HOLLAND: Soundcraft was among the many manufacturers launching new products at this year's show, writes David Davies. The Harman Pro company unveiled a new addition to the Si Series of digital consoles: the Si2. Lab.gruppen and Klein+Hummel also showcased new products at the show, which attracted 24,912 visitors (subject to finalisation) - 11% more than the 2008 edition.
Described as a "smaller partner" to the Si3, the Si2 is expected to begin shipping in March and offers 48 mic inputs (in contrast with the Si3's 64 inputs) mapped on 24 faders. The specification also includes four dedicated Stereo Line channels, four dedicated FX Returns from the four stereo Lexicon FX processors, eight balanced insert sends, eight balanced insert returns, 24 Group/Aux busses, eight matrix busses, and a full complement of monitor talkback and main bus outputs.
"We can see this being very popular for theatres, houses of worship and other installations requiring a smaller footprint," says Soundcraft/Studer director of marketing communications David Neal, pictured here with the Si2 at ISE 2009.
Lab.gruppen, meanwhile, highlighted three new additions to the FP+ Series of amplifiers. Described as a new 'flagship' model, the FP 14000 delivers 14,000W (2 x 7,000W @ 2 ohms) in 2U. The other new models are the FP 9000 and FP 4000, which are able to deliver 9,000W (2 x 4,500W @ 2 ohms) and 4000W (2 x 2,000W @ 2 ohms), respectively - again in a 2U format.
Klein+Hummel's stand and demo room played host to a selection of its latest install-oriented products, including the CMS series of ceiling mount loudspeakers, the SMS series of surface mount loudspeakers, and the CLS FX range of column array speakers for flat panel displays.
"The installation market is definitely becoming more important to Klein+Hummel," confirms sales director Frank Kirschner. "[K+H's parent company] Sennheiser has long had an installation programme, and we are working to develop one of our own to complement this."
It was also a busy ISE for DMi (D&M Installation), which debuted new source and control products from Denon, Marantz and Escient, along with speaker systems from Boston Acoustics and SNELL Acoustics, and networking products from Hawking Technology. The company also publicised a new agreement between D&M Europe B.V. and Control4 which gives D&M access to Control4's digital home automation technology.
Barix, meanwhile, drew attention to the increasing popularity of its Audio over IP components across various segments of fixed install, including the burgeoning home automation market.
Summing up an overwhelmingly positive show that seemed to buck the current global mood of despondency, Marcel van der Meijs - head of sales & marketing at Barix - said that ISE 2009 had been "a terrific show_ It's a very important exhibition for us, and in fact we have already signed up for next year."
Barix is not alone in having signalled its continued commitment to the show - by the end of the final day of this year's event, between 70 and 80% of exhibitors had rebooked for ISE 2010.
If confirmed by the final figures - due for release later this week - the preliminary attendance total of 24,912 announced at the end of the show represents an increase of approximately 2,500 on last year's event. While some trade events no longer have the impact they once had, it is clear that ISE is going from strength to strength.