NAB 2017: New Products Portend a Sonically Diverse Show Floor
Networked audio and IP signal management continue to be a focus
NAB 2017 is a matter of weeks away, and it will be a big audio show, a reflection of the ongoing integration of digital-audio networking and other IP-based signal management in broadcasting. Here are some of the interesting new products that will be on the show floor.
Lawo (N1424) will launch a new flagship audio-production console that is fully IP-based and specifically designed to provide optimized performance within video-production environments. Addressing applications requiring very large-format mixing and routing functionality, the desk offers a number of mix-assist systems that enable engineers to focus on creating sophisticated, high-impact audio presentations for viewers. The company will also debut significant additions to the functionality for its V__matrix IP-native video-routing and -processing–infrastructure solution, with software-defined functionality that adapts to support new requirements and workflows within minutes. In addition, Lawo’s VSM workflow and orchestration solution has been augmented to include a comprehensive toolkit for combining and managing multi-vendor solutions, harmonizing both IP and baseband with a comprehensive feature set that includes router control, scheduling, tally management, monitoring functions, and a wide range of other capabilities. In addition, a new update for Lawo’s RƎLAY suite of software, which virtualizes broadcast-studio tools, is now available. New features found in RƎLAY v18.104.22.168 include support for Unicast streaming, with routines that help maintain Unicast connections and report broken links, as well as the inclusion of Microsoft-signed network and WDM drivers for broadcasters using RƎLAY on Windows 10 computers.
Riedel Communications (C4337) will introduce Bolero, an expandable, full-roaming, DECT-based wireless intercom system intended for the license-free 1.9 GHz frequency range. Fully integrated into Riedel’s Artist digital-matrix intercom platform, Bolero features and connectivity can be deployed three ways: as a wireless beltpack, as a wireless keypanel, and — in an industry first — as a walkie-talkie radio. It runs over a standards-based AES67 IP network. Decentralized antennas connect to AES67 switches and then to Artist frames equipped with AES67 client cards, providing a fully integrated point-to-point intercom ecosystem with seamless-roaming capabilities. To the system, the beltpacks look just like Riedel panels but are wireless, providing the highest levels of flexibility and programmability. Bolero features Riedel-exclusive ADR (Advanced DECT Receiver), a diversity receiver technology specifically designed to reduce sensitivity to multipath RF reflections. The beltpacks support Bluetooth 4.1, allowing either a Bluetooth headset or a smartphone to be connected. Users can also make calls and then connect that person into the intercom matrix, eliminating the need for a telephone hybrid.
RTW (N7220) will debut a 19-in. RackMount for its TM3 and TM3-Primus series of products. Also on display will be the company’s TM7/TM9 TouchMonitors with upgraded firmware. The TM3 RackMount Solution comes in two versions that integrate with either the TM3 or the TM3-Primus TouchMonitor by swapping out the necessary hardware. The TM3-Primus is the only USB audio monitor and features RCA-type two-channel analog and digital (SPDIF) loudness and level meters that meet worldwide standards. Its USB hybrid mode enables operators to visualize and process DAW metering points directly on the screen.
Sound Ideas (C1736) music library has a slew of new music and effects ready for the show. Notable among them is the royalty-free Retro TV Sportscast, a punchy, powerful, and high-energy collection of positive and focused music for sports reporting and competition. The mood is ambitious, strong, determined, and proud. (Those aren’t adjectives but rather metadata tags for search purposes.) Featured instruments are trumpet, French horn, piano, strings, and keyboards. Each theme is provided as a full-mix track and a 90-second alt-mix track plus and three broadcast-length versions with both full- and alt-mix variations. Features include 12 themes; 96 tracks, including alt mix and broadcast length; and music for sports reporting and competition. Available for download only as 16/44.1 wav files.
Ahead of the show, Solid State Logic (C2627) has announced another major expansion to its Live console range with the release of the SSL Live L200. The L200’s inverted-T chassis design keeps all essential console controls within easy reach and brings sprung-arm–mounted external screens/devices closer to the center of the console. The L200 features a row of three 12-channel fader tiles, providing a total of 38 faders including the Master and Focus faders in the Master Tile. A centrally located 17-in. multi-gesture touchscreen gives access to all the console’s functions and combines with Quick Controls in the central Fader Tile to provide intuitive, immediate hands-on hardware control. The Master Tile, located alongside the screen, also provides Mute Group, Solo/Talkback, Assignable keys, and Automation controls. L200’s vital statistics include 144 processing paths all of which have full processing. These paths can be configured as up to 96 input channels, up to 48 aux sends, up to 24 stem groups, and six masters. A 4×32-input, 24-output matrix is provided in addition to this.
Zaxcom’s (C2330) new ZMT3 is an ultra-small bodypack transmitter filled with the company’s Digital Recording Wireless features like NeverClip, PowerRoll, and ZaxNet remote control. The ZMT3, a wide-band transmitter featuring Zaxcom’s High Density (ZHD) modulation, works with ZaxNet, a 2.4-GHz RF network that distributes remote-control commands, timecode, and IFB audio. ZaxNet allows remote-control transmitter settings, such as gain, frequency channel selection, transport controls, and output power levels. The ZMT3 can be ordered in one of two configurations: ZMT3.5, covering blocks 20 through 23 (512-614 MHz), and ZMT3.6, covering blocks 23 through 26 (596-698 MHz).