NAMM 2010 - Sound & Video Contractor

NAMM 2010

MI show offers a few surprises for contracting pros.
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NAMM 2010

Feb 11, 2010 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

MI show offers a few surprises for contracting pros.

NAMM, the International Music Products Association, returned to Anaheim, Calif., from Jan. 14 to 17 for its 2010 winter show to an uncertain market. Even in these economically challenging times, the 2010 expo attracted 1,373 exhibitors and a respectable 87,569 registrants, indicating a surge in market enthusiasm. With its musical instrument slant, NAMM is hardly a traditional venue for contracting products. Yet we live in interesting times, and the lines between pro and MI continue to blur, with one such example being the acquisition of Midas and Klark Teknik by Behringer's parent company last month. This year also marked the first time Peavey exhibited its MediaMatrix line at the show, and with other top-end companies at NAMM—such as Aviom, Community Professional Loudspeakers, DPA Microphones, JBL Pro, Neumann, Renkus-Heinz, and Studer—most contractors would feel right at home walking the exhibit floor.

Overall, the show's vibe was gratitude that 2009 is over, and with the arrival of 2010, everyone seemed ready to move forward with new ideas, new technologies, and new optimism. From the perspective of the contracting pro, there was no single must-see dazzler at NAMM, yet there were plenty of interesting new products. Here are a few standouts that captured our attention.

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PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2

One of the most talked about new debuts at NAMM was the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 digital console, a 24-input live mixer with onboard 32-bit effects, four buses, 10 aux outputs, and 32 outputs (and 26 returns) via FireWire for direct-to-computer recording. Besides additional inputs, the 24.4.2 expands on the earlier 16.4.2 version with a host of new features, and multiple StudioLive consoles (16- or 24-channel) can be cascaded for additional inputs. Price is $2,999, including Capture recording and Studio One Artist digital audio workstation software for Mac and Windows.

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Movek myMix

The first networked personal mixer/multitrack recorder is myMix, from Movek, a new company formed by former Telex Group President Mathias von Heydekampf. MyMix allows you to create up to eight independent stereo mixes and up to 18 tracks of multitrack recording to an SD card. Musicians make their own personal cue mixes using a simple interface on a color LCD screen where all input channels appear as separate named channels with control over volume, tone, pan, and effects. Dual line-level outs and a stereo 3.5mm jack can output to headphones, in-ear monitors, a main PA, or stage wedges. Systems with more than two units connect via standard Ethernet switches. Applications include rehearsals, concerts, recording sessions, live recording, and house of worship.

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Crest Audio E-Lite 1800

Amplifiers rarely make headlines, but we were wowed by a few new entries. The new E-Lite 1800 and E-Lite 1800 DSP from Crest Audio feature 900W per channel, weigh less than 10lbs., and can run in parallel, stereo, and bridged modes. The onboard DSP version offers delays (up to 120 microseconds per channel), adjustable crossover, limiting, parametric EQ, HF driver EQ, four user-presets, and lockable security settings.

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NAMM 2010

Feb 11, 2010 12:00 PM, By George Petersen

MI show offers a few surprises for contracting pros.

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Crown Audio XLS Series Amp

Crown Audio's next-generation line of XLS Series amps employ a flexible PureBand crossover system where users can select crossover points (with or without PeakX limiting) from 50Hz to 3kHz for matching most biamplified loudspeakers. And integrated DriveCore technology provides the highest level of performance as though a power conditioner was built directly into the amplifier. Weight? Just 11lbs.

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Now under the direction of industry veteran Frank Loyko, RCF USA showed a variety of portable systems and its flagship TTL55-A, a high-power, three-way, active line-array system that's scalable from a few modules to full touring rigs. Each has 3500W of networked, DSP-controlled amplification driving six neodymium transducers—dual 12in. woofers in a clamshell configuration, flanked by a 10in. midrange and three 1.5in. HF drivers—for 143dB max SPLs. Matching stage wedges, rigging hardware, and the TTS56A double 21in., 6800W subwoofer complete the package.

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QSC K Series

QSC showed its K Series of lightweight, high-performance powered loudspeakers featuring molded ABS enclosures, 1000W of onboard amplification, and 1.75in. HF devices. The line comprises the K8, K10, and K12 two-way cabinets (all having the same woofer motor but varying in dispersion from 105 to 75 degrees) and the KSub dual-12 subwoofer that extends LF performance to 44Hz. QSC's proprietary DSP Digital Extension and Excursion Processing (DEEP) actively manages transients for extended LF response. Installation options include pole, yoke, and stand mounts and M10 points for rigging hardware.

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Radian Audio Apex NEO

The Apex NEO Series of ultra¬compact, passive two-way floor monitors from Radian Audio incorporate the company's top-of-the-line coaxial 12in. or 15in. neodymium loudspeakers with 2in. exit compression drivers. The low-profile enclosures are almost half the size of many conventional stage monitors and feature 13-ply Baltic birch construction and a hidden cable management system to prevent accidental damage to its twin NL-4 connectors.

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Earthworks PM40T

Earthworks' PM40T Touring PianoMic system puts two 40kHz high-definition mics in close for ultrahigh gain before feedback. An easy-setup telescoping support tube allows flexible adjustment of the mic elements, placed close to (or away from) the dampers and pointed toward (or away from) the keyboard for achieving the exact sound required for any application.

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NewTek TriCaster TCXD300

A newcomer to NAMM, but well-known in broadcasting circles, NewTek demoed its new TriCaster TCXD300 high-definition, network-quality portable live video production solution. This single standalone box—no computer required—provides multicamera HD switching, HD network-style virtual sets, HD titling, HD digital disk recording, audio mixing, HD editing, and full HD streaming direct to the Web. Priced from $3,995 to $14,995, the TriCaster family units offer simple, straightforward solutions providing network-quality production for the educational, studio, and house of worship markets at a fraction of the price of the competition.

Winter NAMM returns to Anaheim next year from Jan. 13 to 16, 2011.

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