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Profound Effects: Digital Console Processing And FX Capabilities
An overview of current console platforms in terms of onboard processing and effects...
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Allen & Heath. With iLive, GLD and now the more compact Qu Series, Allen & Heath has been on a roll in consistently turning out quality mix solutions for a wide range of live applications and pricepoints. On the new Qu-24 that debuted at the 2014 NAMM show, all key processing tools are presented in a clean layout on the SuperStrip, with 1 function per physical control.

The SuperStrip is complemented by an onscreen Touch Channel for access to full processing parameters without clutter or complex menu structures. Processing for mono and stereo inputs includes trim, polarity, high-pass filter, gate, insert, 4-band PEQ, compressor and delay. The main L/R and mono mixes have controls for insert, 1/3-octave GEQ, compressor and delay. The stereo mixes provide insert, 4-band PEQ, compressor, delay and balance control.

Qu Series dynamics and FX algorithms are derived from the iLive Series. The Qu-24 includes 4 stereo iLive FX engines with crafted emulations of classic reverbs, gated reverbs, delays, modulators, flangers, and more. The FX library has the ability to grow with future firmware releases. FX are returned to the mix on dedicated return channels, thus not tying up mono and stereo input channels. And, each stereo FX return has a dedicated 4-band PEQ.

DiGiCo. The SD Series incorporates the company’s Stealth Digital Processing and floating point Super FPGA technology, and offer a deep suite of processing/effects capability. The SD9, for example, provides 48 Flexi Channels (configurable as either mono or stereo) at 48 kHz/96 kHz, the equivalent of 96 channels of full DSP processing.

Standard channel processing, whether inputs or outputs, includes channel delay, single and multi-channel presets, dual insert points, high- and low-pass filters, 4-band parametric EQ with band curve selection, and DiGiCo’s DYN 1 (compressor, de-esser or assignable multi-channel compressor) and DYN 2 (gate, compressor or ducker).

Further, dynamic EQ processors can all be assigned to any of the input or output channels, providing dynamic processing on each of the 4 standard parametric bands. There are also 8 assignable multi-band compressors and 8 DiGiTubes (tube emulators). The master section incorporates 16 gang-able 32-band graphic EQs, 8 stereo effects (selectable from a choice of 33), and 8 control groups (VCAs).

Also available is the optional DiGiCo SoundGrid module, providing instant access to 16 integrated Waves stereo Multi Racks, with up to 8 plug-ins in each rack for a potential of 138 individual effects. SoundGrid-compatible Waves TDM plug-ins can be used as well. All Waves compatible plug-ins are pre-loaded, and because it’s integral within the console, provides the advantage of touchscreen control.

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