Workhorse Cube Using & Applications
The following is a snapshot approach to using The Cube for those who have experience with 500 series racks and modules. For more detailed information, we suggest you download the full manual by clicking on the icon at left.
The Cube is a three slot power supply and connector housing for 500 series modules. This configuration allows the user to set up a 'traditional channel strip' by combining a preamp with an equalizer and a compressor –limiter. And with the plethora of 500 series modules now available on the market, modules can be used for filtering, introducing guitar effects into the signal path or creatively using various modules by combining their functions in series and parallel. Since the platform is primarily analogue, the textures and sounds created can truly be unique. This makes The Cube a wonderful interface for today's digital recording environment.
As with all audio equipment, make sure volume levels are turned down and The Cube turned off before plugging in modules and making connections. This will ensure modules and card edge contacts are not harmed by power on sparks and other sensitive equipment such as tweeters are not damaged due to turn-on transients.
The Cube is equipped with both balanced XLR and ¼" TRS inputs and outputs on each of the three slots. These are used to both feed the input to the modules and output their signal to other equipment in the audio chain. To plug in a module, carefully align the module's 15-pin EDAC card edge connector into the rear receptacle. Once seated, screw the module in using the supplied Phillips screws. This will ensure the module does not accidentally dislodge which of course could cause an extreme power-on transient to run through your audio system.
The EDAC connector pin configuration is compatible with both older API designs and the new specification set out in the Radial Whos-Doc. This enables the latest Radial modules and older 500 series modules to be safely used. Although safety features have been built into The Cube, we cannot recommend hot swapping due to legal liability.
As soon as you connect the power supply to The Cube, current will be fed to the modules along with 48 volt phantom power. There is no on-off switch for phantom as these are normally found on the microphone preamp module. Modules that do not require 48 volt phantom will simply ignore it. To exchange modules, turn off the power, allow 30 seconds for the capacitors to discharge, and then replace the module as described above.
Depending on what type of module you are using, connecting audio to and from the module usually begins by plugging an XLR cable into the module input and then another from the module output. Because the format is designed to be +4dB line level, most modules produce a professional balanced +4dB output.
From the module you can either feed a recorder or another module. A common set up is a channel strip that combines a preamp with an EQ and some dynamic control. Feeding one module into the next can be done using a cable or by simply sliding the FEED switch into the up position where the signal will be fed from one module to the next, going left to right as viewed from the front panel. You can of course use modules individually or even use stereo modules together. A LINK function switch enables modules such as limiters that are designed for stereo use to be linked by simply sliding the switch to the upwards position.
To expand connectivity options, a second set of ¼" TRS connectors have been added to each channel. This enables modules to be cross patched or set up with 'mults' to allow signals to be split and processed in various fashions to create various effects.
All Radial 500 series power racks are equipped with a function called Omniport. This TRS jack is module dependent whereby the function will vary depending on how the manufacturer decided to implement the function. The Radial PowerPre™ preamp employs the Omniport as an instrument input. On the Komit™ compressor, it is used as a key input for side chain. Simply consult the manufacturer's spec sheet to find out how they have implemented the function in their design.
The Cube may be used in four different ways using the supplied top carry handle or by adding optional flange adaptors.
For those who simply want to have The Cube next to their workstation, the top handle may be removed by unscrewing the three hex screws on the top. This streamlines the look of the device while allowing a second Workhorse Cube to be stacked on top.
Moving The Cube around the studio
The groovy looking handle is designed to make it easy to transport The Cube around the studio using one hand. This leaves the second free to carry a microphone. Bringing the mic preamp as close to the source as possible reduces noise and increases dynamics.
Flush-mounting The Cube
Optional flush mount flanges allow The Cube to be mounted into your desk top. This creates a custom-console appearance while still enabling modules to be plugged in and taken out at will. Adjustable flanges may be hidden below the surface or top mounted.
Angle mounting The Cube
To add an ergonomic 'slant' to your modules, The Cube's optional angle mount flanges let you position the Cube into the desktop work surface for optimal viewing. This adds a cool visual factor while making it easier to view module functions.