Large format, fully-automated digital audio mixing console for world-class broadcast and theatre applications, supporting surround formats up to 7.1. The design is based on Stagetec’s Direct Access principle, giving the engineer a control surface which is entirely familiar when compared to analogue consoles. Based on the Nexus/Nexus Star router combination, configurations with up to 300 audio channels, 128 mix buses and 96 channel strips are realisable. The distributed, modular I/O system allows for sources and destinations anywhere on or off-site, in almost any audio format.
- Up to 300 simultaneous inputs
- Modular Nexus I/O gives wide range of analogue and digital audio interfacing options
- Freely configurable bus structure – up to 128 mix buses, which may include up to 48 aux/(N-1) buses
- Snapshot, scene and timecode-based dynamic automation systems
- Channel strips are hot-swappable
- Multiple consoles may co-exist on same system, accessing either the same or different sources/destinations
Channel facilities include:
- User-definable channel architecture
- 4-band parametric EQ and swept filtering
- Compression, gating, expansion
- Per-channel delay
- Multichannel (up to 7.1) assignment to main or aux buses
- N-1 out, Direct Out and pre/post inserts
Master facilities include:
- I/O source/destination assignment
- Fully assignable VCA-style subgroups
- Stereo, 5.1 and custom-defined channel linking with user selection of slave functions
- Central parameter panel giving enhanced control of all channel functions
- Very comprehensive comms system for on-air use, with dedicated off-air N-1/conference matrix
- Local analogue I/O for talkback, nearfield monitoring, third-party metering, etc.
- Large range of assignable user keys – can interface with Nexus logic functions
- Graphics pad and retractable QWERTY keyboard
- Integrated transport control
Monitoring and metering:
- Hi-resolution per-channel metering of signal level and dynamics gain reduction
- User-definable per-channel TFT display shows EQ curve, dynamics characteristic, multichannel panning, routing, etc.
- Large enhanced display of selected channel parameters in central area
- Very flexible monitoring system allows multiple simultaneous multichannel encoding and monitoring of downmix(es)
- Modular chassis system based on blocks of 8 channel strips
- Max. number of faders: 96
- Redundant PSUs for control surface and Nexus racks
- All project data stored in console – no external computer required
The Stagetec Aurus is a highly-specified digital audio mixing console primarily designed for on-air or off-air production work in TV, theatre and other live environments. It embodies Stagetec’s Direct Access principle, meaning that as many console and system functions as possible have been allocated dedicated controls. The Aurus’s control surface layout is thus entirely familiar to engineers used to working on analogue consoles.
The console is effectively a physical control surface for Aurus DSP cards within a Stagetec Nexus Star routing system. All main system audio inputs and outputs are connected via one or more frames in Nexus Base Devices, which may be located adjacent to the console, elsewhere in the facility, or many kilometres away. Fibre links connect these to a Nexus Star central router unit which includes the system’s DSP; the Nexus Star is also connected via fibre to the Aurus surface. The Aurus surface itself handles no audio other than local signals for talkback, nearfield monitoring, etc. If the broadcaster uses a Nexus system as the facility’s main audio backbone router, the mixing console transparently forms part of the system, and has access to any sources or destinations within the facility. Nexus’s flexibility also permits more than one Aurus control surface to be connected into the system, and thus multiple tasks can be undertaken simultaneously, using the same overall “pool” of I/O resources with no constraints.
The modular design of the Nexus racks permits enormous flexibility in I/O configuration. Almost any combination of analogue and digital audio formats may be specified to suit the facility’s infrastructure; options extend to MADI, SDI and optical digital audio interfaces as well as the more common analogue (mic/line), or digital (AES3) connectivity.
The control surface layout of the Aurus has been deliberately kept as conventional as possible. The console may be specified with 16 to 96 channel strips (in blocks of 8), with full freedom of layout. Selection and assignment of input sources to channel strips and buses to output destinations is through the Nexus Input and Output Matrixes respectively, controlled from the console’s master section. Channel strips have 8 “layers”, so that a large number of sources may form part of a project, yet be under the control of a relatively manageable number of faders. The layers are accessed by a local button on each channel strip, and the currently-selected source indicated by an alphanumeric display next to the fader. Unlike many digital consoles, multifunctionality of channel controls is kept to a minimum. Each channel strip has 32 switches, and 11 dual-concentric rotary controls – each with two LED fan displays – giving access to 22 variable parameters. Full control over all channel parameters is simltaneously available in the central control area. Audio channels may be freely linked to form stereo pairs or multichannel stems as needed, and controlled by a single strip. Linked controls may range from the entire channel strip to a single control.
The Aurus may be freely configured to suit the task in hand. The entire console configuration – including bus architecture, I/O allocation, allocation of sources to channel strips and layers, monitoring setup and automation data – may be saved as project files for immediate recall. The Aurus provides three separate automation systems: snapshot, which allows an entire set of system settings to be stored or recalled; scene, where snapshots are sequenced and manually recalled; and dynamic, which stores changes made to all audio parameters against a timeline to 10 mS accuracy.
The meter bridge consists of multiple, large colour TFT displays, whose appearance and content is under user control. In addition to bargraph-style metering of signal levels, the displays can also show channel data such as EQ curves, group and bus assignments, dynamics section transfer characteristic, surround panning visualisation and I/O port identification. The meter bridge above the master section also displays the Nexus control software, giving full control of the system input and output matrixes and all other routing, signalisation and logic functions.
Despite the Aurus’s high level of functionality, power consumption is remarkably low and the console has no internal fans. Continuous diagnostics report any component problems on the console main screen, and both console control panels and Nexus boards are hot-swappable, with rapid restoration to the last-known configuration. Dual PSUs are standard.