UK: New loudspeakers, microphone systems, mixing consoles and more all took the spotlight during PLASA09, writes David Davies. Optocore, Harman Professional, Trantec, Yamaha Commercial Audio and many others all highlighted new developments during the four-day show at London's Earls Court.
Ten months after its formation, distributor Red Square Audio highlighted its burgeoning portfolio - it has sole UK/RoI distribution rights for Innovason, Tannoy VQ LIVE, Apex and FeOnic - and introduced its first own brand products. These include the M1 full-range passive trapezoidal 150W enclosure and the PC1 and PC1-RM computers, which are said to have been "designed from the ground up to deliver faultless super-fast results with even the most demanding software applications".
Another relative newcomer, Polar Audio, marked its first birthday and showcased a number of new products from the many brands in its portfolio during a memorable press briefing. The new ASL digital intercom system uses networking standard CAT5 interconnections to deliver digital intercom to new speaker stations and belt-packs, and is said to be suitable for demanding event management and live production applications. From Australian Monitor came the new Revolution Series DSP, which is available in three versions - Zone Revolution (for the bar and club market), AV Revolution (boardrooms, theatres and more) and range flagship System Revolution (for multi-zone paging and source routing). In addition, there were new items from beyerdynamic (Opus 600 Wireless Microphone System, MPR 210 Revoluto microphone), Biamp (RED-1 Remote Ethernet Device) and Dynacord (new SDA series multi-channel amplifiers).
Meanwhile, XTA's Bill Woods (pictured) took to the Polar Audio podium to introduce four new products: the DC1048 integrated audio management system with matrix mixing and full DSP functions; the NXBoB8/16 breakout box; an installed version of the same product, the DCBob8/16; and iCORE, the new software package for remote monitoring and control of all breakout boxes and DC1048.
A packed press briefing saw Optocore introduce a new digital audio networking protocol in the form of SANE (Synchronous Audio Network plus Ethernet). SANE employs ring network technology and is described as the first fully-synchronous CAT5 network solution for streaming uninterrupted media in real-time. An evolution from the company's recently-unveiled new AD/DA X6R and V3R converters, SANE transports recognised open standards including AES/EBU, MADI and Ethernet in full-size.
Mike Case, Optocore's international sales manager, says that SANE provides "a new way of getting into Optocore technology" and one that entails considerably less expense - as much as 50%. "We are in a very good position with this technology," he adds.
From the Harman Professional group came new consoles, loudspeakers and more. Soundcraft showcased a new addition to the Si digital live sound console, the Si1, which has a footprint of 1200mm and is said to be ideal for space-restricted environments such as theatres, small venues and houses of worship. Meanwhile, JBL Professional launched nine new AE Series permanent installation loudspeaker models - including five 12-inch, two-way full-range systems and four 15-inch, two-way full-range systems - along with new sub-compact system enclosures (the VT4886 passive line array element and VT4883 cardioid-arrayable subwoofer) for standalone use or integration with other existing VerTec models.
Trantec put the spotlight on its new S-D7000 system. Billed as the world's first professional fully-digital wireless microphone system, the S-D7000 - which is already in use on UK TV programme GMTV - incorporates 24-bit audio resolution, network monitoring for more than 60 channels, and 20 user channels in an 8MHz TV band. The company also previewed its new S6 wireless system, which builds on the template provided by the S6000 range and incorporates a comprehensive user interface on the front panel as well as upgraded/redesigned circuitry for the S6 beltpack and handheld transmitter that extends the frequency capability to 72MHz.
Finally for this round-up, Yamaha Commercial Audio promoted the theme of connectivity via a stand split into five areas and connected using a variety of audio formats and network protocols. A number of products made their UK trade show debuts, including the Audinate Dante-MY-16-AUD interface card (which is distributed exclusively by Yamaha), the IMX644 digital rack-mount mixer, IPA 8200 power amplifier, DME Version 3.5 and the recently-announced updated M7CL V2 mixing desk. The company also showcased its Installation Series loudspeakers and installation amplifiers, among many other product lines. (It also emerged during the same week that the company is to retire its PM1D live sound digital console in December - a little over ten years since it entered production.)
For more PLASA09 feedback, see the October issue of Pro Sound News Europe. The next PLASA Show will take place from September 12-15, 2010.