Nico Suarez, Training & Tech Support for Roland Europe, systematically talks us through the rather lovely Roland M5000 live console. Starting with the I/O Box, he moves on to the desk itself and discusses its powerful features. The S-4000S I/O Box used here, but there are multiple, configurable, boxes that all work at 96kHz and connect to any of the Roland desks using the REAC connection on Cat 5 cable. In fact, the whole system runs 96kHz processing.
He discusses the core REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication) technology but slots are nevertheless available for both Dante and MADI cards, and space is available for future use with plug-ins. This open protocol provides a level of future proofing. Configurable architecture is a main feature – 128 audio definable paths are available for you to configure as you please, divided between channels and busses as you like. You can literally re-draw the block diagram of the desk at will – and this can be done on the fly with no dreaded deathly silence! Navigation around the control surface with “scroll” is simple and intuitive, but there are other ways to get around.
The really handy Isolation button allows the fader banks to be separated, so you can have two people working on the same desk, and Anchors (like a channel book mark) are also a superb feature for usability and quick finding of important channels without scrolling through dozens of channels or flipping through layers. A total of 4 faders, 12 knobs and 24 buttons are User Assignable – giving some serious levels of intimate control over important channels and parameters. All in all a rocking console. And it sounds great.