The foot traffic seemed about the same as NAMM 2012, as did the general enthusiasm from attendees. But at NAMM 2013, held in late-January in Anaheim, there were definitely a lot more new product introductions. It started with a PreSonus pre-show debut of 10 new products, including new monitor lines for live and studio, through Music Group’s matching 10 and Aphex with a handful more, DiGiCo and Waves, Universal Audio, a big new speaker from JBL. There was a lot to look at.
PreSonus (presonus.com) had a number of announcements, including their licensing of Audinate’s Dante digital-media networking technology, which they incorporate into networking cards for several of its new products. They also launched the StudioLive 32.4.2AI 32-channel performance and recording digital mixer and StudioLive AI-series Active Integration Loudspeakers, which intelligently speak with the new StudioLive console. And that’s not to mention two new speaker models for the studio!
Reaffirming its commitment to the high-high end, JBL (jblpro.com) had the first public showing of its M2 Master Reference Monitor. Incorporating no less than seven new patents, the design features the D2 dual-diaphragm, dual-voice coil compression driver, the 2216Nd Differential Drive woofer, an all-new image control waveguide, and intelligent in-room tuning and integration. It also has a frequency range of 20 Hz to 40 kHz, with a max SPL of 123 dB. And the monitors are only 14 inches deep, which makes them suited for studio use or behind a screen.
Avid (avid.com) launched the Pro Series line of AAX Native and AAX DSP plug-ins, featuring the Pro Compressor, Pro Expander and Pro Limiter. It also launched the “Get Discovered” Song Contest in collaboration with Abbey Road Studios. Also in the Avid booth, Sibelius showed a massive upgrade with Version 7.1.3 and announced a Sibelius Certification Program.
Universal Audio (uaudio.com) announced a gaggle of new products and system features, including multi-unit cascading of its Apollo interface, which elegantly combines two units via FireWire or Thunderbolt. UA also released the Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler collection, API 500 Series collection and Softube’s Vintage Amp Room, Metal Amp Room, Bass Amp Room, and Acoustic Feedback Deluxe plug-ins for the UAD Powered Plug-Ins platform and Apollo.
Waves (waves.com) had a range of announcements, including a new collaboration with Soundtracs (reintroduced after 10 years) and DiGiCo, who support DiGiGrid, enabling users of Native DAWs, Pro Tools and MADI-enabled live and broadcast mixing consoles to have access to Waves SoundGrid audio networking and real-time processing. Waves also released custom plug-ins developed in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning mix engineer Manny Marroquin, GEQ graphic equalizer plugin, IR-Live Convolution Reverb for Live Sound and eMotion Mixer for SoundGrid.
Music Group (music-group.com) announced 10 new products, including four new versions of the fast-selling Behringer X-32 mixer line: Compact, Producer, Rack and Core. Also shown, the Behringer iX16 iPad mixer dock and a rash of new live speakers, including the Nekkt K5 and K8, and, in the Eurolive line, the B112W and B115W—12-inch and 15-inch portable, pole-mount speakers. Plus, there were a number of affordable interfaces.
Aphex (aphex.com) showed six 500 Series rack modules, including the J PRE 500 Mic Pre; EQF 500 Parametric Equalizer; DUAL RPA 500 Mic Pre; A PRE 500 Mic Pre; the COMP 500 Optical Compressor; and the EX•BB 500 Aural Exciter/Big Bottom module. It also showed its groundbreaking USB 500 USB interface, allowing users to connect 500 Series modules to a digital audio workstation via USB.
Rupert Neve Designs (rupertneve.com) showed two new 500 Series modules. The 511 mic preamp with Silk features the same circuitry as the company’s 517, the sweepable highpass filter from the 5012, and the power of a variable Silk circuit derived from the flagship Portico II Channel. The 542 Tape Emulator with Texture offers intuitive and dynamic tonal control.
Rupert Neve Designs
Auralex Acoustics (auralex.com) celebrated its 35th anniversary by releasing the ProMAX stand-mounted 2x4-foot, x3-inch deep Studiofoam panels, the DeskMAX panels intended for recording, mixing and performance applications, and the Studiofoam T panels for eliminating standing waves and flutter echos.
Slate Pro Audio (slateproaudio.com) showed its compact Raven MTi multi-touch controller, which sports a 27-inch LED-backlit IPS HD LCD panel, Raven DAW Controller software and extensive monitoring capabilities.
Slate Pro Audio
Audio-Technica (audio-technica.com) showed its System 10 2.4GHz Digital Wireless system. System 10 promises easy setup plus three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time and space.
Emotiva’s (emotivapro.com) new Stealth 8, bi-amplified (200-watt) speakers feature the company’s airmotiv folded-ribbon high-frequency transducer, an 8-inch woven polypropylene low-frequency transducer, and cabinet with a 3-axis CNC-milled MDF front panel, extensive internal bracing, and Three-Phase internal damping.
