Milwaukee, WI (January 3, 2020)—Some live sound providers double down on particular equipment, buying two of a crucial piece of gear, but Clearwing Productions recently deca’d down when it purchased 10 XTA MX36 DSP Enabled Console Switching Systems for use on festival events.
Clearwing not only provides audio, but also lighting, video, staging and backline providers for the festival market, servicing major clients like Boston Calling, Eaux Claires, Innings, McDowell Mountain Music Festival and, of course, Summerfest in the company’s backyard of Milwaukee. Ensuring it can cover all of those events and more, Clearwing’s new MX36s will be shared between its Milwaukee, Phoenix and Denver operations.
Designed to offer a solution to the longstanding problem of routing multiple mixing console outputs to a system processor and/or loudspeaker system, the dual-rack-space MX36 can accommodate up to nine consoles via 36 inputs across Analog, AES and Dante networks. Inputs are arranged in sets of four to support standard left, right, front-fill and sub feeds from each individual console. All AES inputs have sample-rate conversion, and there is one set of four outputs, available simultaneously across Analog, AES and Dante networks, with word clock output sync available on AES.
The MX36 was announced last summer at InfoComm, and XTA soon provided Clearwing with a pre-production model for evaluation. “We had a DiGiCo SD10 and SD9 going into that demo MX36 unit for the last few days of Summerfest 2019,” says Clearwing Productions systems technician Allen Gerhardt. “All of the engineers were really pleased with how it performed and had no issues going through it.”
After finally taking delivery of its ten DSP Enabled Console Switching Systems in late-October, Clearwing immediately started putting them into service, including on a festival in Live Oak, Florida known as Hullaween. “I had three consoles going into the MX36 on each day of the festival, and had the chance to use pretty much every flavor of console—Avid, DiGiCo, Midas, et cetera—all at different sample rates while maintaining full redundancy on each input,” says Clearwing Productions chief engineer of audio Robert Hegge. “The XTA unit vastly simplified my drive system at Hullaween and entirely eliminated the need for a production console. The ability to easily switch between AES inputs is something we’ve been waiting on for a long, long time. Engineers seemed more comfortable plugging into the MX36 versus other console switching methods that could degrade or modify the signal. And the unit’s microphone input also came in extremely handy for various changeover announcements.”
In the coming year, Clearwing Productions plans to use the systems on a number of productions, including Summerfest 2020, where it will be deploying the MX36 at most, if not all, of the major stages there.
XTA • www.xta.co.uk
Group One Ltd. [US Distributor] • www.g1limited.com