PMC Announces New Digital Monitor Controller

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New PMC Digital Monitor Controller

PMC has announced the arrival of the new Digital Monitor Controller, a high-quality, sonically transparent hardware digital monitor controller compatible with all of the company's loudspeakers with digital inputs from the IB2-XBD-A onwards, including the recently introduced twotwo series of compact nearfields.

Much more than a simple volume control, the DMC accepts a maximum of two 5.1 and three stereo inputs, and can drive independent 5.1 and stereo loudspeaker monitoring systems. The hardware controls also offer immediate access to configurable bass-management facilities, along with a range of customisable options to optimise your loudspeaker system's operation for specific working environments, thus sparing users the need to set switches at the rear of individual monitors in the future.

The Digital Monitor Controller consists of two units, the 1U rackmount Digital Monitor Interface (DMI), into which all of your compatible PMC speakers are connected, and the DMC remote control itself, a tabletop unit powered by a cable from the DMI on which all of the speaker selection settings are made and the master volume is adjusted. A user-calibrated reference monitoring level can be defined if required, user-configurable bass management is available for use with subwoofers, and 'Surround to Stereo' and 'Stereo to Mono' downmix functions are accessed from dedicated buttons, in addition to the usual channel Mute, Solo and Solo-in-front functions you'd expect from a monitor controller. Per-speaker level Trim adjustments can be made and stored via the DMC, and up to 340 milliseconds of delay can be applied to individual inputs as desired, with two storable presets.

As its name suggests, the DMC is an entirely digital device, with digital inputs on BNC connectors; all of its processing and routing is carried out by a 32-bit FPGA, giving an internal dynamic range greater than 135dB, with a latency of 0.042 milliseconds. It accepts 24-bit digital signals at sample rates up to 192kHz, and may be synchronised to any of its digital inputs or to an external reference via its sync input, which accepts word clock, DARS, or bi- and tri-level video. The DMI's third stereo input is also fitted with an asynchronous sample rate converter that will accept audio with any incoming sample rate from 8 to 216kHz. The output from this converter may be mixed with any of the DMI's other inputs if required, or output externally as a fixed-level signal. Eight separate outputs are available via the 25-pin D-sub connector on the rear of the DMI, which breaks out via a supplied loom to eight XLRs. Outputs 1 to 3 are direct fixed-level surround outputs for metering or dubbing (L/R, C/Subwoofer and Ls/Rs), output 4 is the direct feed from the sample-rate converted theirs stereo input, outputs 5-7 are the main surround outputs/speaker feeds (L/R, C/Subwoofer and Ls/Rs) and 8 is the main stereo output/speaker feed.

"There are plenty of monitor controllers out there, but for PMC the focus had to be on the highest possible audio quality," explains PMC's Managing Director Miles Roberts. "Our products are widely used as audio reference tools, and the convenience of the extra functions offered by a monitor controller is only worthwhile if the device has no negative impact on the transparency of the speakers. That was the guiding principle when designing the DMC: all of the monitor control functions you'd expect, in a high-quality, sonically transparent unit."