RME/Synthax US, AES 2007, NYC — AES NYC sees the launch of RME’s DMC-842 — the first multi-channel interface for digital microphones. The introduction of digital microphone technology into the pro audio sector has afforded sound engineers a greater degree of flexibility. At the same time, it has created a demand for interfaces that can control and handle digital microphones.
Price wise the DMC-842 digital microphone interface is comparable with conventional preamp/converter units such as RME’s Micstasy. In addition to its role as an interface, the DMC-842 also acts as a power supply and control device for digital microphones, supporting the worldwide AES42 standard.
Supporters of the Mode 1 and Mode 2 operating systems specified in the AES42 standard currently include, among others, Neumann, Sennheiser and Schoeps. Mode 1 permits an asynchronous operating system in which the microphone is supplied with Digital Phantom Power (DPP), but no control data can be transmitted “upstream”. Working with several Mode 1 microphones requires the use of sample rate converters, which have already been implemented in the DMC-842. Mode 2 allows microphones to be synchronized and control data for adjusting gain, polar patterns, hi-pass filter and compression settings to be sent. Further functions are already specified in the AES42 standard and availability depends on the individual microphone.
The cost of running digital microphones with a DMC-842 is comparable with that of many standard analogue microphone-preamp/converter set ups. What’s more, it affords greater ease of use, with better quality and enhanced functionality — depending on the application.
In many respects, the DMC-842 is an ideal companion to RME’s Micstasy. Using the same interface connections as Micstasy (ADAT-SMUX and AES/EBU in series, MADI and other optional formats) it ensures problem-free assembly of combined systems for both analogue and digital microphones. The DMC-842 even includes analogue line level outputs, so there are no problems if pure analogue devices are included in the chain, for example when monitoring.
The ability to switch the Digital Phantom Power on or off on individual channels means that the DMC-842 can handle “normal” AES/EBU signals at the same time. Thanks to the built-in SRC (sample rate converters), these can also be asynchronous.
To adjust the various microphone parameters, RME has produced a free Windows-based software application that communicates with the DMC-842 via MIDI. As with Micstasy, the DMC-842 also supports the transfer of MIDI data over MADI as well as over AES/EBU-Signals. All the main microphone parameters are also directly accessible from the unit itself.
The DMC-842 is priced at $ 4.199.-. RME is also offering the unit with a built-in I64 MADI card — the DMC-842 M version.