Mix Engine BLADEs

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Mix Engine BLADES: The Power Plants Behind the WheatNet-IP Network

Wheatstone WNIP Chart Horizontal 7 17 19B

Every nerve center needs a brain. Every city needs a source of power. For Wheatstone control surfaces, the Mix Engine BLADE-3s are it.

Unique to Wheatstone’s console engine approach is its true IP connectivity. The control surfaces connect directly into the network switch itself, giving them access to mix engine functions as well as direct access to automation systems, network applications and other control surfaces that make true system interoperability possible. The mix engines can live anywhere on the network, such as your TOC room, so no worries about cramming them into already-tight studio space.

Other IP audio systems tie the control surface and the console engine together using CAN bus, thereby filtering all outside communications through the console engine first and isolating the control surface from other elements and functions in the network. 

A Mix Engine BLADE-3 houses all the DSP power for an individual radio control surface and distributes the stereo PGM buses, stereo AUX sends, per-channel mix-minus feeds, monitor outputs, and other bus signals to the network. Once on the network, bus signals are available as sources and destinations anywhere. This creates an extremely flexible system in which program outputs from one surface can be sources on any other surface; for example, a news mixer’s program bus can be brought up as a source on the air studio surface. They are AES67 compatible for use with other AES67-compatible devices and signals in the WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network.

While standard BLADE Mix Engines don’t house audio I/O, they do include 12 universal logic (GPIO) ports for interfacing various external switches, indicators and devices for control purposes. Our Console Audio BLADEs are Mix Engines that DO have I/O built in. And our PR&E Mix Engine also provides I/O as well as a 5-port switch for installation in smaller facilities.

 

BLADE-3s have a LOT under the hood. Click here for the complete list.

Gigabit Connectivity 
All BLADE-3s use Gigabit Ethernet. This makes all the difference in network capacity, near-zero latency, throughput, reliability – in short, everything.

Virtually All Audio Formats
BLADEs are built to handle native analog, microphone, AES/EBU, SPDIF, AOIP, MADI, SDI and AES 67. Once any type of audio is ingested into the WheatNet-IP network, any type of audio input can be converted to any other type of output. Example: analog to digital, AES to IP, MADI to AES 67, mics to AOIP, etc.

Two 8x2 Utility Mixers 
Each BLADE has two 8x2 utility mixers that can be configured to accomplish many diverse tasks. These internal mixers are full featured and include panning, channel ON/OFF, fader levels, and access to any source signal in the system. They also include a full ACI (Automation Control Interface) allowing remote control, ducking, auto fade, channel on/off, levels, source assign, etc.

Audio & Control Routing Matrix 
You can take any audio input and route it to any output or all outputs. You can take any GPI and send to multiple GIO’s or you can marry GPIO’s to an audio source and have it follow that source through the system. All through one RJ45 connector for each device.

Source & Destination Control 
Each BLADE has the ability to route any source to the destinations on that BLADE. 

Dual OLED Displays
Each BLADE has two small full color displays for monitoring and control of most functions right from the front panel. Setup, monitoring, network information, alarm status, enabling and operating utility mixes, setting input and output gain, enabling audio processing – and whatever else we can think of in the years to come. 

Silence Detection 
In case of an operator error, this can be programmed as a “source” or “input” for the failover. If an operator misses a cue or leaves a fader down, when the system senses silence it can take the automation system directly to air or use the integral clip player to play music and ads until the operator catches up. Every single audio output channel can be programmed with a silence detection and automatic switch-over function.

Built-in Audio Clip Player
There is an optional built-in audio clip player that can be used to put emergency audio on the air. The files are managed in our Navigator Software where you can add files, organize the playlist, and fire playback with a logic port. Silence or LIO can trigger this playback or it can be manually controlled from Navigator.

Front Panel Logic Indicators
Status indicators for active logic and the direction (in or out) of the BLADE.

12 Universal GPI/O Ports 
Each BLADE is equipped with RJ45 connectors to provide 12 Universal Logic Ports which can be individually designated during set up as inputs or outputs. These ports are used to interface the various external switches, indicators, and control functions you need. 

