Hey guys it’s Brian here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about some new stuff coming out from our good friends over at Line 6. For years Line 6 has developed cutting edge digital amplifiers, effects, recording equipment, and guitars, and now they are moving into the realm of sound systems, and professional quality mixers. These new additions to the Line 6 family are designed like all other Line 6 products, meaning they are designed to replace everything else on the market. Once you buy them, Line 6’s design philosophy seems to be, that you will never want to replace any of them. They are designed to be revolutionary, and amazingly simple and straightforward. Lets start with their new mixer, the StageScape M20d.
Marketed as a Smart Mixer, the M20d doesn’t disappoint. The first, and most noticeable thing about the mixer, is its lack of traditional mixer controls, no faders, no huge EQ array, just a touch screen, twelve little knobs, one big knob, and seven buttons. The secret is the power that the touch screen allots, from its simple drop-down menus, you can configure whole mixes by simply dragging and dropping icons of what’s on stage. You just plug in the mic, and the M20d knows what’s plugged in and adjusts accordingly. Plug in a guitar, you simply assign it a guitar icon, which comes complete with a corresponding EQ and your guitar tone is set. EQ-ing is even easier, is the guitar too bright? You simply go to the “tweak” button, and using the touch screen as an X Y controller, you move the on screen slider away from the “bright” corner of the pad, to the “dark” or “punchy” corner of the pad, in effect moving several EQ parameters at one time.
This high level of simplicity is part of Line 6’s new idea about who really uses mixers, as these mixers are designed more towards working bands, who have to run their own sound mixes, as opposed to having a full time sound engineer. However, the simplicity and amazing flexibility is also useful to sound engineers who have to run multiple acts in the same night, or who have to try and juggle mixing and live recording duties. No more having to have a band set up and then worry about if your going to have enough to properly mix and EQ everything, because the M20d has a neat feature where you can record 20 seconds of audio, loop it, and adjust the mix from there. Meaning you can adjust in real time, individually for each different instrument, monitor, and mic. Imagine, just play some of the chorus to a song and within a minute or two, all of the monitor mixes are set, all of the channels are EQ’d, and the sound engineer just saves the mix for next time you play that venue. Recording wise, you can just hook a portable hard drive, or even plug in your laptop and you can record all of the tracks in individual WAV files pre-effect, meaning you have great sounding, crystal clear audio ready to mix at the end of the night.
My favorite part about the M20d is that, like the Mackie from last week, the M20d is compatible with the iPad, and just like the Mackie, you can now walk into the crowd, up on stage, or walking through the room, mixing on the fly. A perfectly tuned mix, with the ease and sensibility even a novice could understand. This isn’t to say though that the M20d is designed with only the novice in mind, as pro engineers can dig in too, and control EQs in a multitude of ways, through the X Y axis control, to 32 band Graphic EQ, or even using the twelve knobs as you would to EQ on a traditional mixer. For the extreme simplicity, and at the same time, rich and in-depth control over your sound, the Line 6 M20d easily gets 10 out of 10.
Next up in this round up of new Line 6 products is the companion speaker system for the StageScape mixer, are the incredibly powerful, and amazingly versatile StageSource speakers. The speakers include the L3T main speaker, and L3M monitor speaker, which are both designed around being the most versatile speakers on the market, for use as everything from an acoustic guitar standalone amplifier, to a monitor, to a front of house reference speaker, to a full backline of speakers.
One of the amazing new features is has what’s called the “speaker mode” setting, which digitally re-voices the speakers to better suit what its being required to do. This includes everything from becoming a keyboard amp, a flat reference PA, MP3 playback, to even just being a good old floor monitor. Actually, thanks to its built in accelerometer, it will actually know that if it’s set on its side, it needs to act like a floor monitor, and will immediately retune itself to act as a floor monitor. As well it has L6 connection, meaning when linked to the M20d mixer, it will know where in the room it is in relation to the M20d, and retune itself to suit better, even leveling out the volume of the room, and helping to cancel out feedback in high volume situations automatically. You can even run it in conjunction with any of the POD family of effect modelers and have it sound like everything from a 1400 watt 4×12, to a big, booming acoustic guitar.
The other speaker in this new line is the L3S which is the subwoofer of the family, which like the others has the ability to digitally re-voice itself to suit its intended situation. Meaning the L3S is capable of going from reference speaker, to a bright punchy PA, to its D.J settings which feature ultra, and extended bass. Using the L6 link, you are also able to chain the L3T or L3M to the L3S and they will automatically adjust themselves accordingly. This is where the StageSource really shows itself off. Yes, they are great P.A cabinets, and are very flexible and versatile in their own right, but they are also very easily expandable and stackable. Using standard microphone cables, it is possible to chain cabinet after cabinet together and form an intelligent sound system with ever increasing thresholds of power.
So you can wire up a few dozen L3T’s to some L3S’s and put some L3M’s on the floor, and hook it all to a M20d and within a few moments you have an amazing sounding system, no having to adjust acoustics or going speaker to speaker to adjust the sound of the room. You just plug them in, and within a few minutes, you can have great sound at your finger tips. For the easy expandability and extreme versatility every speaker in the StageSource line, easily gets a 10 out of 10.
So what can we take away from this? Well that’s simple; both of these new lines of products are great additions to the already amazing Line 6 family of products. With its ability to quickly interface with all current Line 6 products, and its ability to take mixing in a new and far simpler direction, the M20d out classes and out does anything on the market today, and the StageSource speakers are some of the most intuitive systems available anywhere. So why don’t you head on over to World Music Supply and stop just sounding okay, and start sounding great with these new Line 6 products today.