Following last year's launch of the Ahnert Feistel Media Group (AFMG) FIRmaker sound optimisation tool, which promises to revolutionise how loudspeaker manufacturers think about system design, beam steering and coverage optimisation, K-array has unveiled the new KH8 'slim array', its first product to utilise the technology.
The KH8 (pictured) features eight built-in DSP channels per enclosure drive which separate sections of 20 HF, MF and LMF transducers, resulting in exceptional coverage control and a rated maximum SPL of 145 dB.
"When K-array first approached AFMG with the idea to electronically optimise a sound system, this matched perfectly with the research that the [we] had been doing for the past [few] years," the German software company explains. "AFMG was able to supply the ground-breaking, patent-pending optimisation algorithm FIRmaker and provide a complete interface for the unique concept of a new sound system presented by K-array. Thus, the KH8 system has been designed to not only deliver high performance and maximum ease of use, but to ultimately utilise the great flexibility provided by FIRmaker optimisation.
"By this, [we were] able to include a plethora of functions and, most importantly, make these available directly to the users of FIRmaker-enabled speaker systems. With FIRmaker, it is possible to 'design' the coverage that a system provides onto the exact audience areas. More than that, the technology does so for all frequencies, resulting in a smooth frequency response in every seat of the house. If, in a given setup, feedback problems occur on stage or a corrugated iron roof produces irritating reflections, FIRmaker can also help. By simply defining the roof or stage as 'avoidance areas' in the EASE Focus 2 software, FIRmaker will calculate a different set of FIR filters typically delivering 6–8dB less SPL in the problematic places."
The KH8, which comes boxed with three units in a straight frame, is flown effortlessly without the need for curving. Instead, the vertical aiming of each element of the flat hang can be adjusted easily and at any time while the whole system remains straight, never taking up more depth than roughly a foot (30cm) in total. Shaping of the wave front, all beam steering and coverage optimisation is performed electronically by FIRmaker-calculated filters, giving total control to the system technician on site.