Hot on the heels of the SD7, launched this time last year and already making its presence felt, comes the launch of the next in the SD Series, the SD8 and it is already set to take to the road.
The SD8 has a fixed architecture and employs a smaller Super FPGA than the SD7, yet it benefits from all the major features and versatility of the acclaimed DiGiCo D Series, plus the advances already made in the SD7. This gives a superlative performance to price ratio, allowing DiGiCo to offer an entry-level console, with remote pre amps, at a price point that has never been possible before. The SD8 incorporates the highly innovative Stealth Digital Processing™, based on the aforementioned single Super FPGA and combined with Analogue Devices Tiger SHARCS, to bring you the Tiger SHARC® FX engine. This gives unrivalled audio quality, precision and processing power with an extensive range of built-in, world- class effects, reverbs, dynamics, output matrix and more.
The same attention to detail and ease of use has been applied to the SD8, as to every other console in DiGiCo's portfolio. Thus, the SD8's control surface has 37 motorised faders, dedicated and multi-function control knobs and electronic labelling. It also has a 15", super high resolution, touch sensitive TFT LCD backlit display. This is the SD8's primary command centre and works in harmony with every other control of the console, automatically displaying functions that are relevant to what is being done at any moment in time. A physical fader, knob or backlit, electronically labelled button is either provided as standard for every major mix function, or can be programmed onto one of the user macro buttons.
The SD8 has 24 main channel faders and 12 assignable aux and touch sensitive master faders. Each bank of 12 faders can be instantly assigned as channels or masters, allowing all 36 main faders to control inputs if desired, while any bank of 12 can be assigned to the touch screen for fine-tuning. The SD8 provides, as standard, a 12 x 12 output matrix, its 12 busses being additional to the console's 24 stereo, solo and master busses.
60 mono or stereo channels — the equivalent of 120 channels of full DSP processing - and the combined power of the SD8's technologies means that the number and quality of effects, dynamics or other functions is available to all channels simultaneously, no matter how the console is set up.
The SD8 supplies engineers with a wealth of features, some of which, such as snapshots, will be familiar to D Series users, whilst others, the high resolution, 20- LED bargraph meters, right beside each channel fader, will not be.
But familiar or not, one thing that is certain is that the only feature the SD8 lacks is a big price tag. In fact, it comes in at a considerably lower cost than anything else in the DiGiCo range — or any comparative console for that matter - but still provides much, much more than its nearest rival.
LDI 2008 Las Vegas NV Booth #2750 (October 20-26)