What is a Live Sound Computer?
Now you can have a virtual mixing console on your computer that rivals the digital mixing consoles that have been on the scene for several years. Digital consoles are becoming more prevalent in live sound production as time passes. There are many advantages to the digital hardware. The boards incorporate digital signal processing that eliminates much of the traditional outboard gear. Each channel has dynamic processing in the form of compression and gate. Effects are handled by plugins. The modern digital mixing console provides the complete live mixing environment onboard.
The heart of any digital mixing system is a dedicated computer. The hardware consoles incorporate control surfaces that emulate the controls of an analog console. They often include touch screens that add to the control system.
The Software Audio Console
There is now a software available for a Windows PC that gives you all of the functionality of the big hardware consoles in a virtual environment. The studio business has used this model for many years. Now it is available to the live sound community. The virtual console gives you the features of the hardware consoles without the hardware. While control surfaces can be interfaced with the software they are not necessary.
The software package has been developed by experienced live sound engineers for live sound engineers. The navigation is set up to get to any part of the virtual console with only a couple of clicks. The User Interface is set up to look like a physical console, with channel strips, aux send and return modules, and output modules.
Through the magic of code the channels can be reordered and sessions can be saved and recalled. You can save a mix that you are using in a particular venue and the next time that you work that room you can start exactly where you left off the last time that you played the room.
The code base for the SAC software is written in assembly language. Because of this it is very responsive and it is conservative of resources. Assembly language programming bypasses much of the Windows environment.
Mixer In A Box is my website that is dedicated to this software and experience. There is more information about this Live Sound Computer system there as well as links to the developer's site. I also offer to assemble systems for those who do not feel comfortable with the process of putting the hardware together. Please visit Mixer In A Box.