Logitek launches new digital desk that breaks the $10K price barrier

At this week’s SMPTE09 Exhibition there were a few new radio products on show along with plenty of television and web broadcast technology. One interesting new product was a mini Logitek studio panel that is aimed at small stations and community radio stations which want to move to digital. Steve Ahern reports from SMPTE for radioinfo about this new digital desk that breaks a significant price barrier.

Logitek Australia’s Managing Director Paul Dengate says his company’s new Jetstream Mini desk and Jetstream router (pictured) will offer community broadcasters a digital studio solution for under $10,000, pitching this desk much below Logitek’s larger products and those of other competing brands.

These days, any digital studio desk is really a control surface, more like a mouse, than the old analog desks we used to know.

Analog desks do all the work inside them, switching and amplifying signals through circuitry in each fader.

Digital surfaces tell a computer how and where to switch the audio, with the work being done inside a computer server, usually located in the rack room. Some other brands do have models that integrate the computer functions inside the one box (see other story).

There are many advantages, and some disadvantages, with digital desks. The two most significant advantages are: the ease of installation, in this case basically plugging in one computer cable; and the fact that the signal is already digital and can be sent to digital transmitters or audio streamers more easily than an analog desk’s signal.

The Jetstream equipment consists of an IP based Router box with a built-in computer inside it, a panel and a control screen (all pictured below right).

The router sits in the rack room and does all the work, providing audio I/O (inputs/outputs), mixing, processing and other functions. It can be paired with any of the Logitek range of control surfaces (Artisan, Mosaic, etc), but the model on show at SMPTE paired it with the cost effective JetStream Mini model.

IP based desks and router engines have been around for a while, but this new generaton of the technology is designed to take advantage of new network protocols that make the system easy to set up,…