Posted in education on November 13, 2017 2:24 pm EST

A Conversation with Cadac

If you don't know Cadac, you're not alone. But if you don't, you soon will; the UK company has its highly innovative sights set on the U.S. house of worship market.


 

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TAGS: avl design, digital audio mixing, integration, technology, worship space,

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By Carol Badaracco Padgett

If you want to arrive at a stellar end product, you have to work at it from the beginning. This is a fact that Luton, Bedfordshire, UK-based Cadac Holding Ltd. (Cadac) knows full well. The British company designs and builds intuitive audio mixing consoles for the live sound market, and has been since 1968.

A major unique selling point of Cadac’s larger digital consoles is the incredibly intuitive user interface.

During product design and engineering, Cadac painstakingly refines its products by working closely with its customers and taking into account their needs. “We aim to provide market-relevant product by continually working closely with the end users throughout the development cycle,” Marketing Manager James Godbehear confirms.

James Godbehear, Marketing Manager, Cadac, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK

Cadac has been the console of choice for concert touring acts such from the Rolling Stones to Pavarotti. It has serious clout and longevity under its belt. But notably, Godbehear admits that Cadac is often seen as “brand new” in certain markets.

Here, Church Designer asks Godbehear to introduce our AEC readers to the culture, products and future-forward offerings of Cadac—as well as the highlights that make the company a true fit for those who design systems for houses of worship, and those who will use the products in their church roles day-to-day.

Tell me about the company’s history. How did Cadac come to be who and what it is today, and where are you going now?

Godbehear: Cadac consoles’ exceptional audio quality saw them installed in many leading studios of the time, and numerous Iconic albums were mastered on a Cadac. Cadac recording consoles remain in service in some analogue specialist recording studios to this day.

In the mid 1980s Cadac entered the theatre market to meet express demands of leading musical theatre producers for ‘studio quality’ sound in ever more musically complex shows. It was in the theatre market that the brand really made its name, both on The West End in the UK and on Broadway in the U.S., effectively owning the market for well over a decade.

Cadac also became the console of choice for concert touring for acts such as Van Halen, Rolling Stones, Pavarotti, The Beach Boys, Tom Jones and Bryan Adams. More recently, Cadac has shifted its focus to the wider live performance and event space and, in particular, the house of worship market. So despite being one of the oldest consoles manufacturers in the world, Cadac is seen as a ‘new’ brand in certain markets.

Houses of worship oftentimes have unique needs. They may need support for their products on Saturday night before a Sunday service. Or they may have a volunteer operator on a Cadac console at certain times, so training would be essential. And they also have budget constraints with the gear they purchase. How is Cadac ready to address these needs?

Godbehear: A major unique selling point (USP) of Cadac’s larger digital consoles is the incredibly intuitive user interface. Designed around the ‘glass cockpit’ concept, the user is presented with only the information relevant to the specific operation currently being undertaken. The graphical interface has been designed with bold, finger-friendly icons and buttons to aid both the speed of operation and overall visual clarity. We call it a ‘high agility’ interface; far less menu-dependent when compared with other traditional digital console designs. The result is a very user-friendly console with a minimal learning curve—the ideal console for the volunteer engineer.

Cadac is on par with equivalent consoles when it comes to budgetary constraints; however, a further USP is the console’s sonic quality. Our industry leading audio performance and latency management has a major effect upon the overall performance of an existing speaker system within a church. Cadac consoles provide a uniquely effective upgrade path—both operationally and qualitatively—for the worship sector. So Cadac consoles can be a considerably cost effective means of improving an existing system, and even easier to install than a new PA system.

What 1-3 products in particular do you offer that are right for specification by AVL designers, integrators, and other consultants in their worship space projects? And what are the specs these designers can expect from them.

Godbehear: Designers, consultants and integrators should consider these three in the bullet points below.

What do you foresee as the future of digital mixing (and audio mixing in general) in houses of worship coming up within the next five years? What features will get better and what will be the trends in mixing consoles overall? How will digital audio networking advances play into the equation?

Godbehear: Everything will become more touch-screen orientated—console design will, and is, moving away from the traditional control layout inherited from analogue consoles, especially as the demographic of the engineer shifts towards those engineers that have probably never seen an analogue console, let alone used one. Engineers are mixing differently than in the past; just look at the number of screens that can be found at any front of house or monitor positions.

The physical buttons, encoders, etc., will reduce in number on dedicated console hardware—especially with the improvement of haptics technology. Tablet-like surfaces will increase in use as the primary control surface. As screens will become the main human interface of a console, the user interface and processes will become ever more intuitive. As a result, more ‘consoles’ will become remote black boxes containing all the interconnections to the outside world.

Ease of integration with the plethora of third-party network protocols will also become key—or at least until there are well defined common standards. Hopefully it may lead to smart plug-and-play networks where products from multiple brands can sit on the same network and ‘talk’ with minimal user intervention.

CDC seven Hardware Summary:

• Intuitive, clear graphical user interface

• Proprietary DSP mix platform

• 32/40 bit floating point SHARC processors

• Dual 23.5” flush mounted 16:9 high definitio

LCD touch wide screen

• 6.5” LCD touch screen for system control

• 40 colour OLED displays

• 20 segment stereo channel metering

• 36 touch sensitive 100mm motorised faders

• 64 x 64 Waves SoundGrid interface

• 4 AES3 inputs and 4 AES3 outputs

• 8 fully programmable line inputs and outputs

• External PSU

Feature Summary:

• Classic Cadac mic-pres

• Sub 0.4 millisecond latency from analogue inputs on stage to analogue outputs on stage - extreme benefit for I.E.M.

• 96 input channels

• 56 output busses, of which 48 are assignable as Mono or Stereo Group, Aux, or Matrix

• Unique Cadac Monitor Mode

• Custom Fader Layers

• Stunning - 4 band fully parametric EQ

• Extensive dynamics

• 16 VCA groups including ‘VCA unfold’ navigation

• 16 assignable buttons with OLED displays

• 16 groups of stereo on-board effects

• All outputs have 31 band graphic equaliser as well as 4 band fully parametric EQ

• Compressor/limiter on all outputs

• All Input and output have variable delay

• Snapshot automation system

CDC six: Digital Audio Console Hardware Summary (same as the CDC seven apart from below)

• Single 23.5” flush mounted 16:9 high definition LCD touch widescreen

• 24 colour OLED displays

• 20 touch sensitive 100mm motorised faders

Feature Summary (same as the CDC seven, and including the items below):

• 64 input channels

CDC MC Router: MegaCOMMS

• 2U MegaCOMMS router

• 12 pairs of MegaCOMMS ports per Router

• One audio network of up to 3072 channels

• Up to 128 bi-directional channels of 96 kHz / 24-bit audio per port

• Adds less than 0.01 milliseconds to a MegaCOMMS network

• Gain compensation when multiple MegaCOMMS compatible consoles are connected within one network

• Connect up to 12 MegaCOMMS compatible units in one network

• Cable runs of up to 150 meters / 492 feet on coaxial or up to 2 km / 6,561 feet on optical

---Company Contact Highlights---

Company: Cadac Holding Ltd.

URL: www.cadac-sound.com

Phone: 973.512.8511

U.S. Contact: Ronald Lorman, Director of Operations, Cadac America

 

 

 

 

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