Loud Technologies introduced at AES the EAW UMX.96 (pictured), a 24-bit/96kHz digital live console with expandable onboard 56×44 analog I/O, 3×12 integrated loudspeaker processing, full integration of SmaartLive™, a 15-inch touchscreen and a tactile rotary encoder with intuitive user interface. This console will have a list price of less than $50,000.
According to Ken Berger, co-founder of EAW and now senior VP of marketing and product development at EAW’s parent company, Loud Technologies, “On of our primary goals with the UMX.96 was to leverage the potential of a digital console to provide functionality that more closely couples the mixer to the rest of the system. We also wanted to deliver a user environment that is not only intuitive for use in live sound, but one that brings more system-wide control to the house mixer and system engineer.”
Loud’s live sound product manager, John Boudreau, who led the development team responsible for the UMX.96, says, “Our development process began more than two years ago with a series of focus groups across both professional install and touring markets. Our goal was to identify key application-specific functions, better understand mix engineer workflow and validate the new tools proposed in the initial UMX.96 concept. This process not only allowed us to refine our specification to include those functions that are truly usable in a live environment, but it also provided us with a tremendous understanding of how to design a better user interface.”
The channel section of the UMX.96 includes 48 Penny&Giles touch-sensitive faders arranged in stacked rows of 24. These faders provide dedicated control of all 48 input channels simultaneously or can be assigned in master groups of eight to specific sections.
Jamie Anderson, EAW touring product manager, says, “Our Victoria, B.C.–based digital engineering team was responsible for incorporating key technologies from other Loud engineering teams, including SIA Software’s Smaart Analysis tools, EAW’s digital signal processing algorithms and Mackie’s industrial design and ergonomics capabilities.”
The UMX.96 integrates all of SmaartLive’s measurement capabilities for instant system measurement and calibration. When selected, an input or output feeds SmaartLive that, in turn, provides RTA on the EQ screen of any channel post-EQ to show the instant effects of the EQ on the signal. UMX.96 incorporates EQ, crossovers and limiters that are based on EAW-designed filters, which allow loudspeaker alignment, audio distribution and zoning to be done directly from the mixer. EAW’s new Gunness Focusing™ technology will be incorporated through an optional processing card.