The center piece of the new MADI PCI Express platform is TotalMix FX, the DSP-based hardware mixer with 46 bit internal resolution, comparable to high-end digital consoles in its complex functionality.
With its UFX counterpart, complete live gigs have already been mixed directly inside the interface, replacing standard digital FOH mixing consoles. Thanks to the higher channel count and the additional routing options the HDSP MADI FX goes even further.
The HDSPe MADI FX provides the same 192 kHz effects engine as the Fireface UFX and UCX. To supply the sheer amount of nearly 400 channels with as much as possible high-quality effects, the DSP algorithm's efficiency was further improved and a more powerful FPGA of the latest generation was selected. These performance improvements ensure that the 4096-channel mixer reacts just as smoothly as those on other RME interfaces with significantly fewer channels.
Every input and output channel comes with a luxury feature set, comparable to a full-scale digital console. The effects per channel include 3-band parametric EQ, adjustable Low Cut, Auto Level, Compressor, Expander, MS Processing and phase reversal. The Reverb and Echo effects unit is available for all channels by way of a stereo send and return bus. The HDSPe MADI FX easily surpasses the competition by offering all these effects even at 192 kHz operation.
The complete effects section not only adds a lot of flexibility to the recording chain, but makes latency burdened software dispensable. TotalMix can easily replace any external mixer, e. g. to create different latency-free monitoring mixes with EQ and Reverb for the main studio monitors and the headphone of the vocalist(s) in the recording room.
The FX-DSP uses an automatic overload surveillance. As soon as no effect can be added to the fully loaded DSP, the TotalMix surface will clearly signal this condition. When changing to higher sample rates all effects that exceed the DSP's performance were automatically deactivated - the DSP will never be overloaded. This also prevents any possible damage to loudspeakers due to distortion. Furthermore, the DSP hardware calculates RMS and Peak levels for all level meters, so there is zero CPU load on the host.
The Hide feature
To keep an overview of 390 channels in live and studio situations, where not all channels will need to be visible at all times, TotalMix FX provides a new form of channel management.
Although the software has featured a sophisticated multi-window technique from the start, which can display several views of the mixer at the same time, channel rows of 196 channels need a special user interface design. For example, a mixdown of channels 1, 2, and 191/192 at the same time would need a constant scrolling back and forth, and these channels would be never visible within one view.
All these and other limitations are eliminated with the new Hide technology. Any channel can be hidden from the surface. Hide setups can be stored and loaded anytime.
An example: on channels 73-85 are all signals of a drum set, on channels 110-114 represent some electronically generated drum sounds. The Hide feature will enable the user to remove all the other channels from the view, and display just the entire drum mix with a simple mouse click. Channels 110-114 seamlessly connect to channel 85 - all in one window – creating a perfect overview with optimal operation.
Hide also allows removal of channels for a connected MIDI remote control. Remotes with few faders can thus control any individual selection of the existing 196 channels – without the need of further switching.
Flexible Routing with professional Matrix view
All 194 inputs and 196 playback channels can be routed and mixed to 196 physical outputs completely freely. This impressive feature culminates in the most powerful router/mixer ever implemented on an audio card, and allows much more than a usage as pure computer I/O unit. Examples are:
- MADI optical patchbay and router
- MADI coaxial/optical or vice versa converter and splitter
- MADI redistributor, patchbay and router
The MADI FX can be turned into a freely programmable and very comfortable MADI router for complete live and studio setups. Compared to hardware routers, the sophisticated TotalMix channel matrix not only offers a superior user interface with unmatched clarity, it also enables lightning-quick changes and the creation of routings and setups with a few mouse clicks.
TotalMix provides a complete arsenal of all the functions needed to control the monitoring of modern in-the-box studio or live mixing sessions. Among these, there is Dim, source selection, monitor switching, integrated talkback, a flexible cue setup, mute and mute FX, mono, speaker B switching and much more.
TotalMix Remote Control
The main functions of TotalMix can be remote controlled via MIDI with any Mackie Control compatible controller. Additionally TotalMix can be also remote controlled by Apple's iPad via Mackie Control emulator apps, standard MIDI commands, and OSC (TouchOSC, Lemur). This realizes a comfortable wireless remote control of TotalMix key parameters.