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New products aplenty at PL + S 2011

Further to a slew of Prolight + Sound previews, PSN-e proffers a further selection of new product highlights from Audio-Technica, DiGiCo, DPA, Optocore, Roland (M-480 digital console, pictured) and more.

Further to a slew of Prolight + Sound previews, PSN-e proffers a further selection of new product highlights from Audio-Technica, DiGiCo, DPA, L-Acoustics, Optocore, Roland (M-480 digital console, pictured) and others.

The 2011 editions of Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse – which took place concurrently in Frankfurt last week – featured a grand total of 2,384 exhibiting companies (+2.7%) drawn from 55 countries.

Detlef Braun, member of the board of management of Messe Frankfurt, commented: “2,384 companies from 55 countries – that means two new records for both fairs. Never before have there been such potent events for the sectors concerned. We are very pleased with this response and the confidence placed by the sectors in Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound.”

Prolight + Sound’s exhibitor total of 873 represents a 6% increase on last year, with Germany heading the top exhibitor nation roll-call, followed by China, the USA, Britain, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, France, South Korea, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium.

In total, 110,000 visitors attended Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound, up from 108,425 last year. They were drawn from 124 countries, with visitors from abroad constituting a 37% share of the total attendance.

As well as registering these impressive figures, Messe Frankfurt also announced a collaboration with NAMM to launch new shows in Russia next year. NAMM Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia will take place in Moscow’s Expo Centre from 16-19 May 2012.

Back to PL + S 2011, and the event certainly opened with a bang – or is that a splash? – as DiGiCo announced the launch of two consoles with fish-related nicknames. The SD10 (Ghost Carp) sits between the the SD7 and SD8 in terms of price and performance, and features a control surface with 37 100mm faders, 96 channels of processing, and 48 assignable busses. The SD11, or Box Fish, is DiGiCo’s smallest desk to date, and is compact enough to be mounted in a 19″ rack. Both desks feature the John Stadius-designed FPGA-based Stealth Digital Processing. DiGiCo also suggested that broadcast versions of two of its desks would be launched at NAB this week.

Audio-Technica unveiled an impressive variety of new products. Designed for general stereo recording, the dual-element AT2022 microphone features two unidirectional condenser capsules in an X/Y configuration to allow for 90-degree (narrow) or 120-degree (wide) stereo operation for versatile pickup; the capsules also fold flat for storage and transportation. The AT2031 cardioid condenser end-address microphone is suitable for stringed instruments in recording and live enviornments, while the BP4001 (cardoid) and BP4002 (omnidirectional) dynamic microphones are the latest additions to the company’s Broadcast & Production series. The new BP893 MicroEarset Omnidirectional Condenser Headworn Microphone made its PL + S debut, as did the new BPHS1-XF4 communications headset. The new U855QL gooseneck mic, updated versions of the ATH-PRO700 MK2 and ATH-PRO5 MK2 professional DJ monitor headphones, and the new ATCS-V60 modular voting unit for the ATCS-60 infrared conferencing system.

Among the many busy aisles of PL + S 2011, show visitors were also able to see the new modular series of microphones from DPA. The Reference Standard 4000 Series builds and improves on DPA’s Compact and Standard 4006, 4011, 4015 and 4017 mics, and features three new preamplifiers: the MMP-A ultra transparent transformerless preamp with active drive for impedance balancing, the MMP-B preamp with low cut and high boost filters, and the 45mm compact MMP-C preamp with a softer character. The range’s modular design allows any mic within the series to be transformed into a new variant.

Also debuting was the new Twin Diaphragm Capsules which form the 2000 Series. The MMC2006 omni encapsulates two opposite-facing 4060 omnidirectional miniature diaphragms to form a one-capsule, dual-diaphragm design, reducing noise and enhancing sensitivity. The MMC2011 cardioid is also available.

EM Acoustics, meanwhile, presented the X3 horn loaded PA system, which is a companion product to the Quake subwoofer. The system comprises a horn-loaded 15” LF drive unit, a horn-loaded 8” MF drive unit and six 1” compression drivers on a bespoke waveguide, creating a horizontal line source which allows X3 enclosures to be tight-packed together to form arrays. According to EM Acoustics, each X3 should be thought of as a 20-degree ‘building block’ which simply attaches to others to make up the desired coverage angle (60 degrees = 3 boxes and so on). A drive unit test system and robust rigging/flying system are also part of the spec for the X3.

Innovason showcased the latest incarnation of its Eclipse digital mixing console, Eclipse GT. Changes evident in this new version include a side rail to facilitate moving and carrying, red LEDs in the sidecheeks (which may be switched off if necessary) and the selection of knobs and faders designed to give the desk a ‘significantly more expensive “feel”’. Operationally, the console reportedly becomes the first in the world with the ability to control and memorise all the parameters utilised by the new generation of digital microphones from Neumann and Sennheiser. Other features of the original Eclipse – including the M.A.R.S. onboard multitrack recorder, Virtual Soundcheck and the Broadway function for seamless changeover from a live to a record soundtrack – are also present and correct.

