Digital consoles maker DiGiCo has launched two new I/O rack modules, the MINI and NANO racks, expanding the range of input and output options for any DiGiCo SD audio system. Multiple DiGiCo mixing consoles can be positioned in an Optocore 2G optical loop, ideally suited to complex live or broadcast productions where multiple consoles need to share and sub-mix I/O. A perfect example is a scenario requiring FOH, monitors and a live broadcast feed.
The MINI rack has four standard SD hot-swappable I/O card slots. These can be populated with any combination of the SD-Rack I/O cards, which include Mic/Line, Line output, AES I/O, AES IN, AES Out, ADAT, Aviom, DANTE and an in-development HD-SDI card. Standard on the rack are MADI I/O connections along with the choice of either HMA, OpticalCon or ST optics. Measuring 4RU in height, the MINI can run up to 32 ins and outs in pure digital. For analog, that translates to a maximum of 32 ins or outs in banks of eight (e.g., 8 in and 24 out).
Half the physical size of the MINI rack at a nifty 2RU, the NANO Rack offers two SD hot swappable I/O card slots, with the same card options. Optical connections are again user defined with HMA, OpticalCon or ST options. Maximum I/O is 16x16 digital, and 16 total (typically 8x8) analog.
The hidden beauty of the MINI and NANO racks is that, instead of all the I/O connections having to be in one place, they can be distributed throughout a venue at the most convenient points. For instance, at a sports broadcasting event, a combination of I/O racks can be distributed about the field of play, all backed up on a redundant single or multimode optical loop. Up to 14 rack IDs can be defined on each loop, providing a full optical distribution system.
“With a digital system it makes no sense to have long lengths of analogue cabling between your audio sources or amplifiers/loudspeakers and a central I/O rack,” said DiGiCo marketing director David Webster. “You might want 56 mic inputs and 24 outputs as a main I/O rack, then a few more each side of the stage, perhaps a few for an event in the foyer and some more in an adjacent rehearsal room.
“You can use an SD-Rack for the main onstage I/O rack, but have a NANO rack each side of the stage, another in the foyer and a MINI rack in the rehearsal room, all communicating and working with up to five redundant consoles.”