Stephan Schertler introduces this latest issue of The Diary with a close-up look at the new Spring reverb module. The reverb can be used both as an ARTHUR mixer module and as a stand-alone unit.
New “armour” for ARTHUR as Schertler launches hard case range
Touring with the ARTHUR modular mixer has now become even more straightforward as Schertler launches a new range of hard cases designed to accommodate different numbers of mixer modules. Lightweight, slim and sleek in appearance, the new cases are also highly functional and impact resistant, providing robust protection for the enclosed mixer both during transportation and while in use at live venues or studios.
Constructed from 4mm thick multi-layer poplar wood with a 1mm embossed PVC coating, the cases have anodised aluminium profiles with anchoring teeth as well as pressure-tight plastic angles with reinforcement rivets for added strength and stability.
The interior Ethafoam lining is designed to perform the dual function of securely protecting the mixer during transportation and circulating air underneath it to avoid overheating during use. Each case has a removable lid with surface-mounted snap-on steel hinges and butterfly closures, rubber feet to protect against vibration and a strong, comfortable carrying handle.
Cases are available for configurations of 10, 20 and 30 modules
Features at a glance:
- 4mm thick multi-layer poplar wood plus 1mm PVC slightly embossed finish (total 5mm) - Internal lining in Ethafoam - Anodised aluminium profiles with anchoring teeth - Pressure-tight plastic angles with reinforcement rivets - Flexible, rubber-coated steel handle - Steel butterfly closures with compensation spring - Surface-mounted snap-on steel hinges - Rubber feet
10x 44.5L x 56H x 12 cm 20x 81L x 56H x 12 cm 30x 116L x 56H x 12 cm
NEWS FROM THE LAB
Phantom Power 48V, or not 48V: that is the question
Schertler frequently receives enquiries from users about phantom power compatibility. Schertler Group CEO and electronic designer Stephan Schertler provides an insight into the technical implications of the 48V “standard” labelling.
"The phantom voltage has no real relevance as a number, since there is a resistor (generally 6.8 kΩ, on each tap of the balanced input) between the “phantom voltage" and the microphone. So how does this work in detail?
First scenario: In most cases, a condenser microphone has a constant current source and always "pulls" its current, for example 3.5 mA. Connected to the 48V, the voltage fall down on the internal 6.8 kΩ is: 0.0035 A x 6800 Ω = 23.8 V. The microphone “sees” the remaining 24.2 V and, of course, its 3.5 mA. It will never see more than that.
Second scenario: We connect the same mic to an input with 35 Volt phantom and 3.3k internal resistor (for example the Schertler JAM acoustic amp). The microphone will see the phantom voltage minus the voltage fall down of the internal resistor: 35 volts - 0.0035 A x 3300 Ω = 23.45 volts and of course its current of 3.5mA.
Conclusion: Neither scenario makes any difference to the microphone. It will deliver the same noise, the same headroom etc. Yes, it states 48 V, but due to the resistors the mic will never “see" the “entire 48 Volts".
So why 48 V? As always there is a story: The original standard for 48 V phantom power, invented by Neumann in the 1960s, did not use any resistors. The phantom current reached the microphone via the centre tap of the input transformer. These transformers have a DC resistance of a few ohms and therefore the microphone would always see the 48 volts, which were necessary - here it comes - to polarize the capsule. (Less than 50 volts would diminish the sensitivity). An "old" FET-Neumann would work badly on a "modern" 48 V phantom: less sensitivity, more noise.
Modern condenser microphones have been designed differently for decades, since the resistors have replaced the transformer. The voltage has been typically regulated to 10 V, an ideal voltage for the internal amplifier (which is actually a buffer). The 24 V (from the above example) become 10 V in the microphone electronics. For polarizing the capsule, there is another internal circuit that produces the necessary 48 V (or even more) from the 10 V - for example 60 V, depending on the capsule design (plate spacing etc).
At this point the “required” 48 V becomes obsolete: Today, all condenser mics use the “trick” of recreating the high voltage needed for the capsule. Therefore, we are more or less talking about 10 volts (Schoeps, for example, have gone down to 6.5 V) and not about 48 V, which a microphone can never completely see as shown above.
The fact that microphone manufacturers are now extolling the virtues of 48 + - 4 V has less technical significance and is more of a precautionary measure to avoid opening the door to all possible feeds and incorrect applications (12 V would no longer go for example). "
SCHERTLER AROUND THE GLOBE
Systems Workshop to distribute ARTHUR in the UK
Schertler Group has appointed Systems Workshop as UK distributor for ARTHUR. The Oswestry-based company will act as a showroom and distribution centre for the modular mixer, which has attracted a steadily growing list of international users in the 12 months since its release.
