Leipzig University Utilizes Lawo’s mc²36 Audio Production Console
Part of the education and training enjoyed by students at Germany’s Leipzig University for Technology, Economy and Culture – Faculty of Media – includes the opportunity to work with a Lawo mc²36 Audio Production Console. The aim of the HTWK is to enable students to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world productions, as part of its Media Technology bachelor program, which is designed to build cross-media competence in all aspects of media production. An important part of the training is access to the tools that enable their use in practice.
The 24-fader Lawo mc²36 – which was installed by the University in fall 2016 – has an integrated Waves SoundGrid server, enabling the ‘All-in-One’ console access to comprehensive real-time signal processing options in addition to those provided by the console’s internal DSP engine. This makes the complete Waves Plug-in Collection available to their students – they can control Reverbs, Multi-Tap-Delays, Graphic Equalizers, and Multi-Band-Compressors directly from the console’s keyboard and touchscreen. Working in this way eliminates the need for additional screens and hardware, and makes the workplace more organized and effective. All plug-in settings can be stored and recalled together with the console snapshots. As the mc²36 is natively equipped with RAVENNA/AES67 technology, it can be easily integrated into IP infrastructures.
“The decision to use a Lawo mc²36 production console in our Video Studio was preceded by some long-term market research and evaluation,” explains Christian Birkner, Laboratory Engineer at HTWK Leipzig, and manager of the in-house Campus Studios. “Along with market acceptance, performance, flexibility and reliability were the key factors we considered while searching for a new mixing console. The large number of mc²36 installations, our findings during studio visits, and discussions with users showed that it met all requirements and fitted our concept and budget frame.”
The Lawo console handles all audio signals in the Video Studio, giving students the opportunity to learn and adapt not only the workflows of a practical digital production console, but also state-of-the-art AoIP concepts – important aspects of modern media technology. These are important considerations for the HTWK, where the understanding and experience of technologies carries an equally high value to the application of audio tools.
“The console’s workflows can be easily comprehended,” says Birkner. “This means that there is a short learning curve, particularly through combined operation via console and touchscreen – e.g. the setting of EQs. With this user-friendly operation, the students easily gain in-depth familiarity with a philosophy they can apply as media professionals. By closely integrating theory and practice – specifically by using professional equipment – we achieve a comprehensive practice-orientated education and can keep the commitment of our students at a high level from start to finish of their studies.”
For extended connectivity, in addition to the mc²36’s local I/Os, Birkner and his team at Leipzig University have adopted an mc² Compact I/O stagebox solution. This provides an additional 32 mic/line inputs, 32 line outputs, eight digital AES3 inputs, eight digital AES3 outputs, eight GPIOs, one RAVENNA port and one MADI Tie-Line port (SFP).
As part of the integration of the A/V studio, Birkner also installed a Lawo V__pro8 “toolbox” for processing HD-SDI video, and embedding/de-embedding their accompanying audio. The compact, powerful video processor also offers high-quality format conversion and color correction. Thanks to an 8×8 video matrix and a 384×384 audio matrix, every signal can be patched to any other signal. An advanced HTML5-based GUI allows more easy operation in daily work.