2012 Winter NAMM Show – Day 1
Some targets of opportunity in between press conferences.
Yamaha Speakers and Mixers
the DXR full range and companion DXS subwoofer comprise new line of PA speakers-on-a-stick. These are powered speakers, the DXR coming in four sizes with an 8, 10, 12 or 15 inch woofer. The DXS subwoofers come in two sizes with 12 and 15 inch drivers. All use Class D amplifiers with DSP for the crossover and speaeker control to
protect the speakers while offering wide dynamic range. They make a point of being louder (greater SPL before clipping) than the ompetition.
The MGP is an updated version of the popular MG series of low cost 12 and 16 channel mixers. P stands for “Professional” according to the promo material. The MGP upgrades include a new digital effect processor, updated EQ, and a USB port for iPod connection.
The long standing 01V digital mixer has progressed through the 01V96 to this year’s 01V96i. The new model adds a 16 channel USB I/O port for convenient integration with a computer DAW.
DiGiCo USB-MADI Converter
A couple of years ago, SADiE introduced a location recording system that involved converting MADI to USB for recording up to 48 channels, proving that USB was up to the task. This show, console maker DiGiCo who has long implemented MADI for system interconnection introduced the UB-MADI USB to MADI interface. It’s about the size of a cigarette pack with BNC MADI In and Out connectors on one end and a USB connector on the other, providing bi-directional transfer of 48 channels up to 24 bits at 96 kHz sample rate. It comes with an ASIO driver and is compatible with Windows and Apple Core Audio. Price is around $1500, which make it an economical way of capturing live audio from a console with MADI direct outputs.
RME FireFace UCX
This new half-rack sized computer I/O interface in the Fireface series offers two mic/line/instrument inputs, 8 analog line level inputs and outputs (2 dedicated to the front panel headphone jack), S/PDIF coax or optical I/O, 8 channel ADAT optical I/O, and word clock in and out. Computer I/O is with both Firewire 400 and USB 2.0 that is also compatible with a USB3 port. A basic remote control included with the interface provides a big knob for monitor volume control plus a couple of buttons for quick access to functions in the included TotalMix FX software application.
Universal Audio Apollo
The UA Apollo is a new high quality audio I/O interface includes four mic preamps, 8 channels of analog I/O, 8 channels of optical I/O, stereo S/PDIF and front panel DI, a couple of pairs of outputs dedicated to control room monitoring and headphones that they count as 18-in/24-out. Computer I/O is on Firewire 800 with a slot for an optoional Thunderbolt port when your computer is ready for it. The guts are built on top of UA’s line of analog and digital designs. The thing that takes Apollo ahead of the rest of the pack is that it includes UA’s real time UAD DSP co-processor and ships with a good collection of UAD plug-ins. You can get it with two or four processors depending on your needs.
PreSonus StudioLive QMix and Smaart Integration
Last year PreSonus introduced an iPad remote control application for their StudioLive series of mixers. Of course the immediate request from users was for an iPhone or iPod Touch version. Crowding a whole StudioLive on an iPhone screen is a little silly (at least I think so) but given that the handiest use for the remote is for players or engineers to be able to adjust monitors right from the stage, that’s a function that can sensibly fit on an iPhone, so that’s what the new QMix application offers. To prevent one player from inadvertently changing another’s mix, the updated Universal Control application for the mixer (required for QMix) allows each iPhone to control one and only one auxilary mix.
With the phone held horizontally, you get a screen of sliders, 8 at a time, with text labels if you’ve bothered to enter them. Rotate the phone vertically and you get what they call the “Wheel of Me.” This is really clever. The display is two vertical bars to indicate the level of a selected submix of channels (which can be one channel for “MORE ME”) and the level of all the other channels in the aux mix. Between them is the “wheel” which adjusts the balance between ME and the rest of the mix. As you turn it up, you get more ME. If you continue to try to turm ME up when it’s at maximum, the level of the rest of the channels drops. This is kind of a sneaky way of teaching the users that if something isn’t loud enough in the mix, consider turning something else down.
I didn’t get a demo yet, but the new version of Universal Control will include an implentation of the Smaart analysis software that will aid in setting up the graphic equalizers included with the mixer.
Pete’s Place is a group of small audio developers who share a common passion for old school audio quality and design. Pearlman Microphones showed two new mics. The TM-250 is an accurate re-creation of the Telefunken 250 using an AKG C12 type capsule made by Tim Campbell in Denmark. The Pearlman “Church” is a reproduction of a microphone custom built in the mid 1950s by MGM engineer Stanley Church for in-house use. He used a Neumann M7 capsule and designed electronics around a 6072 tube to produce a mic that had characteristics of the Neumann U47 and AKG C12. There were only about 200 of these built (movie studios had a LOT of microphones) and the originals have become legends. The current Telefunken has a version, and now so does Peralman. He uses a Blue Line PVC diaphragm M7 capsule supplied by Thiersch Electroakustik and got Triad to make the original transformer used by Church.
Electrodyne manufactured a line of well respected consoles in the late 1960s. The name and designes have been revived as a mic preamp and equalizer in 500-series modules, and now the new Electrodyne has introduced the RC-3 Channel Strip, a 2 rack space unit that incorporates the Electrodyne 501 mic preamp and 511 equalizer circuitry combined with an 1176-style FET compressor.
And now for something completely different
The Due Capi, part of the display of instruments from small hand makers. I have no idea how to play it, or even which end to blow into.It reminds me a bit of a chrome manifold for a Model T Ford installed by a plumber.