NAB 2005 is here, and thousands of audio and production pros from around the world will pack into the Las Vegas Convention Center (April 16-21, 2005) to pay homage at the temple of technology. With 1,400 exhibitors filling more than 800,000 square feet of show floor, there will be plenty of hot new products to check out. NAB is definitely the place to look, listen and learn.
Walking around NAB, you'll see crowds packed around booths showing the latest in high technology — for picture. Audio still takes a backseat to the almighty visuals, but little by little, the perception of audio's importance has increased, thanks mainly to the rise of multichannel sound for games, cinema, television and home DVD systems.
As a test of the absolute power of audio, try watching a program, broadcast or playback with varying levels of picture or audio quality. Humans have some innate ability to tolerate huge amounts of picture distortion (the very existence of VHS decks is testament to this phenomenon) and will often put up with a great deal of picture ghosting or snow — as long as they have some interest in the subject matter. However, once an audible amount of hum, buzz or THD (especially odd harmonics) begins creeping into the audio, viewers start changing channels — fast. Still, in terms of advocating high-quality audio, we still have a long way to go, but we're miles ahead of those backwater days when sound-for-picture was defined by the phrase “Just throw a mic in there.”
To keep you informed on some of the latest new audio technologies, we present our annual NAB New Products Guide, filled with specs, photos and technical information on recent offerings from professional audio manufacturers. We hope this guide will help you discover tools and technologies to make your productions sound better, be more efficient and, hopefully, more creative.
If you're at NAB, stop by the Primedia booth (SL740) and check out Mix's sister publications that are media-oriented: Millimeter, Video Systems, Broadcast Engineering, Radio, Sound & Video Contractor, Entertainment Design, Lighting Dimensions and Staging & Rental Operations. If you can't make it to the show, don't worry — we'll provide complete coverage of the post-show highlights, both online and in print.