Total Production

PLASA07 PREVIEW

September 2007


September's PLASA trade show, which annually draws international crowds to London's Earls Court, will take on a new layout and occupy two halls for the first time.

This year's show at Earl's Court will feature the hotly anticipated debut for PLASA Events, a new division of the Association, which foresees record exhibitor and visitor numbers over September 9-12.


The industry's leading manufacturers will use PLASA07 as the launch pad for their latest technologies, including new developments in lighting, analogue and digital audio, video, special effects, staging and rigging products.


The show's new single-floor layout — which gives the show plenty of room for future growth — has made it possible to create more quiet and comfortable seating areas in Earls Court 2, including a wi-fi zone, for meetings and socialising.


A dedicated fast-track entrance will be provided for pre-registered visitors (tickets can still be bought on the day from the usual registration area at the front of Earls Court 1), as well as four PLASA Theatres, which will host four days of exclusive seminars, training sessions and workshops. These Theatres are located on the main show floor in Earls Court 2, divided into official 'special interest' seminar theatre sessions and exhibitor-led sessions.


With its broadest agenda in the show's history, the PLASA07 educational programme will give attendees access to some of the most knowledgeable practitioners in the industry. Last year's guest presenters Technologies for Worship and InfoComm International return with an expanded seminar programme, while Cast Software will host a series of visualisation training sessions.


The four-day Special Interest Seminars programme includes sessions from InfoComm International and the British Entertainment Industry Radio Group (BEIRG). It is designed to offer attendees an update on current industry issues, as well as valuable knowledge that can be applied in the workplace.


Several theatres have recently announced their intention to become carbon neutral, so Monday will see a special presentation from The Theatres Trust, assessing how venues can do more to become carbon neutral theatres. On Tuesday, BEIRG presents Digital Dividend Review: The Consequences, an update on the status of this crucial issue which has brought the industry together to fight to save the radio frequencies it relies on.


Tuesday also sees InfoComm Academy's Design School present Using Displays In A Staging Environment (understanding image brightness level essentials), aimed at all presentation professionals, whilst on Wednesday, InfoComm returns to present Ethernet Usage For AV & Staging, addressing the uses of Cat-5/6 cabling in a staging environment.


Leading the charge among the exhibitor-led sessions is Wireless Solutions whose team present Wireless Control Technology on Monday, followed later in the day by Acrobatic Rigging At Cirque du Soleil, hosted by Cirque du Soleil's technical director for Dralion and the chief rigger for Kà.


On Tuesday, Dr. Evert Start of Duran Audio’s R&D team will host a presentation entitled Modern Loudspeaker Array Theories & Technologies. The seminar will cover the basic physics of loudspeaker arrays and show how the directivity of loudspeaker arrays can be altered using ‘beam steering’ or digital directivity technologies.


Dr. Start will also investigate how these technologies can help achieve high levels of speech intelligibility and music clarity in even the most difficult of acoustic spaces and also how the technologies can be used to gain directivity at low frequencies. The theory and technologies discussed can be applied to both the worlds of commercial audio and sound reinforcement.


These are just part of a wider programme, full details of which can be found on the PLASA07 website at www.plasashow.com

SPECIAL FEATURES

Earls Court 2 will host the first public assessment sessions for the newly-launched National Rigging Certificate, which officially goes 'live' at PLASA07 following a successful pilot run this spring.


The redesigned Innovation Gallery, where the products nominated for the 2007 PLASA Awards for Innovation will be on display, has become a special feature of the walkways connecting Earls Court 1 and 2, with the Awards presentation at the Central Bar open to all visitors and exhibitors at 6pm on the Monday. These Awards recognise the best design and development work going on across the industry.


The PLASA Central Bar, at the heart of the show in Earls Court 1, will stay open until 8pm on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after the exhibition floor closes, giving everyone a chance to socialise without having to leave the show floor.


PLASA's director of events, Nicola Rowland, commented: "The buzz in the build-up to PLASA07 is tremendous and we are confident this will be the most exciting year yet in the PLASA Show's 30-year history."

NEW PRODUCTS
We’ve already covered Lab.gruppen’s big product launch in our news section, but the Swedes aren’t the only company that’s showcasing significant new amplifier technology.


Yamaha’s line-up of power amplifiers is extended at PLASA by the launch of its new flagship TXn Series consisting of three high power models, the TX6n, TX5n and TX4n. Delivering 2200W, 2500W and 3000W respectively at 2 ohms, each model offers sophisticated onboard DSP, an area in which Yamaha quality is legendary. All three TXn models incorporate a sophisticated 24-bit 96-kHz DSP engine that delivers an extraordinary range of control and processing capabilities.


