US ER
GUI DE
LIAISON
®
The Audio Neural Network
SAFETY REVIEW
!
The Exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the user to the presence of important operating and maintenance (servicing)
instructions in the literature accompanying this product
Certain precautions should be taken when using electrical products. Please observe the safety hints by reading the manual and obtaining qualified
help if necessary to adhere to the precautions.
!
1. Always use a properly grounded power supply cord with this product. Please do not defeat the ground pin on the mains plug. This connection
provides earth to the chassis and signal grounds inside the device for clean and quiet operation.
!
2. Avoid high temperature operation in equipment racks by providing air circulation. The number one killer of electronic gear is HEAT. Vented rack
panels may look like wasted space to an interior decorator, but they look like beauty to a technician or equipment designer! If the front panel is
hot, it is roasting inside the box.
!
3. Avoid areas of high magnetic fields. The steel chassis is designed to shield the circuits from EMI and RFI (magnetic and radio interference).
When installing equipment in racks, it is prudent to put power amplifiers and large power supplies at least several rack spaces, if not in a different
rack, away from equipment that deals with low level signals. Separation of high level and low level equipment can pre-empt trouble caused by
heat and EMI.
!
!
!
4. Care should be taken to avoid liquid spills around equipment. If a spill occurs, please shut off the gear and disconnect the mains. A qualified
technician should investigate accidents to prevent further equipment damage or personnel hazards caused by spills.
5. If one is uncomfortable with opening gear and changing jumpers or making adjustments, please seek qualified help if necessary.
6. If adjustments or jumper changes are required, please disconnect the mains plug before opening the top. Dropped screws or tools on a live
circuit board can manifest themselves as burn marks and smoked components. While we feel your pain, (been there) subsequent damage is not
covered by the warranty.
Dangerous Music Incorporated reserves the right to change the specifications or modify the designs of its equipment. Sending in the registration
card is our way of keeping in touch with users of our equipment should this become necessary. Registration information is always kept confidential
and never disclosed to third parties for any reason. Company contact information is on the last page of this manual.
The CE sign on this product signifies the fact that the Additional Switching System® has been tested and verified to
conform to the applicable standards of 89/336/EEC.EN55103-1 (emissions) EN61000-2 (immunity) and EN60065:2002
(safety requirements)
This product uses components of the types and quantities that comply with the EC RoHS standard 2002/95/EC. A list
of suppliers and materials is available from DMI. We tightly control production to use top quality materials.
READ THIS FIRST
|iii
DO NOT INCORRECTLY CONNECT MIC PREAMPS TO THE LIAISON!
To avoid damaging your hard won gear and voiding your warranty, follow the simple steps below.
•Do not connect gear equipped with phantom power- such as mic preamps and channel strips to the insert loops in your Liaison. Activating the phantom power will damage the electronics in
the monitor and parallel processing paths and void the warranty instantly!
It may also damage other outboard gear that is parked down-stream of the offending piece by
applying the phantom power to the inputs.
A mic pre output as the source connected to either Buss A or Buss B Input is perfectly OK phantom power is applied to the INPUT pins of a mic pre.
Correct Path:
Mic > Mic Pre Input > Mic Pre Line Out > Liaison Buss Input
•If you cannot follow the first rule and choose to connect a mic preamp to the Liaison inserts,
DO NOT engage the phantom power.
The Dangerous Music Team
iii| DANGEROUS MUSIC
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview
1
Liaison Rear Panel Features & Benefits 1
Liaison Front Panel Features, Benefits & Connection
2
Liaison Application Notes10-16
Specifications
17
Warranty
18
|IV
THANK YOU
Thank you for choosing products from the exciting and innovative line of Dangerous Music recording equipment. Many years of reliable
service can be expected from our gear. This is made possible through careful design, construction, and component choices by recording
industry veterans.
The Dangerous Music Liaison is designed to increase productivity and improve the creative process by unleashing the potential of your
outboard gear arsenal. There are comprehensive tips and application notes in this user’s guide, so don’t skip the read.
