Pro audio and live sound boom in Anaheim.

The NAMM Show has grown massively over the past decade, with 115,000-plus attendees descending on Anaheim in late January. Pro audio’s presence at NAMM has likewise grown, resulting in the show becoming a crucial spot for companies to launch new products to audio aspirants and professionals alike.

There were lots of interfaces, lots of high-profile engineers speaking to big crowds, and a whole lot of new products, most aimed at the recording musician. There was also a coordinated growth in live sound product debuts, aided by the centralized location in North Hall and the new addition of P.A. demos in the arena.

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There were too many introductions to include them all here; more will be shown in future issues. Products are listed alphabetically. In the meantime, some debuts definitely caught our eyes, so look for our Editor’s Choice logo as you read.

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API Celebrates 50-Year Anniversary

API made a big splash at NAMM in kicking off its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration. With the entire team clad in gold button-downs, owner Larry Droppa used the occasion to honor the company’s founder, the late Saul Walker, who in February received a coveted Technical Grammy Award. Droppa then brought out producer/engineer Val Garay to introduce two limited-edition classic API products: the 550A discrete 3-band EQ, and the 312 mic preamp. Each was hand-assembled and wired, and each features an exact reproduction of Walker’s original design and printed circuit board. Only 50 of the 550A units were made, along with 150 of the 312. Meanwhile, back to the present, the newest version of the BOX Console offers eight input channels and eight 500 Series slots, with LED metering for each of its 24 summing channels.

Apogee HypeMiC

Apogee continues to straddle the pro and consumer audio worlds, and its main release at NAMM continues that emphasis. The company introduced HypeMiC, a studio-quality USB condenser microphone with built-in analog compressor. HypeMiC features a PureDIGITAL connection for up to 24-bit/96 kHz recording, and a headphone output with Blend feature offers zero-latency recording. No configuration required, just plug in and record; works with iOS, Mac and PC.

Audient Sono Audio Interface for Guitarists

Audient has teamed up with cab simulation pioneers Two Notes Audio Engineering for the creation of the Sono audio interface for guitarists. Combining Audient’s analog and digital conversion recording technology with the speaker-cab simulation from Two Notes, Sono features an onboard 12AX7 analog valve and 3-band tone control alongside Two Notes’ Torpedo power amp modeling and cab simulation. Sono provides many tonal options for guitarists, whether they’re recording, practicing or gigging. Monitor mix allows blending between the guitar input signal and DAW playback, ensuring delay-free recording, playback and monitoring. In addition, Audient encourages Sono users to integrate their existing pedalboard.

AudioSourceRE RePan

AudioSourceRE (pronounced like “sorcery”) is not yet a year old but has already entered the emerging audio extraction plug-in game in a big way. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the small company first showed up at AES with DeMIX Pro (see PSN’s review, linked below) and DeMIX Essentials. At NAMM, the company released RePAN, a real-time audio separation plug-in that allows users to adjust and rebalance the volume and pan positions of various elements within a stereo mix in real time. Very cool, and likely to be even more advanced by AES 2019.

Related: Review: AudioSourceRE's DeMIX Pro, by Rob Tavaglione, Jan. 21, 2019

Audio Test Kitchen

Audio Test Kitchen used NAMM to announce its imminent launch in March, billing itself as “the world’s first online, unbiased audio product sound comparison showroom.” For its inaugural product category, Audio Test Kitchen partnered with 50 microphone manufacturers (among them Neumann, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Blue, Sony and Shure), brought 225 large-diaphragm condenser microphones to EastWest Studios in Los Angeles, and ensured every source on every song remained constant for each microphone. Upcoming comparison libraries will include audio interfaces, ribbon microphones, preamps, hardware and software compressors, and musical instrument categories, each with its own unique comparison criteria and tailored test methodology.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT Wireless Headphones

Like Apogee, Audio-Technica is one of those companies that maintains quality and development across both pro and consumer lines. At NAMM, the focus was more on the casual/pro listener with the release of the ATH-M50 studio headphones in a Bluetooth wireless over-ear version. The closed-back ATH-M50xBT includes a 45mm large-aperture driver, with stated frequency range of 15–28,000 Hz, and the same fold-flat design, 90° swiveling earcups, and earpads and headband of the ATH-M50x. The ATH-M50xBT utilizes Bluetooth 5.0 and is compatible with aptX and AAC codecs for wireless audio reproduction. An internal battery provides up to 40 hours on a full charge; a USB charging cable is supplied, along with a detachable 3.9-foot cable with mic for wired operation.

