Starting from the right side, the Gold Channel’s rear panel contains the mains power switch and IEC socket for the built-in auto sensing power supply, two channels of balanced analog input and output on XLRs, an optical input and output for either ADAT or S/PDIF digital audio, and an RCA connector for word clock input. The manual incorrectly identifies this word clock connector as a BNC, which is a more standard connector for word clock, although it works just fine with the RCA connector.

Digital audio is also serviced by two XLRs and two RCAs for AES/EBU and S/PDIF in and out respectively. Next to these are MIDI In, Out, and Thru connectors, and a 1/4" jack labeled External Control In. This jack accommodates TC’s Master Fader product, and is used to control the Master Output Level.

The Gold Channel takes best advantage of all these connectors by allowing you to configure unused ins and outs as an insert. If your microphones are connected to the analog inputs, and the analog line outputs are feeding your console, then you can use the S/PDIF or AES/EBU connectors to patch your digital reverb into the preamp. Or you can bounce ADAT tracks through the Gold Channel using the Light Pipe interface, and use the analog ins and outs to insert an analog compressor. When using the Light Pipe, you can specify which two ADAT channels will be processed through the Gold Channel.


The ample LCD screen uses a clever combination of text and graphical elements to illustrate the various functions. Furthermore, the screen responds to your commands. For example, if you grab the gain knob for channel one and turn it, the display automatically switches to the SETUP-GAIN page and shows you the dB value of that knob. Let go of the

knob, and in a few seconds the screen goes back to its previous display. You can prevent the display from switching back via a User Preference.

Each of the four PROCESSING buttons associated with the preamp channels has an LED that lets you quickly see what processors are turned on in a given program and channel. Pressing a lit PROCESSING button bypasses that particular processing block. For example it’s very easy to kill the EQ in a program — you just click the button to bypass the EQ.

The Gold Channel also features some very clever shortcuts for navigating to the editing pages. Double-clicking a PROCESSING button makes the LCD screen change to give you access to that processor’s parameters on the edit page. So to edit the EQ you simply double-click the EQ PROCESSING button, and the screen immediately shows you the EQ controls, ready to be tweaked.

The EDIT FUNCTION button reveals a set of screens that let you insert the processor blocks into the audio stream. This is where things get interesting. Using the LAYOUT and ROUTING menus, you decide what processing blocks you wish to insert and in what order. There’s a great deal of flexibility here, and you could conceivably have eight different DSP functions work on a single audio stream by feeding the output of channel one’s audio into the channel two audio stream.

You can store up to 200 of your own programs in a battery-backed User Bank in the Gold Channel, which is in addition to the 100 factory programs stored in permanent ROM. Any or all of your programming masterpieces can be write-protected to prevent the morning guy from trashing them, and you can transfer them to a PCMCIA memory card and take them with you for safekeeping. In any event, it’s important to save your settings regularly in the Gold Channel. There are a lot of things to adjust on this box, and you won’t want to have to recreate programs from scratch.