Max Air includes 160 channel signal paths. Each of the channel strips on the mixer surface can be made to control any of the channel signal paths. Strip 1 could control channel 1, strip 2 could control channel 2 and so on. As Max Air has 96 channels this would make the control surface very large, having one strip per channel.
Max Air allows for a more flexible and compact approach. Each channel strip has a swap button to swap control between two channel paths. For example strips 1-16 could be the mic channels with the backup mics on the swap buttons for instant changeover of each mic if there is a microphone failure.
And Layouts of strips can be brought up on the surface at the push of button, for example one Layout could include mics 1-16, OB sources 17-24 and VTRs 25-32. Another could bring up 8 outputs from another studio in place of the VTR channels.
The system is very flexible allowing the engineer to layout inputs with complete freedom and to save Layouts for instant recall.
A typical Max Air console will have 32 channel strips. Control surfaces can be configured from 8 to 48 channel strips.