In addition to basic amplifier control and status monitoring, there is enough DSP power built in to provide extensive speaker processing capabilities that will make external equalisers, delays and speaker processors unnecessary in most applications. We’ll be looking at the range in-depth in our October issue.


Audio-Technica, as well as celebrating its 45th year, is showing a wealth of new products, including the new Engineered Sound Series installation microphones, the already highly popular ATH-M50 monitor headphones, the Sabine Phantom Mic Rider DSP microphone management system, and the 1800 Series camera mount wireless microphone system.


The new stand concept Audio-Technica first unveiled at last year’s PLASA is officially designated a serenity zone, offering Japanese massage, health reviving beverages, and a chill-out area with ambient music played through the widely-acclaimed ATH-ANC7 noise canceling headphones, for those seeking a deeper level of peaceful isolation.


Exclusive UK distributor Source Distribution, a specialist division of HHB Communications, will highlight the new Røde M3 microphone which is now shipping. The M3 is a cardioid condenser design that can be powered either by standard 48V phantom power or by an internal 9V PP3 battery.


Turbosound invites you to meet the latest additions to the critically acclaimed TA-500 family of professional point source loudspeakers, the TA-500t and TA-500tDP touring enclosures. The new additions bring the TA-500 Aspect Wide series up to a total of seven self-powered and bi-amped/tri-amped products, providing a multitude of practical solutions for both flown and ground stacked touring; downfill and infill use; as well as for fixed installations, and including the TA-500H horizontal enclosure version suitable for limited ceiling height venues.


Orbital Sound will exhibit at PLASA for the first time. Making its UK debut is RockNet, an advanced and fully scaleable, cost-effective network solution conceived and optimised for managing audio and control data for live sound. RockNet also features a plug-in card for Yamaha’s M7CL creating a fully integrated CAT5 based multicore solution for this popular console.


As a d&b audiotechnik official sales and installation partner, Orbital’s experienced staff will be on hand to discuss its latest d&b installations and demonstrate the company’s latest Remote Network Software solutions. The latest digital mixing consoles from Yamaha and Digidesign will be showcased as will a host of wireless radio comms solutions from both HME and Telex. Also on display is RTS Telex’s range of wired comms systems. Orbital will also showcase its unique CSC audio playback and show control software and illustrate its potential as a powerful design tool capable of automating and perfecting theatrical shows and live events in general.


Advanced multi-channel digital radio microphone solutions will be presented from Zaxcom, with the first UK demonstrations of the highly advanced wireless remote control, stereo signal adaptor and built-in IFB reverse radio options.


Bag End’s popular double-10" subwoofer system is now available in a self-powered version, the PD10E-I. The system packs a lot of bass into a small cabinet, thanks to the company’s exclusive Infra technology that provides high-fidelity yet compact bass sound. The PD10E-I is self-powered thanks to the built-in Minima One internal modular amplifier, which is a 1,000W hi-fidelity, high efficiency amplifier that weighs just 5lbs.


OHM (UK) Ltd, fast becoming a rarity as one of the few remaining truly British speaker manufacturers, is celebrating its 25th anniversary at this year’s PLASA by showing new and improved products — the HD-FM high power stage monitor, the LM range of install/mobile cabinets and the BootiQue sound system.


The HD-FM stage monitor comprises of two 12” low/mid-range drivers coupled to a coaxial compression driver featuring a separate 3” and 1.75” coil diaphragm assemblies on a single throat, coupled to a proprietary 1.5” horn flare.


The LM Series is a fully featured, painted ply range intended for smaller installations and mobile use. It comprises of compression driver loaded 12”, 15” and 2 x 15” full range units and monitors, and an 18” sub-bass. The BootiQue is a packaged professional sound system in a box. The 10” active sub-woofer is powered by a 100W amplifier with two 50W amplifiers, contained in the same cabinet, and will power up to eight Satellite speakers.


One of the UK’s biggest distributors, beyerdynamic is spearheading ‘advanced technologies’ at this year’s exhibition on a new stand opposite the technology showcase at the main entrance. Here, the company will be supporting Dynacord, Biamp, Renkus-Heinz, ASL, Cue, Gallien Kruger, Meyer, XTA, Procon, Altec Lansing, WHD, Blusky and Bittner.


Beyerdynamic will feature the active Renkus-Heinz Sigma and Iconyx loudspeaker lines, as well as the UK debut of ‘Rhaon’, a Cobranet-based distribution and monitoring control system. With emphasis on networking and infrastructure, beyerdynamic solutions-orientated approach to system design brings TCP/IP connectivity and the Cobranet platform from Biamp — AudiaFLEX — as the backbone to quality audio processing.


