AES 2007

Where Audio Comes Alive

Oct 22, 2007 2:17 PM, By The Mix Staff

A REPORT FROM AES 2007

More than 20,000 audio pros attended AES.

More than 20,000 audio pros attended AES.

The theme for this year's Audio Engineering Society convention (held October 5 to 8, 2007) was "Where Audio Comes Alive," but perhaps it should have been "All Together Now." Finally, after years of talk, things are starting to click in terms of production tools. Walking though the crowd of 20,674 visitors (the highest AES attendance figure in 10 years), 445 exhibitors and 150 conference events, New York's Javits Convention Center was packed. And solutions—rather than just questions—seemed to be everywhere. Gear—from studio monitors to power amplifiers to large touring rigs—has embraced networking, resulting in smarter, more versatile and accurate systems. File interchange is more accepted and—with this show, even the issue of workstation session interchange may have finally been resolved. Analog and digital can co-exist, certainly from the number of analog consoles that also offer DAW control functionality.

Among the highlights of AES show events included a presentation by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with the room packed to capacity. A memorable moment during the TECnology Hall of Fame was a moving speech by inductee Rein Narma, who accepted an award for inventing the still-highly regarded Fairchild compressor. After the event, Narma—who also designed and built Les Paul's 8-track recording console—was reacquainted with Les, as the two had not seen each other since 1973. It was a magical moment. For more about Rein Narma, click here: http://mixonline.com/TECnology-Hall-of-Fame/1959-fairchild-compressor/.

EXTRACURRICULAR EVENTS
The calendar might have said October, but the weather said July, and we were in the mood to spend some fine “summer” evenings on the town. Sony treated the press to a posh dinner cruise around Manhattan on Thursday night, which culminated in everyone gathering on deck to sing along with the DJ’s patriotic set, while the vessel parked in front of the gorgeously lit Statue of Liberty.

Adam Holzman, Pat Thrall, Steve Lillywhite and Nir Z. were among those on hand to help Mix and Avatar Studios celebrate their anniversaries on Avatar's rooftop deck.

Adam Holzman, Pat Thrall, Steve Lillywhite and Nir Z. were among those on hand to help Mix and Avatar Studios celebrate their anniversaries on Avatar's rooftop deck.

Paris Hilton couldn’t have kept up with Friday night’s party hit list: First, we wrapped up the show at the velvet-rope SONAR shindig over at the Cakewalk booth. Everyone headed over to the Westside lofts for a joint cocktail reception by NARAS and SPARS, to announce the P&E Wing’s “DAW Guidelines for Music Production” and introduce Leslie Ann Jones new term as SPARS president. We were truly disappointed to miss Lexicon’s killer bash at Electric Lady, but we were busy throwing our own 30th birthday party across town at Avatar Studios, who is also celebrating its 30th this year. More than 400 people turned out for the event, which hosted the crème de la crème of the production world.

Al Kooper (with Will Lee, Anton Fig and friends) played a rousing performance of

Al Kooper (with Will Lee, Anton Fig and friends) played a rousing performance of "Season of the Witch" during the TEC Awards.

Speaking of crème de la crème, Saturday night was our favorite night, our chance to honor the people and technology that shape our industry and inspire us all. This year’s TEC Awards highlights included a moving speech by the Hall of Fame winner, acclaimed broadcast mixer Ed Greene; and a rousing jam featuring Les Paul award recipient Al Kooper with Will Lee, Anton Fig and friends. The sold-out crowd was entertained once again by host Will Lee, Larry Batiste and the always amazing house band, plus some “colorful” jokes from Les himself. You can watch the entire TEC Awards ceremony online at www.broadjam.com/tv/index.asp?dID=5657&c=tec.

Eveanna Manley and the GML guys threw their annual “Tubes vs. Transistors” bash on Sunday night, at the Lakeside Lounge. It was a double celebration: The packed house was treated to a rocking performance by the Eric Ambel trio, and everyone celebrated George Massenburg’s 60th birthday with cake and liquid refreshments.