128 Software Logic Ports
Used to interface with software switches, indicators, and control functions throughout the system.

LIO/SLIO Logging
This logging app tracks LIO/SLIO activity throughout the system and shows the user when any input comes into the system and when it is sent, via multicast, across the network and to the output. A comprehensive Sort Section and Activity Visualizer let the user see a detailed view of what happened in the system. 

Stereo Audio Processor
Each BLADE-3 has a stereo multiband processor with the following: 4-band parametric equalizer, 3-way crossovers, 3 compressors, 3 limiters, and a final lookahead limiter. This is a “routable processor,” meaning it is not limited to the local I/O on the BLADE – it can be considered a network resource. 

Associated Connections
This is a great feature in BLADEs for callers, codecs, networks, remote broadcast & live talk shows that require a mix-minus. You can create a predetermined back haul, IFB feed or mix-minus for each device based on its location in the system or on a fader. If you have a shared resource connected to your system, such as a codec, the software will “automagically” give the proper return feed to the codec based on its destination. When a base connection is made, up to ten additional connections can be made. This significantly helps streamline studio routing, phone and codec selection.

Aliases
Allows the same source to be identified by different names. A signal can now be given an alias(es) which can be a more friendly name that operators understand. Multiple aliases can be used so different operators can share logic functions, source feeds, routing, etc. 

AES67
Ability to support AES67 compliant devices. Allows WheatNet-IP system to synchronize to IEEE1588 from a PTP grandmaster clock and ingest /stream AES67 compliant packets.

44.1, 48K, External Sync or AES67 Operation
This is the overall clocking for your digital system. The system clock rate can be either 44.1K, 48K, External Reference or AES67. 

Clock/Sync Indicators 
The 1588 Clock Loss Indicator notifies the user when the AES67 clock source has been lost.The AES Sync Loss Indicator notifies the user when an AES input has lost its clock source. Also generates Alarms for any AES3 input that becomes disconnected.

Onboard Intelligent OS 
Each BLADE has its own intelligence/operating system that allows it to be a powerful standalone router, be part of a larger system, or control the entire routing system. WheatNet-IP is an embedded system that does not require outside intervention or control from 3rd party software running on PC’s. The configuration of the entire network is stored in each BLADE.

44.1K or 48K Sampling Rates 
System operates at 44.1K or 48K while converting incoming signals up or down as needed. 

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Auto Mono Summing 
Any stereo signal sent to a mono output is automatically summed: If you route a stereo source or stereo mix to a mono destination such as hybrid or codec, the system will automatically “sum” the left and right channels together. 

Signal Splitting 
The BLADE can take any Stereo AES/EBU or Analog input or output and split it into two mono channels.

Gain Control on Every Input & Output
This allows the user to calibrate the input level for each source or destination.

Balance Control
There is a balance control on every stereo input and output.

Flexible Signal Configuration
Signal can be defined as up to 16 mono, 8 stereo or any combination of mono and stereo totaling 16 channels.

Studio Bypass
With the push of a button or a command from the automation system, this output can feed the transmitter, freeing the on-air studio up for production or voice tracking.

Front Panel Input and Output Metering
There is metering for every input and output on the system – 12-segment, multi-color LEDs that can be used for metering inputs and outputs as 8 pairs or 16 mono signals.

Front Panel Headphone Jack and Source Selection
This is a self-powered headphone jack with volume control. It allows you to select and monitor any source or mix on that BLADE or in the entire system.

Salvos/Macros
There are an unlimited number of salvos and macros, used when more than one route needs to take place. These are preprogrammed events or a series of switched events that can happen within a BLADE or thoughout an entire WheatNet-IP network.

Automation Control Interface (ACI)
This is a “tool box” in every BLADE that allows full control functions such as routing, ducking, panning, full logic control, mixing and silence detection. Each BLADE supports up to 20 ACI connections which can be used with devices like Talent Stations, GP panels, Sideboards, etc. It also allows control of our partners’/third party equipment.

Screen Builder
While not built into a BLADE, the screen builder app offers the scripting capability of a GP16, the control of GlassE, monitoring and metering of the IP Meters app, and ACI protocol. This will allow a user to build a custom screen to fit many needs in specific applications. Will work with any version BLADE.

