Next-Generation Lawo Audio Console Core And Most Compact mc² Mixing Console Unveiled
In a debut streamed live from the Jazz Club Karlsruhe, just a few minutes from Lawo headquarters in Rastatt, Germany, the company on Wednesday unveiled two new additions to the Lawo mixing portfolio: the Phase II of its incredibly powerful A__UHD Core audio engine, and the next generation of Lawo’s most compact, feature-filled all-in-one mixer: the mc²36 audio production console.
Both products are designed to deliver maximum output using minimal space, weight and power requirements. The native-IP A__UHD Core just became Lawo’s new console core for mc² consoles and takes a decisive lead in processing power per cubic centimeter by delivering 1,024 channels of mc²-quality audio processing in just 1RU, while dramatically cutting power consumption — performance that previously required 5x the power and 10x the rack space.
The new mc²36 mixer raises the audio production bar by more than doubling the DSP channel count of the original, as well as introducing an ultra-compact 16-fader version that delivers big performance in the smallest mc² footprint ever. And a major new feature, IP Easy, makes managing IP network devices simpler and more intuitive than ever before.
Lawo’s new software package for the A__UHD Core isn’t just an update: it’s a major leap forward, the company says. “UHD stands for ultra-high density,” explains Christian Struck, Lawo’s senior product manager, audio production. “And it lives up to its name. A__UHD Core combines minimum size with maximum performance. It has everything a live production console needs, including 1,024 channels of mc²-grade processing algorithms, multiple sets of monitoring matrices, downmixing and upmixing, and is ready for next-generation audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and MPEG-H. It packs the power of systems formerly requiring 7 to 10 RU into just one rack space; weighs only 7 kg versus the 20 to 25 kg of a traditional console core. Even more astounding: it consumes only 220 watts of power.”
Lawo’s new A__UHD Core is a native IP device, designed from the start to work within IP networks and manage networked devices. As such, it is based fully on open standards such as ST2110-30/-31, AES67, RAVENNA, Ember+ and NMOS. And it’s designed for both 48 kHz and 96 kHz operation.
“From now on,” says Struck, “A__UHD Core will be the power behind all mc² consoles.”
Features and capabilities include:
- Software-defined hardware. A__UHD Core’s feature set is defined purely by software, meaning it is future-proof and can accommodate new features and capabilities without the expense and inconvenience of “forklift” hardware changes.
- Scalable performance. Users can tailor the capabilities of their A__UHD Core to fit their needs and budget, changing features and functionality based on permanent or temporary software licenses.
- Multi-console support. A “pooling” license allows one A__UHD Core to divide its immense DSP power between multiple mixing surfaces. Using this “pooling” license, a A__UHD Core can power several smaller consoles instead of one very large console, e.g. four consoles with 256 DSP channels each.
- Intuitive on-console management of networked devices. The new “IP Easy” function in A__UHD Core based mc² consoles permits operation of network audio devices, without the need to be an IP expert.
- Dynamic resource allocation. Any mc² surface may be allocated on-the-fly to any networked A__UHD Core.
- Complete network interface redundancy. 8 front-panel ports are split into 4 SFP network interfaces that provide dual, independent IP network connections; ST2022-7 Class C Seamless Protection Switching with extended buffer size ensures flawless operation on WAN as well as LAN. Each SFP interface can receive a total of 128 Tx and Rx streams; providing 512 audio channels.
- “Hot Spare” hardware redundancy. A second A__UHD Core with a “redundancy license” can be deployed locally, across campus, or across the country, as a 1+1 hot spare device mirroring the active device and taking over seamlessly if needed.
- Redundant power. Hot-swappable, redundant power supply units.
The new mc²36: Small Footprint, Big Performance
Lucas Zwicker, senior technical product manager, audio production, said: “When we introduced the mc²36 in 2014, its small form-factor and its price-point quickly made it a favorite with customers we’d never been able to address before – venues like houses of worship, performing arts centers or smaller OB trucks – anywhere a small, powerful live mixer was required.
“New capabilities in the mc²36 provide customers who need a small console something they’ve never had before — an IP-native mixer, with outstanding DSP power and comprehensive I/O connectivity. Furthermore, the new console does not only provide best in class IP connectivity, but also Lawo-grade microphone inputs and line outs, and also AES3 and a built-in MADI port for legacy equipment.”
“And,” adds Zwicker, “Moving the mc²36 to the A__UHD Core means that all developments in the future will happen on a single platform and that Lawo continues to provide production file compatibility between all mc² consoles. Imagine the possibilities… a production file from an mc²36 could be used on an mc²96 for post-production! The A__UHD Core platform opens the door to a lot of very cool developments. It’s a whole new level of performance.”
Features of the new mc²36:
- DSP more than doubled. 256 processing channels, available at both 48 and 96 kHz.
- Immense I/O. A new I/O capacity of 864 channels, with local connections which include 3 redundant IP network interfaces, 16 Lawo-grade mic/line inputs, 16 line outputs, 8 AES3 inputs and outputs, 8 GPIO connections, and an SFP MADI port.
- Native IP. mc²36, powered by A__UHD Core, natively supports ST2110, AES67, RAVENNA, and Ember+.
- New super-compact frame size. New 16-fader frame is the smallest, most lightweight mc² ever built, Lawo says. Perfect for mobile use or any tight mixing space. A 32-fader version is also available.
- Small on size, big on power. Don’t let the size fool you; mc²36 is still a full-fledged mc² mixer – with all the features and capabilities you’d expect, like Button-Glow and touch-sensitive rotary controls, color TFT fader-strip displays, LiveView™ video thumbnails, and super-precise 21.5” full HD touchscreen controls.
- Built-in loudness metering. Full loudness control compliant with ITU 1770 (EBU/R128 or ATSC/A85) standard features peak and loudness metering can even measure individual channels as well as summing busses.
- Remote Desktop integration. Seamlessly add third-party solutions like recording systems, effects engines, etc. running on external PCs into the mc²36 user interface. Applications display in the console’s screen while the console’s keyboard, touchpad and touchscreen provide control.
- Waves Plugin Integration. mc²36 offers best-in-class integration of Waves SuperRack SoundGrid, providing operators with access to Waves’ extensive plug-in selection of real-time signal processing in addition to the console’s internal processing engine. No additional screens or control devices are needed.
Lawo’s “Phase II” development of the A__UHD Core includes Lawo’s innovative new IP Easy functionality, making IP setup as simple as analog. IP Easy simplifies the management of IP devices, which makes connecting audio I/O devices as easy as if they were baseband. The console automatically detects new devices and makes them available at the touch of a button. IP Easy even manages IP addresses, multicast ranges, and VLANs, and includes security features like access control and quarantining of unknown devices to protect your network.