Audionamix XTRAX Stems 2

Audionamix continues to refine its audio extraction process and share it with the world in new permutations. XTRAX Stems 2, the DJ/prosumer version of the company’s offerings, brings to the table an entirely new algorithm that significantly improves the speed and quality of the tool’s cloud-based extraction. It also includes the introduction of a Separation Balance for fine-tuning the stems in relation to each other. In a livestreamed interview with Mix magazine, producer/artists/DJs Joachim Garraud and Venomisto talked about how the new algorithm and processing got them to nearly 95 percent of a finished track, with just a little polishing required to fit into pro studio and live productions. This audio extraction category is only getting better and improving rapidly, with more refined and customizable integration into workflows.

Auralex Acoustics RLX: Room Layout Express

Auralex introduced several new fabrics and new packages of acoustic materials tailored to the private studio owner, but the company also showed the first version of its new standalone app, RLX, designed to give instantaneous recommendations about acoustical treatment for a variety of small room types.

Bettermaker Bus Compressor

TransAudio Group, the company’s U.S. distributor, showed the new Bettermaker Bus Compressor at NAMM 2019. Like the rest of the Bettermaker line, the Bus Compressor combines a stereo analog signal path with digital recall and parameter control, and/or automation from a cross-platform plug-in. Besides the basic compression parameters like attack, release, threshold, ratio and so on, the Bus Compressor can be upgraded via expansion packs with more specialized functions like M/S, dry/wet mixing, highpass sidechain filtering, different compressor modeling modes and more. Expected by the second quarter of 2019.

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Cranborne Camden 500 EQ

This relatively new company, founded by former Soundcraft employees, spent its NAMM debuting the Camden EC2 2-channel, 19-inch rackmount preamp, Mojo signal processor and dual headphone mixer based on the Camden 500 preamp. Featuring two Camden preamps with the same Mojo analog saturation circuit, Camden EC2 achieves low noise and low distortion performance, as well as frequency and phase linearity at all gain settings. The Camden EC2 can take on the persona of a vintage British-style transformer-based preamp using Thump, a gooey tube-based preamp using Cream, or a clean and natural preamp when Mojo is bypassed. Switch each Camden preamp into its line mode and the Mojo saturation circuits can apply vintage coloration onto stereo stems during the mix phase. It features two reference-quality headphone amplifiers with discrete line mixers and independent CH1, CH2 and aux input level controls.

Crane Song Interstellar A/D Converter

Crane Song showed Interstellar, a stereo ADC incorporating the company’s Quantum sub-picosecond clocking technology. The unit includes DSP emulation for triode and pentode tubes, tape emulation, dithering to 16 bits and world clock outputs, allowing Interstellar to function as a master clock. When used as an USB interface, the SPDIF output can be used to connect to a DAC, making it a USB bidirectional interface. The AES, SPDIF and optical outputs are active and can be used at the same time as the USB connection. The level of the DSP functions is set by front-panel controls.

EastWest/Quantum Leap Hollywood Pop Brass

Coming soon from producers Doug Rogers and Nick Phoenix is Hollywood Pop Brass, joining the multi-sampled family that includes the recent Voices of Opera, Voices of Soul, Voices of the Empire and Hollywood Choirs. Hollywood Pop Brass features a four- or five-piece ensemble that includes two trumpets, trombone, tenor, alto and baritone saxes. It was recorded in Studio 1 at EastWest Studios and includes dozens of stylized phrases in multiple keys recorded in Studio 2, a favorite of many Latin artists going all the way back to early Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66.