BACK TO THE SHOW
In other news, The House Ear Institute (www.hei.org) provided free hearing screenings to a total of 684 audio pros at AES this year, beating its prior show record by more than 200 people. Thanks, HEI. Awareness is key!

These are good times for pro audio and this AES had plenty of innovation on the show floor. Here are some highlights.

Neve Genesys

Neve Genesys

ANALOG: ALIVE AND WELL
Analog is not dead yet. Mid-sized, mid-level analog consoles seemed to be everywhere. AMS Neve (www.ams-neve.com) created excitement with its Genesys--a hand-built, expandable analog 8-bus recording mixer with digital workstation control. Pricing starts around $50k and include 16 channels of mic/line preamps, 16-channel DAW monitoring, 16-channel analog summing at mixdown, DAW control for Pro Tools, Logic, Nuendo and more, eight auxes, eight group buses and 5.1 monitoring. It can be expanded to 60 channels and offers options for full recall, motorized faders and 192kHz in/out.

API's (www.apiaudio.com) new 1608 recording console builds on the classic API 1604—a workhorse for more than 30 years—and adds new options to serve modern production. Sharing the form factor of the 1604, the standard 1608 has 16 548B inputs, eight effect returns, 12 550A 3-band equalizers, four 560 10-band graphic EQs, 5.1 monitoring and space for eight additional 500 Series modules. A 16-channel expander is optional.

Speaking of the 500 series, the format continues expanding. Great River Electronics (www.greatriverelectronics.com) showed the MP-500NV-a version of its NV Series mic preamp/DI, fitting into two 500 Series rack slots and built to recreate the sound of early 70's consoles. LaChapell Audio's (www.lachapellaudio.com) Model 583S preamp combines THAT Corporation and Burr-Brown input/output stages and a 12AX7 tube for gain. Besides making a 10-module rack housing of its own, Purple Audio (www.purpleaudio.com) debuted four 500-Series modules: a FET compressor, four-band LC equalizer, discrete headphone amp and differential mic preamp/transformer DI.

For Tonelux-format racks/consoles, Little Labs (www.littlelabs.com) is offering its IBP Phase Alignment Tool in modular form, while SPL (www.spl-usa.com) unveiled its popular Transient Designer in a single-channel module form. And Tonelux (www.tonelux.com) launched two new modules: the MP1a mic preamp/DI and the TRX compressor.

There was no shortage of other cool, new analog signal processors. A-Designs (www.adesignsaudio.com) brought in the HM2EQ Hammer, a three-band, all-tube dual-mono EQ, is sweet-sounding, with12AT7 tubes and six frequency choices for each band with both peak and shelving shapes.

Audient's (www.audient.com) Mico Dual Mic Pre has switchable high pass filters, HMX Harmonic Sculpting and 0 to 180 degree variable phase rotation, all followed by a 192kHz ADC with low-jitter clocking.

Chameleon Labs' (www.chameleonlabs.com) 7720 Stereo Compressor uses a THAT Corp. VCA circuit just as dbx has for years and a sidechain path with an extensive high pass filter that can be switched into the audio path.

D.W. Fearn's (www.dwfearn.com) VT-15 Vacuum Tube Recording Channel combines one VT-1 preamp channel, a VT-7 compressor channel and a scaled-down VT-4 LC EQ-in one unit.

The mpressor compressor from elysia (www.elysia.com) can produce fat and freaky sounds by employing a punchy control behavior, colorations full of character and extreme settings.

TL Audio (www.tlaudio.co.uk) wowed tube lovers with the Fat Track Tube Production Suite ($2,195), a desktop unit featuring mic/line/DI inputs, 3-band EQ, tube stages on channel and master paths, balanced inserts, FX send/return and two headphone outs.

The simple faceplate on Millennia's (www.mil-media.com) HV-3R 8-channel remote control mic preamp belies a deep system, with Ethernet TCP/IP addressing, an intuitive Pro Tools interface via MIDI and a lot of common sense controls.

