Las Vegas, NV (April 20, 2005)–Otari U.S.A. Sales, Inc. has announced, at NAB this week, that New York-based XM Productions/Effanel Music has purchased seven Otari Model FS-96 Digital Format Converters. The prestigious audio production company and remote recording specialists operate several audio production trucks and have handled countless high-profile music concerts and broadcasts for nearly two decades. Effanel Music was acquired by XM Satellite Radio in late 2004.
XM/Effanel is currently re-provisioning its flagship OB vehicle, “L7,” with new state-of-the-art audio equipment. Four FS-96’s are being incorporated into the large truck’s extensive facilities to handle MADI file conversions into multiple digital formats via optical distribution and transmission. A total of 96 audio channels may be networked within the revamped L7 vehicle’s arsenal of digital audio gear. A second XM/Effanel remote production vehicle, “OSR,” has a complement of three additional Otari FS-96’s that will handle a total of 72 audio channels.
The FS-96 format and sample-rate converter is Otari’s solution to the challenges of multitrack digital audio interfacing. The FS-96 makes multi-track transfers between different digital audio platforms fast and simple. It supports all of the common formats, including AES3 (AES/EBU), TDIF-1, ADAT (optical) and SDIF-2, with optional MADI* and the new IEEE1394 interface for direct ND-20 integration and networking. The FS-96 converts up to 24 channels of 24-bit audio at sample rates up to 24-bit/96 kHz. A built-in digital router makes track assignment easy, and offers 10 preset routing maps. Multiple units can be linked with sample accurate synchronization for transfers requiring more than 24 channels. In addition, the FS-96 also converts sample rates from 32 kHz to 96 kHz and bit rates from 16-bit to 24-bit and vice versa. The FS-96 automatically detects the incoming format and sample rate, while making the output signal available to all supported formats.
Joel Singer, lead engineer for XM/Effanel, commented on his decision to use Otari FS-96’s: “We previously used the Otari UFC’s [Universal Format Converters] but this was before the 24-bit/96 kHz digital audio standard became ubiquitous. We waited for Otari’s FS-96’s with their new MADI card option. In our world, MADI is essential since we need to convert signals from numerous digital equipment sources into formats such as TDIF and AES3. We often need to move things around rapidly without worrying about reconnecting cables and reconfiguring signal flows; the FS-96’s are the perfect solution.”
Singer added, “We’re still using Otari ND-20’s with mic pre’s on 64 channels, all connected via fiber optics to our smaller ‘ob/u’ truck. Effanel was also one of the first users of Otari’s hard disk recording systems; we’ve had a close working relationship for years. Their products always meet the particular challenges we throw at them.”