Lawo Special Event: Next-Generation Lawo Audio Console Core and Most Compact mc² Mixing Console Unveiled
A__UHD Core Phase II and new mc²36 deliver biggest mixing power in the smallest footprints
In a highly-anticipated debut streamed live from the Jazz Club Karlsruhe, just a few minutes from Lawo headquarters in Rastatt, Germany, the company today unveiled two bright new stars in the Lawo mixing universe: 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 an astounding 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.
A__UHD Core “Phase II”: The Complete Console Core for mc² Mixers
Lawo’s new software package for the A__UHD Core isn’t just an update: it’s a major leap forward. “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
Audio production professionals have enthusiastically applauded the recent redesigns of Lawo’s mc²96 and mc²56 consoles. Now this innovative technology has been brought to the compact mc²36 as well.
“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,” says Lucas Zwicker, Senior Technical Product Manager, Audio Production.
“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.”
Outstanding 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! 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.
IP Easy: Finally, IP Management As Simple As Analog.
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.
A Stellar Advancement to the State Of The Art
Christian Struck concludes: “Lawo has always been known for innovation and performance, as well as maximum redundancy and reliability. With the simultaneous introduction of the new software package for A__UHD Core and the new mc²36, audio professionals will find themselves enjoying a whole new world of power, flexibility and ease-of use. This flexible, software-defined architecture is the platform from which many new and exciting developments will be launched.”
Lawo designs and manufactures pioneering video, audio, control and monitoring technology for broadcast, performing arts, install and corporate applications. All Lawo products are developed in Germany and manufactured to the highest quality standards at the company’s headquarters in the Rhine-Valley town of Rastatt, Germany.
In 2020 Lawo celebrates 50 years of engineering the future. Founded in 1970 as an engineering office with a focus on audio and broadcast, the privately-owned corporation grew into an industry-wide accepted innovator who continues to actively shape the future of broadcast and media production. For additional information, please visit www.lawo.com.