Apogee Electronics (apogeedigital.com) showed the Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge, a 64-channel interface for connecting Apogee converters to any Thunderbolt-equipped Mac computer that is currently shipping.
Aviom (aviom.com) launched the A360 digital mixer featuring an advanced 36-channel mix engine that can be used to mix up to 17 mono or stereo channels, plus mono or stereo ambience. Users can adjust volume, tone and reverb. The A360 works with the new AN-16/i v.2 input module, which converts 16 line-level analog audio channels to a Pro16e A-Net digital stream.
Cakewalk (cakewalk.com) announced the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier plug-in, with support for VST, Audio Units and SONAR X2 Producer’s ProChannel. The modeled T4 circuit uses an electroluminescent panel to determine the exact attack time and an optical photo cell to determine the release time, all while carefully modeling the amplifier’s tubes and electro-optical device—just like the original hardware unit.
Tascam (tascam.com) unveiled the US-322 and US-366 USB interfaces featuring on-board digital mixers and digital effects, low latency monitoring, improved HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) mic preamps, and versatile analog and digital IO.
PMI Audio Group (pmiaudio.com) debuted a host of new 500 Series modules from Studio Projects, Trident (A-Range), joemeek, and a special “Sunset Sound” model in honor of the legendary L.A. facility that was home to the Doors, Van Halen and hundreds of others, and is still going strong.
Radial Engineering (radialeng.com) spun heads with the release of a large range of new products, including the StageBug SB-1 acoustic guitar DI box, PZ-DI allowing the user to properly impedance match the input source, and the Voco-Loco preamp, which allows you to add guitar effects pedals to a live vocal performance. They also bowed several 500 Series units, such as the SubMix line mixer, Tossover filter box, PreMax preamp/EQ and PreComp VCA compressor.
IsoAcoustics (isoacoustics.com) showed the Isolators, which are adjustable speaker stands that eliminate energy transfer to surrounding surfaces in a truly unique manner and promise enhanced bass and improved image. The Isolators are made of a high-modulus co-polymer with the opening, internal taper and concave, void end resulting in a compliant element to contain the supporting tubes or rods. They are also integrated into Argosy Console’s new Spire i-Series stands.
RME (rme-audio.de) released five new single rackmount routers and converters, including the ADAT Router; ADAT converter; MADI Router with four groups of three different MADI IOs each; the AES3 Router which can split, combine and convert real-time signals; and the AES3 Converter, which has the same flexible AES3 technology as the Router but without routing capabilities and the need for control.
LIVE SOUND PRODUCTS
Shure (shure.com) introduced the BLX Wireless Systems, which have a performance range of up to 300 feet, with up to 14 hours of battery life from two AA batteries. They are available in a wide offering of bodypack and handheld configurations with multiple handheld, lavalier, instrument, and headset microphone choices.
Soundcraft (soundcraft.com) introduced the Si Expression series of consoles in three frame sizes. Si Expression 1, 2 and 3 offer 16-, 24- and 32-fader and mic inputs, respectively. All three can be expanded to 66 inputs via any Soundcraft stagebox, including the two new Mini Stagebox 16 and 32 (16x8 and 32x16) models.
Peavey (peavey.com) released Elements weather-proof loudspeakers, offering a combination of innovative cabinet construction and proven, weatherized components designed for direct contact with the elements in the most demanding climates.
Mackie (mackie.com) showed the all-new DL806 8-channel mixer, featuring total control from the Apple iPad. It also bowed its DLM Series powered loudspeakers, including the DLM8 and DLM12, both full-range, 2,000W powered loudspeakers with an integrated digital mixer with 16 effects and robust system processing. The DLM12S is the companion 2,000W subwoofer with ample system protection and processing.
AKG (us.akg.com) introduced its new line of digital automatic microphone mixers: DMM6 and DMM12. With an intuitive user interface, numerous DSP functions and high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), the DMM series provides users with the highest quality in automatic mixing technology.
Vue Audiotechnik (vueaudio.com), the relatively new kid on the P.A. block, has introduced a wide range of speakers over the past year, including the i-Class, h-Class and a-Class. Now the company has entered the line array market with the al-4 Subcompact Line Array System, featuring a beryllium compression driver, Kevlar/Neo LF transducers, precision amplification and DSP, and up to eight elements per block.
Cerwin Vega (cerwin-vega.com) introduced its new P-Series professional P.A. system, which includes two active speaker products: the P1500X and the P1800SX. The P1500X is a two-way, 15-inch bi-amped, full-range bass-reflex speaker, while the P1800SX is a powered subwoofer featuring an 18-inch woofer with a custom 2,000W Class-D amp.