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Harman, Midas, Yamaha make major launches at PLASA

PSN-e rounds up more of the headline-grabbing announcements from this year’s PLASA Show, which took place at London’s Earls Court last week.

PSN-e rounds up more of the headline-grabbing announcements from this year’s PLASA Show, which took place at London’s Earls Court last week, reports David Davies. Taking place from September 12-15, the 2010 edition of PLASA featured more than 350 companies, including over 60 new exhibitors, among them the high-profile likes of Avid, Bosch, EAW, Mackie, Martin Audio and SCV/Turbosound.

The latest of PSN-e’s numerous PLASA 2010 previews can be read here, but further to existing coverage, Trantec demonstrated a Channel 38-compliant version of its S4.16 16-channel wireless system along with the S5.3 12-channel system and its newer, ‘big brother’ variant, the 24-channel S5.5. Collectively, the products are said to underline Trantec’s commitment to helping customers to make the transition to post-Channel 69 operation come 2012.

Midas and Klark Teknik also highlighted multiple innovations, including an impressive number of brand new products. The VeniceF is a new ‘digilog’ ultra-compact mixing console with FireWire 32-channel digital audio interface, new mic preamps, and Propellerhead recording and processing trial software bundle. Two additions to the PRO Series – the PRO9 (88-ch input, 35 buses) and PRO3 (same connectivity as a Heritage 3000) – were shown for the first time in Europe, while the new XL8i system provides the connectivity of the XL8 touring pack in a format oriented towards the install, theatre and house of worship market.

In addition, the sister companies highlighted a full range of standalone Midas digital snake and line system products, together with the new Klark Teknik DN9650 and DN9652 high channel audio format converters with integral sample rate conversion and clock isolation.

“2010 has been an amazing year for Midas Klark Teknik,” said managing director John Oakley. “The Music Group is making substantial investments in MKT, and this plethora of new releases will allow more people than ever to use our products.”

Also evincing a strong commitment to new launches was the Harman Pro family, with some brands introducing multiple new products. From AKG came the Perception Wireless microphone system, which incorporates 30 MHz bandwidth, a C 544 sports headset and a professional XLR output, and is designed to accommodate entry-level audio technicians. AKG also highlighted a new application for the iPhone, thereby providing users with another method of browsing, monitoring and controlling their AKG wireless microphones and IEM systems.

Elsewhere in the Harman Pro family, BSS Audio added a new break-in box to its Soundweb London family of digital signal processors. The BLU-BIB input expander complements the eight other members of the Soundweb London range and is described as an “inexpensive solution” for increasing the number of inputs in a Harman HiQnet networked system. Also new from BSS was the Soundweb London Telephone Hybrid Card, which is designed to populate any of the four card slots on Soundweb London BLU-800, BLU-320, BLU-160 and BLU-120 devices, and announced the introduction of the conferencing-oriented BLU-101 and BLU-102 processors.

Crown also had plenty of new products to show PLASA visitors. Described as a turnkey, out-of-the-box amplifier management solution, the Crown VRACK features three built-in Crown I-Tech 12000HD amplifiers to provide an easy-to-configure, plug-and-play solution that eliminates the need to build amplifier racks. Modular and scalable in nature, the system is designed to work with JBL, VerTec, VRX and AE Series loudspeakers. Also new from Crown was the ComTech DriveCore series of amplifiers – a new four-model range offering up to eight channels and 150 watts per channel in a one-unit chassis without a fan – and the IDX Information Delivery System, incorporating a Crown CTs amplifier and co-branded with Com-Net Software.

dbx introduced four new members to its ZonePRO family of digital zone processors. The new 1260m, 1261m, 640m and 641m join the 1260, 1261, 640 and 641 in the series, and share the same total numbers of inputs and outputs as their equivalent siblings but with additional mic/line inputs.

JBL, meanwhile, introduced the five latest additions to the permanent installation-oriented AE Series (Application Engineered), while the latest update to the HiQnet System Architect software was also highlighted. Meanwhile, Harman gave a PLASA Debut to Selenium, the Brazilian loudspeaker brand that it acquired with its purchase of Electronica Selenium earlier this year. Selenium by Harman is now part of Harman Professional’s Loudspeaker Group, led by v-p and g-m Mark Ureda and also including JBL Professional.

Harman says that it has “ambitious growth plans” for the Brazilian market, and has already invested approximately US$100 million to expand its production capacity and establish a research & development centre.

Rodrigo Rihl Kniest, country manager for Harman Brazil, commented: “Being a part of a global organization such as Harman allows Selenium to expand our distribution in a measured, strategic and well-supported manner. In doing so, we dovetail well with other Harman Professional brand offerings and we provide European customers with greater choice, improved versatility and Selenium’s unique combination of innovation, quality and performance value. I am confident that Harman’s product portfolio coupled with Selenium’s positioning in Brazil and Latin America will facilitate new businesses opportunities in all sectors – automotive, consumer and professional.”

There were also multiple additions to the Soundcraft range. The Soundcraft Compact Stagebox for Vi and Si consoles provides a high density of I/O connections in 4U of rack space, offering as standard 32 mic/line inputs, 8 line outputs, 8 channels of AES/EBU outputs, and two expansion slots for standard Studer D21m I/O cards. The brand also introduced the Si Compact Series (pictured) – a new line of digital console offering full DSP functionality and up to 40 inputs in three frame sizes – as well as a new software version (V4.0) for the Si Series.

Finally for this round-up, Yamaha Commercial Audio announced a new “system design philosophy”, UNioN. Based on EtherSound ES100 redundant ring topology, UNioN enables Yamaha consoles and stage boxes to be integrated with devices from a host of third party manufacturers, including Teqsas, Neutrik, Waves, AuviTran and Steinberg.

In what is seemingly a further step on from the interoperability provided by Yamaha’s Mini-YGDAI cards, UNioN offers a feature-set including 24-bit AD and DA conversion and microphone preamps, 32-bit peripheral architecture, 58-bit fixed point DSP platform, audio-dedicated power supply design and CE-compliant electromagnetic shielding. For more details, click here.

For more PLASA news, click here and here.