Digico has launched two new products at PLASA 2010 – the SD Rack, a powerful I/O rack for any console and Little Boxes, compact add-on units that expand the connectivity of the firm’s own consoles.
Based around the Stealth FPGA technology that delivers the SD range’s sonic quality, the Digico SD Rack is the first I/O rack for any mixing console that offers multiple format sample rate conversion and allows up to 448 I/O, in any combination at 96kHz, spread across multiple racks.
While the SD Rack converters can operate at 192kHz, users can also select other sample rate options for specific outputs – for example, MADI at 48kHz for broadcast or recording feeds, or 96kHz – meaning that the SD Rack serves as a multi-sample rate signal splitter, which even allows Digico microphone preamps to replace the standard microphone preamps of an analog or other brand of digital console.
The system delay is minimal – at 96kHz, the measured delay from the stage rack A-D, through a full channel with processing via the bussing with processing, back to the stage rack D-A is around 1ms.Article continues below
Also integrated with the MADI split is Gain Tracking, which allows another console or a broadcaster to take any of an SD Rack’s AES, analogue or MADI outputs at a stable level, irrespective of the microphone preamp settings on the SD7, covering a signal level range of +/-40dB. This can be turned on at any time, so the one pre amp for each physical input can have four independently controlled levels.
The SD Rack has a 56-input/56-output arrangement, in blocks of eight, and can accommodate multiple digital formats, including: analogue mic line inputs and outputs, MADI, AES inputs and outputs, both with sample rate conversion, AES I/O card, Aviom second generation module, ADAT module providing eight ins and outs or AES 42 module.
All card formats are independently hot-swappable and auto-detecting using Micro Blaze technology. The mic card user feedback is provided by multiple LEDs and any input can be split internally to any opposing output on the rack.
Power supplies are also hot-swappable, with the additional feature that all main connections are at the top of the rack, making for exceptionally easy access.
Finally, there is a full RGB backlit display that can also be used to control and programme the unit.
Digico’s Little Red Box and Little Blue Box are two compact add on units that quickly and simply expand the connectivity of Digico consoles.
Digico’s Little Red Box is specifically designed to work with Digico’s SD9 digital mixing console and allows users to connect a D-Rack or a MADI Rack (Digi-Rack or Mini-Rack) to two SD9s.
Currently, a single D-Rack only allows you to connect to one SD9, with no way of sharing the rack. The Little Red Box, however, will allow you to plug in your D-Rack, main console and a secondary console. The main console controls all gains, as well as outputs on the rack, whilst the secondary console acts as a ‘receive only’ module for the inputs, allowing you to share a rack and operate either front of house or monitors. Digico’s gain tracking system can be activated when required.
The Split MADI switch allows you to decide if you want to split a D-Rack or one of Digico’s other racks. On an SD9, this connector is usually limited to 32 inputs and 16 outputs. By connecting a DiGi-Rack it allows all 56 I/O to run and is therefore a good way of expanding the I/O capabilities of an SD9.
The Little Red Box is powered via USB, with a second USB port acting as a ‘thru’, meaning there is no loss of available connections.
The Little Blue Box, meanwhile, allows you to connect an SD9, D-Rack and MADI console (SD8, SD7 or even a D-Series), thus allowing you to share a D-Rack between two or three consoles. The SD9/MADI switch allows you to select between the SD9, or whatever console is plugged in to the MADI connector to control the D-Rack.
The Console RX auxiliary output is designed to be the redundant run on an SD8 or SD7. Alternatively, it could be split off to another console with one SD9 using a CAT5 connection and one MADI pair for the SD8, which could then feed off to a recorder or another console.
Once again, the Little Blue Box is powered via USB, with a second USB port acting as a thru.
Both boxes can be easily connected to the mixing console with a Velcro strip, or by use of a specially designed 19-inch rack plate.