Total Production


April 2008

A host of new features were on offer at this year's sprawling ProLight Sound exhibition in Frankfurt, including a new MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events) networking event targeted at the expanding conferences and corporate meetings market.

For TPi, however, it was business as usual in the hectic atmosphere of Halls 4.1, 8 and 9 (and elsewhere), as we searched from stand to stand for the next big thing in live performance technology.

This year’s show was peculiarly difficult to characterise, although the devil was definitely in the detail, and amongst the clamour of 800 or so busy stands, TPi discovered a wealth of innovations and updates from industry veterans and fledgling businesses alike. We bring you a breakdown of some the more distinctive contributions to the show.

Camco’s presence was defined by its displays of the outstanding Vortex and Tecton series of power amplifies. The Vortex boasts stability down to single ohm loads and the ability to run in stereo, bridge mono and parallel mono operation modes. With a weight of just 12.4kg and designed for the demands of touring professionals, the 2U chassis of the Vortex series ensures reliability under the most demanding of touring schedules.

The Tecton series offers a scaled-down option. Based on the Vortex’s technology, Tecton delivers low distortion and high dynamic range, and is optimised for both high and low impedance loads. Both Tecton and Vortex can be used with Camco’s controller modules, providing as much loudspeaker management, remote control and digital audio networking as needed.

ProLight Sound was an opportunity for d&b audiotechnik to unveil its D6 amplifier and several additions to the multipurpose E-Series: the E8, E12 and E12-D. These efficient speakers combine a polyurethane hard foam cabinets with coaxial LF/HF drivers inside. Designed for use as stand-alone full-range loudspeakers, each model has 90° rotatable horns, with patterns of 90° x 50°, 80° x 50° and 110° x 50° respectively, high power ratings of 129dB, 134dB, 133dB SPL, and yet none exceeds 16kg, making them immensely versatile in application.

Suited for speech, playback and live sound, the range can be extended down to 37Hz courtesy of the E15X subwoofer, while only one channel of the new D6 amplifier is required to drive an E12 and E15X combination in passive mode.

The D6 is light and powerful amplifier, offering two channels of 600W into 4 ohms (up to 16 ohms maximum). On-board DSP capabilities identical to d&b’s D12 amplifier means the D6 is equally versatile, capable of running all d&b loudspeaker configurations except the B2 subwoofer or any active two-way box.

Electro-Voice showed its new SB2A powered 12” subwoofer, designed to address the demand for lightweight high performance portable sound systems. Featuring dual 350W amplifiers, the SB2A’s switch-able powered speaker output can drive either an external 8 ohm passive subwoofer or full range loudspeaker. This makes SB2A a supremely versatile and compact 'sub-system drive' solution, easily configured with a variety of loudspeakers for a multitude of sound reinforcement applications.

Funktion-One ran its usual demos of their high-fidelity cabinets outside Hall 4, with the new Resolution 1.5 speaker being the major talking point this year. The UK-based audio manufacturer has much to look forward to celebrate in 2008, including the upcoming re-appearance at the Pyramid Stage of Glastonbury, as well as the acquisition of a new distribution channel in Sweden and Denmark, thanks to its new partnership with distributor Benum, also announced at the show.

Co-founder Tony Andrews was on hand to take us through the new additions with his customary laid-back yet infectious enthusiasm. The Resolution 1.5 cabinet combines the Resolution 1’s 5” cone loudspeaker with a new 90° axhead-loaded waveguide and substantial 18" bass has produced an extremely capable two way enclosure. In common with the Resolution 1, the 1.5’s 5" eliminates the need for compression drivers with their inherent harshness and distortion.

Completing its VerTec Series line array family of powered and passive loudspeaker models for the touring and rental market, JBL Professional's contribution to Frankfurt included the new VerTec VT4889ADP — a full-range, high directivity line array element — and the companion VT4880ADP, an ultra long excursion arrayable sub. Both models feature JBL DrivePack technology.

The VT4880ADP is billed as a high output, lightweight companion subwoofer to complement VT4889ADP full-range loudspeaker systems. It is fitted with two new 18" model 2269G ultra long-excursion low frequency transducers, each of which is rated at 2000W continuous, 8000W peak.

The subwoofer is capable of delivering 137dB SPL (1m). The VT4889ADP weighs only 99.9kg, enabling the construction of powerful low frequency arrays using multiple units. The unit is designed to be suspended in stand-alone arrays, coupled with other VT4889ADPs in the same array, or ground-stacked as required.

