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AES 2005

Nov 1, 2005 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

Sound reinforcement comes alive at AES 2005 in New York.


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The lobby at the 119th convention of the AES in New York

The 119th convention of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in New York was a turning point in many ways, particularly for those of us who work in live sound. For years, the number of sound reinforcement exhibitors and attendees has declined slightly. While AES is still considered the premier event for audio, many sound reinforcement pros felt the show had too much of a recording focus and was becoming less relevant for the PA sector of the industry.

But, this time around, things were decidedly different. The floor traffic was up with a record-setting 20,000-plus attendees; the number of exhibitors exceeded the 450 mark; and there was a renewed emphasis on live sound. Workshops, seminars, and events included touring sound, switching amplifiers, measuring room acoustics, in-ear monitor mixing, grounding, psychoacoustics, Broadway musical design, wireless mic placement on actors, system tuning, wireless management in stressful environments, intercom for large-scale stadium events, audio for corporate theater, and mixing FOH for live, televised audiences.

The pre-show buzz? This was gonna be big. And, despite constant rains, a (somewhat dubious) terrorist subway attack scare, and taxis that were as scarce as elevators in the Marriott, nothing could dampen the spirits of attendees. And the joint was packed.

While this AES wasn't rife with earth-shattering debuts, there was plenty to see—and hear. Presented alphabetically, here are some of our picks in terms of top new contractor-oriented products at the show.

Adamson's T-21 Sub

Adamson's T-21 Sub is just plain cool, with two SD-21 Symmetrical Drive kevlar/neodymium dual voice-coil, 3,000W drivers mounted back-to-back and ported out each end of the front. The 58"x36"x23" cabinet flies above the Adamson Y18 line array or standalone using the five splay angles of Adamson Integrated Rigging captive hardware.

AKG's HSD 271 headset combines a studio-quality, shock-mounted dynamic mic with the TEC Award-winning K 271 Studio closed-back circumaural headphones. AKG innovations make these ideal for on-air broadcasting, recording, monitoring, intercom, and other pro applications. Features include a mic boom arm with 270 degrees of vertical and horizontal rotation that can be placed on the right or left without modifying the headset. Intelligent muting automatically silences the mic when the arm is moved up.

AKG's HSC 171 and HSC 271

AKG also showed its third-generation WMS 40 PRO UHF wireless series, which includes FLEXX Diversity systems (three selectable frequencies per channel), and single (fixed-frequency) and dual systems (two transmitters and two independent channels in one receiver). Application-focused dual systems are designed for vocalists, musicians, coaches, trainers, worship leaders—anyone who needs clear communication and unrestricted movement. Compatible with previous WMS 40 generations, the WMS 40 PRO has up to nine simultaneous channels and more than 30 hours of battery life.

Allen & Heath's GR2 is a new 1U rack- or deskmount nine-input, four-output, analog zone mixer for demanding but budget-conscious installations in a diverse range of modern architectural applications, including live entertainment, paging, background music, conferences, and presentations. The GR2 offers the installer a host of front panel preset switches and trimmers to meet each special requirement with a tamper-proof cover plate. Connectors are XLR/RCA and screw terminal, and there are extensive remote-control capabilities using standard Cat-5 cable.

Allen & Heath iLive

But the Allen & Heath product that really wowed showgoers is the iLive, a serious digital console design based on the iDR-64, a rackmounting modular mix engine controlled via an Ethernet network that provides 64 channels into 32 mixes that are assignable as auxes, groups, matrix, and main outputs. iLive-112, iLive-144 and iLive-176 control surfaces feature motorized faders in four banks with up to 176 control strips, featuring channel controls such as EQ, compressor, limiter and de-esser on rotary encoders with LED indicators.

APB-Dynasonics is close to beginning deliveries of its Spectra-C and Spectra-T analog consoles, available in 24/32/40/48/56 mono input frames, with a 24-input expander offered. Spectras feature input and output VCA control, four-band EQ, Burr-Brown preamps, 10 aux busses, optional redundant power supplies, and more.

Ashly's big news is that this established maker of signal processing and amplifiers will now be handling North American distribution of the Camco line of high-performance touring and installation amplifiers, which just last month were heard on the Oasis tour in the states.

