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The MixBus OB Truck chooses the new DirectOut Prodigy.MX

27th November 2023 2:58 pm

Sound Supervisor Conrad Fletcher with the DirectOut Prodigy.MX

BAFTA award-winning Sound Supervisor Conrad Fletcher on upgrading to the DirectOut Prodigy.MX for MADI routing and AoIP management

The MixBus is a large-format location recording and outside broadcast truck designed for professional live events mixing and recording.

Providing a range of production services throughout the UK and Europe, previous clients include Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, Later With Jools Holland and the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, as well as a number of high-profile state events such as the The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II (for which The Mixbus’ Conrad Fletcher was one of several Sound Supervisors awarded a BAFTA in the Sound: Factual category).

As part of a recent expansion to the MixBus OB vehicle, the team decided to invest in the newly released DirectOut Prodigy.MX for MADI and AoIP routing and management.


DirectOut PRODIGY.MX: Award-winning Sound Supervisor Conrad Fletcher on the Modular Audio Matrix

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Closeup of the Studer Vista X console in the MixBus“There’s so much you can do with it”

“In our world we require an amazing amount of redundancy,” explains The Mixbus’ Conrad Fletcher. “With often hundreds of millions of people watching a live televised event, there is no room for failure of any sort.

“Due to both the size and weight restrictions of a mobile recording truck, all of our equipment has to be as light and space efficient as possible. Not to mention being 100% reliable.

“The Prodigy.MX really seemed to fit the bill in that regard. But its capabilities actually extend a lot further than we’d originally planned to use it for, such as sample rate conversion and support for a range of IP formats.”

The DirectOut Prodigy.MX is a state-of-the-art modular routing matrix designed for professional live sound and broadcast applications. Its six modular I/O slots allow users to choose from a variety of digital audio connections to suit the demands of a project, with powerful routing capabilities controlled via the globcon control software.

A range of AoIP formats are supported alongside several options for MADI, which for many OB Trucks remains the protocol of choice due to its simplicity and robust nature.

“MADI remains a kind of universal standard between trucks – which often don’t require IP – with the main benefit being that MADI devices tend to require very little in the way of setup,” Conrad explains.

“The truck has the capability to accept up to 18 MADI I/O streams. This forms the primary backbone of our infrastructure in terms of going in and out of the desk (a Studer Vista X), as well as going to recorders, stageboxes and other gear.

DirectOut’s range of modular cards includes the MADI4.IO, which offers 4 x MADI connections on SFPs with optional SRC, allowing for sample rate conversion between multiple clock domains.

“Obviously with this amount of MADI we need a way to keep on top of all the routing, which is where the Prodigy.MX comes in. We opted for the HD-SRCs which are the hardware version, so we can have up to six cards in there with 4 x MADI SFPs per slot. The SFPs are a joy to use, as you can have any type of connector and swap them out if required – optical, micro-BNC, full-size BNCs, multimode, singlemode – anything you want!”


DirectOut Prodigy MX digital audio and AoIP routing matrix

The DirectOut Prodigy.MX is a powerful digital audio routing matrix with support for MADI,
Dante, Ravenna/AES57, MILAN/AVB and Waves SoundGrid with options for SRC.


“Our previous SRC requirements took up 4U of space to achieve the same thing, and weighed in excess of 16 kg, along with all the wiring and power considerations. We’re now able to replace that in only 2U of rackspace without losing any of the functionality we had previously, plus there’s space for other interface cards.”

“Then there’s the globcon software, which gives you a sort of granular control of every audio channel and every port from the 1664 inputs available in the system, which is very handy if you’re working with large, complex setups.”


Conrad Fletcher using the Prodigy.MX inside the Mixbus OB Truckglobcon, MADI and AoIP Routing

Along with its extensive MADI capabilities, the DirectOut Prodigy.MX supports a number of popular audio networking formats such as Dante, Ravenna/AES67, MILAN/AVB and Waves Soundgrid.

“That’s another other thing which we hadn’t really envisaged,” Conrad says. “A lot of the live-to-cinema events we cover are reliant on Dante, Ravenna, AVB etc. Previously we’d have to hire in various interfaces to convert these formats to MADI to bring it into the truck.

“But now with the Prodigy.MX, we can have Dante, AVB, even SoundGrid interfaces, slot them in the back, and we then have this option inside a 2U box without any extra infrastructure, no extra wiring – it’s a joy!”


DirectOut Prodigy Series

The DirectOut Prodigy Series is a set of modular audio converters and signal processors designed for use in professional live sound, broadcast, installation and recording applications.

With extensive multi-channel analogue (Mic/Line) and digital options – including formats such as MADI coaxial, MADI optical, Dante, Ravenna, MILAN/AVB, AES-3 and Waves SoundGrid – DirectOut’s Prodigy Series are highly configurable, fully redundant, and feature advanced technologies like the Buffer Loop Detection System™ (BLDS), Enhanced Automatic Redundancy Switching™ (EARS) and FastSRC™.

Full remote control is offered by globcon, a global remote control software for Mac, PC or Linux, and with support for device connections via network (as well as USB, DO.Net and MIDI, ensuring compatibility with legacy devices).

The DirectOut Prodigy Series has toured with globally succesful artists including Coldplay, Lewis Capaldi and Three Doors Down, as well high-profile televised events such as Eurovision and several worldwide sporting events.

See the full range of DirectOut Prodigy Series


Collage featuring the DirectOut Prodigy.MX, Studer Vista X and Mixbus OB truck



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