AUDIO MIXING CONSOLE
AURATUS – The concept
In STAGETECs product portfolio, AURATUS takes over the role of the compact digital console, which of course has the audio quality and high- quality product processing known from STAGETEC as well as the AURUS flagship console. With its fixed channel structures and 54 input channels, AURATUS is designed as a small production, broadcast and live mixing console that is used primarily in the fixed workflows of radio and TV.
AURATUS – 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 STAGETC mixing console is a part of the audio matrix.
AURATUS – Processing & workflow
AURATUS – 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.
AURATUS – FPGA core
With only 4HP width and 3 height units this compact processor card finds place in every base unit
AURATUS – Technische Daten
AURATUS – Technical data
AURATUS – Media
AURATUS - Downloads
The user interface has been optimised for simple and fast operation and allows inexperienced users to quickly familiarise themselves with the system and operate it safely: all relevant channel functions can be easily set in the channel strip using double rotary encoders. This makes the user interface particularly clear and intuitive.
The AURATUS mixing console system consists of a console for operating and controlling the audio signal processing and the XCMC audio processor, which is a 3U large, resource-intensive plug-in card in the remote NEXUS base device. AURATUS is fully integrated into the NEXUS audio network via additionally connected NEXUS base devices. Several XCMC plug-in cards, each with an AURATUS console, can be operated in a NEXUS network. The AURATUS consoles can thus access the wide range of input and output formats in the NEXUS audio network within a wide signal distribution area. This ranges from analog microphone converters with 32-bit resolution to digital audio formats such as Audio-over-IP, Dolby-E®, SD and HD-SDI, 3G- HD-SDI, AES/EBU, AES 42, AES 67, etc.
The NEXUS audio network offers a wide variety of input and output formats. AURATUS has a wide range of functions that make broadcasting easier: these include audio-follow video features, an externally controllable fader (on-off) function, two freely assignable function keys in the channel, extensive light signalling, individually configurable N-1 buses and timers that count forwards and backwards. An essential feature of AURATUS: the console is optimized for both 48 and 96 kHz sample rates, i.e. a project remains unchanged even if the sample rate changes.
AURATUS is a transportable console and is offered as standard in lightweight construction as a tabletop or built-in version, optionally it is also available with feet. The mixing console has an extremely low, energy-saving power consumption, even in the largest version with 24 control cables and a central control unit. With 16 control cables, for example, the AURATUS only needs 86 watts. AURATUS therefore does not require a fan. The power supply is always redundant as standard.
AURATUS supports users in recurring tasks - important settings can be configured and saved:
The assignment of (NEXUS) inputs and outputs to mixer channels can be freely selected with the NEXUS software and saved as snapshots.
AURATUS can adopt resource names, which can be assigned individually in the NEXUS software (label transfer).
The mixing console offers more audio channels than control panels. The audio editing of individual control panels can be set up and saved individually. Eight control levels can be freely assigned and called up via keys.
Channels can be coupled for easier operation (stereo coupling, VCA groups, link groups). Individually created mute groups allow previously defined channels to be muted at the touch of a button.
Static automation allows you to save your own settings as snapshots.
All settings and snapshots can be saved and recalled as a project in each production phase within the framework of project management.
A security project (backup) is stored when the console is switched off and loaded automatically when the console is switched on.
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.
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.
Signal processing and functions
The audio processor of the AURATUS console consists of the XCMC, a compact 3U NEXUS plug-in card. The XCMC plug-in card accommodates the AURATUS mixer's audio processing, the complete I/O routing and the audio interfaces for connecting external devices. Power consumption is only 8 watts. The XCMC supports the sampling frequencies of 48 and 96 kHz without restrictions, i.e. the available mixer resources, channels and buses are always available.
Audio signal processing includes input routing, input channels of various types, different bus types, output channels that allow processing of the sum busses, and output routing. AURATUS has a fixed signal processing configuration. When working with different AURATUS mixer systems, the user uses identical mixer structures and largely similar user interfaces. All signal processing is based on 40-bit floating point arithmetic. In addition to first-class sound quality for equalizer, filter and dynamics modules, this ensures that the internal signal processing of the mixing console is practically overload-proof. The AURATUS console can be operated as a pure stereo console or as a surround (5.1) console, depending on whether pure stereo projects or 5.1 projects are loaded.
The structure of the audio channels corresponds to the way analog systems think and work. In addition, restrictions have been lifted and additional functions provided to increase flexibility. The channels are made up of editing modules such as faders, EQ filter block, compressor, expander/gate, delay, limiter, insert, mute, etc. The channels can be used in a variety of ways.
The AURATUS bus system, which is integrated in the mixing console module, offers its own system in addition to the NEXUS TDM bus system. These group, summing, auxiliary and N-1 buses sum up the signals from the connected channels. All bus signals can be output unprocessed via NEXUS. The buses also have their own channels - so-called bus channels - which allow further signal processing and level adjustment of the bus signals.