Now five years old, Alcons Audio had its most successful ProLight Sound, and one of its big attractions was its ‘R-Ray’ design study on achieving maximum projection control through a modular point source cluster, utilising (pro-ribbon) line source technology. The viewing of the LR7, the latest and smallest member of Alcons’ successful pro-ribbon line arrays, also attracted a lot of attention.

P.Audio’s new offerings include new products from the Woofer Series of LF drivers, including Flagship Series, Challenger Series II, SN Series II, AM Series, E Series II and IMF Series II; the Driver Series of compression drivers, including the BM-D Series II and PreNeo Series; and the PH-Series of HF horns.

The new EAW MicroWedge Series MW12 stage monitor raises the legendary sonic performance and superior design principles of previous MicroWedge versions to a new level. The MW12 is the first model of the series to be released since an agreement was reached between Loud Technologies and MicroWedge developer Rat Sound Systems in late 2007, stipulating that EAW would serve as the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of MicroWedge products.

The MW12 provides dramatically enhanced fidelity, power handling and reliability in comparison to earlier MicroWedge models, attained with an optimum blend of upgraded transducers and EAW’s hallmark crossover design techniques. Mechanical durability has been advanced as well, joined by enhancements in enclosure fabrication, ergonomics and interconnection, along with dramatic weight reduction.

The processor-enhanced and highly durable MW12 features a coaxial driver arrangement that pairs a 12" woofer with a 3" (diaphragm) HF compression driver on a horn delivering full yet tightly controlled 90° horizontal dispersion. This design path guarantees that all frequencies emanate from the exact same point, eliminating crossover region problems and time/phase irregularities, as well as optimising coherency. The coaxial approach also contributes to a very compact, low-profile footprint that stays out of sight-and camera-lines, but attained without sacrificing fidelity and high output levels.

At the Meyer Sound stand in Hall 4.1, the new, self-powered MM-4XP miniature loudspeaker was unveiled. The self-powered version of the acclaimed MM-4 wide-range miniature loudspeaker is an ideal solution for installations involving space and visibility concerns. Other models on show included the popular MJF-212A high-power stage monitor and M’elodie line array loudspeaker, as well as other MILO family loudspeakers.

Ohm announced the opening of Ohm Europe which will complete its northern European coverage in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Based in Nuremberg, the company is headed by Daniel Danzer and Sebastian Kamm. Among Ohm’s many new products is the BootiQue pro sound system. Its 10" active subwoofer is powered by a 100W amplifier, and two 50W amps contained in the same cabinet will power up to eight satellite speakers.

Community Professional Loudspeakers celebrated its 40th anniversary at the show and highlighted its weather-resistant designs, including the R-Series and WET Series II lines, alongside its CLOUD ceiling and I/O compact indoor/outdoor loudspeakers.

Turbosound has developed a revolutionary new loudspeaker bracket which means the new Impact series not only satisfies demand for great styling and sound quality — it greatly simplifies the sound system installer’s job.

The WB-5 adjustable wall bracket, supplied as standard with all three new Impact series installation loudspeakers, has integral electrical connections built into it. This neat solution allows the brackets to be sited, installed and pre-wired by an electrical contractor, who need have no acoustics knowledge, prior to the loudspeakers being available on-site.

The audio contractor simply push-fits the loudspeakers on to the brackets to complete the electrical circuit and angle the loudspeakers for best venue coverage.

VMB demonstrated two new, self powered line arrays in the Live Sound Forum — the Lynx V8 & Lynx F6. The new arrays’ features include an automatic inclinometer incorporated in each cabinet or Ethernet online monitoring. Back on the stand were new line array Towerlifts (TL-A320 and TL-A240) and the Arkeops digital processors.

Nexo showcased its latest compact tangent-array SR systems for touring applications and fixed installation, notably the GEO S12 Series and GEO D with GEO SUB, as well as its internationally-established PS Series.

Nexo also unveiled its new Ray Sub series; a low-profile high-output, modular, scalable bass cabinet which is capable of operating in both omni-directional and cardioid modes. Comprised of a 15" transducer with a frequency response of 35Hz-200Hz in omni (or 35Hz-150Hz in directional) mode and a sensitivity of 105db SPL, the RS 15 provides a useful versatility for installations and touring requirements. The patent-pending RS15 offers directive subwoofer coverage from a standard bass reflex subwoofer architecture. Simply turning the cabinet vertically or horizontally will change its characteristics from omni to cardioid.

