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Live Sound Shines at AES 2008

Nov 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

An overview of new products from the annual audio engineering conference.

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The HM plug-on transmitter from Lectrosonics converts any standard mic into a wireless unit. The HM features an LCD and switches for setting and monitoring, 100mW RF output for long range, and runs on two AA batteries for long operation. Besides its obvious applications, the HM's flat 40kHz-20kHz (±1dB) response is ideal for use with measurement mics for audio system analysis when used as part of the Lectrosonics TM400 system.

Shure is now shipping its UR1M micro-bodypack transmitter, which operates with the company's premium UHF-R system and is half the size of most bodypacks, weighing just 3oz. with two AAA batteries. Features include up to 3,000 selectable frequencies, switchable 10/50 mW RF output power, and 9 hours of battery life.

There was a lot that was high-tech at AES, but sometimes a simple solution is best. Radial Engineering's SW4 club and festival switcher is a brilliant 1RU box (with gold-sealed relays and Jensen transformers) that can feed three consoles, a DJ mixer, and a CD player into a system. It can route walk music to the house PA while the FOH mixer is tearing down, and a mic input is included for announcements and evacuation safety.

Consoles Take Center Stage at PLASA

Maybe it's the economy, or simply a growing demand for smaller footprint boards that consume less profitable seat real estate in prime main floor spots, but the hot console debuts in London at PLASA, which was held Sept. 7-10, fit that category precisely. New entries such as the DiGiCo SD8 and Soundcraft's Si3 also appeared at AES (see main article). Another hot console that debuted at PLASA was the Midas Pro6, which offers power and versatility in a compact frame.


Just two years after launching its revolutionary XL8, Midas announced its second networked digital audio system. Adapting technologies from its larger sibling, the XL8, the new Pro6 offers similar audio performance in a package that combines digital mixing/processing and comprehensive audio distribution.

The Pro6 system consists of a Control Centre and two 7RU boxes handling DSP and I/O. Despite its small 54"×36" footprint (about the size of a 32-channel Verona mixer), the Pro6 can deliver up to 80 simultaneous input channels and as many as 32 discrete mixes in monitor mode, with all channels having full EQ and numerous dynamics processing options. The standard Pro6 provides 56 channel inputs, eight returns, and 41 buses (16 auxes, 16 matrix, three masters, and six solos). Also included are eight internal stereo FX processors, parametric EQ, eight standard (up to 36 max) 31-band graphic EQs, 5.1 surround panning and automation with up to 1,000 scenes in save/recall snapshot capability, and archiving of show files.

Also standard is a dual-redundant (192×192) 100-meter digital snake using Cat-5e copper cabling. With the addition of more I/O hardware, the modular Pro6 network can expand up to 264 inputs and 264 outputs and the Klark Teknik DN9696 recorder can be used with the Pro6 live performance system for live multitrack recording and virtual sound check.
— G.P.

When he's not contributing to SVC, Senior Consulting Editor George Petersen is the executive editor of Mix and operates a small record label at

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