Las Vegas, NV (April 11, 2018)—The 2018 NAB Show, held April 9-12 in Las Vegas, NV, is loaded with new product introductions. The editors of Pro Sound News, representing the NewBay Media Pro A/V Group, roamed the aisles and came away with our picks for Best of Show.
The awards are given as part of the fifth annual NewBay Best of Show Awards program. The awards honor outstanding new products exhibited at the spring show. Each year hundreds of new products are nominated by convention exhibitors. Awards are be given by NewBay publications TV Technology, Digital Video, Government Video, Video Edge, Radio World, Radio magazine, Pro Sound News and Sound & Video Contractor.
Note: Products are selected from submissions made by the manufacturers, then judged by editors in-person at the convention. It must be a product’s first appearance at a NAB Show; it must be on public display and scheduled to ship before next year’s show. Winners are presented here in alphabetical order by manufacturer, with unedited manufacturer-supplied product summaries.
Alteros GTX Series L.A.W.N. 6.5 GHz UWB System
On the heels of a very exciting first year of business and product launch, Alteros is proud to announce the newly-improved and highly flexible GTX Series L.A.W.N. (Local Area Wireless mic Network) 6.5 GHz UWB system and components. Modern facilities and systems are taking advantage of IP-based networking technology to reduce operational costs, simplify workflows, ensure the ultimate in production quality and even simplify equipment set-up and operation. The GTX Series L.A.W.N. gives users the power, the performance and the simplicity of modernized workflows in a complete, intuitive high performance package, along with the added benefits of operation outside of the increasingly crowded UHF spectrum, free from data-base registration, free from licensing and even free from RF coordination.
To aid in the quick and simple integration of the GTX Series L.A.W.N. into a facility or venue set-up, Alteros worked with key professionals in the live, touring and broadcast markets to identify the interfaces and functionality required in an Ethernet-based system that allows set-up, control, monitoring, naming, network and clock management in a sophisticated user interface which can be accessed directly or remotely on multiple device platforms. The GTX Series L.A.W.N. system allows 24 channels of wireless microphone operation to be deployed and operated with nearly “plug and play” ease – more simply than hooking up a computer and WiFi! Another exciting development in the GTX Series L.A.W.N. system is the announcement of not one, but two wireless handheld transmitters.
The “performer” version wireless handheld mic features a lightweight, comfortable design which accepts popular thread-on microphone capsules using a 1.25"/28 thread pitch, allowing the performer to select the preferred microphone sound and performance from a wide-range of manufacturers, including the new Audio-Technica capsules. The “broadcast” version wireless handheld mic includes additional features such as a dedicated “flag mount” section and incorporated “talkback button. “ The broadcast version also incorporates interchangeable microphone capsule mounts allowing for maximum flexibility in sound and performance.
Audinate Dante AVIO Adapters
Audinate’s Dante AVIO Adapters enable audio professionals to easily connect legacy analog and digital audio equipment to Dante networks and any Dante-enabled product. The family is comprised of four different adapters and includes line-in and line-out analog adapters, a bi-directional AES3/EBU adapter and a bi-directional stereo USB adapter.
Each adapter acts as a completely independent Dante network device with dedicated inputs and outputs and one or two channels of audio. Because it works completely independently, Audinate and Dante AVIO Adapters have eliminated the need for noisy analog connections with ground issues, ensuring clear and crisp audio for users and listeners. These adapters bring unparalleled convenience by creating simple, easy-to-use connections and signal management through the Dante Controller software. The AVIO family allows legacy gear and users to enjoy the interoperability, performance and scalability that only networking can bring. The adapters transmit high quality, uncompressed audio streams over long distances with this simple connection.
This cost effective, compact and built for the road adapter also enables audio professionals, sound engineers, system integrators and even home recording enthusiasts to extend the value of their non-networked equipment, making it interoperable with any of the more than 1,200 Dante-enabled products on the market. And, being a part of a Dante systems allows for nearly unlimited scalability with low latency and easy configuration.
