Studer launched the Vista 7 digital mixing console at the recent NAB 2002 convention in Las Vegas. Designed for surround production for television, film, and music, the Vista 7 also marks the debut of the company’s unique Vistonics user interface, part of an operating concept that Studer is promoting as “The Return of the Human Interface.”
Vistonics is a patented technology that offers something of a quantum leap in terms of the integration of touch-sensitive controls and flat-screen graphic displays into a console work surface. Manufacturers of digital consoles have typically arranged rotary controls around a TFT flat screen, requiring operators to make the mental connection between the physically separated control and display. Studer has taken the arrangement to its logical conclusion, integrating the rotary controls and switches into the display screen itself, giving users instant graphic feedback from the control location at their fingertips.
In operation, Vistonics is as user friendly as a traditional analog console with screened legends next to the controls. And since the display is via a TFT screen, Studer has been able to further enhance the console’s ergonomics through a logical color-coding scheme that associates parameter controls and icons: dynamics are green, equalizers red, and panorama yellow. Function icons have also been chosen carefully, with levels displayed as bar graphs, frequency as frequency graphs, and time settings as circles. The only criticism would be that, like an analog console, graphic readouts are occasionally obscured from the seated operator by the controls.
Touching the desired function on a specific channel presents that function on the associated 10-channel wide Vistonics panel, allowing the operator to adjust the various parameters with the changing values displayed both graphically and numerically. Switching a function in or out alters the light intensity of the display accordingly.
But the display is not limited to a single channel or function. For example, selecting both dynamics and the equalizer on a channel’s touchscreen brings up both displays, allowing the functions to be adjusted in relation to each other. Likewise, touching the equalizer on two separate channels displays both on the same Vistonics panel. Very cool.
Surround panning is controlled through Studer’s VSP (Virtual Surround Panning) system, which supports up to 5.1-channel operation as standard and is also available on the Studer D950 M2 console. VSP simulates a defined acoustic space and positions sounds within it via channel pan controls, generating early reflections with the appropriate time delay and directionality on all speakers, localizing mono sources in the soundfield using from two to eight channels.
Late reflections may be applied, delivered to two or four speaker channels. The engineer may additionally add phase and frequency spectrum information. The eight reverb systems may be used standalone if desired. Dual motorized, touch-sensitive joysticks are optional.
Monitoring is provided for stereo, LCR, LCRS, and 5.1 formats, with optional Dolby EX and 7.1 support. Other standard features include talkback to two external locations, producer talkback microphone, digital talkback to core internal channels, and separate PFL/talkback speaker output.
The DSP core offers an extensive routing matrix that makes an outboard patchbay or front-end router unnecessary. Any signal, direct output, insert send, or bus output may be routed in any combination to any channel, insert return, or physical output, with sample-rate conversion if required.
The Vista 7 is offered in four configurations ranging from a 40-channel stereo mixing system (34 to 40 channels of surround mixing) up to 120 channels (100 to 120 channels in surround mode). The physical console includes a master function control bay and may include an additional two to seven fader bays, each housing ten faders, rather than the more traditional 8, 12, or 16.
The Studer Vista 7 is available in configurations starting at $180,000 (20-fader configuration). For more information, contact Studer North America at 818-841-4600 or visit ,a href=”http://www.studer.ch”>www.studer.ch.