NAB 2013: Audio Product Preview, Part 2
We’re in the home stretch before the NAB Show begins next week in Las Vegas, and more new audio products are being announced ahead of the opening bell. Here are a few interesting ones.
Enhancements to Tempest digital wireless intercoms include a new Tempest900 BeltStation and a remote line extender. Equipped with an advanced Planar Inverted-F Antenna (PIFA), the new BeltStation has an increased range, allowing more wireless coverage. Backwards-compatible with Tempest900 firmware version 3.0, the new BeltStations will continue to operate within the 900 MHz frequency band and are fully compatible with all versions of the Tempest900 BaseStations and BeltStations.
The new Tempest remote transceiver line extender increases the systems’ cable-run distance of a remote antenna by 3,000 ft. with one line extender or 2,000 ft. per line extender if using more than one. This allows deployment of larger systems with longer cable runs from the BaseStation. A total of three line extenders can be connected to provide total coverage of up to 7,500 ft. www.clearcom.com
Via a new software upgrade, DiGiCo’s standard SD9 live-production system has added surround capabilities, providing 48 stereo channels and allowing up to 5.1-surround busing, plus a full studio-style monitor matrix, multiple mix minus buses, and backstop PFL functionality.
In addition, new brand partnership DiGiGrid (www.digigrid.net) provides MADI-to-SoundGrid interfaces enabling users of any MADI-enabled console to take advantage of low-latency networking and processing. With a SoundGrid DSP server and SWI plus Waves MultiRack application added, any MADI-compatible live or broadcast console has instant access to real-time processing. DiGiGrid MGO and MGB models offer a new level of portable MADI. In the most basic mode, connecting the SoundGrid network connection to a laptop or desktop computer enables access to the two MADI I/Os. These can be used to record up to 128 channels through a computer’s 1-GB Ethernet port, with simultaneous playback of 128 channels. An interface option allows DigiGrid system devices to access DiGiCo SD Rack and D Racks for massive system-input expansion with a wide range of format-configuration choices: both MGB MADI-to-SoundGrid coaxial interface (www.digigrid.net/portfolio/mgo/) and MGO MADI-to-SoundGrid optical interface (www.digigrid.net/portfolio/mgb/) offer two MADI ports, up to 128 inputs, and 128 outputs. www.digico.biz
DK5, the newest addition to the company’s DK Meter line, offers a logging feature, allowing detailed documentation, visualization, and evaluation of DK Metering data. The new DK5 Logging PC application allows session-based, real-time logging of metering-data history on loudness along with peak channel performance, essentially providing instant documentation and metering history. The integrated log-session database provides safe storing, identification, and advanced search facilities, and data can be exported in several file formats for additional analysis and visualization. The new logging feature is also available for all existing DK Meter owners as an optional software upgrade and as a software update for owners of DK-Technologies’ PT0760 flagship audio- and video-waveform meter. Other features include a new ultra-wide moving-coil emulation in the MSD View, as well as 5.1-surround–downmix capability. DK-Technologies is giving customers the opportunity to test the new DK Meter software upgrade for a 180-hour period. The try-before-you-buy period will give users unlimited access to all the software’s upgraded features and improved functionality. www.dk-technologies.com
XYNERGI and EVO audio-postproduction systems now come with the new Dream Version 4 software, intended to be easier to use by novices, improve workflow, and deliver faster output. Among the new software features are mouse-based editing enhancements; a single-screen interface with comprehensive per-track controls and new mix-panel choices; improved dynamics, side-chain, and MaxLinking across groups; and multiclient ASIO bridge for EVO to host other audio products (Pro Tools, Nuendo).
To ensure continued software improvements, Fairlight also introduced a 12-month software-license program providing access to software releases and updates as part of a 12-month subscription. Customers who purchased a XYNERGI or EVO in 2012 will get a 12-month Dream Version 4 software-license subscription for free. www.fairlightus.com
Minnetonka Audio Software
The third version of the SurCode encoder/decoder software for Dolby Pro Logic II is the first in the industry to integrate Minnetonka Audio’s loudness-measurement technology as used in its benchmark AudioTools server family. New built-in loudness measurement simplifies workflows and yields EBU R.128 and “CALMpliant” deliverables with less reworking. www.minnetonkaaudio.com
The surround-microphone manufacturer is debuting its X-1 multichannel combined upmix/downmix processor, which provides a flexible, transparent interoperability between 5.1-surround and stereo audio controllable from any PC. The X-1 is fitted with a redundant power supply and can be implemented as either a “set-and-forget” processor or a fully adjustable real-time upmixer and downmixer. The X-1 offers auto-detection algorithms that allow it to identify the format of incoming audio, upmixing or downmixing as necessary. The unit is also capable of performing two completely independent processes by handling different audio streams simultaneously. The control software can be run on a laptop or desktop computer connected to the X-1 via Ethernet or via the USB port on the device itself.
The SoundField UPM-1 hardware-based stereo-to-5.1 converter/processor is designed to match legacy stereo soundtracks with contemporary 5.1 commercials and programming. The UPM-1 generates the material for the extra channels by analyzing the source stereo signal over time. Using a unique algorithm developed for this purpose, the device can detect reverberant content in the stereo signal, differentiate it from the direct sounds in the mix, and separate it out. Engineers can adjust the details of the processing directly from the UPM-1’s front panel. The system is also available as a processor plug-in on a computer. www.soundfield.com