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The Stagescope Mixer and StageSource Speakers
For gigging guitarists, Line 6’s 2012 NAMM announcement about their new StageScape Digital Mixer (and StageSource Speakers) may be of interest to you.
The M20d Digital Mixer
Why it’s cool: Pro power for Noobs! This unit’s designed for players that need to navigate their way through a mix but may not have much experience with live mixing.
There’s no replacement for an expert soundperson, but the M20d seems to go a long ways towards getting the basics of a good mix well within anyone’s grasp. The 20 in the “M20d” indicates the number of inputs the unit has (12 mic/line, 4 line only, 2 digital streaming and a stereo line input). The first cool feature is that the M20d’s ins and outs automatically activate and route signal when you plug in. Plug in a mic or a speaker and it’s instantly recognized!
The Interface and Screen
Eschewing traditional channel strips, the StageScape M20d has a touch screen with a visual representation of the instruments plugged on a virtual stage. When running live sound for example, instead of wondering which channel the guitar is on – you can simply touch the guitar icon and then change any parameters (like volume, eq or pan on the fly) with a swipe of the screen. M20d also has (via an optional USB Wi-Fi adaptor) wireless iPad integration for multiple iPad use so you can adjust the FOH (front of house) mix anywhere from the audience or the stage.
In terms of effects, the unit has plenty of processing power. In addition to multiple 32-bit EQs (dynamic and parametric), compressors (standard and multi-band), filters, gates, feedback suppression and delays on each channel; there are also four separate effect engines for master stereo effects (reverbs, delays etc).
Presets and Loops
Since the mixing is digital, it’s possible to save multiple (Line6 copy reads, “a virtually unlimited number of”) setups, and effect presets. So if, for example, you have your sound dialed in for a particular venue, you can recall it instantly when you play there again.
To help dial in sound, the Quick Capture feature can loop up to 20 seconds of input on the fly. If you’re trying to dial in something like a vocal, the vocalist would only have to sing a phrase once and then once it was looped the mix could be tweaked (without straining the vocals). This also means you could loop the full band mix and go out into the house and make sure everyone’s happy with the mix.
Additionally, if you want to record your rehearsals (or your gigs) the M20d can record 16 channels (plus the main mix) as 24 bit WAV files. The signal is recorded pre-effects so you don’t need a separate DAW to track but you can output the files to the DAW of your choice for overdubs or mixing.
For more information about the M20d digital mixer, the 1400 watt self contained 3-way StageSource L3t Loudspeaker (!!) and the 1200 watt bi-amped StageSource L3s subwoofer check out the stats at the line 6 website: http://line6.com.