If you have any suggestions for future products, feel free to forward them!
ABOUT DANGEROUS MUSIC
“Audio Integrity: non-negotiable.” This is the credo upon which Dangerous Music is founded. Conceived and designed by end users—not
by engineers in lab coats- the results are products that resurrect dynamic range, punch, intelligibility and emotion. These high-fidelity,
uncompromising signal paths are achieved by harnessing over 20 years of Chris Muth’s design wizardry; creator of infamous custom black
boxes for world class facilities like Hit Factory, Masterdisk, Absolute Audio and Sterling Sound Mastering. Then the critical listening skills
of golden-eared luminaries are applied, with the result being musical tools that fulfill the actual needs of today’s flexible computer based
studio.
LIAISON | 1
OVERVIEW
To survive in this modern day audio jungle, the contemporary studio must be flexible and agile; a facility that can adapt to any workflow, effortlessly.
Tracking, mixing and mastering services oftentimes must be performed under one roof, utilizing every piece of outboard gear available.
The Dangerous Liaison realizes this dream by providing unprecedented access to your outboard equipment. Connect up to six of your favorite units
to the Liaison (more if you daisy chain, leverage a patchbay or add a Dangerous Master). Instantly audition any device or combination, change the
order, dial in some parallel processing and then store these customized signal paths as presets to use again, on demand, anytime. True hard-wire
bypass relays remove the gear entirely from the signal path; this includes outboard that lacks an integrated bypass or true hard-wire bypass.
Mastering grade components switch instantly and silently, providing true A/B comparisons without coloration or latency. Pre and post-processing
monitor outputs make it simple to audition between the original source and the treated product.
Unpack this audio traffic tower and celebrate! Inside the box you’ll find the Liaison and a standard 3 Pin IEC power cable and the manual
you’re reading now.
Note:
We recommend reading the entire manual. This box is deep and you just spent a pile of cash, so why just wade in the
shallow end?
Liaison: Rear Panel Connections
[rear panel inputs and outputs pictured above]
2| DANGEROUS MUSIC
1. INPUTS & OUTPUTS
Feature: Premium grade XLR Connectors.
Benefit: More surface area for happy electrons to migrate through and no off shore, cheap look alike connectors that “almost” fit.
Note: All connections wired pin 2 hot as per AES standards.
Feature: DB25 Connector.
Benefit: Screws in and locks, plus we ran out of room on the rear of the unit for 4 more stereo outputs!
Tip:
, Cables DO make a difference. Ask for Mogami 2534 interconnects.
2. POWER CABLE & FUSE
[rear panel power section pictured above]
Feature: Utilizes a standard 3 pin IEC power cable.
Benefit: Easy to replace if lost.
Feature: Switching power supply auto detects voltage, but you must use the correct fuse value.
Benefit: Travel with your favorite gear anywhere in the world while spreading the audio gospel.
Operation: Unit ships with voltage appropriate fuse value installed. To change it, use a screwdriver to gently pry the mains inlet
module’s cover open and insert the correct value. Fuses for the alternate voltage are included in the shipping box.
Tip: , The power switch is on the inlet module. Seat the AC cable completely and use properly grounded power mains for safe
and quiet operation.
Tip: , If the Liaison will not power on and the power is known to be good, check the fuses under the inlet module’s cover.
Use 2 amp Slo-Blo for 90-120V (Americas) and 1 amp Slo-Blo for 200-240V (Europe). Switching fuses will not void
your warranty
LIAISON | 3
3. INSERTS: INPUTS & OUTPUTS
[rear panel insert section pictured above]
Feature: Connect outboard equipment here (i.e. compressor, limiter, eq, reverb...)
Benefit: Individually selectable via the front panel of the unit (more to follow on this).
Feature: Separate send and return cables, each on XLR.
Benefit: Standard issue, readily available cables.!
Tip:
, The ability to loop multiple pieces of gear on a single insert if desired (i.e. comp and limiter back to back).
