NAB Show Product Review: Audio - TvTechnology
New products revolved around emerging IP standards

With the AES67, SMPTE ST 2110, AMWA NMOS and ATSC 3.0 standards and guidelines now largely in place, the inexorable march toward all-IP workflows continued at the 2018 NAB Show, with precious few new product introductions not offering some form of networking. New IP-enabled mixing console, interface and intercom products were in particular abundance, no doubt spurred by this new era of digital audio interoperability.

AUDIO MIXERS & INTERFACES

Calrec Brio 12  

Calrec Brio 12  

CALREC AUDIO debuted its Brio 12 compact 12-fader mixer, offering 12 physical dual-layer faders with additional virtual faders, 48 input channels and the same bus count as the Brio36, in less than 18 inches wide. New RP1 remote production unit features include a 2-band filter, 4-band EQ, expander and gate, compressor and sidechain EQ facilities, direct output for all remote faders, up to 5.1 wide, and remote auxes via Calrec Assist.

FAIRLIGHT, part of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 15 software suite, debuted an ADR toolset, 3D panners, shared sound libraries, support for legacy Fairlight projects, and built-in cross-platform plug-ins such as reverb, hum removal, vocal channel, and de-esser.

FERROFISH rolled out the PULSE 16 DX, a 16-channel, AD/DA converter with Dante compatibility.

LAWO unveiled its third-gen mc²56 console, incorporating features drawn from Lawo’s mc²96, in a compact, flexible and versatile form factor that address applications ranging from broadcast trucks and studios to live performance and recording.

Lawo’s third-gen mc²56 console  

Lawo’s third-gen mc²56 console  

NTP TECHNOLOGY introduced its new Dante/AES67 Penta 720 2RU modular audio interface with a variety of analog and digital interface options. The new Penta 721 is a 1U digital-only unit, with dual power supplies, that can be configured with various built-in options.

RME introduced its new Digiface Dante mobile audio interface, providing transmission of up to 64 Dante channels and 64 MADI channels via a USB 3.0 connection. The Digiface AVB mobile audio interface enables transmission of up to 256 network audio channels between a Windows computer and other AVB devices within an audio Gigabit network via a single USB 3.0 cable.

SOLID STATE LOGIC’S System T-S300 comes in two versions, 16+1 faders and 32+1 faders, supports Dante, AES67 and SMPTE 2110-30, and can connect to either a Tempest T25 (256 paths @ 48kHz) or a T80 (800 paths @ 48kHz) processor engine.

SONIFEX’S new AVN-PXH12 12x2-channel mixer monitor can simultaneously monitor/mix up to 24 RAVENNA, AES67 or AES67-enabled Dante sources in a compact 1U rack to a speaker/headphone combination.

STAGE TEC unveiled a preview of its Avatus IP mixing console, which features control and display via touch screens with color-coded faders and rotary encoders. IP-connected frame bays allow distributed placement for remote productions. Stage Tec’s new software release 4.5 adds audio processing highlights for Aurus and Crescendo desks. The company also announced at the show that it had joined the RAVENNA partnership.

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES expanded its Dante-compatible offerings with three new compact, software-configurable announcer’s consoles—the Model 205, Model 206, and Model 208—that offer unique combinations of analog and digital audio resources to create on-air talent hubs for both AoIP and traditional analog audio environments.

WHEATSTONE debuted Screen-Builder 2.0, a new version of the development platform for its WheatNet-IP audio network that includes scripting tools and GUI for developing virtual news desks, producer workstations, control panels, and other virtual interfaces and workflows for the WheatNet-IP networked studio.

AUDIO RECORDING & PLAYOUT

AVID’S new Pro Tools|Ultimate includes the Avid Complete Plug-in Bundle and Pro Tools|MachineControl with cloud collaboration enhancements and Dolby Atmos mixing with supporting of up to 256 audio tracks. The Avid Connect App, available to Avid’s 1.4 million account holders this summer, offers a personalized connection into the Artist Community and Marketplace from computers, mobile devices and within Avid creative tools.

ZAXCOM is now shipping the fourth iteration of its Deva 24-track hard disc recorder, Deva 24 and Mix-16, a control surface for the unit featuring 16 motorized faders in five banks.

