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ZSystems OptiPatch+


Programmable Lightpipe Router

Product Code 6384

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Z-Systems Audio Engineering has announced the OptiPatch Matrix Audio Router that handles multiple sets of ADAT Lightpipe-format digital inputs and outputs. Although Lightpipe connections are an easy way to transfer eight channels of digital audio at a time between mixers, recorders and signals processors, patching can sometimes be a problem. OptiPatch represents a solution to Lightpipe-format patching, eliminating wear and tear on optical I/Os caused by repeated plugging and unplugging of connectors. Users can simply connect inputs to digital audio sources, and outputs to digital audio destinations, press one front-panel button and the patch is made. Up to 99 I/O routing patterns can be stored and recalled by the unit.

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"ADAT Lightpipe format is a convenient way to move digital audio signals in eight-channel chunks - hence its proliferation throughout every segment of the recording market," says Z-Systems president Glenn Zelniker. "Virtually every class of product is now outfitted with Lightpipe I/O: consoles, processors, workstations, instruments, recorders, and so on. But users are now faced with the same types of problems that necessitate the use of patch bays and distribution amplifiers for analog signals: sources often need to be fed to multiple destinations; many destination machines have fewer inputs than sources feeding them; and, most significantly, you need to be able to reconfigure 'Who speaks to Who' dynamically and quickly. Which is why we designed OptiPatch."

Reconfiguring digital signal flow on the fly ... Rather than constantly unplugging and re-plugging Lightpipe connections between a digital mixer, several multitrack recorders, a workstation and some outboard converters - to reconfigure the signal flow on the fly - all these devices can be connected permanently to OptiPatch and the signal flow changed at the touch of a button. The unit's rear panel features a total of eight Lightpipe inputs and eight Lightpipe outputs, for a total I/O capacity of 64 digital audio sources and 64 destination channels.

OptiPatch is Z-Systems' first foray into developing and innovating mid-priced tools for the project studio. "Advances in materials and manufacturing have allowed us to build a digital audio router that lives up to our highest professional standards," Zelniker concludes, "without compromise in features, construction, or performance, at an affordable price."

The OptiPatch+ is the same as the OptiPatch, but with 15 inputs and 15 outputs. When fully connected, the OptiPatch can serve as the central switching hub for a total of 120 input channels and 120 output channels.

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