4. BUSS A & B: INPUTS & OUTPUTS
[rear panel buss section pictured above]
Feature: Individual access in and out to both buss a & buss b
Benefit: Leverage all your outboard gear twice, on two discrete buss paths. For example, take the output of your favorite mic
preamp and send it to buss a. Then send the signal into your session. Meanwhile, connect the output of your mix to
buss b. Now all of your gear is accessible all the time for tracking, mixing and mastering.
Tip:
,: Take the output of
and connect it to the input of buss b to make one contiguous chain. This will allow outboard
that is connected later, to appear earlier. For example... the BAX EQ is in insert 1 and the Dangerous Compressor is
buss a
4| DANGEROUS MUSIC
in insert 5. Selecting buss a’s insert 5 and buss b’s insert 1, the Compressor will now receive audio before the BAX EQ.
Operation:Press insert button 5 on buss a and insert button 1 on buss b.
Tip:
, There is an additional insert,
insert 6,
located on the front panel.
5. MONITOR OUTPUTS
[rear panel monitor output section pictured above]
Feature: 4 stereo outputs that provide input and output monitoring of each Buss.
Benefit: Listen before the outboard gear of buss a, or after, or before the outboard gear of buss b, or after to determine
whether the fruits of you labor are helping or hindering your efforts toward audio nirvana.
, When used in stand alone mode, you may monitor
Tip: ,
are tapped off the busses (pre
, post
Tip:
buss a
input (preprocessing) and buss b output (post processing)
buss a
buss a, pre buss b, post buss b) and do not affect the main bus
inputs or outputs. (See diagram below and page 10 for pinout)
monitor outs
o
i
u
n
p
u
t
i
n
p
u
t
BUS A
BUS B
t
p
u
t
o
u
t
p
u
t
MONITOR
OUT 1
MONITOR
OUT 2
MONITOR
OUT 4
MONITOR
OUT 3
LIAISON | 5
Liaison: Front Panel Features & Benefits
1. ADDITIONAL INSERT 6
[additional insert six pictured above]
Feature: Connect additional outboard equipment here (i.e. client’s favorite, rented, begged, borrowed or...)
Benefit: Individually selectable via the front panel of the unit (more to follow on this).
Feature: Separate send and return cables, each on XLR.
Benefit: Standard issue, readily available cables.!
,
Tip: The ability to loop multiple pieces of gear on a single insert if desired (i.e. comp and limiter back to back).
2. DEVICE INSERTS TO BUSS A/B
[device inserts and busses pictured above]
6| DANGEROUS MUSIC
Feature: Instantly and silently switch between outboard processors.
Benefit: The human ear has a remarkably fleeting memory. Echoic memory studies have resulted in up to 4 seconds of
retention. Unfortunately these are based on vocal cues (random word sequences) vs. audio auditions. The latter have
resulted in only up to 1000 milliseconds. That means no time for a patchbay or clumsy manual jack swaps. The Liaison
provides true, instantaneous comparisons with no disconcerting pops and thuds.
Feature: True Hard-Wire Bypass Relays.
Benefit: When an insert is in bypass, the outboard unit is completely out of the circuit. This is the same as strapping an
incredibly short cable between the insert points- all circuitry is avoided.
Tip:
, Even if the equipment itself does not have a True Hard-Wire Bypass, the Liaison provides it.
Feature: Color coded: Bright Green = Engaged; Dim Green = Bypassed
Benefit: Visual confirmation of equipment activated.
3. BUSS A & B
Feature: Apply your outboard gear on two completely discrete stereo busses.
Benefit: Leverage all your outboard gear twice, on two discrete buss paths. For example, take the output of your favorite mic
preamp and send it to buss a. Then send the signal into your session. Meanwhile, connect the output of your mix to
buss b. Now all of your gear is accessible all the time for tracking, mixing and mastering.
Operation:Both Busses can be provided with input individually. Their respective outputs must be wired to the destination.
