NAB 2016: Audio, Part 2 — Broadcast Sound Continues To Evolve

Some of the new products that will drive immersive sound, networked audio

There’s a lot going on in audio this year, with many milestones expected to be reached. The incentive auction will repack a critical portion of the UHF spectrum, upending the entire wireless microphone ecosphere. There will be more clarity on what ATSC 3.0 will look (and sound) like. And, with the continued development of immersive-sound technologies and the widening implementation of networked audio in broadcast, NAB 2016 will likely be looked back on as an inflection point in the evolution of broadcast sound. Here are some of the pieces of that puzzle that will be talked about in Las Vegas.

CLICK HERE for NAB 2016: Audio, Part 1.

Clear-Com HelixNet digital network

Clear-Com HelixNet digital network

HelixNet Version 3.0, a software-only update to the HelixNet digital network partyline (PL) platform, will make its U.S. debut. The new version, which is now shipping, expands the system-channel capacity of a single Main Station to 12 PL channels as an out-of-the-box standard configuration. For productions needing more communication links and customization, HelixNet can be expanded to a 24-PL-channel system with the purchase of a firmware license. Version 3.0 can stack and/or expand Main Stations with Remote Stations or Remote Stations with Remote Stations, allowing Stations to act as one user position when it comes to addressing all channels. A single headset or microphone could command an entire multiple-device HelixNet system. It also allows the RMK (Remote Mic Kill) feature to affect all channels, not just the selected ones (as in previous versions).

Digigram will introduce its IQOYA *CLOUD web app for managing and monitoring codecs in the cloud. Accessible from anywhere on any connected device via Web browser, the application simplifies deployment and day-to-day operation of the full codec fleet. Combined with Digigram SIP Broadcast Infrastructure, which includes the stream-relay and -presence server, this application provides real-time monitoring of all registered broadcast audio-over-IP codecs across the network. The centralized, cloud-enabled tool allows control-room operators to accept and initiate calls; monitor current codec status; deploy, configure, and reconfigure codecs on the fly; and take action in the event of network faults and failovers to ensure the availability and continuity of high-quality broadcasts.

NUGEN Audio will unveil an all-new option for Halo Upmix, its solution for upmixing stereo audio to surround. The 9.1 option allows the introduction of vertical positioning into the upmix, generating a 7.1.2 (Dolby Atmos) bed-track–compatible upmix. Available in Avid AAX, VST, and AU formats, Halo Upmix automates creation of a stereo-to-surround, downmix-compatible upmix with unique center-channel management and spatial-density controls. Combining several technologies, including frequency and time-domain energy distribution and neural-network artificial intelligence, Halo Upmix enables producers to target various upmix goals, including full stable surrounds, exact downmix matching, and/or full dialog isolation. In addition to stem and group upmixing, producers can use Halo Upmix’s center-channel control and management to fine-tune a surround mix and to create intricate mixes when there is no access to the original stems. The Halo Upmix 9.1 option will be available this month, with pricing to be announced.

Yamaha Professional Audio Division
YamahaAvailable this month is a significant firmware update for the company’s CL and QL Series digital audio consoles. V4.0 offers new features and enhanced operation and takes another leap forward with new EQ algorithms, a Premium Rack device, and other features that provide live-sound support at an even higher level. StageMix application software for use with an iPad and related software is updated as well in V6.0 and further expands the range of both consoles for enhanced creative freedom and operability. The new MBC4 is a four-band multi-band compressor that combines a GUI offering outstanding operability and visibility with advanced VCM modeling for higher overall performance.

In a related development, Yamaha Pro Audio Japan and Shure have announced that customers using Yamaha CL and QL Series digital audio consoles will be able to control and monitor Shure ULX-D digital wireless systems (both Dante-enabled ULXD4D dual-channel and ULXD4Q quad-channel digital wireless receivers). The newly available control parameters include monitoring of battery, RF reception strength, antenna status, frequency and audio level, and full control of gain, mute, and channel-name assignment.

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