a variety of tried and tested intelligent solutions and have thus become the reference for demanding sound control in theatres and broadcasting.

The scene automation of the surfaces accesses snapshots in which all parameters of the mixing console are stored. Fade times, fade curves and switching points can be defined individually for each channel and each scene. Several fades run parallel to each other. Only by touching the faders you can intervene in active fades. If required, the Snap-Mix feature in AURUS consoles allows complex scenes with dynamic mix sequences to be created and integrated into scene automation.

All STAGETEC mixing consoles offer a wide range of practical functions for editing stored snapshots and cue lists, especially designed for the needs of theatres and musicals: The preview mode makes it possible to edit any scene during a show without affecting the sequence. The editing functions can not only be used across scenes, but also allow selected parameters to be copied or relative offsets to be applied to gain-relevant parameters. Thus, complete shows can be adapted to changed conditions within a few minutes.

The functions described above support a fast, efficient way of working in productions that are primarily scene-oriented. But they can also be helpful in broadcast settings. The consoles also offer additional features, which in turn offer tailor-made solutions especially for broadcasting applications: The freely definable N-1 buses, for example, offer many advanced options in addition to the simple matrix definition that greatly simplify daily operations. For smooth handling of even the largest discussion groups, the consoles feature an optionally available Automix algorithm that can work on all channels of the mixing console and in a total of four groups simultaneously - with the typical sonic neutrality and speed for which STAGETEC algorithms are known.

Incoming and outgoing control commands and communication

Extensive integration with simultaneous guarantee of stable operation is the core idea of all systems from STAGETEC. The same applies to the mixing consoles, which can be reliably controlled from any transmission sequence control system. The NEXUS macro control can also be used to include almost any complex circuitry, including external hardware and infrastructure.

As part of the NEXUS router system, the consoles can also incorporate NEXUS snapshots and functions of the integrated NEXUS Logic Control media controller into their own internal automation. Almost all conceivable, controllable functions of connected systems can be linked: e.g. machine control, MIDI and GPIOs. Conversely, MIDI, GPIOs or timecode triggers can address automation from outside the system and trigger actions.

For flexible, stress-free communication with the various parties involved in a production process, speaking to each bus is possible from the consoles. The consistent separation of talk and talkback buses in combination with the comprehensive routing options of the NEXUS network supports the most complex structures that leave nothing to be desired. External intercom systems can be seamlessly integrated via the transparent AES3 input and output boards of the NEXUS system. This not only enables the consoles themselves to operate as intercom stations, but also to use the infrastructure of the NEXUS network to distribute the intercom system. This is another clever way to save time, effort and money with the many options of a STAGETEC system.

Metering, monitoring, Up/Downmix and 3D-panning

All consoles offer comprehensive metering in accordance with DIN and EBU broadcasting standards in order to maintain an overview and control at all times. Loudness metering according to EBU R128 is available in the console in all groups and totals, in the NEXUS matrix even for any I/O. System-wide NEXUS monitoring can be displayed directly on the user interface screens, allowing not only monitoring of any inputs and outputs of the console, but also direct insight into the real output levels of the transmission lines or other relevant signals. The signals themselves do not even have to be routed to the mixing console: Any crosspoint of the entire connected NEXUS audio matrix can be monitored directly from the console via NEXUS metering.

The same applies to the monitoring of all signals in the network: any point in the system can be accessed from the console using the "source direct" function and listened to locally at any time, even if the signal is not permanently routed to the console. This saves resources, maintains clarity and at the same time offers unlimited flexibility, without necessarily having to consider every monitoring requirement beforehand. Anything goes. Anytime.

The upmix of older stereo recordings has gained great importance in broadcasting applications today. For this purpose, STAGETEC offers the patented ISOSTEM algorithm from DSPECIALISTS integrated in NEXUS. ISOSTEM is the only solution to perform a mathematically 1:1 reversible up/down mix, which allows the 5.1 signal to be faithfully reproduced on stereo devices. A unique solution that can easily be realized with an AURUS console in the NEXUS system.

