The Pro Audio Group of NewBay Media, which includes Pro Sound News and Mix magazines, has announced its Best of Show Award winners for InfoComm 2016. A panel of engineers and industry experts judge NewBay Media’s Best of Show Awards from submitted nominations. Criteria include ease of installation and use/maintenance, performance, relevance, value/ROI, network friendliness, versatility, and reliability. These are presented below, in alphabetical order.
PRO AUDIO GROUP WINNERS
Avid Pro Tools 12.5
Clair Brothers 1AM
Mackie AXIS Digital Mixing System
Martin Audio CDD-Live
Meyer Sound Galileo GALAXY Network System
Rational Acoustics Smaart v8
The following is an in-depth rundown (in alphabetical order) of the Pro Audio Group’s winning products, with text provided directly from the manufacturers themselves.
Pro Tools® 12.5 with Avid Cloud Collaboration makes it easy for artists and audio professionals to compose, record, edit, and mix projects from any location worldwide. Until the release of Avid Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools, there’s never been an elegant and efficient way for artists and audio professionals to work together on the same project. Now, instead of wasting time with tedious manual file management required when using generic cloud storage, Avid Cloud Collaboration synchronizes revisions and files in Pro Tools automatically. Customers can find and invite their connections to collaborate within the application or discover new collaborators through the online Avid Artist Community. They can then compose, record, edit, and mix tracks collaboratively with other Pro Tools users, just like they were working together in the same studio. Combined with the Artist Community, Avid Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools enables customers to share and promote their work with top artists, musicians, producers, engineers, and other media professionals. With the new Cloud Collaboration features, customers can:
• Create cloud-based projects and invite others to collaborate
• Work on projects with others in real-time or offline
• Share audio and MIDI tracks, edits, mix changes, automation, and more
• Communicate with collaborators through text chat
• Minimize cloud storage up to 70% and accelerate transfers using lossless compression
Avid Cloud Collaboration for Pro Tools is powered by high-performance, highly secure, cloud server technology. With new features and connections built into Pro Tools and Pro Tools | HD software (starting with version 12.5), users can rest assured that all of their creative work will be safe and secure. Only users and fellow collaborators will have access to the space. Once users have created a Cloud Collaboration profile in Pro Tools, they can search for and connect with other Pro Tools users and invite anyone to connect and collaborate. Unlike creating a Pro Tools Session file, which gets stored and maintained on the user’s local hard drive, users create a Pro Tools Project—a new file format for collaborative sessions. These Project files—and all associated audio files and session data—are stored, synced, and maintained in the cloud through Avid Cloud Services. Users can then select individual tracks or an entire project to share with up to two additional collaborators simultaneously—and cycle in and out as many collaborators as needed for the project.
Avid provides users with 500 MB of free space with Pro Tools. The private, expandable cloud offers custom acceleration and bit-for-bit lossless compression, enabling faster upload/download speeds and up to 70% file size reduction, so users can work on a large project that takes up just a fraction of the real space. If users need to accelerate production on a full album or large soundtrack, they can easily increase the project count and space to take on more work. It’s a fast, easy, and cost-effective way to expand their collaborative possibilities and opportunities.
The Clair Brothers 1AM is the next generation single 12” stage monitor / multipurpose loudspeaker. The engineering behind the 1AM combines the Clair tradition of great stage monitors with the successful Clair coaxial horn technology developed over the past 5 years. The result is a highly capable and compact speaker with excellent coherence between components that is simultaneously in-your-face and smooth and hi-fi sounding. The 1AM is not only a stage monitor, but also very capable of portable and installed PA functions based on its integral mounting points and pole mount. A family of optional mounting accessories is available to facilitate permanent installation configurations. 1AM Transducer Components: The high frequency compression driver features a 1.5” throat diameter (3” voice coil diameter), a pure titanium diaphragm, and a neodymium magnet assembly. The driver is joined to proprietary asymmetrical horn with unique physical acoustic filters for exceptional intelligibility. A 12” cone transducer provides mid-bass and low frequency reproduction. 1AM Connectors: Dual rear mounted connectors allow the use of multiple cabinets from a single amplifier.
Additionally, there are three slightly more hidden connectors. One is positioned within each side handle and the other on the bottom. When used for drum fills or in pole-mount positions these additional connectors prove to be extremely useful for clean cable management. 1AM+ Electronics: The 1AM is also available as a ‘self-powered’ version called the 1AM+. The 1AM+ features an extremely lightweight and powerful OEM amplifier module made exclusively for Clair Brothers by Powersoft. The base configuration of the 1AM+ features a similar DSP to the successful kiTSeries with 32-bit floating point processing with crossover slopes up to 48dB/oct and FIR filtering. The 1AM+ input panel features PowerCon (In/thru) connectors and a pair of XLRs ( In/thru). The 1AM is voltage agile with a PFC corrected PSU that accepts 85-240VAC 50/60Hz. 1AM/1AM+ Preset Modes: The 1AM presents interesting preset configurations for both Lake processing and native to the 1AM+ built-in DSP. The preset modes include: 1) 1AM Stage Monitor Mode 2) 12AM Emulation Mode 3) 1AM Full Range PA Mode 4) 1AM 100Hz HPF Mode ( for use with complementary subwoofer) Low profile styling and ergonomic side handles along with an extended front handle provides great aesthetic appeal and portability. The speaker grille is constructed of high grade 14 gauge perforated steel and is specially treated to create a durable exterior finish. Clair Brothers combines amplification, and ?proprietary DSP processing in portable racks for all monitor ?systems. Custom cabling for systems is available and can be pre-wired, labeled and delivered in road cases. As with all Clair Brothers products, the cabinet is constructed of the finest Baltic birch and finished with a rugged polyurea paint to withstand the most demanding conditions.
