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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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DiGiCo SD8

DiGiCo SD8

Expanding its line of headset mics is Sennheiser's MKE 1, which features a matchhead-sized omni capsule yet offers a natural, full sound. A thin, acoustically open, stainless-steel membrane protects the capsule from moisture while an outside cap diverts humidity and doubles as a windshield.

Telefunken USA demo'd its M 80 handheld dynamic cardioid with an extremely thin Mylar membrane and a high-quality output transformer from AMI/TAB-Funkenwerk. It ships with a leather pouch, mic clip, and chrome headgrille for $239.


The ZED-R16 from Allen & Heath combines an analog mixer with 18 FireWire I/Os, 16 ADAT I/Os, four-band EQ (with parametric mids), dual-function audio/MIDI faders, onboard MMC transport controls, control room and alternate loudspeaker outs, plus two separate artist-monitor feeds. Preamps are discrete and low-distortion/low-noise (-128.5dBu EIN). The ZED-R16 also operates as a versatile live mixer. In this mode, its four aux buses become monitor feeds and FX sends, with the main analog XLR outputs feeding the PA system, while the FireWire outs can be used for live recording.

AKG C 214

AKG C 214

APB-DynaSonics is now shipping its ProDesk-4, a four-bus design derived from the company's top-end Spectra analog boards. It's available with 16, 24, 32, 40, or 48 mono mic/line input channels (plus four stereo line inputs), and it features four-band sweep-mid EQ, six aux sends, L/C/R/mono XLR outs, digital USB stereo input/record output, and remote muting that can be linked to a fire-safety system.

DiGiCo's SD8 provides the major functionality and remote preamps of its D Series in a smaller, $48,000 package with 37 moving faders, multi-function knobs, electronic labeling, and a 15in. touch-sensitive TFT display that acts as the console's primary command center. A 48×8 stage rack connects via a 100-meter MADI digital snake and 60 mono or stereo channels can run full DSP — reverbs, dynamics, matrixing, and other functions — simultaneously, thanks to its Stealth Digital Processing, which combines Super field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and Analog Devices Tiger SHARC chipsets.

Mackie showed a new incarnation of its popular PPM-powered mixers — all with lightweight dual Class-D Fast Recovery amps (up to 1600W), 32-bit Running Man FX (RMFX), and a processor with an arsenal of “gig-ready” usable effects, premium mic preamps, three-band active EQ, dual seven-band graphic equalizers, built-in DI boxes, dedicated in-line channel compression, and a precision passive EQ switch that's matched to Mackie's precision C200/C300/S200 passive loudspeaker line.

The PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2 is a 16-channel digital live/recording mixer with 16 high-headroom XMAX mic preamps, built-in 22×18 FireWire recording/playback engine, compressors, limiters and gates, DSP effects, six aux buses, four subgroups, extensive LED metering, mixer save and recall, channel-strip save/recall/copy/paste, talkback, and Fat-Channel processing with four-band EQs. It ships with PreSonus' new Capture software for recording all tracks, auxes, and subgroups (pre or post effects) directly to your computer.

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