Highlights from AES

The 127th AES convention offered all the audio goodies your facility could ever need.
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The 127th AES Convention returned to New York last month. In case you missed the show or didn't get a chance to see everything, read on. We've compiled highlights of the latest audio products, technology and solutions from the exhibition floor.

Audio consoles

StageTec presented the CRESCENDO mixing console to the American market for the first time. It targets the needs of users in broadcast and live venues and fills the gap between StageTec's successful flagship console AURUS and the smaller AURATUS. CRESCENDO has a depth of 530mm and supports up to 300 audio channels, 128 summing buses and 48 channel strips. It allows users to configure the number of mono, stereo and 5.1 sums, as well as stereo and 5.1 input-channel linking.

Lawo showcased its mc266 production console, which offers advanced redundancy for failsafe operation, mc2 bay server technology, a new control system on the MKII router, real-time DSP data transfer within the HD core and extended frame modularity.

The company also unveiled an enhancement within Version 4.6 of the console's OS: matrix GUI (mxGUI). Optionally available for use with v4.6 and subsequent release versions, mxGUI is a stand-alone application that enables the configuration and operation of mc2 series consoles as well as the operation of the Nova 73HD.

Prism Sound introduced a series of SADiE audio recording, editing and mixing products that can run as software-only versions. Key functionalities include a rendering-free editing environment; precision editing to sample accuracy; instant, real-time crossfade engine; multiple playlists; nondestructive editing; and editing and real-time waveform drawing during record.

Calrec Audio debuted its Artemis console, which is based on the Apollo platform. Using a combination of OLED displays, touch screens and light-emitting knobs, the console's control surface provides instant visual feedback and a flexibility that enables users to reconfigure the desk on the fly. It uses Bluefin2, the next generation of Calrec's Bluefin High-Density Signal Processing platform, giving the console up to 640 channel-processing paths, 128 program busses, 64 IFB/track outputs and 32 auxiliaries.

Fairlight demonstrated its Constellation XCS console, which harnesses the power of the company's Xynergi controller to provide an intuitive tool for recording, editing and mixing.

Solid State Logic displayed its updated Duality SE hybrid analog console and DAW controller, which combines an analog signal path and processing with advanced DAW control within a single hardware surface, and C10HD, which offers many of the benefits of the C100HD but is designed for smaller stations.

Studer highlighted the Vista 5 compact digital mixer. The 32-fader unit consists of 20 channel strips and 12 additional versatile strips for operating output and input channels. Up to 240 channels can be accessed from the desk, and the total I/O capacity may exceed 1700 inputs and outputs, depending on the additional cards and configurations.

Yamaha showed several consoles. The eight-bus IM8 series is available in 24-, 32- and 40-channel models and features low-noise, intuitive operation and single-knob compression. The LS9 digital mixing console is available in 16- and 32-channel versions and features four stereo input channels, versatile bus architecture with comprehensive digital patching capability, built-in USB memory recorder/player and full-console scene store and recall.

Audio control/monitoring

Riedel introduced the RockNet RN.334.MD MADI module and the Version 1.41 update for RockNet's control and monitoring software RockWorks. The new version provides both electrical and optical MADI inputs and outputs. The module supports both 56- and 64-channel MADI formats.

With RockWorks Version 1.41, now routing is also possible in single channels and ports, allowing a connection between any given I/O.

Audio routing

Solid State Logic featured an audio processing card and range of multichannel audio converters. The XLogic MX4 audio I/O and processing card features a 128-channel MADI digital audio interface, multiclient software mixer and DSP-powered processing plug-ins. The XLogic Alpha-Link range is a family of multichannel audio converters designed for studio, live and broadcast applications. Each model features 24-channel AD/DA converter circuitry, and all of the units can be used as stand-alone format converters.

SoundField showed its UPM-1 stereo-to-5.1 audio converter designed to create 5.1 material from older stereo programs.

