LOUD Technologies is pleased to introduce the EAW UMX.96—a 24-bit, 96kHz digital live console with expandable on-board 56 x 44 analog I/O, 3 x 12 integrated loudspeaker processing, the first full integration of SmaartLive, a 15-inch touch screen, and a unique tactile rotary encoder with intuitive user interface—all for a projected list price of under $50,000.

“The UMX.96 ushers in a whole new era for EAW as well as the digital live mixer market,” stated Ken Berger, co-founder of EAW and now Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at EAW’s parent company LOUD Technologies. “The digital live console market is still young and as such, is still mostly undefined and under-leveraged. For example, most digital consoles currently available still rely on early cumbersome user interfaces, or are based on recording console technology. The UMX.96 is a much more sophisticated and mature product than what’s currently available–one that proves how much more digital technology can do for live sound.”

Berger continued, “On of our primary goals with the UMX.96 was to leverage the potential of a digital console in order to provide functionality that more closely couples the mixer to the rest of the system. We also wanted to deliver a user environment that is not only intuitive for use in live sound, but one that brings more system wide control to the house mixer, and system engineer. I believe that we successfully accomplished both of these goals and that this console’s feature set, usability, and system level integration will define this market in the same way that the EAW KF850 defined the arrayable touring loudspeaker market many years ago.”

LOUD’s Live Sound Product Manager John Boudreau, who led the development team responsible for the UMX.96 elaborated, “Our development process began more than two years ago with a series of focus groups across both professional install and touring markets. Our goal was to identify key application-specific functions, better understand mix engineer workflow, and validate the new tools proposed in the initial UMX.96 concept. This process not only allowed us to refine our specification to include those functions that are truly usable in a live environment, but it also provided us with a tremendous understanding of how to design a better user interface.”

The UMX.96’s ergonomics are designed specifically for ease of use in live sound environments. The console features a unique master section that combines a 15-inch touch-sensitive LCD display with a tactically dynamic rotary encoder that is able to change its “feel” depending on the specific parameter selected via the touch screen. A laptop computer can also be connected to expand the user interface.

The master section also incorporates eight touch-sensitive Penny & Giles VCA faders that bring the VCAs or desired channels to the center of the mixer for convenient access.

The channel section of the UMX.96 includes 48 Penny & Giles touch-sensitive faders arranged in stacked rows of 24. These faders provide dedicated control of all 48 input channels simultaneously or can be assigned in master groups of 8 to specific sections. This results in less bank switching and therefore further enhances the UMX.96’s user experience.

Jamie Anderson, EAW Touring Product Manager and the person who will manage the official roll out of the UMX.96 in 2006 added, “Our Victoria, B.C.-based digital engineering team was responsible for incorporating key technologies from other LOUD engineering teams including SIA Software’s Smaart Analysis tools, EAW’s digital signal processing algorithms, as well as Mackie’s industrial design and ergonomics capabilities.”

Anderson continued, “By combining our broad mix of engineering talent, we raised the bar for what a digital live console can deliver, as well as created the most intuitive and powerful user interface ever offered in this market.”

The UMX.96 is the first live sound console to fully integrate all of SmaartLive’s measurement capabilities for instant system measurement and calibration. When selected, an input or output feeds SmaartLive which in turn provides RTA on the EQ screen of any channel post EQ in order to show the instant efffects of the EQ on the signal. Additionally, UMX.96 incorporates EQ, crossovers, limiters that are based on EAW-designed filters that allow loudspeaker alignment, audio distribution and zoning to be done directly from the mixer. EAW’s revolutionary new Gunness Focusing technology will be incorporated through an optional processing card.

Anderson concluded, “One of the most exciting things about the UMX.96 is that it was designed to be a solid foundation from which we can further explore the potential of digital technology in live sound. I’m extremely excited about this console and the doors that it opens for future development.”

EAW UMX.96 Key Features:

Fully integrated Smaart analysis tools:

  • Included measurement mic with dedicated console input ensures perfect calibration for onboard SmaartLive 5 analysis software.
  • Smaart Follows Select button: In this mode, the Smaart analysis software’s reference input is fed by the selected input or output channel. The RTA output is simultaneously visible with the channel’s EQ curve, providing visual support to the audible EQ changes.
  • Dedicated SPL Meter: The onboard LCD SPL meter provides constant dB-SPL display.
On-board 3 x 12 EAW loudspeaker processor:
  • Custom EAW-designed EQ, crossover, delay and limiter algorithms allow multi-way loudspeaker alignment, audio distribution and zoning directly from the mixer.
  • Recallable presets allow the user to optimize crossover, EQ and alignment settings for EAW loudspeakers and others.

Highly intuitive and powerful user interface:

  • Master section includes a unique Touch & Spin mix control that combines a 15-inch color touch panel with a tactically dynamic rotary controller. Simply touch an onscreen parameter and the knob will change its “feel” accordingly
  • 48 P&G touch-sensitive Channel Faders arranged in two rows of 24 allow dedicated control of all 48 input channels simultaneously to significantly minimize “bank switching”.
  • Tri-color Channel Assign buttons provide at-a-glance indication of current channel assign functions for Mute Groups, VCAs, Aux/Groups, internal effects, and more.

Full On-board I/O – The UMX.96 standard configuration includes a vast array of I/O on the rear panel including:

  • 48 remote controlled mic preamps: Snapshot recallable level, polarity, pad, and 48V settings. Includes balanced TRS send and return inserts plus a TRS direct output.
  • 8 Stereo Line Inputs on dual XLR connectors
  • 24 Aux/Groups: Each bus can be configured as an Aux Send with variable level, or as a Pre- or Post-Pan Group. Further configuration options accommodate multiple Aux Sends, Groups, or combinations of the two as needed.