We announced last issue that Sweetwater is now officially an Otari dealer, and we couldn't be happier. Video post-production houses have something to cheer about as well. That's because Otari Corporation has just released their totally innovative PicMix Mix-to-Picture Monitor and Panning Systems, breakthrough products designed for anyone creating, editing or mixing audio for picture.

Whether you work with video or film, the PicMix System integrates calibrated multi-channel surround sound monitoring and panning into virtually any stereo audio console. Before PicMix, correctly balanced surround sound post-production work had to be done on large, multi-format dedicated consoles like Otari's own Premiere equipped with their state-of-the-art Virtual Monitor System or VMS.

The same design team responsible for VMS has now designed PicMix with even greater functionality, but at a mere fraction of the cost! The PicMix Mix-to-Picture Monitor System consists of one Monitor Master Rack and one to three Monitor Slave racks. Each Monitor Master handles eight audio channels, with each channel having two audio inputs with provisions for silent A/B input switching (Bus/Tape, Direct/Playback, PEC/Direct, etc.) You can also assign each of these audio channels to one of the eight monitoring buses (Left, Right, Center, Surround, Left Surround, Right Surround, Subwoofer or eXtra). Any collection of assignments are stored as a panel preset, allowing instant recall of setups for future sessions.

The PicMix Mix-to-Picture Panning System consists of the Panner Audio Rack and one or two Panner Controllers. The audio rack can accommodate from one to six panner modules, each of which has two balanced audio inputs. Each Panner Controller has a pair of panning joysticks, plus a pair of knobbed panning controls, each of which can be assigned to any of the panner modules in the audio rack.

PicMix is clearly the most sophisticated, versatile and totally user-friendly system around at prices starting at under $5000 list. Obviously, in such a limited amount of space, we can't even begin to tell you what this awesome system is capable of, but we can tell you that if film or video work is what you do, you owe it to yourself to contact your Sweetwater sales engineer to find out more about the features, special pricing and availability of the Otari PicMix System.


Think it's time to replace that old, noisy dinosaur of a console? Maybe, but what the heck are you going to replace it with? There are so many fine mixers available today, each of which is claiming to offer incredible performance, that it's nearly impossible to choose. But it's a big investment, so you know you'd better make the right choice.

We certainly don't want to make the decision any harder than it already is, but may we humbly suggest you take a close look at the new Status Console from Otari?

The company calls Status "The Smarter Desk", and for very good reason. The layout of this console is clear, clean and totally efficient. Its design is logical and the signal flow is ultra sophisticated, yet you won't need to take a year off to figure out how to actually use it. Of course, all the features of the best traditional consoles are present, including some found only on the costliest systems. Computer control is integral to the Status design, maximizing all the key functions while reducing those annoying, redundant keystrokes. The result: More ways of doing things, more automated features, easier setup and operation, and a compact, practical size (so you won't be needing to reach, stretch or risk pulling a muscle just to get to a particular control).

Status offers a wide range of standard features, including programmable Master Switching, Dual Path Input Modules, Fader Grouping and Recall of all Input Module faders, pots and switches. The "brains" behind all this is the Status Control System (SCS), a powerful internal computer that oversees and manages the console's operation. In fact, almost all switching functions and signal routings are under SCS control. It'll cook your dinner, make popcorn and . . . oh, wait, that's the microwave!

All kidding aside, as advanced as the Status is, it's actually easier to learn and use than just about any less sophisticated console. Functional (and darned attractive) three-color panel graphics relate functional sections on each input module to those on the Master Module. Status offers a virtually limitless range of functions and incredible depth, so you'll never run out of creative options and end up wishing you had spent the extra bucks and "gone for the good board."

Of course, Status is totally under digital control. The trouble with many other master switching designs on inferior consoles is that you're locked into the manufacturer's pre-defined settings for all modules. Hey, what do they know? They just build the stuff! That's not the case with Status. Its Master Switching approach is not pre-defined and is totally user-accessible. From the Master Section, you can control a single module, a preset group of modules, a random group or the entire console. Settings can, of course, be edited and executed on cue.

Prices on Status consoles begin at around $30,000, but of course, with a board this deep, there's absolutely no way we can tell you everything about its many innovative features and totally open-ended design with advanced options like full dynamic automation of faders and mutes, as well as high quality dynamics processing. So before you go spending a lot more money than you need on a console that offers you so much less than Status, give your Sweetwater sales engineer a call for more information (and there's lots of that!) and your special pricing on the Status Console that's perfect for your needs.