The Biamp PA2 card will be making its UK launch, offering cost effective digital amplification as an integral part of a Flex System. The amplifier card will fit into the flex frame and directly power 4, 6 or 8 ohm speakers. The output power is software configurable from 5-30W dual-channel and from 10-60W mono-bridged. An upgraded AudiaFLEX power supply provides a total of 120W of power, for up to 12 PA-2 cards.


The Biamp Paging System AudiaFLEX includes the new Networked Paging Station-1, an innovative input interface and a plug-and-play front-end control that dramatically cuts costs and installation time while providing paging systems in clubs and venues, with pure and natural Biamp sound that is true to life.


Renkus-Heinz’s Iconyx IC7 Series of column loudspeakers deliver constant, directional SPLs over large distances. PF Series Intelligent Digital Amplifiers can connect to Rhaon, the Renkus-Heinz Audio Operations Network. Rhaon gives you complete control of digital audio distribution, loudspeaker processing and system management.


Beyerdynamic also brings Dynacord’s launch of the Variline loudspeaker line. This high end range of install loudspeakers is complemented by the new permanent installation Paramus series of two and four channel amplifiers.


At the front end of its systems, beyerdynamic has designed and produced a world first conferencing solution named ‘Revoluto’. The award-winning Revoluto is the world’s first line array microphone for conference applications.


Complementing the conference solutions, beyerdynamic will also be showing its new SIR infrared simultaneous interpreter system. Integrating all of this technology within an Ethernet framework is the CUE control system which gives simple integration of total system control in a variety of venues for automation of lights, audio, visual, life safety and environmental control and monitoring.


Not forgetting the company’s roots in the pro audio arena, beyerdynamic is also launching the new Opus 89, the ‘top of the line’ hand-held dynamic microphone for live applications. Beyerdynamic has also advanced its range of wireless systems, introducing the flagship Opus 900 series.


HK Audio's ConTour Series is its benchmark range of high performance loudspeaker cabinets for professional near-field sound reinforcement, along with the innovative new ConTour Array, which bridges the gap between conventional PA systems and large touring line arrays.


COHEDRA remains HK’s number one compact line array system for larger scale applications, whilst COHEDRA Compact (CoCo) offers HK’s revolutionary COHEDRA technology in an even more compact format.


HK's active systems offer meticulously optimised self-powered, self controlled ‘Plug‘n’Play’ systems, from the incredibly compact yet amazingly potent L.U.C.A.S systems — including the new 2kW L.U.C.A.S Alpha — through to the mighty self-powered, long-throw 3.6kW Projector.


A wide variety of products from the AXYS Intellivox and Target ranges will be on show on Duran Audio’s stand. In addition, the company will be previewing its second generation of self powered AXYS Sound Reinforcement products which boast on board Digital Signal Processing and advanced driver technologies.

ANNIVERSARY
The headlines on the Shuttlesound stand this year are all about the 80th anniversary of Electro-Voice, the legendary loudspeaker designer and manufacturer behind some of the most significant innovations in the history of sound reinforcement.


New to the UK at PLASA is EV’s ZxA5 powered speaker, which features an integrated high output, lightweight digital amplifier that produces 1000W LF and 250W HF. Perfect for an incredibly wide range of applications, the DVX3150 provides the ultimate in lightweight reliability, but with a heavyweight 500W power rating.


Shuttlesound is focusing its high-end product display on compact line arrays, featuring flown hangs from three different ranges, the XLC, XLD and XLE. The well-established XLC design has recently been given a major boost in the shape of the DVX upgrade, incorporating new EV 12-inch low-frequency/mid-bass woofers into the XLC127 cabinets, giving greater high-SPL stability and full-bandwidth intelligibility than previously available.


On the KV2 Audio stand, Vieta will unveil its proprietary network protocol and software, Vieta-Net, demonstrating its potential with another new product, the Ti Line compact remote-controlled amplifier system. Vieta's philosophy of high-quality low-complexity products has also produced new accessories for the successful So Line wireless speakers. A clever adaptor now allows the So Cube to be mounted on any microphone stand, and a new Junior Flightcase/Re-charging station for six units enables the So Line technology to be used in smaller system configurations.


KV2 Audio is exhibiting its full range of products including new arrivals in all its product ranges. The new EX6 will be launched — it’s a very high quality compact speaker system producing a two way full-range solution, which defies its size. The EX6 features state of the art components including the KV2 1” NVPD compression driver, Trans Coil 6” woofer and complete on board control with electronic crossovers, phase alignment, EQ and speaker protection integrated into the EX6’s amplifier module.


