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Yamaha introduces scalable CL Series of digital consoles

25 years after launching the first professional digital mixing consoles, Yamaha unveiled the three-model CL series at Prolight + Sound 2012, promising to take digital consoles to another evolutionary level. Combining an ergonomic user interface with elegant and contemporary design, the CL series comprises three models - the CL1, CL3 and CL5. Ranging in mix capacity from 48 to 72 mono plus eight stereo inputs, all models feature 16 DCAs, 24 mix and eight matrix busses, plus stereo and mono output busses. The CL series was also highlighted at PLASA 2012, London. In March 2013 Yamaha announces a major firmware upgrade for CL series digital mixing consoles. In March 2014 the Cl Series won a prestigious Prolight + Sound International Press Award (PIPA).
Yamaha CL Series CL 5
At the heart of the CL series is Yamaha’s Centralogic user interface, ensuring that the consoles will be immediately familiar to live sound engineers who are used to working with Yamaha consoles. On the new consoles it incorporates a new generation, highly responsive colour touch screen and an array of user definable rotary encoders and buttons. Newly designed faders are freely configurable to allow control of any combination of inputs, outputs or the 16 DCA faders. The control surface also provides editable, backlit channel name displays above each fader, with assignable colour bars. The CL1 and CL3 also feature the option of an external meter bridge.
Audio quality and character were top priorities in the development of the new consoles. In addition to featuring newly-designed microphone preamps and delays on every input channel and output port, the range debuts a prestigious line up of studio quality processing. The Effects Rack provides the equivalent of eight SPX2000 effects processors, along with a range of VCM EQs and dynamics, while two further virtual racks provide access to up to 32 channels of graphic EQs.
Developed by Yamaha’s Dr K (Toshi Kunimoto) and his team, the Premium Rack provides a range of extremely high quality, dynamic processors and EQs. Yamaha is particularly proud and pleased to have collaborated closely with Rupert Neve to incorporate the highly acclaimed Portico 5033 EQ and 5043 Compressor as key elements in this new concept. These processors are included as standard in the CL series, eliminating the need for any plug-in management.
“For the first time we have the capability of bringing Rupert Neve sound into the live audio field, entirely due to Yamaha VCM technology. I believe that it is indistinguishable from the original analogue sound,” says Neve.
A key factor in making the CL series so flexible is the pair of accompanying I/O racks, the Rio3224-R and Rio1608-D, and the fact that consoles are the first to feature built-in Dante networking as a standard feature. A scalable system is constructed by simultaneously attaching up to eight I/O racks via Dante, providing up to 256 input sources. Pairs of CL series consoles can also be cascaded to handle larger mixing requirements.
Two or more consoles can share the inputs from one set of I/O racks without fear of unexpected level changes due to the inclusion of Auto Gain Compensation within the I/O racks themselves. With the Dante (by Audinate) 32-bit mode of operation, gain compensation can be provided without audibly affecting the dynamic range. “We are extremely excited to be collaborating with Yamaha on the extraordinary new CL series and I/O racks,” notes Audinate CEO Lee Ellison. “Dante provides a flexible, low latency, highly scalable, plug and play networking solution to connect Yamaha networked systems, Dante Virtual Soundcards or any other Dante networked device. We believe the combination of technologies integrated in this new platform will provide an unsurpassed digital experience.”
The Rio3224 also includes four stereo AES-EBU outputs, keeping signals in the digital domain right through to the amplifier. The new consoles feature three MY card slots on the rear panel, maintaining compatibility with every existing audio format as well as newer cards like the MY8-Lake speaker processing card and the MY16-Dugan auto mixing card. The three card slots also allow for additional i/o alongside the consoles’ onboard eight mic inputs and eight line outputs.
CL Editor is a new standalone online /offline editor which runs on both Macs and Windows PCs. Featuring all the functionality that users will be familiar with from other Yamaha Editor software, it does not require Yamaha Studio Manager as a host.
Further new software applications include a new version of StageMix for iPad, which offers comprehensive wireless remote control and has been expanded to include new features such as channel naming, DCA fader control and tap tempo. Both, CL Editor and StageMix can be run simultaneously, allowing very flexible options for engineers, sound designers and system technicians alike.
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