Stage Tec systems are always tailored to individual applications. Therefore, many features have been developed for AURUS to facilitate day-to-day working and often save time and money. The following is a small selection.

Stage Tec systems are always tailored to individual applications. Therefore, many features have been developed for AURUS to facilitate day-to-day working and often save time and money. The following is a small selection.

+ Automation

An important AURUS feature is automation functions which enable project parameters to be stored. With its three automation approaches, the AURUS goes well beyond the standard offer of many other mixing consoles.
AURUS demonstrates its quality even when storing. Unlike other systems, the AURUS stores not just faders and mutes but all audio parameters.

Static  Automation

With static automation, all parameter settings of all audio channels can be stored as a snapshot. This includes all audio parameters of configured processing channels including the metering settings. AURUS stores layer assignments per snapshot – up to a total of 999 possible layer assignments per project. Loading a snapshot provides direct access to the most important settings.
AURUS offers various possibilities for storing static automation, for example, storing selected function groups of equaliser settings, or individual functions.
During a production snapshots can be viewed, modified and executed or discarded. Current offsets can also be included in all relevant snapshots either relatively or absolutely.

AURUS has the following snapshot types:

  • Full Snapshot: Stores all current console settings.
  • Full Function Snapshot: Stores the settings of selected function groups for all channels.
  • Channel Function snapshot: Stores parameter settings of selected channels.
  • Function Snapshot: Stores individual parameters which are selected by touching fader knobs.
  • Timecode Scene Snapshot: Stores dynamic parameter changes within a time frame (for complex dynamic parameter progressions).

Scene Automation

Using scene automation, you can store snapshots in any order and recall them later, one by one, using dedicated keys. Crossfades with configurable fade times are applied when loading snapshots. You can also enable various switching actions using a sequence-control feature.
With scene automation, MIDI commands can be defined, for example, to control external devices.

Dynamic Automation

Dynamic automation is controlled by timecode. It captures changes made to any audio parameters in a project, for example, encoder and fader actions or key strokes. To prevent stepping and ensure a smooth mix, AURUS stores the mix in 10-ms increments. Mix scope settings enable functions and/or channels to be included in the dynamic mix.  

Mix-edit enables an existing dynamic automation pass to be edited i.e. extended or shortened. Access to all tracks of the inserted passage is maintained and the timecode  adjusted automatically.

+ AURUS as a DAW Hardware Controller

AURUS renders a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) hardware controller superfluous. Thanks to a Stage Tec software option channel strips and the Master panel on the AURUS surface can be used via the HUI protocol as a DAW controller. This allows for comprehensive DAW control directly from the console surface which also saves you investments and space.
Audio workstations supported currently include Nuendo, Cubase, and Pro Tools; you can also control Pyramix, which uses a different protocol and will be described below.
Control of up to 32 DAW channels is possible. AURUS faders, buttons and encoders control the corresponding functions in the DAW. The TFT screens show relevant parameters including pan, EQ settings, and channel names. Mute, solo, record and select functions can also be controlled from the AURUS.
Remote control also includes DAW plug-ins, many editing options are feasible. Extra functions such as storing or recalling locators can be achieved directly on the AURUS.

+ AURUS Controls Pyramix

AURUS consoles include a control interface for the Pyramix DAW. This interface offers very close integration of the two systems. For this purpose, it makes use of the proprietary OASIS protocol which provides a high bandwidth for transmission of control and display information. AURUS can access almost all the parameters of  Pyramix projects.
The DAW controller for Pyramix supports a number of functions in the Mix and Machine Control areas. Mixing functions include fader, panpot, EQ and dynamics parameters, aux sends and the mute, solo, and record-ready functions. Channels can be selected and the automation features controlled from the AURUS. The console surface and the TFT screens show channel labels, meters, and parameter settings from the DAW.
Pyramix mono and stereo input channels, summing buses, and bus channels are mapped to the console.
AURUS machine control supports Pyramix, so the Pyramix transport functions can be remote-controlled from the AURUS.

+ Conference Calls with N–1 System

The N–1 (mix-minus) system allows for setting up complex conference calls. All subscribers who are off-air can talk to each other. If one of them is put on air, the corresponding path will be removed from the conference. When the fader is closed that person is once again added to the conference.
Unlike other consoles, the AURUS allows for configuring up to 96 N–1 buses – sufficient for all applications.
The on-air matrix can be set up for up to 16 subscribers.

+ Built-In Audio Analysis

AURUS can optionally be equipped with an integrated OEM version of the RTW TM7 TouchMonitor audio meter. The meter unit is installed in the body of the console. Just as with the external unit, the meter analyses audio on the connected NEXUS audio matrix. The visual representation of the meters is displayed on the Master-panel TFT. In contrast to the stand-alone version, TouchMonitor configuration is not done via the touchscreen but by using the AURUS graphics tablet.

