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Product Hits of NAMM “Believe In Music” Week

George Petersen • FeaturesFebruary 2021 • February 4, 2021

No, we didn’t get to hang in the Anaheim Hilton bar this year, but from Jan. 18-22, 2021, some 93,226 online visitors attended NAMM’s virtual “Believe In Music” event. This highly successful cyber-tradeshow featured music and audio gear from 1,227 brands, along with 611 hours of content, live streams, sessions and events — all available just a few mouse clicks away. And from a live sound reinforcement viewpoint, there was plenty to check out. Here are just a few that caught our attention.

›› LOUDSPEAKERS!

Adamson Systems Engineering (adamsonsystems.com) was featuring its new CS Series “intelligent” speakers, which are available in line array and point source designs, along with two subwoofer options.

 

BASSBOSS’ (bassboss.com) BB15 powered, single-15 subwoofer — while not quite a Kraken — suits smaller events and more intimate spaces. Retail is $2,295.

 

Bose Professional (pro.bose.com) updates its original L1 speakers with the L1 Pro8, L1 Pro16 and L1 Pro32 featuring a unique RaceTrack-shaped woofer providing extended bass response and less bulk, along with onboard mixers, Bluetooth streaming and a remote mix app.

 

Celestion’s (celestion.com) new 5-inch TFX0515 coaxial driver offers high power handling and 80-20k Hz response — perfect as a small fullrange or HF/HF in larger systems. Celestion also demoed its HornWizard (shown here) app portal to its powerful horn design software.

 

d&b audiotechnik (dbaudio.com) showed its Soundscape En-Snap Cue Automation software, offering cue-based control — with manual or automatic recall — within the Soundscape/DS100 signal engine environment for immersive sound design.

 

Electro-Voice’s (electrovoice.com) EVOLVE 50M powered column loudspeaker system has eight 3.5” neodymium drivers for 120° coverage, a 12” subwoofer, QuickSmart control technology, an onboard mixer, DSP and effects.

 

HK Audio’s (hkaudio.com) ELEMENTS E 115 Sub D powered 15” subwoofer adds networkability, software-based remote control and plug & play cardioid functionality to its ELEMENTS column speaker series.

JBL Professional (jblpro.com) is now shipping its compact IRX115S 15” powered (1,300W) subwoofer; street is $649. JBL was also featuring its VTX B28 dual-18 subwoofer (shown here) with a new integrated rigging system that simplifies the creation of omnidirectional or cardioid arrays.

 

L-Acoustics (l-acoustics.com) expands its K Series with the full-range, dual-12” K3 line array with a long-throw (>100’) DOSC waveguide and Panflex technology, offering quick access to symmetrical or asymmetrical horizontal directivity patterns.

 

Mackie’s (mackie.com) SRT powered speaker line includes three 1,600W loudspeakers: SRT210 (10”), SRT212 (12”), and SRT215 (15”) and the 18” SR18S subwoofer — all with wireless control via Mackie’s SRT Connect app.

 

Meyer Sound (meyersound.com) came out swinging, demoing its free Spacemap Go iPad app (shown) that can transform Meyer GALAXY platform processors into powerful, flexible, user-friendly tools for spatial sound design and mixing. Meyer is also now shipping the LEOPARD-M80, a narrow coverage (80° horizontal) version of its popular LEOPARD line array. Meyer also showed its patented Ultra Reflex technology solution that delivers superior fidelity and precise imaging for screen channels in rooms with large direct-view displays. The front LCR sound is divided into overhead HF components that bounce mid/high frequencies off the hard and highly reflective view surface and are combined with LF signals from woofers placed beneath the screen.

 

NEXO (nexo-sa.com) expands its pointsource P+ series with the P15 15” coaxial loudspeaker that’s suited for monitor or FOH (flown or pole mount) use. The new L18 18” subwoofer rounds out the line and can be used with the P15 or the smaller P12.

 

Pioneer Pro Audio’s (pioneerproaudio.com) dual-12” XY-1 and XY-2E (with individual control of its 8” and 1” HF driver) represent the LF and MHF sections of Pioneer’s topend XY-3B speakers, enabling users to create ground-stack point-source arrays, especially in low-ceiling venues, or as stage fills, DJ booth/P.A. and monitoring.

 

PreSonus’ (presonus.com) CDL12P Constant- Directivity Loudspeaker, with eight 2” HF drivers in an arc in front of a 12” woofer, is designed for applications where network control is not required, unlike the Dante-enabled CDL12 version. A pole mount is standard; rigging is optional. Price is $999.

 

Yorkville Sound’s (yorkville.com) 2-way SA102 active full range speaker and SA115S active subwoofer incorporate Tom Danley’s patented Paraline Lens and Synergy Horn technologies and combine to create a smaller, more portable version of Yorkville’s flagship Synergy Array. The 15” tapped horn of the SA115S can deliver 6,400 watts (program) and 13,000 watts (peak).

