Test Drive: Symetrix 628 Digital Voice Processor

Though playing with the EQ requires regular clicks of the knobs to see what current settings are, the overlapping bands, wide range of bandwidths, and great sound make up for the small inconvenience.  Overall, the 628 is extremely easy to use and can be used right out of the box without a glance at the manual, which by the way, is very well written and goes the extra mile to explain, in terms users can understand, the basics of audio processing.  A half-hour with this manual, and you’ll be ready to take on any dynamics processor with more confidence.

The 628 handles all the basic mic processing needs very well, but, as mentioned earlier, perhaps its handiest feature is the ability to store settings to 119 user presets.  In the radio production environment, this is a wonderful tool.  Each talent on your staff (or talent pool) can have his/her own preset which eliminates both the time setting up the processing each time the talent arrives, and any inconsistencies that would likely creep in from session to session.  The RC-1 Remote Control speeds things up even more by putting the eleven most used presets just one button press away.  And for the producer/voice talent who has several EQ settings for different effects on his/her own voice, the 628’s preset feature is a great time saver. 

Obviously, the 628 with its RC-1 remote are ideal for the on-air studio.  Eleven presets available on a small desktop remote control are enough to handle most on-air staffs, and the main unit can be safely stashed in a rack nicely hidden in the studio furniture somewhere.  If more security is desired, a simple but clandestine front panel button/knob combination disables the front panel controls.  For either studio, you can’t go wrong with the 628, and once you discover the value of a box like this, you’ll wonder how you managed without one. 

List price on the 628 is $1,199, and the RC-1 Remote Control lists for $199.  Reported specs on the 628 include a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and THD+Noise at .05%.  The A/D and D/A converters are 20-bit Delta-Sigma.  By the way, the 628 can also function as an analog to digital converter should you merely want to take a mic through a great pre-amp and output a digital signal to a digital console or the digital input of a recorder.

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