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Signal processing and further functions

The mixing consoles based on Stage Tec's Star routers offer an unparalleled range of functions in signal processing alone. This is complemented in the console by control options that optimally support the daily work of the sound engineer. In addition to the features described in the following, there are countless others that would go beyond the scope of a website to describe. If you also take into account the additional functionalities provided by the NEXUS network connected to the mixing console, you'll find that there's an almost unfathomable variety of possibilities.

The standard functions of the input channels

The basic idea of all large mixing consoles from Stage Tec was to be able to run larger productions simultaneously from just one console with several engineers. To make this possible, almost all functions have been integrated directly into each channel strip: Gain, all EQs & filters, compressor, limiter, delay, playout, pan and more can be adjusted without having to access the central control. All encoders, keys and faders of the entire console can be operated simultaneously at any time.

Each of the extremely handy filters offers up to ± 24 dB gain. The two Notch filters, available in all AURUS and AVATUS consoles, are especially worth their weight in gold in difficult situations when used live. For all EQs and dynamic units, the consoles also offer a MEM setting, which allows easy A/B comparison of settings or "dual EQing" during the sound check. Of course, these MEM settings are also stored in all snapshots and libraries and can be recalled or exported.

Just as helpful as the immediate operability of all important signal parameters are the various options for forming stereo, link or master/slave groups and using them. In combination with the SPILL function and the globally defined VCA mode, even larger quantities of grouped channels can be handled very quickly, flexibly and space-savingly.

Intelligent functions for efficient working methods

In ever more complex productions, the requirement today is to be able to store snapshots and scenes quickly without delaying sample operation. A large number of settings must be able to be made efficiently in the shortest possible time during creation. In the case of cast changes, on the other hand, the focus is on ensuring that necessary changes can be incorporated flexibly and quickly into existing projects. - For these and many other requirements, Stage Tec consoles offer a variety of tried and tested intelligent solutions and have thus become the reference for demanding sound control in theatres and broadcasting.

The scene automation of the surfaces accesses snapshots in which all parameters of the mixing console are stored. Fade times, fade curves and switching points can be defined individually for each channel and each scene. Several fades run parallel to each other. Only by touching the faders you can intervene in active fades. If required, the Snap-Mix feature in AURUS consoles allows complex scenes with dynamic mix sequences to be created and integrated into scene automation.

All Stage Tec mixing consoles offer a wide range of practical functions for editing stored snapshots and cue lists, especially designed for the needs of theatres and musicals: The View mode makes it possible to edit any scene during a show without affecting the sequence. The editing functions can not only be used across scenes, but also allow selected parameters to be copied or relative offsets to be applied to gain-relevant parameters. Thus, complete shows can be adapted to changed conditions within a few minutes.

The functions described above support a fast, efficient way of working in productions that are primarily scene-oriented. But they can also be helpful in broadcast settings. The consoles also offer additional features, which in turn offer tailor-made solutions especially for broadcasting applications: The freely definable N-1 buses, for example, offer many advanced options in addition to the simple matrix definition that greatly simplify daily operations. For smooth handling of even the largest discussion groups, the consoles feature an optionally available Automix algorithm that can work on all channels of the mixing console and in a total of four groups simultaneously - with the typical sonic neutrality and speed for which Stage Tec algorithms are known.

Incoming and outgoing control commands and communication

Extensive integration with simultaneous guarantee of stable operation is the core idea of all systems from Stage Tec. The same applies to the mixing consoles, which can be reliably controlled from any transmission sequence control system. The NEXUS macro control can also be used to include almost any complex circuitry, including external hardware and infrastructure.

As part of the NEXUS router system, the consoles can also incorporate NEXUS snapshots and functions of the integrated NEXUS Logic Control media controller into their own internal automation. Almost all conceivable, controllable functions of connected systems can be linked: e.g. machine control, MIDI and GPIOs. Conversely, MIDI, GPIOs or timecode triggers can address automation from outside the system and trigger actions.

For flexible, stress-free communication with the various parties involved in a production process, speaking to each bus is possible from the consoles. The consistent separation of talk and talkback buses in combination with the comprehensive routing options of the NEXUS network supports the most complex structures that leave nothing to be desired. External intercom systems can be seamlessly integrated via the transparent AES3 input and output boards of the NEXUS system. This not only enables the consoles themselves to operate as intercom stations, but also to use the infrastructure of the NEXUS network to distribute the intercom system. - This is another clever way to save time, effort and money with the many options of a Stage Tec system.

Metering, Monitoring, Up/Downmix and 3D-Panning

All consoles offer comprehensive metering in accordance with DIN and EBU broadcasting standards in order to maintain an overview and control at all times. Loudness metering according to EBU R128 is available in the console in all groups and totals, in the NEXUS matrix even for any I/O. System-wide NEXUS monitoring can be displayed directly on the user interface screens, allowing not only monitoring of any inputs and outputs of the console, but also direct insight into the real output levels of the transmission lines or other relevant signals. The signals themselves do not even have to be routed to the mixing console: Any crosspoint of the entire connected NEXUS audio matrix can be monitored directly from the console via NEXUS metering.

The same applies to the monitoring of all signals in the network: any point in the system can be accessed from the console using the Source Direct function and listened to locally at any time, even if the signal is not permanently routed to the console. This saves resources, maintains clarity and at the same time offers unlimited flexibility, without necessarily having to consider every monitoring requirement beforehand. Anything goes. Anytime.

The upmix of older stereo recordings has gained great importance in broadcasting applications today. For this purpose, Stage Tec offers the patented ISOSTEM algorithm from Dspecialists integrated in NEXUS. ISOSTEM is the only solution to perform a mathematically 1:1 reversible up/down mix, which allows the 5.1 signal to be faithfully reproduced on stereo devices. A unique solution that can easily be realized with an AURUS console in the NEXUS system.

All Stage Tec systems are subject to continuous development. New functions are generally also available for older systems with a software upgrade. For example, 3D panning for AURUS mixing consoles has been added with software release 4.7. Based on the flexible and freely definable bus system of the consoles, users can now create mixes that include overhead loudspeakers in the mix.

All these functions and many more can be operated directly from the mixing console's user interface thanks to the incomparable Direct Access concept without the need for large menu clicks. Even if such lavishly equipped surfaces are sometimes smiled at, they are usually viewed with awe. One thing is certain for Stage Tec's consoles: the Direct Access concept has been consistently implemented in control strips and central cassettes. In addition to the incredible update speed of the console itself, it is this concept that experienced engineers repeatedly emphasize that no other console can work faster than a Stage Tec.