Falcon X6 & Falcon X7The sound of the future

New generation of AxelTech Audio Processors

The new generation of AxelTech audio processors continues in the tradition of quality, reliability and cost effectiveness, maintaining the name Falcon, renowned and valued in the broadcasting all around the world.The new Falcon platform marks a clear break with the previous generation and offers cutting-edge technology that feats the ease of use, exceptional performances and unparalleled sound quality, allowing to generate a modern sound of the highest quality.Falcon is an Audio Processor at the top of its category thanks to many features and functions often not available on much higher priced devices.The new Falcon is an all-in-one equipment (Audio Processor. MPX Generator, RDS Encoder, Loudness Control, Change Over) for FM applications (15 KHz Processing) and DAB, HD Radio, Sirius XM, Web (20 KHz Processing).Last but not least, Falcon sounds great, allowing you to give personality to your station by choosing, from the many presets, the one that best suits the style of your radio.

Product Overview

All-in-one 5 Bands Audio Processor with MPX Generator, RDS Encoder, Loudness Control and Change Over/Silence Detector. Parallel Dual Processing allows FALCON to feed at the same time FM (15 KHz) and digital broadcasting (20 KHz) such as DAB, HD Radio, Sirius XM and Web Radio. Fully customizable top class Audio processing tools with 5 bands compression control, adjustable Drive and Threshold, Dual AGC, 3 Bands Bqualization (Low, Mid and High frequency), Stereo Enhancer, Voice Detector and Brightness Control.The mono sounds phase control allows to give to the human voice a more natural and pleasant sound shape. The final limiter enhances the sound presence.40 memories allow to recall factory pre-sets or save new one to be restored according to customer needs. The MPX Encoder and the Optional Dynamic RDS encoder both integrated in the DSP structure, provides an almost ideal MPX signal, easy to integrate with the customer infrastructure thanks to the digital AES-192 and the two totally independent analogue outputs. Loudness control: EBU R 128 and ITU-R BS.1770-4 Recommendations for digital and analog audio outputs & ITU BS.412 MPX Power Recommendations available for MPX. Fully configurable Audio Changeover/Silence Detector able to switch over four out of the Analog, Digital, MPX, IP, AoIP, Dante and Build In Player inputs. Full range of inputs thanks to analog and digital audio (over XLR connectors), two IP streams and Optional Dante. The hardware bypass circuit is included in order to guarantee audio presence and programs continuity.Full range of outputs thanks to analog and digital audio (over XLR connectors), Optional Dante, one IP stream, two independent MPX and USB,Integration with the existing infrastructure via Ethernet port, two RS-232 serial ports, two USB ports and six GPIO ports with optical coupler and relays. The LAN port and the built-in Web Server allow to control & configure the processor from any device and tune audio from anywhere also using the IP streams I/O.A dedicated digital test signal generator can send to all the physical outputs (analogue, digital and MPX) signal sample with variable frequency and amplitude, that helps to calibrate the whole audio system.The FALCON processors logs all of the relevant data, making them available via Web and stored on the microSD card.microSD card can be used to backup and restore the processor settings. The FALCON processors are equipped with a universal 90-260 V AC power supply, working at 50 or 60 Hz, ready to be used in every country around the world. Due to the low power consumption (max 15 W) FALCON can be considered a “green” equipment.The FALCON robust 1 Rack Unit design finds substance from the extensive use of steel and aluminium. FALCON appliances are immune to strong electro-magnetic fields and are suitable to be installed in extreme environments.

The Falcon X Series

Different users have different needs. This is the reason why AxelTech feature a whole processors family with various models suitable for specific workflows. FALCON X7 is the full option version while FALCON X6 is the same model but without the controls on the front panel, suitable to be remotely installed anytime we need to manage remotely the appliance via WEB interface.

Features

The new FALCON audio processors integrate, as usual for AxelTech, many accessory features mandatory in the radio workflow - such as the RDS coding and Stereo Generation - but also looking at the innovative technologies - such as DAB and audio over IP.FALCON series equipment ensures top quality performances and exclusive audio. It features powerful DPSs, 5-bands architecture, dual bands AGCs, 3-bands equalizer, stereo enhancer, speech detector and 5 limiters. The comprehensive and accurate control of each audio parameter allows to shape perfectly the audio to broadcast unique and exceptional branded sound.

