Feb 11, 2010 12:00 PM, By George Petersen
MI show offers a few surprises for contracting pros.
NAMM, the International Music Products Association, returned to Anaheim, Calif., from Jan. 14 to 17 for its 2010 winter show to an uncertain market. Even in these economically challenging times, the 2010 expo attracted 1,373 exhibitors and a respectable 87,569 registrants, indicating a surge in market enthusiasm. With its musical instrument slant, NAMM is hardly a traditional venue for contracting products. Yet we live in interesting times, and the lines between pro and MI continue to blur, with one such example being the acquisition of Midas and Klark Teknik by Behringer's parent company last month. This year also marked the first time Peavey exhibited its MediaMatrix line at the show, and with other top-end companies at NAMMsuch as Aviom, Community Professional Loudspeakers, DPA Microphones, JBL Pro, Neumann, Renkus-Heinz, and Studermost contractors would feel right at home walking the exhibit floor.
Overall, the show's vibe was gratitude that 2009 is over, and with the arrival of 2010, everyone seemed ready to move forward with new ideas, new technologies, and new optimism. From the perspective of the contracting pro, there was no single must-see dazzler at NAMM, yet there were plenty of interesting new products. Here are a few standouts that captured our attention.
One of the most talked about new debuts at NAMM was the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 digital console, a 24-input live mixer with onboard 32-bit effects, four buses, 10 aux outputs, and 32 outputs (and 26 returns) via FireWire for direct-to-computer recording. Besides additional inputs, the 24.4.2 expands on the earlier 16.4.2 version with a host of new features, and multiple StudioLive consoles (16- or 24-channel) can be cascaded for additional inputs. Price is $2,999, including Capture recording and Studio One Artist digital audio workstation software for Mac and Windows.
The first networked personal mixer/multitrack recorder is myMix, from Movek, a new company formed by former Telex Group President Mathias von Heydekampf. MyMix allows you to create up to eight independent stereo mixes and up to 18 tracks of multitrack recording to an SD card. Musicians make their own personal cue mixes using a simple interface on a color LCD screen where all input channels appear as separate named channels with control over volume, tone, pan, and effects. Dual line-level outs and a stereo 3.5mm jack can output to headphones, in-ear monitors, a main PA, or stage wedges. Systems with more than two units connect via standard Ethernet switches. Applications include rehearsals, concerts, recording sessions, live recording, and house of worship.
Amplifiers rarely make headlines, but we were wowed by a few new entries. The new E-Lite 1800 and E-Lite 1800 DSP from Crest Audio feature 900W per channel, weigh less than 10lbs., and can run in parallel, stereo, and bridged modes. The onboard DSP version offers delays (up to 120 microseconds per channel), adjustable crossover, limiting, parametric EQ, HF driver EQ, four user-presets, and lockable security settings.
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