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Fluid Audio Second-Generation FX80, FX50 Studio Monitor

Fluid Audio showed the second generation of its FX80 and FX50 monitors. The updates include Class-D amplifiers with high- and mid-frequency adjustment knobs, acoustic space, low frequency roll-off and optimized composite cone woofers, along with a new industrial design. A DSP-controlled crossover provides blending of the woofer to the soft dome tweeter, and ensures that there is effectively zero variance from amplifier to amplifier. Other features include a 5-inch/8-inch composite cone, low-frequency drivers; 1-inch/1.2-inch silk dome tweeter mounted in waveguide; biamplified 100W/140W Class-D amplification; and Acoustic Space Control that lets you calibrate the low frequency to your mixing environment (0, -2 and -4 dB).

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Focal Trio11 Be Studio Monitor

Focal unveiled its new flagship monitor, the Trio11 Be, featuring a 5-inch midrange, 10-inch subwoofer, and the company’s signature pure beryllium inverted dome tweeter. Like Trio6 Be, Trio11 Be comprises a 3-way monitor and a 2-way monitor, which makes it possible to check the sound quality of the mix by using Focus mode, a Focal innovation. Because of the Class-G amplification used on the midrange and subwoofer, Trio11 Be delivers an SPL of 118 dB at 1 meter; bandwidth is measured at 30 Hz-40 kHz. The aluminum baffle incorporating the tweeter and woofer is adjustable through 360°, in 90° increments, so Trio11 Be can be used either vertically or horizontally. Trio11 Be is set for March availability. Focal is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Focal Naim America (formerly known as Audio Plus Services).

Related: Vervent Audio Group, Parent Company to Focal and Naim, Makes U.S. Inroads with Acquisition of Audio Plus Services, Feb. 14, 2019

JBL One Series 104 Monitors

On the heels of JBL’s M2 Reference Monitor System comes the JBL One Series 104 monitors, which include newly engineered JBL 4.5-inch coaxial drivers contoured using the same research that led to the waveguide found in M2, 7-Series and 3-Series monitors. The One Series includes integrated 60-watt Class-D amplification that can drive to 104 dB SPL (peak). A front-panel headphone jack automatically mutes the speakers, providing isolation in one simple step, and dual 1/4-inch balanced and single 1/8-inch unbalanced TRS inputs accommodate a range of sources

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JoeCo Cello Audio Interface

We stopped in the FullScale AV booth and met up with Joe Bull, the namesake behind the JoeCo Blackbox Recorder. At NAMM, he was showing Cello, a 22-input, 4-output USB 2.0 interface for Mac and PC with a true analog front end and tactile control surface. Cello features 125 dB dynamic range, operation up to 384k and Adaptive Conversion technology, offering new ADC and DAC filtering options. Also included are a built-in talkback microphone and monitor controls. The front end includes two microphone inputs with discrete analog mic preamps with 80 dB gain, highpass filter, Pad and Phase Reverse, with two dedicated preamp-only channels to ensure signal purity. S/PDIF and 16 channels of ADAT Lightpipe input are provided. Finally, mastering-grade monitor outputs are on hand, while the unit can also accept external word clock.

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KRK Rokit Generation 4

KRK made a splash with the release of the fourth generation of its ROKIT studio monitors. All system elements are cohesively designed and engineered to work with the advanced drivers made with Kevlar, Class-D power amplifiers and front-firing port to extend accurate and tight bass reproduction. ROKIT G4s also include onboard room tuning, with 25 visual room-correction EQ combinations. The G4 range includes RP5 (5-inch), RP7 (7-inch) and RP8 (8-inch) models for nearfield monitoring, and the RP103 configuration, which adds a 4.5-inch midrange woofer and 1-inch tweeter for midfield monitoring. The RP103 also features a horizontal mode that aligns the mid-woofer and tweeter vertically for improved listening accuracy.

