StageBug™ SB-5 Development

These days, it is almost impossible to find a production that does not have a computer as part of the equipment list. This includes live shows, audio-visual displays, product presentations, trade shows, banquets, exhibits, DJ performances and educational programs.

Although Radial has been providing solutions for this market with full sized interfaces like the JPC and ProAV1 direct boxes, there is a huge segment of the market that requires ultra-portability when traveling with their laptops. To address the need, the Stage Bug SB-5 was designed after identifying the following criteria:

  1. Compact design
    First on the list – the SB-5 had to be compact enough to fit in a computer case or the AV technician's tool box. In other words, it had to be one of those little boxes that you could pull out of your kit and easily deploy when needed.
  2. Easy to interface 3.5mm mini jack The most common audio connector these days is the 3.5mm (1/8") mini TRS jack used to connect ear buds & headphones. This stereo jack is found on computers of all sizes, tablets, iPods, cell phones and there are plenty of adaptors to interface with most connector formats.
  3. Integral cable
    There is nothing more frustrating that not being able to find a cable when you are trying to set up a show. There's already enough stress involved in just making sure everything else is ready. We felt that incorporating the cable as an integral part of the DI would make things easier. It does!
  4. Handy cable wrap
    The nautical term is a cleat. This is used to tie the ropes on sails and flagpoles. Another major hassle is trying to keep the cable sorted when it is tossed inside a bag with other AV equipment or tools. The sidewinder cleat is a simple add-on that makes deployment and storage of the cable easy.
  5. Transformer isolated
    When interfacing computers with a PA, noise has a nasty habit of finding its way into the audio system, particularly when incorporating a projector as part of the show. The best solution is to isolate the computer from the PA system using a transformer. This eliminates the hum and buzz caused by ground loops and stray DC voltage.
  6. Passive design
    Transformer based passive DI boxes are super easy to use as they do not require any batteries, external power supply or 48V phantom power to make them work. You simply plug in and the transformers do the balancing and impedance matching. During hectic shows, easy is always best!
  7. Stereo and mono operation
    Most audio files are produced in stereo. But often, the stereo files cause more problems than folks realize due to the way speakers may be set up for a distributed sound system. Having effects panned 'hard left' - when the right speaker is the only one audible - is a perfect example. The Stage Bug SB-5 gives you the option to use a pair of ¼" TRS outputs for stereo or an XLR output that automatically sums the left & right inputs to mono. This also saves valuable channels on the mixer.
  8. Field serviceable
    With a hard-wired cable, you can be certain that it will eventually have to be replaced. The cable features a reusable strain relief plus an easy access solder points on the inside that make changing the cable a relatively simple affair that most audio techs can perform themselves.
  9. Made Radial rugged
    Although compact, we did not compromise on the construction. The Stage Bug SB-5 is made Radial rugged. Pick it up and you get the same sense of quality that has made Radial DI boxes the most used on professional stages around the globe.
  10. Priced right
    Last but not least, the price had to be right so that adding it to a work kit would be a no-brainer. At $99 – the Stage Bug SB-5 represents tremendous value.

When you combine all of these requirements and pack them into a super compact enclosure, you get a simple product that sounds great, does the job efficiently and is easy to deploy. It's called the StageBug SB-5.