NEXUS STAR features - Stage Tec - professional audio mixing consoles and digital audio routing - made in Berlin

+ Features

A graphical control program running on PCs under Microsoft™ Windows™ provides the interface between the user and NEXUS STAR. The software includes a system-view function with various views, graphical routing matrices (matrix windows), various editing and metering windows (parameter windows), and management functions for projects and snapshots.
The control programs running on all connected computers fully integrate with the NEXUS network data exchange system and are therefore always — even after reboot — aware of the system status separately stored on NEXUS STAR. All displays and indicators are automatically updated, thus notifying the user of the current routing-matrix status.

+ System View

There are various selectable views of the overall system used for clearly visualising functional or spatial relationships required for various purposes:

The normal view shows a graphical representation of the NEXUS network, active control computers, and external synchronisation. It allows inputs and outputs to be selected, for example, when setting up partial matrices, and shows failed devices.

The alternative view shows the Base Devices without their front panels. This allows for viewing boards with detached or missing front panels – for example, boards that are hidden behind other panels for space-saving purposes.

The patchbox view shows any inputs, outputs, and processing channels clearly arranged as resource pools (or patch boxes).

The graphical patchbox view shows these resource pools on a background image such as a floor plan. It provides for a graphical allocation of the buttons to the resource locations.

+ Matrix Windows

Making and breaking of I/O connections on the NEXUS audio network is achieved using so-called matrix windows. The routing status of the individual crosspoints is represented by the colours of the corresponding buttons and can be simply changed using the mouse.

In direct mode, all changes are immediately applied. NEXUS also offers a prepare mode where multiple crosspoint connections can be preset and subsequently applied together with a single mouse click.

Beside the overall matrix, distinct partial matrices can be created that show only those inputs, outputs, and processing channels actually required. Partial matrices are part of a project file.
At any time the system can generate a special partial matrix showing only the currently enabled crosspoints.

+ Parameter Windows

parameter stereoA parameter window can be accessed from the matrix window. It includes the meters and allows for displaying, creating, and changing parameters of NEXUS resources. A parameter window always shows the input and output of one crosspoint.

Depending on type, specific windows are provided for DSP-channel settings. For example, there is a window for parametric equalizers where the frequency, Q, and gain settings are individually adjusted, while generic module-parameter windows are provided for user-specific channels.

+ Project Management

open dsp parameter 2Set-ups containing all critical data and settings are stored as project files. These set-ups include, for example, editable names of inputs and outputs, configured partial matrices and stored routing-matrix statuses. Project files are created, stored, copied, and deleted using the NEXUS control program.

Projects are always related to the control computer where they are stored. This means that different projects can be created on different computers. This is reasonable, for example, when multiple partial matrices are to be stored to different workplaces. Project files are stored to local hard disks or removable media, or over a computer network.

+ Snapshots

feat-load snapshot directorDifferent routing-matrix statuses can be stored as snapshots (also referred to as scenes or statuses) within the project: Global status contain the statuses and parameters of the overall system. However, a partial status can store individual parameters, i.e. those of the current partial matrix.

Snapshots are stored to the project file. They can be reloaded to the control software at any time and then be applied to the NEXUS system. This feature allows for fully or partly restoring the saved settings on the audio network.
Matrix outputs can be individually protected to prevent unwanted changes when recalling a status (»Isolate« function).

+ Logic Control

Logic Control is a programmable logic unit for routing functions that can be individually configured on a per-user basis. Logic Control allows various NEXUS parameters to be queried, for example, crosspoint statuses, fader-start relays, input or output levels, and internal error statuses. In combination with an AURUS logic-control1console, it can also be used to evaluate the status of specific mixing functions such as fader-start relays and machine control keys.
Logic Control provides for controlling a huge number and variety of outputs and events including, for example, red light control, mute keys, routing switches, level and crosspoint monitoring, fader starts, automatic breakdown measures, and intercom systems.

