For years, there has been a need for a compact broadcast station audio console. Since most stations play their music, spots, jingles, etc. from a PC hard drive, you no longer need dozens of sources or inputs....just a PC, a couple of mics, a CD player or two, a few other sources and perhaps a phone hybrid.
Many stations have attempted to use small "live music" or PA-type mixers, usually with mediocre results. PA-type mixers just don't have the functionality of a true radio station console! There's no way to turn on the mics, no Cue bus or Cue speaker, not enough Line inputs, no way to mute the Monitor when the mic is on, no Mix-Minus output, no mic Tally output, etc, etc, etc.
SixMix solves this problem! It's a compact broadcast console that's designed for REAL RADIO! And it has a built-in D/A and A/D digital audio codec with USB interface....just connect a USB cable to any laptop or PC, and you're on the air. SixMix is the "missing link" that turns your laptop or desktop PC into a self-contained, no-compromise professional broadcast studio.
The SixMix USB Broadcast Console is a full-featured professional radio station audio mixer. Its 10 inputs include an integral A/D + D/A digital audio codec with a USB computer interface. The SixMix is designed for live broadcasting as well as recording, editing, and other production tasks. There is a stereo Program mixing bus, a Mix-Minus output, a Cue bus with internal Cue speaker, and comprehensive Headphones and Monitor systems. Other features include a Talkback system, Guest Headphone facilities, and accurate audio level metering. SixMix is ideally suited for use in a broadcast studio, news room, radio automation system, remote broadcast facility, emergency studio, internet broadcast station, or editing suite. With a footprint about the size of a laptop computer, it is a compact yet versatile and powerful audio production tool that is intuitive and easy to use.
Plenty of Inputs, with USB
SixMix accommodates 10 inputs with 6 mixing channels. Channels 1 & 2 are for microphones. Mic 1 is normally used by the console operator; Mic 2 is for a Guest announcer. Each Mic channel includes an On/Off switch and a Cough button. External microphone processing equipment, e.g., a limiter or equalizer, can be inserted using the Mic Process Insert jacks. The Talkback facility allows the console operator to converse off-air with the Guest announcer.
Channels 3 through 6 are for line-level sources, e.g., CD players and tape decks. Both professional and consumer equipment can be used. Each Line channel accepts two stereo Line sources: the “A” input is for professional equipment; the “B” input is for consumer gear. Each Line channel has an A/B Input Select switch to select the desired source. Line channels can be mixed to the main Program output, or to the Cue bus for auditioning prior to air.
Input 6A is the built-in digital audio codec for recording and playback using a computer. Any O/S and software that supports USB 1.1 (or higher) can be used; no special software or drivers are needed. The audio quality of the codec is identical to the award-winning Henry Engineering USB Matchbox. Its advanced design yields audiophile-grade performance that exceeds the sound quality of any computer’s internal sound card, and often surpasses that of 24-bit sound cards. There is no “digital grunge” or harshness, only smooth and natural sound with rock-solid bass and accurately detailed harmonics. The PC-Direct SPDIF digital output permits feeding digital PC-playback audio (only) to a transmitter or web-streaming interface.
No Errors On-The-Air
To avoid embarrassing on-air mistakes, mix bus assign buttons and LEDs are color-coded for quick visual recognition. Program buttons are RED; Cue buttons are BLUE. Color-changing LEDs follow the bus assignments: if a channel is “on the air”, its LED will be RED; if the channel is in Cue mode, the LED will change to BLUE. Other console functions are also indicated by color-coded LEDs for error-free use.
The Program output is the main mix bus output of the console. It is monitored with LED VU meters: 0-VU = +4 dBu. The Record output is identical to the Program output, except that its level is -10 dBu. SixMix also includes a Mix-Minus output for use with a telephone hybrid. The MixMinus output is monaural and contains all audio on the Program bus, minus the channel used for the hybrid’s receive (caller) audio.
The SixMix Cue system includes a built-in Cue speaker. The Exclusive Cue feature prevents a source from accidently being on the air while it’s being cued: when any source is in Cue mode, the Program assignment is overridden. When the source is taken out of Cue, the Program assignment is restored. (Note: this feature can be user-disabled.) The AutoCue feature lets the console operator hear the Cue bus through headphones.
The SixMix Monitor system allows the console operator to hear the Program mix bus, as well as off-air audio from the station’s demodulator or tuner. The Monitor output can be programmed to mute when Mic 1 and/or Mic 2 is in use. The PC-Solo function is for “solo-listening” to the playback of the computer without having to assign the computer to the Program bus. This is useful for “listening through” the codec during mixing or editing on the PC.
Ready for a Guest Announcer
Two Headphone facilities are provided, one for the console operator, and a second output for a guest announcer. The main Headphone output follows the audio on the Monitor system. The SixMix AutoCue feature automatically switches the headphones to the Cue bus whenever any Line channel is in Cue mode. This eliminates the need to manually switch the headphones from Program to Cue each time a source is cued.
The secondary Guest Headphone output is for use with a Henry Engineering MultiPhones Guest Pod. This unit is a self-contained headphone amplifier with headphone jacks and a volume control. It is powered by the SixMix console. The Guest Headphone output follows the main Monitor audio, and is integrated with the Talkback / IFB system. (A second Guest Pod can be used to drive an announce booth monitor amplifier.)
The SixMix Talkback system allows the console operator to speak to the guest announcer, off-air, who is listening on a Guest Pod. Pressing the Talkback button interrupts “normal” audio, and inserts audio from Mic 1. If the guest announcer needs to reply, the console operator can switch Mic 2 (the Guest mic) into Cue mode, and hear the announcer, off-air, via the Cue system.
Installation Made Easy
Mic logic Tally outputs are provided to interface with a Henry Engineering Superelay for control of On The Air tally lights. Other features include accurate LED VU meters that conform to ANSI standards for VU meter ballistic response, and a handy front panel stereo input jack for “quick connects” to MP3 players or other analog devices.
SixMix offers the best of both worlds: the reliability of an analog console with the efficiency of digital audio. Its audio performance is pristine, with electronic bus switching for clean, noise-free operation. All ICs are mounted in sockets for ease of maintenance. The internal linear power supply is robust and reliable. SixMix is ideal wherever there’s a need for a compact yet fully functional professional broadcast audio console