The upcoming NAB Show in Las Vegas begins next Saturday, April 18, with manufacturer exhibits open Monday through Thursday. As usual, most pro audio firms will be located in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, though some will be scattered throughout the Central and South Halls as well as the adjoining Las Vegas Hilton. This year’s show promises a wide range of new products and technologies.
As always, console manufacturers are making news. Calrec Audio (Booth N8207) has announced a new flagship mixer, the Bluefin 2-powered Apollo. The Apollo is said to set new benchmarks in channel count and processing power and features an all-new control surface. Solid State Logic (SSL) will be featuring multiple system upgrades including the Blackrock processor system and B-RIO modular I/O rack for its C100 Series and C300 HD master control consoles in Booth N4031. Yamaha has moved to make its line of mixers more broadcaster-friendly with the introduction of the MY8-SDI-D card, allowing input of HD-SDI embedded audio directly to its host Yamaha digital console.
Harman’s Soundcraft and Studer digital mixer lines will be on display in Booth N6724. Soundcraft has released a series of broadcast-specific expansion cards along with a new compact console, the Si2, while Studer has added dynamic automation and software updates with scalable I/O sharing across its entire Vista line of digital desks. In addition to showing its full line of large-format consoles, Euphonix (Booth N6812) is introducing the MC Transport, an automated transport control for its Artist Series of computer workstation controllers.
At the input stage, microphones and wireless system continue to proliferate. Sennheiser (Booth N6502) will announce the global debut of a new wireless series at NAB, something in addition to the evolution G3 wireless that was recently introduced at the Prolight + Sound show in Frankfurt, Germany. Field producers may want to visit Zaxcom (Booth N3114) to see the STA150 stereo adapter for its TRX series of digital wireless devices. The Harman booth (N6724) will also house AKG and JBL Professional. AKG will introduce several new wired microphones for both stage and studio applications, headlined by the Perception 820 Tube, a modestly priced tube condenser model with nine selectable polar patterns. JBL Pro has extended its surround monitor speaker systems with the LSR2300, which brings the firm’s Linear Spatial Reference design methodology to a more affordable price point.
With the move to DTV approaching completion, accurate surround monitoring in the digital realm will take on added importance in broadcast controls rooms, production and post studios as well as OB trucks. In the Central Hall, Studio Technologies (Booth C11843) has expanded its line of monitor control systems with the broadcast-optimized StudioComm 76DB/77B, which allows direct input to digital speakers like Genelec (N3414) while enabling one-hand control of volume and source selection of multiple 5.1 sources, easily checked for stereo and mono compatibility with video sync control and dialnorm support.
In the lower level of the South Hall, one will find Fairlight (Booth SL1910) demonstrating its Xynergi multimedia controller, Constellation XCS console and Pyxis MT audio post system, with theater-style presentations every hour. Also on the lower level, beyerdynamic (Booth SL7024) will be showing its upgraded Headzone PRO XT, a powerful surround headphone system with motion sensing. At Booth SL10125, Samson will be showing its new Zoom H4n 4-channel handheld digital recorder with XLR inputs.
Back in the North Hall, other points of audio interest include Jünger Audio (N4937), which will demonstrate its C8000 Level Magic automated loudness control in a complete ingest/production/playout system. New products include a surround-sound suite of tools for transport and control of surround audio, and a new combo inserter card to bring Level Magic loudness control to satellite and cable operators. DK-Technologies (Booth N3235) has a software update to the PT0760M integrated waveform monitor system that virtually makes it a new product. The PT0760M now works with equal ease on Dolby Digital audio embedded in the HD/SD video stream or via separate AES inputs.
Of course, the entire surround-sound process seems to revolve around Dolby Labs (N1815), which has announced Dolby Pulse, a technology intended to bridge surround into the wide variety of consumer delivery platforms for audio. Dolby will show its full range of broadcast production and control systems, both hardware and software based.
NAB2009 attendees can visit the NAB Show Web site for more information and to search for specific product categories and companies of interest.