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In a somewhat uncertain world of surround sound production, audio professionals face many of the same problems that listeners do at home. In particular, how does one go about routing and listening to 6 channels of sound? Listeners at home face this issue when dealing with the current generation of SACD and DVD-Audio players that devoid of a digital interface, have only 6 analog outputs which, along with routing and volume control, may require some sort of bass management and delay. Audio engineers have similar problems when monitoring multichannel recordings on their existing analog consoles.

Martinsound have several devices that help audio engineers manage their multi-channel mixing chores. The centerpiece of their system is the MultiMax EX ($2,795), which can route up to 8 channels, but will easily deal with 7, 6, and 4 channels as well. Basically a signal switcher with some filtering for bass routing, flexible gain controls for all channels, 5 8-channel inputs, internal summing of channels for downmixing, an 8-channel processor loop and other monitoring outputs and internal pink noise for speaker calibration, the MultiMax EX serves as a central controller for handling multi-channel sources. The signals are routed out through Tascam-style DB-25 connectors, which is how so many inputs fit into a low-profile 2U cabinet. Martinsound also make companion devices for the MultiMax, including a wired remote control ($1,195), and the VuMAX level monitor ($1,995).

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The ForMAX router ($3,495), which can route incoming surround signals to any of its output channels, is useful when different channels are used for different purposes. For example, some multi-channel releases use the LFE channel for a height channel instead of low frequencies, and listening to such recordings requires routing the LFE signal to the height speakers. Other devices include the ManagerMAX ($895) analog bass manager, which offers 6 different filters to interface subwoofers to the main speakers, and a separate, defeatable very steep filter to emulate the LFE filter. All Martinsound MAX devices are TMH-certified. []

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Show report last updated: 7th September 2003.


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