The VHD range is further enhanced by the arrival of the VHD 1.0 down-fill enclosure giving the user extended coverage from a flown VHD 2.0 system in situations that require it. The new version of the already established EX2.5, the EX2.5 MkII features a new Speaker Level output on an EP4 connector to drive one additional passive ES 2.6 subwoofer from its own internal amplifier further enhancing the versatility of the EX Series subwoofers. The ES 2.6 subwoofer is essentially an 8 ohm version of the existing ES 2.5 subwoofer from the ES Series.


Sennheiser will be showing its products alongside those of its distribution partners. Making its debut is Sennheiser’s EM3732, a pro radio receiver featuring numerous innovative functions, including a digital audio output, high-contrast OLED display and a unique, intuitive-to-use icon-based menu. Also on display for the first time is the MKH8000, a high-end modular microphone series with exceptionally low self-noise and wide frequency response.


The Sennheiser stand also welcomes NetCIRA by Fostex: the NetCIRA series of products provides a unique digital audio distribution and management solution. Using EtherSound technology the NetCIRA system can transfer up to 64 channels of 24-bit 44.1/48kHz uncompressed digital audio, with extremely low latency, via a single CAT 5 cable.


On display at Sennheiser’s stand is Klein Hummel’s new CLS range of column speakers, specifically designed for flat panel display presentations; PAS 100, a completely wireless indoor/outdoor portable sound reinforcement system, and the K-8 digital audio networking platform, enabling 16 channels of uncompressed digital audio to be carried over a standard Cat5 cable.


APart is a Belgian designer and manufacturer of contractor audio products for the fixed install market, with an extensive range of loudspeakers, electronics and accessories for both the 100V public address market and the traditional 8-16 ohm market.


APB Dynasonics will be exhibiting on the stand of its newly-appointed UK and Eire distributor, Resolution Distribution (part of KV2 Audio in the UK). On the stand will be the Spectra-Ti, a high performance analogue VCA console available with 24, 32, 40, 48 and 56 mono input channels, all sizes featuring four additional stereo line-input channels.


The new ProRack-House and ProRack-Monitor mixers incorporate a wealth of professional features, 16 input channels and exceptional performance in 10 RU. MixSwitch is a multi-channel audio switching and combining system that occupies only 1U of rack space. Typical applications when in switch mode includes selecting between the primary console (Digital or Analogue) and back-up console, or between headline and opening act consoles in concert/presentation situations.


PLASA07 will see MC2 Audio and XTA Electronics exhibiting together for the first time since they merged in March this year. MC2 Audio’s new E80 2-channel amplifier (4000W/channel into four ohms and 5500W into two ohms) will make its first appearance at PLASA. Using MC2’s new, proprietary, ultra-efficient circuitry in a lightweight 2U chassis, the high temperature problems, normally associated with high powered amplifiers, are eliminated.


XTA will release the latest version of AudioCore with an enhanced feature set, including Global Ganging. New on Monday and Tuesday afternoons for this year’s show, will be presentations on these new features. The new Walkabout kit with built-in RS485 conversion and external antenna, offering even greater wireless freedom, will also be on show for the first time.


Allen & Heath will be unveiling the new ZED Series entry-level USB mixer range and a new addition to the industry-standard Xone DJ range at this year’s show. The company will also be exhibiting the latest developments in its iLive digital mixing system, and the Xone:3D, 2D and 1D DJ MIDI controllers. Models from the ML, GL, WZ, PA, and iDR Series will also be shown.


PLASA07 will mark Logic System’s 10th appearance at the show and after recent events it enters as the UK’s largest privately owned premium loudspeaker brand. Recent shows have seen additions to the Ethos Array live sound products and PLASA continues in that vane with the launch of Ethos Nd bass options.


The heart of Ethos Nd is new generation long excursion neodymium drive units. Three products will be launched at the show with further additions coming over the next 12 months. Ethos Nd215 has been introduced to compliment the Ethos CA fixed angle array box and will form the basis of ground stacking CA or have the capability to be flown above it. Nd315 has been designed to fulfill the same role with Ethos VA vertical array while Ethos Nd218 aims to be the reference touring sub bass enclosure.


The Logic stand will also show products from the LM stage monitor range, ML multi-function series and IS installation specific product line.


A little over two years after Nexo and Yamaha announced the formation of a strategic alliance for product development and distribution, the first fruits of the collaboration are to be revealed at PLASA. For the first time on the international stage, Nexo will unveil the NXAMP, a powered TD Controller. The integration of amplifier, available in two four-channel sizes, with the Nexo TDController is a cooler, cleaner and more efficient solution, which will bring cost and operational benefits to live use as well as fixed installation.


