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PL+S 2016: The preview, pt. 1

Prolight + Sound always offers up a variety of gear unveilings and interesting product debuts, but the big talking points this year concern the show itself.

Prolight + Sound 2016 will be the first Frankfurt trade fair to take place since big changes to the event were announced during last year’s show.

Featuring a new hall layout on the East side of the grounds, Prolight will move from its traditional home in Hall 8 and 9 to a total of six product areas at the opposite end of the venue previously occupied by Musikmesse, making use of the outdoor exhibition space in the process.

Hall 3.1 and 4.1 will act as a focal point for live sound, studio and broadcast visitors, with the former focusing heavily on PA systems and loudspeaker technology, while the latter is the new home for microphones, production equipment, broadcasting and radio gear. Digital audio networking solutions will also feature extensively in Hall 4.1.

The changes have also resulted in a partial date separation between Prolight + Sound and Musikmesse, with pro-audio and lighting professionals filling the halls from Tuesday through to Friday, and the MI crowd attending from Thursday to Sunday.

Although we’ll have to wait and see how well these new development are received by the industry, one thing we can usually be sure of is a plethora of product launches and demonstrations from manufacturers large and small, and so far it seems 2016 will be no exception…

This year’s Frankfurt show will see the official debut of the Alcons LR18 pro-ribbon line array. The three-way, ‘compact-mid-size’ line-source system is designed to combine the highest sound quality possible with very high SPL capabilities and throw.

With LR18, Alcons says it has been able to achieve a “super-fast” impulse response with up-to-90% less distortion, allowing it to offer “a fully intuitive linear response, with very high intelligibility and non-compressed identical tonal balance at any SPL.”

The cylindrical wavefront of the RBN702rs 7” pro-ribbon transducer with 1,500W power handling and the acoustically and electronically symmetrical component configuration bring a remarkable pattern control in both the vertical as well as the horizontal plane, without any distortion-inducing horn constructions, according to the company.

Meanwhile, d&b audiotechnik will be introducing NoizCalc, a new software tool created in cooperation with noise consulting and software development company SoudnPLAN GmbH, designed to predict the far field noise emission of open air events. The tool can be used to predict the sound propagation of multiple coherently emitting sources such as line arrays and subwoofer arrays.

The manufacturer says that, using 3D terrain data, the software accurately predicts the far field noise emission across an expanse of terrain according to ISO 9613-2 and Nord 2000 standards, allowing system designers to predict any potential noise issues during the event planning stage.

d&b will also display its NoizCalc software and provide a step by step guide to the d&b workflow, from simulation to control, and delve into the details behind the recently launched, Dante-enabling, DS10 Audio network bridge. The company’s full loudspeaker family, from E to Y-Series will also be on display along with its new generation four-channel amplifiers.

DPA Microphones will join forces with Yamaha at the show to demonstrate the advantages of combining their technologies and further boost their presence. Yamaha’s live performance stages will be equipped with DPA d:vote instrument and d:dictate recording mics, while the DPA booth C11 in Hall 4.1 will be equipped with Yamaha band and orchestra instruments for a number of demos and workshops, and for visitors to try out.

DPA Microphones will also use the show as an opportunity to launch its d:facto Linear Vocal Microphone. DPA says the d:facto’s new MMC4018VL capsule with isolation-optimised supercardioid polar pattern is designed to augment the human vocal range, and combines the very best of cardioid and supercardioid directional characteristics.

Yamaha will have a major presence at both events during the week. The company’s musical instrument division will be exhibiting in Portalhaus at MusikMesse, with the company’s professional audio products shown in Hall 3.1, booth E50 at ProLight + Sound.

EVE Audio is celebrating its fifth birthday at Prolight + Sound this year. The firm was founded by veteran music industry R&D engineer Roland Stenz in 2011, when he used his 25-plus years of experience in pro-audio and loudspeaker design to create the company’s award-winning line of professional studio monitors.

The company will mark the milestone with a ‘High Five Party’ due to be held on 6 April at 7pm on Booth C21 in Hall 4.1.

Much more to come…