Tip:
,: Take the output of
buss a and connect it to the input of buss b to make one contiguous chain. This will allow outboard
that is connected later, to appear earlier. For example... the BAX EQ is in insert 1 and the Dangerous Compressor
Limiter is in insert 5. Selecting buss a’s insert 5 and buss b’s insert 1, the Compressor will now receive audio before the
BAX EQ.
4. THE FLIP BUTTONS
[flip buttons pictured above]
LIAISON | 7
Feature: For both buss a and buss b, the flip buttons reverse the position of the inserts in pairs.
Benefit: For example, to answer the age old mastering question of “what should come first, my equalizer or limiter?” let’s say
the Dangerous Compressor is in insert 1 and the BAX EQ is in insert 2. To audition them in reverse order, simply hit the
flip 1-2 switch. Now you are monitoring the BAX EQ into the Compressor.
Tip:
,: Want to take advantage of
parallel processing for the Dangerous Compressor in the above example? Since the parallel
affects whatever processor is positioned in the even numbered inserts (i.e. 2, 4 and 6), and the
Compressor is connected to insert 1, simply reverse the order of the inserts with the flip 1-2 switch and take advantage
of actions like the blending of extreme limiting or compression. Now the insert 1 button will blink slowly, indicating it’s
activation in the parallel processing loop.
processing loop
Tip:
,: The
flip buttons
affect both buss a and buss b simultaneously.
5. THE PARALLEL PROCESSING LOOP BUTTONS
[parallel processing loop buttons pictured above]
Feature:
parallel processing loop
Benefit:
parallel processing
for the outboard equipment positioned in the even numbered inserts (i.e. 2, 4 and 6).
allows the original and effected signals to be blended independently. See tips below.
, Example 1: crush the drums with heavy compression for tight, explosive impact, while mixing in the original to retain
transients and dynamics.
Tip: , Example 2: add a touch of reverb to an entire mix to pull the group together in one space.
Tip: , Example 3: blend a dash of the original, unprocessed signal into the end of the chain for clarity.
Tip: , Example 4: mix in Dolby A in encode only to add some air (i.e. lead vocal on Journey’s, “Don’t Stop Believing” or for a
Tip:
more extreme example, Def Leppard Hysteria background vocals).
Operation:Depress the parallel processing loop button to select the appropriate piece of outboard gear and engage flip buttons as
needed.
Tip:
,: Want to take advantage of
parallel processing
for insert 1, not insert 2? Simply reverse the order of the inserts with the
8| DANGEROUS MUSIC
flip 1-2
switch. Now the insert 1 button will blink slowly, indicating it’s activation in the parallel processing loop.
6. PARALLEL PROCESSING LOOP BLEND CONTROL
[parallel processing loop blend control pictured above]
Feature: parallel processing amount controlled by a continuously variable potentiometer.
Benefit: Dictates the amount of direct (non-effected) or processed (effected) signal that is sent to the end of buss b. See
examples in item 4 above for application suggestions.
7. POLARITY BUTTON
[polarity button pictured above]
Feature: Reverse the polarity 180 degrees.
LIAISON | 9
Benefit: Something out of phase? Fix it. Need to dial something OUT of the mix? Add it here 180º out of phase and select the
amount.
Tip:
, As an effect: compress the mix and flip it out of phase to hear it pump in time with the track.
8. PRESET, CLEAR & STORE BUTTONS
[preset, clear and store buttons pictured above]
Feature: store or clear up to four patches.
Benefit: Have a favorite vocal processing chain? Master Buss sweetening path? Mastering outboard winning combination?
Store all those proven success combinations and recall them instantly on demand.
Operation:To store a preset, select whatever combination of switches desired, press the store button (it will blink) and then
depress the desired preset location.
To clear a preset, simply select clear, then press store and the preset you’d like to clear.
Tip:
, After a
Tip:
, Create presets as starting points. For example, when tracking, create your favorite vocal path, kick drum path etc...
has been stored, changing any settings will cause the preset button to blink. Depressing the preset button
will toggle between the stored preset (solid light) and modified preset (blinking light). Effectively doubling the memory
locations to 8. If desired, store the altered preset.
preset
For the mix buss or mastering store presets for different musical styles (Hip Hop, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Gregorian Chant...)