Focusrite (www.focusrite.com) put eight ISA-grade units into the new ISA 828 8-channel mic preamp. Each channel has four different input impedance choices, Lundahl mic transformer, Insert path, line inputs and DB-25 digital and analog connectors for direct connection to Pro Tools I/O. An 8-channel 192kHz ADC is optional. On the digital side, Focusrite put four channels of Liquid Channel mic preamps into its Liquid 4PRE. It contains four channels of mic preamps from the Liquid Channel system, can be controlled remotely via an Ethernet connection to Pro Tools and several 4PREs can be networked together for large live sound recording.

DAWs AND MORE
Ironically, the most talked about DAW product wasn’t a workstation at all, but the new Pro-Convert application from SSL www.solid-state-logic.com, which converts session files across many platforms including the latest versions of Pro Tools, Soundscape, Cubase/Nuendo, Vegas, Sonic Studio, SADiE, Final Cut Pro, Audition, OMF, AES31, Sequoia, Open TL and Tascam BU.

Another slick app is Minnetonka's (www.minnetonkaaudio.com) Batch Pro, now renamed—and re-priced at $395—as AWE (Audio Workflow Engine), providing automated editing, format conversion, encoding, plug-in processing and processing through external I/O devices.

Fairlight Xynergi

Fairlight Xynergi

The coolest DAW at AES was Fairlight’s (www.fairlightau.com) Xynergi media production center, offering a suite of media-processing tools for high-end audio-for-video surround production. Xynergi is based around a new concept in tactile control via self-labeling key switches that can display full-color image/icon/text for intelligent control over the entire recording/editing/mixing process. Eight touch-sensitive rotary controllers and multiple soft-keys support Xynergi's mix automation system, providing precise control over signal processing

Steinberg (www.steinberg.net) unveiled Nuendo 4, with an upgraded set of 38 surround and sidechain-capable VST3 audio effect plug-ins, numerous workflow improvements and a new MediaBay file management system to archive, retrieve and search media files across any connected drive. For a detailed report on Nuendo 4, click here.

Cakewalk's (www.cakewalk.com) SONAR 7 software for the PC is packed with new features, such as enhanced MIDI editing with functions for splitting/gluing/muting notes, advanced multiband linear-phase mastering effects and an external hardware effects insert with automatic plug-in delay compensation. Other extras include the Z3TA+ waveshaping synth, Dimension LE, Rapture LE, DropZone and Roland V-Vocal™ 1.5 and tools for presenting/publishing music online.

Apple (www.apple.com/logicstudio) updates its flagship Logic music/audio production software as a bundle of production tools. Logic Pro 8 now has a redesigned interface that speeds production. Also in the bundle is Soundtrack Pro 2, Studio Instruments, Studio Effects (with some 80 plug-ins) and Studio Sound Library, with 18,000 Apple Loops and 1,300 sampled instruments. Another plus is MainStage, a new live performance rig for guitar/keys/bass to simplify using software instruments onstage.

Ableton (www.ableton.com) previewed Live 7, which includes improved audio and MIDI engines to minimize jitter. Other upgrades include a new compressor effect integrating three compression models, and side-chain control for it and the Gate and Auto Filter effects. The EQ Eight plug-in has an enhanced user interface and a 64-bit mode for greater accuracy and a new spectrum analyzer provides visual feedback for any audio. For a video demo of Live 7 at AES, click here.

RX audio restoration software fromiZotope (www.izotope.com) removes hiss and buzz, eliminates clicks and crackles, and repairs overload distortion in audio. Spectral repair algorithms even analyze and fill gaps in audio files to restore previously unusable recordings. To see an iZotope demo from the show, click here.

Your next plug-in may be hardware: Lexicon’s (www.lexiconpro.com) PCM96 can operate as a “traditional” effects processor using analog or digital I/O, or can integrate with a DAW via Ethernet or FireWire. Capable of generating classic Lexicon reverb/effects algorithms, and as a “hardware” plug-in, it’s compatible with Mac VST or Audio Units software, or may be used as a streaming hardware plug-in via FireWire.

