Digital Consoles with integrated audio measurement functions – the future

I just returned from a Midas M32 / Pro 1 / Pro 2 / Behringer X32 product demonstration hosted at Sound Productions in Irving Texas and presented by Music Group (Midas, Klark Technik, Turbosound, Behringer) rep Evan Hooten, ??? and the regional distributor ???

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Sound Productions Event Venue

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Midas M32 – digital mixing console

I was curious to see what was different about the M32 as it’s a Midas version of the Behringer X32. What is the difference? The M32 has Midas Pro series mic pres (supposedly taken from the XL4 analog console) and Midas Pro motorized faders.

While Evan Hooten was explaining about the console I learned that both the X32 and the M32 have RTA and Spectragram audio measurement instruments within their feature set as of firmware 2.0

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This is a great step in the right direction even if it falls short of offering the necessary Transfer Function instrument I would desire.

This all reminds me of the Presonus Studio Live consoles that have added a Smaart Lite fuctionality. I think the actual heavy lifting is being done on a computer and the console acts like an audio interface and a router but still, Smaart anything for the masses is a great thing.

Presonus Smaart M – website

It is only logical to presume that future generations of digital consoles will include a native transfer function instrument. Why not. Think about the possibilities. You could select your REFERENCE signal and your MEASUREMENT signal on the console and the console will show you the difference on the local screen. This would be very beneficial because you could reference any two signals easily without any additional patching or plugging and unplugging. Examples of how this might be useful include:

Comparing a Bass DI with a Bass mic for setting delay on DI to phase align them? Easy.
Snare top with Snare bot for checking polarity and phase? Done.
Output of console versus measurement mic? Of course.

This just makes way too much sense.

One of the things that is somewhat confusing and convoluted as far as current measurement procedures is highjacking signals. We use Y cables at the console outputs, DSP outputs, etc… It’s all very barbaric. If we could measure signals internally, that would certainly save a lot of time and make it very easy to optimize things internal to the console. Need to measure the outputs of the DSP? Split and return to spare console inputs that aren’t routed to any outputs.