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Channel in a Box (CIB)
(Click for a close-up)
Driver in a Box (DIB)
(Click for a close-up)
Stem Compressor
(Click for a close-up)

The current range of Amek's Pure Path rack mounting signal processing modules, designed by the company in conjunction with legendary audio equipment designer, Mr. Rupert Neve, are being highlighted at the 109th AES Convention (Booth # 411,Los Angeles Convention Center). The Pure Path range comprises the 'Channel in a Box' (CIB), 'Driver in a Box' (DIB), and Stem Compressor.

The 'Channel in a Box' (CIB) is a rack-mounting in-line console input comprising a microphone preamplifier and line input amplifier, high and low pass filters, four band EQ and fully featured compressor. The filters and EQ sections are virtually identical to those found on Amek's 9098i super console by Rupert Neve the DesignerÆ, including the unique Glow and Sheen characteristics.

The CIB's microphone and line inputs are transformer coupled and provide two complete and separate signal paths. Any of the four sections of processing - filters, high- and low-frequency EQ bands, two mid-bands of EQ, and the compressor - may be inserted separately into either input path. The filters and EQ sections can alternatively be individually inserted into the side-chain of the compressor.

The comprehensive compressor section offers compression ratios from 1:1 to 40:1, and may be switched to key from the alternate input path for voice-over or 'ducking' operations. The behavior of the compressor at 40:1 is similar to that of a limiter, but without the aggression normally associated with those units. This section also includes a unique feature, termed '&MM' (and Much More), which selects a compression curve that is reminiscent of Mr. Neve's past classic designs.

Rear panel XLR connectors are provided, allowing external 5k ohms or 10k ohms faders to attenuate the mic and line output stages in place of the CIB's front panel rotary controls.

The 'Driver in a Box' (DIB) incorporates eight transformer-coupled line drivers and eight further transformer coupled line receivers which can be configured for use in a vast number of applications. Each line driver features a rotary trim control, switches for mute, phase reverse and 'Silk', and a high resolution LED output meter. 'Silk' is a unique function that introduces a circuit emulating Mr. Neve's classic design characteristics.

Mr. Neve observes, "When included in a digital sound path or added to the output of other equipment of questionable performance, the DIB has the astonishing effect of making the resulting sound much more musical."

The versatility of the 'Driver in a Box' makes it suited to a variety of applications in sound reinforcement, broadcast and recording. Traditional audio engineering tasks like matching equipment to long lines and avoiding noise and loss of audio quality, for example, are only the beginning.

DIB ability is such that it can be used to enhance the audio output of a Mixer or DAW. Alternatively the DIB's input circuits may be configured to serve as very low noise balanced bus mixing inputs, allowing users to create their own Pure Path‘ mixing system with the addition of several 'Channel in a Box' units. Rear panel connectors are also provided, allowing external faders to be used.

The Stem Compressor, designed to meet the demands of current multichannel surround production, offers eight channels of digitally controlled analog compression and limiting. Channels not used for the main program may be independently used for other material. For example, it will comfortably accommodate a 7.1 mix or, alternatively, a 5.1 mix plus a separate stereo mix, or two simultaneous LCRS mixes.

The front panel provides rotary encoders for threshold, ratio, attack, release and make-up gain. The gain encoder also serves as the parameter adjustment control when in edit mode. An internal crosspoint matrix facilitates channel linking for any program format and side-chain insert access. Eight bargraph meters are included, globally switchable to indicate input or output level, gain reduction or side-chain level.

Settings are user-definable and may be stored in memory. A small 32-pixel LCD display and dedicated editing buttons allow users to name, store and access parameter settings. The Stem Compressor may also be used in conjunction with Amek's Supertrue automation system for comprehensive control of the device from the mixing console.

Amek, a Harman International Company, is a British-based manufacturer of premium quality digital and analog mixing console systems and signal processors for the recording, post production, broadcast, and live sound markets.

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