Meanwhile, Nexo’s new NXAMP is a powered TDController, the first product to be generated by Nexo’s much-reported collaboration with Yamaha. The integration of amplifier, available in two four-channel sizes, with the Nexo TDController has generated a clean-sounding and efficient solution for live use. The TDController function provides crossover, sensed amplifier control and system alignment, using digital software algorithms to combine this calibrated data with sensed voltage and current measurements, precisely controlling the temperature and displacement of each driver.

RCF unveiled a host of important new products for 2008, including the new ART 7 Series — the latest addition to its famous ART amplified speakers. The ART series has been expanded with the 7 Series, which combine the results of a major functional and acoustic rethink with a slick new design. The new ART’s special structure is designed to dampen vibrations and the reflex tubes have been re-sized for improved efficiency. The handles are in fully rubber-coated aluminium for a more ergonomic grip.

All the loudspeaker models are equipped with a new generation of powerful, cutting-edge 750W digital amplifiers. The result is a very high output, extremely low distortion and an incredible natural sound. The models available are ART 710-A, ART 712-A and 715-A, ART 722-A and 725-A; the range is completed with the ART 902-AS and 905-AS 1000W subwoofers which are both equipped with new high power 12” and 15” woofer designs.

Tannoy’s stand was dominated by a large display of its new VQ Series arrayable loudspeakers. Utilising precision engineering and design, the VQ series can produce enough power and clarity to be used individually, maintaining the aesthetics of buildings, unlike line array solutions.

VQ incorporates a unique driver technology to radiate a coherent single point source (400Hz – 23kHz) for superior pattern control when coupled to a Point Source Waveguide (PSW). This advanced design aligns the acoustical centres of the transducers providing a single coherent wavefront emanating from the throat. The MF/HF transducer loads into a large proprietary designed common horn (patent pending). This technology allows VQ to maintain a beamwidth within a /-5° tolerance.

Tannoy VQ delivers a huge performance advantage when compared to acoustic sources which consist of an HF compression driver and separate mid-range driver each with their own horn. With VQ there is no interference between the mid-range and high frequency at the crossover point in the vertical plane.

Processing and control
Allen & Heath launched two new additions to the ZED range of small-format USB mixers. The ZED-12FX (six mono three dual stereo channels) and ZED-22FX (16 mono three dual stereo channels) retain the same professional feature set as other models in the range with the addition of a comprehensive section of in-house designed effects. These are divided into four types: tap tempo delays, short reverbs, long reverbs and modulation.

The new ZED FX mixers have a responsive three-band swept-mid EQ on the mono channels, with a two-band EQ on the stereo channels, 100mm long throw faders, four aux sends, a USB send and return, a unique dual stereo input capability, and advanced monitoring facilities. The connectors are placed on the top surface for easy plug-in and patching, and the construction, with individual circuit boards nutted to the top panel, is identical to Allen & Heath’s professional touring mixers.

Following the successful launch of its ‘concept’ console, the SD7, DiGiCo was proud to announce the wave of distributor interest that had been generated since the desk was enigmatically previewed at PLASA ’07. The first console was sold to Surrey-based rental company Sound Hire, and subsequent deals have been made with Ohio-based Eighth Day Sound, Belgium’s EML Productions and Germany’s Sirius Showequipment. DiGiCo also announced a special project with Autograph Sound, which will see both companies work together to produce a theatre-specific version, repeating the successes of an earlier collaborative effort: the D5T theatre version of the D5 Live.

The recently-launched PLM 10000Q, the first product of the new Powered Loudspeaker Management Series from Lab.gruppen, had its first Frankfurt showing. The PLM 10000Q comprises four channels of power amplification, dual Dolby Lake Processor modules, Dante low-latency networking and groundbreaking features for load verification and real-time performance monitoring. To introduce the kit to a new market, Lab.gruppen ran a series of multilingual presentations on their stand with visitors listening in English, German, Spanish, Swedish and Danish.

Renkus-Heinz hosted the European launch of the new EASERA SysTune measurement system — a new software-based measurement system that measures time-domain and frequency-domain simultaneously using live program material while an audience is present.

