May 2011 - Issue 41
Recession? What recession? Around 110,000 visitors from 124 countries converged on Frankfurt am Main for the twinned Prolight+Sound and Musikmesse exhibitions in early April.
On the pro side, the total of 873 exhibitors represented a 6% increase on 2010 and Messe Frankfurt CEO Detlef Braun described the general upward turn as “a very positive signal for the industry and a highly satisfying result for us organisers!” Once again, there was a signifi cant amount of new technology launches and we’ll start by ploughing through the news from the audio world...
DiGiCo launched not one but three new technical solutions at 2011’s PL+S. The SD11 is DiGiCo’s smallest and best-priced product to date. Boasting its Stealth Digital Processing and FPGAbased digital audio console, the SD11 has an aluminium work surface and 12 touch sensitive moving faders. Amongst other features it has 16 microphone pre-amps, eight line outputs and connections for MADI and MIDI ports and unusually, 12 fl ex busses which can confi gure as either mono or stereo.
Also launched were the Remote Record Interface, which is made up of two parts: the Dante DMI and the DiGiCo-Control software, providing a remote recording solution for MAC or PC. Finally, sitting pretty between the SD7 and SD8, is the SD Ten which made its ‘not so secret’ live début at the TPi Awards 2011 in February.
Innovason showcased the latest incarnation of its successful Eclipse digital console, Eclipse GT, and launched its SR-16 mini, a new remotely controllable 16-in/16-out EtherSound stagebox that is based on the proven technology behind Digigram’s Aqonda device.Line 6 revealed its new XD-V digital wireless microphone systems. Offering an effective alternative to conventional core TV band UHF wireless systems, the system operates in the 2.4GHz band, which permits worldwide license-free operation while avoiding interference.
Optocore had a double unveiling with its V3R-FXIntercom (a four I/O channel intercom unit) while theX6R-FX-Intercom is an eight I/O channel intercom unit. Both enable Clear-Com systems to operate on Optocore’s digital fi bre (FX) and CAT5 (SANE) networks. Meyer Sound demonstrated its Constellation acoustic system which was controlled by the D-Mitri high resolution digital audio platform.
Ohm launched two new stage monitors. The HDMX15 is a 500W coaxial 15” + 1” neodymium driver inunique convex shape cabinet, and the HD-MX12 is a 12” version.
Joining the traditional mobile series of productsknown as the Black range was the newly-introduced White range of integration products at the d&b audiotechnik stand. The 16 new xS and xA products from the White range which are designed for visual, physical, acoustical and electrical integration into permanently installed applications are intended for environments going beyond the rider driver specifications generally used in performance spaces.
Audio-Technica introduced a new cardioid condenser end-address microphone in the 20 series, the AT2031. EAW’s KF and KFNT loudspeaker series have new models. While the KF364 and KF 394 are the new additions to the KF range, the KFNT models (along with the comprehensively integrated NT variants) include KF200NT, KF364NT and KF394NT.
L-Acoustics announced its version 1.8 of its 3D simulation software, Soundvision, which now includes an updated data product library including the new architectural series. The latest software provides real-time mapping in coverage and delay modes.
APG exhibited the SB115 compact subwoofer, which replaces the SUB 138P with a ‘new generation’ product. Based on the same forced vented dual interactive chamber design, the new SB115 is lighter and even more powerful than its predecessor thanks to a new 15” neodymium driver. APG also presented the latest addition to the powerful Uniline compact line array system, the dedicated new UL210D downfi ll cabinet.
Funktion-One launched a new point source monitor, the PSM12. An extremely powerful yet compact fl oor monitor, it houses the qualities of the groundbreaking RM18 in a much smaller package. It is custom designed 4” voice coil and 12” driver for maximum power at low frequencies with a 1.4” compression driver for high frequencies.
Roland Systems Group boosted its extensive V-Mixing System line-up with the introduction of the new R-1000 48-track recorder/player. A stand-alone option designed to work in any live production, it is able to capture up to 48 channels, and two units can be synced together. Also added to the fl agship V-Mixing console is the M-480.
Tannoy’s addition to its V series of loudspeakers is the VX range in which each model is tailor-made. VXP Series loudspeakers are a collaborative effort with Lab.gruppen and feature the Intelli-Drive Energy Efficient Amplifier (IDEEA) power module. EM Acoustics introduced its brand new X3 horn-loaded PA system, the sister of the Quake subwoofer. Six years in development, X3 comprises an 8” Mf drive unit, a horn-loaded 15” LF drive unit and six 1” compression drivers on a bespoke waveguide.
Distributed by Polaraudio in the UK, beyerdynamic launched Touring Gear, a new microphone series comprising the TG 30, TG50, TG70 and TG90 and featuring the company’s new Sound Channelling Technology.
K.M.E.’s new small size loudspeaker system VL3i is a pro-grade, compact release designed for fixed installations.