COMPLETE SET OF INPUTSExtended Changeover/Silence Detector with configurable source priorities out of 11 sources:1xAnalog, 2xAES/EBU, 2xIP, 2xMPX, 1xAES192, 1xDante (Optional), 1xMPX over Dante (Optional), 1xInternal Player COMPLETE SET OF OUTPUTS1xAnalog, 2xAES/EBU, 2xIP, 2xMPX, 1xAES192, 1xDante (Optional), 1xMPX over Dante (Optional) BUILT-IN AUDIO PLAYERSuitable like a backup source or for test purpose.A Test Signal Generator is also available. ADVANCED SNMP(Simple Network Management Protocol)Allows data interchange and simplified configuration of third-party appliancesconnected in the same LAN using shared datasets MIB. MPX CHANGEOVERManages the routing of MPX signals for Advertisement Area Splitting.

ADVANCED RDS (Optional)Dynamic RDS fully supported, UECP Input implemented, 8 Datasets available.Suitable for network infrastructures. UPGRADEABLE AND RELIABLEInternal microSD card with OS for Disaster Recovery.Easily Upgradable via WEB or Windows application. BUILT-IN AUDIO ENCODER AND STREAMERCan manage an audio stream like an input, can generate an output audio stream. SAMPLING RATE FROM 32 kHz TO 192 kHz WEB BASED CONTROL PANELThe whole system can be managed through a WEB page generated by the internal web Server.The main functions can be managed through the physical panel.

Advanced features

PROCESSING DELAYA configurable delay (from 0 to 10”) can be applied to the FM process in order to synch with those distribution channels having a significant latency like the DAB. DUAL PROCESSING15 KHz processing allows to use it as FM Audio Processor.20 KHz processing for digital broadcasting, allows to use it as DAB Audio Processor, HD Radio Audio Processor, Sirius XM Audio Processor, Web Radio Audio Processor. LOUDNESS PROCESSINGEBU R 128 and ITU-R BS.1770-4 Loudness Recommendations available for digital and analog radio processing chains compliant with every country loudness rules. MPX LOUDNESS PROCESSINGITU BS.412 MPX Power Loudness Recommendations available for MPX processing chains compliant with every country loudness rules. DANTE AUDIO-OVER-IP CONNECTIVITY (Optional)DanteTM option (compliant with AES67) provides an Ethernet connection for 1 Stereo Input and 1 Stereo Output, with independent and dedicated Level Control and Sample Rate Conversion. MPX over AES 192 (AES3)This is the standard for exchange the digital MPX+RDS signals between professional audio devices.192 kHz standard is supported by several transmitter manufacturers.

RDS/RBDS ENCODERThe RDS encoder is compliant with the major international standards:UECP EBU SPB490 v7.05 and Cenelec in Europe and NRSC in the United States.The new "dynamic" features allow to manage many kinds of services:PS, RT, RT+, PTY, PTYN. Connecting the Falcon with the radio automation software it can manage many additional information such as song title, song artist, on-air program, speaker's name, etc. The native interface with RSS feed format allows receiving directly news feeds and it is RDS 2.0 ready. ADVANCED CHANGEOVERThe Advanced Audio Changeover/Silence Detector is able to switch between any available input source:Analog, Digital, MPX, FM, IP, DanteTM, Internal Audio Player. REAL TIME AUDIO MONITORProcessing delay is quite non audible and depends on the processing complexity.

Audio Processing

Clarity of sound

FALCON processors high-quality hardware design and software algorithms produce a detailed, crystal clear sound on any speaker system, always preserving original audio signature.

Voice processor

A dedicated processing section boosts presence of voice delivering a soft, silky sounding effect. Vocals are always on top of the mix making lyrics comfortably audible. Each instrument and vocalist gains dominium of its own space.

Extreme density

FALCON processors deliver full impact sound at the highest volume density preserving original audio detail, identity and mood. The dedicated ‘Bass Enhancer’ stage delivers a strong and effective ‘drum punch’ for a deep musical emotion.