Crown International’s Macro-Tech amplifier series has been re-launched as the Macro-Tech i Series. Comprised of three models — the MA-5000i, MA-9000i and MA12000i — the Macro-Tech i Series builds upon its predecessor by incorporating Crown’s advanced, patented Class-I circuitry, which efficiently delivers significantly greater power while simultaneously reducing overall amplifier weight by more than half. The new line-up is also equipped with comprehensive status, fault, and load monitoring via standard Ethernet networking and Harman Pro's HiQnet and System Architect software.

Responding to requests from analogue users, Yamaha launched a brand new range of affordable, eight-buss analogue mixing consoles with advanced features. Three versions of the new IM8 Series will be available, featuring 24, 32 or 40 channels, all featuring the same world class build quality and rigorous testing procedures as the PM series consoles.

Cadac Electronics plc announced its Cadac Classic range, marking the British manufacturer’s 40th anniversary. First in the series is the Cadac Classic ME2 2-channel mic pre-amp mixer, designed as a high quality front-end unit that captures source material completely and in its truest form.

The FIRNET Linear Phase FIR Controller is a two-in/four-out system controller, developed specifically for HK Audio systems. The FIRNET Controller incorporates all the functions necessary to EQ, protect, control, and remotely manage Cohedra, Cohedra Compact and Contour Series systems. FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filtering technology provides total phase linearity across all components (speakers, controllers, and amps), enabling you to EQ a sound system’s frequency response and phase (or group delay) while maintaining complete phase linearity.

Clear-Com showed its Encore Party-line Communication System, the compact Eclipse Median Digital Matrix for mid-size to large applications, Eclipse Easi-PiCo Digital Matrix for smaller applications, and the flexible FreeSpeak10 wireless system. A new offering this year was Eclipse V-Series Desktop, the latest addition to the company’s line of sophisticated V-Series panel products that provides cutting-edge DSP technology in an acoustically-controlled contemporary design.

EtherSound technology developer Digigram has developed ES-100/spkr — a new version of the digital audio transport system for paired down performances, public addressing and background music applications. ES-100/spkr enables manufacturers to implement EtherSound in new devices for a fraction of the cost while keeping typical EtherSound control and administration features, when a fully featured ES-100 or ES-Giga implementation is not required.

The implementation fits into simple microcontrollers or DSP devices. ES-100/spkr products will fit comfortably into portions of EtherSound networks where only unidirectional streams and audio-out devices are required such as terminal network branches. These audio-out only devices are typically found in public address networks or monitoring-only systems.

Also announced at the show, PA and Barix AG will be the launch partner for the technology, implementing the ES-100/spkr technology in its successful Exstreamer IP audio decoder devices and OEM modules.

InnovaSon announced the further expansion of its popular range of console packages with the addition of the Pro FX package to the family. The new package has been developed to take full advantage of InnovaSon’s recently launched internal effects card and is available for both the Sy48 console or the larger Sy80, depending on customer requirements.

In both instances, the result is a highly powerful system in a very small footprint. In the case of the Sy48, this means 48 mic inputs plus 16 line inputs, and 24 processed outputs that may be configured as analogue, AES or ADAT according to user requirements.

Furthermore, InnovaSon has recently extended the mix capacity of the Sy48 to 104 inputs into 48 busses. Along with the control surface, the defining elements of the Pro FX package are, first and foremost, the inclusion of the new FM-8VB internal effects module offering 32 high quality effects engines. This powerful plug-in module occupies just one slot in the local rack.

Pro FX packages are delivered with Sensoft v.12, InnovaSon’s latest version software which offers a whole host of new features including full management of the new effects module and the comprehensive onboard processing which includes parametric EQs, compressor/limiters, delay, de-esser, gate/expander, and a 31-band graphic EQ on each output.

Klark Teknik debuted a third model in its popular Square One range — the Square One Splitter. Packaged in a road-worthy, 2U steel chassis, the Square One Splitter combines a simple eight-channel solution with a high-performance, pre-amp design, making it ideal for applications ranging from concert sound to recording.

The Square One Splitter’s Midas XL8-inspired mic pre-amps provide a 140dB dynamic range and high CMRR to accommodate input levels up to 22dBu. Another key feature is the Splitter’s third set of transformer-isolated, gain-independent outputs located on the front panel for easy connection of recording devices and outside broadcast facilities. There is also a 1-16 media split function, which allows input eight to be routed to all 16 rear-panel XLRs simultaneously via a single recessed switch on the rear panel, making it ideal for press feeds and other multiple-signal distribution applications.

