Audinate’s new 4×4 channels Dante Ultimo silicon platform will enable more audio networking systems for A/V, conferencing, public address, and broadcast applications. The new Audionate Dante Ultimo (ULT-01-004) solution supports 4 channels in and 4 channels out of uncompressed audio, double the capacity of the Ultimo chip (ULT-01-002) introduced at the beginning of 2013. This family of complete, ready-to-use, single-chip Dante solutions for networked audio products will accelerate the implementation for powered speakers, microphones, AV wall plates, paging stations, intercoms, and analog/digital break-in/break out interfaces, etc. With this announcement, Audinate also confirmed that the complete Ultimo product family will be enhanced to support an increased range of sample rates (44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz); pull up / pull down support; remote signal presence indication; latency monitoring; improved clock statistics reporting; and GPIO pin activation. Audinate also confirms that several OEMs are already developing products based on the new Ultimo features and options, which will be generally available in Q1, 2014.
UpCon is a cinema-quality upconverter that gives broadcasters peace of mind that their transmission will always be optimized for 5.1 HD TV. UpCon is a combined audio upconversion and downmix processor in a single, high-density rack unit that continuously monitors the channel format of the incoming audio, and if the signal falls back from true 5.1 to stereo, it seamlessly cross-fades into a convincing 5.1 surround upconversion without adding any interruptions or artifacts. The unit uses TC’s UnWrap HD algorithm to upconvert with ultra low latency and without affecting the perceived loudness.
The hardware is based on the TC Electronic DB6 platform and UpCon offers the same extended control possibilities, including responding to incoming metadata.
For readers seeing this “second” issue of audioXpress since we introduced our new format and layout last month, I feel I should explain the concept a little more. Our target deadline for this relaunch was decided some time ago and I couldn’t think of a better place to introduce our “new” magazine than the AES convention in New York City!
I can summarize our concept in a few words: more (of what our readers expect), electronics (our roots), and audio innovation (our focus).
We are proud of our heritage as Audio Amateur, Audio Electronics, Glass Audio, and Speaker Builder magazines. Those titles were born in a time when amateur radio was still developing hand-in-hand with electronics and radio technology. And that is precisely why audioXpress is a part of the electronics publication portfolio of Elektor International Media (EIM).
But you may be wondering about audioXpress’s evolution and what to expect in the future.
It’s important to clarify that we will not continue to be a “home electronics” or consumer application-focused publication. We believe we should share the most interesting audio stories in the industry, independent of their application areas—consumer or professional, music or broadcast oriented. Hence, the innovation focus.
The most important consumer technologies often start with those developed for professionals. So, we will follow audio electronics innovations, together with the all-important disciplines of electroacoustics (and, needless to say, software, digital audio, networking protocols, and audio synthesis).
We believe that a publication such as audioXpress cannot focus only on the “home approach,” which still appeals to many enthusiasts and hobbyists. Some of us clearly remember the 1960s, when live concerts used “consumer” amps and speakers, before there were guitar amps and large speakers. At Woodstock, there were McIntosh amps (now a purely home audio brand) and the PAs were early versions of the JBL speakers (today both a pro and a consumer brand). Five years later, all the big “pro audio” brands in live sound, such as Electro-Voice and JBL, dominated that market (in the US at least). During this time, things were different in the recording studios. There, technology was first “borrowed” from radio and TV broadcasting. This is long before we had “home studios” using computers. And where exactly did that come from?
In the era of the Internet, blogs, and social networks, many magazines have disappeared. But we know a magazine can flourish. In addition to its content and its readers, a magazine must also have a purpose. It must provide a sense of community. More importantly, it needs to offer readers content they can’t find elsewhere. It does not matter if our readers are professionals, students, or enthusiasts. Our common interest unites us, whatever the platform: print, online, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail newsletters, or mobile apps.
We want to build a better audioXpress with more content, representing the common interests of the audio community while also reflecting the industry.
Solid State Logic (SSL) has been a dominant console designer and manufacturer for music, broadcast, and post production for more than 35 years. However, SSL had never produced a product specifically designed for live audio production, until now. SSL’s reputation and business was built on visionary operational design and benchmark-quality standards in audio reproduction and manufacturing so expectations were high.
The early response to the SSL Live from front of house (FOH) and monitor engineers has been extremely positive. The more operators who see it, the more the excitement surrounding the console grows. The console’s operational flexibility, sonic performance, and the sensation of “finger painting with audio” via the gestural touchscreen are among the highlights. The on-board effects and channel processing toolkit and the SSL Blacklight system, which simplifies running audio and control between console and stageboxes, delivers a surprising amount of power at a compelling price.
The first three consoles shipped to UK-based Britannia Row, a global tour production company, for use on Peter Gabriel’s European “Back to Front” tour. Another two shipped to SGroup in France. Console manufacturing production for 2013 has been sold out since July. Details of the new commercial partner network for SSL Live are available on the SSL website.
SSL’s CEO Antony David said, “The on-schedule completion of the new Live console is an important milestone for SSL. This has been one of the biggest developments we have undertaken for some time and marks the first application of our new Tempest digital platform. We have been very encouraged by the response from mix engineers, rental companies and our channel partners since we presented the console in April this year. Demand has substantially outstripped our initial production plans, but we will return to reasonable lead times by early 2014.”
Since April, SSL has expanded its Live product team with key hires that include Jason Kelly as Live Consoles Product Manager based in the UK office and Jay Easley as Vice President of Live Consoles to lead SSL’s live sector sales operation in North America. Certified training courses have also commenced, with a focus on commercial partners and initial purchasers. A training program for the wider operator community is scheduled to begin in January 2014.
