On June 6, Yamaha invited a number of European magazines to London’s Japan House in Kensington, for the official launch of the new DM7 series of professional digital mixers. An event LightSoundJournal couldn’t miss…
This initiative of Yamaha was also useful to communicate to the market, its partners and its customers the current situation from the point of view of supplies and deliveries. A picture that – as Carl Christmas, European Marketing Manager will reiterate in the interview at the end of the article – is clearly improving and will soon see a significant shortening of delivery times.
But let’s go in order and start with the star attraction of the event, the new DM7 series, which inherits the best elements of the previous mixers and combines them with new innovative features in a compact, powerful, ergonomic, flexible and above all expandable system.
A product capable of delivering high-level results with an improved workflow and ideal for different applications ranging from live music and streaming to corporate events, theatre, broadcast and hybrid mixing, where one console is used to independently mix more than one feed.
The family currently comprises two consoles and an optional control unit, with additional software packages. The expandable all-in-one digital mixers feature a wide range of inputs and outputs: the DM7 has 32 inputs, 16 outputs and can process 120 input channels in a 793 mm x 564 mm footprint, while the DM7 Compact has 16 inputs, 16 outputs and can process 72 input channels in a 468 mm x 564 mm footprint.
Both have a Dante network of up to 144 in/out at 96kHz, plus 48 mixes, 12 matrixes and two stereo buses. They can be used with optional Yamaha R Series I/O racks and a variety of Dante devices for extremely scalable and flexible audio systems.
Another new feature is the DM7 Control, useful for creating the DM7-EX (or DM7-EX Compact) system, with more physical controls and supplied with the Broadcast and Theatre software packages.
The starting point for audio must be transparent, colourless sound. Yamaha mixers are built to capture audio with absolute precision, allowing users to add their own creative expression. To achieve this, the DM7 series has a number of key features, such as a channel strip equipped with the same four EQ algorithms as the flagship RIVAGE PM series, as well as a completely new FET limiter and Diode Bridge Comp.
It is possible to change the order of the EQ and the two dynamics as well as take advantage of the Dan Dugan auto-mixer included in the standard channel strip, which allows up to 64 channels to be automatically mixed without occupying EQ Rack resources. A series of VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modelling) plug-ins are also included, such as the Portico 5033 equaliser and Portico 5043 compressor/limiter, both created in collaboration with Rupert Neve Designs, as well as the DaNSe dynamic noise suppressor and dynamic equaliser.
Completing the features is the new FX Rack with access to a range of high-quality effects.
The DM7 series features a new, simpler and more efficient user interface with a practical and intuitive workflow, while retaining the familiar Yamaha console feel.
Two large 12.1-inch screens (only one on the DM7 Compact) combine intuitive operation with multi-touch, physical screen encoders and Yamaha’s usual ‘touch and turn’. The new selected channel page offers much more information on the individual channel, allowing quick access to the parameters the sound engineer wants to use, while the CentraLogic page ensures analogue mixer-like operation. In addition, a histogram display has been added to the input meters to help manage pre-amp levels.
A new feature of the DM7 series is the new seven-inch (18 cm) utility screen, which puts essential information and functions, such as the scene list, user defined keys and meters, at your fingertips at all times.
An important new feature of the DM7 series is Split mode, which allows input channels, scenes and bus mixes to be split, enabling a DM7 or DM7 Compact to function as two separate mixers to be used four-handed: using a single console, users can mix Front of House and monitor, FoH and broadcast or streaming, etc. without compromise. This is a trend also adopted by Yamaha, related to cost and space reduction that we personally appreciate very much…
The built-in Dante network supports up to 144 input and output channels, and can be connected to a wide range of third-party devices, for flexible and highly scalable audio systems. Remote control of preamplifiers and third-party devices are supported, simplifying the use of Dante devices from the console, while the USB-C port on the rear panel offers 18-input/output audio interface capabilities for recording, distribution, playback and connection to conference systems, as well as control via MIDI and DAW devices.
