Mix technology editor Kevin Becka spent last weekend in Anaheim at the Winter NAMM Show and now reports back on the top new product announcements for professional audio.
The big news at Radial Engineering is that the company was acquired by Ultimate Support Systems, and CEO Peter Janis would be stepping down. But the new products continued to roll out. Sister-company Primacoustic revealed five new products including the Radial Catapult Mini, the latest addition to the Catapult modular snake system, allowing users to drive four analog audio channels over a single shielded CAT 5 cable. The KL-8 is a rackmount keyboard mixing station allowing connection of four analog keyboards in mono or stereo, each with individual level control. The SW8 allows redundant backing track switching over USB. The AC-Driver is a small but powerful preamp for acoustic instruments on stage, and from Primacoustic, Hercules is an impact-resistant panel with the same glass wool core used in their Broadway panels, but the face of the panel is covered with a high-density fiberglass layer.
Along with its full range of ribbon transducers to the show, AEA also brought the new half-rackspace, 2-channel TRP2 preamp. Features include 85dB quiet JFET gain, switchable phantom-power, polarity reverse, and highpass filter, plus 63k ohm high-impedance circuitry providing better overall transients, frequency response, and higher output sensitivity. Also onboard is a three LED gain meter and optional hardware for mounting one, or two units together.
Eventide had its flagship rackmount processor, the H9000, plus the recently-released Euro DDL module and Anthology XI plug-in bundle at the 2018 NAMM Show. The H9000 features 8X the processing power of the current generation H8000, including four quad-core ARM processors serving as 16 DSP engines. Also onboard are eight channels of analog audio I/O, AES/EBU, ADAT, 16 USB audio channels and the emote remote control application available as a standalone app for Mac and PC, as well as a plug-in for Pro Tools, VST, and AU. Extras include MADI, Dante, Ravenna, connections and more
CEntrance announced the new MixerFace R4 mobile recording interface. Apart from a small footprint, features include a built-in rechargeable battery and the ability to pair the R4 with a smartphone or tablet. Two models are available, with the second model adding a built-in stereo 16-bit/48k recorder with two mic inputs and switchable 48V phantom power. Or, users can record with the onboard X/Y stereo mic pair that turns MixerFace R4 into a complete all-in-one mobile recording solution.
Bitwig unveiled v2.3 of their popular DAW with many new features including Phase-4, a four-oscillator synthesizer powered by phase modulation and phase distortion, and panoramic view and controls for their EQ-5, FM-4, Phase-4, Polysynth, Resonator Bank, Sampler, and Spectrum Analyzer. Also new is the ability to add time signature markers in your arranger timeline, and the timeline grid will be updated accordingly. Other new features include zplane Elastique algorithms for time stretching, updated Bitwig Stretch and Stretch HD algorithms, Slice, which slices audio at onsets, and Cyclic, a touch of retro-stretching inspired by early hardware samplers.
Exhibiting at NAMM for the first time, d&b Audiotechnik ran multiple demo sessions where guests had the opportunity to experience listening various d&b systems including Soundscape.
Several other d&b products were on hand, from the comprehensive Y-Series created for small to mid-sized applications, V7P point source loudspeaker and accessories and d&b Workflow designed to improve efficiency from the start of a project right through to the final result.
Focusrite showed a range of new products at the show including the Clarett USB range features specially designed high performance, low-noise (-128dB EIN) mic pres with low distortion, ultra-linear design that guarantees a clean, open and transparent sound, giving an accurate representation of the original performance. Three interfaces appear in the range: Clarett 2Pre USB (10-in, 4-out), Clarett 4Pre USB (18-in, 8-out) and Clarett 8Pre USB (18-in, 20-out).
LEWITT launched the LCT 441 FLEX, their latest multi-pattern studio microphone. Features include a 1" true condenser capsule with eight types of directionality to choose from plus three reverse polar patterns for higher flexibility experimentation. The handsome mic ships with a shock mount, windscreen, and magnetic pop filter.
New at NAMM, the result6 studio monitor from UK-based PMC features a two-way design with a 27mm soft-dome tweeter, dispersion grille, and a mid/bass unit composed of a doped natural fiber. Built-in dual Class-D amplifiers supply 65W and 100W of power to the HF and LF drivers respectively. The D-Fins, as PMC calls the HF diffraction fins, deliver a widened sweet spot giving excellent off-axis response over a larger area, and also block cabinet edge effects to ensure the result6's HF response remains razor-sharp and free of smearing.
Samson unveiled its new and affordable M50 powered studio monitors featuring a 5.25” woofer and 3/4” silk-dome tweeter powered at 40W per channel. The monitors ship with one passive and one active unit that houses the electronics including stereo RCA and 1/8” inputs, stereo 1/8” sub and headphone outputs, and a bass boost switch. Also in the booth was the Stage 212 dual-channel, handheld, VHF wireless microphone system. It offers12 channels across a 179MHz–197.8MHz frequency range and the ability to wirelessly match each transmitter to a receiver’s operating frequency.
Celestion launched two new small-format, coaxial drivers. The pressed steel chassis of the TFX0512 and TFX0615, provide a very cost-effective complement to the company’s well-established FTX series of coaxial units, for applications including compact, fixed-install sound reinforcement and cinema audio. Also in the booth was the AF Line Array drivers, a value-priced range of weather-resistant, compact, low-profile drivers for use in compact line arrays, column speakers, and compact single-speaker applications.