Digidesign C|24

Digidesign C|24

DIGITAL CONSOLES/CONTROLLERS
Most of the digital console action at AES was in the form of software updates for existing models, but there were some new entries. Digidesign (www.digidesign.com) mid-format C|24 controller for Pro Tools|HD/LE provides an advanced control surface, analog inputs and versatile monitoring. Features include 16 mic/line/DI preamps, 5.1 monitoring and built-in talkback. Its 24 bankable control strips have motorized 100mm faders, illuminated switches for typical record/mix functions, 24 rotary encoders with LED rings, and a dual-row LED scribble strip display. Retail is $9,995. Deliveries begin next month.

The S5 Fusion control surface from Euphonix (www.euphonix.com) uses Euphonix's DF66 DSP Super Core to control Pro Tools HD and/or EuCon Hybrid with Nuendo, Apple's Logic Pro, Merging's Pyramix, Digital Performer and Final Cut Pro. The basic concept is accessing or more systems at the same time to handle any audio post and/or music mixing job, where for example, Pro Tools tracks on S5 faders can exist alongside other tracks coming from Nuendo or Logic Pro.

SSL is offering fully equipped replicas of Peter Gabriel's recording shed.

SSL is offering fully equipped replicas of Peter Gabriel's recording shed.

ENTER THE SHED
Nobody walking the show floor could have missed “The Shed.” Now available through SSL, this 240-square-foot Summerwood Cheyenne shed is a copy of Peter Gabriel's songwriting sanctum, complete with SSL AWS 900+ console, SSL XLogic processing/converters and additional equipment provided by Guitar Center, along with Auralex acoustic treatment, Argosy studio furniture and Henick-Lane air conditioning. Bringing “turnkey” to a whole new level, this "Shed of your Dreams" studio costs under $250K, depending on exact finish, specification and location—the user only need provide a concrete pad and electrical service. Mix editor Sarah Jones chatted with Peter Gabriel at AES about "The Shed" project. Watch it at mixonline.com/ms/aes2007/video/gabriel_aes07/.

Blue Snowflake

Blue Snowflake

MICRO-MANIA
As in past years, AES was the launchpad for dozens of new microphones. Blue’s (www.bluemic.com) clever new Snowflake USB mic clips to the screen of any laptop or desktop PC or folds into a desk stand. Retail is $79. To see Blue president Skipper wise demo the Snowflake at AES, click here.

Another different look comes from Heil Sound’s (www.heilsound.com) The Fin, which puts a cardioid dynamic element into a stylish, Art Deco-style housing, with four LEDs inside the mic that glow when connected to phantom power.

The R-F-T M216 Matrix Stereo Mic from Telefunken-USA (www.telefunkenusa.com) is a dual-capsule condenser design with four outputs that let users capture audio in Blumlein, quad XY and Z or stereo patterns.

The $13,950 DSF-1 music surround mic system from Soundfield (www.soundfieldusa.com) incorporates SoundField's unique technology that can output high-resolution recordings in delivery formats ranging from traditional stereo to esoteric multichannel formats—without leaving the digital domain. All of the dimensional information it captures can be adjusted in post-production.

Sennheiser (www.sennheiserusa.com) bowed a line of condenser mics based on its flagship MKH 800, but less than half the price. Available in cardioid, omni and supercardioid ($1,299/each), the new MKH 8000 series feature a mic head and XLR module (with optional cable assembly for separating the two) and a bandwidth from 10 to 60k Hz, depending on the capsule.

For the mic’s 40th anniversary, Neumann (www.neumannusa.com) offers the U 87 Anniversary Set special edition, in a classic style case, with elastic suspension and pop screen that's reminiscent of the 1960s. The mic combines polished nickel parts with the traditional Neumann matte nickel look and includes an anniversary dust cover.

