Webb and Doyle introduce DiGiCo’s D5 Live at PLASA
Monday, 9 September 2002
Webb and Doyle introduce DiGiCo’s D5 Live at PLASA
One of the most talked-about live music mixing consoles of recent months - the DiGiCo D5 Live - was launched at PLASA yesterday, with and Dave Webster and Bob Doyle making a special presentation to members of the press over an enjoyable Sunday roast. On stand D28, the D5 Live system is on demonstration in a fully working set-up with a digital multitrack concert recording sync’d to video.

Designed from the ground up to deliver high sonic purity and powerful, instantly accessible controllability, the D5 Live comprises the D5 Live console itself, a front-of-house Digirack containing A/D converters and I/Os, a matching stage Digirack and 100m of fibre optic cable. This is a complete, self contained system that does away with the need for a multicore, splitters, line drivers, dynamics processors and - optionally - an entire effects rack too. The D5 Live can even record live to multitrack with a single, simple MADI cable and a hard disk multitrack recorder.

Virtually every feature is visible at a glance, or at most a single, logical fingertip press away. The four LCD touchscreens present their rich feature sets exactly as an engineer would expect to find them on an advanced analog console, with instant access and no menus to navigate. This intuitive approach means that, despite packing in powerful digital dynamics, an optional effects package, total recall of every function, a 38x8 output matrix, up to 96 input channels and 40 multi-configurable internal buses, the learning curve will be as short as the feature list is long.

The D5 Live software provides flexibility in configuring the console precisely to suit the show. In both 56 or 96 input versions, the 40 internal buses can be set up as mono or stereo auxiliaries and mono or stereo surround buses (the console is fully 5.1-ready as well as for L/C/R, with three joystick surround sound panners for instant sound placement). The engineer can also instantly select a basic set-up for either front-of-house or monitor mixing.

Three solo modes are provided, along with the facility to ‘gang’ groups of input faders together for single-fader control. The dynamics package offers comprehensive frequency-conscious gating, compression and limiting with powerful sidechain EQ, and a four-band fully parametric equaliser plus high and low pass filters. Underlining the ease of use, the moment an EQ control is touched, the screen displays a real-time EQ curve - with the same instant, highly accurate visual feedback provided for every other feature.

At any time the console’s entire status can be committed to a snapshot memory and as there’s no limit to the number of snapshots that can be stored, a complete show mix can be recorded, stored on a tiny USB key and then recalled on another continent with another D5 Live. More innovations can be found throughout the D5 Live. The compact and lightweight rigid frame houses a slide-out keyboard for naming channels and groups on the electronic scribble strips. Also in the frame is the console’s hot-swappable power supply and the powerful bespoke DSP engine, which runs every channel continuously - producing the benefit of just 2ms latency from analogue input to analogue output, equal on every channel at all times.

The console can be rebooted without missing a second’s audio throughput and, on restart, automatically restores all current settings. 96kHz D/A converters provide an impeccable noise floor while 32-bit floating point internal processing delivers pure, smooth, rich musicality. Onboard diagnostics monitor (and display when required) all the console’s critical functions and its power supply, and a built-in telemetry modem allows remote diagnostics and software updates on the road.

The design team behind the D5 Live’s engineering has 10 years of experience with the Soundtracs family of digital recording consoles, and over 400 digital sales worldwide. Combined with the expertise of Bob Doyle and Dave Webster, who introduced some


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