Lauten Audio LS-108 and LS-308 Microphones

Lauten Audio showed two microphones in its new Synergy Series: the LS-308 large-diaphragm condenser instrument and voice microphone, and its first handheld vocal condenser mic, the LS-108. They join the LS-208 live version, released just a few months ago. The LS-308 boasts 270 degrees of side and rear off-axis rejection, reducing ambient sound from nearby sources by up to 25 dB. Features include 120 dB of dynamic range, two-stage low-cut (50 and 120 Hz) filters, two-stage high-cut (8 and 10 kHz) filters and internally shock-mounted condenser elements. The mics require 48V phantom power and feature a JFET transistor circuit with a transformer-based balanced output. The LS-208 features a cardioid polar pattern; the LS-308 features a second-order cardioid pattern.

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PMC/Dolby/Capitol Studios

The Best Demo Award had to go to PMC, which built an immersive playback room on the show floor to showcase its commitment to the format and its ongoing partnership with Dolby and Capitol Studios. Capitol engineer Steve Genewick was on hand to play back tracks from all genres, all remixed for the 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos-enabled format. PMC’s 3-way MB3-XBD-A monitors formed the left, right and center channels, with the rest of the system comprising four PMC twotwoSub2 monitors and 16 Wafer 1 compact slimline monitors for the surround, rear and height channels. Content was played back using the Dolby Atmos renderer software, Pro Tools and Focusrite RedNet I/O.

PreSonus Studio USB-C Interfaces

At NAMM, PreSonus unveiled its Studio Series USB-C 24-bit, 192 kHz audio interfaces, with five models: the Studio 24c, Studio 26c, Studio 68c, Studio 1810c and Studio 1824c. All but the Studio 24c include DC-coupled outputs for sending control voltages, and all five models offer MIDI I/O. USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables are provided for compatibility with most computers. All models come with PreSonus XMAX preamps, Studio One Artist music production software and the Studio Magic Plug-In Suite.

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Steinberg AXR-4 Audio Interface

Steinberg unveiled its highest-end audio interface to date, the AXR4, a 28x24 Thunderbolt 2 model with the ability to record and play back at a 384 kHz sampling rate with 32-bit-integer resolution. The unit includes four Neutrik combo mic inputs, eight line inputs and outputs, and a pair of ADAT inputs and outputs that can also accommodate S/PDIF and AES/EBU connections. Also on board are MIDI and world clock ports, and two Thunderbolt connectors. The latter make it easy to daisy-chain the AXR4 with other gear. The 1U rackmount unit features new AXR hybrid mic preamps, and like the UR models, the AXR4 offers Rupert Neve Designs SILK Processing. The interface also comes with a 28x24 DSP mixer, which features Yamaha DSP effects including the VCM 276 compressor, VCM EQ601 equalizer, Sweet Spot Morphing Channel Strip and Rev X Reverb. The unit is bundled with Cubase AI DAW software, which supports 32-bit-integer operation but not 384 kHz audio. It is expected to be available by end of Q1.

Steinberg Cubase 10 DAW

Steinberg has billed the release of Cubase Pro 10 as “a milestone in the innovational history of Cubase.” Available in Cubase Pro 10: VariAudio 3, a pitch correction tool; MixConsole Snapshots for saving and recalling a current mix within the mixer, or for creating and comparing alternate mixes of a project; Audio Alignment, for aligning stacked recordings quickly so that vocal and other tracks are in complete sync; and 20 new impulse responses for REVerence, the convolution reverb. The audio engine has also been refined, now supporting 32-bit integer and 64-bit floating point audio for recording, importing/exporting and converting.

TASCAM Expandable Series Interfaces

TASCAM’s new SERIES 102i 10-in, 2-out and SERIES 208i 20-in, 8-out audio-MIDI interfaces deliver 24-bit, 192 kHz recording and playback to a Mac, Windows PC or iPad. Controllable with included custom software, the two interfaces feature DSP input and output mixers with built-in digital reverb, compressor, phase invert and 4-band EQ for each channel. The 102i provides two analog mic/line/instrument combo inputs with Ultra-HDDA mic preamps and individually switched +48V phantom power. The interface can be expanded up to 10 total inputs using its optical S/MUX port, which can accept up to eight channels of audio input from an ADAT- or S/MUX-compatible device. The 208i features four analog mic/line/instrument combo inputs and eight balanced, 1/4-inch line outputs to enable multiple monitor mixes or up to 7.1 surround monitoring. A large front-panel monitor knob and monitor balance control enables mixing live input with computer playback for zero-latency overdubs. Rear-panel 5-pin DIN MIDI in and out jacks allows connection of favorite MIDI devices.