The SSL Live will be exhibited at ISE in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) in February 2014 and at Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt (Germany) in March 2014. In June 2014, the company will also exhibit at InfoComm (Las Vegas, NV).
Solid State Logic
Welcome to a new audioXpress.
Having followed the audio market and visited the world’s major trade shows for the last 20 years or more, I gained a broad perspective about how exciting and innovative the audio industry is. In particular, I recall the enlightening perspective you can receive from any Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention. The convention provides a place where industry veterans can share their experiences in engineering and communications. We chose to unveil the redesign of audioXpress at the 135th AES Convention.
In the early 1990s, I was fortunate enough to be responsible for a licensed electronics magazine. I quickly learned that the audience of such practical and project-oriented publications was a combination of students, enthusiasts, and industry professionals. They all share a passion for that field, are involved in many different areas, and use their spare time to pursue electronics-related hobbies—the most popular of which is audio electronics.
Since then, I have started several publications addressing the informational needs of professionals in the broadcasting, professional audio, and installation/systems integration markets. I also learned how the evolution of technology from analog to digital and the convergence with IT platforms and IP infrastructure was changing the market landscape at an exponential pace.
During this time, Edward T. Dell, Jr. (1923–2013) was devoting his life to people with a passion for audio electronics and creating magazines including Audio Amateur (rebranded as Audio Electronics in 1996), Glass Audio, Speaker Builder, and later, in 2000, audioXpress. In 2011, Ed Dell sold his company to Elektor International Media (EIM) and retired.
Much in the same spirit of the original Audio Amateur—and with the support of a worldwide organization deeply involved in the electronics industry—we believe that audioXpress will blossom into a fascinating publication that follows the latest audio innovation trends, independent of the application field, and shares a common audience of engineers, consultants, and enthusiasts in the electronics and audio fields, most of whom are involved in R&D.
Although it was deeply rooted in the US, audioXpress—together with its sister publications Voice Coil and the Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook—reached professionals around the world (e.g., Europe, China, India, and Brazil). It has gained more of a global presence since its acquisition by EIM, which also publishes some of the best technical books in the electronics industry.
I am really excited to bring the “new” audioXpress to a wider global audience, knowing that we can build on the tradition of the original publication and its diversified audience. We are working to create a magazine you will enjoy and anticipate reading every month.
Designed to help live sound professionals meet the most demanding and complex workflow challenges, the Dugan-VN16 card offers a modular, integrated solution that improves audio quality and simplifies mixing for multi-microphone applications.
Developed and manufactured by Dan Dugan Sound Design, the Dugan-VN16 option card provides Avid live system users with industry-leading dialog automixing functionality, improving audio quality in situations where multiple speech microphones are used, including broadcast events, conferences, house of worship services, theater performances, and more.
The card automatically adjusts microphone levels faster than what would be possible using manual workflows. Unlike a noise gate, which can introduce distracting sonic artifacts, the Dugan patented technology utilizes real-time voice activation to automatically lower the volume of unused live speech microphones and raise volume when presenters begin speaking, greatly reducing feedback, comb filtering, and background noise without having to manually adjust levels.
The Dugan-VN16 card is available for the Avid SC48, FOH Rack- or Mix Rack-based systems. It manages and mixes up to 16 open microphones with 16 channels of ADAT optical I/O, offering three operating modes to fit different application needs, via the Dugan Control Panel software (included) or the Dugan Control Panel for iPad (sold separately). For more information, visit www.avid.com.
Lawo’s cost-efficient and flexible Commentary Unit (LCU) was developed in close cooperation with Host Broadcast Services (HBS), a Swiss company specializing in producing multilateral video and audio feeds for TV and radio from world-class international sports events. The fully digital system is based on RAVENNA, a real-time audio-over-IP networking technology that enables the use of standard IP networks to interconnect venues and devices, which provides savings in cabling while increasing the system’s flexibility.
“Good commentary plays a key role in the success of global events. The Lawo Commentary solution was developed in the very best interest of the Rights Holding Broadcasters of these events”, says Jörg Sander, CTO at HBS.
The LCU is designed to be easy-to-use for commentators, freeing them to focus on their tasks rather than managing the technology. It provides an intuitive user interface for up to three commentators per LCU. Lawo quality mic pre-amps and uncompressed real-time audio-over-IP (24 bit/48 kHz) ensure audio quality. All activity is indicated in a backlit LCD, indicating each control’s label and current setting. The unit also features three coordination lines, again with individual volume and pan settings. A Help key completes the user interface, giving commentators fast access to a support engineer. For emergency operation, the device provides an analog Mix Out and an analog input to feed the phones’ monitor mix. The Aux In can also be used to feed external sources (e.g., audio recorders) locally to the LCU.
The LCU is complemented by the Lawo Commentary Control Software, which replaces the commentary control units usually associated with two-part commentary systems, providing an integrated user interface to operate a complete commentary installation. The software is optimized for touchscreen operation, offering easy and efficient support for up to 20 commentators per screen. It shows the real-time status of all connected devices and manages all LCUs within the network, as well as the system’s DALLIS frame, which is Lawo’s modular I/O system for interfacing the commentary installation to the outside world. The software also enables a support engineer to listen to any signal of any LCU. Its remote-control facilities mean that most help requests can be resolved with a mouse click. To learn more, visit www.lawo.de.