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AES Barcelona Report

Just a year old, the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) is considered one of Spain's finest examples of modern architecture. Centered in

Just a year old, the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) is considered one of Spain’s finest examples of modern architecture. Centered in the “Southern California of the Mediterranean,” Barcelona proved an enjoyable venue for the 250 exhibitors and some 6,200 attendees at AES Barcelona (May 28-31, 2005). Here are some of our favorite product hits.

Designed to relieve the stress of running CPU-intensive plug-ins, Waves’ ( APA32 (1U, $1,600) and APA44-M (half-rack, $2,400) audio processing accelerators can be stacked up to eight deep for additional DSP power. These PC/Mac-compatible units support Pro Tools 6.9, Nuendo/Cubase SX 3.0.2, Logic Pro 7.1 and Digital Performer 4.52, and connect via a simple 100M or 1G Ethernet cable. Both include Waves’ IR-L Convolution Reverb and Q-Clone plugs.

Genelec ( unveiled the “baby brother” addition to its 8000 Series, the 8020A two-way active monitor and companion 7050A sub. The 9-inch-tall 8020A has a 4-inch woofer and ¾-inch tweeter in an aluminum enclosure with a Directivity Control Waveguide for linear on/off-axis response.

First-time exhibitor Mercenary Editions ( showed a range of new Great River, Pendulum, Little Labs and related products, with Jonathan Little showing the new $1,200 imnopre mic preamp that includes a DI input, phantom power, phase adjustment and LF resonance controls in a robust aluminum package.

The SADiE ( LRX Remote is a laptop-based location recorder with motorized fader-equipped controller, jog wheel, built-in editing and expandable I/O for up to 24 analog/digital sources. Built-in video playback enables on-set ADR — a neat touch. Nagra‘s new handheld recorder for radio journalists offers PCM linear and MPEG record modes. Priced around $1,000, the ARES-M has a plug-in mic, USB connectivity, 1 GB of internal memory, a built-in audio editor and FM receiver, and is said to run 10 hours from two AA cells.

This ever-cynical reporter visited 2+2+2 Marketing‘s ( demo to hear what was promised to be multichannel playback with a difference. Left, right, left/rear and right/rear speakers are supplemented by two more loudspeakers mounted directly above the L/R units at height equal to half the distance between that pair. A companion mic array of at least three stereo ORTF or spaced omni pairs (extras for rear ambience, if necessary) is routed to these six playback channels. During an auditioning session with chamber music, a cathedral organ and various “sonic fireworks,” I was pleasantly surprised at the depth, width and, yes, height of the playback sound field.

Next year, AES returns to Paris from May 20 to 23, 2006.