SNMP
Wheatstone’s enhanced Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) management system uses SNMP to monitor network attached devices such as BLADEs for conditions that may require action by the end user. This tool gives you centralized monitoring over large distributed systems. You can configure alarms and set thresholds to get notified if and when a problem occurs. The instant alarms and notifications help you take quick corrective actions through e-mail, SMS, and executing custom scripts.

Connection Choices
Has both DB25 to make transitional wiring easy for existing BRIDGE TDM customers and RJ45 – Studio Hub compatible RJ connectors for input and output.

Info Screen
Each signal has a new info screen allowing the user to add text to signals such as wire numbers, termination locations, etc.

LIO Test
LIO Outputs can be tested from the front panel of each BLADE.

Backup
Due to its distributed intelligence, the system has automatic backup capability.

Alarm Notification
Using Alarm doc or LED status, BLADEs can report on a wide variety of error and alarms.

NTP
System can lock to a NTP server on the network for time of day synchronization.

Front Panel Locking
All BLADEs’ front panels can be locked for security

Version Checker
Built in version checker to aid in update process.

Crosspoint Save
Can save a current copy of all crosspoints in the system. This is done in Navigator.

Debugging
A comprehensive logging application is included for every BLADE to aid in system debugging.

No Cooling Fans
They don’t need them!

 

Specific Functions for Specific BLADES:

Mic Pre
Using the 88m you have 8 Mic preamps

Mic Processor
Using the M4 you have 4 Mic preamps, but also 4 M1 mic processors.

Eight Audio Processors
The Aura8-IP has 8 stereo processors that allow user to process any audio in the WNIP system and route that processed audio to any output.

High Density Ingest
Using a MADI BLADE user can connect to a variety of 3rd party devices and ingest up to 64 channels of audio over a single coaxial cable.

External Clock Reference
88d, 88ad, Aura8-IP BLADEs can accept an AES reference into port 8 to use a master clock reference for the system.

Mix Engine BLADE-3s

IP88-3 E (for use with E-6, LX-24):

MIX ENGINE Front Rear IP88 E

IP88-3 LXE (for use with LXE, Glass LXE):

MIX ENGINE Front RearIP88 LXE

 

All Mix Engine BLADE-3s Feature

MIX ENGINE BLADE-3s FEATURE:

  • True IP connectivity: Includes DSP processing

  • 12 universal logic ports (GPIO) on 2 RJ-45 connectors

  • AES67 compatible

  • Front panel headphone jack

  • OLED front panel display with graphical menu

  • One Gigabit Ethernet port

 Mix Engine BLADEs are required for all Wheatstone IP consoles and are available in specific configurations for each. Console Audio BLADEs (see above) combine I/O and Mix Engine for our smaller consols for use in compact installations where extensive I/O is not required. For mid to larger installations, the mix engine is either included with the console or purchased separately, allowing you to tailor the I/O to your specific requirements. 

IP88-3 E (for use with E-6, LX-24):
DSP processing, 12 universal logic ports (GPIO) on 2 RJ-45 connectors, front panel headphone jack, gigabit Ethernet port

IP88-3 LXE (for use with LXE, Glass LXE):
DSP processing, 12 universal logic ports (GPIO) on 2 RJ-45 connectors, extra Ethernet connector, 2 USB connectors, 1 HDMI connector, front panel headphone jack, gigabit Ethernet port

Console Audio BLADE-3s

IP-88 CB (for use with IP-12/IP-16):

MIX ENGINE ConsoleBladeFrontRear IP88 CB

IP-88 CBE (for use with E-1):

MIX ENGINE ConsoleBladeFrontRear IP88 CBE

IP-88 CBL (for use with L-8/L-12):

MIX ENGINE ConsoleBladeFrontRear IP88 CBL

IP-32 CB (for optional double I/O use with IP-12/IP-16, L-8/L-12):

MIX ENGINE ConsoleBladeFrontRear CB32

 

All Console Audio BLADE-3s feature:

Console Audio BLADE-3 Features:

  • True IP connectivity

  • 24-bit A/D and D/A convertors

  • 12 Universal Logic ports (GPIO) on 2 RJ-45 connectors

  • Integrated I/O Mix Engine BLADE

  • AES67 Compatibility

  • Cue and headphone outputs on RJ45 and 1/4” jack*

  • Control room and studio monitor outputs on XLRs*

  • OLED front panel displays with graphical menu

  • Gigabit Ethernet port


Standard 1RU Enclosure:

2 Mic Preamps with phantom power and gain trim w/ XLR inputs

4 Stereo (8 Mono) Analog Line inputs on RJ-45

4 AES inputs on RJ45

4 Stereo (8 Mono) Analog Line Outs on RJ45

4 AES Outputs on RJ45

CB32 2RU Enclosure:

4 Mic preamps with phantom power and gain trim w/ XLR inputs

8 Stereo (16 Mono) analog line inputs on RJ-45

8 AES inputs on RJ45

8 Stereo (16 Mono) analog line outs on RJ45

8 AES outputs on RJ45

 * NOTE: Control Room, Studio, Cue and Headphone outputs are part of the total of AES and stereo analog outputs. These may be reassigned for use as other outputs as desired.

Console Audio BLADE-3s provide audio I/O and DSP mix engine functions for WheatNet-IP radio control surfaces (see Gibraltar Mix Engine for TV Consoles) through the network switch.

Console Audio BLADE-3s come standard with L-8, L-12, E-1, IP-12 and IP-16 control surfaces. A single Console Audio BLADE-3 is all that is needed for some studio operations, but busy studios often require an additional I/O BLADE-3 or Wheatstone’s CB32 model which doubles the amount of I/O in 2RU.

All Console Audio BLADEs are AES67 compatible to bring audio from other AES67-compatible devices and signals into and out of the WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network.

There are four types of Console Audio BLADE-3s:

IP88-3 CB (for use with IP-12/IP-16):
8 mono (4 stereo) analog line inputs, 2 mic preamps (patchable to 2 analog line inputs), 4 AES inputs, 4 AES outputs, 4 analog outputs, cue and headphone outputs on RJ45 and 1/4" jacks, control room and studio monitor outputs on XLRs, 12 programmable logic ports.

IP88-3 CBE (for use with E-1):
8 mono (4 stereo) analog line inputs, 2 mic preamps (patchable to 2 analog line inputs), 4 AES inputs, 4 AES outputs, 4 analog outputs, cue and headphone outputs on RJ45 and 1/4" jacks, control room and studio monitor outputs on XLRs, 12 programmable logic ports, EQ and dynamics processing on every fader channel

IP88-3 CBL (for use with L-8/L-12):
8 mono (4 stereo) analog line inputs, 2 mic preamps (patchable to 2 analog line inputs), 4 AES inputs, 4 AES outputs, 4 analog outputs, cue and headphone outputs on RJ45 and 1/4" jacks, control room and studio monitor outputs on XLRs, 12 programmable logic ports

IP32-3CBL OPTIONAL DOUBLE I/O  (for use with IP-12/IP-16, L-8/L-12):
16 mono (8 stereo) analog line inputs, 4 mic preamps (patchable to 2 analog line inputs), 8 AES inputs, 8 AES outputs, 16 analog outputs, cue and headphone outputs on RJ45 and 1/4" jacks, control room and studio monitor outputs on XLRs, 12 programmable logic ports

 

PR&E Mix Engine

PRE MixEngineFrontRear

For use with PR&E DMX and EMX Consoles

PR&E Mix Engine uses RJ45 connectors for all audio (StudioHub+ format), logic (WheatNet-IP-format), and network connections, except for the 2 mic preamp inputs (XLR). Connections include Mic Preamps Out; 4 stereo/dual mono analog inputs; 4 stereo/dual mono digital inputs; four stereo Program outputs (both analog and digital); 4 stereo analog Monitor outputs (Control Room, Studio, Cue, and operator headphones); 6-port logic GPIO; Engine Ethernet port; 5-Port Ethernet switch to network the Surface, Engine, and three additional devices.

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