The SMC Surround Monitor Controller from SPL is a one-point analog, stereo and 5.1 volume control, and a switching matrix source and speaker management controller. It is designed to handle sound sourcing for surround sound and stereo production, DVD-V, DVD-A, SACD and DTS publishing as well as film and video and A/V and multimedia post-production. The SMC is engineered to enhance sound monitoring in facilities featuring software and hardware from ProTools, Nuendo, Cubase, Logic, and Deck, and other DAW platforms.
One of the SMC's biggest advantages is the ability to manage several input sources, such as for comparing and monitoring SACD or DVD material.
Many converters and sound cards provide nothing in the way of analog level monitoring control, and this means the necessity of varying signal levels at the converter outputs. The result is a lowered bit rate in the monitoring signal, which can lead to commensurate loss of audio quality.
Electronic controls (for example in AV receivers) employ VCA and DAC components which tend to produce more distortions, or the signal runs through further AD / DA converters for the volume control. This occurs especially with high resolution audio (24 / 96 kHz, SACD, DVD-A), and an analog, direct control signal path of the source output can help to ensure a more faithful playback of the original information.
Designed to provide only the more necessary functions with a focus on improved audio quality, the SMC offers a speaker and source management solution designed to sound good and be user friendly.
The advantages of the SMC become apparent in combination with modern audio and video production tools such as ProTools, Nuendo, Cubase, Logic, Deck etc. Monitor levels and source management can be handled independently of the software and with loss in quality minimized. You no longer need to set up additional aux sends or an alternative surround master for monitoring. In addition, you won't have to worry about over- or underdriving the converters due to monitor levels.
One of the SMC's biggest advantages is the possibility to manage several input sources: comparing and monitoring SACD or DVD material is much easier than having to import all of your audio files and set up monitor mixes - not to mention the conversion of multichannel audio.
Standard A/V receivers are often used for this task. The problem with this is that the audio has to be either AD / DA converted or manipulated by signal-degenerating control circuitry (VCA's, DAC's etc.) for volume control, so you never hear the unadulterated audio - especially frustrating when you're working on higher-quality SACD or DVD-A projects. This will never happen with the SMC's analog signal path.
The SMC's steel-blue desktop enclosure with its slanted front panel is engineered to harmonize with the desktop production environment and can be placed exactly where control is needed due to its design and shape.
In addition to a surround speaker set, a stereo pair can be connected to and managed by the SMC. A Sub-D input connector provides six surround and two stereo input channels. Eight additional RCA connectors allow easy connection of SACD, DVD, CD or DAT players. A slave output allows the stereo or surround input signal to be routed directly to a recording device. Volume control is handled by a discrete six-layer potentiometer and all switching functions by extremely durable precision pushbuttons.
The SMC Surround Monitor Controller has a large graded volume potentiometer on its face panel and has switching for Stereo Monitors, and seprate 5.1 Surround Monitors, for L, C, R, LS, RS and LFE. It also supplies switching for A/B/C/D Surround Sound, and L/R, LS/RS Mono switches. It has a -20 dB mute and Mute All switches. The SRC is also known as the Model 2489 and is made in Germany.