It’s a testament to the thoroughness of the digital revolution that the introduction of a new analog mixing board is now officially a Big Deal.
Yamaha, which in the past decade has released so many blockbuster consoles with “D” in their designation, has introduced its first analog mixing board since about five years ago. The new IM8 line is built in the heralded factory in Japan that makes all the marquee boards for the company that have PM in their name. The focus is on high sound quality and high build quality. The IM8 is available in 24-, 32-, and 40-channel configurations. The intended market, according to marketing manager Marc Lopez, is smaller musical tours and houses of worship. The latter is a ripe market for analog mixing consoles because for many users, especially inexperienced mixers, it’s much easier to pick up the craft of mixing when there’s a discrete hardware knob for each channel – rather than a digital menu to page through to find the correct channel to tweak.
Also newish from Yamaha is the PM5D EX. This 96-channel board is essentially a 48-channel PM5D combined with a DSP5D digital signal processing unit that doubles the brain power of the PM5D console and thereby doubles its channels. (But since it’s a digital console, of course, Yamaha doesn’t have to double its knobs.) The configuration has been available before, but InfoComm 08 marks the first occasion when it’s been properly marketed as the PM5D EX.