Turbosound and Lab.gruppen embarked on a joint technical initiative with the launch of Turbosound’s 20000DP for Flashline TFS-900 system. Based on the previous PLM 20000Q and containing fully-featured Lake processor modules, the 20000DP provides four discrete presets designed by Lab.gruppen specifically for Turbosound’s live sound engineers.
Electro-Voice’s new R300 wireless microphone system includes features such as One-Touch ClearScan and EZsync, and can be configured for use more swiftly and easily than other wireless systems in its price category.
We take a deep breath now before delving into Harman’s brands. JBL Professional’s EON515XT active loudspeaker is a direct replacement for the EON515, and is engineered for durability, high performance and ease of use.
JBL’s latest suspension hardware accessories for its VerTec systems enable quick assembly of variable curvature vertical or modular constantcurvature horizontal line arrays.
AKG’s new microphones include a fresh range of 414 models, which give great results with pianos and guitars. The latest DMS700 V2 digital wireless microphone system with a 512-bit encryption, low 3.5 latency and new DPT700 bodypack offers artists and engineers absolute confidence in a wireless component.
BSS Audio has added Soundweb London BLU-100, a cost-effective signal processor to its acclaimed Soundweb London family of digital signal processors. Crown Audio announced the addition of the ‘Powered By Crown’ iPad/iPhone App, designed to provide users with enhanced control and configuration of its amplifiers. Crown also showcased Vrack, a complete amplifier management rack system solution featuring three built-in Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers.
Crown’s XLS Series amplifiers conform to Harman’s Green Edge environmental initiative. Crown’s advanced circuit components use fewer resources in manufacturing, but have also contributed to significant weight reduction in the amplifiers that result in less energy consumption.
Lexicon announced its new PCM native effects plug-in bundle and the PCM native total bundle which bring additional classic and new Lexicon algorithms to native plug-ins that will add a wealth of inspirational new sounds to a user’s DAW that otherwise unavailable.
The Soundcraft Si Compact console range has expanded with the release of the Si Compact 32, capable of delivering 40 inputs to mix, while maintaining the no-compromise power-packed DSP functionality of its smaller brothers.
Soundcraft and AKG now make the FOH engineer’s life easier. Now it’s possible for the first time to monitor the real-time status of any Harman HiQnet-compatible AKG radio mic directly from the Soundcraft Vi Series console surface, courtesy of VM2 (Vistonics MicrophoneMonitoring).
RCF revealed a new, powerful speaker range with the D-Line Series with Class-D power amplifier technology. Twelve new commercial audio products have been launched including the BM3022 desktop paging gooseneck microphone, and there’s a new RCF subwoofer in the shape of the SUB702-AS.
DPA Microphones débuted its Reference Standard 4000 Series which builds and improves on DPA’s compact and standard 4006, 4011, 4015 and 4017 mics. Also new are the pioneering new twin diaphragm capsules which form the 2000 Series.
Alcons proved its strength with the anticipated production version of the LR24 proribbon line-array system, which previewed last year.
Martin Audio’s new DD6 is a versatile,compact, multi-angled enclosure based on
Differential Dispersion horn technology. The DD6 is the first in a new line of products that will eventually replace the classic Wavefront range, targeting the touring and theatre segments.
The Digilive 24 is Studiomaster’s first digital console and a codevelopment
with R&D’s Somix Audio Labs. Primarily a live mixing console, an optional FireWire interface provides the Digilive 24 with extensive sound recording and production capabilities.
TTA and Figure 53 (QLab control software) have partnered up to create TTA’s high tech Stagetracker FX tracking and localisation system. Now, controlling one audio input in the Stagetracker Matrix, the new Stagetracker Cue in QLab can take a sound effect and send it around the stage or anywhere in the auditorium.
In response to the decision to close UHF frequencies from 790 to 862 MHz for wireless microphones in Europe in future, Sennheiser launched nine wireless microphone systems at that transmit on 1800MHz.
The systems of the evolution wireless ew100 G3Ð1G8 series are moving to a higher frequency band that has been allocated exclusively to wireless audio transmission in many countries of Europe. In some countries no operating licence is required, and a wireless system can therefore be used free of charge.
D.A.S. Audio débuted its Convert series of products, comprising the Convert 12A curved source array unit and the Convert 15A multi-function arrayable loudspeaker system.
LIGHT & VISION
Zero 88’s latest addition to its suite of remote applications is ZerOS Android. Continuing its commitment to mobile device integration, this new app adds to the brand’s existing iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Windows Mobile applications.
Parent company Cooper Controls’ ORB XF is designed to sit alongside the existing ORB console. Adding fader control for intensity channels and live submaster playback makes it ideal for control of live events.