READ THIS FIRST
|11
!
!
!
ATTENTION LIAISON USER
!
In certain instances, equipment using “retro” and “vintage” design topologies may
damage DC-coupled input stages, like those used by Dangerous Music and other highend pro audio manufacturers. This occurs specifically when the manufacturer does not
modernize the output stage to be compatible with the transistor/IC world of today.
!
How does that happen?
!
Good question! The non-terminated transformer’s secondary windings (“floating output”)
build up a charge due to capacitive coupling in the transformer windings, which then gets
released as a high voltage transient spike when the gear is patched or switched in, as is
the case with the Liaison.
!
I love my Liaison, how can I prevent this damage from occurring?
!
If any of your outboard that you wish to connect to Liaison has a
“floating output,” a qualified tech. can add what are referred to as
“bleeder resistors” to the transformer outputs. Parts cost about 15cents! If you don’t want to go this route there are barrel connectors
you can get from www.rapcohorizon.com, that have integrated
bleeder resistors inside to prevent that transient spike from damaging
the internal components of the Liaison.
Part Number: 100K CM Terminator
!
What if I am not sure if the gear I am using has a “floating output?”
!
First check with the manufacturer of the specific piece of equipment you are unsure
about. You can also email your questions to support@dangerousmusic.com, or call us at
845.202.5100. We have access to some (but not all) design schematics and will help out
where we are able!
!
The Dangerous Music Team
!
STAND ALONE MASTERING EXAMPLE
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 6
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 5
MONITOR OUT OF LIAISON
INTO MONITOR ST INPUT 2
POST BUSS B
OUT BUSS B OF LIAISON
INTO A - D CONVERTER
DANGEROUS MUSIC MONITOR ST & REMOTE
AUDIO INTERFACE
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 4
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 3
BUSS A OUTPUT CHAINED TO BUSS B INPUT
OUT D - A CONVERTER
INTO BUSS A OF LIAISON
MONITOR OUT OF LIAISON
INTO MONITOR ST INPUT 1
PRE BUSS A
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 1
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 2
2 TRACK PLAYBACK DEVICE
DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER
DANGEROUS MUSIC BAX EQ
SONTEC MES430B
TOFT ATC2
SONTEC DRC202
LARGE FORMAT MASTERING EXAMPLE
METERING
DANGEROUS MUSIC MONITOR
DANGEROUS MUSIC MASTER
MANLEY LABS VARIABLE MU
GREAT RIVER Q2NV
2 TRACK DIGITAL EDITOR
ANALOG TO DIGITAL CONVERTER
SONTEC DRC400
SONTEC M250EP
LEXICON 960L
DANGEROUS MONITOR ST (OR MONITORING DEVICE)
OUT DAW INTO
MONITOR ST
COMPUTER INTERFACE (DAW/CONVERTER)
MIC PREAMP
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 3
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 4
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 6
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 5
OUT BUS B OF LIAISON
INTO DAW
OUT BUS A OF LIAISON
INTO DAW
OUT MONITOR 2 OF LIAISON
INTO MONITOR ST INPUT 2
TRACKING & MIXING EXAMPLE A
OUT PREAMP INTO
BUSS A OF LIAISON
(TRACKING)
OUT DAW INTO
BUSS B OF LIAISON
(MIXING)
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 1
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 2
MONITOR OUT OF LIAISON
INTO MONITOR ST INPUT 1
PRE BUSS A
MIC PREAMP
AUDIO INTERFACE OR D-A CONVERTER
DANGEROUS 2-BUS LT SUMMING MIXER
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 3
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 4
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 6
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 5
MONITOR OUT OF LIAISON
INTO MONITOR ST INPUT 2
POST BUSS B
OUT BUSS B OF LIAISON
INTO A - D CONVERTER
STAND ALONE MIXING EXAMPLE
OUT PREAMP INTO
BUSS A OF LIAISON
OUT 2-BUS LT INTO
BUSS B OF LIAISON
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 1
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 2
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 1
OUT PREAMP INTO
BUSS A OF LIAISON
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 2
TRACKING EXAMPLE A
DANGEROUS MONITOR ST (OR MONITORING DEVICE)
OUT DAW INTO
MONITOR ST
INPUT 1
COMPUTER INTERFACE (DAW/CONVERTER)
MIC PREAMP
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 3
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 4
OUT MONITOR 1&2 OF
LIAISON INTO MONITOR ST
INPUT 2&4*
(PRE&POST BUSS A)
OUT BUSS A
OF LIAISON
INTO DAW
*Utilizing input 4 on the
MONITOR ST, allows the
post processing level to be
reduced, thus matching it
to the original for true A/B
comparisons.
