The Aurora Audio Sidecar is a 10 x 2 mixer inspired by the Neve BCM10 but taken to new heights by Geoff Tanner, offering the clarity, punch, and rich sound that can only come from custom transformers and discrete Class A electronics.
If you’ve hung around a particular pro audio forum that unabashedly proclaims its undying love of all things audio gear, you know that Geoff Tanner is considered to be the last word on the ins and outs of vintage Neve equipment. Possibly because he spells his name, “Geoff,” like a true Brit, but more likely because he spent a decade at Rupert Neve & Co. Ltd., where among his many achievements, he created the design rules that ensured consistent technical specifications to the various console designs. One of the esoteric things you learn at the aforementioned forum is how to get Neve preamps on the cheap (relatively speaking). One such secret was the Neve BCM10 broadcast console of the ’70s, outfitted with ten channels of 1073 preamp/EQs, which became a very popular sidecar for use with existing consoles to expand channel count and sonic options. Of course, BCM10s in any condition are near impossible to find. But be of good cheer; Geoff heard your pleas and responded with the Aurora Audio Sidecar.
Aurora Audio Sidecar—Just the Facts:
- 10 channels of pure Class A audio electronics
- 4-band EQ with high- and low-pass filters
- 24 custom transformers give you the “big iron” sound of the ’70s
- Super rich transformer-coupled 2-bus output
- Aurora Audio’s renowned DI input per channel
- Individual analog VU metering (channels and stereo out)
- Monitor section with four sources and monitor switching
- Direct channel outputs
- Bus assign switching with pan
- Rear-panel channel inserts, switchable in and out
- Top-of-the-line Penny+Giles (P&G) faders
Aurora Audio Sidecar—Under the Hood
After requests kept coming in for something that could take the place of the venerable BCM10 without dropping $100k, Geoff Tanner gives you his ultimate achievement: The Aurora Sidecar. Backed by fifty years of electronic design and production experience, 40 of which spent specializing in Class A discrete audio equipment, the Aurora Sidecar delivers 10 channels of pure Class A discrete sound and fury, complete with a 4-band EQ and super thick, transformer-coupled two-bus output. Each channel of the Sidecar features Aurora Audio’s renowned DI input; individual analog VU metering; direct channel output connectivity; bus-assign switching with pan; pre-fader inserts on the rear panel, which can be switched in and out; and Penny+Giles best 100mm faders.
It’s also very important to note that the broadcast components of a BCM10 console had to be disabled in order to integrate the preamps and EQ into a console workflow, the Aurora Sidecar is a sidecar in name only—no workarounds, no compromises. Rather than just follow the 10-into-2 sidecar concept, it offers full console functionality including a monitor section with four sources, alternate speakers, mono sum, and a powerful headphone amp with level control. Of course, the Sidecar’s greatest feature is its SOUND!
Classic 4-band EQ and custom transformers
Keep in mind that while his experience at Neve may inform and influence his designs, Geoff Tanner’s approach is all his own. For example, while the 1073 EQ was a simple 3-band affair, the Sidecar’s 4-band EQ with high- and low-pass filters allow you to mold sound in ways you didn’t think were possible. The 24 transformers that are living inside the Aurora Sidecar are designed and built to Geoff’s specifications, giving you the clarity and punch that has been elusive to most—now easily attainable with the Sidecar. The faders and bus path were designed to not only keep your sound pure and intact but once it hits those busses, you will be in a Class A discrete paradise that until now, only the select few have been to before.
Aurora build quality and elegance
With the bullet-proof build-quality and heft of a Sherman tank, each Aurora Sidecar console is built with a heavy gauge steel frame designed for years of use and abuse. Steel guide rails and heavy-duty thumbscrews keep all ten channels firmly in place creating, an ideal connection between module and frame, making module insertion and removal easy. Eschewing the utilitarian look of military equipment, apart from its Royal Air Force blue-grey face, the Aurora Sidecar also features handcrafted wood side panels and a hand-tooled padded leather armrest, providing the extra touch of prestige, elegance, and craftsmanship that is pure Aurora Audio.
The way Geoff and the Aurora Audio team designed the layout and executed the build (respectively) of the Sidecar makes basic maintenance a breeze. And while you should always have a qualified technician (such as the tech team at Pro Audio Design) help you do any serious work on the Aurora Sidecar, Aurora Audio offers the option of purchasing an extra channel module that can be swapped out easily so you never lose valuable studio time on your project.
If you’re all about big punchy sound with a side order of creamy rich, the Aurora Audio Sidecar is for you. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Integrator today.
- Gain: -10dB to +80dB on the input sensitivity switch plus 10dB in the fader.
- Input Impedance: 1.2Kohm (XLR I/P), 10Mohm (DI I/P)
- Output Impedance: < 50 ohms balanced
- VU Meter Range: Standard VU points from -20VU to +3VU where 0VU = +4dBu = 1.228 vac. Front panel trim pot to align the 0VU point.
- Input headroom: 26dB
- Gain: Stereo outputs are unity gain
- Output Impedance: < 50 ohm balanced
- Frequency response: < +/- 0.5dB at 20Hz and 20KHz ref. 0dBu @ 1KHz
- Noise: < -75dB
- Crosstalk: < -70dB @ 1KHz
- Headroom: Maximum outputs all > +26dBu
- Distortion: < 0.075% @ 1KHz
- Weight: 130 lb.