Las Vegas, NV (April 12, 2019)—The 2019 NAB Show, held April 8-11 in Las Vegas, NV, was loaded with new product introductions. The editors of Pro Sound News, representing Future’s Pro Audio Technology Group, roamed the aisles and came away with our picks for Best of Show.
The awards are given as part of the sixth annual 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 given by Future brands TV Technology, Radio World, Government Video, Pro Sound News, Digital Video, Video Edge, Sound & Video Contractor and the Creative Planet Network.
Note: Products are selected from submissions made by the manufacturers, then judged by editors in-person at the convention, considering its design, features, cost efficiency and performance in serving professional users. It must be a product’s first appearance at a NAB Show; must be on public display; and must be scheduled to ship before next year’s show. Winners are presented here in alphabetical order by manufacturer, with unedited manufacturer-supplied product summaries.
Expanding upon the innovative GTX Series L.A.W.N (local area wireless mic network) 6.5 GHz UWB wireless microphone system, a fully digital wireless microphone system immune to UHF spectrum crunch, Alteros introduces the industry's first "Direct-to-Fiber" venue solution.
In order to compliment the performance, sound quality and ease-of-use of our direct and fully digital wireless mic system, the new fiber implementation was designed to provide the utmost in signal quality, stability and reliability. The innovative solution seamlessly connects to venue IP and networked based infrastructure, allowing remote operation of systems over fiber of up to 10,000 feet.
Alteros’ latest technology solution addresses not just improved performance but improved operational efficiency. Large venues/facilities increasingly utilize fiber as a means to allow for greater flexibility and improved operational efficiency. Traditional wireless microphone systems connect to these systems via an RF over fiber conversion. This conversion introduces jitter, distortion and latency. RF over fiber is subject to interference and power control issues.
Like traditional RF mics, RF over fiber is complicated to set-up and maintain. The Alteros Direct-to-Digital system eliminates the problems of RF over fiber. Rather than compromise the fully-digital, frequency intermodulation-free superior performance of the GTX wireless microphone system, the Direct-to-Fiber technology allows utilization in the largest and most complex settings with minimum effort and easy full integration into the latest workflow efficiencies.
Via true plug-and-play connection to venue/facility infrastructure, remote operation of systems over fiber lengths of up to 10,000 feet are possible. RF is complicated, and traditional methods require experts to constantly monitor and adjust. This is not efficient. Our Direct-to-Fiber system provides high-quality reliable audio and allows complete scalability and flexibility across any venue, meeting any production demand in a simple, "connect and forget" system.
In direct response to customer feedback from the Avid Customer Association Vote and building on music creation features from previous Pro Tools releases, Pro Tools 2019 gives every user—from professional music creators and aspiring artists to top-echelon audio post professionals and engineers—powerful and performance-enhancing features, enabling them to work faster and more creatively on the most complex projects.
Pro Tools 2019 gives users numerous opportunities to achieve their full creative potential. With advanced features and workflows for more demanding commercial music and audio post production, Pro Tools enables users to work more efficiently with intuitive features that reduce mundane and repetitive tasks that interrupt creativity.
Pro Tools | First users can now work with unlimited projects (new to Pro Tools | First) and create and save as many projects, save them, and selectively sync three of them to the cloud.
For users working in high track-count environments, such as audio post production, Pro Tools | Ultimate software and HD Native systems now deliver 50 percent more voices/audio tracks. With an improved base voice limit of 384 and Voice Pack options to further augment total voices up to 768 per system—on par with a three-card HDX system—users now have the performance and flexibility they need to scale the number of voices for their most demanding work.
Additionally, users now can perform seamless track and timeline interactions during playback—inserting plugins, adding or deleting tracks, changing routing, adjusting loop duration and more. This suite of playback features allows users to work quickly, and therefore more productively, without playback errors disrupting their flow.
Users can name new tracks as they’re created, making it faster and easier to name multiple new tracks simultaneously.
Pro Tools 2019 also now supports macOS Mojave (10.14).
Avid offers licensing options and deployment models that are scalable with customers’ needs. Customers can administer licenses to an entire enterprise, team or educational facility without needing to manage multiple iLoks or replace stolen ones. And aspiring music creators can learn and develop their skills on the industry standard tools the pros use for free with Pro Tools | First.
With greater cloud collaboration enhancements and immersive sound mixing integrations with Dolby Atmos, Pro Tools handles the demands of the world’s most respected content creators in music, film and television with ease.
The Bittree Patch32A represents the world’s first Dante audio patchbay, and streamlines the integration of analog audio and Dante network patching while providing professional, transparent A/D>D/A cross-conversions.
Bittree’s Dante patchbay eliminates the complexity of analog and Dante audio patching in the broadcast infrastructure. It provides a ramp to instantly move 16 channels of analog audio on and off of Dante networks, and serves as a natural bridge to unite legacy audio equipment with IP systems. Beyond broadcast, the Dante patchbay provides connectivity solutions to recording studios, post-production facilities and commercial AV environments (houses of worship, live event and performance venues, and large corporate and higher education campuses).
