System 5 is built up of modules of 8 strips. Controls closely resemble those of a traditional analog surface. In its simplest form a single strip controls a single source so a 48 strip surface could control 48 channels.
However there is a very useful function called “Swap” which allows single strips, or every strip, to switch between two channels. So 96 channels (sources) could easily be controlled from 48 strips by Swapping between the two layers at the push of a button (1-48 and 49-96).
System 5 adds further flexibility by allowing any source to be controlled from any strip, it is even possible to have two strips controlling a single source. This is where Layouts come into play.
Layouts & Control Groups
The position of sources on the surface can be saved and recalled as Layouts. For example one Layout could be sources 1-48 and another sources 49-96 for a console with 96 channels and 48 strips. More importantly the most critical sources can be placed next to the operator. For example, dialog to the left and music sources to the right of the center. Different Layouts can be saved so that the engineer always has the most important sources within easy reach. Layouts do not save and recall knob and fader settings, they simply recall the layout of sources on the control surface. SnapShots are used to save parameter settings. Control Groups allow a number of faders to be controlled from a single strip. Layouts can store/recall the entire desk or only certain strips defined by the operator.
Central Control of Strips
The Master Control Module includes a complete strip for central control of any source. The optional CM402-T module also includes additional knobsets that are available for control of EQ, dynamics, aux sends, filters, input and routing at the same time. Pressing the Wave key next to a source fader brings that source to the center.
New Rotary Touch Knobs
System 5 uses unique rotary illuminated touch-sensitive knobs that instantly reset after a recall. The center of the knob also includes a switch which can be used for certain knobset select functions, and to punch in the knob automation, if the touch-sensitive knob automation option is switched off.
The displays reflect the type of control, for example a gain control is shown opposite. Below are the different displays for different functions:
At the top of each strip are a set of 8 knobs with associated switches. These knobs can be selected to control the following parameters using the switches just below the knobs:
- Input Controls
- EQ & Filters
- Aux Sends – level, pre/post and routing
- Routing to Group/Clean Feeds and Mix Buses
The selected button in this photo shows that the knobset is controlling EQ. To the left of these keys are processor In/Out switches.
Other Channel Functions
Here are just some extra functions available to the engineer:
- Copy and Paste one strip to another
- Use a single strip to select function such as EQ, Dynamics, Aux for all strips
- Clear all controls
- Lock a strip to prevent changes when the Layout changes
- Select a strip to be controlled from the center section
- Expand a strip so that EQ, Dyn, etc. controls are spread across several strips