Pictured from left: Chris Jubien, director of engineering; Ken Berger, senior VP of marketing and product development; and John Boudreau, live sound product manager
At AES 2005, LOUD Technologies introduced the EAW UMX.96, 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 touch screen and a tactile rotary encoder with intuitive user interface.
“The UMX.96 ushers in a whole new era for EAW as well as the digital live mixer market,” stated Ken Berger, co-founder of EAW and now senior VP of marketing and product development at EAW’s parent company, LOUD Technologies. “The digital live console market is still young and, as such, is still mostly undefined and under-leveraged. For example, most digital consoles currently available still rely on early cumbersome user interfaces or are based on recording console technology. The UMX.96 is a much more sophisticated and mature product than what’s currently available–one that proves how much more digital technology can do for live sound.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
The board features a unique master section that combines a 15-inch touch-sensitive LCD with a tactically dynamic rotary encoder that is able to change its “feel” depending on the specific parameter selected via the touchscreen. A laptop computer can also be connected to expand the user interface. The master section also incorporates eight touch-sensitive Penny & Giles VCA faders that bring the VCAs or desired channels to the center of the mixer.
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. This results in less bank-switching.
The UMX.96 also 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. Additionally, 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.
The board has a projected list price of less than $50,000.