Here are the (processing) tools to make it sound as you likeAutomatic Gain Control - AGC
  • Drive
  • Attack
  • Release
  • Gate Threshold
  • Idle Compression
  • Work Zone Release
  • Idle SpeedWork Zone Thresholdù
  • L/R Linkae
  • Band Copling
  • Phase Rotator
  • HP Filter
 Enhancer
Stereo Enhancer
  • Mode, Band, Effect Limiter, Effect Drive, Effect Depth
Pre-Process Equalizer
  • Low Band, Mid Band, High Band
Speech Detector
  • Mode
  • Action
 Compressors Controls
  • Threshold (for each of 5 bands)
  • Drive (for each of 5 bands)
  • Multiband Proc. Type
  • Multiband Coupling
 Limiters
  • Final Limiter Bass Drive
  • Final Limiter Main Drive
  • Main/Bass Mix Balance
  • Limiters Look Ahead Detail
  • Super Bass
  • Expander
  • Process Brilliance
  • Overdrive
  • Wide Process Brilliance Attenuation

Audio Processing PresetsThe right sound for your radio in a few clicks, with our factory presetsFalcon processors are factory populated with 60 presets belonging to 10 families, allowing sound engineer to rapidly find the desired sound. Each preset family has 6 different flavors:
  • Standard
  • EFX - Effect Extension
  • Compressed
  • Compressed EFX - Effect Extension
  • Highly Compressed
  • Highly Compressed EFX - Effect Extension
 Presets families: General PurposeThis is a preset able to offer the maximum to a radio with a schedule made of music, news and talk.Moderate AGC response, Mid/High density and compression. AmbientThe best preset for Ambient, Lounge, Chillout and Fusion music.Very slow AGC, warm & detailed sound and a low compression. RockBase preset for Rock and Classic Rock music. Mid compression and fast AGC. Hard RockBase preset for Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music. Low compression and fast AGC. CountryBase preset for Country and Folk music. Low compression and fast AGC. DiscoLet’s dance, with this preset for Disco music. Low compression and fast AGC. OldiesBase preset for Oldies music, with Low compression and fast AGC. TalkTypical preset for Talk radio and Talk programs, with low compression and fast AGC. ClassicA very gentle preset suitable for Classical music and Opera, with low compression and fast AGC. 70s-80sDesigned for thematic radios focused on 70s-80s Pop music with, low compression and fast AGC And then you can extend these presets by adding new families and variants

Signal Routing and Changeover

The new FALCON processor includes a technologically advanced Audio Changeover/Silence Detector able to switch between any available source: Analog, Digital, MPX, FM, IP, AoIP…In case of missing audio from any external sources, the processor can play the playlist stored in the microSD.It's possible to add up to 10 seconds delay to MPX output to synchronize DAB signal (connected to analogue or digital output) to FM signal connected to MPX output. An embedded Test Signals Generator allows to output an audio signal suitable for testing the equipment or the whole audio system.

I/O Connections

FALCON Audio Processor new series features a complete set of input and outputs connections. Analog and AES/EBU digital audio connections are standard aside of two buffered and independent multiplexed output (MPX+RDS) with hardware bypass:Analog Input > Analog Output | Digital1 Input > Digital1 Output | MPX1 Input > MPX1 Output | MPX2 Input > MPX2 OutputThree USB ports (one on the front, one on the rear panel and one installed on the internal circuit board), allow to update the firmware, record system logs and play audio tracks. microSD allows to clone the whole setup from one Falcon to another one.Two AUX inputs (SCA) allows to connect an external RDS encoder. Another AUX input can receive the audio from another MPX processor and switch with the internal generated MPX, allowing to build a small network managed from radio automation system. Dante connection, available as an option, allows to manage AoIP Dante or AES67 signals: 4 inputs and 4 outputs.

Front Panel

FALCON X7 features a wide LCD monitor, TFT Technology (480x128) that shows the input and output processing, including the corrections for each band featured from the compressor, the limiters and the multiband AGC.Obviously it shows also the input and output of all signal levels.Moreover trough the display it’s possible to check the system status: operating parameters, GPI/O port status and RDS parameters, including the station's ID.A TRS (stereo Jack 6,3 mm) connector allows monitoring both original and processed signal, checking in the faster way the differences between the available pre-sets.

