Would you like to mix on a computer?

Navigating the Console

The Software Audio Console, as the name implies, was designed to be a virtual live sound mixing system. I don't believe that it was ever meant to be a replacement for a hardware digital mixing console. The concept of SAC is to be an alternative to the big hardware console that offers the full compliment of features of the digital world to the live sound engineer in a compact and easy to manage format. Because SAC runs in the box there are even some enhancements to the experience that are not possible to carry out in hardware.

In mixing live sound there are times where speed is important. There are a few things that are more difficult to handle using only a keyboard and mouse as the input devices but most mixing tasks can be carried out on screen without problem. There are many navigational features of this well thought out software to make mixing live sound in a virtual environment a real possibility. Nearly every common task can be carried out easily and often with more precision with SAC. The one thing that is not possible to do physically is to move two faders or groups of faders in opposite directions at the same time, but there are features within the software that allow this to be automated in many situations. If the situation demands it a fader pack can be hooked up to the SAC software as an auxiliary input device.

Because SAC is software based the landscape of the screen is not fixed. Channels can be reordered easily as the situation demands. Useful screen layouts can be stored in F Key Views. The Scenes System can write automation with great resolution. Channels that always or sometimes need to be moved together can be latched either using a temporary latch or a latch permanently set for the mix session. The 16 latch groups can also be used for this purpose or as conventional sub-groups.

There are multiple ways to access and adjust most parameters of the system. The easiest/quickest/best way to do something may depend on the current situation at any time. The channel strip controls work on the selected hot channel but if you want to make the same adjustments to multiple channels you can use the latch features. In addition to the regular fader adjustments there are pop-up menus for many of the parameters. In some places there are longer throw pop-up faders that allow greater precision when making adjustments. There are also bump buttons in many places that allow small but precise adjustments to be made with the click of the mouse.

The navigational features of the Software Audio Console allow you to get to the place that you need to be at any given time easily. Because of these navigational features mixing live sound 'in the box' becomes not only a possibility but a reality. I have used my SAC rig for the past six seasons providing production for everything from single band club dates through multi-act festival events. SAC has been able to handle anything that I throw at it with ease.

 

Would you do sound on a computer?

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