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New product highlights from NAMM Show 2011

The NAMM Show – which is taking place in Anaheim, US, until Sunday – has witnessed a flurry of new launches from companies including Electro-Voice, Proel Group, Sonnox/Fraunhofer IIS and Steinberg.

The NAMM Show – which is taking place in Anaheim, US, until Sunday – has witnessed a flurry of new launches from companies including Electro-Voice, Proel Group, Sonnox/Fraunhofer IIS and Steinberg.

A-Designs Audio is showing the JM-3001, a preamplifier, equalizer and instrument input housed in a single-rack-space frame. Based around a C12X discrete transistor operational amplifier designed by Carl Johnson that operates on ±30 VDC rails, the JM-3001 features three inputs (microphone, instrument and EQ/insert) which may be used together or independently, along with two independent transformer balanced outputs (microphone and EQ), a ‘highly musical’ three-band parametric EQ and high/low filters.

Items on show from Cliff Electronics include new DC10L dual gauge DC sockets which accept 2.1mm and 2.5mm plugs, new transparent knobs for use with illuminated encoders, and a wide range of jack plugs and jack sockets. The company is also exhibiting terminal binding posts for loudspeakers and a range of foot pedals.

“The NAMM Show is a great shop window for us and an opportunity for us to demonstrate genuine Cliff products in a market where inferior, counterfeit products are widespread,” said Cliff Electronics general manager John Hall.

Elsewhere on the showfloor, Electro-Voice has added the RE320 dynamic Variable-D wired microphone to its RE Performance Group. Billed as an ‘exceptionally versatile’ studio and live performance mic, the RE320 boasts a specification including E-V’s Variable-D proximity control technology, a patented humbucking coil for noiseless operation, and a high-output neodymium magnet structure capsule. It also features the new ‘dual personality’ switch: one setting of the switch engages a response curve suitable for voice and most instrument mic’ing, while the other switch position activates a response curve designed specifically for kick drums.

Also on the E-V stand at NAMM 2011 is the R300 wireless microphone system that is set to bring the company’s wireless technology to ‘a new, more accessible’ price point. The system includes the R300 Receiver, BP-300 Bodypack Transmitter and HT-300 Handheld Transmitter, while features include ClearScan for selection of the clearest channel from the R300’s 32 presets, and EZsync to match the R300’s transmitter and receiver frequencies.

Electro-Voice has also introduced the new Live X Series of portable powered and passive loudspeakers. Featuring lightweight, durable plywood cabinets and clean, stackable designs, the Live X Series encompassed three powered cabinets (ELX112P 12” two-way (1000W amplifier module), ELX115P 15” two-way (1000W amplifier module), ELX118P 18” subwoofer (700W amplifier module)) and four passive configurations (ELX112” 12” two-way, ELX115 15” two-way, ELX215 dual-15” two-way, ELX118 18” subwoofer).

Powersoft has confirmed that the M Series line of power amplifiers is now shipping to distributors. Arriving in one-rack-unit chassis format with depth of 358mm and weight of just over 7kg, the M Series comprises five models: the 4-channel M50Q and M28Q, delivering up to 1,250W/ch into 4 ohms; and the M30D, M20D and M14D, offering two channels each with a maximum output of 1,500W/ch at 4 ohms. Features include Powersoft’s advanced plug-in DSP module and the same connectivity through the AESOP network technology as offered by the K Series.

Occupying a new stand space at this year’s NAMM Show, Proel is exhibiting several new products, including additions to the XEOS, XENIA and NET speaker series. The company also showed the new SW Series range of subwoofers designed to complement full-range speakers such as the NET and FLASH Series. The SW118H and SW115H feature, respectively, 18” and 15” Celestion neodymium speakers plus 1000W and 500W Class D amplifiers, whilst the SW115 has a 15” speaker and 350W Class H amplifier. All the SW models feature large voice coil (VC) woofers and a band-pass design, providing very ‘punchy’ and dynamic lows together with an extended low frequency response. All modules include a stereo preamp section, 24dB/oct. crossover filters with selectable frequency and phase reverse switch.

Sonnox and Fraunhofer IIS has unveiled the result of a new collaboration: the Sonnox Fraunhofer Pro-Codec plug-in, which makes it possible to precisely audition codecs in real-time. In what is described as an industry first, the Pro-Codec plug-in enables mix and mastering engineers to audition up to five codecs in real-time within a DAW environment, produce an optimised mix and batch encode to multiple formats simultaneously. All major codecs – including mp3, mp3 Surround, AAC-LC and HE-AAC are supported – as are lossless codecs such as mp3 HD and HD-AAC. The Pro-Codec plug-in is compatible with all popular DAWs (Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo, Sonar, Sequoia and Wavelab), and both Mac and Windows are supported.

“Fraunhofer’s mp3 and AAC technologies have revolutionised the audio industry,” said Sonnox managing director Rod Densham. “We are excited to be collaborating with them in this unique new mastering solution, which we believe will change the way engineers prepare final mixes or masters for online distribution.”

Steinberg is highlighting two new Cubase music production systems, Cubase 6 and Cubase Artist 6. Promoted as a major update to Cubase 5, Cubase 6 offers a host of enhancements, including more effects and instruments, and the ability for audio material to be used and recorded at a maximum resolution of 192 kHz/24-but on an unlimited number of tracks. Cubase Artist 6, meanwhile, is introduced as an entirely new product in its segment.

But Cubase has not been the only focus of Steinberg’s attention as the company has also announced the release of two pro-audio VST/AU signal processing plug-ins that draw on the alliance between the company, Yamaha and Rupert Neve Designs. The Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5033 five-band EQ and Portico 5043 compressor will be made available in the near-future.

Andreas Stelling, Steinberg’s managing director, commented: “By announcing the release of two virtual pendants of the renowned Portico signal processors, the alliance between Yamaha, Rupert Neve Designs and Steinberg is coming to fruition. I’m elated to count these two highly sophisticated effect plug-ins to our product range, as both meet Steinberg’s exacting standards.”

Finally for this round-up, TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has introduced a new large diaphragm condenser mic with vintage NOS tube. In development for 18 months, the CU-29 was designed by the in-house engineering team, with outside consultation from some of the world’s leading amplifiers. Also new is the M80-WH dynamic wireless capsule. Originally developed for Green Day, the capsule head replacements are interchangeable with any of the screw-on type handheld transmitters that receive a 31.3mm/pitch 1.0mm threading.

Meanwhile, distributor TransAudio Group has introduced Lehmann’s new Studio Cube headphone amplifier. Similar in spirit to the existing Lehmann Black Cube, the Studio Cube is smaller and linkable, allowing multiple units to daisy chain and easily accommodate the headphone count of any pro audio scenario. Its two Neutrik ¼-inch TRS headphone outputs are universally suitable for all headphone types, and its stereo inputs are Neutrik XLR/TRS. A pair of TRS “thru” outputs enables the aforementioned linking. Output is Class A and all units are crafted with selected components in Germany.

Stay tuned to PSNE/PSN-e for more highlights from a particularly eventful edition of the NAMM Show.