InfoComm (June 11-17, Orlando) has grown into a pretty healthy trade show, with an increased audio presence that has made it the leading U.S. marketplace for A/V installation professionals. .
Mix’s tour began on the Wednesday night at an EAW party in the historic Beacham club. Built in the 1920s and formerly named Tabu, the 1,250-capacity Beacham now boasts a system that includes seven EAW KF740 enclosures on each side, supported by eight SB1002 large-format flyable subwoofers arrayed in a mono block below the stage, four JF80z compact full-range loudspeakers as lip fills and four EAW MK5396 two-way full-range installation loudspeakers for mezzanine and upper-balcony fills. The stage is all MicroWedge MW12 and MW15; the system is powered by Powersoft amplifiers.
Lectrosonics showed its new lightweight HH handheld mic/transmitter, which allows for interchangeable capsules to make it more rider-friendly. Besides the company’s cardioid and supercardioid condenser capsules, we saw heads from Audix, Heil and Shure on display.
Aphex has been under the direction of David Weiner Ventures for about a year now, and the company has been extremely active across multiple markets. At the show, Weiner was talking up the company’s recent push toward licensing its technologies, but was also showing the Channel, an update of the famed 230, which includes a tube preamp, Class-A compressor, logic-assisted gate, de-esser, parametric EQ, Big Bottom and Aural Exciter.
Roland Systems Group drew crowds with the debut of the V-Mixing System, including the M-480 48-channel live console and R-1000 48-track recorder/player. But what caught our eye was the $5,000 VR-5 A/V mixer/recorder, which can handle basic audio duties, with live video switching and direct streaming functionality through any number of streaming services.
QSC Audio showcased its systems approach with the release of Q-Sys 2, which provides a CobraNet card as a bridge, and the introduction of the KLA Active Line Array system into the “House of K.” That’s the company’s umbrella for the K, KW and now KLA Series of speakers, along with associated amplifiers and network control, which makes it easier for system integrators and installation professionals to map out a multipurpose venue.
Allen & Heath GSR24M
Gabe Whyel took us through the American Music & Sound booth, where the company had most of its lines on display, including Focusrite, Turbosound, Midas and Fostex, as well as the new GSR24M console from Allen & Heath. It’s a 24-channel analog desk aimed at the personal studio market, and it includes options for FireWire and ADAT interfaces for workstation control. Then we stopped at the Beyerdynamic wing, where Whyel walked us through the streamlined 28-mic TG Series. Apparently the company has slimmed down the offerings to instrument- and vocal-specific applications, showing off some new clamp mics for drums and ribbons for vocals.
Finally, we stopped by Radial Engineering on our way out for a brief chat with Peter Janis. There was a lot of attendee interest in the Radial Workhorse, an 8-slot 500 Series frame available with or without an 8x2 summing mixer. And the installers were hot on the Primacoustic Broadway and London acoustic panel and room treatment kits.
There were many, many more pro audio manufacturers onsite. The installation market seems healthy right now, with continued interest in houses of worship and multipurpose venue construction. InfoComm has become the go-to show for live audio.