NAB 2011 Report

The recently concluded 2011 NAB Show (April 11 through April 14, 2011) brought throngs of broadcast industry professionals from 151 countries to the Las Vegas Convention Center, where they could see and preview equipment on display from more than 1,500 exhibitors.

According to the National Association of Broadcasters, this year’s attendance showed an increase over the 2010 show; for the 2011 NAB Show, NAB reported 92,708 total registered attendees, while the 2010 NAB Show final attendance was 88,044.

"Content professionals from around the globe flock to the NAB Show every year, and this year was no exception,” says NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton. “We're thrilled to host the largest media and entertainment convention annually, and delighted that the NAB Show remains the premiere event for the industry."

Pro audio exhibitors once again held court in the Central Hall, and according to NAB, nearly 14,000 NAB Show attendees are interested in pro audio.

In audio news from the show, on Wednesday, April 13, MOTU, announced that it is working closely with Apple and Intel to develop future products that take full advantage of Thunderbolt, the new, connectivity standard developed by Intel and deployed by Apple to worldwide markets on their latest generation MacBook Pro laptop computers. Thunderbolt offers very high bandwidth and low-latency.

"MOTU has often been the first to adopt new connectivity standards, such as FireWire, in our video and audio I/O products," says Jim Cooper, MOTU Director of Marketing. "We're excited about Thunderbolt because it clearly represents the future of professional I/O. MOTU's strong partnership with Apple and Intel lays the groundwork for exciting new possibilities for Thunderbolt-equipped MOTU products in the near future."

Mix magazine editors saw a number of audio products of interest on the show floor. Technical editor Kevin Becka selected his Top 5 Gear Picks, and in the following NAB 2011 Report, we present a few more highlights.

SSL C-Play Audio Playout System
SSL’s new C-Play Audio Playout System is embedded into the SSL C100 HDS or C10 HD Digital Broadcast Consoles’ control surface. It completely integrates an essential studio process into the audio console, eliminating the requirement of dedicated hardware and significantly streamlining operator preparation for on-air sessions.

Auralex Acoustics SonoLite
An aesthetic and price point blend of Auralex’s StudiofoamPro and ELiTE ProPanels, the SonoLite fabric wrapped Studiofoam Pro panels combine the look of the ELiTE ProPanel with StudiofoamPro’s cost. SonoLite is a 2x2x1-foot fabric wrapped StudiofoamPro panel, available in black or beige, with squared edges and provides an overall Noise Coefficient Rating (NRC) of 0.75 at a price of $29.99 per panel.

Sound Devices MixPre-D
Sound Devices introduced the MixPre-D, which is designed for any production application where capturing great sound is important, but size and weight are a concern. Features include a M/S stereo matrix, tone oscillator, internal slate microphone, return monitoring of both analog and USB audio, high-gain headphone output and two-AA battery or external 5-18VDC powering.

TASCAM DR-07mkII Recorder
TASCAM ‘s DR-07mkII is a new handheld recorder featuring a pair of adjustable condenser microphones that can be moved from an X/Y position to an A/B position. Sharing some features with the new DR-05, the DR-07mkII offers a Peak reduction function and a Quick Menu for selecting commonly used parameters in playback or record. The 1/8-inch mic/line input can supply power for microphones, and a Level Align function prevents uneven volume levels during playback through the 1/8-inch headphone output or built-in speaker.

Aphex Channel
The Aphex Channel is a complete channel strip for voice and instruments. The Channel incorporates seven powerful devices within a compact, single rackspace design, including five of Aphex’s exclusive patented technologies. Features include a Reflected Plate Amplifier (RPA) tube preamp; a patented wave-dependent compressor; Aphex’s patented gate technology, which is designed to avoid false triggers, clicks and chattering; a de-esser; Big Bottom for deeper and more resonant bass; parametric EQ; and an Aural Exciter for increased presence and clarity with improved detail and intelligibility.

TC Electronic TC TouchMonitor TM7, TM9 Version 1.11
TC Electronic’s new Version 1.11 software allows users to load two independent radar meters simultaneously on the company’s TC TouchMonitor TM7 or TM9. It is possible to let one radar meter display a pre-processing signal while another shows a post-processing signal—and best of all, both can be monitored at the same time for the ultimate audio overview. The software also provides a 24-hour history for the audio being monitored.

MOTU Windows Drivers
MOTU is now shipping a complete Windows driver package for its HDX-SDI and HD Express PCI-based video capture and monitoring devices. The new download package is available to all users at MOTU’s Website and delivers comprehensive support for Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 on Windows OS 7 and Vista, including forward compatibility with CS5.5 when it ships later this spring.

Harman’s Soundcraft VM2
Harman and AKG now make it possible for the first time to monitor the status of any Harman HiQnet™-compatible AKG radio mic directly from the Soundcraft Vi Series console surface. VM2 provides real-time visual displays of battery life, RF status, mic muting and internal clipping directly on a channel strip on the Vistonics screen, so it’s possible to see a problem long before you hear it, right there on the relevant channel, with expanded information instantly available just by touching the screen. VM2 will be available for all Soundcraft Vi Series consoles in V4.5 software, including Vi1, Vi2, Vi4 and Vi6. Find out more about Harman’s Soundcraft VM2.

