NAB Show Product Review: Audio
Audio vendors released a slew of new products at this year’s NAB Show, especially IP-enabled gear, perhaps due to the boost given to the AES67 streaming interoperability standard by its inclusion in SMPTE’s ST 2110 standards suite, which is moving quickly towards publication.
CALREC launched Artemis Ray, with 456 fully featured input channels, 128 program buses, up to 72 faders, plus a new fader/monitor panel, in a shorter frame than its Artemis predecessors. New v8 software introduces improved RP1 support, switchable 48/96 kHz sample rates, and further integration of Calrec’s AoIP interface across its product range. New features for Brio include stereo- and 5.1-path spill leg access and independence controls, plus multiple sample rate support.
DIGICO’S SD12, new at the NAB Show, includes the latest SD Series Stealth Core 2 software and features 72 inputs and 36 aux/group buses, a 12x8 matrix, and multiple main output buses, all with full processing.
Lawo’s mc²96 Grand Production Console
Logitek’s Helix TV Audio Console
LAWO’S new flagship mc²96 Grand Production Console, intended for IP video-production environments, supports multiple IP protocols and is available with 24 to 200 faders. The large touchscreen displays are complemented by mini-color TFTs on each channel strip that can display an associated video feed.
LOGITEK’S Helix TV Audio Console combines console hardware (up to 36 faders) and multitouch screens that support 5.1/stereo master and 24 mix-minus outputs, offers remote control from smart devices (any OS), and is driven by the company’s JetStream AoIP routing system. Helix Surface is a large format virtual console for the 28-inch Microsoft Surface Studio that fully mirrors physical Helix consoles, for second control rooms, remote locations, or as a physical console replacement. Logitek’s new vMix Touch enables presentation of custom layouts across multiple devices and screen sizes.
ROLAND’S Go:Mixer is now shipping; the compact, 8-input, USB-powered device is designed to complement on-the-go capture of video on iOS and Android smartphones.
SOLID STATE LOGIC released additions to its System T AoIP infrastructure product range, including the Tempest Control Rack (TCR), which allows broadcasters and integrators to build modular systems from System T components where a traditional broadcast console is not required or not appropriate. SSL also launched the new lower-power and lower-cost T25 Tempest Engine option.
YAMAHA’S new CS-R10-S control surface is approximately two-thirds the size of the existing CS-R10 and operates in a dual-console mode or as sidecar with the CS-R10. Firmware update v1.5 for Yamaha’s Rivage PM10 includes Eventide H3000 Live Ultra-Harmonizer and Dan Dugan Sound Design automatic mixer plug-ins. Yamaha also released EQ presets for its Rivage PM10, CL, QL, and TF Series digital mixing consoles specifically designed to provide optimum performance with Ultimate Ears IEMs.
WHEATSTONE introduced the DMX console, its first PR&E product. It is a complete, standalone studio system offering IP audio networking without the need for an external Ethernet switch and with optional 8- or 16-fader console surfaces.
AUDIO RECORDING & PLAYOUT
AATON DIGITAL unveiled the CantarMini 16-track digital portable mixer-sound recorder based on—and lighter than—the company’s CantarX3 and compatible with the add-on Cantarem2 mixer/fader panel.
AVID introduced Pro Tools enhancements, including support for Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 audio stems with built-in fold-down logic; on-the-fly switching and automation between surround and object outputs; and synchronization of audio and automation punches between input and playback modes in conjunction with the Dolby RMU.
Sound Devices’ MD-4 audio interface
SOUND DEVICES’ new 3-input/5-track MixPre-3 and the 6-input/8-track MixPre-6 both incorporate new custom-engineered Kashmir mic preamps with analog limiters and new 32-bit A-to-D converters. Sound Devices’ new 1RU MD-4 audio interface connects four analog mic or line inputs to Dante audio networks and may be battery powered.
ZAXCOM launched its smallest and lightest recorder, the ZFR400, in a beltpack form factor incorporating an IFB receiver and recording to an internal micoSD card while offering a dynamic range of 128 dB.
AUDIO MONITORING & METERING
EVENTIDE has doubled the delay time in Precision Delay mode for the BD600+ broadcast delay, which features USB and RS-232 for remote control and improved audio performance. The BD600W+ offers Wheat-net IP integration. The BD600E+ features extended remote capability for integration with automation systems.