Overall, each Dante AVIO Adapter makes it easier than ever for audio professionals to integrate the gear they know and love into any Dante network and Dante-enabled product. Analog input adapters allow outputs of mixes, mic preamps, stage Dis and more while analog outputs are perfect for driving amplifiers, powered speakers or recorders. The Dante AVIO USB adapter connects any computer to a Dante audio network without additional software, providing class-complaint stereo input and output that can be used by any audio application. The Dante AVIO AES3 adapter provides stereo input and output, preserving investments in AES3-connected DSPs, mixers, compressors, preamps and more. Live events, houses of worship, fixed installations and more will all benefit from the ease and scalability of Dante AVIO adapters.
With a starting MSRP of only $129, the Dante AVIO Adapters are a convenient, cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for audio professionals.
Bittree ProStudio PS96DB25 Audio Patchbay Series
Bittree’s new ProStudio PS96DB25 series of audio patchbays provides the robust dependability, superior sound quality and exceptional cost-effectiveness of Bittree’s popular ProStudio family in space-efficient, 96-connector rackmount configurations.
Enabling users to easily define and modify their audio signal flows while providing the cleanest sound possible, Bittree’s ProStudio family brings the company’s renowned patchbay quality and reliability to price points accessible to everyone from top-tier broadcasters and studio engineers to hobbyist musicians. With ProStudio patchbays, price-sensitive users no longer need to sacrifice audio quality for budget efficiency.
The front-programmable ProStudio PS96DB25F offers these benefits in a 1.5RU rackmount form factor with 96 TT (bantam) jacks in a high-density 2x48 configuration, with 12 DB25 rear connectors for interfacing with Avid® ProTools® and Tascam® gear. The internally-configurable ProStudio PS96DB25i packs similar connectivity into just 1RU of rack space.
The PS96DB25F and PS96DB25i deliver their superior quality in heavy-duty designs that are built for reliability and longevity in demanding environments. Both models feature sturdy metal front panels and durable full-frame jacks with gold cross-bar switching contacts, providing superior dependability, higher electrical current rates and lower noise than lower-end alternatives. Similarly, internal digital AES wiring ensures higher-quality audio than the flat cable typical in low-cost offerings.
Professional-grade, front-accessible shunts on the PS96DB25F enable easy reconfiguration of circuit normalling, grounding and bussing, and are protected from dust, electrical interference and other elements by the unit’s two removable stainless steel designation strips. The extra-large designation strips offer space for up to three lines of print for easy labelling, and combine with silk-screened numbering on the front panel to enable quick circuit identification. The fully-enclosed 1.5RU chassis measures seven inches deep, and despite its robustness weighs in at just 8.5 pounds.
Circuit normalling, grounding and bussing on the PS96DB25i can be easily reprogrammed via internal, professional-grade shunts that are accessed by opening the top of the 7.6-pound device. Front designation strips over each row of jacks (‘over/over’ orientation) enable easy circuit identification. The designation strips can be reconfigured to ‘over-under’ orientation, revealing silk-screened numbering between the rows, or augmented with an optional third strip.
Like all of Bittree’s renowned audio, video and data patching solutions, the ProStudio PS96DB25F and ProStudio PS96DB25i leverage the company’s 40 years of proven engineering expertise, and are designed, manufactured, and tested to exacting quality standards in Bittree’s state-of-the-art facility in Glendale, California.
Glensound BEATRICE R8 8-Channel Dante/AES67 Network Intercom
The new versatile Glensound BEATRICE range of five network intercom units consists of a small 4-channel B4 Beltpack, two 4-channel units - the D4 Desktop and R4 Rackmount, and two 8-channel units – the D8 Desktop, and the R8 Rackmount. Two BEATRICE R8 racks can easily be joined, making a fully featured 2RU 16-channel intercom unit. All units in the range can be powered by PoE or internal wide range power supplies, terminated with a standard IEC plug, making it easy to plug in wherever you are in the world. Rugged and robust build quality makes them ideal for outside broadcast settings.
Our brand new Beatrice Intercom harnesses the power and versatility of Dante™ network audio and has many unique features. The BEATRICE system utilises the reliable and proven Dante™ network audio transmission protocol to allow real time distribution of uncompressed audio across standard networks, it is also AES67 compliant. With crystal clear 48k digital audio, the units are designed for broadcast, theatre and other professional audio applications. Being Dante™ (and also AES67), interfacing to other manufacturers’ equipment within your AoIP infrastructure is completely trouble free as all set-up is done in Dante™. A Call function is also inbuilt in all BEATRICE units, allowing the operator of one unit to call and alert other users. Calling between units is straightforward and both a visual and audible alert is provided to indicate an incoming call. Unlike traditional intercom systems, the new BEATRICE range works with standard network switches and has no requirement for an expensive central processing rack. This results in reduced costs and setup time and there is none of the overly complex installation requirements normally associated with large intercom systems.
