The Fredenstein Bento 6 I/0 adds digital IO, a 14 channel mixer and a high resolution color TFT display to the successful Bento line of 500 Series carriers. Now one can plug in a DAW with a USB cable and access any chain of analog modules that may be in the Bento rack. Alternatively, with MAC or Unix based systems the Bento 6 I/O also has AVB connectivity which uses ethernet 100BaseT wiring and is suitable for longer distances than USB.
New for the Bento 6 I/O are multi-channel analog to digital and digital to analog converters. There a 6 AtoD converters corresponding to the 6 slots plus 8 DtoA converters corresponding to the 6 slots plus 2 extra that can be used as a mix output or for any other purpose. The new color display is 360 by 240 pixel and is 2.6 inch in size.
Each 500 series module can be fed by the normal XLR analog input, the Aux XLR analog input, or the output of the module directly to the left or from the corresponding DAC channel. Each module’s analog output goes to its XLR output like a conventional carrier and also goes to its own AtoD channel. This suggests that it is easy to use the BENTO 6 I/O fully analog, fully digital, or anything in between, plus being able to chain several modules to create your own custom channel path. All analog routing is done with high reliability relays.
Additionally there is a 14 channel digital mixer that can mix any combination of the 6 AtoD and 8 DtoA channels. You could think of them as 6 processed analog inputs and 8 channels from the DAW and still have the mixer output feed DAC #7 & #8 for headphones. Each of the 14 channels has level, pan, mute and solo control plus the mix buss has level and mute controls.
The converters are 24 bit and capable of 44.1K, 48K, 88.2K, 96K, 176.4K and 192K sample rates. The Bento 6 I/O utilizes asynchronous data transfer for low jitter. It accepts word clock IO on BNCs and provides user select-able 75 ohm termination. The Bento 6 I/O also runs a self test routine to confirm all power rails are fine at power up.
As with other Bento racks, there is a flexible LINK feature that can be set up for 3 different pairs of compressors, anticipating that “link” circuits from different companies probably won’t be compatible. One can link up to 6 compressors from one company for surround. And in common with the Bento 6D, the Bento 6 I/0 can display control settings numerically of various compatible Fredenstein modules like the F604, F605, F606 and F607. Presets can saved and recalled, which is a nice bonus.
The Fredenstein Bento 500 Series Carriers have earned a reputation for frankly being a bargain considering how solidly constructed and well engineered they are. The power supplies are over specified, clean and proven winners for low radiated hum and noise. The Bento 6 I/O carries on this tradition of offering great price plus adds another huge set of useful features and modern high tech functionality.