K.M.E. marked the show with the launch of a new multi-functional digital subwoofer. The completely digital system unit VSS 15 with integrated 15“ subwoofer is launched within the VERSIO. The extreme lightweight (26kg) has been achieved thanks to its digital amplifier technology, a switch mode with PFC and high-quality neodymium loudspeaker. Inside, the VERSIO VSS 15 uses a digital 24-bit signal processor and three powerful Class D amplifiers.

The kit comes with analogue digital inputs — the latter accepts AES/EBU or S/PDIF up to 192kHz with format/sample rate converter and reaches a unsophisticated crystal-clear audio reproduction. The analogue input signal is digitalised directly inside the input amplifier using an intelligent 24-bit AD-converter and remains consequently digital to the Class D amplifier’s output. The user friendly control panel with LCD graphic display and the navigation pad guarantee plain control of all parameters. Up to 10 factory presets and five user presets enable a flexible and quick operational readiness of the system in each reinforcement situation required.

MC2 Audio showed for the first time its new Ti Series network audio products for use in Cobranet and/or EtherSound systems, making it simple to combine remote monitoring, configuration and control with the audio quality and reliability of MC2 Audio amplifiers and XTA digital expertise.

Core Ti models on show were the three stereo power amplifiers — Ti 1000 (500W/channel into 4 ohms), Ti 1500 (750W/channel into 4 ohms), Ti 2000 (1000W/channel into 4 ohms) – a four-channel Ti 4-250, the Ti Bridge and the Ti Breakout Box, which together allow routing of analogue audio on to and off Cobranet and EtherSound networks. The Ti Bridge and the Ti Breakout box can be either eight- or 16-channel. Also new was the T3500, a more powerful T Series amplifier, and the E80 two-channel amplifier, the latest addition to the E Series, delivering a minimum of 4000W/channel into 4 ohms and 5500W/channel into 2 ohms.

New additions on display by connector solutions leader Neutrik included the successor to its popular Combo series of jack and XLR hybrids. The new Combo A series is even more compact than its predecessor, and includes one of the smallest combined XLR / 1/4'' receptacle available.

Neutrik also introduced the successor of the C Series Silent Plug — NP2X-AU-SILENT. The innovative plug automatically mutes an instrument cable to avoid pops and squeals when changing the instrument under load. The new Silent Plug is featured with a rugged metal shell with a rubber overlay for best shock protection and reliability. The 1/4'' plug offers the Neutrik inimitable chuck-type strain relief for excellent cable retention.

The company has also embraced the trend of customisable mics and connectors with the release of its gem-stuffed Crystal XLR and jack connectors. Exhibiting the Neutrik’s high standard of manufacture, the plugs are also embellished with stones from the Swarovski Elements collection.

Coinciding with its 40th anniversary year, QSC Audio Products gave its new GX series amplifiers their European debut. At 8 ohms, the GX3 and GX5 are rated at 300W and 500W respectively, offering the continuous power capacity needed for a majority of common passive loudspeakers in use today. At the heart of these amps lie linear toroidal power supplies similar to those used in QSC’s popular RMX line of amplifiers.

Delivering improved thermal stability and efficiency, the GX3 employs a Class B output topology that squeezes every watt available from electrical circuits often overburdened by other stage gear. The two-tier Class H design of the GX5 approximately doubles the power of the GX3 using the same size transformers and heat sinks.

During the development of the GX Series from its inception, the QSC design team determined that very few potential GX users needed bridged operation or an extremely high output capacity at 2 ohms. By eliminating these capabilities and building the amps primarily for use with 4 and 8 ohm power, the GX Series emerged with significant cost reductions while still remaining fully-protected into all loads, and supporting light-duty 2 ohm operation for occasions when it might be needed.

Audio-Technica exhibited major new products, including its long-awaited first wireless in-ear monitor systems and USB interface production microphone.

The M2 and M3 IEM systems are high performance systems, each appointed for distinct sectors of the professional audio market. The M2 provides a mid market system for solo performers, small groups, presenters, and small- to-medium-sized concert systems, while the M3 is designed to fulfill large scale music, theatre and broadcast production requirements.

