By PSW Staff • June 25, 2019 Front of house engineer Tim Morris mixing Freya Ridings live in Cambridge utilizing an Allen & Heath dLive surface. (Photo by Jordan McLachlan) When we talk of “large frame” consoles, older analog units with channel counts of 40 inputs or more come to mind because they actually had very large frames loaded with channel strips. In today’s digital world, however, we’re usually referring to a console that can professionally handle a large production, even if physically it’s not all that sizeable, because most use layers of fader banks to access additional channels and functions like aux sends on faders. It’s not uncommon to see newer digital models measuring only a few feet in width that can handle 40 or more channels, where in the analog world a 40-input console might be six or more feet wide. Digital consoles have also eliminated the need to carry heavy racks loaded with outboard gear like EQs and effects. Most digital consoles can operate on a network, allowing multiple channels to travel down a small Ethernet, coax or fiber optic cable. Inputs and outputs can be located remotely in stage boxes that are easily linked via lighter cable, eliminating the need for heavy copper analog snakes. In addition, multiple audio devices such as additional consoles and recording units also have easy access to the network. My company also utilizes networked computers for live multitrack recording, archival recordings, and virtual sound check. Coupled with the full recall capability of digital consoles, virtual sound check insures that mix engineers don’t have to start from scratch at every gig with the same band, and can “dial in” the band before they even arrive at the venue. Another feature many digital consoles now provide is offline editing, which is the ability to set up and configure the console for a specific act, load the showfile on a thumb drive, and then transfer the settings at a later time to a console. This has been a boon for touring folks can have multiple showfiles for different consoles, and when they get to the venue, simply upload their parameters into the given console without having to spend time labeling, adjust and configuring parameters at every tour stop. My favorite digital console capability is remote access via tablets and laptops. Many models allow engineers to connect via Wi-Fi to remotely control a variety of parameters, allowing them to step away and listen to/adjust the mix in different locations throughout the coverage area. When doing the house mix, it’s great to be able to move around to hear what various sections of the audience are hearing and be able to optimize. It’s also much easier to dial in a monitor mix while standing on stage, hearing what the performers are hearing. Following is a look at a number of recent digital consoles that deliver larger-format capability. While some are not necessarily physically imposing, all have the facilities to handle bigger, more complex events. Allen & Heath dLive dLive is Allen & Heath’s flagship digital mixing system. The power of dLive emanates from the XCVI Core – pioneered by the Allen & Heath R&D team using next generation FPGA technology, with 36 parallel virtual processing cores generating enough power for 160×64 channels of processing at 96 kHz. The massive power of XCVI allows dLive to deliver 128 full processing inputs and 16 stereo FX returns, a configurable 64 bus architecture, variable bit depth for ultimate precision and noise performance, a virtually infinite mix headroom thanks to a 96bit accumulator, and class leading latency at an ultra-low 0.7 ms. With six Control Surfaces and seven MixRacks, support for leading audio networking protocols like Dante, MADI and Waves, plug and play ME