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Crest MLM-2, MLS2 Mic/Line Processors

Crest MLM2

Performance, a division of Crest Audio, introduced the mono MLM-2 and stereo MLS-2 studio microphone and line input intelligibility processors at the recent 2004 Summer NAMM convention. The units are designed to optimize audio signals in recording, broadcasting and live applications, and process input signals via a parametrics (EQ) section and a compand/limit (dynamics) section.

The dual, full-featured parametric EQ section has two frequency cut/boost controls. The MLM-2 features a deep 24dB cut/12dB boost, while the MLS-2 has +15/-15dB cut and boost. With a bandwidth adjustment of 1/6 to two octaves, gentle or extreme alterations can be made. Each parametric equalizer has its own on/off switch to re-route the signal if it is unused. The second parametric equalizer can be moved from the main signal path into the dynamics section’s sidechain path, where it is in-series with the sidechain insert jack of the RMS detector. This allows the user to define the frequencies that control the dynamics circuitry (expander, compressor and limiter).

An adjustable, built-in SmarTube* solid-state processor compensates for the loss of definition when compressing signals and adds tunable upper-frequency harmonics to signals that have little high-frequency content. This circuitry is level-dependent and has the distortion characteristics of “real” tubes.

Each model has two balanced inputs, a low-impedance XLR and high-impedance 1/4-inch phono, which can be used simultaneously. Phantom power (+48-volt), a +6dB to +56dB gain adjustment control, polarity reverse switch and 20dB pad are available to match and power low-impedance microphones connected to it. A tunable (10 to 350Hz, 12dB per octave) low-cut filter is online to remove or control low-frequency rumble and proximity effects that are noticeable when using microphones. The mic preamp is enabled with a switch so it can be turned off if the XLR input is not used.

Both models include switchable I/O metering, independent headphone output (with track input on MLS-2), multicolor LED meters, balanced and unbalanced I/O, and internal power supply. Front and rear XLR input connectors allow the unit to be used on the fly or as part of a permanent installation. The MLS-2 features dual microphone inputs and stereo line inputs with pan control.

The MLM2 and MLS2 will be available in fall 2004 with MSRPs of $599 and $799, respectively.

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