The Glensound BEATRICE R8 is an 8 key intercom panel in a 19” 1RU sub-rack unit. It connects to 32 Dante™ network audio channels and also two local analogue inputs and outputs.
A high quality natural sounding microphone amplifier with compressor / limiter circuit is provided for enhanced communications. This amplifier has two sources: a front panel mounted microphone and an external input suitable for headsets or gooseneck microphones.
The front panel loudspeaker carefully selected for its intelligibility is provided for monitoring purposes and a headphone jack and external loudspeaker output (both analogue and Dante™) makes connecting to external circuits easy.
The BEATRICE R8 also features 2 x 4-wire circuits and redundant copper and fibre network interfaces. The 4-wire connectivity means that two traditional analogue 4-wire circuits can be connected to two of the R8’s intercom channels by utilising the versatile analogue audio inputs and outputs. When ultra-reliable communication is needed, glitch free redundant network circuits can be set up using the primary and secondary Dante™ network ports. Redundant networks can be set up across any of the copper or fibre Ethernet ports. One user connected to the unit can listen to up to 32 separate incoming audio streams and communicate with 8 outgoing locations on the network. Each of the 8 outgoing circuits has its own associated IFB feed. For setting up more complex groups and partyline circuits, an inbuilt fixed ratio mixer is supplied. It has 14 audio inputs direct from the network and 19 mix outputs to the network. Five of the mixers have inbuilt automatic audio ducking circuits. For added versatility the R8 has a number of GPIO circuits to interface with external switches & red light systems.
Heil Sound PR 77D Professional Dynamic Microphone
Heil Sound is pleased to introduce the PR 77D, a large-diaphragm microphone designed to provide focused directionality, full-range response, and a vintage appearance for use in podcast, broadcast, recording, and live stage applications. It features a classic side-address design based upon popular RCA microphones from the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Its cardioid polar pattern delivers 40 dB of attenuation 180° off-axis, resulting in a tight pickup area and minimized bleed. The PR 77D is an updated version of the PR 77 from Heil Sound.
The Heil PR 77D features a two-position switch allowing the selection of the best characteristics of voice or music. The voice position rolls the audio off at 120 Hz at -6 dB per octave while the music selection removes the filter and the entire audio spectrum of 60 Hz to 16 kHz is present.
Nixer Pro Audio PD Dante Portable Monitoring System
PD Dante, made by Nixer Pro Audio and nominated by the dealer RTW Gmbh & Co KG, is a small portable monitoring and diagnostic system, which allows you to listen into or monitor single or locally mixed Dante™ or AES67 streams. No matter if you are working on a broadcast application or at a live event, PD-Dante is a highly handy tool for controlling your Audio over IP network.
The user-friendly LCD touch display shows all 64 channels with their individual routing to the L and/or R outputs, signal level meter and 0 dBFS peak indicator plus their channel name.
The main output level (headphones, Line Out or AES Out) of the selected channel/mix is displayed on two large signal meters. You can select any of the 64 possible Dante channels or create a user-definable mix of these channels via the capacitive touchscreen and listen to them via the on-board loudspeakers and headphone connector. The speakers are muted upon insertion of headphone jack.
PD-Dante also offers one external stereo AES/EBU input plus a stereo line in and a microphone input to be assignable to any Dante™ output channel. Dante™ channels can be sent to an AES/EBU output and stereo analogue line output (both located on the 15-pin Sub-D-type connector) of the PD-Dante. A further very handy feature is the internal oscillator with selectable routing to Dante output(s) and level control. It provides Sine/Square/Triangle wave generation that is settable to a frequency of 50Hz, 100Hz, 200Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 5kHz and 10kHz as well as a White Noise Generator and a Pink Noise Generator.
Eight sets of user memories allow you to store and recall your most frequently used PD Dante monitor setups. The PD Dante can be via PoE or alternatively be powered via USB by a computer USB port, USB mains adaptor or USB battery pack.