ATC Loudspeakers, a high-end British studio monitor manufacturer, has entered the live sound market with the PA65ASL, an active three-way system suitable for medium-sized rooms, with a 234mm Super Linear bass driver and ATC's unique SM75-150S soft-dome midrange driver. The active design ensures optimum matching of six MOSFET amp blocks to the drivers, providing plenty of transient headroom and maximum SPLs of up to 112dB. An LF contour control provides five bass-boost settings and a flat reference response. Price is $7,500 per speaker.

AudiOtis Flight Case Systems made its AES debut showing its remarkable line of what are surely the toughest cases in the world, combining clever designs—especially for large consoles—and welded (no rivet!) all-aluminum, diamond-plate construction. Both stock models and custom colors, designs, and interiors are available.

Audio-Technica has enhanced its 3000 series UHF true diversity wireless systems with Automatic Frequency Scanning, which automatically determines and sets the best available open frequency. The frequency-agile 3000 series offer up to 16 simultaneous systems per frequency band, for a max of 32 simultaneous systems across two UHF bands (541.500 to 566.375 MHz and 655.500 to 680.375 MHz with 200 selectable frequencies in each band). Two options are available, both include the ATW-R3100 receiver and rackmount hardware: the $699 ATW-3110a UniPak comes with a ATW-T310 body-pack; the $799 ATW-3141a system has a ATW-T341 handheld transmitter, with the same capsule as Audio-Technica's acclaimed Artist Elite AE4100 mic. Both transmitters run six to ten hours on two AA batteries.

Audix demoed its MicroBoom, a 50in. carbon-fiber mic boom arm/short flexible gooseneck combo that attaches to any mic stand, for horizontal or vertical use, including use with a small pedestal stand for an awards show-style look. Designed as an accessory for Audix' Micros series of miniature condenser mics, MicroBoom has a diameter of less than 1/3in., weighs 2.5oz., and it is fitted with an internal Mogami cable and mini-XLR connector. The Micros series mics designed to be used with MicroBoom include models for speech or full-range reproduction in a variety of polar patterns.

Avenson Audio announced a handheld condenser vocal mic with tube electronics. The capsule is a 3/4in. cardioid-only design, coupled to an amplifier with a hand-selected, military surplus, subminiature triode for exceptionally low noise and high durability. A three-layer grill avoids foam altogether to preserve clarity, but still limits plosives and wind noise, and the $1,000 price includes a road-worthy outboard power supply.

Aviom is releasing its second generation of monitor mixing and audio networking products. The new Pro64 line, includes Aviom's latest advances in audio networking technology to solve audio distribution problems in a wide variety of contexts, including digital snakes used in live performance and the complex audio distribution needs of recording studios, post production facilities, and theaters. Included in the Pro64 line are the 6416i analog input module, 6416m mic input module, 6416dio digital I/O module, 6416o output module, 6488io analog I/O module, and MH10 merger hub. All Pro64 series products include variable sample rates up to 192kHz, high-channel count, and unlimited system expansion.

Bag End is finally shipping its long-awaited E-Trap electronic, tuneable bass trap. An alternative to passive, acoustical bass traps, E-Traps build a properly designed feedback control scheme into a powered subwoofer, making the subwoofer exhibit the same dynamics as a passive bass trap. There are several advantages of the closed-loop, controlled acoustic dampening system, or E-Trap, over traditional passive acoustic absorbers: ease of tunability to the target frequencies, tunability to multiple frequencies, and its small size. The E-Trap measures 13”x18”x10”. Retail is $995.

Belden announced plenum-rated versions of its popular Brilliance analog audio cables. The new cables include Brilliance Product Nos. 9451P, a single-pair construction, and 9451DP, a Siamese construction. These were developed in response to the entertainment industry's growing demand for plenum-rated audio cables—especially for sports stadiums. The cables are also well suited for use in all types of professional and commercial audio environments, including broadcast studios, post-production facilities, sports arenas, corporate boardrooms, convention centers, and houses of worship.

