TV Audio: Time to Face the Music

D4 Detail thumbYes, semi-pro live sound/recording mixers have faders and busses. But even with production and news automation systems driving the television audio console these days, you still need studio muting, logic and triggers for events, and the right kind of busses and enough of them for things like 5.1 surround -- if not now, eventually.

We have the answer: our new entry-level Series 4 professional audio console to debut at NAB next month.


Unlike recording or live reinforcement consoles, the Series 4 has the module width and control placement, size and feel that are conducive to fast-paced live production. It has a complete tally system, motorized faders, and true surround with up/down mixing between 5.1 and stereo, plus busses and mix-minus galore (two main mix busses, four subgroups, up to 48 channel mix-minuses, 4 mix minus busses, and two AUX sends).

This console is made to work with today’s production automation systems -- its control interface is compatible with all the major automation systems on the market. Yet, it has all the important broadcast-specific features, such as automatic studio muting, machine control logic, de-embedding inputs, balanced or unbalanced AES inputs, router integration, and flexible monitoring capability.

Additionally, all input channels have 4-band parametric EQ sections, tunable high and low pass filters, and compressor/limiters, plus expander/gate and programmable delay for lip-sync correction.

And unlike sound reinforcement consoles, the new Series 4 mixing console offers a direct bus-minus feed with IFB from each channel plus four front panel assignable mix-minus busses. With a possible total of 52 outputs, your IFB needs should be more than covered.

Through its Automation Control Interface (ACI), the Series 4 integrates seamlessly with your production automation system so you, for example, can change routing or automatically crossfade between inputs as the switcher or automation system cuts or dissolves between video sources. Faders can be mono, stereo or surround, unlike a semi-pro music mixer.

Did we mention networking? All the mixes generated by the Series 4 can be routed to any available outputs on the audio network, including input faders on other network-connected control surfaces. You can assign any source of any type to any fader, and share I/O resources with other consoles in the network. It’s all networked through Wheatstone’s BRIDGE TDM system, utilizing Wheatstone’s powerful Gibraltar mix engine technology with 1,024 DSP processing signal paths. This kind of power and modular flexibility provides you with the layers of redundancy that are so critical to broadcast operations, with auto-failover DSP processing on the board and the kind of I/O connectors that stand up to the broadcast environment, not to mention easy touchscreen setup.

This console can take it all in -- analog, AES, MADI and HD/SDI input signals -- and deliver any source or console bus to any destination in the broadcast network. You’ll be able to see it all, too, on a large, high-resolution multifunction touchscreen display for capturing information at a glance: metering, channel/bus assignments, and programmable control functions. A LKFS meter for loudness monitoring is also included in the main display.

What’s more, it’s priced comparable to a semi-pro live sound/recording mixer, and it won't paint you into a corner should you ever want to add I/Os, busses, or any number of broadcast-specific functions.

We’re unveiling it at NAB. Take a look, NAB booth C3112, and tell us what you think.










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