Earthworks (www.earthworksaudio.com) demo'ed the $4,495 stereo PianoMic system, which features small omni, gooseneck-mounted mics suspended on a bar that can be positioned across the width of the inside of a piano offering a low profile for lid up/down miking, with a 5 Hz to 40 kHz frequency response.

DPA’s (www.dpamicrophones.com) 4080 miniature cardioid lavalier is pre-equalized with a 4 dB presence boost to improve speech intelligibility/definition. It comes with an integrated shock mount and pop filter, handles 144dB SPLs and weighs only a half-ounce, including cable and microdot connector. Retail is $549.

SE Electronics (www.sonicus.net) showed the clever GM10 Acoustic Guitar Mic, which uses a near ruler-flat response cardioid condenser mic on a mini boom system that attaches to the guitar itself. Completely shock-mounted, the musician has complete freedom of movement, while the mic stays aimed at the desired sweet spot.

Using slightly thicker ribbon material, Royer Labs (www.royerlabs.com) created road-ruggedized versions of three ribbon mics for live sound/touring applications. The new Live Series mics are based on the SF-24 phantom-powered stereo ribbon, the R-121 ribbon mic and the R-122 Active Ribbon™ mic. The new “L” designation models are priced the same as the studio versions and deliveries begin Q1 2008.

A ribbon mic tough enough for close-in kick drum miking, "el Diablo-Mercenary Edition" uses Crowley and Tripp's (www.soundwaveresearch.com) ultratough Roswellite™ ribbon material and is said to have the aggression of a 421 with the size of the 47 FET. Shipping begins this month.

ROOM CORRECTION—EVERYWHERE
We saw at least three new products designed to fix acoustic problems with sound systems: CONEQ™ and ARC™ run realtime software to correct room response for more accurate reproduction, while Equator Audio Research is now shipping its Q Series of digitally controlled biamped reference monitors, which incorporate DSP for correction of room modes, and offers optional Secondary Reflection Correction™, joining JBL and Genelec in the fight against poor listening environments. CONEQ (profiled below) from Real Sound Labs is suitable for live or studio use; IK Multimedia’s (www.ikmultimedia.com) ARC—Advanced Room Correction, a plug-in for studio measuring/equalizing, will be sold with a high-quality measurement mic.

Genelec (www.genelec.com) brought its TEC-Award winning DSP-based active monitors to a wider audience with the new SE (Small Environment) DSP Monitoring System, combining a 10-inch DSP subwoofer with 8130A digital input active monitors for a stereo or multi-channel reference system. At the other end of the spectrum, we were amazed by the sound of Allen Sides’ (www.oceanwayaudio.com) large $34k/pair new model HR-2A 3-way monitors, which—even on the show floor—sounded impressive. Not to be outdone, ADAM Audio (www.adam-audio.com) unveiled its double-15, four-way S7A MkII monitors: Nice!

Taking a more passive approach to improved listening, Primacoustic's (www.primacoustic.com) Recoil Stabilizers are rock-solid, console-top speaker pads that promise to make your monitors more accurate. The weighted units greatly reduce speaker movement during playback, providing a more stable image. Retail is $99/each.

Engineer Chuck Ainley (left) stopped by to visit Mike Spitz of ATR Magnetics to check out ATR's new analog tape.

Engineer Chuck Ainley (left) stopped by to visit Mike Spitz of ATR Magnetics to check out ATR's new analog tape.

RECORDERS
Studer finally sold its last analog 24-track a few months ago, but interest in analog recording remains high. And to keep those machines well-fed, ATR Magnetics (www.atrtape.com) line of pro high-output tape—from 1/2- to 2-inch—is now in full production, with ¼-inch due in early 2008.

The $599 handheld PCM-D50 field recorder from Sony Pro Audio (www.sony.com/proaudio) features 96kHz/24-bit recording with two adjustable mics (XY or wide stereo) and PC/Mac file transfer via USB. Its 4GB of onboard memory stores six hours at 44.1kHz/16-bits or more via a Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo slot. To catch a video preview of the PCM-D50, click here.

