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New product highlights from NAMM Show 2012

The 2012 NAMM Show wrapped up on Sunday with a slew of new launches from companies including Line6, Mackie, Avid, Allen & Heath, Electro-Voice, Telefunken, Studiomaster, and Carlsbro.

The 2012 NAMM Show wrapped up on Sunday with a slew of new launches from companies including Line6, Mackie, Avid, Allen & Heath, Electro-Voice, Telefunken and Studiomaster, writes Erica Basnicki.

Certainly one of the more exciting announcements at this year’s NAMM Show was Line6’s new “smart” digital mixer, the StageScape m20D. Dubbed “the world’s first smart mixer for live sound” its main feature is a new touchscreen visual mixing environment. There are no faders! Switch to Perform Mode, and a graphic display of the stage setup lets you reach for icons representing each performer or input. A single touch on a performer’s icon gives access to all parameters relating to that channel, controlled by an X-Y pad. The StageScape m20D also features 32-bit floating point processing, a professional suite of dedicated dynamics, EQ and FX processors tailored to each channel, as well as multichannel recording of performances. Remote-controlled operation of the entire system is possible via one or more iPad devices. Also taking advantage of touchscreen/iPad technology – a theme at this year’s NAMM – is the Mackie DL1608 mixing desk. The 16-channel digital mixer features Mackie’s Onyx mic preamps, 24-bit Cirrus Logic A-D/D-A converters, built-in DSP and remote-controlled operation supporting up to 10 iPads simultaneously. Additionally, the DL1608 features a recall function and channel presets allowing users to quickly save and access a range of settings. Harnessing the power of social media, it allows users to make a stereo recording directly onto an iPad, take a photo of the band, and easily upload and share a performance. Elsewhere on the showfloor, Avid unveiled its VENUE SC48 Remote Digital Live Sound System, Stage 48 Remote I/O Box, and VENUE 3 Software. The VENUE SC48 system is a compact digital live sound system that delivers the same sound quality, Pro Tools integration and direct plug-in support of the VENUE SC48, with the addition of remote I/O functionality via the Stage 48 remote I/O box. This enables engineers to place the I/O away from the console and closer to sources. Allen & Heath launched two new models to its ZED range of live sound and recording mixers – the new ZED-16FX and ZED-18 – as previously reported by PSNE. Also unveiled was Allen & Heath’s GLD scalable live digital mixing system, centred around the GLD-80 mixer, which provides 48 input processing channels, eight stereo FX returns fed by iLive’s FX emulations, 30 configurable buses, 20 mix processing channels, and DSP power. The GLD-80 has an analogue-style channel processing control section complemented by a graphical 8.4” touchscreen. A fully-customisable drag-and-drop layout allows quick and easy assignment of inputs and mixes to fader strips. There were more than just mixers being launched at NAMM: Studiomaster launched a trio of new products, including a new high-performance, ultra-portable injection-moulded PA series, the Studiomaster XPX. Available in both active and passive variants, the series comprises two 2-way injection-moulded trapeziodal cabinets. These respectively feature 12” and 15” lightweight neodymium drivers with 3” voice coils, and a 1.7” compression driver with 1” throat in the XPX12, and 3” compression driver with 1.5” throat in the XPX15. Class D biamplification with switch-mode power supplies delivers 500W RMS LF and 100W RMS HF power in both the XPX12A and XPX15A. These cabs are light and portable despite their power, with the larger XPX15A weighing less than 20kgs. On display as well were a line of Acoustic Image distributed mode loudspeakers, which exploit the latest NXT technology developments and manufacturing advances to “provide improved reproduction capabilities in NXT driven flat panel speakers.” The company also refreshed its PA product line up with the TRX Series featuring improved styling and finishing and the addition of flying points. Telefunken, meanwhile introduced the new M81 universal dynamic cardioid microphone. The M81 has a more linear frequency response than the company’s popular M80 and less of the M80’s characteristic high-end response.According to Telefunken, the M81 features “superior feedback rejection, detailed and balanced frequency response, and a smooth present sound that is never boomy. The M81’s frequency response attenuates the high end, making the mic exceptional on electric guitars, percussion instruments, rack and floor toms, as well as horns, especially the trumpet.” Finally for this round-up, Electro-Voice launched the matching subwoofer for its ZXA1 compact self-powered loudspeaker – the ZXA1-Sub. The ZXA1 is equipped with an EVS-12S 12” woofer, an integrated 700W Class D amplifier, a 15mm wood enclosure, and a maximum SPL rating of 126dB. The sub weighs in at just 46lbs and sports a trim 15.75” x 17.5” x 18” profile. Stay tuned to PSNE/PSN-e for more from the 2012 NAMM Show.