+ Test-tone Generator

Each Base Device on the NEXUS system includes a test-tone generator that can be applied to all analogue inputs via a separate bus. The generator signal is also fed to an additional digital bus.

signalgeneratorThe following settings can be made by the user:

  • Level: -34 to 6 dBu (direct access, adjustable in 1-dB steps)
  • Frequency: 20 Hz to 20 KHz (adjustable in 1-Hz steps) plus typical fixed frequencies
  • Shape: The generator can also be used as a noise generator offering the choice of white and pink noise as well a sine wave.

The test-tone generator can be used for calibrating installations or rooms as well as for troubleshooting purposes. The generator produces a standard-level signal for calibrating or comparing input signals. In addition, it generates an internal signal that can be used for troubleshooting the NEXUS system or verifying the settings.

The generator employs a sophisticated structure (digital generator, D/A converter, analogue generator bus, extra digital bus), with the critical A/D-converter components integrated into the signal path.

+ Operating Panels

bedienkassette-neuOperating NEXUS with buttons and encoders: Using the NEXUS XCI communication-interface board and user-specific operating panels allows custom solutions to be implemented for quick and easy control of the routing matrix — in particular, for inexperienced users.
Desktop or surface-mounted panels with keys, encoders, matrix displays, and arc indicators can be used as an alternative or in addition to the control software. The communication boards control the panels and serve as intelligent interfaces to the NEXUS system.

+ MIDI and Remote Control

nexus feat midiChanging the routing-matrix status with a MIDI message: Control computers equipped with MIDI interface boards are available as an option for easy external control of NEXUS systems.
MIDI program change messages can be used for recalling and enabling snapshots. MIDI messages are allocated to the project snapshots using an editable list in the control software.

+ Multichannel Metering

Comparing levels: The multichannel meter displays the levels of up to 48 audio-network inputs and/or outputs on any control computer. This is part of the NEXUS graphical control program but can also be used as a standalone application.

meteringFor example, clicking on the meter of a microphone input will open a window where all relevant parameters of that input are displayed and can be modified. When an output meter is clicked, an interactive window showing the microphone input routed to that output will open. This feature is useful in scenarios where the levels of just a few microphone channels are to be controlled.

+ The Protect Function

nxs user rightsProtection against misuse: All system outputs can be globally protected against modification to prevent inadvertent operation.
This protection applies to the output parameters, the associated crosspoint, and the parameters of any input routed to that output. The protect function is implemented on the NEXUS system and is thus provided separately from the control computers.

Assigning User Rights

Granting and denying user rights: Each user’s access can be restricted to a freely configurable selection of resources.

User rights can be used for limiting the view and operation of the routing system: The inputs, outputs, and processing channels are either accessible or blocked for each user. Global system settings such as the full-scale level or the sample rate can be blocked, too.
Three access modes are available: With full access, the parameters of the assigned sources and targets can be used and modified. With read-only access, only the sources can be routed; parameter editing is blocked. No access means that the user rights are stopping any attempt to access the resources. In this case, inputs, outputs, and processing channels are not even displayed to the user.
User rights can be configured either over the network or locally on control computers.

The NEXUS on a Computer Network

Sharing NEXUS: The NEXUS control software can also be configured for network use. In this case, any of a number of networked Windows PCs can be used to access NEXUS via one or more communication servers. Network access restrictions can also be configured to restrict usage to specific user groups.

+ Group Matrices

gruppenmatrixEfficiently editing I/O resources: An optional »group matrix« is available for grouping multiple I/O resources, thus simplifying operation. Access to the grouped resources is then possible via a single group matrix crosspoint that represents a group of real crosspoints.

Using this extension allows for simultaneous routing of all inputs or outputs of audio or processing units — no individual crosspoints need to be enabled or disabled. This is especially convenient when working with multi-channel formats.

+ Mix Matrices

summenmatritzenRouting multiple inputs to a single output: The NEXUS audio network was basically designed as a routing-matrix system where inputs are routed to outputs. Thanks to additional NEXUS options such as the signal-processing board XDSP, the system supports a multitude of applications that conventional routers can only offer when used with external audio components. Using mix matrices implemented on the signal-processing board enables multiple inputs to be routed to an output: In this case, the input signals are mixed.

 

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