Cambridge, U.K. (October 15, 2010)–JoeCo Limited has released its BlackBox player. Based on the BlackBox recorder’s technology, the player is a dedicated 1U multichannel device specifically designed for replaying backing tracks for live shows.
Able to replay 24 channels of 24-bit/96 kHz audio, the player can be triggered with a footswitch or keyboard, or controlled via MIDI commands, aimed to give the live engineer, musical director or artist full control of the show.
Audio for playback can be loaded onto a standard USB2 hard drive, or Flash RAM drive, from any workstation capable of creating Broadcast WAV files. A naming convention reportedly ensures that the correct file is replayed through each output. The set list can be configured into a playlist file written in an XML format. Multiple playlist files can be stored on the external media allowing for quick set changes or alternative show formats.
JoeCo’s Joe Bull explains the background to the BlackBox family’s latest addition: “The idea resulted from conversations with FOH engineers working with solo artists, rather than a full band, where the artist’s performance is of primary interest to the audience. We also spoke to theme parks and venues with permanent installations, such as museums, galleries and houses of worship that all require reliable playback solutions.
“Multichannel playback is important both for surround sound and because it allows the live engineer to compensate for the acoustics of the venue, or for the audience. Computer-based solutions tend to be difficult to operate live and many engineers have also cited examples of needing separate automated switching devices to guarantee seamless playback in case of a primary system failure. Using the proven technology of the BlackBox recorder, we have been able to devise a solution that addresses a whole range of requirements in a compact 1U package.”