ARTHUR offers musicians and engineers a customizable mixing solution for live and studio applications. The mixer’s input and output modules can be assembled in virtually any combination or order, from a basic compact setup with a vocal or instrument preamp and L/R Master, to a DJ / keyboard mixer with stereo inputs for keys and playback devices, right through to a large multi-channel studio configuration with multiple mic and instrument inputs and aux sends. The mixer can be directly connected to a PA system and can be expanded over time as required, or as new modules become available.
“We are delighted to have Systems Workshop on board for ARTHUR,” says Drago Dujak, Schertler’s Marketing & Sales Manager. “ARTHUR is a different product from anything else currently on the market. This is why customers need to experience first-hand how simple it is to configure and assemble the modules and how different configurations can be built for various studio and live applications. Phil Beaumont and his team will also be out and about with ARTHUR over the coming months, so it will be a great opportunity to see our modular mixer in action all over the UK.”
Phil Beaumont, Managing Director of Systems Workshop Distribution adds: “The Schertler ARTHUR mixer is an innovative product - its modular design enables it to meet the needs of a diverse range of applications. We are delighted to be able to add this high quality, Swiss manufactured product to our portfolio.”
International Guitar and Harp Festival provides a platform for Schertler products
Schertler Ambassador Dario Fornara recently appeared at the “International Guitar and Harp Festival” at Villa Spinola in Bussolengo, performing with and presenting the ARTHUR modular mixer, the TIM compact PA system and the Magnetico M-AG6 pickup for acoustic guitar.
The festival, which has successfully completed its eighth season, is organized by artistic director Monica Bulgarelli, a respected teacher, performer and promotor of an event which, today, is considered one of the most prestigious and important on the Italian musical scene. The main stage played host to performances by the Celtic Quintet, guitarists Alberto Caltanella, Andrea Valeri, Dario Fornara and Maneli Jamal. Other highlights included a trade show featuring Italian luthiers, a concert by the 'I Chitarrissimi' music school, seminars given by invited artists and a demo by Fornara in which he presented the ARTHUR mixer, TIM PA system and the Magnetico M-AG6.
Fornara, a former electric guitar player who is now a leading figure on the Italian acoustic scene, says: “The combination of TIM and the ARTHUR mixer - in this case configured for my needs with 2 Yellow Instrument inputs, 1 Microphone input and 1 L / R Output - once again attracted the interest of show participants (in particular technicians and sound engineers) who were able to personally evaluate the great potential, dynamics and transparency obtainable in such a small format. This system, along with the M-AG6 pickup installed on my Chatelier guitar, was also used by me during the evening concert. It delivered a warm sound, which was also powerful and enveloping. At the end of the concert, to my great satisfaction, many of the audience members expressed appreciation for my sound - not least the guitarist colleagues who were present. It is a great gift for those who, like me, are passionately living these aspects of their business.
And, just for the guitarist friends who often ask for more info on using these products and for some more detail on my sound: Mounted on the guitar is a Magnetico M-AG6 with connected S-MIC-M condenser mic. In the “mix” I use about 15% of the S-MIC-M microphone component, basically adjusting the volume of the S-MIC until the ‘percussion’ is detected on the guitar body - always the minimum needed, because I like to push maximum volume without having problems with feedback. I never use the hole cover because it dramatically changes the guitar sound, for the worse. The guitar signal goes through an octaver pedal that only duplicates low frequencies. (It’s here that Schertler gear, and in particular TIM, differs from its competitors which often cannot handle such sounds!) The sound then passes through a delay and a digital reverb to end up directly in the Arthur mixer's Yellow module, with GAIN at 15 o'clock. The 'Warm' filter is always active, while equalizing usually includes HI at 9 o'clock, LOW at 10 o'clock and a cut in the MID to -13dB with Parametric at 13 o'clock. I hope this information is clear and will be helpful in some way.”
SCHERTLER AROUND THE GLOBE
TOM at Roots and Boots
A Schertler TOM PA system was used at the recent Roots and Boots festival in Dedemsvaart, Netherlands. Roots and Boots is an initiative of The Fellowship of Acoustics (TFOA), Promotiestichting Dedemsvaart and Theater de Gashouder.
This year was the festival’s premiere: Held in one of the town’s park areas (the “backyard” of TFOA), the combination of ancient trees, good food and live music proved to be the perfect mix. Around 2000 visitors enjoyed live music from a dozen bands appearing on three different stages. The TOM PA (with an appropriate wood finish) was used on the Bostheater (Forest Theatre) stage.
With the event completely sold out, organisers rated it a resounding success.