All STAGETEC systems are subject to continuous development. New functions are generally also available for older systems with a software upgrade. For example, 3D panning for AURUS mixing consoles has been added with software release 4.7. Based on the flexible and freely definable bus system of the consoles, users can now create mixes that include overhead loudspeakers in the mix.

All these functions and many more can be operated directly from the mixing console's user interface thanks to the incomparable Direct Access concept without the need for large menu clicks. Even if such lavishly equipped surfaces are sometimes smiled at, they are usually viewed with awe. One thing is certain for STAGETEC's consoles: the Direct Access concept has been consistently implemented in control strips and central cassettes. In addition to the incredible update speed of the console itself, it is this concept that experienced engineers repeatedly emphasize that no other console can work faster than a STAGETEC.

Audio quality without compromise

As a pioneer in digital audio processing, STAGETEC has always placed the highest demands on audio quality. The consequence, with which concepts are implemented, is, again and again, trend-setting for the entire industry.

STAGETEC's audio quality standards are uncompromising, from input through all processing stages to output:

  • Unmatched common-mode rejection through patented TrueMatch® technology 158 dB(A) Dynamic range at TrueMatch microphone inputs

  • No noise, as no analog preamplification is required.

  • Each microphone becomes "digital".

  • No distortion due to intelligent inputs and the largest headroom in each signal processing stage

  • TDM technology ensures consistent, lowest latencies throughout the system

  • Sample-accurate signal processing and summation in the Stage Tec mixing consoles guarantee absolutely phase-free addition to all buses

  • All switching operations and delay settings are dazzled, thus no cracking is guaranteed

  • All transducers and filters optimized for neutral, resonant behaviour

  • Synchronization:

    • Clock accuracy is typically ±5 ppm (10 x better than AES 11-2003, grade 2)

    • Synchronization to any digital source

    • Dedicated sync inputs of various formats

    • Definition of sync hierarchies

    • Inaudible sync transitioning function when changing sync sources

  • Highest calculation accuracy with 40-bit floating-point arithmetic.

The founders of STAGETEC have always aimed to offer digital signal processing with the highest, quasi analog quality and absolute neutrality. In the 1990s, when the computing power of integrated circuits was still far from as high as it is today, its engineers consistently focused on the use of FPGAs and, thus, on hardware-oriented programming. The unique algorithms developed in the process have shaped the quality of audio signal processing in the large mixing consoles from Berlin, which has been admired from the very beginning. They are partly fundamentally different from the "textbook algorithms" of other manufacturers and still form the basis of all signal processing functions in STAGETEC's DSP hardware today - naturally extended and further developed many times over

Highest audio quality already from the input

Audio experts agree: The quality of every signal processing chain is decisively determined by the quality of the input amplifiers or converters. STAGETEC's TrueMatch® microphone inputs, with a dynamic range of 158 dB, are the absolute pinnacle of currently available technology. They do not require any analog preamplification, which contributes significantly to noise reduction, especially in the summation of many channels. Without analog signal amplification, every microphone becomes a digital microphone.

The patented TrueMatch inputs are an excellent example of STAGETEC's commitment to quality in signal processing. This continues throughout the entire signal processing chain and can be seen again and again, for example in many ingenious details.

Sample-accurate summation to avoid phasing

In the NEXUS network, the TDM technology used always guarantees the same, lowest latencies. In STAGETEC's mixing consoles, the concept is already trimmed for speed and maximum accuracy. For example, all channels are always summed simultaneously and sample-accurately on all buses. Although this is technically complex, it avoids phasing effects such as those known from more economical, step-by-step addition methods. Due to this uncompromising commitment to audio quality, corrective auxiliary functions such as delay compensation in STAGETEC mixing consoles are not even necessary.