Bricasti Design is a new company formed by seasoned industry veterans. Its first product is the M7, which uses the latest-generation ADI DSPs to create a world-class stereo reverb. This 1RU features AES/EBU digital I/O, network control, and internal 192kHz sampling to create the lush and complex overtones necessary for believable, encompassing reverb.

Cadac's D16 is a fully featured, 16x16 audio matrix designed as a standalone audio processor (for smaller-scale performances, fixed installations, and broadcast/recording applications) or as an expansion mixer for existing consoles. It has 16 line-level analog I/Os, with each channel providing four-band parametric EQ, high- and low-pass filters, compression and gating dynamics control, plus adjustable level routing to 16 output mixes. The system can be controlled locally from the D16 front panel or via Cadac's Sound Automation Manager (SAM) software.

Cirrus Logic unveiled its DSP Conductor, a powerful new graphical programming tool for its flagship CS4961XX CobraNet-based audio system processors. Using DSP Conductor's graphical interface, audio system architects can quickly develop new products that take advantage of distributed audio processing to implement innovative solutions for audio network systems. DSP Conductor allows audio DSP programming to be completed in a fraction of the time and cost compared to older methods of DSP programming, and it simplifies the design process by providing pre-formulated drag-and-drop audio algorithm building block, along with the ability to tune the system in realtime.

Community's iBOX iHP installation series offer a flexible approach to implementing arrays, clusters and distributed systems. These premium-quality, large-format loudspeakers and high-power subs are ideal for sound reinforcement in stadiums, houses of worship, nightclubs, and live sound venues. A variety of convenient dispersion patterns are available.

dbx is now shipping the new DriveRack 4800 system processor, designed for easy, efficient use, with a color display to speed manual operation and two-button navigation between all processing functions. The 4800 incorporates Harman Professional's HiQnet protocol; the HiQnet control backbone is able to monitor and control signal routing as well as the processing of multiple DriveRack 4800 units from various locations via standard Ethernet equipment, including routers and wireless access points.

Digidesign Drawmer TourBuss Plug-In for its Venue live-sound console.

DiGiCo announced the Mini-DiGiRack, designed to give even more flexibility to the D1 and D5 Live systems. The 4U-high, 19in. rackmount Mini-DiGiRack can be fitted with a MADI or optical interface, and it has two power supplies with separate mains connectors and switches. There is a newly designed back plane that allows any slot to be either input or output for analog connections, or both in and out for digital connections such as AES/EBU.

Digidesign announced the Drawmer TourBuss Plug-In for its Venue live-sound console. Designed with the sound reinforcement engineers in mind, TourBuss offers four dynamics plug-ins that retain the layout and emulate the sound of Drawmer's DS201 noise gate and DL241 auto-compressor hardware units. The Drawmer TourBuss suite is available only online through the DigiStore at http://store.digidesign.com.

DPA's new 4090 and 4091 models

DPA's new 4090 and 4091 models are omnidirectional and designed for capturing instruments, but with a 20Hz-20kHz response that's flat enough to double as measurement mics. Retail is around $600 each—a new, affordable price point for DPA quality.

Drawmer's S3 stereo three-band optical compressor incorporates the latest in Ivor Drawmer's designs and it is intended to create a no-compromise circuit using high-grade components. The S3 forms the basis of a Signature series and offers previously unattainable control and tonality over each of the three bands, and gain control at each stage offers precise spectral balancing.

EAW UMX.96 digital mixing solution

Eastern Acoustic Works sought input from hundreds of users to help define its new UMX.96 digital mixing solution. The result is a mixer with everything but the kitchen sink, and the answer to most questions is "It's in there." An onboard 3x12 speaker processor, integrated SmaartLive, 15in. touchscreen, tri-color assignment buttons, a 24/96 mix engine, 48 mic preamps, eight stereo line inputs, 24 aux/group buses, 16x8 matrix, four stereo multi-effects, and the list goes on. It's also expandable to double the number of inputs.

EnergyPro is the new pro division of Canada's Energy Speakers, run by former Tannoy North America head Bill Calma and distributed by Bryston. EnergyPro's first offerings are the reference E7a and E9a powered two-way studio near-fields with analog and digital inputs and optional powered subs with accelerometer control of cone motion. But the big news may be the line of contractor-specific products that Energy Pro will unveil in 2006. Stay tuned on this one!

