Member Profile: Antonio Velasquez

Antonio Velasquez

Antonio Velasquez

Location: Lo Barnechea, Chile

Education: MS in Acoustics Engineering and Post Graduate Studies in Physics, Microprocessors, DSP, and Computing Science

Occupation: Antonio owns Vitglobal.com, which is a database cloud services and acoustics measurement equipment manufacturer.

Member Status: Antonio subscribed to audioXpress after being linked to it from Elektor, which he said he had been familiar with for a long time. At first, he said he just read the audioXpress articles. Then he said he realized there is a community of great folks, who are really into audio and acoustics innovation. Antonio said, “I thought that I may learn and have a lot of fun if I could be part of it.”

Audio Interests: Antionio is a drummer for the Sobregiro Band. The band plays jam sessions at Thelonious in Santiago, Chile.

Most Recent Purchase: Antonio just bought a kit to assemble a permanent noise monitoring station. It is based on a LGX M150 fanless dual core with a 120-GB solid-state drive, a Mimo Monitors 10” touchscreen, and a UMIK-1 calibrated by CrossSpectrum. He also purchased a Sony PS-Q7 turntable to listen to his old 12” records.

Current Audio Projects: Some months ago his Altec Lansing studio monitors were stolen, so he is in the process of rethinking his next project. Antonio said, “I had those speakers since 1988. Now, I don’t know where to start.”

Dream System: Antonio said he is not a “hi-fi crazy guy.” He enjoys a simple stereo recording setup with a UCA220 interface, a Xenyx 802 mixer, and two matched Behringer condenser recording microphones. He uses Audacity for recording. For noise measurements, Antonio wants a nice homemade system with repolarized capsules that could read down to 20 dB, up to 140 dB, with 20/20 kHz or 20/40 kHz and 24 bits/192 kHz ADC, and an audio USB interface to his PC or Android tablet to program analysis algorithms in C++. His dream system will always provide huge dynamic range and flat frequency response. For listening, he wants an all-analog 1980s setup (with a nice DAC), with a Nakamichi, Aiwa, Sansui, Yamaha or some similar tuner, an MK2 turntable, and his lost Altec Lansing studio monitors. Antonio tries to never listen to compressed music and said his music motto is “as raw as possible.”

Feeling Too Old?

With the year’s first audio shows behind us, we have seen several technical breakthroughs and innovations that give us reason to be excited. Thus far, we have attended the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2014, and the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE)!

The 2014 International CES was marked by the emergence of ultra-high definition (UHD) TV. Audio professionals need to be aware of the sound implications that accompany those stunning images. Most (giant) LCD panels are so thin there’s no space for high-quality speakers. The TVs may sound fine at home for sports, talk shows, and news, but there is a market for new speaker systems to complement these 4K TVs. And (sorry) I don’t think consumers will opt for multichannel unless we see new speaker designs that combine great quality with convenience.

In the majority of homes, the key will be perceptual audio algorithms and a better consumer experience with less hassle. That also means wireless solutions, especially for surround sound. At the 2014 International CES, we particularly liked the Philips Fidelio E5 wireless surround cinema speakers, a “Best of Innovations” in the Home Theater category.

Also, it is critical to understand that 4K content will not arrive at homes as physical media. As we saw at the 2014 International CES, Sony’s vision for 4K includes new cloud/online services, where hi-res audio and interactive gaming are also considerations. In my opinion, this means speaker and audio systems designers have good reason to work hard on new designs.

Another major trend at the 2014 International CES was wearable electronics, which will provide new opportunities, related to headsets, wireless audio, and maybe immersive/awareness experiences.
The NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, was also a vibrant event, complete with several major announcements for the studio and stage environments and, increasingly, many incredible options for iPad and portable devices. Apps for iPad (e.g., Korg’s Gadget featuring 15 virtual synths and instruments or Cakewalk’s Z3TA+ iOS) sound and look amazing.

