At the London PLASA 2010 show, Harman subsidiary Soundcraft launched its new Compact Stagebox for Vi and Si consoles with a high density of I/O connections in 4RU of space. The standard modular unit offers as 32 mic/line inputs, eight line outputs, eight channels of AES/EBU outputs and two expansion slots for standard Studer D21m I/O cards. The D21m is the I/O architecture for Studer as well as Soundcraft digital mixing systems and allows connection to most popular digital formats, including CobraNet, AVIOM A-Net, EtherSound, ADAT and RockNet. A MADI recording interface can also be accommodated.
The Compact Stagebox connects to the host console using either Cat 5 or fiber-optic MADI, just as Soundcraft’s larger 64 mic/line input Vi6 is hooked up. The unit includes twin redundant power supplies, thermostatically-controlled fan cooling and full LED status monitoring. As well as the flexibility of the D21m option card interface, the Compact Stagebox also uses the same mic/line I/O modules found in the Soundcraft Vi1 console, allowing moved or shared modules between console and Stagebox should a different configuration of I/O be required. An eight-channel GPIO interface is also provided.
The Compact Stagebox is ideal for existing owners of Vi consoles as a cost-effective method of expanding the input capability (for example, in conjunction with the DSP upgrade available for Vi6, which adds 32 mic/line inputs to the 64 of the basic console) or as a partner for the Vi1 and Si range of consoles for remote I/O capability in conjunction with the optional MADI interface cards available for those consoles.