Martin Professional’s MAC 101 is now available in three white light versions; the MAC 101 CT and MAC 101 CLD were launched, proving an impressive range of new LED
SGM revealed a radical new suite of seven LED products — the MP-5, P-5, X-5, XC-5, Q-7, CC-4 and an LED video ball — that introduce breakthroughs in design and efficiency, as well as power consumption and footprint by incorporating new technologies.
Robe lighting launched five new products: the new Robin MMX Spot is the first in a new generation of 1200 Series fixtures offering a neater, smaller, lighter and brighter more energy efficient package. The Robin 300 LEDWash is a smaller take on the popular 600 LEDWash; the Robin 600 PureWhite is a white light version of the 600 LEDWash RGBW specifically for a studio environment and the DigitalSpot 3500 DT is a fully-featured version of the Digital Spot 3000 DT moving digital lights.
GLP once again made the spotlight with a wide array of products including most recent design SpotOne.
MA Lighting reported that it is continuing to improve the function and development of its software, especially for the popular grandMA S1. New focus, however, should be aimed at MA Lighting’s grand MA2 console, which is being booked on various tours throughout the year.
AC Entertainment Technologies presented a selection of leading lighting technologies, namely the new Chroma-Q Studio Force and Vista v2, the new version 2 software now shipping on the entire range of Vista consoles.
ETC’s new fixtures include Selador Desire LED luminaries, Source Four Fresnel and Outdoor Source Four XT, enhancing the artistry and functionality of light.
Visual Productions exhibited the CueCore, a stand-alone lighting controller with no moving parts, an extremely secure and low maintenance installation control solution that has only minimal power consumption.
Barco’s High End Systems made a feature of Intellaspot which now has the ‘indigo highlighter’ facility. Alongside Intellaspot was the brand-new Technospot, a full-featured, hard-edge automated luminary.
American DJ displayed a variety of new lighting units including Vizi Scan LED Pro, a DMX-controlled scanner and Vizi Spot LED Pro, a moving head high performance fixture.
Coemar displayed the new LED profiler Reflection Ledko, a step ahead in the company’s strategy which intends to revolutionise traditional lighting.
Chauvet announced new luminaries for the European market. These included the WELL (Wireless Event LED Luminaire), a self-contained uplight for any event. Inside each WELL wash light are 12 3W tri-colour LEDs, similar to the 14
found in the COLORado 1-Tri Tour.
On a stand built by Satis&Fy, visual solutions innovator d3 demonstrated what its Release 9 system could do, showing how to design, sequence and control from start to finish. The d3 system controlled all the visuals (plasma screens, LED walls, moving heads, projectors) in real time. Projection mapping demos showed how you can specify to d3 any type of 3D shape, calibrate and project content on it with cubes and two projectors.
Christie Digital’s stand was divided across two zones- one showcased MicroTiles and a two-channel edge projection blend with two Christie WU12K-M managed by Christie Spyder X20 and 42 Controls S.P.O.C. (Single Point Of Control); the other focused on a complete lighting show with video animations created and piloted on a grandma console by renowned international lighting designer Bruno Corsini.
B&K Braun announced that it is now exclusively distributing Green Hippo products (including Hippotizer) in Germany.
LMP and TBF were out in full pyro force as the companies demonstrated the construction of the Olympic flame bowl, which happened earlier this year. The build was fully explained via 3D graphics at the joint booth.
Hazebase was on call for questions about its ultimate range of fog machines, hasers and liquids, including the 19” Base Haser Pro which is finely controlled with digital technology.
MOTION, STAGING, CASING
Cast had great new developments with its BlackTrax from BlackBox Corporation. The revolutionary real-time motion tracking system for people and objects is designed to work with Cast’s game-changing BlackBox system of multi-directional high-speed control co-ordination.
Brilliant Stages was present to showcase its exceptional innovation in design, as evident on Roger Waters’ current The Wall Live tour — see TPi’s April issue.
Wireless Solution Sweden AB was hard to miss. Besides occupying a prominent stand as part of Lightpower Village, WDMX could be found at a plethora of OEM partners displaying products offering W-DMX as either standard or option.
One of the newest OEM partners displaying W-DMX enabled products was Philips Vari*Lite, which offers optional WDMX on the VL440, VL770, VL880, VL400 and the VLX3. The fixtures offer incredible lighting options with flexibility and ‘green’ options in these new wireless products.
ChainMaster enjoyed a highly successful PL+S. Its new products included a wireless load measuring system with a category D performance level which enables the continuous, real-time measurement of loads on chain hoists or suspension points for professional users.
Innovative flight case leader Amptown Cases displayed a range of new products including its new SiP (Superior impact Protection) case for the Clay Paky Sharpy. It uses a method of foam with a rubber exterior, proven to be the world’s most efficient way to transport moving heads.
5 Star Cases exhibited its current lines and new products including the Venue range of general-purpose cases, whilst celebrating its 30th anniversary.