Audio Technica AT2022
Audio-Technica’s AT2022 X/Y stereo condenser microphone features two unidirectional condenser capsules in an X/Y configuration pivot to allow for 90-degree (narrow) or 120-degree (wide) stereo operation for extremely versatile pickup. The capsules also fold flat for storage and transportation. It is designed for general stereo recording, as well as field sound capture.

Yamaha Dugan-MY16
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems Inc. and Dan Dugan Sound Design announced the launch of the Dugan-MY16 card for current model Yamaha digital mixers and processors, including Yamaha 01V96, DM1000, 02R96, DM2000, M7CL, LS9, DSP5D, PM5D, and DME24/64N. The Dugan-MY16 card provides up to 16 channels of automatic mic mixing per card at 48kHz and will run at 96kHz with 8 channels of operation. It is patched into input channels using the consoles’ setup screens. Channels can be partitioned into as many as three independent auto-mixers. An internal Web server will provide a full virtual remote control panel over a local network.

DiGiCo SD11
DiGiCo’s SD11 is designed to be equally at home as a desktop console or mounted in a 19-inch rack. Manufactured with a steel chassis for strength and a polycarbonate-overlaid, aluminium work surface for reduced weight, the SD11 features 12 touch-sensitive moving faders below a 15-inch touch-sensitive screen. Other features include 16 microphone preamps, eight line outputs and two mono AES I/O, in addition to which users have the option to connect a DiGiCo D-Rack to the Cat-5E port. This provides a remote I/O rack frame with an additional 32 microphone inputs and up to 16 outputs.

DPA Microphones Reference Standard Mics
DPA unveiled its new Reference Standard Condenser Microphones
featuring three new preamps with interchangeable capsules. Any
Reference Standard capsule can be transformed into a new configuration
by combining it with one of three new preamplifiers, providing signal
integrity, noise elimination, and even tighter specifications. The new
electronics design is optimized for the capsules as well as for the
connection via long cable runs. The electronics allow you to get all the
best out of the individual pre-polarized condenser capsules.

Roland M-480
The new M-480 console
from Roland boasts a new mix engine plus 48 mixing channels and six
stereo returns. Other features include main LCR outputs, 16 AUX buses,
eight matrices and 4-band fully parametric EQ, gate/compressor on all
channels. All input and output channels equipped with delay, plus there
are six built-in multi-effects and 12 graphic EQs. You can also cascade
consoles for large format applications.

Neyrinck V-Control Pro
Neyrinck’s V-Control Pro
is a multi-touch control surface for Pro Tools. V-Control Pro uses
Wi-Fi to control transport, editing, and mixing functions with Pro Tools
Versions 7/8/9, HD or LE, that is soon to support other DAWs. Other
functions include metering, grouping, scrub/shuttle pad, assignment of
I/O and inserts window selection, and more. It is available on the
iTunes store ($49.99).

Adobe Audition 5.5
As part of its powerful Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium,
Adobe Audition Version 5.5 is a Mac/PC DAW featuring a completely
re-written audio engine and a robust toolset to record, edit, mix,
master, and sweeten audio. With its professional editing and multitrack
mixing tools, powerful noise-reduction and effects options, audio and
video professionals on both platforms can now benefit from Adobe
Audition CS5.5 for handling a wide range of tasks quickly and
efficiently.

Shure Shotgun Mics
Shure previewed four new professional shotgun microphones
at this year’s NAB show. The new VP89 (available in three
interchangeable lengths: long, medium, and short) and VP82 (pictured) provide
flexibility for use in a wide range of professional media production
applications. Both mics feature superior Shure design and rugged,
roadworthy construction.

DACS MicAmp 500
Now available in a 500 Series module, the DACS MicAmp 500
(distributed by Independent Audio) features a gain switch adjustable in
steps of 4 dB nominally, phantom power, polarity, switchable rolloff
and a three-LED-stage confidence meter. Maximum gain is 72 dB with trim
and gain switch at max. Noise output at minimum gain is -80 dBu and
-63.5 dBu at maximum gain.

BIAS Peak Studio
The latest update of Peak Studio from BIAS
features a Declipper DSP tool designed to repair clipped audio signals,
plus SoundSoap Pro 2 and Master Perfection Suite plug-ins. Other
features include DDP file sets directly from the Peak Playlist, support
for Japanese CD-TEXT, Pro Tools-style playback key commands and VBR MP3
Encoding.

Lawo Extra Faders
Lawo released Extra Faders,
a new surface layout for the mc²66 MKII production console. This new
feature brings enhanced capabilities to the Central Control section of
the mc²66 MKII while also providing improved surround sound mixing
capabilities. With the new Extra Faders option, the Screen Control
Module in the mc²66 MKII’s Central Control section is replaced by the
“Short Fader Control” panel.

Looking Ahead to 2012

NAB will return to the Las Vegas
Convention Center next year from April 14 to 19, 2012. For more product
coverage from NAB, visit mixonline.com/nab_2011 and watch for future issues of Mix.

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