Tuesday, 06 July 2010 Written by Tim Goodyer
Soundcraft Guide to Mixing: Tips for a Good Mix
Monday, 11 June 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
Claiming more than three years of R&D and ‘substantial trial and error’, the Quest Hybridtec digital/analogue hybrid amplifier module is the key component in Quest’s QM450A compact active loudspeaker.
With digital low-end and analogue high-frequency sections, the design reckons to ‘use each type of technology according to its strengths as opposed to trying to make less appropriate technology suit just to meet a budget’. Among the obstacles was consistent time alignment between the digital and analogue sections of the module. Smart power consumption was also a key criteria of the Hybridtec system, using a . switch-mode power supply.
As the first loudspeaker to use the Hybridtec system, the QM 450A compact powered speaker system is aimed at the A/V, production and hire markets.
It delivers 450W RMS output and uses the same birch plywood timber chassis as the Australian company’s QM-350i.
The QM-450A features a purpose designed high-frequency driver coupled to Quest’s custom asymmetrical waveguide – which can be rotated through four dispersion plains maximizing the speakers potential use. The 12-inch horn sports a wide 90°-100° coverage at the base of the flare and a long throw 40° at the top.
Simplified Controls on the rear of the QM-450A include an XLR input, XLR link output, Gain control, 100Hz high-pass switch as well as individually coloured Peak/Clip/Signal/Power LEDs providing clear visual indicators.
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 Written by Tim Goodyer
Powersoft has released the M Series DSP+ETH line of power amplifiers.
The cost-effective design is intended to meet professional requirements in sound reinforcement and fixed installations including resorts and hotels, live music and dance clubs, theme parks and mobile DJs.
‘The M Series DSP+ETH amplifiers give end-users access to Powersoft’s digital signal processing engine technology, Ethernet connectivity and system monitoring and control through our powerful Armonía Pro Audio Suite software,’ says Powersoft Audio Technologies Corp Executive VP, Ken Blecher. ‘The introduction of DSP+ETH was the next logical developmental step to give the growing family of M Series users nearly the same level of flexibility and control enjoyed by our flagship K Series owners. The M Series DSP+ETH represents incredible value for performance, making it the amplifier of choice for the small to medium installation or touring sound system.’
M Series DSP+ETH features 48kHz, 24-bit AD/DA converters with 56-bit internal processing. With two inputs and outputs each for the two-channel version, and four inputs and outputs each for the four-channel version, the system offers per channel five bi-quad filters for system equalisation, plus two crossovers and eight bi-quad filters. Each channel has dual dynamic processors with arbitrary input/output curve and adjustable time constants. To accommodate speaker time alignment, a generous range from zero to 10ms adjustable delay makes timing the low frequency vs high frequency speakers easy. The DSP engine delivers up to 114dB(A) signal to noise ratio (analogue in/out) with a 1 ms processing delay time. It also provides limiting – Peak with varaiable ratio, RMS, and frequency shaping RMS.
The high-performance DSP card also offers FIR/IIR filters for accurate crossover control for bi-amped loudspeakers. Crossover filter types include Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley and Bessel, with adjustable 6dB to 48dB/octave roll-off. As the DSP card resides inside the amplifier, settings are safe from accidental or intentional tampering, with monitoring of vital system and amplifier data done via Armonía Pro Audio Suite software. M Series amplifiers access Armonía with the same Ethernet network interface as all Powersoft amplifiers allowing for preset management and uploading over a network. Locally, the M Series DSP+ETH permits the user to address up to four presets on the rear panel via pushbutton.
M Series DSP+ETH comes in three two-channel (M30D DSP+ETH, M20D DSP+ETH, M14D DSP+ETH) and two quad (M50Q DSP+ETH, M28Q DSP+ETH) versions. Each amplifier is housed in a one rack unit, rugged metal case weighing in at 16.3lbs (7.4kg). Powersoft bridgeable switch mode fixed-frequency class-D outputs provide high quality sound, outstanding damping factor and cooler circuits for stable performances over time for a longer amplifier life and reduced operational costs from power draw and HVAC cooling. Most M Series DSP+ETH models are able to drive 70V/100V constant voltage lines directly without the need of transformers. However, optional TU4 single-rack units providing four-channel transformer outputs may be used for galvanic insulation and other operational voltages not supported by the M Series DSP+ETH amplifiers directly.
The M Series DSP+ETH runs efficiently, making on-site AC mains distribution simple, especially for live sound applications. Because of available EQ and crossover filters, less outboard gear is required, reducing hauling weight. Both fixed installation and touring benefit from streamlined system wiring. The two four-channel models provide up to 1.25kW/channel on 4Ω loads, while the three two-channel models offer a maximum output of 1.5kW/ch. on 4Ω loads, while full range can reach up to 360W/channel on 8Ω loads.
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
Grund Audio Design has unveiled the GT-LPB-24C subwoofer, the company’s latest addition to its GT Series for fixed and portable sound reinforcement applications.
