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NAMM 2020: The biggest launches

A round-up of the biggest announcements at NAMM 2020

The Winter NAMM show is finally in full swing, with the show floor busier than ever and product launches being made left and right.

Here you’ll find a round-up, in no particular order, of the biggest announcements that have been made so far in the pro audio sector of NAMM, just as day two is about to commence.

Live sound
DiGiCo Quantum 5 & Quantum 338

DiGiCo made two digital mixing console offerings this year, both following on from the Quantum 7.

The Quantum 5 engine slots neatly into the existing SD5 frame and, with its 37 faders and three 15-inch full-colour TFT touchscreens, provides Quantum processing features, power and connectivity in both new and existing hardware.

Quantum 338 represents a big step forward in power and connectivity, featuring new design features and enhancements that offer more flexibility but in a smaller format console. It is based on seventh-generation FPGAs and includes 128 input channels with 64 busses and a 24 x 24 matrix, all with full channel processing.

Find out more about Quantum 5 here and Quantum 338 here.

L-Acoustics Kara II

For a decade, the Kara line source has been at the heart of numerous live performances and permanent installs across the globe. At NAMM 2020, L-Acoustics announced a new version of its Kara line array, Kara II.

The new Kara II will feature Panflex which gives Kara four-in-one directivity, covering any and all audience geometry. The four different directivity patterns include: 70° or 110° symmetrical and 90° asymmetrical, steering to either the left or right. In its 70° configuration, Kara II packs a full two dB more than in 110°.

Read more here.

d&b audiotechnik KSL-SUB and new office/training centre in California

d&b audiotechnik has introduced a new addition to its SL-Series line array family, the KSL-SUB. The KSL-SUB is available in both flown and ground stack (G) versions, providing a small, lightweight format that extends the frequency response of a KSL system down to 36Hz.

“The KSL subwoofers are the next step in d&b‘s continuing obsession with innovation, efficiency, performance and directivity control,” said Werner ‘Vier’ Bayer, product manager, d&b audiotechnik.

The company also cut the ribbon for its new office and training centre based in Signal Hill, California, which conveniently coincided with the NAMM show. It represents the brand’s expansion into the US and investment in customer care.

Read about the KSL-SUB here and new office here.

64 Audio A18s in-ear monitors

With an MSRP of $2,999.00, the A18s is designed off of 64 Audio’s existing 18-driver A18t platform but is now applicable to demanding stage and studio environments.

The A18t was the first custom in-ear monitor to incorporate 18 drivers per ear. The new A18s builds off of this concept with a re-tuned sound signature, new drivers, and a new crossover that allows it to play at even higher volumes without distortion.

Find out more here.

On another note, NAMM 2020 also marks the first time Yamaha is presenting every major event on the outdoors Grand Plaza stage. Yamaha RIVAGE PM10 consoles and NEXO amplifier and loudspeaker systems will power all of the sound for the stage’s three concerts, featuring singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan and the renowned horn ensemble, Tower of Power. Yamaha commercial audio will also drive the sound for the NAMM Night of Worship, presented by Yamaha and featuring award-winning contemporary worship music artist Michael W. Smith, to be held in the Anaheim Hilton.

NAMM attendees will be able to experience demonstrations of updated existing models including the RIVAGE, CL and QL series digital mixing consoles, the STAGEPAS 1K portable PA system, the NEXO point-source P12/L15 loudspeaker systems, DZR loudspeakers with expanded Dante networking connectivity and the latest versions of Steinberg’s Dorico, Cubase and WaveLab software.

Read more here.

Studio gear
Audient’s EVO

British pro audio brand announced the introduction of its new affordable audio interface, EVO. This includes EVO 4 and EVO 8.

Marketing director, Andy Allen, commented: “We believe technology shouldn’t get in the way of the creative process; it should enhance it and be accessible to all, no matter what their skill-level or art-form and EVO is here to help make great-sounding recordings as easy and effortless as possible.”

Find out more details here.

AMS Neve RMX16 digital reverberation system

Almost 40 years since making its debut in the professional recording world, the AMS RMX16 digital reverberation system was relaunched in hardware format at NAMM 2020.

At a much cheaper price point, AMS Neve promises it still features “all the musicality” of its famous predecessor. Not only does it provide the nine programmes that came as standard with the original AMS RMX16, but also an additional nine aftermarket programmes that were only available to users via remote control with bar code reader input.

Find out more here.

Moog Subsequent 25

Subsequent 25 is a portable two-note paraphonic analogue synthesiser, based on the award-winning Sub Phatty sound engine. It also happens to be Moog’s most compact synthesiser to date, showing Moog’s commitment to adapting to modern times while still staying true to its vintage roots.

Read more here.

RME Babyface Pro FS

The Babyface Pro FS features RME’s SteadyClock FS technology, which stabilises the clock frequency and therefore enables high-quality analogue conversion. This new pro audio interface also features a variety of upgrades to the original Babyface Pro, including increased headphone power and a range of plugins from companies like Scuffham Amps, Gig Performer, and Brainworx via the Plugin Alliance.

Find out more details here.

Focusrite Pro ISA additions

Focusrite Pro has introduced three new products to its ISA range, bringing the Focusrite sound to Dante Audio-over-IP networks. This includes the eight-channel ISA 828 MkII, ISA ADN2 and ISA ADN8.

Find out more here.

Ampify Studio

Ampify has introduced its new music creation software, Ampify Studio. The software is available for both Windows and Mac via Ampify’s beta programme, enabling music makers to audition and create tracks easily with simple controls over temp and pitch, in addition to basic waveform editing.

The music technology developer has focused on designing a platform that is accessible to new music makers, whilst allowing more experienced creators to rapidly sketch out ideas.

Read more here.

Universal Audio’s LUNA recording system

Universal Audio has unveiled a recording system at NAMM 2020, LUNA, which will be free for Mac-using Apollo and Arrow Thunderbolt interface owners.

LUNA takes UA’s Apollo audio interfaces to the next level, by equipping them with their very own recording system. The new recording system allows for deep integration with Apollo audio interfaces, enabling swift routing and recording via DSP UAD plugins with no “discernable latency” due to the new Accelerated Realtime Monitoring Feature.

Read more here.

Avid Pro Tools & Sibelius 2020
Avid Pro Tools 2020

The first release of Pro Tools 2020, which provides support for macOS Catalina, delivers Folder Tracks for more flexible session organisation. Tracks can be grouped in up to nine folder levels, a top-level folder and eight nested folders, that can be collapsed and colour-coded for easier navigation.

Sibelius 2020 introduces new auto-optimising features that ensure scores always look perfect, even while users are still composing, so they can spend more time on their music rather than editing and formatting a score. It also comes with a refreshed set of House Styles to give scores a more modern or classical look. In addition—and in partnership with Berklee School of Music—Sibelius includes many new accessibility enhancements that enable visually impaired users to manipulate every aspect of their score.

Find out more here.