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AES 2007

Nov 1, 2007 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

Audio hits for live-sound pros.

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This year’s AES convention emphasized not only recording gear, but also products in the install/portable PA market.


With the ongoing trend toward virtual and plug-in signal processing software, it was nice to see some real, serious outboard devices.

Lexicon introduced its PCM96 professional stereo reverb/effects processor, a 1RU unit that can operate via its 2-channel analog or AES/EBU digital I/Os or act as a control-only DAW/digital console insert or FireWire streaming hardware plug-in. The PCM96 has a comprehensive selection of legendary Lexicon reverbs and effects, and it can store/transfer presets via MIDI or a front-panel CompactFlash slot.

Real Sound really turned some heads with its Coneq APEQ-2PRO acoustic power equalizer. The 1RU unit provides two channels of high-resolution EQ correction based on acoustic power frequency response. Unlike conventional SPL frequency-response techniques, Coneq enables inverse FIR-filter corrections to be applied with repeatable success. Following the measurement process (about 2 minutes), Coneq synthesizes a 4,096-point inverse filter that precisely corrects a loudspeaker's frequency response to a flat target response or to a specific “personality profile,” which can be anything the user requires.


This year, AES proved that amplifiers can be anything but boring.

The PLM 10000Q from Lab.gruppen incorporates Dolby's Lake processing crossover, delay, EQ, and limiting with 10kW of amplification in a single chassis with remote monitoring and front-panel or software-based control.

L-Acoustics showed its LA4 and LA8 amps, which combine 4×1000W or 4×2000W amps with DSP, network control, monitoring, and an onboardL-Acoustics preset library.

Nexo debuted its NXAmp line with two new 4-channel, Yamaha-powered amps that can also be configured in 2×2 bridge mode, providing up to 4×4000W or 2×8000W, along with control navigation across all Nexo ranges, system setup, protection, delay, output gain, and array EQ.

Yamaha previewed its three new amps: TX4n (2200W), TX5n (2500W), and TX6n (3000W) — all with onboard DSP and a sophisticated 24-bit, 96kHz DSP engine enabling a wide range of control/processing capabilities.


Allen & Heath (A&H) is now shipping its iLive-80, the smallest of the four control surfaces for its iLive digital mixing console system. Designed for smaller applications, such as live theater, houses of worship, and touring bands, the unit has 20 faders, each with four banks for accessing up to 80 channels, with a multicolor backlit LCD display above each fader for labeling and color-coding channel data. A color LCD touchscreen offers access to dynamics, EQs, effects, automation, and setup screens.

A&H was also showing ZED, its new series of small format analog mixers (with USB I/Os) for live performance or recording. The ZED-14 has six mono channels (with 3-band, swept mid EQ) and four stereo channels (with 2-band EQ), and provides 13 independent sources to the mix; 10 independent outs; two pre-fade/two post-fade aux sends; and USB send/return for PC/Mac recording, playback, and effects.

Also on the compact side, ProRack mixers from APB-Dynasonics are compact 10RU designs that, like the company’s Spectra Series, feature minimum phase-shift circuitry, expressive EQ, and high-performance preamps. The ProRack-House has 12 mono input channels and four dual-mono/stereo input channels (20 mic preamps in total). The ProRack-Monitor is fitted with 16 mono input channels, and it can create eight stereo mixes and two mono mixes, while adding a passive input-splitter system.

Digidesign unveiled new software for its popular D-Show and D-Show Profile consoles. The new D-Show 2.6 software adds support for Aviom Pro16 Series personal monitoring/mixing devices via Digi’s new ANO A-Net output card, with auto/manual stereo linking of adjacent channel pairs, easy setup and testing of all Aviom Personal Mixers, faster plug-in load times, improved workflows, and expanded signal routing possibilities.

Mackie announced the Q4 2007 availability of its TT System32 digital live-mixing system, priced at $12,999, which consists of the TT24 digital live console, DS3232 digital snake, and the U100 networking card, offering a complete, plug-and-play digital live-mixing solution—just add stacks and racks. TT System32 provides stage-to-console connectivity via the DS3232 digital snake with 32x32 analog I/O, 32 mic preamps, and complete remote recall/control of all preamp settings (gain, pad, and phantom power) all through a single, lightweight Cat-5 cable.

The RSS M-400 digital mixing and recording system from Roland Systems Group brings ease, convenience, and quality to installations and live-sound events. The V-Mixing System comprises a Cat-5e digital snake up to 48 inputs, a 48-channel digital mixing console, and splits for recording. The M-400 V-Mixing console features rapid recall of scenes; 100mm motorized and touch sensitive faders; a large bright 800x480 color screen; dedicated effects knobs for EQ, pan, and gain; digital effects; and remote controllability.

Soundcraft released a significant update to the operating software for its Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi4 digital live sound consoles, adding powerful new facilities and further security in the event of power failure. New features include channel copy/paste capability; a library function for storing, archiving, and recalling parameters (internally or to a Memory Stick); and a new auto-backup system that retains and restores the desk’s last settings automatically when power is restored—meaning no changes to the audio.

When not writing for Mix or Sound & Video Contractor magazines, Senior Consulting Editor George Petersen operates a small record label at

For More Information


Allen & Heath



Bag End


Heil Sound






Meyer Sound


Real Sound


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