With a power rating of 800W RMS, the GT-LPB-24C subwoofer is a high-power, low-profile system that for use with small-format point source or line array loudspeaker systems. It has a frequency range of 40Hz to 250Hz, addressing frequencies that are frequently diminished in smaller format point source or line array loudspeaker enclosures.
The transducers are housed in a heavily braced, 13-ply Baltic Birch enclosure that incorporates dado and rabbet construction for superior cabinet rigidity. The enclosure design uses a proprietary Linear Pressure Chambers design, which provides two ported chambers that focus the acoustic energy from the front and rear of the two LF transducers for maximum efficiency. The Linear Pressure Chambers design uses a combination of Thiele/Small, LEAP and LMS parameters to direct the output forward, so as to not interfere with stage SPL.
Suggested applications include nightclubs, houses of worship and other fixed installations where space is tight. The design also includes a pole cup for portable PA use where a combination of the subwoofer and a small format point source loudspeaker enclosure work together, as in corporate A/V presentations and related applications.
The GT-LPB-24C subwoofer is available in three finishes; black, white, and an exclusive natural finish (no filler marks). The enclosure uses a powder-coated, perforated steel grille to protect the transducer complement. Further, the GT-LPB-24C is available with 3/8’-16 threaded mounting points that permit safe, load-rated suspension in permanent installations. The GT-LPB-24C subwoofer includes two NL4 Speakon connectors.
‘The GT-LPB-24C subwoofer is a remarkably lightweight, compact subwoofer that is equally at home in both fixed and portable sound reinforcement systems,’ says Frank Grund, President of Grund Audio Design. ‘It’s an excellent subwoofer for small church and nightclub installations and, with its threaded mounting points, can even be suspended. The GT-LPB-24C is a terrific complement to small format line arrays and point source loudspeaker systems and delivers a very warm, rich sound. I believe this subwoofer is well suited to a wide range of applications.’
The Grund Audio Design GT-LPB-24C subwoofer is available now at an MSRP of US$769.00.
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
Aphex has launched the EX•BB 500 module, bringing the company’s Aural Exciter and Big Bottom audio enhancement technologies to the 500 Series format.
Introduced in 1975, Aphex’s Aural Exciter technology is an established means of enhancing detail, clarity and imaging of a wide variety of audio sources in recording, broadcast, concerts, houses of worship, auditoria, theatres and sports venues. The EX•BB 500 module offers discrete Tune, Harmonics and Mix controls that can be used to increase intelligibility of vocals, add punch and presence to individual instruments and detail to mixes.
Optical Big Bottom processing extends low-frequency power and spectrum even at very low levels, while avoiding the level build-up associated with traditional equalisation. The module includes Tune, Drive and Mix controls, allowing the user to dial-in just the right ‘thickness’ and dynamically enhance the low frequency range.
The 500 Series form factor of the EX•BB 500 module allows a system to provide as many or as few channels of processing as required or as budget allows. The module fits all current 500 Series racks, including those from A Designs, API, Empirical Labs, Radial and Tonelux.
‘Everyone at Aphex is really excited about where we’re headingm’ says Aphex Chairman/CEO David Wiener. ‘We’ve never sounded so good – and we’re going to keep rolling out the hits.’
The mono EX•BB 500 module is the first release in a new line of 500 Series products being launched in 2012 by Aphex.
Monday, 30 April 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
The EM Acoustics MSE Series of touring loudspeakers has been expanded with the addition of the MSE-156 and MSE-159 – two-way, medium-format models using EM’s latest crossover topologies and drive unit technology. These are intended for FoH in small to medium-sized venues or as fill loudspeakers for larger systems. Applications include live sound reinforcement, theatre and corporate events, houses of worship, and nightclub/dance venues.
MSE-156 and MSE-159 are identical except for their dispersion patterns, which are 60° x 40° and 90° x 60° respectively. These two-way passive loudspeakers use a 4-inch voice coil, 15-inch (381mm) neodymium LF transducer, an internal passive crossover and a 4-inch diaphragm, 1.4-inch exit neodymium HF transducer. This drive unit loads onto a rotatable constant-coverage horn, which yields consistent response throughout its operating band as well as strong attenuation outside of its coverage pattern.
The drive units are housed in a rugged, compact, vented enclosure. Integrated multi-use rigging plates enable suspension swiftly and safely in a variety of ways. The primary rigging system uses keyhole plates and ball-lock pins to allow attachment or removal of hardware in seconds. A 35mm pole-mount socket is located on the underside for stand mounting. The enclosure also includes two heavy-duty steel bar handles, and a pair of Neutrik Speakon connectors for input and enclosure link.
A hex-punched grille backed with acoustically transparent foam protects the drive units from damage. This can be quickly removed to rotate the HF waveguide if required. Both loudspeakers are available as self-powered versions – the MSE-156SP and MSE-159SP – incorporating a class-D amplification and DSP package.