Avoidance of artefacts by fading over all switching operations

STAGETEC uses special fade algorithms even for the simplest operations, such as switching an EQ on or off or the courage of a channel. The old setting is faded into the new state within a few milliseconds by means of a specifically calculated fade. This guarantees that no level jumps, crackling or other artefacts can influence the signal. The same applies, for example, to rapid changes in the channel's delay. These are also converted to the new state with a fade-in in order to avoid signal distortion.

These examples impressively demonstrate the details with which STAGETEC's audio signal processing consistently implemented at the highest level distinguishes itself from products of other manufacturers. The hardware required for these audio services is considerable and distinguishes the large mixing consoles from Berlin. Customers and trade journals regularly praise these consoles.

A consistent DSP concept - centralized and scalable

 

Just as innovative as in audio signal processing, STAGETEC is in the design and scalability of its DSP platform. A striking, useful feature is that all flexibly expandable mixing consoles from STAGETEC use the same DSP cards. All product families benefit from further developments in software and hardware - one of the most important criteria for the longevity of these consoles.

The NEXUS Star Router - Base device with special features

The NEXUS Star Router was developed in order to implement particularly high routing requirements in a NEXUS network. Compared to the classic NEXUS system base devices, which have a TDM bus for communication between the plug-in cards, this 6U device offers its own redundant matrix of 4,096 inputs and 4,096 outputs. Since a NEXUS network supports any topologies simultaneously and also several Star Routers simultaneously, enormously large audio networks can be created that meet all requirements.

The mixing console in the Star Router - it couldn't be more central

The control and DSP cards from STAGETEC's audio consoles are logically located in the Star Router. Here they can directly access the huge amount of audio channels that are processed in a mixing console today. This direct connection to the matrix of a NEXUS Star Router not only enables the consoles to use every input of the entire system as an input and every output of the system as an output, but it also enables the uniquely flexible bus structure of STAGETEC's large mixers. This is also the most outstanding difference from other mixing console concepts:

Typical mixing consoles have a matrix inside them. STAGETEC's mixing consoles are in the matrix!

The RMDQ DSP cards - flexible redundancy

The actual DSP cards on which the audio signal processing is calculated are called "RMDQ" at STAGETEC. Their hardware architecture is optimized for low heat generation while the software is designed so that the user can configure flexible combinations of input channels and buses in a wide range. Two things are particularly noteworthy with this STAGETEC concept: First, the user can freely determine the number and use of the buses himself; sums, groups, AUX paths, N-1 buses as required. And secondly, each channel always has the full DSP resources available for calculating all intended audio editing functions. Depending on the configuration, up to 800 audio channels or 128 buses can be operated.

The RMDQ cards are now the fourth DSP generation and, as typical for STAGETEC, backwards compatible with the predecessor version under the name "RMD". Depending on resource requirements, up to 7 RMDQ cards can form the DSP of a mixing console together. If the user's requirements increase, additional RMDQ cards can be added at any time. The redundancy concept of the STAGETEC mixing consoles is also unique: Each NEXUS Star Router itself already has a fully redundant internal structure. If desired, the user can purchase a redundant control board for the router at any time.

Even more flexible is the redundancy of the DSPs solved. For each project, it can be decided to configure one RMDQ card as a redundant card or to use the full DSP resources for this project. The resulting flexibility offers both the highest performance and highest security, configurable according to project requirements. This also keeps the hardware effort and costs within reasonable limits.

The trend-setting concept of placing the mixing console directly within the Star Router and the scalability of the DSP resources themselves underline the uniqueness of the large mixing consoles from STAGETEC. Many helpful functions cannot be realized without such a sophisticated system concept.

Technical data mixer surface
Performance audio & console
Features
Dimensions
Technical data NEXUS Star Router
Technical specifications console surface
Performance audio & console
Features
Dimensions
Technical specifications NEXUS Star Router

AURUS – Media