The Channel in a Box is based around the Input & Dynamics sub-assembly and the EQ & Insert sub-assembly from a NEVE VR channel. The CIB comprises a 1U high enclosure with a depth of 300mm (excluding connectors and control knobs). It has an internal power supply.
The objective was to design a product that maximised the facilities that are available on the VR sub-assemblies... we believe that this has not only been achieved, but has been exceeded...
There are four distinct functional blocks within the Neve assemblies, namely:
Each of these is available as individual signal processing blocks or as a complete channel path with in-line capability.
In addition to the Neve VR facilities, we have added:
An output level control.
A pair of auxiliary outputs.
The mic amp design offers low noise and low distortion at all signal levels. The gains of the mic and line inputs are adjusted on two continuously variable rotary controls providing a total range of -10dB to +70dB (in conjunction with -30dB PAD) for mic and -10 to +10dB for line with centre detent. Input selection is by the C/O switch. The selected mic or line input can also be phase reversed by the Ø switch.
Phantom power can be selected on/off by means of the push-on/pull-off switch on the mic gain control. This has the potential to accidentally have phantom power switched on, so a phantom enable switch has been included as a master phantom control. This has a recessed actuator and is located to the left of the C/O switch.
Patch free audio subgrouping is available via the GRP switch and this is the highest priority input, allowing a recorder output signal to be processed as a channel signal. This allows the channel to be used as an in-line audio path.
These are 12dB/octave high and low pass filters, with frequency ranges from 31.5Hz to 315Hz and 7.5kHz to 18kHz respectively. The filters can be switched into the channel path independently by a pull-on switch on each of the two controls.
Full limiter/compressor and gate/expander facilities are available with a fully flexible sidechain (each of which can be individually switched in or out of circuit).
The gate/expander has rotary controls for a 50dB gate range, a 70dB threshold range, release from 30ms to 3s, switchable attack time and variable hysteresis. Hysteresis makes the threshold level different for signals which are rising or falling in level and allows precise triggering on the wanted signal while still allowing the correct amount of signal decay to pass.The expander has a 2:1 expansion ratio. Switched controls are provided for an external key input and invert (for ducking). The external key input is accessed from a jack socket on the rear panel. A 10-segment LED bar graph meter shows the amount of expansion or gating.
The limiter/compressor has rotary controls for release times from 30ms to 3s with an end stop, a 50dB threshold range, a ratio of 1:1 to limiting and up to 30dB of gain make-up. Attack time is program dependent with a switch for fast impulse response. The Release control incorporates a switch for automatic programme dependent release. 'Anti pumping and breathing' circuitry allows the unit to operate on the source musically whilst retaining absolute control over the dynamic range. A 10-segment LED bar graph meter shows the amount of gain reduction.
Multiple CIB units can be linked together for multi-channel dynamics control via the Link-Out and Link-In (phono) sockets, as well as the link switch.
The equaliser module can be inserted into the sidechain of the dynamics module for de-essing, etc.
There are a total of four insert points and all comprise separate Send and Return jacks. The sends are always active. The return jacks form the break function. All inserts are electronically balanced at a level of +4dBu.
If any of the Pre-filter, Pre-dyn or Post-dyn inserts are not being used, they each have bypass switches (on the rear panel) that reduce the signal path within the unit. The sends remain active and are always available as outputs.
The main insert point is controlled from the equaliser and is switchable in/out as well as pre-equaliser.
The unique sound of Neve equalisers is the result of years of research and extensive studio experience.
The equaliser provides 4-band parametric equalisation, with overlapping frequency ranges.
The two mid-bands have variable controls for Q (from 0.5 to 9), gain (18dB cut and boost) and frequency.
The high and low frequency controls provide variable gain (18dB cut and boost) and frequency controls with switchable Q (either 0.71 to 2) and peaking/shelving characteristic.
The two auxiliary sends can be configured as two independent mono sends with either the unit input (mic or line as set by the C/O switch) or the unit output (post the output level control) as the signal source. Input is selected by the PRE switch being in; output is selected by having the PRE switch out.
The pair of sends can be switched to operate as a stereo Aux by pressing the STE switch. The two rotary controls change function so that the Aux 1 pot becomes a stereo level control and the Aux 2 pot becomes a pan control.
Each aux send has its own individual On/Off switch. In stereo mode, the Aux 1 ON switch controls both the aux outputs.
The output level can be controlled between fully off and +10dB.
A 20-segment LED bargraph meter shows the level of the input stage (mic or line) or the output signal leaving the unit. The displayed level is chosen by the Input/Output switch. The meter ballistics can be set to be VU or quasi-peak by an internal jumper link.
There are four monitoring points for the peak LED's detection system: the mic/line input, the unit output, the post-dyn insert send and the equaliser output. The peak LED illuminates 4dB below clipping.
The CIB internal power supply can be switched (internally) between 230V and 115V. The CIB is factory-set to the known country of destination, and a label on the rear-panel states what the internally set voltage is.
|Mic Input||Female XLR|
|Line Input||Female XLR|
|Group Input||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Key Input||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Dyn Link Out||Phono Socket|
|Dyn Link In||Phono Socket|
|Pre-Filter Insert Send||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Pre-Filter Insert Return||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Pre-Filter Bypass Switch||Push-button|
|Pre-Dyn Insert Send||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Pre-Dyn Insert Return||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Pre-Dyn Bypass Switch||Push-button|
|Post-Dyn Insert Send||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Post-Dyn Insert Return||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Post-Dyn Insert Switch||Push-button|
|Main Input Send||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Main Input Return||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Aux Out 1||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Aux Out 2||1/4" Jack Socket|
|Main Output||Male XLR|
|Mains Power Inlet||IEC Male|
|Fuse||5 x 20mm 1A / 250V time-delay|