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    Z-Systems Intros Opti-Patch+ at AES

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    At the 113th Audio Engineering Society Convention, Z-Systems Audio Engineering is demonstrating the Opti-Patch+ Matrix Audio Router that handles multiple sets of either optical ADAT Lightpipe or optical S/PDIF format digital inputs and outputs. The new unit accommodates 15 sets of eight-channel ADAT or two-channel S/PDIF ports, for a total I/O capacity of 120 asynchronous digital channels. Users simply connect rear-panel inputs and outputs to digital audio sources and destinations, press a single front-panel button and the patch is made. Up to 99 I/O crosspoint routing patterns can be stored and recalled by the unit. Suggested end-user price for the Opti-Patch+ is $949.00.

    "Although Lightpipe and S/PDIF connections are an easy way to transfer either eight or two channels of digital audio at a time between mixers, recorders and signals processors, patching can sometimes be a problem," says Z-Systems president Glenn Zelniker. "OptiPatch+ represents an ingenious solution to ADAT and S/PDIF patching, eliminating wear and tear on optical I/Os caused by repeated plugging and unplugging of connectors." OptiPatch+ supports word lengths to 24 bits at multiple sample rates. Port-to-port latencies are matched to ensure full multi-channel synchronization.

    "The ADAT Lightpipe format is a convenient way to move digital audio signals in eight-channel chunks - hence its proliferation throughout every segment of the recording market," Zelniker continues. "Virtually every class of product is now outfitted with Lightpipe I/O: consoles, processors, workstations, instruments, recorders, and so on. But users are now faced with the same types of problems that necessitate the use of patch bays and distribution amplifiers for analog signals: sources often need to be fed to multiple destinations; many destination machines have fewer inputs than sources feeding them; and, most significantly, you need to be able to reconfigure 'Who speaks to Who' dynamically and quickly. Which is why we designed the new OptiPatch+ and the smaller OptiPatch for a wide cross section of users throughout the recording, mastering, broadcast, live and installed sound industries."

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