Issue: Show Daily - Apr 22, 2004

New boards from Mackie, Digidesign, Yamaha and SSL

A number of audio mixing console manufacturers debuted new releases this week. In a private suite, Yamaha is showing its new PM5D, an all-purpose, self contained mixer that will begin shipping in June. The console falls in between Yamaha's PM1D and DM2000 and is expected to be priced between $50 - $60K. Yamaha is also showing the new Version 2 upgrade to its DM1000 and DM2000. The company is continuing to offer 96k versions of its popular 01V and 02R as well.

Digidesign is showing its new Icon integrated audio production environment at the Avid booth. The new system features the all-new D-Control work surface, the Pro Tools|HD Accel system as its core DSP engine, and modular Digidesign Pro Tools|HD audio interfaces for analog and digital I/O. The D-Control work surface features built-in 7.1-channel panning, touch-sensitive controls, a range of visual mixing feedback, a dedicated center section, per-channel control over processing and routing functions, global automation capabilities, full studio and control room monitoring, and a modular architecture that allows users to add fader banks to the core system. Other features include expandable analog and digital I/O, integrated remote mic preamps, Development Partner effects processing plug-ins and software options, seamless Avid picture support, and comprehensive synchronization and machine-control options. The console can be configured with up to 80 faders and will begin shipping later this month for around $60K.

Digidesign is also showing its Command8 console, which is the result of a venture with Focusrite. The unit is designed to serve as a small-format worksurface for TDM and LE systems, and can also serve as a MIDI controller. Command8 is currently shipping for $1,295.

Mackie unveiled a new digital console based on its versatile dXb platform. The dxb.400 joins the dXb.200 in the company's product line but offers an up-market feature set gearing it more toward the professional recording and post production markets.

Both dXb.200 and dXb.400 share the same basic architecture, including a dual touch-screen interface, 96kHz operation (optional to 192kHz), on-board automation and DSP, 25 100mm Penny+Giles optical faders, a fully configurable I/O card cage and a FireWire I/O card option for streaming to and from desktop or laptop computers. Both models are also compatible with select VST plug-ins and integrate Mackie Control Universal functionality for controlling Pro Tools, Logic and other popular audio software applications.

The dXb.400 features a more expansive 96 x 96 channel I/O matrix at 96kHz with an additional eight channels of processing. The dXb.400 is also equipped with more advanced surround mixing and monitoring functionality. Mackie reps say the board will be available in Q3 of this year 2004 with a projected retail price beginning at $20,000.

And Solid State Logic also debuted a new console at the show, the AWS 900 Analog Workstation System which is designed to serve as the heart of a professional DAW-based studio. The new console offers the benefits of SSL's fully-featured Super-Analog mic pres and signal processing, along with a comprehensive DAW controller. The AWS 900 will be offered in a single configuration sporting 24 channels.

The company plans on delivering the board in July and is working with Guitar Center and GC Pro to distribute the product. SSL will provide GC Pro with five AWS 900s initially, and later eight, all of which will go into its national demonstration centers. The AWS 900 will be priced at $87,000.