HHB (www.sennheiserusa.com) expanded its line of cardioid and omni FlashMics built-into-the-mic-body recording mics with two new models that also include a line input for recording feeds at press conferences, etc.

Fostex PD606

Fostex PD606

The Fostex (www.fostexusa.com) PD606 and PD204 retain the most popular features of the PD-6 location recorder, while offering updates, such as full-size DVD-RAM disc recording, 8-track recording through the digital I/O, dual-drive recording, HD drive access via USB-2, tri-level sync and more. The new decks resemble an updated PD 6, so users can easily adapt to the 606 and 204. Retail: $9,995.

LIVE SOUND
Gear is getting smarter. SR loudspeakers continue incorporating more electronics: Renkus-Heinz, JBL, Meyer, L-Acoustics, Turbosound, and Bag End all introduced products that feature amplification and DSP to manage it. Networking connectors on loudspeakers? Soon to be the norm! AES continues to be a major platform for live sound product launches and here are a few that caught our eyes—and ears.

Allen & Heath iLive-80

Allen & Heath iLive-80

Allen & Heath’s (www.allen-heath.com) new iLive-80 is the smallest available iLive control surface. Designed for theater, churches and touring applications where space is at a premium, it provides 80 control strips arranged in two sections, each with four banks. At the top of the surface are a set of rotary encoders for channel controls of preamp , filters and EQ. A color LCD touchscreen offers access to dynamics, graphic EQs, effects and automation, and displays processing operations. The iLive-80 interfaces with the iDR-10 stage rack, with 10 slots for eight-channel I/O interface cards, and incorporates the iDR-64 DSP module for processing 64 channels into 32 mixes.

Unlike conventional SPL-based measurement techniques, the CONEQ™ (CONvolution EQualization) measurement technology from Real Sound Lab (www.realsoundlab.com) measures the acoustic power frequency response of a loudspeaker system—live or studio. In a 2-minute process, CONEQ compiles hundreds of broadband measurements (20 to 20k Hz) surrounding a loudspeaker or array, and creates a 4,096-point inverse filter to precisely correct the speaker’s response across its entire coverage pattern. Latency is spec’d at less than 2 mS through analog I/O. CONEQ may be used software-based (such as in a hard disk recording system) or may be uploaded to a two-channel, single-rackspace hardware unit.

JBL's (www.jblpro.com) VRX932LAP and VRX918SP cabinets expand its VRX Series of portable line arrays. The VRX932LAP is a two-way, 12-inch powered system intended for use in arrays for shorter-throw applications. A matching VRX918SP single-18 powered sub can be flown or ground stacked. Both models utilize built-in JBL DrivePack DPC-2 amplification (produced with Crown) for up to 1,750 watts of peak power (VRX932LAP) or 1,500 watts (VRX918SP), and DSP-based resident input modules provide system optimization/equalization.

Lab.gruppen’s (www.labgruppen.com) new Powered Loudspeaker Management (PLM) Series integrate a four-channel amplifier, dual Dolby Lake Processor™ modules, Dante™ networking, and load verification and performance monitoring. Housed in a 2U chassis and weighing only 29 pounds, the PLM 10000Q’s four output channels (driven independently) provide 2,700 watts, with more power available when driven asymmetrically. A custom version of Dolby Lake Controller software controls the amp's operational and monitoring functions. The PLM Series also features Dante self-configuring, low-latency audio networking, along with the capability to verify and monitor loudspeaker loads using Lab.gruppen’s proprietary LoadLibrary, LoadSmart™ and SpeakerSafe™ technologies.

Media Numerics (www.medianumerics.com) released several products for its RockNet line of audio networking including the RN.301.MI 8-channel preamp/line input/ADC; RN.302.LO 8-channel line output/DAC; RN.332.DO 8-channel digital out; RN.333.DI 8-channel digital input and the RN.341.MY 16/16-channel digital I/O for use with Yamaha digital consoles. RockNet units can be easily configured using front-panel controls to link up to 99 devices, and can route 160 audio channels over standard Cat-5 hardware in a bidirectional ring network.

