London (September 14, 2004)–Digidesign chose the London PLASA show to make the introduction of VENUE, a modular live sound reinforcement mixing and processing environment. VENUE is made up of various building blocks, expandable hardware subsystems and software components. The centerpiece of the VENUE system environment is D-Show, a mixing console with expandable digital mix engine and control software, mix position analog and digital I/O, remote-controlled mic/line preamps, a multichannel digital snake, and the Personal Q artist-controlled monitor mixing option.
VENUE also supports DSP effects plug-in processing and features an integrated recording and playback option for Digidesign’s Pro Tools systems. “Digidesign is entering the live sound market with a unique perspective that comes from being a market leader in the transition to digital technology in the recording studio,” said Dave Lebolt, Digidesign general manager. “We’ve brought the expertise we’ve gained in that area, along with a healthy appreciation of the specialized requirements of live sound reinforcement, in creating VENUE. This modular system features the highest possible standards of audio quality and reliability at a very affordable price.”
“VENUE was designed with a lot of input from seasoned live sound pros who have felt in the past that using digital mixing consoles in a live context involved a trade-off between flexibility and sound quality,” stated David Gibbons, Digidesign director of product marketing. “As the divisions between traditional mixing functions, speaker processing, system analysis, recording, and show control are beginning to blur, VENUE intentionally integrates these elements and delivers all of the convenience and flexibility a state-of-the-art mixing system can offer, while providing the best possible audio performance and fidelity in both the analog and digital domains. We’ve created a purpose-built, modular live sound system that delivers studio-grade sound quality, maximum reliability, and unprecedented flexibility.”
VENUE’s D-Show live sound mixing engine uses 48-bit processing for the onboard EQ and Dynamics sections and plug-ins. Each channel of the D-Show console is equipped with delay, full 4-band parametric EQ (including additional 4th order HPF), and two dynamics processors. D-Show’s EQ algorithms feature four fully overlapping 20 Hz – 20 kHz bands with +/-18 dB of boost/cut, along with a unique, separate analog EQ emulation mode.
Digidesign says that each of the system’s mic preamps is hand-calibrated during manufacturing to maximize Common Mode noise Rejection Ratio (CMRR). D-Show’s remote-controlled mic/line preamps and converters use a digital snake system to allow signal capture near the source while simultaneously eliminating potential grounding problems between the FOH mix position and stage.
VENUE was purpose-built from the ground up specifically to service the requirements of live and concert sound reinforcement. Multiple redundant subsystems are said to ensure that audio continues to pass through to the speakers, even in the unlikely event of a system restart. Moreover, in what Digidesign cites as an industry first, operators retain complete control over channel mutes and faders in the event of a restart.
Optional dual-redundant power supplies for all critical components and dual-redundant snakes with auto-switchover are employed with a goal of a fail-safe environment. Digidesign says VENUE has also been drop, G-force, and temperature-extreme tested, tirelessly quality-assured, functionally revisited, and thoroughly field-tested on the road and in various installations to ensure non-stop, solid performance. VENUE is backed by Digidesign’s customer support, with on-road replacement service and authorized repair centers located in major cities around the world.
VENUE’s D-Show console supports a myriad of professional DSP effects processing plug-ins through its expandable DSP mix engine architecture, virtually the entire Digidesign and third party developer’s libraries, with additional SR specific applications expected. VENUE also features an optional direct digital link to Digidesign’s Pro Tools systems without requiring separate converters or digital I/O peripherals. This enables operators to integrate a separate Pro Tools workstation with the D-Show console to record a show or augment a live performance with Pro Tools playback. VENUE also supports off-line configuration, enabling operators to prep a system on a laptop prior to a show, and then upload the data to D-Show’s embedded computer as needed. VENUE is expected to ship in Q1 2005.