Live Sound Highlights from NAMM
Feb 9, 2011 2:18 PM, by George Petersen
Record attendance, great products.
Amping it Up
A lot of speakers are going self-powered, but there are still many applications requiring external power amps, and these were big at NAMM, especially in lightweight/high-power packages.
The iNuke series amps from Behringer use Class-D technology to put 1,000W to 6,000W into 7lb. or 12lb. packages. Also available are onboard DSP versions with 24-bit/96kHz converters, delay-line compensation, crossovers, dynamics, parametric EQs, and front-panel or Mac/PC access via USB.
Carver Professional is back with its new Xi series amps, which offer 370W to 870W per channel at 4V, with variable speed fans, LED status indicators, and rear-panel DIP switches for high-pass/low-pass filters, soft-knee clip limiters, and soft-startup limiting.
Crest Audio’s Pro-Lite 2.0 and Pro-Lite 2.0 DSP amps feature a Class-D design and stable performance into 2V. The Pro-Lite 2.0 and Pro-Lite 2.0 DSP boast 985W per channel, weigh less than 10lbs., and are rock-solid in parallel, stereo, and bridged modes.
The Crown XTi 2 has enhanced control with Crown PeakX Plus limiters, crossovers, parametric EQ, delay, 30 onboard presets, and an improved subharmonic synthesizer. Available in models from 500W to 2,100W per channel (at 4V), XTi 2 amps are also compatible with HiQnet Band Manager, a free app with a sleek function-driven interface that simplifies system setup and management.
The latest in QSC’s GX series, the GX7 has 1,000W per channel at 4V from a two-tier Class-H design weighing 15.5lbs. It also has a low-noise, variable speed fan, built-in subwoofer/satellite crossover control, detented gain knobs, front-panel LED indicators, and GuardRail amp and speaker protection.
Crown unveiled its System Control App, offering full control and monitoring of its networked I-Tech, I-Tech HD, CTs (with network PIP) and Macro Tech I amps, Ethernet enabled devices, and JBL Drivepack DPDA models.
Allen & Heath iLive MixPad app for its ILive MixRack digital consoles provides the essential controls for live mixing, including channel faders/and mutes, DCA faders and mutes, image controls, aux sends, channel processing (filters/dynamics/EQs, etc.), mic-pre control, and full metering.
The Yamaha iPad StageMix for M7CL puts remote control of its digital M7CL mixer functions from anywhere in wireless range. Via iPad control, engineers can set up monitor mixes from an artist’s position onstage, directly controlling mix parameters: faders, sends, EQs, mutes, and buses, and more.
The PreSonus StudioLive Remote software offers wireless remote control of any of its StudioLive digital mixer channels, auxes, effects, subs, and Fat Channel processors, but takes it up a notch with features such as rotating the iPad from landscape to portrait view to instantly bring up a detailed view of DSP parameters (gate, compressor, EQ, etc.) with a flick of the wrist.
All This and More
All in all, it was a pretty good show, with plenty of interesting new products, and the business mood seemed positive and optimistic—a good sign for everybody. Winter NAMM returns to Anaheim Jan. 19-22, 2012.
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