Both systems comprise a lightweight body-pack stereo receiver, and a stereo transmitter equipped with two 1/4"/XLR combo input connectors for line-level inputs from mixing consoles. Mono or stereo operation is selectable, and Audio-Technica’s proprietary Personal Mix Control gives individual control of the balance between the wearer’s personal signal level and the monitor mix. Both systems share the same optimum standards of audio fidelity, to ensure the clearest high resolution signals for performers. Both are equipped with Audio-Technica’s EP3 earphones featuring a proprietary Audio-Technica dynamic driver, to allow performers to hear themselves at comfortable SPLs.

Taking up its customary position in the gallery between Halls 8.0 and 9.0, Sennheiser provided a rolling schedule of demos and workshops. Its stand-out launches this year represented another progressive contribution to audio capture and wireless IEM.

First was its latest vocal microphone, the e965 — a hand-held vocal microphone with true condenser capsule with a large diaphragm. It combines the best available features of a stage microphone with Sennheiser’s experience in the field of acoustics.

Meanwhile, the SR 350 IEM G2 is Sennheiser’s new twin transmitter with a high level of operational reliability. It consists of two stereo transmitters within a full rack chassis, and is compatible with the receivers EK 300 IEM G2 of the ew 300 IEM G2 — and also with EK 3253. As well as offering all the features of the SR 300 IEM G2, the 300 also includes an internal switching power supply, switchable RF power and a 19" chassis with pre-assembled rack ears.

AED Rent Belgium announced at the show its first purchase of six Soundcraft Vi Series digital consoles. AED’s MD, Eddy van Nuffel, and general manager, Glenn Roggeman, agreed an initial purchase of two Vi6 and four Vi4 consoles with Alain Boone, account manager of live sound at Soundcraft’s Belgian distribution company, Audio XL. The desks are supplied with optical MADI I/O cards which provide an additional 64 channels of input and output for applications such as hard disk recording or broadcast feeds.

Lighting Systems
The A.C. Lighting stand featured the international launch of the new Jands Vista I3 lighting console and a preview of the new Chroma-Q Color Block 2 LED fixture. Drawing a major crowd, the Jands Vista I3 is a compact desk that provides most of the features of the full size T4/T2 consoles at around half the price. Featuring the software, processor and control elements of the full size consoles, users connect a screen, keyboard and mouse to their I3 and it becomes a fully-operational Vista. The recently-launched Vista S1compact control surface was also on show.

Demos of the Chroma-Q Color Block 2 showed the reliability and versatility of the original Color Block, but with striking improvements: a lumen output almost twice as bright as the original Color Block, new advanced single optic, full colour RGBA LEDs, and a unique Magic Amber mode for improved colour results. The fixture is also compatible with all existing Color Block accessories.

ADB Lighting Technologies previewed its new flagship dimming technology, Eurodim Twin Tech, which provides the best of both dimming worlds by allowing sine wave dimmer modules to be freely mixed with cost-efficient thyristor dimmer modules in a single cabinet.

Mixable in any proportion up to 128 x 3kW or 96 x 5kW channels, divided into 32 plug-in modules, each module has a 63A supply protection for optimum safety. ADB’s R&D team made this possible through the development of a unique new Assisted Ventilation system that provides high efficiency cooling and ensures continuous and reliable operation up to the nominal power of 600A per cabinet. Eurodim Twin Tech also incorporates new remote operation facilities which provide both multi-user remote dimmer channel assignment via wifi PDAs, and remote dimmer diagnostics over IP — e.g. from the ADB customer service centres.

Also on display was a preview of Mikado, the first member of a new family of five user-friendly and yet powerful lighting consoles, intended for small to medium size stages with or without moving lights, whenever flexibility, case of use and cost are the prime considerations.

Avolites brought its new Pearl Tiger lighting console to Frankfurt for the first time, showing it off alongside a new version the famous Avolites ART2000 Series touring dimmer on German distributor Trendco’s stand.

The Pearl Tiger is a streamlined version of Avo’s flagship Pearl Expert, featuring 30 channels and 10 roller playback channels. Offering everything the LD needs for quick and easy programming of small to medium sized shows, the Pearl Tiger’s expedient footprint, powerful functionality and familiar operating system made it an impressive addition to the show.