There was also a new trend that combined portable wireless speakers with guitar rehearsal amplifiers. Take a look at the VOX SoundBox Mini and IK Multimedia iLoud portable speaker and you will understand. An outstanding example came from Line 6, after its recent acquisition by Yamaha. The new Line 6 AMPLIFi combines a high-performance guitar amplifier, a streaming Bluetooth speaker, and an iOS app in one powerful solution.

The NAMM Show also saw several new studio monitors and many Thunderbolt recording interface announcements, with Zoom making a grand entrance in that category. Our favorite recording solution was the new Universal Audio Apollo Twin, a desktop 2 × 6 Thunderbolt audio interface, which enables real-time universal audio digital (UAD) processing of its high-quality plug-ins.

The greatest NAMM surprise came from QSC Audio, which revealed its first digital mixer line, the TouchMix series. Behringer also announced a new Dante network option for its X32 range of digital consoles, adding that more than 100,000 units have been sold worldwide. Perhaps inspired by that incredible success, the Music Group also announced a new 40-input Midas digital console, the M32, which is available for less than $5,000.

If you don’t feel excited by these announcements, the music is probably too loud and you may be a tad too old.

Audiofly Adds Quad Balanced Armature AF180 In-Ear Monitor to its Performance Series

Audiofly AF180

Audiofly AF180

Australian company Audiofly has launched its AF180 inear monitors (IEMs) with four expertly tuned balanced armature drivers and new crossover circuitry.

As Dave Thompson, CEO of Audiofly, explains: “We pride ourselves on the detailed reproduction of music and with the new AF180 we have pushed the boundary of in-ear audio technology. The AF180 features four balanced armature drivers geared to deliver ultimate separation in sound at an affordable price to all musicians within the pro audio market. Audiofly listened to user feedback and included the most requested in-ear monitor features: noise isolation; long-term comfort; on-the- road durability; and, most importantly, incredible sound reproduction. We have given musicians an essential tool to help master their craft, and music aficionados the chance to experience music like never before.”

Featuring a quartet of balanced armature drivers in each ear, the AF180 is equipped with a comfortable, noise-isolating fit and a choice of ear tips for long-term listening comfort. The Audioflex SL cable is geared for stage use, with a super-light twisted cable near the performer’s head and durable Cordura fabric reinforcing the remainder of its length. The cable is detachable via Audiofly’s Soundpatch connection, with a streamlined finish and practical, lightweight design. Suggested MSRP is $549.95.

What is a balanced armature? Compared to a dynamic driver that moves air to create sound, a balanced armature increases the efficiency of the in-ear monitor by producing more sound from less power than any other type of driver. The armature sits exactly centered within a magnetic field, so there is no force on the armature, thus the term “balanced.” The armature coil is held in the middle by two magnets until an electrical current stimulates it, causing the diaphragm to vibrate and create a sound wave. The sound wave then travels through the sound port of the driver, through the in-ear monitor into the eardrum for you to hear the accuracy and warmth of detailed sound. Balanced armatures can be tuned to focus on the highs, mids or lows or to reproduce the entire sound spectrum.

www.audiofly.com

PreSonus Shipping New StudioLive AI-series Active Integration Loudspeakers

The new line includes the full-range StudioLive 312AI, 315AI, and 328AI 3-way powered speakers and the StudioLive 18sAI powered subwoofer. All models use custom drivers, Class-D amplifiers, wireless and wired networking and communications with powerful DSP to create a unified working environment. The StudioLive AI-series speakers incorporate Fulcrum Acoustics’ TQ Temporal Equalization algorithms, using multiple, fully addressable Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters to eliminate horn reflections and to correct linear time and amplitude anomalies in coaxial systems. Collaborating with Fulcrum Acoustics’ co-founder, Dave Gunness, PreSonus software designers incorporated custom TQ algorithms with dynamics processing, FFT tools, and performance monitoring into the onboard DSP.

www.presonus.com/products/live-sound-reinforcement

Ardán Audio Focusing on “Audio Elevation Enhancement” Products

ARDANArdán Audio is an Irish company that focuses on the design and sale of Audio Elevation Enhancement products to the professional, studio, home recording, home cinema, and other related markets. Audio Elevation? Yes, Ardán designs and manufactures the most innovative monitor support stands we have seen. Not only do they enable you to detach the speaker from other surfaces, but they also provide vibration isolation, rotation, and tilt “aiming.”