Marshall’s Dante-capable AR-DM61-BT multichannel audio monitor
MARSHALL’S Dante-capable AR-DM61- BT audio monitor features a 10-inch LCD touchscreen and built-in live video preview confidence monitor and can display up to 64 audio channels from multiple signal types, including four dedicated 3G-SDI inputs.
RENEGADE LABS’ M3G-XT multi-input/multichannel audio monitoring system supports SDI, Dante/AES67, analog or digital inputs and also offers a surround sound downmix.
TSL’s MPA1 Solo SDI Audio Monitor
TSL PRODUCTS announced the all-new 1RU MPA1 Solo SDI audio monitor that enables users to view all 16 embedded channels simultaneously while allowing any channel to be selected for monitoring.
MONITOR SPEAKERS & HEADPHONES
GENELEC released GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) v2.2, adding Distributed Bass Management Filters for legacy Smart Active Monitoring products and seamless integration with the new 7300 range of Smart Active subwoofers.
NEUMANN’S new 4-inch KH80- powered broadcast monitors support auto calibration through Precision Alignment software, which will be available by the end of the year.
Point Source Audio’s CM-i5 in-ear broadcast headset
POINT SOURCE AUDIO’S new CM-i5 in-ear broadcast headset weighs less than 2 ounces and features a slimmer, lighter condenser mic mounted on an “unbreakable boom;” available summer 2017.
AUDIO DISTRIBUTION, ROUTING & CODECS
AEQ’S third-generation Olympia 3 Dante/AES67 commentary unit operates in three different ways: as a standalone audio mixer connected to a control PC, as part of an AoIP intercom system, or as part of a large-scale commentary system.
AUDINATE announced its new Dante Broadway networking chip in 8x8 and 16x16 channel options, enabling OEMs to add Dante audio networking to small mixers, power amplifiers, DSPs, hardware interfaces and other solutions.
JK AUDIO’S Interchange LTD is a 1RU interface allowing remote access to existing party-line intercom systems and features a digital hybrid for connection to analog phone lines.
LAWO’S Seamless Orchestration and Unification Layer (SOUL) provides a single point of control that manages the generation and routing of audio and video streams in any multi-vendor IP setup, and is compatible across individual interfaces and technical solutions.
RENEGADE LABS’ D3G converts eight channels of SD/HD/3G SDI audio to Dante and includes confidence monitoring, audio delay and sample rate conversion.
STUDER demonstrated its new DIOS (Digital I/O System), automation software that routes and manages complex signal flows—including third-party platforms—in broadcast applications, transparently re-routing connections in the event of a failure.
DPA MICROPHONES’ d:screet lavalier mic series can now be paired with the new SCM0013-B4-way clip, with multiple cable management mounting options.
MARANTZ PROFESSIONAL expanded its microphone and accessory lines with the addition of the CM-200 camera-mount shotgun mic and the ZP-1 blimp-style mic windscreen and shockmount.
Sennheiser’s GoPro-verified MKE 2
POINT SOURCE AUDIO introduced a precision-matched, dual-element microphone offering redundancy in a single housing. The mic will also be available as the CO2-8WL standalone lavalier and will be offered within the Embrace category of ear-mountable lavs.
SENNHEISER’S waterproof GoPro-verified MKE 2 elements microphone is designed to pair with GoPro’s HERO4 Black and Silver cameras and features a special windshield that works even when wet.
ALTEROS unveiled its fully digital 24-channel GTX Series Ultra-Wideband (UWB) wireless microphone system, delivering 48 kHz/24-bit low-latency, un-companded audio at 6.5 GHz with automatic failover/redundant switching and MADI, fiber, Dante and AES67 digital outputs.
AUDIO-TECHNICA introduced its 6000 Series, a spectrum-efficient High Density Wireless System that provides 31 simultaneous channels at 944-952 MHz within 4 MHz of bandwidth, using advanced IMD suppression methods to enable its channels to be spaced at 125 kHz intervals.
LECTROSONICS introduced Duet, a new digital wireless IEM system comprising the M2T dual-stereo half-rack transmitter and M2R diversity belt pack receiver, covering 470-608 MHz UHF and accepting analog or Dante digital inputs.
NEUTRIK unveiled new cable-free transmission via its new Xirium Pro digital wireless audio system, operating at FCC license-free 5 GHz with extremely low latency.
