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Martinsound, Inc. will be showing the MultiMAX Multiformat Surround-Sound Monitor Controller at the 105th AES Convention in San Francisco, September 26 - 29, 1998. The 1U rack-mounting MultiMAX unit may be connected to any mixing console equipped with at least 8 buses to provide surround-sound monitoring control in every popular format, from mono to full bandwidth 8-channel systems, as well as offering advanced film-style post production facilities.

MultiMAX is making its AES debut, with added features for professional post production, broadcast production and music recording facilities.

Every function in the unit is under microprocessor control, allowing the user to program and configure MultiMAX for different formats, processors and loudspeaker setups. The MultiMAX system retains the mixing console's solo systems (mono, stereo, AFL, PFL, and in-place) in both conventional stereo and all surround modes, without patching or re-wiring. The system provides extensive downmixing options and bass management.

MultiMAX provides comprehensive control of 2 front and 2 surround loudspeaker systems, making the addition of satellite LCR loudspeakers to control room setups, or switching between bipolar and directional surrounds, a simple matter. Front panel switches control individual loudspeaker mute and solo functions.

Any matrix encode-decode system or processor may be inserted into the monitor chain with one switch. MultiMAX provides 2 processor sends. The first is a standard 8-channel wide send that may be programmed for a variety of processors such as a DS4 or SEU4+SDU4, or even the more complex DS4-E and CP65 combination. The other is a Dolby-type 4-2-4 send that can be set to downmix from 5.1 or 7.1. MultiMAX provides a programmable processor return, with options for wide (8-channels), stereo or a mono sum of stereo.

MultiMAX allows the user to check for compatibility between formats quickly and easily without patching. All the downmixing coefficients may be selected through MultiMAX's front panel graphic display. MultiMAX allows the user to monitor 7.1 recordings as they would be heard on a 5.1 system, for example, and can downmix a stereo output from all surround formats. In the 5.1 and 7.1 downmixing modes the levels of the components in the final stereo output may be selected from among all the levels called for in the AC-3 and MPEG standards as well as popular unofficial conventions.

MultiMAX incorporates a pink noise generator to facilitate loudspeaker calibration, plus a specially filtered noise signal for correctly setting a satellite systems' LFE subwoofer level. Each loudspeaker output has a level trim, and uses digitally controlled attenuators rather than VCAs to insure accuracy and sonic quality. MultiMAX offers precise, front panel gain control with a large, illuminated digital readout that operates across all speaker outputs, making monitor level changes easy and repeatable.

Film-style post production mixing is made possible with front panel switching for PEC/Direct (Tape/Bus or Playback/Record) monitoring across all 7.1 channels. Three surround-formatted premix 'stems' of 8 channels each may be monitored as context mixes through MultiMAX individually or in any combination, without using up console inputs. This allows the engineer to check the dialog mix he is working on, for example, against the pre-mixed effects tracks, with the push of a single button.

For music scoring applications the production dialog track may be brought in after the monitor level control so that the relative levels of the reference track and main mix may be checked. MultiMAX even provides a special output to make a direct stereo recording off the surround monitor mix with all of the elements, up to the full 8 channels, mixed down with a complete selection of the proportions as set by AC-3 and MPEG standards.

The bass management features include an 80Hz low pass filter that may be inserted into the LFE audio path, to simulate the digitizing filters in encoders. MultiMAX lets the operator chose to send the LFE channel into the full range L,R monitors or, if satellite LCR speakers are being used, the bass can be directed to the main full range L,R speakers or to the subwoofer.

MultiMAX provides a connector allowing 8 or 6 (with 2 for Lt Rt) dedicated meters to be added. These meter feeds automatically follow the source being monitored in MultiMAX, including the effects of PEC/Direct switching, selection of premixes or selection of alternate signals - chores most console's meters are just not up to.

MSRP for the MultiMAX is $2,795. The optional remote control is $1,000.

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