The analogue console seems to be undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment. Last month, we reported on a new range of mixers from Midas; Allen & Heath have a new model, the GS R24, coming out soon (which we’re aching to get our hands on!); and in the December issue of Sound On Sound you'll be able to read about the latest offerings from Audient and new company Neve Manufacturing Australia.
One name that might be less familiar to the average studio spod than those above is that of Luton-based manufacturer Cadac, and this month they, too, have announced a high-quality analogue mixing desk. Cadac’s digital and analogue desks are well known in the live-sound and theatre worlds, and while their latest offering is designed primarily for live use (the clue is in the name: Live 1), Cadac say that this newcomer’s sonic performance also makes it “the ideal analogue front-end for DAWs”.
Unlike Cadac’s other mixers, which tend to be so large as to make them intimidating, the Live 1 is a compact affair, measuring just 570mm deep and either 480mm, 660mm or 840mm wide, depending on whether you opt for the 16-, 24- or 32-channel frame size (the smallest of which can be mounted in a rack). All mixers in the Live 1 range feature four stereo line input channels, with the rest of the channel count being made up by mono mic/line strips. All mono channels feature a four-band EQ (comprising two swept mid bands and a high and low shelf), while the stereo channels have four fixed EQ bands. The mic preamps on the mono channels apparently employ “the latest engineering and component technologies”, and are said by Cadac to be on a par with those of their large-format consoles.
A generous six auxes are available, with sends being switchable in pairs between pre- and post-fader operation, and aux send masters being controlled by 60mm faders above the master section. Six aux returns live just below the aux send faders, and four of these have pots for sending their signal to auxes 5 and 6 (for adding reverb to monitors or foldback, for example). There are a further two stereo returns, which, like the stereo and mono input channels, each have a 100mm fader. The four mono buses can be routed to the main stereo output and/or auxes 1 to 3, while the master section has a single stereo fader, a mono button, an alternate output level control, a balance knob, and an AFL Mode button, which makes all of the console’s PFL buttons act post-fader.
Cadac are known for the rugged build quality of their desks, and the Live 1 is no exception. Though the top panel is constructed from a single metal sheet, internally the mixer is fully modular, which should make repairs significantly easier. All pots are nutted to the top panel (so you won’t lose a pan pot inside the chassis if you accidentally lean on the desk!), and all of the Live 1’s faders are ALPS models.
The Live 1’s technical specifications also look rather impressive: the common-mode rejection ratio given is -70dB, crosstalk figures are between -80dB and -90dB, dynamic range is quoted as a luxurious 119dB, and the desk’s frequency response is apparently completely flat (±0dB!) between 5Hz and 65kHz.
The Cadac Live 1 will be available from November, though sadly no price was available at the time of writing.