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Christie Q Series 210714 280714

Cloud DCM1 digital mixer reviewed

Author : Chris Gunton, director of CGA Integration

21 October 2010

The DCM-1 is designed to provide flexible routing of line and mic signals in applications where space is limited. The analogue zoner has a digital control interface and can be controlled remotely via multiple LCD digital controllers.

What do you use the product for?
Our core business is in the hotel market and we regularly use the DCM1. It’s highly suited to multi-room restaurants and events rooms.

A lot of the time we don’t need a complex digital processor and in many applications the larger systems we install would be over the top and out of the customer’s budget. The DCM1 is half a dozen steps above the simple switchers and zoners because it lets you do more things. But, importantly it’s not a full-blown audio matrix.

There is still a large volume of our work that does not need complex audio matrixes and processors. Using good products and good system planning removes the need for endless racks of gear and PC based sound processors. The DCM1 offers all the tools and installer controls that are needed to produce simple to operate installations that are flexible and sound clear and clean

But, there is a tendency in some sound companies to use a full-blown digital processor (NetMax, BSS, MediaMatrix, etc) as they have young engineers who like playing with laptops and software. Often this is totally over the top and sometimes the software geek, who knows little about sound and lots about PC’s, leaves the end user with a less than perfect result.

What do you like about it?
I really like the LCD display. It enables us to define the wording rather than having to stick crude labels on it like you would have in the old days. Furthermore, it’s really simple to use, which is great in the kind of installations we’re doing. The wall controller only has four buttons so the customer can’t get too confused.

The build quality is very high and it is reliable. We’ve had DCM1s out there for a couple of years in some of our installations and we’ve never been called back to them. We’ve never had an issue. It is very quick and easy to install. Furthermore all the controls are on Cat5 so it’s extremely cost-effective on the cabling side.

It does what it says on the packet and it does it reliably, 24/7.

What would you change?
It’s hard to say that I’d change anything. However, the only point I would make is I did find it restricting in some of the configurations. Having said that, it just means you have to plan the job properly at the start to ensure you get the wiring right for the configurations it can run.

But, in terms of extra features or functionality, I can’t think of anything more I’d want it to do. It does what I want for the applications where I use it.

In use?
We’ve used it for the function room, La Belle Epoque, at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which is Raymond Blanc’s hotel in Oxford, UK. The function room is often sub-divided and houses a range of events from private dinning to audiences with Raymond Blanc and other celebrities, right through to wedding receptions and corporate presentations. The DCM1 handles all eventualities and the staff who use it love it – at the end of the day it works.


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