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 Stage Tec with the NEXUS audio router. The reason for this is that Stage Tec has turned the typical way of thinking upside down: Unlike competing products, a Stage Tec 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. Stage Tec 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. NEXUS Logic Control is able to communicate system-wide with other base devices, query and transmit states. This results in an interaction within the NEXUS router and with external systems that goes far beyond the options of an audio network and is partially able to completely replace external media controls. This not only enables an undreamt-of integration directly into individual buttons on the audio console, but also opens up great savings potential by eliminating additional control systems and considerably simplifying work processes. In combination with the NEXUS Logic Control, a Stage Tec console offers a wide range of possibilities, the use of which sets almost no limits for the inventive user.

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 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 signaled 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.

In a timecode environment, AURUS consoles can be both master and slave. NEXUS allows the time code to be distributed throughout the network with maximum precision and output to external systems. Parallel to the time code, Stage Tecs mixers generate MIDI, RS-232 and other signals to control external devices. This makes automation a breeze in larger shows.