Consultants and systems integrators benefit from reduced labor and integration costs by removing the need to hard-wire devices into the patching systems. This eliminating extraneous cabling and conversion equipment – and the costs that come with it.
The Bittree Dante patchbay will interface with Dante Virtual Soundcard, countless Dante devices, and almost any analog component in the same system, including audio distribution equipment, digital audio workstations (DAWs), digital signal processors (DSPs), mixing consoles, multi-track recorders and video routers. The compact standalone or rack-mounted 1.5RU powder-coat enclosure carefully incorporates TT patching for audio I/O (16x16), redundant DC power in, external word clock I/O, network status, and audio VU multi-level LED metering.
The Bittree Patch32A Dante patchbay continues Bittree’s legacy of innovation over four decades. Bittree’s other industry-firsts include the E3 connectorized audio patchbay and its patented, front-programmable audio technology. Together with Dante’s architects at Audinate, the product is an ideal meeting of true innovators in broadcast and AV engineering.
Audinate’s Dante innovation has been an undeniable gamechanger for integrators and end users in several industries, and has an exceptionally wide rate of acceptance within the manufacturing community. This patchbay not only streamlines the integration of analog and digital network audio patching, but also establishes a foundation for interconnectivity across facilities within central equipment rooms, production studios, and IT closets among other locations. It is flexible enough to immediately solve problems in existing facilities, or optimize flexibility from the start in new facility designs.
Bittree’s Dante patchbay supports a wide variety of audio sample rates ranging from 24-bit 44.1 to 192 kHz. The design integrates balanced TT connections to Dante analog and digital conversions, maintaining signal integrity and audio quality without requiring specialized patchbay circuit programming. Settings will be configurable using Dante Controller, including sample rates and channel assignments to and from Dante networks.
To an audience, every single word is important—each impacts the story being told. Whether a speaker is broadcasting live over the air or a theatrical performance, it’s essential for them to be heard naturally and reliably. TwinPlex—Shure’s new line of premium subminiature omnidirectional lavalier and headset microphones—stands up to the toughest conditions. The new dual-diaphragm, patent-pending capsule technology offers best-in-class sound in a compact and easy-to-conceal package for when professional vocal performance is a must.
From robust theater productions and corporate presentations, to global television broadcasts and everything in between, professional-level and natural audio performance isn’t just a want—it’s a need. To address this need, and to create a new industry standard, Shure consulted the experts—sound engineers, sound designers, production designers, etc. who work with professional audio equipment every day—to understand what exactly was needed to create a product that could stand-up to the wear and tear of a performer’s demanding schedule and physical environment. From there, TwinPlex was designed and developed to handle unpredictable, high-stakes environments where flawless, reliable audio is demanded.
TwinPlex’s cutting-edge dual-diaphragm design captures the speaker’s whole voice. The dual-diaphragm design results in best in class specifications, while the improved off-axis consistency enables sound to read accurately even when users aren’t speaking directly into the microphone. The easy-to-conceal package is perfect for quick costume changes or discrete placements under wardrobes without the sound quality being affected.
TwinPlex employed years of development and has been rigorously tested both internally and in the field to ensure it not only meets customers’ expectations, but exceeds them. TwinPlex was pushed to the limit to simulate years of intense use. The ultra-thin, medical-grade cable was flexed, stretched, and pulled to its limits. Utilizing an exclusive, innovative spiral construction with redundant shielding, TwinPlex cables are immune to kinks and memory effects—ensuring they lay flat under any costume design or clothing. The superhydrophobic coating and interchangeable sweat-resistant frequency caps prevent perspiration and moisture from upstaging the audio even in the most intense theater or field recording environments.
TwinPlex stands up to the toughest conditions while producing pristine, natural audio at both high and low frequencies. Consisting of four lavalier microphones (TL45, TL46, TL47, TL48) and an ultra-light, fully-adjustable headset microphone (TH53), TwinPlex is available in multiple colors with extensive accessories and options. TwinPlex lavaliers and headsets also connect to a variety of wireless bodypacks and can be seamlessly integrated into existing wireless audio systems.
With extensive solutions for any application, TwinPlex is the go-to line for durability and pristine audio. The use cases speak for themselves…
• “Knowing that I have a product in my hands that's not gonna fail for me on a live show, it makes me have a lot of confidence when I'm working. This microphone is a game changer,” remarked Michael Abbott, broadcast production mixer.
• According to Peter Schneider, owner of Gotham Sound, “We’ve put these mics on a number of different people, and they simply sound outstanding. The noise floor is really low, and there’s an appreciated lack of handling noise—clothing noise from the cable is actually nonexistent.”
• Zoe Milton, a theater sound engineer, “The mics just lay flat, and they lay flat every time and for the whole length of the run. Whether we were trying to place the mics in a wig, or another discreet part of the costume, there were no kinks.”