Eventide's most powerful stereo effects processor to date, the H7600 features a 174-second sampler, the stereo algorithms from its flagship H8000FW, and the best effects from previous generations of Eventide processors. The H7600 offers two channels of analog I/O, AES/EBU, S/PDIF and word clock I/O. Price: $4,995.

Fiberplex demonstrated a three-way fiber network using its new LightViper VIS-4832 AES digital snake, moving high-res audio and control data over 1,000ft. of cable from its booth to the Aviom and Aphex booths located at different points in the Javits Center. The company also debuted its dual-channel 10/100 Ethernet-to-fiber converter.

Furman Sound AR-20 II

Furman Sound's Power Factor Pro R is a rackmount power conditioner with nine outlets that enables amplifiers and subwoofers to reach higher levels of performance. It stores up to 45 amps of current for the most extreme power demands in home theater and both live and recorded music. It also includes SMP+ technology, which filters AC power and protects sensitive electronics from impurities and surges. Price: $349.95.

Gefen's DVI RS-232 Extender sends high-definition video with RS-232 control over two economical Cat-5 cables. Distances up to 150ft. are guaranteed to perform beautifully, giving you a reliable method of all-digital extension while streamlining your installation cabling needs. Also on display was its DVI Super Booster, which extends HD digital video via DVI beyond its specified 15-foot distance limitation, with pristine HD resolutions up to 1080p or 1920x1200. It operates just like its standard DVI Booster, but comes with an optional power supply that guarantees performance up to 150ft.

Gennum GW150 in-ear musician monitors personalize the listening experience. Featuring patent-pending ear-level microphone ambience processing, users gain full 360-degree spatial perspective, which offers the ideal solution for musicians to hear their environment or communicate without having to remove monitors from their ears.

Gepco's CT504HDX heavy-duty tactical Cat-5e cable is ideal for portable or remote patching of Ethernet networks or digital audio/video formats using Cat-5e-type cable. The CT504HDX features solid conductors for longer runs, offering a rugged, portable, and flexible cable solution.

Glyph Technologies' GPM-216 personal monitor is a 16-channel digital mixer with two local inputs split to feed a main mixer, and it is also digitally mixed via Cat-5 to other units in a peer-to-peer fashion for onstage or studio monitoring without needing to connect to a digital console. It runs on Linux and has a built-in reverb and tuner. Rear connections include inserts for the two local inputs and the mix, plus speaker outs.

Harman Professional's HiQnet System Architect control software for HiQnet audio systems

Harman Professional unveiled its HiQnet System Architect control software for HiQnet audio systems, a Windows-based application that provides audio pros with a unified platform for system design and operation of all audio devices in the signal chain from mic to speaker. System Architect eliminates the need for disparate operating systems, multiple control and configuration applications, and the need to program individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. With System Architect training costs and setup time can be reduced significantly and project managers have greater flexibility in the required personnel resources.

Heil Sound's PR-20 is a handheld, large-diaphragm dynamic mic said to sonically outperform nearly all dynamic mics. It features the smoothness of a ribbon and a top-end that is surprisingly good (extending to 18kHz), with a high-output neodymium capsule. Price is $160.

InnovaSon's Dio Core is the first modular 64-channel EtherSound-enabled stage box compatible with InnovaSon I/O modules using InnovaSon's recently released Dio-ES multichannel audio interface module. Dio Core can be used with InnovaSon Sy80 and Sy48 digital live-mixing consoles and/or as a remote I/O box for other EtherSound-enabled devices. Dio Core features up to 64 inputs and outputs; digitally processed bus and direct outputs for remote/stage locations; and additional Dio Core units or other EtherSound-enabled devices using standard Cat-5 Ethernet networking.

Inter-M's Kensington console is available in frame sizes including 24-, 32-, and 40- channel models, and it brings together a renowned team of design engineers led by Miyajaki Yuichi of Inter-M and Dave Dearden of Audient. Features include true LCR mixing, low-noise preamps, four-band "British" equalizer with swept mid-bands, sweepable high-pass filtering, eight aux sends with pre-fader switching, four mute groups, and direct outputs. A fader-flip function serves a dual purpose—FOH and monitor console and an optional meter bridge shows all sub-group and main outputs.