Barco hosted the European launch of its DML-1200 digital moving head luminaire. In lighting mode, the DML-1200 produces a perfectly circular light beam with a phenomenal light output equivalent to that of a 1200W hard edged moving light. In video mode, the DML-1200 delivers a light output of 10,000 ANSI lumens in a rectangular format, which is reportedly almost twice as bright as other digital light products on the market today. The DML-1200 also features a fully-sealed DLP engine which delivers full colour DLP quality video with SXGA (1400 x 1050 pixel) resolution. An internal optical dimming mechanism ensures smooth, accurate intensity control from 0-100% ensuring that a fade to black is a fade to true black, not video black (grey).

The show was the springboard for various new fixtures from Chauvet, including new additions to their COLORado and LED series fixtures. Its COLORado6 and ColorRado panel got star billing on the Chauvet stand. The ColoRado6 shares with the popular COLORado3 three pods of LEDs, an IP66 rating, RGB colour mixing, built-in automated programs via master/slave, interlocking casings, and loop-through power and data cable wiring — but also features 108 2W LEDs (36 red, 36 green, 36 blue) each with a life expectancy of 50,000 hours and a combined output three times as bright as the COLORado3.

Meanwhile, the COLORado Panel is a DMX-512 RGBW LED bank system that operates in three, four, or nine channel modes. Each operating mode offers a varying level of control over the 48 x 2W LEDs, with colour temperature presets between 3,200-10,000°K. Designed for indoor and outdoor applications with a durable, UV-resistant cover, and featuring an IP66 rating, COLORado Panel produces outputs of 23,026 Lux (2,140fc), with a beam angle of 13x9° (field angle 25x22).

In addition, Chauvet brought to the show a number of high-power 1W LED fixtures. The LEDsplash2 is a compact, low-profile six-channel DMX-512 wash light that fits inside a standard box truss, and is capable of RGB colour mixing in DMX and stand-alone modes, while featuring both automated and sound-activated programs. The COLORpalette2 is a six, nine, 15, or 27 DMX channel panel fixture that features RGB control over up to eight separate sections of the unit. And finally, the LED Shadow2 is a three-channel DMX LED blacklight that features multiple modes of operation and a coverage area of up to 9x9m.

Like the entire Giotto series, the SGM Giotto Digital 1500 has truly revolutionary features. Patenting a special application of DLP technology, SGM has managed to combine the advantages of digital video projection with the experience built up in designing moving head fixtures which, thanks to their brightness and speed, have become a standard. Find out more about the new Giotto Digital 1500 in a special podcast at!

Robert Juliat’s exhibited wares included the Lancelot 4kW HTI image projector and the latest followspot model, the 1800W MSR Victor, both of which attracted many orders on the stand.

CycLite Led is the ultimate fixture in Coemar’s LED technology range. A digital cyclorama devised for theatres, live events and TV shows, its brand new optical system, powerful LEDs and advanced colour mixing (RGB white source) are among the most attractive features.

Kinesys exhibited with new company Rigging Europe, which has been formed by two of the largest and most well respected entertainment distributors in Europe — Sonoss of France and Louis Reyners of the Netherlands. Both are long-standing CM distributors and have been jointly distributing the Kinesys range in mainland Europe up to this point.

ChainMaster was another company celebrating a birthday. It was 15 years ago that it developed the first chain-hoist controller to be tested and approved by the German trade association with liability for industrial safety and insurance.

On a typically showy stand, Clay Paky lit up the hall with its entire range of Alpha moving body projectors, from 300 to 1200W. The latest of these — as detailed in our last issue — is the Alpha Beam 300, pegged as an alternative to a PAR 64 ACL in a compact and powerful moving light beam. It produces a concentrated near parallel light beam similar to that of a PAR 64 ACL but with superior features, courtesy of a low power 300W lamp which Clay Paky assures produces three times the brightness as that of an ordinary 1200W wash projector, making it a useful long-throw fixture capable of cutting through stage washes and LED backgrounds.

Frankfurt was also the stage for the debut of High End Systems’ DL.3, the newest addition its line of digital lighting products and demoed at the Arcus GmbH stand. Billed by High End as a next generation fixture, the DL.3 features an integrated media server and is equipped with a 6500 lumen three-chip LCD projector — a high output for a three-chip digital light. A high 2000:1 contrast ratio results in a decent ‘video black,’ while an SDI input/output for is available for professional AV applications. A handy feature is the DMX-controlled vertical lens shift function, which allows a user to set the lens shift function by DMX cue.