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 5
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 6
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 1
OUT PREAMP INTO
BUSS A OF LIAISON
OUT PREAMP INTO
BUSS B OF LIAISON
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 2
TRACKING EXAMPLE B
DANGEROUS MONITOR ST (OR MONITORING DEVICE)
OUT DAW INTO
MONITOR ST
INPUT 1
COMPUTER INTERFACE (DAW/CONVERTER)
MIC PREAMP 1
MIC PREAMP 2
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 3
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 4
OUT MONITOR 1&2 OF
LIAISON INTO MONITOR ST
INPUT 2&4*
(PRE&POST BUSS A)
OUT BUSS A & B
OF LIAISON
INTO DAW
*Utilizing input 4 on the
MONITOR ST, allows the
post processing level to be
reduced, thus matching it
to the original for true A/B
comparisons.
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 5
OUTBOARD GEAR INSERT 6
LIAISON |17
SPECIFICATIONS
(for monitor and parallel buss sections)
Frequency Response (Passive Section)
+0, -0.1dB from 10Hz to 100kHz
Frequency Response (Active Section)
+0, -0.1dB 10Hz-100kHz
Maximum level> +28dBu
Noise floor
< -94.5dBu 22Hz-22kHz bandwidth
THD+N< 0.002%
IMD< 0.003%
Crosstalk rejection (Passive Section)
> 124dB
Crosstalk rejection (Active Section)
> 113dB
Input Impedance: 20K Ohms
Output Impedance: 20 Ohms
Replacement Fuses:
AMERICAS 90-120VAC 2 Amp Slo-Blo fuse
EUROPE 200-260VAC 1 Amp Slo-Blo fuse
Now it’s your turn to unleash the potential of the Liaison and tell us all the unusual applications you’ve utilized it in!
Experiment well beyond the pages of this manual. The Liaison is a still audio river that runs deep.
-The Dangerous Music Team
18| DANGEROUS MUSIC
WARRANTY
Free 2 year extended warranty with online registration.
Standard warranty: 90 days parts and labor, subject to inspection.
Does not include damage incurred through shipping damage, abusive operation or modifications/attempted repair by unauthorized
technicians.
USA
Dangerous Music Inc.
231 Stevens Road
Edmeston, NY 13335
Phone: 607 965-8011
Fax: 607-965-8012
Email: info@dangerousmusic.com
EUROPE
Dangerous Music Europe
Stieleichenweg 55
50999 Cologne, Germany
Fon: +49 2236 393731
Fax: + 49 2236 393732
E-mail: info@dangerousmusic.de
Dangerous Music, Inc. reserves the right to alter the software and design of their equipment.
If after reading the manual more information for an application is needed, please contact us via email for the quickest response.
•Factory contact for RA# must occur before shipping a unit to us for service.
•Please keep the original cartons in case storage or transportation of units is required.
•Always insure shipment as these damages are not covered by the warranty.
•Thank you for actually reading the manual. Now go make some Dangerous Music!
revision 6.0 C.Vatier November 2016
Dangerous Music Inc. 231 Stevens Road, Edmeston, NY 13335 Phone: 607 965-8011 Fax: 607-965-8012 info@dangerousmusic.com www.dangerousmusic.com