AUDIO MONITORING & METERING

RTW showcased its TM3 Smart and TM3-3G SmartTouchMonitors as well as TM7/TM9 TouchMonitors, MM3 MusicMeter and TM3-Primus. It also highlighted its software and plug-in solutions along with Nixer Pro Audio’s PD-Dante, a small portable monitoring and diagnostic system that is now available through RTW’s worldwide distribution.

TSL PRODUCTS unveiled the MPA1-MIXSDI, MPA1-SOLO-8 and MPA1-MIX-8, extending the range of connectivity to its MPA1 audio monitor line.

TSL MPA1-MIX-SDI  

TSL MPA1-MIX-SDI  

HEADPHONES/HEADSETS

AUDIO-TECHNICA announced the new BPHS2 broadcast stereo headset for news and sports broadcasting, available in the standard BPHS2 stereo and the BPHS2S single-ear versions, both with a hypercardioid dynamic mic, and the BPHS2C stereo with a condenser mic.

 Audio-Technica BPHS2 broadcast stereo headset for news and sports broadcasting  

 Audio-Technica BPHS2 broadcast stereo headset for news and sports broadcasting  

SENNHEISER launched its 300 PRO series, available in August 2018, comprising the HD 300 PRO and HD 300 PROtect monitoring headphones and HMD 300 PRO and single-sided HMD 301 PRO communications headsets.

AUDIO DISTRIBUTION, ROUTING & CODECS

AUDINATE released Dante firmware v4.1 for the Ultimo UXT family of audio networking chipsets, bringing AES67 networking to 2-and 4-channel count products. The company also launched Dante Domain Manager, which allows AV and IT professionals to define specific AV device groupings by room, building and site, allowing for the creation of independent Dante Domains and enabling a single Dante Domain to encompass multiple IP subnets.

ORBAN demonstrated OPTICLOUD Any Content | Any Device, a patented technology addressing the problem of voice intelligibility in the home as well as stereo/multichannel imaging for users who view content on mobile devices.

MICROPHONES

DPA MICROPHONES introduced its d:vote 4099 Instrument Mics with CORE, designed for use with every woodwind and acoustical instrument and featuring versatile mounting/clip options. DPA also unveiled CORE, a new amplifier technology designed to minimize distortion and increase the dynamic range of its d:screet, d:fine and d:vote lines of miniature lavalier, headset and instrument microphones.

SANKEN MICROPHONES’ new compact CS-M1 super cardioid shotgun microphone, for mounting on DSLR cameras, is intended for professional boom pole drama and film location recording applications.

 Sennheiser Essential headset  

 Sennheiser Essential headset  

SENNHEISER unveiled the Essential range of headset and lavalier microphones, available from July 2018, including the HSP Essential Omni omni-directional capsule and MKE Essential Omni omnidirectional lavalier microphone

WIRELESS

ALTEROS’ GTX Series L.A.W.N. ultra-wideband (UWB) 6.5 GHz wireless microphone system supports up to 24 channels via an antenna array (up to 32) and enables multiple systems to be used in close proximity with no interference and with no frequency coordination.

Alteros GTX Series L.A.W.N. ultrawideband (UWB) 6.5 GHz wireless microphone system  

Alteros GTX Series L.A.W.N. ultrawideband (UWB) 6.5 GHz wireless microphone system  

AUDIO-TECHNICA introduced its new ATW-T6002x handheld transmitter for the 6000 Series high density wireless system, plus a half-dozen new interchangeable microphone capsules.

PROFESSIONAL WIRELESS SYSTEMS announced the new PWS 4X4 quad antenna distribution for the Shure Axient Digital Quadversity wireless mic system. The new V-IC, 4-zone intercom multicoupler for the VHF range is intended for use with Radio Active Designs UV-1G wireless intercom systems. The new P-812S houses eight independent, passive two-way RF splitters, enabling two-zone transmission for up to four UV-1G base stations.

SENNHEISER’S new 500-p series professional packages for ENG and film work include the ew 512-p G4 Pro portable lavalier mic set, ew 500 BOOM G4 Pro portable boom set and ew 500 FILM G4 combo set variously ship with a camera receiver, bodypack transmitter, MKE 2 lavalier mic or plug-on transmitter and various accessories.