JBL Professional is now offering the networked versions of its VerTec DP series. These integrated audio systems are compatible with Harman Professional’s HiQnet System Architect Software, and they feature JBL DrivePack technology with remote control and monitoring capabilities. Developed with Crown International, these high-performance power modules, with integral digital signal processing, couple seamlessly with VerTec loudspeakers, providing a new level of functionality for users. Products include the VT4888DP-AN, VT4882DP-AN, VT4888DP-CN and VT4882DP-CN.

KV2 Audio's (dist. by American Music & Sound,) EX12 high-output active speaker features a new 3in. titanium diaphragm compression driver, offering what is said to be the industry's largest neodymium magnetic motor structure. The 12in. woofer uses a trans-coil technology that eliminates voice-coil inductance, behaving like a woofer at lower frequencies and like a mid-range at higher frequencies. The 500W, internally biamped system can reach sustained SPLs of 127dB and it features an asymmetrical, trapezoidal Baltic birch cabinet with side handles, M10 hang points, and OmniMount compatibility. Also available is the EX12t touring version with recessed fly-track. Retail: $2,499.

Klein + Hummel's (now distributed by Sennheiser) FreePORT PAS 400 self-powered speaker accommodates up to four Evolution G2 series wireless receivers and it features an integrated mixer and 100W amp, with built-in rechargeable battery or AC-powered operation. The system has dual 6.5in woofers and a 1in. compresion driver/horn, and it can deliver 116dB SPLs. An integrated mixer offers level control of two mic inputs, an auxiliary line level input, and a dedicated channel for the Sennheiser receivers.

LA Audio's Can-D stereo headphone delay is packaged in the same six-sided aluminum extrusion as the company's other interface boxes. A three-digit display shows delay times up to its maximum of 678ms, or in meters or feet. Alternatively, it can be used to delay near-field monitors.

L-Acoustics 112P

L-Acoustics' P series loudspeakers combine coaxial technology with self-powering convenience and the power of DSP. The speakers are available with 8in. or 12in. woofers with HF compression drivers. Advantages of the coaxial approach include coherent point source radiation and 100-degree axisymmetric directivity (identical horizontal/vertical/axial coverage). Coaxial design also provides superimposed LF/HF dispersion characteristics free of the polar-lobing effects typical of traditional horn/woofer combinations. Pole-mount sockets are standard; optional rigging accessories include an adjustable U-bracket and a vertical coupling adapter. The rear panel has parallel XLR connectors, a rotary gain pot, and a PowerCon slider switch for 115/220V operation.

Lectrosonics' SM Super-Miniature Digital Hybrid Wireless

Lectrosonics' SM Super-Miniature Digital Hybrid Wireless is hardly bigger than two AA batteries, yet this 100mW beltpack UHF transmitter packs all user controls onto an easy-to-operate control panel that includes an LCD, four membrane switches for adjusting operating frequency and modulation level, and both modulation and power indicators. The switches can also be used to set compatibility modes, allowing the SM to work with all of Lectrosonics' Digital Hybrid Wireless receivers, plus 200 and 100 series analog products and IFB systems.

Mackie unveiled the S400, a series of EAW-designed, passive, flyable sound reinforcement speakers in a Tetrad design, with four 8in. woofers surrounding a horn/compression driver with a 70x70-degree pattern. The ported plywood cabinet features flying and pole-mount hardware, and its tight pattern creates a near-point source effect.

Matrox unveiled the TripleHead and dual-DVI support of its Parhelia APVe graphics card, with a dual-DVI output up to 1920x1200 per display, this PCI Express (PCIe) x16 graphics card lets users increase the size of their mixing consoles to get the most out of your audio software.

MC2's (dist. by Group One), E45 is rated at 2,250W/channel into 4Ù and is built in a 2U chassis with a switch-mode power supply capable of delivering high peaks without any perceptible bass sag at very low distortion, and it is kept within its safe operating area by an intelligent limiter. Power is delivered over the entire audio bandwidth, making it ideal for driving high-power PA systems, including subwoofers, packing high power into a compact size.

