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Road Test: Radial Engineering ProD8 Rackmount Passive DI
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Further Flexibility

With eight DIs jammed into a single rack-space, the ProD8 offers a lot of possibilities for different connection configurations in a small package.

Radial also includes an effects loop on each channel so one can use a TRS cable (similar to inserting an effects unit into a console channel) to interface an effects processor into the rig.

This could be handy for a keyboard player, but I don’t see sound folks using the insert jack much, if at all.

Before taking any gear out on a gig, I plug it in at the shop to see what it can do.

While setting up the Radial ProD8 for a test, I realized an additional use for the unit. On some corporate gigs, I run out of available stereo inputs on the small mixers that are standard for A/V companies.

The ProD8 would be an ideal interface at front of house for the numerous stereo playback devices that are required, and could merge them into mono signals saving a few inputs.

To see if that idea would work, I plugged in an iPod as well as a CD player into the Radial and ran the output to a small powered mixer and loudspeaker. The CD player seemed a little hot so I engaged the -15 dB PAD switch and got a clean signal.

Pivoting rack ears makes it easy to change orientation. (click to enlarge)

My iPad doesn’t have a very high output, so I ran it without the PAD and got great results. Both signals sounded clean and full sounding and all the information that was in the left and right channels seemed to be present in the merged mono signal.

Using a Korg Triton, I tested the ProD8’s channels in both mono and merged mono, and my fantastic keyboard playing left the guys in the warehouse next door wanting more. (More silence that is…)

Using different synth patches and some piano and organ sounds, I compared stereo, mono, and stereo merge modes. With headphones from the mixer, the true stereo sounds were hard to beat, but the stereo merge sounded just as good on many patches and close enough for me on a few for me to forget which configuration I was listening to.

Source: Live Sound International

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