In the 70's this modular audio system of using 'cassettes' to construct consoles for recording and broadcast studios was the standard. As with the earlier broadcast consoles, recording consoles were assembled from a collection of separate, standardized modules. At that time manufactureres such as Neumann, Telefunken, Danner, Siemens, Tonografie Apparatebau and Maihak were some of the main manufactureres of such console systems in Germany.
In 1978 when adt-audio started making consoles, we also adopted the concept of a modular audio system to produce our line of custom build consoles. Between 1978 and 1984 we produced more than 70 consoles using this method. Consoles were manufactured for both broadcast and music production, and all adhered to the strict rules and regulation listed above. Many of those consoles are in still in service today.
The picture above shows an A1500b, 32 channel console with dual faders, 24 bus routing system, 3 stereo sub groups and stereo main master, 4 aux sends and stereo cue send, 4 stereo return inputs, fully parametric 4-band EQ's, 128 mm Penny & Giles faders with build in TT patch bay. The console was build for IPA Radio Luxemburg in 1980.
In the early days of the audio console, they were typically manufactured for, and used by Radio and Television stations. Consoles were for the most part custom built using a system of cassette processing modules. Because they were being used mainly in radio and television operations, observance of the quality standards set by the German National Radio and Television Network was obligatory. These standards were in fact a set of written rules that laid out stringent guidlines covering every aspect of the sonic performance of the console. The rules covered areas such as; signal to noise ratio, crosstalk between channels, output and input common mode rejection ratio, electrical shielding, etc.
These rules were further strengthened by the European-wide introduction of the CE directives. The rules demand consoles with the highest sonic quality, maximum reliability, a high level of failure security and an extremly long lifespan, without cost considerations.
Cassette Technique today
Upon more and more console orders during the last years were custom build systems, we have 'new invented' a part of the old 'cassette' units.
Based on the versions of the late 70th, an extensive range of modules of the new systems V700 and Integrator is now available again.
The focus of the V700 Series are special modules for Stereo Mastering, while the Integrator series offers a range of modules to complete mastering systems as well as front-end modules.
It is self-evident that all the old modules have been redesigned and upgraded, based on the old and proven technique. This upgrade resulted in a huge improvement of the headroom, that has been raised to + 30 dBu throughout the entire module palette of all module systems, and the dynamic range, that is now more than 120 dB RMS for all line level modules. In addition, more modules for special application were added. A new housing system and a range of 19" standard frames makes possible to use single modules or small setups without special frames and extensive, custom wiring.