+ Redundancy

The CRESCENDO/NEXUS system allows a large number of resources to be used in parallel:

  • Fibre-optic connections: Redundant fibre-optic lines can be routed between the CRESCENDO and the NEXUS Base Devices. If a fibre-optic link fails, the system switches to a backup link automatically and within one sample!
  • Sync sources: Automatic Sync source selection on failure of the current sync source is an integral part of NEXUS. If no external source is available, the system will synchronise to a Base Device internal clock generator.
  • Power-supply units: Base Devices can be equipped with redundant power supplies, for example, for operation on separate circuits. If a power-supply (or the power) fails, the backup power supply will resume operation without interruption.
  • CRESCENDO has its own redundant power supply.
  • An RMD card can be defined for redundancy.
  • When using two RCXs, one of them can be used as a redundant component; it will then remain in standby mode during normal operation.

+ System Monitoring Using SNMP

Many companies use SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) as a centralised management solution for system monitoring of routers, computers, servers, etc. NEXUS networks can also be monitored using SNMP. The XCI communication-interface card acts as an interface between the NEXUS and SNMP. The card forwards general information (e.g. the number of Base Devices) as well as any error messages from the NEXUS network to the SNMP Manager. NEXUS logic functions can also be used to for generate SNMP messages. Any event that can be detected using logic functions can be reported through SNMP.

+ Dedicated OS

The entire CRESCENDO/NEXUS system, hardware and software, is based on proprietary Stage Tec designs. The system comprises a plurality of digital processors that perform decentralised calculations for the necessary tasks. This approach improves system stability and also provides very high data throughput and real-time behaviour in response to operator input. Stage Tec has designed and optimised its own operating system. This ensures reliability and independence from other vendors and also offers many advantages when it comes to maintenance.

Microsoft Windows is used for configuring the console.

+ Reliability with a distributed system

CRESCENDO and NEXUS are largely structured as systems with distributed controls and processing, so failure is usually confined to partial functions.  

If the configuration computer fails, the console will remain operative. The audio processor will continue to run if the console fails or the fibre optic cable to the console is detached, the audio processor will continue to run and the most recent audio processing settings will be retained.

Audio processing is largely channel oriented, meaning that if a malfunction occurs on an RMD signal processing car only those channels processed on that card will be affected. This concept also makes it quick and simple to locate the defective card. A redundant RMD card can be configured if required.

The concept of the virtual console is beneficial in protecting against failure. If a malfunction occurs the configuration can be changed quickly in order to bypass any failed components.

A second CRESCENDO console or control panel also offers protection against downtime and provides additional reliability.
System errors are saved to log files during operation and can be analysed later.

+ Synchronisation

All NEXUS Base Devices and CRESCENDO audio processors in the overall system are synchronised to a common clock source. The clock signals are distributed in the system via the fibre-optic connections, eliminating the necessity for a separate word-clock network.

CRESCENDO and NEXUS support the standard sample rates of 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88 kHz, 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz.

The NEXUS controller boards (XCPU, RCX) are equipped with precision WCL generators and can be used as a studio master clock.
At sync-source failure, the overall system automatically switches to a different source; if no valid external source is available, internal synchronisation will be enabled. The sync preferences can be controlled via an editable list.

+ System Boot

Data stored in the CRESCENDO mixing console system will survive even the longest power failure.  After an outage, the console will restore its previous settings within a few seconds.

The configuration computer requires approximately one minute to boot.

All NEXUS base devices – and therefore the entire routing system – are ready for operation within a few seconds of powering up or a mains failure. All settings valid before the system was powered down are recalled and returned to their previous state (data retention). The system settings and signal distribution settings are also included in the data memory.

+ Fibre-Optic Connections

The use of fibre-optic cables for system control and audio, data and word-clock information distribution simplifies the installation and makes the system insusceptible to electromagnetic interference and ground-loops.

+ Flexible System Configuration

The modular concept of CRESCENDO and NEXUS allows for a customised configuration of the overall system, which can be expanded as required for special functions.

Even with an existing system the configuration is not fixed. On the contrary the free configurability of channel and sum assignments as well as a channel layout that can be altered at any time allow for optimal project-specific adaptation to a multitude of different tasks.

+ Proven Quality

Stage Tec products are manufactured for professional applications and therefore built to exacting standards. Their audio quality and hardware components meet even the most stringent requirements.

Digital audio processing at 40 bits with floating-point calculation as well as the excellent analogue components of the NEXUSrouter/switcher system ensure superb audio quality and maximum head­room for recording, mixing and public-address applications. CRESCENDO complies with all requirements regarding analogue inputs and outputs as described in the IRT specification booklets 3/2 and 3/5. The quality of the digital and analogue audio interfaces has been tested and approved by the Rundfunk-Betriebstechnik institute (RBT, Nuremberg/Germany), RAI (Italy), ABC’s Evaluation Labs (New York), and CCTV (China).

+ Quality Assurance

All assemblies are subjected to extensive testing prior to delivery. The test routines and measurement sessions are aimed at ensuring that all functions work as expected and to verify the specifications detailed in the data sheets. Each panel is first subjected to highly efficient, computer-controlled test routines, inspected by hand and is subsequently subjected to durability tests within the entire system. More complex assemblies must also pass stringent endurance and individual tests.  

+ Logistics

CRESCENDO is ideal for installation in OB trucks and use for live events: The consoles are very shallow and characterised by low weight. The shallow control surface recommends CRESCENDO for installation in small, tight spaces. The NEXUS STAR audio processor is extremely compact (6RU), the routing system is scalable and uses decentralised Base Devices. Power consumption is very low and results in minimal heat emission.

+ Power Supply

One of the outstanding features of CRESCENDO is its low power dissipation (approx. 250 W for a standard console, plus 20 W per audio-processor board). Therefore, it is eminently suitable for mobile use and small control rooms.

The CRESCENDO consoles, as well as the NEXUS STAR, which accommodates the audio processor, feature power-supply units with automatic changeover. If the power-supply units are fed from separate power lines the console will continue working if one supply line breaks down. If required, Base Devices and audio processors can also be equipped with redundant power supplies.

+ Maintenance

Maintenance of the CRESCENDO mixing-console system is supported in many ways. For example, the operating systems of NEXUS Base Devices, CRESCENDO audio processors, and control-computer boards can be updated simply via the main-console configuration computer.
The audio processor and NEXUS Base Device boards can be replaced during operation (»hot swap«). The same applies to the control panels.

Maintenance of the NEXUS routing system is performed from the main-console configuration computer. Error messages and the locations of any failed boards are displayed on the TFT colour screen.

All relevant events will also be logged to the control computers.

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