Derived from the larger flagship Trident 88 consoles, this new range offers many of the same features for a lot less money.
The Trident brand dates back to the early 1970s and a very influential London recording studio that set up a console manufacturing business. Although the studio and console businesses went their own separate ways, Trident Audio Developments still make products that draw upon that heritage. Currently, Trident offer two hardware channel strips, a 500-series EQ module and the 10-slot Deca-Dent rack and power supply, as well as their flagship product, the Trident 88 large-format analogue console. The subject of this review is a new, more affordable version of that console — the Trident 78. Like its upmarket sibling, it was designed by Taz Bhogal, whose experience dates back to the development of the original Trident Series 80C from 1986. It retains the same core design philosophy and signal path ideas as the 88; the keener price is possible thanks to some logical feature-set simplifications and a more cost-effective semi-modular construction.
The Trident 78 is available with eight (as on the review model), 16 (as in the main picture), 24 or 32 input channels, and all have the option of moving-coil VU or more affordable LED bar-graph metering in the meter-bridge. Following the traditional in-line concept, each mono channel strip accommodates two signal paths (channel and monitor), and it features six aux sends (four mono, one stereo), a four-band EQ derived from the Trident 80B console, a balanced pre-fade insert and a configurable balanced direct output.
Being an in-line console, the monitor path can borrow the entire equaliser section and the stereo aux send, if desired, and it routes into the stereo mix bus via a rotary fader and pan-pot. The channel path can also be routed into the stereo mix bus and/or any of eight mono sub-groups (in pairs), via a large fader and pan-pot. For mixdowns, the channel line and monitor input connections can be swapped over at the press of a button, allowing the monitor signal to be routed through the full channel path, but the channel and monitor faders can’t be flipped over (as they can on most in-line desks).
The console always features eight mono sub-groups but these can be used as monitor returns if preferred, effectively working the console in the traditional split format. Each sub-group is equipped with balanced pre-fader inserts and can access two mono and the stereo aux sends. They also feature balanced outputs, post-fade metering, and a long fader, but not EQ. By default, the (post-fade) sub-group output is routed to the stereo mix bus via a separate rotary ‘monitor’ fader and...
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