Functionality at Your Fingertips

SALZBRENNER STAGETEC’s POLARIS console rethinks the control surface

Compact, flexible, multifunctional: After several years of research the SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP introduced a production-ready mixing-console with a touch-sensitive control surface at this year’s Prolight & Sound. POLARIS touch is an all new and uniquely flexible modular design with a revolutionary multi-touch control surface.

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The POLARIS touch user interface is based on a single multifunctional panel 54 cm in width and 42 cm in height. Each panel is equipped with a touch sensitive display and 16 physical rotary encoders. The panels can be used horizontally or upright after rotating through 180 degrees. Module function is arbitrary. In the standard configuration, used horizontally, it acts as control surface for direct access to the channel strips. Positioned upright, it is the meterbridge. Since there are no physical controls, apart from the encoders, it is not necessary to adhere to this standard configuration. Each panel can be configured freely without being limited to a specific functionality. The same is true for the size of the desk.

Because each panel acts as an independent module, and is equipped with its own CPU which communicates via IP with the control computer, the basic elements can be combined to create mixers of any size. The maximum number of panels is limited only by computing capacity and by maintaining a sensible ratio between audio channels and controls. All modules are hot-pluggable and can be combined freely. For users who prefer the classic interface, a module with with physical faders is available as an option.

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The most impressive new feature is POLARIS’ gesture control of channel parameters. This results in a highly streamlined control surface which is very intuitive. Because the control surface reacts to user interaction, it displays only information that is relevant in the current context. For example, if the user adjusts an equalizer, the surface displays only EQ-parameters, while non EQ-related information is hidden.

All important operational parameters are just a few steps away, as Dominik Stepanek, head of POLARIS development at the MEDIAGROUP, outlines, “The touch interface offers uniquely intuitive and fast access to the enormous variety of POLARIS touch functions. The new surface supports the console’s flexibility perfectly. It gives easy access not only to POLARIS’ audio-mixing capabilities, but also to the wide variety of control tasks the desk can undertake.”

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The POLARIS touch desk is integrated with SALZBRENNER STAGETEC Media Control. Thus the desk can address playback devices, lighting control, intercom systems, DAWs or stage-management functions. Also seen for the first time at Prolight & Sound 2012 was the integration with the VIVACE acoustics system. VIVACE presets can be triggered by POLARIS during a live show .

With its flexibility and high level of integration POLARIS recommends itself as the first choice for Opera houses, Theatres and all types of multipurpose venue, events and convention centres.

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