Ardán (pronounced Ar-dawn) is the Gaelic word for “platform,” “high place,” or “stage.” Its Elevation Pro EVP-M1 Speaker Stands were introduced in 2011 and have slowly been building a strong reputation among its users.

Ardán was founded by Brent Finlayson Smith and John Gallen, who stated, “Since mechanical vibration and surface coloration have a significant effect on the sonic performance heard out front, our starting point is the desire to enhance and elevate a user’s existing speaker investment in their own environment, so that they truly hear the underlying quality that is already there but not being fully exploited.”

Ardán Audio says they have now another 20 additional products in the works, which are all manufactured to high specifications in Italy and shipped from Dublin, Ireland.

Ardán Audio
www.ardanaudio.com

Mackie Adds The MRmk3 Series

MackieMRmk3SeriesThe new MRmk3 Series Studio Monitors were among the highlights when Mackie recently refreshed the line. The MRmk3 Series includes three affordable, professional monitors with optimized electronics and custom-matched amplifiers/drivers, complemented by a powerful subwoofer (MR10Smk3). Featuring custom-tuned ports and rugged all-wood MDF cabinets packed with acoustic absorption material, the new Mackie MRmk3 full-range monitors include the 5.25” MR5mk3, the 6.5” MR6mk3, and the 8” MR8mk3.

The Mackie MRmk3 are active monitors specifically designed to reveal the full frequency range in music recording and mixing, optimized with a minimum-diffraction waveguide system and different sized polypropylene woofers together with a 1” silk dome tweeter and Class-A/B amplifiers rated from 50 to 120 WRMS.

All the units feature high- and low-frequency level adjustments with 100-Hz and 3.25-kHz shelving in the rear panels, featuring XLR, TRS, and RCA input connectors.

Mackie
www.mackie.com

Drawmer Ships Its MC2.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller

Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller

The new Drawmer MC2.1 Monitor Controller combines the complexity of several mix-checking features with the fidelity and transparency of the highest quality monitoring circuit. This versatile and intuitive unit offers multiple inputs and outputs, including a dedicated mono output, speaker-level matching, two headphone amplifiers, mix-checking controls, and talkback, resulting in a complete studio tool.

The MC2.1 uses an ultra-low noise and transparent circuit design with a linear power supply, low-hum toroidal transformer, and internal voltage selector switch with timed relay protection on all three stereo-balanced speaker outputs. It also offers a dedicated mono speaker/subwoofer output, to prevent power up/down bangs. The unit features comprehensive mix-checking facilities including Left/Right Cut, Phase Reverse, Mono, Dim, and Mute. The controller provides paralleled custom quad potentiometers on main and headphone level controls for excellent channel matching and a smooth feel.

The four inputs use balanced Neutrik XLR connectors, with a balanced Neutrik XLR/jack combination input and shared auxiliary phono or 3.5-mm jack. The unit is packaged in a rugged steel 2U chassis with a stylish brushed aluminum cover.

Drawmer is Yorkshire-UK-based company, founded in the 1980s by Ivor Drawmer, whose passion was designing audio circuits.

Drawmer Electronics, Ltd.
www.drawmer.com

KRK Systems Launches New Rokit Generation 3 Monitors

KRK Systems, now part of the Gibson Pro Audio division, claims it is the leader in the worldwide home studio market when it comes to powered monitors. KRK Systems is certainly one of the world’s most respected studio reference monitor manufacturers. So, when the company decided to refresh its popular Rokits, now in its third generation, there must have been a good reason.

