DDA CS8 is a cost effective mixing console which performs to accepted professional standards and is simple for the untrained user to operate.
Main features and specification for DDA CS8:
The pan pot can be switched between stereo panning mode, and left/centre/right panning mode. Left-centre-right panning to the master outputs provides much improved spatial positioning. The
technique has been used for many years in the film industry where its benefits are well known.
Another unique feature for a mixer in this class is individual sub group routing instead of the inconvenient and inflexible paired routing which always requires the use of the pan pot to route a channel to a single sub group. There is always a crosstalk performance compromise involved and it is done solely for economic rather than for operational reasons, as it halves the number of routing switches and removes the need for a pan in/out switch.
The CS8 allows routing to the sub groups either individually or in pairs via the pan pot.
The CS8 input module has a 4 band equaliser with high and low frequency boost/cut controls and two swept frequency middle sections. There is more than two octaves of overlap between the frequency ranges of the mid equalisers while the frequency span extends to from 70Hz to 10kHz.
The CS8 has 8 full time auxiliary send controls allowing easy session setup. These are normally post fade but can be switched pre fade.
Normally the pre fade signal is pre fade post cut but byusing internal links it can be changed to the pre equaliser signal. Auxiliaries 7 and 8 can be used in stereo where stereo foldback, for example, is required.
The channel cut is a silent FET switch which can be remotely controlled through a connector on the rear of each channel by a simple connection to ground. In addition, when the channel cut switch is pressed, another contact is grounded on the Mute Remote connector. This can be used to control a Midi Mute controller, cue lights, or even to control another channel on the mixer by linking the mute out pin of one channel to the mute in pin of any other channel(s). Such an application could be a podium switch which would allow the speaker to override other channels for example.
While it is normal to find PFL/AFL on almost all mixers, the CS8 goes a step further. The input solo is arranged to have priority over the output solo. This means that there is no need to de-select an output solo when selecting one or more input solo controls, and when the input solo is released, the output solo is re-established. A master solo level trim control is located on the master module for level matching, and the level of the solo signal is displayed on the left mix bargraph.
An additional solo feature provided is Solo In Place. In this mode, soloing any input channel will cause all other input channels to be cut, thereby allowing only itself to be heard in the mix, correctly panned and at the right level, along with any stereo effect return channels. This is of great benefit during set-up and rehearsal and is much more useful than the standard PFL. A switch on the master module selects Solo In Place mode.
The value of effective metering of signal levels throughout the signal path cannot be overestimated. Signal present and 0dB LED’s on all input channels give confidence to the operator while peak overload LED’s indicate when the channel is being driven close to clipping. However, it is unusual to find a peak overload LED at the very place where it is most needed, at the summing bus mix amplifiers, operating independently of the output meters. If the mix amplifier is overloaded and starts to clip, the only thing that can be done to rectify the situation is to pull down all input faders.
On the CS8, there are overload warning LED’s on each of the sub group mix amplifiers as well as on the left, centre and right mix amplifiers. When the output meters are switched to observe the matrix outputs the bus peak leds also monitor the matrix bus.
Inserts are used to patch in external pieces of equipment such as equalisers, limiters etc. and are provided on all channels, group outputs, mix outputs and auxiliary outputs. To be useful and useable, the inserts should be at a level which is compatible with this external equipment. Sadly, this is often not the case. Some mixers have inserts at odd levels which will preclude their efficient use because of the noise penalty. All inserts on the CS8 are at a consistent level which is at the internal operating level of 0dBu.
In most installations, it is quite normal to place an equaliser in the stage monitor sends, but this is normally external to the mixer. This of course means that the only way of listening to the monitor sends (internal to the mixer) is via the solo system.
Herein lies a problem. The operator does not hear the effect of the external equalisation. Also, any noise introduced by the external device is constant and not proportional to the setting of the send control. The ideal place to insert an external device is pre the send master control and this is the case in the CS8.
The CS8 console has been designed to provide the consultant, contractor, installer and user with a cost effective system which will perform to accepted professional standards, be simple for the untrained user to operate, and be tolerant of wiring and installation problems. There can be no excuse for a system which is over sensitive to the wiring and installation conventions used, and hums at every opportunity.
High quality balanced inputs and outputs are only part of the story.
Equally important is the way in which the console grounding system works, because it is through the console ground that all the noisy ground currents from the cable screens will flow. Any part of the audio signal path which shares the cable screen to console ground path within the console will effectively have the cable screen noise added to that signal path. The current flowing in cable shields in typical installations has be shown to be substantial (in the order of 100mA and above) and is caused by the difference in potential between the ground connection at each end of the cable screens.
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Glossary: DDA CS 8, DDA CS-8