The Mackie AXIS™ Digital Mixing System delivers unmatched speed, visibility and customization for professional production and install. With full Dante® interoperability, the modular AXIS system combines the power of the 32-channel DL32R™ digital mixer and innovative DC16™ control surface to deliver a live sound solution with stunning workflow efficiency. Large high-resolution screens provide class-leading readability and the unique SmartBridge™ intelligently handles up to three iPad® devices. AXIS delivers unparalleled visual feedback and customization that result in dramatically faster workflow speed. Complete with flexible 32x32 recording and a wide selection of powerful DSP, the AXIS system delivers a forward-thinking, modular digital mixing solution with more features per price than any other digital mixer available.
With the multi-purpose CDD-LIVE!, Martin Audio brings everything rental companies, system integrators and musicians require from a self-powered loudspeaker into sharp focus. Comprising three full-range models and two subwoofers, CDD-LIVE! covers practically all professional stand-alone and distributed applications—from sound reinforcement and monitoring for live bands, DJ’s and corporate events, to installations in dance clubs, ballrooms, theatres and performing arts centres.
Combining the ‘point-source’ benefits of coaxial designs with the consistent coverage of Differential Dispersion technology, CDD-LIVE! full-range systems project sound evenly front-to-back while exhibiting wide horizontal coverage close to the speaker—delivering ultimate fidelity and impact to all corners of the audience. Onboard Class D amplification, DSP and Dante™ Digital Audio networking assure simplicity of stage set-up and efficient installation, while tour-grade enclosures and comprehensive mounting options—including pole mount, wall brackets, yokes and rigging inserts—provide maximum flexibility in deployment. With sonic consistency across the range, a rectangular coverage footprint and a multitude of deployment options, CDD-LIVE! is truly versatile—the professional self-powered solution that means business.
Pristine sound transfer and processing is at the core of Meyer Sound’s Galileo GALAXY network audio platform, the next generation of the Galileo family. GALAXY's FPGA-based processing with 96 kHz floating point resolution delivers significantly greater dynamic range and extremely low latency of 0.6ms analog in to analog out—less than half the latency of first-generation Galileo/Callisto processors. GALAXY processors transfer 24-bit/96 kHz multi-channel audio via an open-source AVB network, allowing for quick and easy reconfiguring of the audio routing or expansion of the system.
Designed to work seamlessly as part of a larger system, GALAXY allows for easy third-party integration with Crestron and other controllers. An integrated delay matrix allows loudspeakers to be assigned multiple purposes quickly and easily, and the word clock input on GALAXY 816-AES3 is ideally suited for time-sensitive and critical synchronization applications. Equalization tools and filters from Galileo and Callisto are combined into a single unit, with additional improvements including advanced delay integration. Initial offerings will include GALAXY 816, GALAXY 816-AES3, and GALAXY 408, providing users with a convenient number of inputs and outputs for today’s multi-channel systems, including 7.1 systems. The new Compass 4.0 control software controls GALAXY systems, and Compass GO will support systems that include both first generation Galileo/Callisto processors as well as GALAXY.
• Two additional inputs to meet the needs of today’s systems
• Dramatically increased dynamic range and lower noise floor
• Super-low latency; less than half the latency of Galileo
• Ultra high-quality networked audio system, proven through fiber
• More filters—all the tools from Callisto and Galileo, plus improvements
• Lower fan noise
• Easy to service
• Utmost reliability: Designed from the start for reliability, tested tens of thousands of times to prove performance in nearly any condition.
• Meters measure actual output signal for easier troubleshooting
Smaart v8 is Rational Acoustics’ most powerful, flexible and adaptable system measurement software platform to-date. From studio to stadium, shop to show, Smaart v8 meets the demands of any measurement situation. Designed with the needs of modern audio engineering and system alignment professionals in mind, Smaart v8 offers greatly expanded control of the software environment while simultaneously providing easier and more streamlined measurement configuration, control and data handling. Key new features include:
• Easier, more intuitive measurement configuration gets you up and running quickly
• Automated Spectrum Engine creation based on the selected input device
• New tab-based interface organizes your measurements and your workspace
• Fully customizable layouts allow you to show/hide interface control elements, resize data bars, apply custom color schemes and save custom layouts
• Multi-window capability allows you to run multiple Smaart windows – essentially running multiple instances of Smaart simultaneously from the same inputs source(s) – and to expand your windows across multiple screens.
• Touchscreen-friendly user-configurable command buttons can be used to call any of Smaart’s keyboard-based, Hot-key commands.
• Broadband Metering provides scalable SPL/LEQ and Input Level meters for all of your inputs and can log Leq for multiple inputs simultaneously.
• Control for the Smaart I-O gain and phantom power are now integrated directly into the Smaart v8 interface
• Access measurement data and remotely control any copy of Smaart v8 from another copy of v8 on the same network via the Smaart-to-Smaart API Remote Control
• Better performance on the latest operating systems • Improved speed, stability & security
• Native support for high-definition displays