A very flexible, modular audio format converter, PRODIGY.MC can convert between RAVENNA/AES67, Dante or SoundGrid, and MADI, AES3 and analogue. Up to 64 analogue/AES3 inputs and outputs are possible, while the various AoIP options can support up to a further 128 channels, bidirectionally. PRODIGY.MC is the ideal solution for rental companies, live sound events, broadcasters and location recording where a versatile solution is needed to deal with multiple audio formats and often rapidly changing requirements.
Main feature set:
- Multichannel format converter: supports most current audio formats
- Modular design allows simple and rapid reconfiguration or expansion
- Up to 64 analogue or AES3 inputs and outputs; mixable in blocks of eight channels
- Supports Dante, RAVENNA/AES67 and Waves SoundGrid AoIP protocols
- Fully MADI compatible
- User-definable redundant operation
- External wordclock input and output
- Compatible with globcon control software
- Two headphone outputs
- Dual PSUs
- 2U rackmounting unit
- Eight 8ch. slots for AES3/analogue I/O modules, can accept any combination of:
- 4 x AES3 inputs/outputs
- 4 x AES3 inputs/outputs with input SRC
- 8 x analogue line outputs
- 8 x analogue line inputs + 8 x analogue line outputs
- 8 x high quality mic inputs
- 8 x mic inputs + 8 x analogue line outputs
- AoIP network slot, accepts any of:
- Dante I/O interface (64 chs)
- RAVENNA I/O interface (AES67; 128 chs)
- SoundGrid I/O interface (128 chs)
- Two MADI slots, each may be fitted with any of:
- MADI I/O card with 2 x BNC
- MADI I/O card with SC optical port
- MADI I/O card with SFP carrier
- Touchscreen user interface for system configuration, control and metering
- Internal server allows full unit control from the web browser on any compatible device via a dedicated network connection
- Fully compatible with globcon control software
- GPIO port for integration with broadcast control, monitoring or red light systems
- Supports SNMP and SWP-08 external management protocols
DirectOut produces many other interfaces and accessories for use with multichannel audio: The ANDIAMO 2.DA and 2.AD handle MADI and analogue conversion; the ANDIAMO.AES converts between MADI and AES3 and the ANDIAMO 2.XT between MADI and both AES3 and analogue, with SRC as an option. The compact EXBOX range includes EXBOX.64 for converting MADI streams between copper and optical formats; EXBOX.BLDS is a fail-safe MADI change-over switch for critical signal resilience and other critical applications.
globcon is a free, multi-platform software tool enabling full control of all DirectOut products via a single, standardised graphical interface.
DirectOut Technologies’ PRODIGY.MC is a “Swiss Army Knife” device, which will find many applications in live sound, broadcast and recording. It will be of particular interest to rental companies, as its hardware I/O configuration can be changed easily and rapidly to suit the requirements of a particular event or location. It can handle a maximum of 320 audio channels bidirectionally, and can freely convert between analogue, AES3, MADI, and any one of popular AoIP protocols (Dante, RAVENNA/AES67 and SoundGrid).
The versatility of the PRODIGY.MC derives from its modular design. The rear panel is provided with three different types of I/O slot: eight analogue/AES slots, two MADI slots and a network audio (AoIP) slot. Users can order the unit with whichever I/O modules are needed for a specific task: a rental company, for example, will want to keep an inventory of several different types of module and configure PRODIGY.MC as required, to suit each client’s needs as they arise.
A choice of six modules is available for the analogue/AES3 I/O slots; modules may be mixed as desired with little restriction. For analogue signals, the AN8.I0 module provides eight balanced line inputs and eight balanced line outputs, the AN8.O has eight balanced line outputs, the MIC8.HD.I has eight high-quality, low-noise mic preamplifiers and the MIC8.LINE.IO also has eight mic preamps plus 8 balanced line outputs. All connectors are 25-way D-subs wired to the well-known “Tascam” standard. For digital signals, the AES4.IO provides four AES3 inputs and four AES3 outputs (eight audio channels each), while the AES4.SRC.IO has the same connectivity but adds sample rate conversion to the inputs. Again, all connectors are 25-way D-subs wired to the “Tascam” standard for AES/EBU or AES3 signals.
Three MADI modules are available; the inclusion of two MADI slots either allows different physical formats to be used, or provides redundancy. Two modules of any type can be fitted in either slot. The MADI modules differ only in the physical connectivity: the SC.IO is fitted with a dual SC optical connector; the BNC.IO has two BNC connectors (input and output); the SFP.IO has an empty SFP carrier allowing the user to fit any of the coaxial or optical SFP cartridges recommended by DirectOut.
PRODIGY.MC supports Dante, RAVENNA/AES67 and Waves SoundGrid AoIP protocols, and a module of each type is available for installation in the Network slot; these are DANTE.IO, RAVENNA.IO and SG.IO respectively. All network modules have two RJ45 ports for Ethernet connection (to provide redundant operation or to daisy-chain other network devices) plus an empty SFP carrier for the user’s own choice of cartridge. The RAVENNA module is AES67 compliant and also supports SMPTE ST2110-30 (Audio for IP video) and ST2022-7 (for redundant network configuration).
With the Dante card fitted, the unit can act as a powerful front end for Dante-equipped mixing consoles or recording systems. Waves’ SoundGrid protocol is widely used in live recording applications and offers very low latency and a simple interface to DAWs via Waves’ Virtual Soundcard, which can also take advantage of Waves’ wide range of processor plug-ins. RAVENNA is a highly developed protocol in use by many major broadcasters.
PRODIGY.MC includes a channel-based routing matrix allowing full flexibility of channel mapping between inputs and outputs. A typical usage will be to interface analogue and/or digital audio signals to either MADI or one of the supported three AoIP protocols, and to convert between AoIP and MADI. If MADI and network cards are omitted, the unit can be used simply as a high-performance 64-channel A-to-D/D-to-A converter. In use, the engineer can easily monitor any pair of inputs or outputs through the front panel headphone sockets (both 6.35 mm and 3.5 mm). Headphone routing is set up as part of the configuration routine, e.g., for line checking.
Redundant operation is catered for in a variety of ways: the MADI and Network interface slots allow immediate connection to a redundant circuit by the provision of secondary connectors. It is also possible to define redundancy and automatic change-over between any combination of analogue/AES3 modules.
Control and configuration of PRODIGY.MC is available at hardware level through a menu-based system on the back-lit 5” touchscreen, which also provides thumbnail metering of all I/O slots. Full remote control is available from a computer (or other device) connected to the dedicated Ethernet management port; the unit has an internal server providing a set of web pages which can be accessed on any compatible browser. An alternative method of connection is also provided: the AoIP cards have a second network connector and a built-in Ethernet switch, which allows audio and control to be connected via a single cable.
PRODIGY.MC also supports globcon, a powerful software application which can control any combination of DirectOut products through a simple, standardised GUI. globcon is available in Mac, Windows and Linux versions and is downloadable free of charge from www.globcon.pro.
PRODIGY.MC is intended for use in the most critical situations and is therefore provided with dual universal power supplies, with independent, fused AC IEC inlets and switches. External wordclock input and output are available on the rear panel. There is also a 2-in/2-out GPIO interface (9-pin D-sub) allowing the unit to be interfaced with monitoring or red light systems, for example. The unit is built in a substantial steel chassis and occupies 2U of rack height.