An important note is reliability, which is greatly enhanced by a second redundancy power supply, and the new Assist function that suggests preamp settings, names and fader balancing, helping sound engineers to reduce set-up time. A wide range of software and applications, including DM7 Editor, DM7 StageMix, MonitorMix, Console File Converter, ProVisionaire Control and ProVisionaire Touch, enable offline set-up, wireless monitor mixing and remote control of various peripherals. The DM7 series includes an Open Sound Control (OSC) server function, allowing consoles to be controlled from OSC-compatible devices, while the DM7 Compact can be mounted in a standard 19″ rack for added convenience.
The DM7 series can be expanded with the DM7 Control. It creates the DM7-EX (or DM7-EX Compact) system with two additional faders, various user-defined controls, a jog wheel for DAW control and dedicated scene, panner and monitor controls. It offers a functional operating environment for productions such as musicals, which require full triggering and scene changes, and for applications where convenient control of monitors and DAW is important.
The DM7 control unit comes with the dedicated Broadcast Package and Theatre Package software. The former offers features to enhance the convenience of broadcast mixing, including 5.1 Surround support, Mix Minus, Audio Follow Video and Loudness Meter. The Theatre Package includes the actor library, DCA scene grids and AFC image control, as well as other functions for theatre applications. These packages can be purchased separately for DM7 series users who do not require the DM7 Control unit.
A PY card slot on the rear panel of the DM7 and DM7 Compact offers greater connectivity with a variety of audio formats and external control devices. Three PY cards are available: PY64-MD (64 MADI inputs/outputs), PY8-AE (8 AES/EBU inputs/8 outputs with 25-pin D-sub connector) and PY-MIDI-GPI (five-pin DIN and 15-pin D-sub connectors for extended MID/GPI control terminals).
The DM7 and DM7 Compact are also bundled with VST Rack Elements, a host plug-in software that allows engineers to create their own effects racks, and with Steinberg’s Nuendo Live DAW software, optimised for live recording.
We close the report with comments from Carl Christmas, marketing manager Europe.
LightSoundJournal.com: welcome back Karl, what moment is Yamaha experiencing and how is it coping with these last two years of market explosion?
Karl Christmas: the market is certainly growing strongly and Yamaha, like many other companies, is also experiencing the ‘usual’ problems with material procurement and deliveries, but we are in a position to tell our partners and investors that things are getting better and better and soon there will be no more delays in deliveries.
LightSoundJournal.com: can we call the DM7 a ‘multifunctional mixer’? Is that a definition you might like?
Karl Christmas: yes, why not! In fact, creating a mixer that could be adapted to the most diverse situations was the primary intention of the R&D department. Over the years at Covid, we realised how much technicians have been looking for increasingly versatile products in recent years, suitable for the most diverse situations, from concerts to theatres to conventions and broadcasts, and the DM7 was born to be a feature-rich, complete and configurable mixer perfect for those rental companies working in ‘hybrid events’.
The initiative is undoubtedly a praiseworthy one: it is good to see companies that, after the horrendous period that we all know about and which is now fortunately a thing of the past, are doing their utmost (and financially) to organise events of this stature and interest.
What we attended was a very nice event, well organised and in a prestigious location. Well, we are talking about Yamaha…
As for the new products, we have already given a rather exhaustive description, but the basic idea we had is that anyone who has seen a Yamaha digital mixer at least once in his life can find himself in a ‘blink’ with the new DM7s as well.
Incidentally, this ‘family feeling’ has characterised the evolution of the company’s mixers since time immemorial.
The features are many and useful, while the desire to build a truly flexible machine suitable for a thousand uses is very interesting, very much in line with the needs of the modern production companies, which must discretely move between concerts, theatre, dance recitals, musicals and broadcasts. Another small note on the materials, regarding faders, encoders, screens, appeared to us truly high level.
A positive surprise also when reading the official price lists, which are really competitive…
Now all that remains is to wait for a field test, which we have already put on our ‘to do list’.