Also on the stand were the new Road Hog programming and playback wings for the Wholehog 3, Road Hog Full Boar, Hog iPC and Hog 3PC. The new Road Hog wings include a powerful programming or playback surface, 12" colour touch screen, blue LED marker lights and a DMX output expansion slot. The wings can be expanded to output four universes of DMX when used with a PC-based Wholehog product.

MA Lighting’s grandMA2 comes with completely redesigned hardware supporting the existing grandMA software as well as all current and proposed lighting control standards. Listening closely to the market MA Lighting — celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — has kept the intuitive grandMA control philosophy including the same command line and syntax.

MA has cleaned up, improved and extended the software, and optimised colours and views. The advanced networking architecture is now more powerful and allows compatibility with the ‘old’ grandMAs. Independent from user interfaces, for theatre-style programming or a concert touring multi-user programming session, grandMA2 suits it all and includes fader wings that offer up to 90 faders per console. New ways of architectural interconnection are also possible.

Visitors to the Martin stand found a wealth of new additions to the MAC range on display, including an extra bright version of the MAC 2000 Wash; new indoor and outdoor LED luminaires; new Magnum and Jem brand smoke machines; new lighting control systems and more. The flagship release is the extra bright MAC 2000 Wash XB, which kicks out over 60,000 lumens of power from a 1500W lamp to make it 40% brighter than the old MAC 2000 Wash. New efficient fans, ballast and starter combine with tried and trusted MAC 2000 modularity, optics and effects to produce a highly usable light.

Two additions to Martin’s Magnum range of stage fog generators were given plenty of exposure. The Magnum 650 boasts a fast heat-up time and a punchy 600W heat exchanger, while the Magnum 850 is a more powerful fogger producing full, dense fog. Wrapped in a sleek new design, this hard-working, rugged fog machine gives superb performance, offering substantial cost and maintenance benefits over a long operational life. Meanwhile, the Jem K1 Hazer is Martin’s new generation, top-of-the line hazer for high performance applications.

Six new products graced Robe’s typically ambitious looking stand. The first of these is the the DigitalSpot 3000 DT, a high performance digital moving light projector combining an LED-based wash light with a digital projector. The fixture emits 2,700 ANSI lumens from a single 200W projection lamp and has an awesome contrast ratio of 2,000:1 which is now available in an affordable and compact package featuring an additional REDWash Module from Robe’s RED (Robe Emitted Diodes) Series.

Also on the stand was the DigitalSpot 7000 DT, Robe’s new flagship digital moving light projector, based on LCD technology. The fixture emits 6,500 ANSI lumens from a single 330W projection lamp and is loaded with new and exciting parameters from its graphics engine and motorised fixture layout.

Robe's new DreamBox is a multi-functional tool box with two DMX ports and one USB 2.0 port that communicates with a PC or laptop via USB. With additional Robe software, the DreamBox provides fixture software updates, DMX Control and RDM (Remote Device Management) — a new control protocol featuring AutoPatch and Fixture Status Monitoring. Robe also launched its new RED (Robe Emitted Diodes) Series of fixtures which includes the REDWash 3•192, REDPar 3•84 and REDLine 3•48 variants.

ETC’s eagerly-awaited Ion control desk was seen for the first time in Hall 9.0. Like its big sister, Eos, with which it shares the same programming syntax, Ion has been designed for today’s multimedia lighting rigs — delivering seamless control over conventionals, moving lights and LEDs. Only 19" wide, Ion is a compact, affordable solution for space starved venues, with the flexibility to grow more powerful as needed.

Also on show was the first public view of SmartSoft, a new software application that runs on a PC and can be used to get to know the SmartFade ML lighting control console using its on-screen virtual console face panel. ETC also unveiled Congo v5.0, the latest version of its lighting control software.

Also in Hall 9.0, Griven’s latest units include the new Graph-i-Spot, a modular 3W full-colour LED unit that will accept any graphic, video or still image coming from a DVI media server or DMX 512 signal, and the configuration system can then store and trigger the show. At the other end of the scale, the impressive Spyke 2000 is a powerful Xenon 2000W moving head projector designed for the heavy duty applications.

The show organisers reported an attendance of 112,000 visitors from 126 countries to both ProLight Sound and its associated MI sector event, Musikmesse, beating last year’s record by 4%. Next year’s show will take place on April 1-4 2009.