AURATUS is equipped with a stereophonic and a 5.1 monitoring path (5.1 only in AURATUS multi-channel projects). Source selection is freely selectable for both monitor paths, and NEXUS signals can also be switched directly to the monitor channel. AURATUS offers various solo and PFL modes for monitoring a channel. A separate stereo bus is provided for PFL, and the Back-Stop-PFL (fader overpress function) and prioritized PFL functions are also possible. The solo function in AURATUS is fully multichannel capable. Depending on the selected configuration, a solo bus with up to 5.1 channels is available. In addition, signals present in the system can serve as monitoring sources: NEXUS inputs, inserts, channel outputs, mixer buses or direct outputs. The sources can be selected on customer- specific keypads in the monitor cassette and the channel cassette.
The AURATUS mixing console system is equipped with static automation, which allows the audio parameters of all editing channels to be saved and reloaded. The current parameter settings are stored as snapshots in the current project. Up to 99 snapshots, which can be individually named, can be managed within a project. AURATUS also allows the storage of partial snapshots in which only certain parameters are stored.
"Logic Control" macro control system
NEXUS Logic Control is a flexible, programmable logic system for switching and control functions that users can define according to their individual needs. Logic Control can be used to query various parameters of the NEXUS system, such as coupling point circuits, fader start contacts, input and output levels, and the signalling of internal system error states. Logic Control can control many different events, such as red light control, throat buttons, transmit switches, line level monitoring, automatic emergency circuits and command systems. AURATUS has 256 Logic Control inputs and outputs each.
Conference call with N-1
With the N-1 system, complex conference calls can be realized. All commentators that are not "On Air" can communicate with each other. If one of them is dazzled in the current broadcast, it is automatically switched off in the conference. Only when his fader is closed can he participate in the conference again. Up to 8 N-1 buses can be configured individually in the AURATUS.
AURATUS Configurations without console users in changing production environments will appreciate the offline configuration options of the AURATUS because they bring time and cost advantages to productions with tight timing, for example on the OB truck or at live events. With the offline editor, the configuration of an AURATUS can be prepared even if the console is not yet in use on site, but for another production. All work such as channel assignments, etc. is carried out in a stand-alone editor on a PC. Projects are then loaded into the console via SD cards. It also works the other way round: Projects are imported from the console and further edited in the offline editor.
In order to save space on a mixing console, control cables are often assigned several channels. In this case, however, only one audio channel is in the foreground and the other channels belonging to the control group are in the background. They are coupled and controlled during operation. If a channel is to be corrected from the background, the spill function helps. Pressing the Spill button brings all channels to the surface for editing.
After the correction, the main layer is in the foreground again by pressing the spill button again. The advantage of the spill function: The mixed project is better structured, the user can access all signals more quickly and retains an overview because he only has to work in the main layer - important for live operation. Normally, the definition of the layers for small digital consoles needs to be very well thought out, but thanks to the spill function, the division of the layers has become less important.
TREM - the virtual channel extension
The virtual channel extension TREM simulates physically non-existent control strips on a remote PC connected to the console via Ethernet. All mixing tasks can be performed via the software, as the GUI simulates all control elements that could also be found on physical cassettes, including all metering, faders and knobs. The user can choose how large or small the manually operated console interface should be: In the minimum case, one fader unit with eight channel strips plus two knobs each and three buttons above each control strip is sufficient. Everything else can - if useful and desired - be transferred to the PC.
The independent "Downmix" matrix enables the conversion of a 5.1 multichannel signal into a stereo signal. The matrix, whose inputs and outputs are freely available in the NEXUS system, can be used, for example, for stereophonic monitoring of a multichannel mix or for downmixing a multichannel format. The input and output levels can be set separately for individual adaptation to the program material. AURATUS Remote Control through Control Systems Various functions, e.g. fader control, mute, panpot, PFL as well as fader panels, can be influenced by external control systems. AURATUS supports some protocols (e.g. the Ross Audio protocol from Ross Video Limited) in RS232 format.
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
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.
AURATUS - NEXUS DSP board
XCMC boards form the compact DSP core of the AURATUS and ON AIR mixing consoles. They enable the simple, compact design of smaller systems without significant restrictions in functionality.
With the XCMC board, STAGETEC offers a mixing-console DSP that can be used directly in NEXUS base devices while still providing the most important functions of the well-known, large mixing consoles. The quality of audio signal processing also reaches the high level for which STAGETEC is renowned.
With fixed channel and bus structures, the XCMC provides 32 buses and 48(54) channels.
An XCMC board combines the signal processing as well as the control functions of the mixing console interfaces. It is used for AURATUS mixing consoles as well as for the ON AIR series ON AIR 24 and ON AIR Flex. The board is also used as the core of the NEXUS Monitor Control.
In all areas of application, the board offers the advantages of small size and low power consumption, which is outstanding for mixing consoles with such a wide range of functions. The latter is a major advantage, especially in broadcast applications, due to the low heat generation.
Technical data mixer surface
Performance audio & console
Specifications Mixer interface
Performance Audio & Console
AURATUS - Media
AURTUS - Media
AURATUS - Downloads