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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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Midas. PRO Series consoles employ technologies developed from the much-lauded XL8, with models PRO1, PRO2 and PRO2C outfitted with integral DSP processing. (All models have 40-bit floating-point processing throughout.) On the PRO2C, there’s dynamic processing on all outputs and 56 primary input channels. It also offers 8 aux returns, all of which include 4-band parametric EQ and insert points. These 8 aux returns can be used as returns for the consoles internal FX processors (or as additional mic channels).

Input channels have routing to 27 phase-coherent mix buses, including 16 user-configurable buses (which can be mixes, subgroups or mix minus groups), and 8 matrix buses. The matrix buses source from inputs, as well as groups, and so can be used as 8 additional auxes (monitor mix and FX sends) for a total of 24 mixes (plus L/R & mono) for monitor mixing duties. All buses can be linked as stereo pairs (except the mono bus).

The PRO2C provides up to 12 multi-channel FX engines, as well DN370 31-band graphic EQs (up to 28 of them) from sister brand Klark Teknik. The PRO3, PRO6 and PRO9, by the way, have a remote processing engine that is modular and scalable, so it’s possible to add additional DSP processing (and I/O hardware).

Avid. The recently introduced S3L is modular, comprised of an HDX-powered processing engine running AAX plug-ins, scalable remote I/O, and a compact control surface. The S3L sports Avid’s latest version of VENUE software, offering all of the same features of previous versions plus some new ones, including EQ and dynamics on outputs.

Each channel can be enhanced individually with 4-band parametric EQ, with comp/limiter processing added to the outputs page for every output. It also now includes high-pass filter settings in all EQ presets and when copying/pasting EQ settings. Console configuration is quick with “drag and drop” channel strips. By the way, the upgraded software also significantly enhances the capabilities of models such as the SC48 and Mix Rack systems.

All Avid live systems come with a collection of effects and processing plug-ins, including Channel Strip EQ (dynamics, filter, and gain effects), Dynamics III (comp/limiter, expander/gate, and de-esser), EQ III (high-resolution, double-precision 48-bit EQ), and even things like the BF-2A, an emulation of the LA-2A vintage tube compressor. This can be expanded even further with the addition of more AAX plug-ins. Avid also has an upgrade coming so that the S3L is EUCON-enabled for Pro Tools and other DAW control.

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