Communications & Alarms

FALCON audio processors can exchange information with other equipment through some communication ports:One LAN/WAN port, two RS-232 serial ports, two USB ports, one GPIO port with optical coupler and relays.Information will be sent (status, alarms) or received (commands).A panel with 40 LEDs (the LCD panel in the bigger model) shows status information.Alarm messages can be sent via GPO, SNMP (Trap), http and email.

Web Server

Users can manage FALCON equipment via LAN, no need to install any client software.The internal Web Server can be managed with any browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Opera…). The GUI on the web page is clear, easy to use and responsive, suitable to be managed from any device: Personal Computers, tablets, smartphones.SNMP (v 2.0) programming protocol allows to manage the whole command set. FALCON firmware implements also HTTP, FTP, SNMP, SMTP, UDP, TCP and is PV4 – IPV6 addressing compliant. RDS services need a precise synchronization: the system tries to connect to a primary NTP, backup NTP and to an external GPS receiver (not supplied).Moreover connecting an external GPS allows to geo-localize the FALCON. The WEB server supplies a page with a map that shows the appliance position. Standard Ethernet interface can manage up to 4 independent TCP ports, up to 4 separate UDP ports and 1 SNMP port. Obviously, it shows also the input and output of all signal levels.

MPX Stereo Generator

The stereo generator integrated in the DSP structure, provides an almost ideal MPX signal, optimizing the performances of the equipment to the maximum.All of the parameters for pilot level, phase and levels are adjustable via the web page.Stereo Generator circuit can switch the source between the internal MPX and an external signal. Switch can be managed locally or with a command sent by an external radio automation software via Ethernet or GPI.

RDS Radio Data System Encoder

FALCON RDS embedded circuit is compliant with the latest standards:UECP EBU SPB490 v7.05, Cenelec (Europe) and NRSC (USA).The new "dynamic" feature allows to manage many kinds of services:PS, RT, RT+, PTY, PTYN.Connecting the RDS with the radio automation software it can show many kinds of information: song title, song artist, on-air program, speaker's name, etc.The native interface with RSS feed format (RSS 2.0) allows receiving directly news feed The internal RDS embedding give more advantages:> Allows to remove a separate appliance from the transmission chain> Concentrate the control of all the broadcasting parameters just in one equipment> Raise the output signal signal/noise ratio and stability> Remove all the locking problems between the pilot phase and the RDS carrier phase