Neutrik created the OpticalCon to increase the reliability and maximize the uptime for fiber-optic connection systems. The new system is based on a standard optical LC-Duplex connection. However, OpticalCon improves this original design to ensure a safe and rugged connection. It enables up to four copper wires to run power or data signals. A special SMPTE version has been optimized for broadcast applications, providing an additional ground-shell contact.

NTI's TalkBox is the missing link for the complete evaluation of speech intelligibility in emergency life and safety announcement systems, from the system mic to the listener's ear. TalkBox features human head-like dimensions and is based on a digital playback generator. It perfectly equalizes the STI-PA test signal and replays it at the precisely correct playback sampling rate, also minimizing systematic errors through the internal amplifier and internal precision loudspeaker. Each TalkBox is individually equalized and calibrated for precision output.

Radial Engineering's ProD2

Radial Engineering's ProD2 is a high-quality, ultra-compact, stereo passive direct box featuring two custom-made transformers capable of handling high levels without saturation and exhibiting exceptionally linear frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz. The ProD2 has a -15dB pad for high-output sources and ground lift switch. Designed for interfacing with stereo keyboards, DJ equipment, and consumer audio devices, it's housed in a rugged, 14-gauge steel enclosure with a bookend-designed outer shell that prevents damage to the switches.

Rane's MA 4 is a 100W/side, 4-channel amplifier that achieves unparalleled power density and reliability, and it features a space-saving, one-rackspace chassis, weighing a mere eight pounds. The universal-voltage switching power supply reduces peak currents to a fourth as compared to non-power factor-corrected supplies. The MA 4 is ideal for music and paging systems, small conference rooms, and speech reinforcement applications requiring multiple amplifiers. Price: $1,399.

Renkus-Heinz' CF/CFX series of high-value/high-performance loudspeakers is aimed at both portable and installed applications. The self-powered CF series incorporates the company's new PF-1 Intelligent digital amplifier, while the CFX series is designed for use with external processors and amplifiers. The CF/CFX series brings the benefits of Renkus-Heinz innovations to a lower price point, using high-end components within simpler cabinet designs.

Renkus-Heinz also showed its DCC series digitally controlled column loudspeakers, which use advanced technology to provide intelligible speech and musical sound in highly reverberant environments. Their slender "thin-stick" vertical profile mounts flat to the wall and blends easily with architecture. The integrated technology provides a powerful new solution for consultants, contractors, and architects requiring precisely controlled acoustic energy for both intelligible and musical sound.

Rode's $499 NT6 is a small-diaphragm mic with the cardioid condenser capsule separated from the body by a 9.9ft. Kevlar-covered cable—ideal for hanging or difficult placements.

RSS is Roland's commercial division. At AES, RSS demonstrated the S-4000 digital snake, a modular and adaptable snake system that handles up to 40 channels of analog/digital audio over a single Cat-5e line. The system features the XR-1 remote preamps that are controllable in 1dB increments and converts with 24-bit/96kHz precision. A fully expanded system can have up to 160 channels.

Sencore's DigiPro DA795 digital audio analyzer quickly solves new equipment connection mysteries, troubleshoots intermittent digital audio, tracks down digital audio quality problems, and analyzes digital signal content and equipment operation. Price: $4,495. The company also showed its SoundPro SP395 audio integrator, which analyzes sound systems and room acoustics on-the-spot, tunes audio systems, documents system performance, relieves stress at show time by providing quick cures for show-stoppers, and gives you all the audio tools you need in one unit for maximum effectiveness and convenience. Price: $2,695.

Sennheiser's celebrated the company's 60th anniversary and unveiled its new super frequency-agility SKM 5200 wireless, which features two channel banks: one fixed and one variable. The 5200 can be ordered with 20 preset frequencies for the fixed band and up to 20 UHF frequencies for the variable bank. All settings can be easily modified via new multifunction switch. A backlit display clearly identifies all audio and RF settings. Reliable, natural sound for stage and broadcast.

Shure's UHF-R network wireless system

Shure announced its UHF-R network wireless system with a choice of capsules, including the KSM9 that was beta-tested with several top touring acts this summer. A network interface scans for optimum frequency assignment, and the system operates across one of three 60MHz bands, employing onboard filtering that tunes along with the frequency. Up to 40 systems can be used together in a single band.