“What we did was to take everything that customers loved about Eclipse – the new technology, flexibility, audio quality, production reliability and an excellent price/performance ratio – and then translated that performance profile into real technology,” said Innovason sales director Marcel Babazadeh. “We improved the areas that still needed improving, refined certain things and ‘lifted’ the look and feel. In other words, we have optimised the full potential of Eclipse and the result is Eclipse GT – a live console that significantly increases your fields of application and handles all aspects of everyday work with ease, from set-up to soundcheck through to production and performance. We are all proud of what we have achieved with Eclipse GT and we’re confident that our customers will feel the same.”

announced version 1.8 of its 3D Simulation software SOUNDVISION, with features including an updated data product library (now featuring KARAi, SB18i) and new KARA-MINIBU and MINIBUEX Bumpers. Meanwhile, following on from its recent decision to join the certified Crestron Integrated Partner Program, L-Acoustics confirmed that the module developed in collaboration with Crestron is available for download at

Cedric Montrezor, head of installation support at L-Acoustics, commented: “The new module allows the LA4 and LA8 Amplified Controllers major control functions and presets via L-NET, including speaker monitoring and advanced fault management. The Crestron module can work together with the LA-Network Manager, allowing multiple access points to the L-Acoustics system.”

Optocore GmbH announced details of a strategic partnership with intercom solutions provider Clear-Com. A joint development programme has yielded two products that enable Clear-Com systems to operate on Optocore’s digital fiber (FX) and CAT5 (SANE) networks: the V3R-FX-INTERCOM for Clear-Com is a four I/O channel Intercom unit, while the X6R-FX-INTERCOM for Clear-Com is an eight I/O channel Intercom unit.

Both devices – which are shipping with immediate effect – have been built on Optocore’s X6R and V3R signal converter platforms, meaning that the RJ45 connectors provide analogue 4-wire connections as well as AD/DA line in, line out signal conversion. This enables Clear-Com Eclipse Matrix Systems, 4-wires and intercom control panels to be connected easily. The intercom audio data will pass through the Optocore network together with the intercom control data, enabling the Optocore router to couple intercom panels with remote matrices and route audio channels between every device in the network.

Roland Systems Group introduced the new ‘flagship’ M-480 digital console (pictured). Like the M-400, M-380 and M-300, the M-480 is a central unit in a full V-Mixing System. A total of 48 mixing channels and 6 stereo returns head a spec list that also includes 27 busses comprising 16 auxiliaries, eight matrices and full support for Mono, Stereo or LCR sound design. Finished in a stylish graphite-grey livery, the new console can be integrated with Roland’s digital snakes, personal mixing and multi-channel recording solutions.

Other products shown by Roland included the R-1000, a 48-track standalone recorder/player designed to work with the V-Mixing System in any live event or production. It is also possible to use the R-1000 with any digital console featuring MADI output capabilities. As with the M-480, the R-1000 is based on REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication) technology.

Plenty of new developments on display, too, from Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup, which introduced a new control surface for its theatre and conference console, Triagon. Replacing conventional control surface modules with 22” touch-sensitive displays, the new surface allows users to control console function by moving on-screen elements with their fingers. The user-interface structure is entirely software-based, while the screen features physical guides in the surface for the faders as well as encoders and buttons.

“Triagon is a console for the widest variety of applications,” said Dominik Stepanek, head of Triagon development at the Mediagroup. “In addition to its audio mixing capabilities, it can also be used to handle control tasks. One objective was to provide a fully customisable user interface which can be tailored to suit the application in hand. This feature supports the console’s flexibility perfectly. We wanted to enable the user to be able to control all desired functions from the surface. [Moreover] one major benefit our customers will appreciate is that existing TRIAGON systems can be upgraded very easily with the new control surface.”

The company also showcased an additional module for the ON AIR 24 mixing desk. the new touch-screen option consists of six switchable parameter windows which, at a glance, display all the settings and control options.

Dr. Klaus-Peter Scholz, one of the managing directors of Stagetec, commented: “The additional touch-screen option extends the versatility of the ON AIR 24. It can now be used as a pure hardware mixer, or combined with touch-screen support, used with or without hardware monitoring cassette, and also with full configuration and remote control through the complex remote and administration software which we introduced last autumn. Together with an elaborate user rights hierarchy, the console can be custom-made not only for each installation, but also for each individual user.”

Stagetec also presented a new CPU board for NEXUS audio networks. Equipped with a new processor and bale to provide ‘much higher performance’ than the previous XCPU08 version, the new XCPU09 also features Loudness Metering in accordance with EBU-R 128. Also on display was a new modular panel system for wall boxes, floor traps and stage boxes, entitled the MSS Modular Stagebox System.

Stagetracker FX tracking/location system developer TTA and QLab show control software company Figure 53 announced the introduction of the Stagetracker Cue to the QLab package. Controlling one audio input in the Stagetracker Matrix, the new Stagetracker Cue in QLab can take a sound effect and fly it around onstage or anywhere else in the auditorium, using the Stagetracker Matrix for localisation effect. The Stagetracker Cue also opens up options for controlling live audio inputs, enabling the localisation of live audio from wireless microphones in QLab. All this is fully integrated in the QLab play list.

As previously discussed on PSNE (, Turbosound and Proel reintroduced the C-Audio amplifier brand with four new GB series products. All feature the same compact 2U rack mount format, but range in output power from the GB15 at 900 watt per channel (at 4 ohms), through to the GB20 (pictured) at 1,100 watts per channel, the GB35 at 1,800 watts per channel, and the GB50 at 2,500 watts per channel. Lightweight switchmode power supplies, selectable input sensitivity, and front panel LCD display screens which provide operating information including gain, heatsink temperature and protection status round out the GB products’ specification.

For more highlights from PL + S 2011, see and