NAB Show Product Review: Audio

Loudness management remained at the forefront at this year’s NAB Show, but audio-over-IP networking was the hot topic on the exhibition floor. AES67 promises future interoperability between the competing formats; meanwhile, manufacturers continue to announce the implementation of AVB, Dante, Livewire, Ravenna or proprietary transports individually or in various combinations.


CALREC AUDIO announced a partnership agreement with ALC NetworX, the company behind Ravenna AoIP networking, and the development of a Dante network interface that will provide 64 I/O to Calrec’s Hydra2 network on a Gigabit interface.

DIGICO previewed new features including eight Flexi channels for its broadcast- specific SD11B console; support for Optocore DD2, DD4, and X6 R-series interfaces; and post-fade inserts supporting the new Waves Dugan plug-in.

FAIRLIGHT introduced EVO.Live, a multipurpose mixing, recording, and post production console available in various chassis sizes with touch TFT monitors and self-labeling surface controls, with video integration, 3D surround panning, and built-in cart machine.

Wheatstone’s Phil Owens makes an adjustment to the company’s Dimension Three console. HARMAN’S SOUNDCRAFT unveiled its Vi3000 live sound console, featuring on-board Soundcraft SpiderCore DSP (based on the Studer Vista 1 engine) supporting 96 input channels, four touchscreens, enabling dual-operator control, plus Dante networking as standard. The new Soundcraft Realtime Rack is a hardware/software package co-designed with Universal Audio that provides access to 74 UAD plugins from the company’s consoles.

LAWO demonstrated updates to its compact mc²56 mixing console, which now includes the mc² AutoMix feature which automatically adjusts levels of active and inactive microphones while keeping a constant ambient level.

SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP debuted Polaris evolution, a scalable digital mixing system comprising three elements— control surface, processor, and touchscreen—that can be interconnected in virtually any quantities within an IP network and used separately or collectively.

SOLID STATE LOGIC launched new Plus versions of its C100 HD and C10 HD broadcast consoles, adding new features such as Blackrock Processor cards with expanded capabilities, a new 10-inch screen (C100 HD Plus) for video and metering display, and integrated LMS-16 Loudness Monitoring (C100 HD Plus).

WHEATSTONE debuted Dimension Three, a large-format TV console based on the company’s Gibraltar audio engine that accepts HD/SDI, AES, MADI, and analog inputs, supports AoIP and TDM networking, and offers I/O layering and a reconfigurable surface.

YAMAHA COMMERCIAL AUDIO SYSTEMS announced v1.5 software for its Nuage advanced production system, enabling remote control of R Series head amps from the control surface and sharing of Yamaha CL Series console inputs via Dante.


FAIRLIGHT’s new 64-bit, FPGA-based Crystal Core CC-2 is a digital audio engine on a single PCIe card that delivers high track counts with full-time DSP and support for surround formats beyond 22.2. Fairlight has also added mixing functionality and metadata delivery for Dolby Atmos in its 3DAW audio tool set, which also supports DTS Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) and the NHK 22.2 format for Super Hi-Vision.

SOUND DEVICES’ new 970 model records 64 channels (mono or polyphonic) to any of four attached drives from its 144 available inputs, which include 64 Dante channels, 64 MADI channels (optical or coaxial), eight channels of analog and eight channels of AES digital.

TASCAM’S UH-7000 standalone USB mic preamp offers 192 kHz/24-bit resolution and a fully balanced, audiophile-quality 4x4 interface with analog and digital I/O connections.


TSL released new PAM1 AVB and PAM2 AVB monitoring units intended for hybrid environments: routing, console, and com audio distributed over AVB networks and audio associated with HD video over SDI transports. TSL’s new Axius range of IP switches is intended for the networking of AVB, AES67, Ravenna, Stagebox and SMPTE 2022-based audio and video systems.


DIGIGRAM released the LX-IP Ravenna PCIe sound card, offering AES67-interoperable networking of up to 256 Ravenna I/O channels from multiple streams, an embedded 128x128 switching matrix, and a MADI interface.

DTS announced that DivX’s upcoming release, DivX 10, is the first software product that enables the creation and playback of DivX video, in HEVC up to 4K, featuring DTS-HD audio encoding/ decoding on both Windows and Mac.

HARMAN’S STUDER now uses Artel Video Systems’ DigiLink multiplexing platform to transport Vista X console Studer A-Link audio data streams (1,536 channels @ 32 bits) over fiber, providing remote mic amp control plus return audio, control and status. Studer also announced that its A-Link connection is now integrated as a standard direct interface into Evertz router products.

LAWO debuted the JADE 2.0 virtual audio router, which allows laptops to become mobile audio workstations with all the features needed to produce in locations like press conferences, hotel rooms or even sporting and special events. JADE 2.0 handles up to 12 mono or stereo sources including processing. It’s compatible with audio hardware supplying ASIO, WASAPI, WDM or MME drivers and supports ASIO direct monitoring.

LINEAR ACOUSTIC launched its SDI xNode, which converts between two independent embedded SD/HD-SDI and Livewire/AES67 signals with compensating video delay.

SOLID STATE LOGIC’s new Dante-enabled Network I/O rackmount units include MADI-Bridge, interfacing between a Dante network and MADI; Stagebox, housing eight mic/line input and eight outputs; and SDI, bridging eight 3G-SDI embedders/de-embedders to Dante or MADI with individual channel routing.

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES debuted the Model 412 fiber transport system, a portable or rack-mounted solution for transporting multiple serial digital video, MADI digital audio, and Gig-E signals over single-mode optical fibers, with a range of SDI/MADI I/O options.