Warm Audio WA-84 Microphone

NAMM marked the debut of Warm Audio’s WA-84, a cardioid, small-diaphragm condenser based on classic microphone circuit topology. The WA-84 sports a fully discrete signal path, a CineMag USA transformer, Fairchild transistors and Wima capacitors. The WA-84 has a large sound for its small size, using a heavy nickel CineMag signal transformer to warm up and enlarge sound sources. Features include three polar patterns (cardioid, omni, figure-8), 125 dB dynamic range, frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and max SPL of 132 dB (<0.5 percent THD). The WA-84 is offered in both nickel and black colors, and in single and stereo pair quantities.

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Waves CLA MIXHUB

Waves made big noise with the introduction of the CLA MixHub plug-in, developed in conjunction with Grammy-winning engineer Chris Lord-Alge, who was on stage throughout the show to give enthusiastic demonstrations to crowds around the booth. The first plug-in of its kind, CLA MixHub captures the console workflow and analog sound of Lord-Alge’s mixes—up to 64 tracks—all from the same plug-in window using channel strips modeled from CLA’s personal console. CLA MixHub is the first plug-in to work in buckets—groupings of up to eight channels, in up to eight buckets in total. In other words, you can mix up to 64 channels from one CLA MixHub plug-in window. Once CLA MixHub is inserted on the channels in your mix, you can assign your tracks to buckets and begin making adjustments on the fly—mixing dynamics, EQ, saturation and more. Each channel consists of five sections: input, dynamics, EQ, output and an insert point. Each processing module can be expanded to reveal additional functionality.

The Boom in Live Sound

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Adamson Systems Engineering CS7p

Adamson unveiled its CS7p point source enclosure. The enclosure kicks off the new CS-Series, reportedly the world’s first family of mobile loudspeakers to feature onboard Class-D amplification, DSP and Milan-ready (AVB) network endpoints. Road-tested, the CS7p has been used as a FOH nearfield monitor at high-profile events such as the Hillsong Conference (Australia) and on the recent Drake and Migos North American tour. The CS7p employs Milan-ready redundant AVB technology with the ability to daisy-chain networked audio between multiple sources, in addition to an analog XLR input and output. Acoustically, the CS7p contains two 7-inch Kevlar neodymium transducers and a 3-inch compression driver, loaded with a rotatable 70° x 40° (H x V) waveguide. The dipole arrangement of the cabinet provides a stable polar response, and the CS7p can be paired to increase horizontal coverage and overall output.

Ashly Audio mXa-1502 Amplifier

Ashly Audio’s new amplifier checks a lot of boxes for many small to midrange installs. The mXa-1502 offers four zones of mixing and DSP, 2 x 150W of power, programmable mic pre’s and more. Housed in one rackspace are eight balanced mic/line inputs, four stereo line inputs, four outputs, 2 x 150W Class-D amplifiers with selectable multi-mode operation; four front-panel buttons for source/preset selection; and comprehensive DSP on all inputs and outputs. Additionally, there’s a scheduler and RTC; new Ashly-Control software, and it works with WR-1.1 and WR-1.8 remotes. Expected to ship around June, the mXa-1502 will be followed in the coming months with many more “related” products, according to the company’s upper brass.