Signal Routing GUI

Inputs Sources Settings

Audio Output

Mpx Output

Monitor Out

Technical Specifications

Analog Input - AUDIO 
Number of Inputs1 Stereo
Connectors:2 XLR, female - Electronically balanced – EMI Suppression
A/D Conversion:24bit Sigma-Delta Conversion (Crystal CS4272)
AD Clipping Point+24.0 dBu
Operative Nominal LevelFrom –12.0dBu to +13.0dBu (0.1dBu Step) Software adjustable
Line Impedance10 kΩ (Electronically balanced selectable)
DistortionLess than 0.01% TDH+NOISE (0.0 dBu 1Khz)
AD Dynamic Range108 dB RMS (110 dB A weighted)
Input ModesStereo, Mono (Left), Mono (Right), Mono (Left+Right)
CMRR input>60 dB (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
FM Frequency range5 Hz-15 kHz (+/- 0,5dB when processing is disabled)
DAB Frequency range5 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0,5dB when processing is disabled)
Digital Input – AUDIO 
Inputs Number2 (1st for audio, 2nd for audio or Digital MPX)
ConnectorsXLR, female – Electronically balanced– EMI Suppression
FormatAES3/EBU
Input impedance110 Ω
Sample rate32 kHz / 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz /96 kHz / 192 kHz with src and jitter attenuation
Operative Nominal levelFrom 0.0 dBFs to -25.0 dBFs (0.1 dBu step) Software adjustable
Dynamic Range125 dB (Typical), 122 dB (Minimal)
Distortion Less than 0.01% TDH+NOISE (0.0 dBu 1Khz)
Input ModesStereo, Mono (Left), Mono (Right), Mono (Left+Right)
Conversion dynamic range124 dB (32 KHz) | 126 dB (44,1 kHz) | 126 dB (48 kHz) 122 dB (96 kHz)
Conversion resolution24 bits
FM Frequency range2 Hz-15 kHz (+/- 0,025dB when processing is disabled)
DAB Frequency range2 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0,025dB when processing is disabled)
MPX INPUT 
ConnectorsUnbalanced on 2 BNC – EMI Suppression
Input impedance50 KΩ
Adjustable Nominal Input Level (Sensitivity)-6 dB to +13,0 dB (0.1 dBu step) Software adjustable
Max Input Level+18,0 dBu
A/D ConversionTexas PCM4220
Digital Input MPX 
ConnectorsBalanced on 1 XLR – EMI Suppression
Input impedance110 Ω
FormatAES192
Sample rate192 kHz
Nominal input level (sensitivity)From 0 dBFs to –25,0 dBFs (0,1 dB step)
Analog Output AUDIO 
Output Number1
Connectors2 XLR, female - Electronically balanced – EMI Suppression
D/A Conversion24 bit Sigma-Delta Conversion (Crystal CS4272)
Output Level-6.0 dBu to +20.0 dBu (0.1 dBu Step)
Output Level Max.+ 24,0 dBu
Impedance Source10 Ω
Load Impedance600 Ω or greater
THD + NoiseLess than 0.01% (0.0dBu @ 1 kHz)
Signal to noise Ratio>80 dB unweight - 100% Mod. 20 Hz–15 KHz
L/R CrossTalk< –70 dB, 20 Hz–15 KHz
Pre-emphasisOFF, 50 µsec, 75 µsec
FM Frequency range5 Hz-15 kHz (+/- 0,5dB when processing is disabled)
DAB Frequency range5 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0,5dB when processing is disabled)
Digital Output AUDIO 
Outputs Number2 (1st for audio, 2nd for audio or Digital MPX)
ConnectorsBalanced on 1 XLR – EMI Suppression
FormatAES3/EBU
Output impedance110 Ω
Sample rates32 kHz / 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz / 96 kHz / 192 kHz Software selectable
Resolution24 bit
Operative Nominal levelFrom 0.0 dBFs to -30dBFs (0.1 dBu step)
Dynamic Range125 dB (Typ), 122 dB (Min)
DistortionLess than 0.01% TDH+NOISE (0.0 dBu 1 Khz)
Pre-emphasisOFF, 50 µsec, 75 µsec
FM Frequency range2 Hz-15 kHz (+/- 0,025 dB when processing is disabled)
DAB Frequency range2 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0,025 dB when processing is disabled)
MPX OUTPUT 
ConnectorsUnbalanced on 2 BNC – EMI Suppression
Source impedance10 Ω
Load impedance600 Ω or greater
Maximum Load Capacitance5 nF
D/A ConversionTexas PCM 1796
Composite output level-6,0 dB to +13,0 dB (0,1 dBm step)
Max Output Level+18.0 dBm
Mod Power LimiterAdjustable from -1.0 dB to +12 dB according to ITU-R BS.412
Pilot Frequency19 KHz +/- 1 Hz
Pilot Level-25.5 to -14.0 dB in 0.1 dB/Step - Ref 100% Mod
Pilot Stability19 kHz, ± 1 Hz
Pilot PhaseAdjustable +/- 12 degrees, 1 degree step
