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Fairlight Introduces New Constellation XT (15/11/2004)

Constellation XT, a positive step change in interface design, system performance and sonic integrity, places Fairlight squarely on the leading edge of large format audio console marketplace;

Reinforcing its status as a major player in large format mixing console design, Fairlight today introduced the new Constellation XT.

Constellation XT is powered by a 240-channel 72 Buss QDC engine. Delivered in a single 8 U frame and offering 6 band parametric EQ, two stage dynamics, 12 aux sends, 48 or 96 track recorder and integrated plug-ins on each channel, the XT DSP core redefines the delivery package and feature set for the large format mixing category. The control surface also boasts a new high resolution display technology that greatly enhances all console operations.

"Having redefined mixer automation with the DREAM Series Constellation at the 115th AES Convention, our goal this year was to present a new and fresh approach to surface architecture including component selection and overall system control," explained Fairlight CTO Tino Fibaek, "Constellation XT achieves this goal in spectacular fashion by delivering a more intuitive, ergonomic control environment and by supercharging the DSP capacity to increase the number of channels and mix busses."

A new In Line Panel (ILP) provides both dedicated and assignable controls of the channel's Input settings, EQ and dynamics filters, auxiliary sends, surround panner and all of the currently inserted Plug-ins. The new ILP is also fitted with 72 Organic Light Emitting Diode displays (OLEDs) allowing Fairlight to display at super high resolution, detailed information on any selected parameter value. Unlike traditional LCDs, OLED displays are crystal clear in all light environments and from practically any viewing angle. " The use of OLED technology is an industry first for Fairlight." Adds Fibaek "It enables Fairlight to make more efficient use of the available surface space providing operators with immediate access to detailed parameter information, control status and functionality."

Constellation XT provides dynamic automation of all mix parameters and delivers up to 240 channels routed to up to 72 mix bus elements. This pool of 72 bus elements is allocated as needed between a main bus, up to 8 sub busses and 12 auxiliary sends, all of which can be up to 7.1 in format, plus 16 mono multi-track busses. The comprehensive bussing system allows simultaneous generation of multiple surround formats, plus bus to bus mixing for multi-stem work.

Physical I/Os are available in analog, AES and MADI formats and a sophisticated internal patching system allows totally free routing of inputs, outputs, and Busses between external and internal destinations. The architecture of Constellation XT allows configuration options for most functions, including fader assignment, panel orientation, bus configurations, dynamics operation, panning, auxiliaries and most other major features. Multi-trim mode provides intuitive control of multiple channels from a single control, substantially speeding up most setup and mix processes.

Constellation XT's comprehensive automation system encompasses every parameter of every onboard function, including processing, routing and third-party plug-ins. A fully featured macro programming system with GPIO capability allows extensive customization of key facilities. All automation data is written into a project file, simplifying project management tasks and ensuring the robustness, repeatability and perfect synchronization of all mix automation. Easily edited with Trim and Touch Enable Modes, DREAM automation includes several methods of writing or updating automation data. Touch mode allows automation to be enabled on faders, knobs and buttons only as they are touched. DREAM Constellation XT's integrated audio editing tools can be applied to editing automation data as well.

Constellation XT includes an integrated fully featured 96 track DAW including Virtual Studio Runner, which provides Virtual In/Out mail-box clip management and off-line archiving capability to the DREAM family in the Studio environment. Using Fairlight's MediaLink server technology as a host, the system automatically detects in coming files and automatically posts to the studio's or client's FTP site or even burn the file to any available CD or DVD drive. Virtual Studio Runner can notify the contact (client) that a file is available for her/him via an SMS text message.

"Constellation XT is to mixing consoles what metal woods were to golf," says Fairlight CEO, John Lancken. "The new developments in this console put our company and our customers a solid eighteen months ahead of the competition. If and when Digidesign catches up with these advances, you can bet we will have raised the bar even further, that is the Fairlight way after all."

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