Yamaha has developed 4-channel amplifiers exclusively for Nexo (www.nexo-sa.com) loudspeakers. Built by Nexo, the amps incorporate Yamaha’s EEEngine technology for Class-AB sound with heat dissipation on par with Class-D technology. Featuring three times the DSP muscle of a NEXO NX242 processor, the NX 4x4 generates 4x4,000 watts (2 ohms) or 2x8,000 watts into 4 ohms in a 2x2 bridge mode. The NX 4x1 produces 4x1,300 watts into 2 ohms. The rear-panel has a slot for adding an ES100 EtherSound card, serial communication port for firmware updates, and a GPIO port for simple remote control/monitoring.

The VERSYS VL3 from Renkus-Heinz (www.renkus-heinz.com) is a line array system that features RHAON (Renkus-HeinzAudio Operations Network) as well as on-board Class D tri-amplification. Up to 20 boxes can be flown per array, with each box employing 1,200+600+250 watts of tri-amplification. Dedicated VERSYS AimWare software facilitates quick and accurate venue array configuration.

Roland (www.rssamerica.com) demoed its RSS Digital V-Mixing System, featuring the RSS M-400 Live Digital Console, configurable digital snakes with remote-controlled mic pre’s and multitrack recording option. The M-400 is a 48-channel mixing console with 16 buses, DSP on channels and buses, four stereo effect processors, four assignable graphic EQs, built in stereo recording and playback, and on-board 40-channel split for monitoring or record purposes. The digital stage box/mic pre includes A/D conversion and connects to the M-400 via Cat-5e. For more on the V-Mixing System, click here.

Studer (www.studer.ch) takes its Vista mixing console technology on the road with the new Vista 5SR. New features include a built-in flight case, a redesigned, tougher frame, the Vistonics panels are reset for direct viewing by a standing operator and console illumination enables viewing Vista 5SR settings in bright or dark environments. Onboard, redundant power supplies as well as optional redundant audio and control paths increase reliability for live performance applications.

MORE TO COME
There was a lot more at AES than we could possibly cover here. For more AES insights, including video product demos, blogs, podcasts, hundreds of new products and more, visit mixonline.com/ms/aes2007. Meanwhile, AES returns to San Francisco next year from October 2 to 5, 2008. See you there!

MIX CERTIFIED HITS

Listed alphabetically, here are our Top 10 picks for the best of AES 2007.

  • Ableton Live 7 Software

  • Apple Logic Pro Studio Software

  • Cakewalk SONAR 7

  • Digidesign C|24 Mix Controller

  • Fairlight Xynergi Workstation

  • Neve Genesys Console

  • Nuendo 4 Software

  • Ocean Way Audio HR-2A Monitors

  • Sony PCM-D50 Recorder

  • SSL Pro-Convert Software

THE WEIRDEST AES STORY OF ALL—EVER!

Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words...

Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words...

Anyone who's gone through the process of setting up a tradeshow booth knows that even under the best conditions, things can get wacky—shipments can get lost/stolen/misplaced, inclement weather can play havoc on travel or a million other mishaps can occur. Up until now, we thought the worst possible scenario is when your booth doesn't arrive at all, but what happened to our friends at Blue Microphones took this situation one step beyond.

As it turns out, most of the Blue booth arrived—a day late—along with one unexpected parcel. The setup crew worked all night to get it ready for the next day, and just after midnight, called Blue founder Skipper Wise, asking what to do with the large white coffin marked "human remains inside." After recovering from the shock of the call, Wise explained that the coffin certainly was not part of the booth. Around 2:30 am, the trucking company admitted its mistake, and arranged to exchange the coffin for the missing parts of the booth.

The next day, the Blue booth was finally completed, and hopefully, the other parcel was on its way to its original destination—wherever that was. But Wise took the entire ordeal in stride, saying, "I guess people have been dying to see Blue microphones." That may be true, but next time, it will hopefully be in the figurative—rather than literal—sense. Another "only in New York" story...




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