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HARMAN’s Studer Adds Automatic Microphone Mixing to the Vista Series of Digital Audio Consoles

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands — Unscripted multi-microphone live events such as talk shows, game shows and discussion panels suffer from both microphone spill and background noise. With each active microphone added to the mix, the overall sound quality deteriorates. The result is decreased intelligibility and unpleasant comb filter effects (phase distortion).

HARMAN’s Studer has introduced the antidote to these problems through a software upgrade for its range of Vista digital mixing consoles. Studer® VistaMix automatic microphone mixing removes the need for an operator to manually adjust all the faders all the time, leaving the microphones of talking participants open, while closing the microphones of silent participants in order to reduce spill and background noise.

Without this facility, the reaction time of a human operator will often result in audible fade-ins of people who start talking rather unexpectedly. Also, changes in fader positions can quickly lead to disturbing changes of the total ambience/noise level in the mix.

VistaMix offers the solution by mimicking the action of a human operator: increasing gain for ‘talking’ mics and reducing gain for all others, but doing it very quickly and keeping the amount of total gain constant, so a clean live mix can be created.

VistaMix also offers the ideal solution for news operations when multiple mics are installed in the studio but the desk operator is not sure which ones will be used. VistaMix switches on only those mics that are in use. VistaMix source channels may also be mix minus (N–X) owners.

Each source channel has a weight control, which provides two possibilities:

Firstly, it allows the desk operator to add weight, or priority, to the main presenter such that if required he can ‘talk over’ the guests or contestants.

Secondly, it allows the desk operator to give more gain in the mix to any contributors who have weak voices or are too far from their microphones. The weight control may also be used during a show to adjust the relative balance dynamically. This function is set with the ‘Knob Assign’ control.

This significant new feature is available to all existing Vista systems with SCore Live DSP engines. By simply upgrading to software version 4.8 and adding the special VistaMix channels to the DSP configuration, VistaMix is ready to go. No additional hardware is required to the Vista surface, the new controls are fully implemented within the standard Vistonics™ screens and controls.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012.

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