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d&b audiotechnik KSL System

d&b’s SL-Series now has a second edition. The KSL System is the smaller sibling of the company’s flagship GSL. KSL offers full-range broadband directivity, extended LF response and advanced rigging options, according to the company, and can be used in mobile or install capacities, able to cover arenas, stadiums and festivals, or conversely, clubs, theaters, houses of worship and performing arts venues. The KSL8 and KSL12 loudspeakers, with 80˚ and 120˚ horizontal dispersion, respectively, are said to provide consistent pattern control down to the lowest frequencies, in part due to the geometry of two front-facing 10-inch drivers and two side-firing 8-inch drivers, which couple and apply cardioid techniques to cause directivity with low-frequency headroom. Midrange is delivered by a high-sensitivity horn loaded with an 8-inch driver, while two custom designed 3-inch voice coil HF drivers are mounted on a wave-shaping device to provide high-frequency resolution and output.

DiGiGrid IOS-XL, DGS-XL and MGR Interfaces

DiGiGrid launched three new interface and SoundGrid processing products at NAMM: the IOS-XL, DGS-XL and the MGR. The DiGiGrid IOS-XL is an all-in-one audio interface and processing platform for studio and live users. Building on the DiGiGrid IOS, this new product includes an Extreme i7 Server, offering double the DSP. The interface provides eight mic/line inputs, eight line outputs, two headphone outputs, MIDI I/O, S/PDIF and AES inputs and outputs, and an integrated 4-port Ethernet switch. The DiGiGrid DGS-XL is a standalone Extreme SoundGrid i7 DSP Server with an integrated 4-port PoE-capable network switch for simple integration into SoundGrid systems. Then there’s the DiGiGrid MGR, a quad-MADI interface that takes either BNC copper or LC optical MADI cards, making the unit flexible for integration into any MADI setup. With a choice of multi-mode or single-mode fiber on the optical MADI card, and with redundant power supplies, the MGR is intended for live and broadcast applications. With four MADI connections and a built-in SoundGrid switch, users can record and play back up to 256 channels at 48 kHz or 128 channels at 96 kHz.

L-Acoustics X4i loudspeaker

Previewed at NAMM and officially unveiled at ISE was X4i, a 4-inch, highly weatherized coaxial loudspeaker for installation applications from L-Acoustics. Weighing less than 1 kg, X4i is the smallest loudspeaker the company has ever manufactured. Intended for integration into conventional construction materials, X4i is intended for use in performing arts centers or houses of worship, where it can reportedly match the sonic signature of main L-Acoustics systems such as ARCS and Kiva. Some use in hostile environments is possible, too, as the weather-resistant X4i sports an IP55 rating and becomes watertight with a rear sealing plate. X4i ships beginning in March.

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Mackie DRM Series Loudspeakers

It was a big NAMM Show for Mackie, with daily festivities, a spirit of independence and an appearance by company founder Greg Mackie in celebration of the company’s 30-year anniversary. The company also found the time to introduce an all-new flagship: DRM professional powered loudspeakers, packed with up to 2,300 watts of power, cutting-edge DSP and built-in full-color displays. Designed for mobile DJs, bands, install, houses of worship, rental systems and more, models include the 1,600W 12-inch DRM212, 1,600W 15-inch DRM215, 2,300W 15-inch 3-way DRM315, 2,000W 12-inch DRM12A Array and 2,000W 18-inch DRM18S subwoofer; all models are also available in passive boxes. At the heart of every DRM Series loudspeaker is Mackie’s Advanced Impulse DSP module, which features precision crossovers, transducer time alignment and meticulously tuned FIR filters.

Meyer Sound M-Noise

At NAMM, John Meyer and Bob McCarthy received a TECnology Hall of Fame Award for the Meyer Sound SIM System, whose development began in the early 1980s and continues today. The company was founded back in 1977 on the measurement of loudspeaker performance, and some things never change: this year found Meyer Sound unveiling a new sound system measurement, M-Noise, a mathematically derived test signal (i.e., not pink noise) that effectively emulates the dynamic characteristics of music and reportedly enables a far more accurate measurement of a loudspeaker system’s linear peak SPL in any application requiring reproduction of musical content. File format is 96 kHz WAV with a size of 10.2 MB. Playing time is 53 seconds but playback can be looped indefinitely. M-Noise can be used to determine the linear peak SPL of any loudspeaker system, regardless of manufacturer, size or design.