Shure also showed its sound-isolating E4 earphones for use with Shure's PSM line of personal monitor systems in live performance. The E4 earphones provide wide-frequency stereo sound, sonic accuracy, and isolation from outside noise. Price: $319.99.

SLS' showed its LS6593 compact line array design, which provides different options for vertical dispersion, allowing versatile system configuration for many applications. The LS6593S/LS6593A is based on a woofer line array mounted on a front panel with a coaxially positioned ribbon tweeter array. Comprised of six 5.25in. drivers, the woofer's straight line array has controlled vertical dispersion, while the tweeter's nine 3in. proprietary ribbon planar drivers have internally articulated driver elements, allowing wider vertical dispersion.

Sony unveiled new wireless products. The MB-X6 single rackspace tuner frame has six slots for the WRU-806B or URX-M1 plug-in tuner modules, auto channel assignment function (each tuner sequentially searches selected group for free channel), and two passive antennas. It’s available in March. Shipping now, the WRU-806B UHF synthesized tuner unit offers pre-programmed groups for interference-free, multichannel operation, along with LED and LCD RF-input status, audio-output status and battery alarm indications for dual operating condition analysis. The URX-M1 UWP plug-in tuner module features space diversity reception for stable RF, LCD screen displaying operating channel number, and frequency and pre-programmed groups. The URX-M1 UWP plug-in tuner module is available now at a suggested list price of $495. Also available now, the WD-850A antenna divider provides diversity output for up to four tuners.

Soundcraft's MH2 live performance console combines the sound quality and ergonomics of its popular MH3 and MH4 desks, but with a more compact footprint and lower price. Like its siblings, the MH2 is capable of dual-mode (FOH/monitor) operation and features eight subgroups, 10 auxiliary buses, eight VCA groups, six mute groups, LCR panning, 24 to 48 mono-channel frame sizes (plus four stereo channels), four stereo returns, and an integral 11x4 matrix.

TC-Helicon's VoiceDoubler

TC-Helicon's VoicePro features a combination of proprietary voice processing algorithms developed through years of human voice research and a voice-optimized compilation of essential vocal effects, including classic TC algorithms. Retail is $3,495.

UREI showed 1601S, a 2-channel digital DJ mixer packed with unique features such as dual 32-beat, 24-bit/96kHz assignable samplers with footswitch control, high-pass filters, and an audio exciter. Additional amenities include 360-degree customizable phono/line switches; crossfader monitor selector; backlit headphone out with EQ; ultra-clear input and output level monitoring LEDs; full-cut high, mid-, and low EQ rotary pots; send and return FX loop; and other DJ-friendly features.

Whirlwind's ES2 E-Snake is the next generation in its series of digital audio/networking products. ES2 accepts any two of the same 8-channel I/O cards used in the original E-Snake for a total of 16 channels. I/O cards include mic/line, transformer mic, and AES/EBU. Whirlwind's E-Snake Control software provides complete remote control of inputs, and it allows administration of channel assignments, routing, etc.

Yamaha's M7CL digital console

Yamaha's PM1D version 2 sound reinforcement console made its AES debut. This update of the popular PM1D digital mixer adds automatic gain adjustment for systems using shared inputs and load filter, which allows for more flexible file management to and from the PCMIA data memory card. For theater applications, an enhanced event list enables the timecode event list to match that found on the Yamaha PM5D console. An insert/delete channel function has been added to improve the already user-friendly console setup.

Also new was Yamaha's M7CL digital console, featuring all the faders on one page and touchscreen LCD control. It's offered with 32 or 40 mic input channels and amenities such as recallable mic preamps, four stereo inputs, and internal DSP with four stereo effects and eight graphic EQ—all programmable, of course. In addition to the LCR output bus, the mixer has 16 mix buses, eight matrix outs, and three rear panel expansion slots for more flexibility/user customization. Files can be saved to a PC via Yamaha's Studio Manager over an Ethernet connection or stored on a USB memory stick.


When not writing for Mix and Sound & Video Contractor magazines, George Petersen creates children’s songbooks at www.crazycampsongs.com.





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