Allen & Heath’s large format digital consoles haven’t set the world on fire — not like its small format Qu Series anyway – but it hasn’t stopped them from re-entering the fray with what looks like a formidable beast, the dLive digital mixing system. Perhaps it’s Digico corporate link but A&H has opted for a FPGA-based core, which makes for some powerful and flexible architecture, processing, expansion options etc.
The dLive system architecture separates MixRack and surface with the processing brain housed in the MixRack. Three MixRacks are available, DM32 (32 input), DM48 and DM64, along with three accompanying control surfaces S3000, S5000 and S7000. All MixRacks and surfaces are compatible with common configuration, setup and show files.
Each rack contains a 96k/96-bit(!) XCVI core providing capacity for 128 inputs with full processing and 16 dedicated stereo FX returns, offering 160 inputs to the mix. On the other side are 64 fully configurable mix buses with full processing on all channels. dLive incorporates the ‘DEEP’ processing portfolio of embedded plugins, including graphic EQs, compressors, multiband compressors and dynamic EQs, alongside its 16-slot FX racks, featuring Allen & Heath’s acclaimed range of FX emulations.
Remote I/O expansion is provided at both the MixRack and surface through dual-redundant Cat5 DX ports. This enables connection of up to three modular DX32 expansion units. Further inter-system and network connectivity is available through five resident 128 channel I/O ports for a range of audio networking cards, including Dante, Waves SG, ACE, and MADI, with a fibre optic option also under development.
The three surfaces are fully customisable with every input or mix assignable to any bank or layer, named and colour coded, along with 26 assignable SoftKeys. The UI integrates screen and wrap-around controls with one (S3000) or two (S5000 and S7000) 12-inch capacitive touchscreens which have configurable widget areas for scenes, meters and FX. There is also advanced illumination control for optimal visibility in daylight or low light conditions, including backlit keys, RGB coloured encoders, and an integrated LED light strip.
Alternative mixing control is provided via MixPad and OneMix apps, Editor on/offline software, TCP/IP control for third party integration, and network-enabled IP fader and rotary remote controllers.
Finally, dLive has a new pro touring grade chassis, optimised for weight and rigidity. All units have dual power supply slots for redundancy, with PSUs hot swappable between surfaces, MixRacks and expanders. Dual redundancy is also built into every audio connection throughout the system.
dLive is due to hit the market in August 2015 and will be priced from around A$30,000 RRP upwards.
More info: dlive.allen-heath.com