Sennheiser XS Wireless Digital Series

Sennheiser unveiled the entry-level XS Wireless Digital series, which is aimed at musicians and videographers. The systems work on 2.4 GHz for worldwide, license-free operation. XSW-D employs digital transmission in the 2.4 GHz range and uses the aptX Live codec. The receivers have antenna diversity; the transmitters work redundantly, transmitting all data packages twice to ensure reliable transmission. In case of interference, the transmitter and receiver will hop to a free frequency. The audio latency remains below 4 ms. Up to five systems can be used simultaneously and they have a range of up to 75 meters (250 feet). The transmitter and receiver units can be recharged via USB using the included charging cable and will work for up to five hours on a single charge.

Products in the line include a Vocal Set with an XS 1 dynamic cardioid microphone; a Lavalier Set with an ME 2-II clip-on microphone; and an Instrument Base Set for instruments with a 6.3 mm (1/4-inch) output. Also available is an XLR Base Set for use with existing dynamic microphones, and a Presentation Base Set for use with existing clip-on microphones with a 3.5 mm (1/8-inch) mini-jack connector. This summer, a Pedalboard Set for guitar and bass players will be added to the lineup. All transmitters and receivers are also available separately.

SSL L550 and L350 Live Consoles

Solid State Logic has released the SSL Live L350 and L550 consoles, with the latter becoming the flagship of its console range. The L350 and L550 replace the L300 and L500 Plus in the current SSL Live console range and are showfile-compatible with all other SSL Live consoles. The L550 features 288 processing paths, 36 matrix outputs and 48 VCAs, assignable to any of the 36 + 2 faders on the control surface. Meanwhile, the L350 features a total of 216 processing paths, 36 matrix outputs and 36 VCAs in a 24 + 2 fader frame.

Both consoles can be augmented with USB Remote Fader Tiles or be connected to remotely from another console, a laptop running SOLSA remote control software or tablet running the TaCo control app for a flexible, expandable work surface. All existing SSL MADI and Net I/O Dante stageboxes can be deployed with them, and upgrade kits are also available to existing L300 and L500 Plus owners who want to upgrade their consoles.

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Yamaha/NEXO Geo M12 and MSub18

Yamaha NEXO has expanded on its Geo M10 with the flagship Geo M12 and accompanying MSub18, out now. The M12 shares the same aesthetic and sonic signatures as the Geo M10, but features more low end, the removal of the panel in the back that covered the 2-way active/passive switch, and more angle splay options than the M10. Weighing in at 34 kg, the M12 line array module employs a 12-inch neodymium LF driver paired with 1.4-inch titanium diaphragm HF. Integral rigging hardware with no loose parts aids the configuration of ground stacks and line arrays of various scales. The M12 is also offered with two vertical dispersions: the 10° GEO M1210 and the 20° GEO M1220. Horizontal directivity can be changed quickly from 80° to 120°.

Accompanying the M12 is a dedicated sub-bass cabinet, the MSUB18. Employing a single 18-inch-diameter voice coil neodymium driver in a high-efficiency bandpass cabinet design with a quadratic-shaped profiled port, the dedicated MSUB18 is the same width as the GEO M12 and can be deployed in arrays and groundstacks in omni or cardioid mode.

Yorkville Sound Synergy Array Series

The Synergy Array Series is Yorkville Sound’s largest and most powerful point source system to date. The Synergy system consists of the SA153, a three-way full-range active cabinet—2,600W (program), 5,000W (peak)—along with the SA315S active subwoofer. It incorporates Tom Danley’s patented Paraline Lens and Synergy Horn technologies.

Intended for use in the club, outdoor festival, theater and arena markets, Synergy is scalable in both horizontal and vertical planes, making it adaptable to suit any coverage pattern needed. The geometry of the Paraline Lens produces a precisely shaped wavefront that matches the horn’s physical coverage pattern while providing a continuous horn throat from cabinet to cabinet on the horizontal plane. The horn uses the entire front area of the cabinet, maximizing efficiency and directivity control.