About Stage Tec's scalable DSP and the quality of audio signal processing
Signal processing with quality standards
The claim of the founders of Stage Tec has always been 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 so high, the company's engineers consistently relied on the use of FPGAs and thus very hardware-oriented programming. The unique algorithms developed here have shaped the quality of audio signal processing in the large mixing consoles from Berlin, which has been admirably mentioned time and again since the very beginning. Some of them are fundamentally different from the"textbook algorithms" of other manufacturers and still form the basis of all signal processing functions in Stage Tec's DSP hardware today - naturally expanded and further developed many times over.
Highest audio quality from the input
Experts agree: The quality of each signal processing chain is decisively determined by the quality of the input amplifiers or converters. With a dynamic range of 158 dB, Stage Tec's TrueMatch® microphone inputs are the absolute top of the range technology currently available. They completely do without analog pre-amplification, which contributes significantly to the reduction of noise, especially in the summation of many channels. The
patented TrueMatch inputs are an excellent example of Stage Tec's quality standards in signal processing. This continues throughout the entire signal processing chain and appears again and again in many ingenious details, for example.
Sample-accurate summation to avoid phasing
In the NEXUS network, the TDM technology used guarantees consistently consistent, lowest latencies. In Stage Tec's mixing consoles the concept is already trimmed for speed and highest accuracy. For example, all channels are always summed to all busses simultaneously and with sample accuracy. Although this is technically complex, it avoids phasing effects as known from the stepwise addition of other manufacturers. Corrective auxiliary functions such as delay compensation through the sensible DSP concept are not required in Stage Tec mixing consoles.
No artifacts due to crossfading of all switching processes
Stage Tec uses special fade algorithms even for the simplest processes such as switching an EQ on or off or the courage of the channel. The old setting is faded into the new state within a few milliseconds by means of a specifically calculated cross-fade in order to guarantee that no level jumps, clicks or other artifacts are left in the signal. The same applies e.g. also to fast changes at the delay of the channel. These are also converted to the new state with a fade to avoid signal distortion.
These examples impressively show the details with which Stage Tec's audio signal processing, consistently implemented at the highest level, differs from products of other manufacturers. The hardware required to implement them is not provided by any other manufacturer in this form.
The DSP concept - central and scalable
As innovative as in audio signal processing, Stage Tec also demonstrates itself in the design and scalability of its DSP platform. A striking, useful feature is that all flexibly expandable mixing consoles from Stage Tec use the same DSP cards. All product families benefit from further developments in software and hardware - one of the important criteria for the longevity of these mixing consoles.
NEXUS Star Router - Basic device with special features
The NEXUS Star Router was developed to meet particularly high routing requirements in a NEXUS network. Compared to conventional base units of the NEXUS system, which have a TDM bus for communication between the plug-in cards, this 6U device has its own redundant 4,096 inputs on 4,096 outputs. Since a NEXUS network supports any number of topologies simultaneously and several Star Routers simultaneously, it is possible to create enormously large audio networks that meet all requirements.
The mixing console in the Star Router - it can't be more central
The control and DSP cards of Stage Tec's audio consoles are logically located in the Star Router. Here they can directly access the vast amount of audio channels that are processed in a mixing console today. This direct connection to the matrix of a NEXUS Star Router enables the uniquely flexible bus structure of Stage Tec's large mixing consoles. It is also the most outstanding difference to other mixing console concepts: mixing consoles from other manufacturers have a matrix in them. Stage Tec's mixers are in the Matrix!
RMDQ DSP cards - flexible redundancy
The actual DSP cards on which the audio signal processing is calculated are called "RMDQ" in Stage Tec. Its hardware architecture is optimized for low heat generation, while the software is designed to allow users to configure flexible combinations of input channels and buses over a wide range. Two things are remarkable about this Stage Tec concept: First, the user can determine both the number and the use of the buses himself; sums, groups, AUX paths, N-1 buses as required. And secondly, the full DSP resources are always available in each channel for calculating all intended audio processing functions. Depending on the configuration, up to 800 audio channels or 128 busses can be operated.
The RMDQ cards are now the fourth DSP generation and, as is typical for Stage Tec, backwards compatible to the previous version under the name "RMD". Depending on resource requirements, up to 7 RMDQ cards can form the DSP of a mixing console. If the user's requirements increase, it is possible to add more RMDQ cards at any time. The redundancy concept of the Stage Tec mixing consoles is also unique: Each NEXUS Star router itself already has an internal redundant structure. If desired, the user can use a redundant control card for the router. The redundancy of the DSPs is even more flexible. For each project it can be decided to configure one RMDQ card as a redundant card or to use the full DSP resources. The flexibility thus achieved offers both maximum performance or maximum security with justifiable hardware effort and low costs at the same time.
Both the concept of placing the mixing console directly inside the Star Router and the scalability of the DSP resources themselves underline the uniqueness of Stage Tec's large mixing consoles. Many helpful functions cannot be implemented at all without such an ingenious