Clyde Broadcast launches new low cost professional radio broadcast mixer | radioinfo

Clyde Broadcast launches new low cost professional radio broadcast mixer

Wednesday 12 May, 2010
Clyde Boradcast mixer

UK company Clyde Broadcast Products has used all of its 30 years of radio broadcast equipment design experience in developing its new OctoMix radio broadcast and production mixing console.

Designed with a simple control lay-out, and integrating high grade low-noise tactile controls, OctoMix is a case of less is more.

Clyde Broadcast’s design team has made sure that OctoMix contains all of the ‘must have’ features, most of the ‘would be nice’ but none of the ‘don’t want’ features,  as stipulated by their extensive expert customer base. Radio engineers who contributed to the product’s development say they appreciate the fully balanced circuitry, low-maintenance design and excellent build quality, which is guaranteed for 5 years.
OctoMix has a low price point of around €1600, appealing to community stations and small organisations.

Clyde Broadcast’s Managing Director Phil Collins says:

“There are a large number of radio stations in developing countries and OctoMix was developed partly with this market in mind. Whether it’s a national broadcaster in Tanzania or a small community radio station here in Scotland, cost and build quality are essential factors to all users. In both respects, we’re confident that OctoMix is unparalleled in the market today.”

The mixer is designed for maximum reliability, blending high quality components with the highest build quality, helping to ensure long operational life and the lowest number of operational faults.

One of the biggest reliability issues in broadcast mixers is power supply failures. As standard, OctoMix comes with two external Power Supply Units (PSUs), each of which runs cool and can power the mixer on its own. Whilst such an approach is common in big-price-tag products, it is unprecedented in such a cost effective offering as OctoMix.

OctoMix integrates micro-controllers which interpret commands from front panel switches and user interfaces to control the operation of the mixer and connected equipment, such as CD players. Being ‘soft’, OctoMix can easily be reprogrammed to add functionality or to integrate new outboard equipment with enhanced functionality. All the mixer’s connections are located on the rear panel, intelligently grouped together for easy access.

Except for headphone feeds, the entire mixer’s audio inputs and outputs are balanced, improving their immunity to radio frequency interference. This allows long cable runs to be used without signal degradation or the need for external interfaces.

To facilitate monitoring and foldback, OctoMix features separate balanced loudspeaker outputs, for control room and studio/booth and separate headphone outputs for presenter and guests.

The specifications, from radioinfo’s viewpoint, are workable and  efficient. The only problem we could see is that the VU meter is located on the flat panel to the right, not in the middle of the uplifted top section.

An optional Production Overbridge can be added to the mixer, which provides four 3-band equalisers and PAN controls for use with the Mic and Phone channels. The company’s proprietary VoiceBand EQ™ technology operates within prescribed voice frequencies and provides adjustment where it is most needed.

Today, the majority of radio broadcast production happens in the digital domain using PC-based multi-track recording and editing software. These cost-effective production tools remove the need for mixers with complicated EQ, Dynamics Processing and Routing.

In order to provide a robust and high quality connection between these PC-based programs and OctoMix, the mixer’s Production Overbridge incorporates a USB interface, which enables digital connectivity to and from a production PC.

With this facility, a buffered programme output from OctoMix is fed to the PC’s record input and conversely, the PC output is channelled via USB into any of OctoMix’s stereo line inputs. A ‘Record from Prefade’ facility is also available, allowing on-air presenter’s to make simple background recordings, of a phone-caller for example.

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