personal monitor mixers, and array of compact remotes, I/O expanders, iPad and Android apps, and Mac and PC online/offline editor software, dLive rethinks and redefines the ultimate audio mixing system. Key Specs, dLive S Class S7000 Faders: 36 Mix Inputs: 128 Aux/Group: Configurable 64-bus architecture Matrix: Configurable 64-bus architecture FX: 16 stereo | DCA: 24 | GEQ: 64 App: dLive Editor (computer) and dLive (iOS) Screens: Two 12-inch color touch screens Local I/O: 8 + 8 analog, 2 AES stereo inputs, 3 AES stereo outputs Stage Boxes: DM64, DM48, DM32 Options: GiGaAce, MADI, EtherSound, Dante, Waves SoundGrid, ACE Also: Built in RTA and Spectrogram Physical: 52 x 29 x 16 inches, 90 pounds Additional Models: S3000, S5000, also C Class More Info on dLive Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 Faders: 36 + 2 Mix Inputs: 120 Aux/Group: 60 Matrix: 24 FX: 45 types, up to 384 instances DCA: 24 GEQ: 48 App: StageMix (iPad) Screens: Two 15-inch touch screens Local I/O: 8 + 8 analog XLR, 4 + 4 AES/EBU Stage Box: RPio622, RPio222, Rio3224-D2, Rio1608-D2 MY Cards: Dante, MADI, Aviom, many others Also: Neve inserts, TC and Eventide FX, SILK mic preamp Physical: 61 x 33 x 17 inches, 208 pounds DiGiCo SD12 Faders: 26 Mix Inputs: 96 Aux/Group: 48 Matrix: 12 x 8 FX: 12 stereo | DCA: 12 | GEQ: 16 Screens: Two 15-inch touch screens App: DiGiCo SD (iPad) Local I/O: 8 + 8 analog, 4 stereo AES/EBU, 2 MADI ports, 2 DMI card slots Stage Boxes: SD Rack, SD-MINI, SD-NANO, D2-Rack Options: UB MADI adapter, Waves SoundGrid, Aviom, Dante Also: HTL (Hidden Til Lit) Technology, overview monitor output Physical: 44.25 x 31.3 x 15.3 inches, 92.5 pounds Additional Models In Series: SD5, SD5B, SD7, SD10 Avid VENUE S6L (S6L-32D) Faders: 32 + 2 Mix Inputs: 192 Aux/Group: 96 Matrix: 24 x 24 DCA: 24 GEQ: 32 Screens: Four 12-inch touch screens Local I/O: 8 + 8 analog XLR, 4 + 4 AES/EBU Stage Boxes: Stage 32, Stage 64 Card Options: Ethernet AVB, Dante, MADI, Aviom, Thunderbolt Also: Direct Waves and AAX plugins, 128 tracks of Pro Tools built in Physical: 51 x 31 x 15 inches, 155 pounds Additional Models: S6L-48D, S6L-24D, S6L-24C, S6L-16C Lawo mc²56 Faders: Frame sizes in 16 – 144 faders Total Mix Paths: 760 inputs (with A/B inputs) and 888 channels Aux/Group: Up to 144 GEQ/FX: Waves SoundGrid DCA: 128 App: Remote Desktop (PC) Screen: up to 5 x 21.5-inch color touchscreens Local I/O: 16 + 16 analog XLR, 4 + 4 AES/EBU Stage Boxes: DALLIS fully redundant I/O, mc² Compact I/O Also: MADI port, RAVENNA/AES67 audio-over-IP, remote control of Neumann AES42 digital mics Physical: Varies (depending on frame size) from 52.5 inches wide/225 pounds to 132.8 inches wide/471.8 pounds Additional Models: mc² 36 (16- and 40-fader versions), mc²96 Stage Tec AURUS Platinum Faders: Up to 96 Mix Inputs: 300 Aux/Group: 128 Matrix: 32 x 32 DCA: 24 GEQ: 32 Screens: Five 19-inch metering and one 10-inch touch screen Stage Boxes: NEXUS Base Device modular frames Also: RAVENNA networking technology, 32-bit TrueMatch A/D mic preamp conversion Physical: 54 x 42 x 41 inches, 90 pounds Additional Models: AURUS, CRESCENDO, CRESCENDO Platinum, AURATUS PreSonus StudioLive 64S Faders: 33 Total Mix Paths (Inputs/Aux/Group/Matrix): 64+8 inputs/32 flex mixes FX: 8 FX FLEX buses, 8 FX FLEX returns DCA: 24 GEQ: 16 Screens: LCD display screen App: UC Surface for Mac, Windows, iPad and Android Local I/O: NA Stage Boxes: StudioLive NSB-series boxes, also integrates with EarMix 16M monitor mixers Also: Dual A/B Fat Channel on all inputs and outputs, 64 x 64 USB audio interface Physical: 32.4 x 23 x 6.5 inches, 37.2 pounds Additional Models In Series: Multiple 32-channel versions Yamaha TF5 Faders: 32 + 1 Mix Inputs: 48 Aux/Group: 20 Matrix: N/A FX: 8 DCA: 8 | GEQ: 10 Apps: TF StageMix, MonitorMix Screens: 1 touch screen, also facilitates “Touch & Turn” capability Local I/O: 32 mic/line (XLR/TRS combo) + 2 stereo line (RCA pin) inputs, 16 (XLR) outputs, 1 expansion slot Stage Boxes: Tio1608-D Dante-equipped I/O rack Options: NY64-D Dante expansion card Also: 34-track recording/ playback, 2-track playback via USB/SSD, Nuendo Live recording software Physical: 34.1 x 23.6 x 8.9 inches, 44.1 pounds Additional Models In Series: TF3, TF1 Midas PRO X Faders: 12 + 10 + 4 Mix Inputs: 144 Aux/Group: 72 Matrix: 24 FX: Up to 48 DCA: 10 GEQ: 36 Screens: Two 15-inch App: MixTender 2 (iPad), PalmMix (iOS) Local I/O: 8 + 8 analog XLR, 4 + 4 AES/EBU Stage Boxes: DL151 through 155, DL251&252, DL351, DL451 Options: DN9650 & DN9652 MADI/Dante/CobraNet/ES bridges Also: 3-way KVM switch Physical: 54 x 37 x 17 inches, 213 pounds Additional Models In Series: PRO3, PRO6, PRO9 Solid State Logic Live.L200 Faders: 37 Total Mix Paths (Inputs/Aux/Stems/Masters): 144 full processing paths can be 96 inputs, plus up to 48 aux Matrix: 4 x 32 input x 24 output FX: up to 48 instances at one time GEQ: 96 Screens: 17 inch multi-touch screen, optional arm mounted external screens Local I/O: 12 + 12 analog XLR, 8 + 8 AES/EBU, 8 MADI, Blacklight II, Dante Stage Boxes: ML 32.32, ML I.32, D 32.32 Options: MADI-Dante Bridge, Live-Recorder SSD PC Also: Optical FX loop for Waves SoundGrid Physical: 54 inches wide, 180 pounds Additional Models In Series: Live.500, Live.L300 Soundcraft Vi1000 Faders: 20 Mix Inputs: 96 Aux/Group: 24 stereo/mono Matrix: 16 stereo/mono FX: 4 Lexicon stereo DCA: 16 GEQ: 24 Screens: Two 12-inch Vistonics screens App: ViSi (iPad) Local I/O: 16 inputs and 16 outputs, 2 stereo AES/EBU Stage Boxes: Vi Stagebox, Compact Stagebox, Mini Stagebox Options: Dante, MADI, EtherSound, CobraNet, ADAT, Aviom, Blu Link Also: Dante connectivity standard, vMIX automatic mic mixing, UA real-time plugins Physical: 33.2 x 31.6 x 13.8 inches, 55 pounds Additional Models In Series: Vi2000, Vi3000, Vi5000, Vi7000 Cadac CDC seven-s Faders: 36 Mix Inputs: 128 Aux/Group/Matrix: 56 Matrix: Up to 67 x 48 FX: 16 stereo DCA: 16 GEQ: 56 Screens: Two 24-inch and one 6-inch touch screen App: Cadac Remote (iPad) Local I/O: 8 XLR I/O, 4 AES/EBU I/O, 2 x Cadac MegaCOMMS Stage Boxes: CDC I/O 6448, CDC I/O 4016, CDC I/O 3216, CDC MC AES3 Options: MC MADI bridge, MC Dante bridge Also: Dugan Automixer post fade Insert for Waves, SAM theatrical automation software Physical: 61 x 30 x 10 inches, 132 pounds Additional Models In Series: CDC five, CDC six Roland Pro AV M-5000 Faders: 28 Total Mix Paths (Inputs/Aux/Group/Matrix): 128 FX: 8 stereo DCA: 24 GEQ: 32 Screen: 12-inch touch screen App: M-5000 Remote (iPad) Local I/O: 16 + 16 analog XLR, 2 + 2 AES/EBU Stage Boxes: S-4000-3208, S-2416, S-1608, S-0808 Card Options: REAC, Dante, MADI, Waves Also: iPad dock, M-48 personal mixers Physical: 37 x 29 x 14 inches, 79 pounds Additional Models In Series: M-5000C Studer Vista 5SR Faders: 30 + 2 Mix Inputs: 80 mono/20 stereo Group: 8 stereo (FOH configuration) Aux: 10 mono/10 stereo (FOH) Matrix: 5 mono/5 stereo (FOH) FX: 12 stereo (w/3 optional Vista FX units) | DCA: 16 Screens: Three Vistonics touch screens App: Virtual Vista (PC) Local I/O: 16 + 48 analog XLR, 16 + 16 AES/EBU Stage Boxes: Compact Stagebox, D21m, D23m Options: EtherSound, CobraNet, Dante, MADI, ADAT, Aviom Physical: 59 x 30 x 15 inches, 149 pounds Additional Model In Series: Vista 1 Tagged with: Allen & Heath Cadac DiGiCo dLive Live Sound International M-5000 Midas RIVAGE Roland SD12 Solid State Logic Soundcraft Studer Vi1000 Vista Yamaha · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. 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