The integrated OEM version of the TM7 offers the same functionality and ease of use as the external device. The instruments can be scaled and positioned anywhere on the screen. Several instruments of the same type can be displayed simultaneously even if they are assigned to different input channels and configurations. Available instruments include loudness metering, true-peak metering, surround analysis and a 2-channel audio goniometer (vectorscope).

+ Parameter Libraries

AURUS offers many features that help to save time and money in day-to-day operation. Equaliser and dynamics settings are organised in libraries. The channel parameters are stored separately from the project and will be available as soon as the project has been loaded. The library can also be exported as a file for use with other projects.

The library stores settings of the following signal-processing units: filter/equaliser, compressor, limiter, expander/gate, input gain.

+ Logic Control

NEXUS Logic Control is a flexible user-programmable logic system for switching and control functions. Logic Control allows various NEXUS parameters to be queried. For example, crosspoint statuses, fader-start relays, input or output levels and internal error statuses.  Logic Control can control many different events such as the red light, mute keys, routing switches, level control auto-fallback measures and intercom systems.
AURUS has up to 256 Logic Control inputs and outputs.

+ Machine Control

All AURUS systems include a remote-control feature which is used to control up to 16 external peripherals. Flexible software modules provide relatively simple access to different machines.
The devices to be controlled are connected to the appropriate interface on the AURUS controller card and to the NEXUS serial or parallel interface card (XCI, XRI).
A jog wheel gives VariSpeed control or frame-by-frame positioning. Timecode markers can be created and managed and a loop function enables a previously defined part to be repeated continuously.
Timecode markers can also be set that can be stored to a cue list independent of the current project.

+ AURUS Vitual Surface

The AURUS Virtual Surface software enables the AURUS to be controlled from a portable PC. All console functions are mapped, so operation is almost identical. AURUS Virtual Surface extends the console by 16  fader strips.  
AURUS Virtual Surface is a pure control facility without internal data management, so it can be used in parallel with the hardware console. All settings are instantly available when switching over to the mixing hardware.
AURUS Virtual Surface is suitable for both theatre and broadcast areas, for example, for controlling an AURUS system from the hall, or for fine-tuning a new sound-reinforcement system.

+ Configuring AURUS without the Console

Users working in changing production environments will appreciate the AURUS offline-configuration options because they offer serious time and cost benefits on tight production schedules, for example in OB trucks or at live events.
The offline editor makes it possible to configure an AURUS while it is still in use on another production. All preparatory work including channel assignments, channel configurations etc. are made in a standalone editor software running on a Windows PC. The resultant project will be uploaded to the AURUS.
It also works the other way round. Projects are imported from the console projects into the offline editor for further editing.

+ Base-Device Simulation in AURUS

When configuring NEXUS audio networks, users can save a lot of time by using the AURUS Master panel: crosspoints, filter settings and other parameters can be set even while the NEXUS Base Devices are not physically connected to the console.
Particularly in outside broadcasting, the OB-van crew used to experience delays since the audio network could only be set up after all the NEXUS stage boxes had been installed. With the new offline mode configuration can be started immediately because NEXUS Base Devices not present are emulated. After the stage boxes have been connected, the prepared settings can be loaded without delay.

+ The Spill Function

To save space on the mixing console surface, multiple audio channels are often grouped and assigned to a single control strip. The disadvantage is that while one audio channel is in the foreground the other channels of a control group remain in the background. They are linked and are also controlled when changes are made to the foreground channel. AURUS provides the spill function for when a background channel requires individual adjustments. Pressing the spill key brings all audio channels belonging to the control group to the surface. After making the correction a second press on the Spill key hides the background channels once more leaving the foreground channel on the surface.

The spill function is beneficial in that it improves console organisation. The user can access all signals quickly and keep track of what is going on because most of the time the main layer is used. This is particularly important in live mixing. Usually, the definition of layers on digital desks must be really well thought-out. However, thanks to the spill function, layer configuration has lost its importance.

+ Additional Features Overview:

  • The panel lighting is dimmable.
  • Console displays and screens respond automatically to environmental lighting conditions and adjust themselves accordingly.
  • The Master Channel screen display can be switched to channel-strip view.
  • In addition to the console’s channel displays, up to two external video sources can be viewed on each screen. Depending on the adapter employed, the following formats are supported: SVHS, Composite, VGA, SVGA, DVI and HD-SDI.
  • NEXUS functions are presented on the console:
    - channel meters (16 pages, up to 96 channels)
    - To control external devices AURUS triggers the NEXUS SRI GPI/O card.

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