InfoComm Has Become the Locus for Live Sound
The InfoComm Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, has evolved into a leading venue for live-sound products and systems. The show, whose attendance was up 4% over the previous year, with 34,268 attendees looking at offerings from 933 vendors across 487,000 square ft. of exhibition and event space, saw a lot of demo and business activity surrounding the kinds of sound systems that power live sports.
The big business news was Music Group’s acquisition of PA manufacturer Turbosound, along with the company’s inauguration of its professional division, which brings Turbosound, DSP brand Klark-Teknik, and console supplier Midas together. Music Group, owned by German pro-audio corporation Behringer, also opened a customer-service and repair operation in Las Vegas last week.
Other new-product announcements included JBL Professional’s introduction of the AWC Series of compact, all-weather loudspeaker systems, a compact, 8-in., two-way coaxial speaker with compression-driver high frequency, wide 120- x 120-degree coverage, and 250 W of power handling. Enclosures come in light gray or black and are paintable to match the requirements of the application. AWC components are weather-treated, and a three-layer grill with vapor-barrier backing minimizes direct rain contact with the system transducers. A panel cover and a watertight gland-nut fitting protect the recessed terminal compartment. An IP-56 outdoor rating makes the system suitable for such projects as racetracks, school stadiums, and swimming facilities.
Clear-Com announced an expanded partnership with Optocore/BroaMan to distribute the new BroaMan DiViNe V3R-FX-INTERCOM with SDI, which provides scalable, protocol-independent routing, repeating, transport, and distribution of multiple signals over optical fiber. The V3R-FX-INTERCOM-SDI is equipped with quad four-wire RJ45 matrix ports and four-wire RJ45 panel ports so that either matrices or intercom panels can be connected to the unit using standard CAT cables. Users can send audio and control data from Clear-Com key panels or matrices transparently through the optical network. The unit is capable of housing up to six SD/HD/3G-SDI coaxial video inputs or outputs that are converted to and from single-mode DiViNe optical-fiber links.
Networked Audio on the Rise
Another major trend at InfoComm was the accelerating implementation of digital audio networks. One example is Audinate’s Dante network, which has picked up numerous partners in recent months. At the show, Shure announced a licensing agreement for Dante; the first Shure products to include Dante networking capability are the ULXD4D dual-channel digital wireless receiver and ULXD4Q quad-channel digital wireless receiver, which are part of the ULX-D wireless line launched at the show.
Similarly, Crest Audio announced the availability of its new Nx Dante-8 NexSys control module. The Nx Dante-8 NexSys control module works in tandem with the new Crest Audio CKd and Ci series of power amplifiers. The control module will support Crest NexSys 5 and Peavey MediaMatrix NWare audio software. The Nx Dante-8 module fits into the rear bay of the CKd and Ci series power amps and supports all NexSys functions, DSP functions, and Dante digital audio I/O via a 1-Gb Ethernet connection.
The show also hosted the AVB Networking Conference 2012 and a booth where AVB participants — Avid, Biamp Systems, Harman, Lab X Technologies, Meyer Sound, Riedel Communications — demoed the interoperability of AVB-capable devices on the market today.
Possibly the most innovative product announcement pertaining to live sound at Infocomm was the beta release of Zeehi’s CueCast digital-mixing-console user file-conversion service. CueCast will provide users, including broadcast mixers, the ability to quickly convert show files among different digital audio mixing-console formats. The current version of CueCast converts the most commonly used features and functions: bussing, subgroup assigns, control-group assigns, routing, labeling, mutes and mute groups, EQ and dynamic in/out settings, aux send on/off and assigns, and effects and matrix on/off and assigns. Future releases will support additional console platforms and will provide conversion of variable settings, snapshots, and other features.
The Zeehi Web-based service solves a fundamental challenge, says company co-founder Danny Abelson: how to take user settings from one mixing console to another without the time-consuming headache of entering those settings manually.
“Converting the user data is reliable and takes just three steps,” he explains. “Simply upload your file to our secure site — http://www.cuecast.com — specify the format you need, and download the converted file for installation in the new console. If you like, we’ll store your files on our secure cloud for safekeeping.”
CueCast technology supports files from 24 to 196 inputs, and the beta release supports file conversion among the Avid Venue, DiGiCo SD8 and SD10, and Yamaha PM5D platforms.