KRKg3-familyWithout dramatic changes, the new Rokit G3 family shows a cleaner more refined look and finishing, with “radiused” edges that help reduce distortion from diffraction. The monitors now offer a new 1” soft dome tweeter and new glass-Aramid composite woofers. The changes expand the Rokit’s frequency response up to 35 kHz, with better vocal clarity and extended bass response from 35 Hz. The proprietary bi-amped, Class-A/B amplifier provides SPL up to 109 dB and the waveguide design helps achieve the detailed imaging, while the front-firing bass port reduces boundary coupling to enable flexible room positioning. One of the key changes is in the back of the monitors, where high-frequency adjustments can be found to tailor the system to the user’s personal taste. The low-frequency adjustments compensate for room acoustics.

KRK Sytems, Inc.
www.krksys.com

LSR 3 Series: Affordable Studio Monitors From Jbl Professional

The 3 Series studio monitors leverage the new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor.

The 3 Series studio monitors leverage the new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor.

JBL Professional introduced a new professional studio monitoring range at an affordable price. The 3 Series studio monitors leverage the new technology developed for JBL’s flagship M2 Master Reference Monitor, which was launched earlier this year. This is also the first studio monitor line to incorporate JBL’s patent-pending Image Control Waveguide, with a distinctive appearance and rugged build.

The JBL 3 Series features two models: the LSR305, 5” powered studio monitor and the LSR308, 8” powered studio monitor. The LSR305 responds from 43 Hz to 24 kHz and a 108-dB peak sound pressure level (SPL). The LSR308 features a 37-Hz-to-24-kHz response and a 112-dB peak SPL.

Surrounding the high-frequency tweeter and located directly above the woofer, the new Image Control Waveguide precisely controls the sound emanating from the monitor in the vertical and horizontal planes. With a complex contour employing tiny, meticulously engineered ridges, the waveguide optimizes the loudspeakers’ phase relationship, and the blend of directed and reflecting sound arriving at the listening position. In addition, the waveguide enables 3 Series models to deliver neutral sound across a large working space.

The 3 Series’s long-throw woofer and damped woven composite tweeter are designed to reproduce the powerful transients and microdynamics of any mix. JBL’s patented Slip Stream low-frequency port design works with the woofer to produce deep bass response at all playback levels. The port’s double-flared shape is precisely engineered for greater low-frequency extension and reduced turbulence. Efficient Class D amplifiers provide enough power to the drivers to deliver the output and dynamic headroom needed for the most demanding production styles.

Each 3 Series model incorporates a range of features to integrate the loudspeakers into a variety of environments including multiple inputs, a detented volume control, and an input sensitivity switch for compatibility with professional and consumer equipment.

The loudspeakers cost $199.99 and $325 for the LSR305 and LSR308, respectively.

JBL Professional
www.jblpro.com/3series

NTi XL2-TA Receives Type Approval

The XL2-TA Sound Level Meter has received Class 1 approval.

The XL2-TA Sound Level Meter has received Class 1 approval.

The XL2-TA sound level meter has received Class 1 type-approval from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany. The XL2-TA in combination with the M2230 measurement microphone, is officially listed as a type-approved Class 1 sound level meter. The XL2-TA is suitable for environmental noise, occupational health, and sound insulation applications where the measurements require certification.

Receipt of the type-approval certificate confirms the XL2-TA (in combination with the M2230 measurement microphone and the ASD cable) offers full compliance with the Class 1 sound level meter requirements in accordance with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards 61672 and 61260 and meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S1.4 Type 1 performance. The XL2-TA offers certified spectral measurements in octave and third-octave resolution, which further comply with Class 0 filter specifications.

The M2230 measurement microphone connected to the XL2-TA via the ASD cable configuration enables the user to monitor the level readings on the instrument display while Class 1 measurements are taken. The NTi Audio Precision Calibrator completes the portable measurement kit offered in the compact system case.

Customers may upgrade their XL2 analyzers to a type-approved XL2-TA by adding a retrofit kit. Contact your local NTi Audio partner for the upgrade. For more information about the XL2 Analyzer and obtaining the type-approval 0ption, visit www.nti-audio.com/XL2.