Pilot THD+Noise0.03% (TDH 0.002%)
Stability+/-10 ppm (-10 to +55 °C)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N)> 85 dB on a 60 kHz Bandwidth, referenced to 100% modulation, unweighted
Distortion<= 0.01% THD - Bypass mode, de-emphasized, 20 Hz – 15 kHz bandwidth, referenced to 100% modulation, unweighted
Stereo SeparationGreater than 70 dB, 30 Hz – 15 kHz
Linear Crosstalk> -80 dB - main channel to sub-channel or sub-channel to main channel referenced to 100% modulation
38 kHz Suppression> 70 dB (referenced to 100% modulation)
Pilot Protection> 65 dB relative to 10% pilot injection, ± 500 Hz.
Crosstalk M/S > 80 dB
Crosstalk S/M> 80 dB
MPX clipping & limitingBased on look-ahead techniques
RDS/RBDS ProtectionBetter than -55 dB @ 56kHz, better than - 65dB@57 kHz (MPX Clipper Disabled)
Pre-emphasisOFF, 50 µsec, 75 µsec
MPX ModesStereo, Mono, L+R, L-R, Pilot only, No Pilot
MPX ClipperOn/Off and adjustable 95% to 105 %, 1% step
Digital Output MPX 
Connectors:Balanced on 1 XLR – EMI Suppression
Input impedance:110 Ω
Format:AES192
Sample rate:192 KHz
Output level adjustment:From 0,0 dBFs to –30,0 dBFs (0,1 dB steps)
BACKUP PLAYER 
Physical supportUSB Flash Drive, microSD CARD (max 64GB)
Audio file formatMP3, WAV
Sample Rate32 | 44,1 | 48 | 64 | 96 kHz
RDS FEATURES (Optional) 
RDS Level adjustmentDigitally controlled
Phase adjustmentYes, 0 ÷ 359.9°
RDS Subcarrier100% Digitally Generated Shape
CENELEC – EN50067 compliant Yes
Accurate Clock Time (CT) Sync with Internet ConnectionYes
Remote TA actuation for Traffic AnnouncementsYes
GPS module for automatic synchronisation of the built-in Real Time Clock (RTC)Optional external via USB
Group SupportedAll
Group SequenceConfigurable
PS8 DSN x MAIN + 10 PSN
PI8 DSN x MAIN + 10 PSN
PIN & PTYRDS/RBDS
AF Method Aup to 1024 (64 lists)
AF Method Bup to 1024 (64 lists)
RTYes, 32 messages
RT rate adjustmentGroup Sequence
RT+ for songs and content taggingYes
TPYes
TA ControlCommand, Soft, GPI
PTYNYes
EON10 PSN
CTYes
TMC, EWS, IH, TDCYes
Free Format Groups (FFG)Yes
Open Data Application (ODA)Yes
PS ScrollingYes
Scrolling by characters, by word, auto centre, truncate long wordsYes (Characters – from 1 up to 8)
COMMUNICATION 
Connection with radio automation: SoftwareYes
Network connectivity4 TCP ports / 4 UDP / 1 SNMP
Configuration softwareWeb Server, FTP
Password protectionYes
ASCII ProtocolConfiguration messages
REST CommandYes
Alert notifications on user-defined events via SNMP traps or E-mailsYes
Embedded SNMP agent permitting: active management tasksYes
Supported Network ProtocolsHTTP, SNTP, UDP, TCP, NTP, FTP
UECP ProtocolEBU SPB490 Ver. 7.05
PI CalculatorYes
RDS 2.0 ReadyYes
System Features 
Remote interface GPIn 6x GP In optocoupled
Remote interface GPOut 4x Relays – dry contacts
Remote interface connectorDB 25 female connector - EMI suppressed
Remote interface GPIO Voltage and CurrentDC 5V Source and Sink 10 mA
Communication Port2 x RS232, 3 x USB, 1 x LAN
Serial Interfaces1st RS232 on DB9 female connector - EMI suppressed
2nd RS232 on DB25 female connector - EMI suppressed
Firmware can be upgraded in the fieldYes
Front-panel Colour TFT DisplayNo (Falcon X6) / Yes (Falcon X5, X7)
Data may be entered on-site with Front-panel ButtonsNo (Falcon X6) / Yes (Falcon X5, X7)
Front Panel LEDs40
PHYSICAL 
Dimensions485 x 44 x 240 mm (1 rack unit)
AC Rate Voltage230Vac / 110Vac +/- 10% - 30VA – Connector IEC 3-Wire detachable
AC Frequency50 Hz / 60 Hz +/- 4%
Power factor0,9
Processing architectureFully digital, based on DSP 24bit/250Mhz.
5 band Signal processing
Weight3,5 Kg
Operating temperature-5°C / +50°C up to 95% non condensing
Max AltitudeUp to 3000 meters above marine level
Safety StandardCE, ETL, UL
RFIFalcon X/D has been designed to work in strong RF Fields and it is provided with Standard RFI filters. Necessary RFI filters are standard and same are provided.
GroundingOne more earth terminal is provided in the Falcon X/D body to connect audio earth connection