A further addition to the range is the MSE-218 high-power subwoofer.
The enclosure houses a pair of reflex-loaded 4.5-inch voice coil, 18-inch (457mm) neodymium LF cone drive units. -to-peak linear cone travel is 28mm, meaning large amounts of low=frequency information can be produced from a single enclosure.
The onboard control and electronics package of the MSE-218SP self-powered version comprises two 2.4kW monobloc amplifier modules. Each module feeds a single drive unit, giving it claim to being the highest power density of any self-powered dual 18-inch device. The MSE-218SP is supplied with a range of preset programmes, including a cardioid function which allows users to create directional low-frequency information from an array of three MSE-218SP subwoofers, while feeding the same signal into each.
The enclosure is constructed from 18mm multi-laminate Birch plywood – rebated, screwed and glued together. Runners are provided on the bottom of the enclosure to protect the paint finish when in use, and recesses on the top allow stable stacking of arrays. Two M20 threaded flange adapters allow use of full-range enclosures mounted on distance poles. Eight steel bar handles and tour-grade castors are also fitted as standard. A tough hex-punched grille protects the drive units from damage.
Monday, 12 November 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
Roland Systems Group has announced the M-200i – a compact, 32-channel digital mixing console with iPad control, which joins consoles, digital snakes, integrated playback/record and personal mixing systems in the company’s live sound V-Mixing System line-up.
The iPad application enables remote control of key features of the M-200i including preamps, pan, and high-pass and PEQ/GEQ filtering. It also supports store and recall of scenes, configuring of compressors and gates, sends on faders and effect editing.
Remote control of the console allows control of a mix from any location in a venue (within the wireless network). The wireless network is created by plugging a router into the LAN port on the M-200i or by plugging the Roland Wireless Connect adapter (WNA1100-RL) into a USB port. Alternatively, the multi-pin cable included with the console can be used to connect the iPad to the M-200i for a wired connection that allows the iPad can be charged at the same time.
The M-200i features a 32-channel architecture with 17 motorised faders, eight aux busses, four matrices and eight DCAs, with 24 inputs and 14 outputs on the console itself (expandable up to 64x54 via the REAC port and the Roland Digital Snake). It will also accept audio from a USB key via a dedicated port. A ‘touch –and-turn’ feature allows users to touch a particular parameter on the iPad, and control it with a physical knob on the console.
Without an iPad, the the M-200i is fully controllable via a built-in LCD screen and buttons on a tactile control surface.
The M-200i also includes a REAC (Roland Ethernet Audio Communication) port that accommodates expansion options such as personal mixing, live multichannel recording or playback using the R-1000 48-track Recorder/Player or recording only via Cakewalk Sonar software. The REAC port can also expand the number of physical inputs by connecting to one of the popular Digital Snakes via a single, inexpensive Cat5e/6 cable. For performing musicians, the Roland M-200i also supports the M-48 Personal Mixing System.
The M-200i with make its debut at the 2012 InterBEE show in Tokyo, and is expected to be available in January 2013.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 Written by Tim Goodyer
The design and performance of the REM Ribbon Emulation Manifold Waveguide (Perrin Meyer/Meyer Sound)
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Tuesday, 17 January 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
BlackBox manufacturer JoeCo will use the coming Namm show to preview of a new BlackBox App for remotely controlling and monitoring its range of BlackBox recorders and players.
Designed for use on Apple’s iPad, the BlackBox App will provide high-resolution metering on all channels and a range of transport controls for remote operation. It will also enable the BlackBox menu and set-up options to be remotely controlled.
‘We want to offer users a remote monitoring and control interface that allows them maximum flexibility with the positioning of the BlackBox hardware at a venue, or on location, and that also enables the BlackBox to be operated without moving from the FOH console,’ JoeCo’s Joe Bull explains. ‘Providing high-resolution metering – especially for 64-channel versions of the BlackBox Recorder – is of great benefit to engineers who need to monitor critical levels during a recording and, as usual, we have had input from our professional users in order to deliver software that meets the needs of busy live engineers and sound recordists.
We expect the BlackBox App itself will be free of charge, but it will require some chargeable hardware to transmit and receive the data between the BlackBox and the iPad.’
The BlackBox App is scheduled for release later in 2012.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012 Written by Tim Goodyer
Heil Sound has announced an upgrade to its PR 35 handheld dynamic microphone.
Alongside cosmetic changes in the form of a new chassis, significant internal improvements have also been made. Rear rejection –a strength with the PR series of mics from Heil – is -42dB with the upgrade. A concealed two-position roll off switch replaces the former thumb switch.
Visually, the new model recalls those wired handheld vocal mics that could readily be identified on stage and on camera. The PR 35 ships with three interchangeable coloured trim collars that can be mixed and matched.
The PR 35 was introduced in 2008 and quickly found favor with artists such as Joe Walsh, Charlie Daniels, Stevie Wonder and others. The price of the upgraded version of the mic remains unchanged; it is available now.
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