 

›› CONSOLES!

Allen & Heath (allen-heath.com) took the 2021 NAMM TEC Award for outstanding technical achievement in small console design for its popular Avantis mid-sized digital mixer, launched at NAMM just a year ago. Congrats!

 

Hear Technologies (heartechnologies.com) was demoing its PRO Digital Overlay labeling accessory, which adds ultra-clear OLED alphanumeric screens for its Hear Back PRO personal monitoring mixers, for clear displays of channel names that are easy to read in low-light settings.

 

Korg (korg.com) collaborated with the mixer design team of Greg Mackie and Peter Watts to create the SoundLink MW1608 ($1,299) and MW2408 ($1,499) 8-bus hybrid/ analog mixing consoles. Now shipping, both the 24- and 16-channel models take a high-end approach to digital audio, such as the high-headroom, Watts-designed HiVolt mic preamps.

 

Yamaha’s (usa.yamaha.com) firmware V4.7 for its RIVAGE PM Series consoles expands adds the premium Y7 reverb plug-in (shown here) based on Bricasti Design’s M7 hardware reverb unit, known for its rich-sounding reverberation and exceptional sound quality. The free V4.7 update is compatible with all RIVAGE PM models.

 

›› MICROPHONES!

Audio-Technica (audio-technica.com) demoed the V1.1.1 update of its Mac/Windows- compatible Wireless Manager application for remote configuration, control, monitoring, spectrum management and frequency coordination of all wireless devices operating in the UHF spectrum. Used with A-T’s 5000 Series (3rd Gen) and 3000 Series (4th Gen) with network control and monitoring, the software can coordinate/control all connected systems, including 3000 Series networked chargers.

 

beyerdynamic (north-america.beyerdynamic.com) expands its Touring Gear series with two new dynamic models: the $249 hypercardioid TG D70 kick drum microphone (based on the famed M88 capsule) and the $129 cardioid TG i51 instrument mic.

 

Electro-Voice (electrovoice.com) was showing RE20-BLACK, a version of its classic RE20 cardioid dynamic mic in a low-reflection, charcoal finish. Besides vocals, the RE20 is popular on horns and LF-heavy sources such as kick drums, floor toms, bass cabinets and Leslie speakers. Street is $449.

 

Lectrosonics (lectrosonics.com) latest generation Digital Hybrid Wireless SM Series are the SMWB/E07-941 (single-AA battery) and SMDWB/E07-941 (dual-AA cell) that operate in the Part-74 license-only 941.525 to 959.825 MHz range. Both can act as a transmitter or as a body-worn recorder.

 

Oktava (www.oktavatula.ru) debuted its MK- 207 large-diaphragm, cardioid, condenser mic, designed for vocal/speech and instrument miking applications.

 

Shure (shure.com) was showing smart charging options for its SLX-D digital wireless system. Transmitters (handheld or beltpack) run on standard AA batteries or an optional lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack with a new dual-docking charging station for fast re-powering without having to remove the battery from the unit.

 

›› PRODUCTION ESSENTIALS

Audinate (audinate.com) launched a software development kit (SDK) for manufacturers of Arm-based audio products. This SDK lets manufacturers deploy Dante audio networking as on-chip software in their products, thus reducing costs and conserving space.

 

CAD Audio (cadaudio.com) showed three new IEM systems. The $199 single-mix GXLIEM, $299 dual-mix GXLIEM2 and $499 quad-mix GXLIEM4. All use a frequency-agile design, include earbuds and operate in the 900 MHz band.

 

 

L-Acoustics’ (l-acoustics.com) Dr. Christian Heil and Jerry Harvey Audio (jhaudio.com) created Contour XO, to provide the L-Acoustics sonic signature in a 10-driver universal- or custom- fit IEM. Contour XO is also ideal for engineers using the binaural features of the L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound mixing software due later this year.

 

Neutrik (www.neutrik.us) launched the first Milan-certified audio module, called MINEA. This 2×2 stream module is a ready-to-go solution that allows pro audio manufacturers to quickly and easily implement Milan into their products — from single loudspeakers, amplifiers, microphones, audio embedders/de-embedders to complex multi-channel mixing desks and multi-port conferencing systems.

 

Whirlwind’s QBOX-AES (whirlwindusa.com) is a multipurpose testing device for troubleshooting digital AES-3, S/PDIF, and analog audio signals. It also can monitor AES streams in real-time, check the AES stream’s sample rate, and convert analog signals (MP3 player/smartphone/etc.) into an AES stream — and vice versa, and much more.

›› COMING UP!

At present, the industry looks forward to gathering in Nashville at Summer NAMM, July 15-17, 2021 at Music City Center and back to Anaheim, next year. Until then, the NAMM Believe in Music platform (attend.believeinmusic.tv) remains open to all until the end of February. Check it out!

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