The annual NAMM Show, held every January in Anaheim, CA, has become a prime opportunity for pro audio manufacturers to introduce new gear. While literally hundreds of new offerings debuted at the show, here’s a baker’s dozen of new products that caught our editors’ eyes at this year’s show.
Ashly Audio AW Series On-Wall Speakers
Ashly Audio has moved into the installation loudspeaker market with its new AW Series of on-wall speaker solutions, intended for both indoor and outdoor use in retail and public spaces. Designed by Ashly engineers to make the most of the company’s Protēa and AquaControl DSP, the AW series’ DOC crossover is used to reduce off-axis deviation in sound pressure levels, resulting in a wider “sweet spot” for audio.
Audio-Technica 3000 Series UHF Wireless System Update
Audio-Technica has expanded its 3000 Series UHF Wireless Systems with the addition of a network port on the ATW-R3210N transmitter—a unique feature for a wireless system in its price category, as it makes the Series compatible with the company’s Wireless Manager software, a Mac OS/Windows application for remote configuration, control, monitoring, spectrum management and frequency coordination of compatible A-T devices in sound reinforcement or installed sound applications.
Auralex Vintage VTD-4A Vacuum Tube Direct Box
Known for its acoustical treatment products, Auralex moves into the hardware world with the introduction of its Vintage Series of vacuum tube gear, starting with the VTD-4A active tube direct box. The unit is hand-assembled using full-size resistors and audio capacitors, hand-wound power transformers, high-voltage power supplies, Jensen audio transformers, Tung-Sol 12AX7/ECC83 preamp tunes and a 20-gauge steel chassis with solid walnut end caps.
Top Pro Audio Exhibitors Discuss NAMM 2020, Part 1, by Daniel Gumble, Jan. 18, 2020
Top Pro Audio Exhibitors Talk NAMM 2020, Part 2, by Daniel Gumble, Jan. 19, 2020
Austrian Audio HI-X Headphones
Austrian Audio launched its professional HI-X headphone line with the on-ear HI-X50 and over-ear HI-X55. Both feature the company’s 44 mm HI-X driver and have a 25 Ohm impedance. A ring magnet system is used within, its structure coupling with a copper-clad aluminum voice coil to reduce the moving mass for a better impulse reaction. A three-ply membrane increases stiffness and reduces undesired resonances, aided by a double acoustic wall intended to provide damping.
DiGiCo Quantum 338 Console
DiGiCo introduced its Quantum 338, which is based on seventh-generation FPGAs and includes 128 input channels with 64 busses and a 24 x 24 matrix, all with full channel processing. There is a new ‘dark mode’ application and three 17-inch 1,000 nit, high-brightness, multi-touch screens, allowing both the meter bridge and soft quick select buttons to be displayed on each screen. There are also 70 individual TFT channel displays and the floating Quantum chassis features 38 x 100mm touch-sensitive faders.
Earthworks Gravity Series G339 Instrument Mic
Due to be released over the next 18 months, Earthworks’ new Gravity Series will consist of instrument mics for live sound and recording. The new line kicks off with the omnidirectional G339, to be released later this year, which features the largest diaphragm of any Earthworks omni and is the first interchangeable instrument mount designed for saxophones and brass instruments.
EVO by Audient Evo 8 Audio Interface
Audient has entered the affordable audio interface market with a new range led by the 4-in/4-out, USB-powered Evo 8. Sporting four preamps, the unit offers 58 dB of gain range, has a JFET instrument input, 113 dB of dynamic range, and includes what Audient calls Smartgain mode, where the Evo 8 automatically sets mic levels as users begin performing.
NAMM 2019 Product Hits — Editor’s Choice, Feb 26, 2019
Pro audio and live sound boom in Anaheim.
IsoAcoustics Stage 1 Board
The Stage 1 Board is a portable isolation platform that uses the company’s Stage 1 Isolators to decouple guitar/bass amps, stage monitors and subwoofers from the stage while still maintaining sound clarity and the bass punch in a performance, aiding recording in a studio or ensuring gig-to-gig consistency of sound.
L-Acoustics Kara II Long-Throw Modular Line Source
Based on the original Kara design, a single Kara II enclosure offers four horizontal directivity patterns: 70° or 110° symmetrical and 90° asymmetrical on either side. With a tighter control of the directivity, the 70° setting brings an additional 2 dB compared to the 110° setting increasing throw capability. With Panflex and inter-element angles ranging from 0° to 10°, a Kara II line source coverage can be tailored to a specific audience size.
Solid State Logic 2+ USB Audio Interface
Solid State Logic unveiled the USB-powered 2-in/4-out SSL 2+ collaborative studio audio interface, which sports a 4K analog enhancement mode “inspired by classic SSL consoles,” monitoring and a SSL Production Pack software bundle. Offering expanded I/O for musicians collaborating, it includes two analog mic preamps, 24-bit/192 kHz AD/DA AKM converters, multiple headphone outputs with independent monitor mix, MIDI I/O, and additional unbalanced outputs for DJ mixers.
Sontronics Podcast Pro Dynamic Microphone
Available in black or red, the British-designed Sontronics Podcast Pro is a low-cost microphone designed specifically for podcasting, featuring a tight supercardioid pattern, three layers of inner protection and a built-in pop shield. The mic is used via an XLR connection and does not require phantom power.
Universal Audio Luna Recording System
UA unveiled its new Luna Recording System, based around the Luna application which is a free download for use with Mac-based Thunderbolt-equipped Apollo and Arrow audio interfaces. Along with the deep interface integration you might expect from such an arrangement, the application also provides built-in Neve summing, multitrack tape emulation and Luna Instruments, marking UA’s first step into software‑based virtual instruments. At launch, they include Moog Minimoog, Ravel Grand Piano and Shape, a toolkit of different content.
Zoom LiveTrak L-8 mixer
Positioned as an affordable mixer for podcasters, the Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is an 8-channel mixer (6 combo, plus 2 TS) with 12-track simultaneous recording and 10-track playback. Podcast-specific features include a half-dozen assignable sound pads with 13 preset sounds, four headphone outputs, seven scene memories, a TRRS connection and cable for phone connectivity, and a mix-minus function to avoid feedback from dial-in guests—among other offerings.