NTP Technology introduced the Penta 725 series, a compact modular audio router that packs up to 384 × 384 crosspoints into a compact 1RU 19in chassis.

The company also debuted RCCore, a software application that handles configuration, control and supervision of all router modules in an audio signal distribution system. The app can be used as a stand-alone controller within the NTP 635-300 router or run from standard PC hardware.

Optocore previewed a new digital audio protocol, SANE-Audio Network plus Ethernet. SANE is a fully-synchronous Cat 5 network solution for uninterrupted, real-time streaming. It combines the attributes of AES/EBU and MADI Ethernet, allowing full-scale data transport via a redundant-ring network topology.

Cables and connectors

Among the cables and connectors from Belden was a new line of 50V N connectors. The series is designed to match the performance of Belden's RF coaxial cables, which feature ultra-low-loss dielectrics (up to 86 percent velocity) for best attenuation in their respective size categories.

Gepco showed its new fiber-optic cable assembly offerings, including the Neutrik OpticalCon, Amphenol TAC-4 and TAC-12, Lemo SMTPE 304M hybrid fiber camera cables, ST/SC/LC multimode or single-mode snakes, indoor permanent installation cables and tactical and portable-use cables. The company also showed its XB201DBM X-Band microphone cable. The extra-flexible, high-bandwidth microphone cable features a double braid shield for added noise rejection.

Neutrik introduced the XX-HD series, a heavy-duty XLR cable connector designed specifically for outdoor use. Equipped with hybrid metal/rubber design, the new series is both dust- and water-protected, meeting the requirements of an IP67 rating, by mating it with the related XX-HD cable connector or Neutrik's MPR-HD chassis connector.

The company also showed the opticalCON QUAD, a four-channel version of its solid and ruggedized-protected fiber-optic connector system. Designed specifically for multichannel, point-to-point cabling applications, it's IP65-rated for dust and water protection.

DAW controllers

Euphonix showed its MC Color color-grading surface, which offers control and integration with Apple's Color 1.5. The slimline color-grading surface attaches to the Mac via Ethernet. Its features include an ergonomic design, high-resolution optical trackballs, trackwheels, displays, encoders and a host of programmable keys to speed up and enhance the Apple Color workflow.

Intercom systems

Clear-Com offered the latest version of its software-based intercom system, Clear-Com Concert v2.0. The system allows Concert users and those on the traditional Eclipse digital matrix system to communicate over a single network via the Internet, LAN or WAN. Version 2.0 includes a new soft panel, a customizable software panel that resembles a traditional intercom panel and offers similar benefits as well as the look and feel of a hardware counterpart.

The company also offered its Tempest 2400 wireless intercom system, which operates in a license-free frequency band where it is fundamentally resistant to interference from other wireless devices.

Microphones

Sennheiser featured its 2000 series wireless microphone system, which includes handheld and body-pack transmitters with single or twin receivers. The units have a switching bandwidth of up to 72MHz, in which up to 64 compatible frequency presets are available for microphones and up to 32 for monitoring systems.

Sennheiser also showed its evolution 100, 300 and 500 series of wireless G3 receivers. The receivers include a switching bandwidth of 42MHz with 1680 tunable UHF frequencies for interference-free reception and feature one-touch synchronization that enables G3 transmitters to communicate with G3 receivers via an infrared interface. The 500 series provides a high number of presets per frequency bank (32), and six additional banks can be programmed in 25kHz steps; the 300 series also supports a high number of presets per frequency bank (24); and the 100 series offers a number of presets per frequency bank (12), with one additional bank programmable in 25kHz steps. In addition, the company had on display its vast range of MKH studio microphones.

Among other products, Sony displayed its UWPX8/3032 and UWPX8/4244 wireless handheld mic systems. The UHF synthesized wireless mic system package includes a handheld mic and tuner module and features a PLL synthesized system, space diversity reception, tone squelch circuitry and simultaneous operation.