TIELINE’S new Genie distribution IP codec send and receive three simultaneous multicast or multi-unicast audio streams. Tieline also announced the addition of Fraunhofer’s AAC-LD, AAC-ELD, and AACELDv2 algorithms to its Genie, Merlin and Bridge-IT Pro and Bridge-IT XTRA codecs.


DPA MICRPPHONES introduced the d:screet omnidirectional miniature necklace microphone, featuring a d:screet 4061 capsule in a soft rubber necklace designed specifically for use by non-technicians. DPA also launched its new heavy-duty DPA d:screet 4060 and 4061 omni miniature mics. The new d:fine 66 and 88 headset microphones are intended for handsfree vocal use in broadcast productions.

LECTRSONICS introduced its Digital Secure Wireless system, featuring AES-256- CTR (Advanced Encryption Standard) technology and comprising the DR digital wireless receiver frame, individual DRM digital receiver modules, and DB digital wireless beltpack transmitter. The company’s L Series Large Bandwidth line has been expanded with the addition of the new LMb and LT beltpack transmitters, and LR miniature receiver.

SENNHEISER announced its support for Dante networking, which will initially be integrated into the Digital 9000 wireless microphone system, in mid-2014. Sennheiser’s new MK 8 large-diaphragm condenser microphone features five selectable polar patterns, a three-position filter, and a switchable pad. The company also previewed Esfera, a DSP processor that generates a 5.1 soundfield in real time for broadcast from two cardioid microphone capsules set at 45 degrees to each other.

SONY introduced a multi-interface shoe adaptor for its recently launched UWP-D series wireless microphones. The wireless receiver can be attached to camcorders or interchangeable-lens cameras that have an MI (multi-interface) shoe using the new MI shoe adaptor (SMAD-P3), eliminating the need for connecting cables.


Christopher Currier points out features of Sennheiser’s Esfera surround microphone system.CLEAR-COM has added to its HelixNet digital products with the HRM-4X Remote Station, providing Main Station intercom functionality in a more compact unit; the HKB-2X Speaker Station, monitoring four comms channels and communicating on any two simultaneously; and S-Mount, enabling the Speaker Station to be used in portable applications. Clear-Com’s new ProGrid is an Optocore fiber-based infrastructure system enabling transport and distribution of audio, intercom, video, and control data, based on the open AES3 and MADI standards. New features for the Eclipse HX range include Ethernet/IP intelligent trunking with IVC-32-HX redundancy and dual label and multi-language support for V-Series panels.

RIEDEL launched its new CPX-AVB expansion card for Riedel Artist 1100 series control panels. The CPX-AVB is a dedicated card that fits in the expansion slot of the Artist 1100 series OLED control panels.

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES displayed enhanced versions of its Model 41 and Model 42A Line-Level Audio-to-IFB Circuit Interfaces which offer revised and updated circuitry and components for increased long-term reliability in tough field applications.


CEDAR AUDIO showed its new Studio 6 software, with three new processes— Auto Dehiss, Declick, and Decrackle— and compatibility with AAX Native and VST hosts added to its existing Adaptive Limiter 2, Debuzz, Declip and DNS One features.

LOGITEK debuted an update to its vMix+ with a customizable, easy-to-use software application that now incorporates all of Logitek’s virtual clients for mixing, routing and control.

IZOTOPE now provides its Nectar Elements dialogue enhancement plug-in as part of Sony’s Vegas Pro 13 video production environment.

LINEAR ACOUSTIC introduced AERO.x, a half-rack IP-audio interface with dual independent HD-SDI paths capable of processing up to 16 audio channels.


COBALT DIGITAL’s Spotcheck loudness measurement and compliance tool has been upgraded to add proxy record (down-res transcode) variable resolution, H.264 video, AAC stereo audio, EBU R128 compliance and other features.

DK TECHNOLOGIES debuted its T7 Audio and Loudness meter, designed as a cost-effective, one-box solution for broadcast and post production engineers.

LINEAR ACOUSTIC showcased AERO.soft, which provides enterprise-wide audio and loudness management on standard third-party servers, with integrated Aero- Max and UpMix processing and Livewire/ AES67 AoIP connectivity.

NUGEN AUDIO introduced MultiMonitor, a new software solution for multichannel loudness and true-peak monitoring. Nugen also showed enhancements to its Loudness Management Batch (LMB) processor and Avid Pro Tools 11 support for the Stereopack toolset for stereo image enhancement and manipulation.

RTW unveiled its TM3-Primus audio meter, deployable as a desktop unit or in an advanced USB hybrid mode that enables display of a metering point in a DAW (via an RTW plug-in). The company also launched its Masterclass PlugIns range for Windows and Mac OS platforms.

TC ELECTRONIC has added the option of 16 channels of unbalanced AES connectivity to its UpCon upconversion/downmix processor and to its DB6 intelligent loudness management system. The company also announced that RTW’s LQL (Loudness Quality Logger) is compatible with TC’s TM7 and TM9 TouchMonitors.

TSL PRODUCTS’ new PAM PiCo PC Matrix configuration software enables online management and configuration of its loudness meter setups, loudness logging, audio signal routing and user preset capabilities.

Steve Harvey began writing for Pro Sound News and Surround Professional in 2000 and is currently senior content producer for Mix and a contributor to TV Tech. He has worked in the pro audio industry—as a touring musician, in live production, installed sound, and equipment sales and marketing—since November 1980.