Shure’s Axient Digital Wireless System
SHURE’S new Axient Digital Wireless System features a receiver compatible with its AD Series and ADX Series transmitters. Axient Digital ADX Series transmitters feature ShowLink, offering interference detection and avoidance and real-time control of all transmitter parameters.
ZAXCOM introduced the rackmountable RX-12R wideband receiver with a tuning range across 512–698 MHz with a 35 MHz tracking front-end filter. Zaxcom’s new lightweight ZMT3-Phantom transmitter is designed for boom pole placement behind the mic and records internally onto a microSD card using the lossless Mobile Audio Recording Format. Files are instantly copied to BWF or mp3 via free ZaxConvert software (Mac/PC).
TV Solutions Group’s Linear Acoustic AMS Authoring and Monitoring System
TV SOLUTIONS GROUP’S Linear Acoustic AMS Authoring and Monitoring System combines Linear Acoustic real-time audio processing with Minnetonka Audio software engineering on Telos Alliance AoIP architecture in an ATSC 3.0-compliant hardware and software solution for immersive 3D audio that includes control of the interactive features of MPEG-H.
ORBAN’S iMix 5.1 headphone monitor renders 5.1 images in the user’s headphones without the use of artificial ambience or special encoding. The new openGear OTV-22 card offers dual, discrete stereo instances of Orban’s exclusive OPTIMOD TV ITU-BS.1770-compliant loudness control. OTV-M2S supports four instances of Orban’s newest Mono2Stereo algorithm, creating artifact-free stereo audio from mono feeds. OTV-5.1 Live is a suite of ultra-low-latency 5.1 surround processors, including the 257 Decoder, 752 Encoder and the iMix 5.1. OTV-510 is an ITU-BS.1770-compliant low-latency 5.1 surround loudness monitor and controller for production and transmission. Orban’s OTV-MUX HD and OTV-DMX HD cards offer embedding/de-embedding of up to eight AES audio channels into a 3G/HD/SD SDI signal.
WHEATSTONE’S Air-Aura X4 digital spectral processor for FM and HD shares information between all stages: the iAGC, 31-band limiters and clipper.
Clear-Com’s V-Series Lever Key-Panels
INTERCOM & REMOTE CONTRIBUTION
CLEAR-COM released two new V-Series Lever Key-Panels, a 32-key intercom panel (V32LD) and a 16-key expansion panel (V16LDE), offering higher key density and advanced programmability in the same panel space as current models. The new EDante64-HX interface card is compatible with the Eclipse HX-Omega, Median, and Delta matrix systems, and allows users to transport up to 64 audio channels.
RIEDEL’S Bolero is an expandable DECT-based intercom system running over an AES67 IP network (and Reidel Artist compatible) that can uniquely be applied three ways: as a wireless beltpack, wireless keypanel and walkie-talkie radio. Riedel’s new HandsFree App (iOS/Android) for its SmartPanel enables routing of phone audio through the Artist digital matrix intercom system via Bluetooth.
RADIO ACTIVE DESIGNS released a firmware update for the UV-1G base station and the RAD body packs to offer more headroom and improved audio quality. The company also introduced v2 of the RAD Pack that provides greater battery life and a reduction in overall temperature.
RTS INTERCOM SYSTEMS’ Roameo DECT-based wireless intercom system integrates with all RTS digital matrices and provides user-friendly, intuitive operation with icon-based setup and buttons with tactile feedback.
SONIFEX introduced the AVN-TB10AR 10-button intercom. The DHY-04HD is an HD Voice/GSM hybrid for handling high-quality voice calls. Sonifex’s new PC-AD2 is a dual stereo analog and dual stereo AES-3 I/O half-height PCIe sound card.
STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES launched its Model 5422 Dante Intercom Audio Engine, a 32-bit digital solution for creating party-line (PL) intercom circuits when used with Dante-compatible products.
IZOTOPE released RX 6, the latest update to its flagship audio repair and enhancement software, and available in four versions: RX Elements, RX 6 Standard, RX 6 Advanced and RX Post Production Suite.
DOLBY LABORATORIES made two software packages available to Avid Pro Tools 12 users. Atmos Production Suite replaces the Local Renderer plug and provides editorial and premix functionality for film and TV content, and an end-to-end VR content workflow. Mastering Suite additionally includes Dolby HT-RMU software, enabling mastering for digital delivery or Blu-ray.
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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.