SoundField highlighted its DSF-1 and DSF-2 digital broadcast mic systems as well as new version of its SP200 compact mic. The DSF-1 system comprises a SoundField mic and digital control unit. It outputs at 110V AES-EBU on XLRs and supports sampling rates of 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176kHz and 192kHz; word clock input and output are provided.

The DSF-2 features digital 750V AES3id outputs on BNC connectors and outputs stereo left/right (digital and analog), stereo M/S (digital) and four channels of SoundField B-Format called W, X, Y and Z, which is the surround-sound information.

SoundField's SP200 Zephyx Kit includes a specially manufactured SP200 mic with a shorter body fitted into a Zephyx suspension mount. The multicapsule mic can capture audio in 3D and output it in a variety of formats including mono, stereo and phase-coherent.

Recording media

Sony showed a variety of handheld digital recorders. The palm-sized PCM-M10 offers a range of recording capabilities from MP3 to full 96kHz, 24-bit WAV. Featuers include a built-in playback speaker, crossmemory recording, fully adjustable digital limiter, low-cut filter, track mark function, five-second prerecording buffer and A-B repeat capability.

The PCM-DI and D50 both feature built-in electret condenser mics, a frequency response of 20Hz to 40kHz at 96kHz and sampling frequencies of 22.05kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz and 96kHz. The D1 supports the WAV format in record/play, analog I/O and optical output. The D50 supports WAV in record and WAV and MP3 in playback and both analog and optical I/O.

Yamaha featured its POCKETRAK 2G compact recorder. The pocket-sized recorder features 2GB of memory, a linear PCM recording mode that can record up to three hours of music and a number of MP3 modes that provide significantly longer record times.

Speakers

Genelec introduced its 8260A three-way DSP speaker. The 8260A features major advances in audio driver technology, integrated with a sophisticated enclosure design, and the company's Minimum Diffraction Coaxial (MDC) mid/high driver technology. This coaxial driver design provides accurate imaging and improved sound quality, both on the acoustical axis as well as off-axis.

At the show from Klein + Hummel were the O 300, which employs a three-way design to make the loudspeaker system extremely precise, and the O 110 compact reference monitor, which features a switchable eight-way, room-matching EQ to compensate for any undesirable room response resulting from placing the speakers near a wall or a corner.

Test and measurement

Prism Sound showed the dScope Series III, a measurement system for analog and digital audio generation and analysis, including digital audio carrier parameters, acoustic transducers and Windows sound devices. The company unveiled three new versions: Analog, Analog Plus and Digital + Analog.

Dolby offered its DP600 Program Optimizer, a flexible audio platform designed for professional broadcasting and post production that provides a file-based workflow solution for loudness correction, audio creation, conversion and upmixing.

RTW released a software upgrade that will enable qualified Surround-Monitor 10800X devices to perform loudness metering. The RTW Version 6.0 software, which will be standard on all new 10800X units, enhances the device's functionality with features including an ITU BS.1770-compliant loudness meter and a quasi-DIN (quasi-analog) bar graph for digital PPM measurements.

Rohde & Schwarz showed its UPV audio analyzer, which is suitable for all interfaces: analog, digital and combined. The unit simultaneously displays multiple measurement functions. It offers a sampling rate up to 400kHz, as well as user-programmable filters for analyzers and generators. Also on display was the company's R&S UP350, an affordable audio analyzer with a frequency range up to 80kHz.

Sonifex featured its Reference Monitor Meters, which offer high-resolution metering of between one and four stereo audio sources, with each stereo source auto-switching between either analog or digital AES/EBU formats with sample rates up to 192kHz accepted. The level of each stereo source is displayed on a pair of multicolored bar graph meters with a choice of 10 accurately modeled scales/responses to suit different applications and local preferences. The company also showed its range of Reference Monitor Controllers, which provides source selection, volume, dim and cut controls for external analog monitors.