WISYCOM debuted its LFA ultra-wideband active antenna, which operates in the 410-1300 MHz frequency range and features three filters. The new BFA-B/BFA-N ultra-wideband booster can supplement existing antennas, ampliying the antenna signal up to +27 dB over the same frequency range.

INTERCOM & REMOTE CONTRIBUTION

CLEAR-COM’S new E-IPA IP card enables users to build out high density audio distribution and intercom systems by adding 16, 32, 48 or 64-port frame cards to existing Clear-Com Eclipse HX-Delta, Median, and Omega systems, and is AES67-compliant and SMPTE 2110-30-ready. Clear-Com also presented the BroaMan-brand of solutions including the MUX22-IVT/IC422, which integrates Clear-Com matrix-panel intercom connections including audio and control data transport.

Clear-Com E-IPA IP card  

Clear-Com E-IPA IP card  

COMREX unveiled EarShot, which delivers telephone-based IFB and live studio program audio to field-based remote broadcasts. Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot with a mobile phone. It can handle up to four program feeds or two IFB feeds, but for higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.

EARTEC introduced the UltraLITE HUB series, which weighs 9 ounces and allows seven users to talk hands-free, in full duplex, simultaneous talk. Also new is Eartec’s UltraPAK, an ergonomic mini belt pack that allows the addition of lightweight headsets to the full duplex, simultaneous talk intercom.

GLENSOUND’S Beatrice R8 8-channel (expandable to 16) rackmount intercom system offers Dante/AES67 networking with 32 digital audio channels, two local analog I/O with two four-wire circuits plus redundant copper and fiber network interfaces.

Riedel RSP1232HL 1200 series SmartPanel  

Riedel RSP1232HL 1200 series SmartPanel  

RIEDEL COMMUNICATIONS introduced its new 1200 series SmartPanel, the RSP-1232HL, a 32-key user interface designed for workflow flexibility, power, and connectivity, including AES3 and SMPTE 2110-30 (AES67). Riedel’s new Bolero Standalone Application is a license-enabled upgrade that allows antennas to be daisy-chained to each other in a line or a redundant ring via a low-latency, synchronized TDM network, among other features.

RTS launched its Odin (OMNEO digital intercom matrix) IP comms system, scalable from 16 ports to 128, with the potential to gang up to eight panels to achieve 1,024 ports; it ships in June 2018.

 RTS Odin (OMNEO digital intercom matrix) IP comms system  

 RTS Odin (OMNEO digital intercom matrix) IP comms system  

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES’ new Model 391 Dante Alerting Unit offers both visual and audible indications that attract operator attention and can be used in conjunction with Dante intercom beltpacks and user stations that support call light functionality.

TIELINE TECHNOLOGY unveiled a new 6-channel IFB and push-to-talk (PTT) intercom solution called ChatterBox. The ChatterBox smartphone app delivers up to six dedicated IFB and push-to-talk communications circuits over cellular networks (3G, 4G LTE, 5G) and Wi-Fi.

TELOS’ Infinity is a distributed IP intercom system based on VoIP and Livewire+ AES67 AoIP transports that integrates with existing analog, AES, SDI, and MADI systems using Telos Alliance xNode baseband-to-IP interfaces and other AES67 partner devices.

AUDIO PROCESSING

JÜNGER AUDIO launched AIXpressor, a 1RU x86 processor-based platform, equipped with a comprehensive range of built-in interfaces, supporting software-defined products that are created using Jünger’s new Flexible Audio Infrastructure flexAI.

NUGEN AUDIO showed the newly released Dolby E Module for the AMB Audio Management Batch Processor, offering improved processing speeds and greater scalability.

THE TELOS ALLIANCE announced a partnership with FiDef to deliver new audio-enhancing technology with a roundtable discussion featuring world-renowned producers, mixers and engineers Gary Katz, Al Schmitt, Frank Filipetti and Ed Cherney.

THX and QUALCOMM TECHNOLOGIES demonstrated an end-to-end THX Spatial Audio workflow using MPEG-H for the delivery of next-generation immersive audio experiences, including features to optimize audio playback over a wide range of consumer devices.

ACCESSORIES

BITTREE unveiled the limited edition 969A-Series 2x48 audio patchbay N96DC, featuring patented front-programmability and offering 96 TT (bantam) connections in a 2RU rackmount chassis.