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.


Nexo will also debut the first of its new RS Subwoofer Series. There are three models in this new Series — 15”, 18” and 21”. Although it has been designed in tandem with the GEO S12 Series of loudspeakers, the RS15 is also intended for use with other Nexo system elements. Uniquely, the RS Subs can switch between cardioid and omnidirectional characteristics, simply by turning the cabinet vertically or horizontally.


RCF, who recently launched itself on the Italian stock exchange with an annual turnover of €50 million, will be presenting a whole roster of new products. These will include the TT 31-A, which is a “mini” two-way system, delivering very high output and dynamics plus extreme accuracy and high frequency extension. With its compact size the TTL31-A is the ideal tool for indoor applications, live performances and multimedia events.


The TTL12-AS active sub is the ideal complement for the TTL31-A array module. The band-pass design guarantees the maximum output per size, the 4” voice coil vented design woofer offering the minimum of power compression.


RCF Acustica P Series coaxial weatherproof high performance speaker systems are a new addition to the RCF Acustica range of ‘Audio Contractor’ installation speaker systems. The TT25-SMA is a high performance, coaxial, stage monitor, offering linear curve response and consistent coverage.


RCF will also be introducing a new range of Passive Speakers, the TT 22 and TT25. This new range has been specifically designed for the theatre and touring markets as well as fixed installations. The new, two-way active Digital ART 522-A / 525-A systems will also be showcased.

Funktion-One’s systems can be heard in a separate demo room on the mezzanine level near The Terrace restaurant. Alongside the renowned Resolution Series and Dance Stack systems, new products include the F121 and F221 bass enclosures. Also on show will be compact bass enclosures, the revolutionary Resolution 1, wide-dispersion F88 and the new F55 and F81 allowing the smallest venues to benefit from the purity of Funktion-One sound.


LA Audio will again be present, exhibiting the best of British professional signal processors and accessories for sound reinforcement, including highly developed graphic equalisers, high performance active mic splitters, dynamic processors, mixers/distribution amplifiers, mic channel digiboxes, compressors/limiters and stable clock signal generators.


Community Professional Loudspeakers is exhibiting with UK distributor CUK Audio. On display will be an extensive selection from the recently-introduced iBOX and VERIS installation loudspeakers, the industry leading all-weather R-Series and WET Series ll, CLOUD ceiling and I/O indoor/outdoor loudspeakers, and the new SONUS Series. There’s also an important addition to the iBOX Series — the Community i2W8 is a two-way, full-range loudspeaker system providing smooth, ultra-wide, horizontal coverage.


Adam Hall will combine its successful piano bar theme with a more traditional stand, featuring the ever-expanding range of LD Systems products and new innovative additions to the vast hardware selection. Key new items this year are additions to the ‘LD Powered by Eminence’ line-up. Joining the already successful LDE122 loudspeaker cabinet will be the new 15” LDE152 speaker cabinet. Other areas of focus will be the newly-designed wireless range with the LDMEI100 wireless in-ear monitoring system being the flagship model. Adam Hall’s Defender cable crossover range has new innovative additions, with the Defender XXl, Ultra L and Subterra cable protectors, and Event Flooring cable management system. Also being launched is the ‘Line Array Kit’ from Beyma Acustica.


Meyer Sound will be presenting several new products. The UPJunior ultracompact VariO loudspeaker brings the benefits of a rotatable horn and high power-to-size ratio from the UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeaker to an even smaller package.


The MJF-212A high-power stage monitor has progressed from its debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival to worldwide acclaim on tours by the likes of Metallica and Steely Dan. Meanwhile, the M'elodie ultracompact high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker continues to find its way into sound systems and installations of practically every type, all over the world. The CQ-1 wide coverage loudspeaker will also be shown at PLASA with a new, updated grille treatment.


Visitors to the Meyer Sound stand will have an opportunity to experience first-hand the power and versatility of the Matrix3 audio show control system, a perfect tool for the most demanding theatrical and themed spectacle applications. The Galileo loudspeaker management system (with Compass control software) and MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction software, both loaded with their latest software updates, will also be available for demo sessions.


Only a few days after PLASA, audio professionals will have the opportunity to learn more about essential principles in designing sound reinforcement systems when Meyer Sound senior technical seminar instructor Mauricio Ramirez presents a System Design Principles seminar in Wrexham, Wales on September 17. For more information about Meyer Sound seminars, go to:
www.meyersound.com/education/.

 

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