Press Reviews

George Petersen Front Of House Mag, Product Hits of the 2014 AES show, Los Angeles (ISO-Q2)

The Iconic George Petersen gives his feedback on the ISO -Q2 in FOH Online magazine on Product hits of AES 2014

George stops by the MV Pro Audio booth # 1557 at AES Los Angeles and checks out SBS Designs, shown giving Thumbs up to SBS Designs with Multiple Grammy engineer Francis Buckley on the right in the last picture attachment.

George Petersen on the ISO-Q2

Besides all this test and interface gear you gotta have some fun along the way, and the ISO-Q2 from SBS Designs (www.sbsdesigns.com) is all that. A very analog (100 kHz bandwidth), single rack unit, the ISO-Q2 is a deceptively simple 3-band isolator/3-band program equalizer with sweepable LF/HF bands and up to 15 dB of boost in its bass, mid and high bands. It can be used as an effects loop insert or inline after the main L/R out of any console, but it’s fast and easy to use. The sound is sweet and smooth, but unfortunately, the ISO-Q2 also addicting — once you use it, you probably won’t ever want to take it out of your house feed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The SBS Designs ISO-Q2 quote taken from the last paragraph,

FOH Online Entire article:

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Product Hits of AES 2014

Written by George Petersen
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 12:24
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2014 AES Show opens to record crowds.LOS ANGELES — It’s been 12 years since the annual Audio Engineering Society show made an appearance in Los Angeles, this time returning to the L.A. Convention Center from October 8 through 12, 2014. And for audio professionals, this was the place to be, with the exhibit floor, panels and technical sessions packed all four days, with 15,403 registered attendees — representing a 28% increase over the 2012 San Francisco Show, the last time AES was held on the West Coast.

As with past AES shows, the emphasis tended toward higher-end recording technologies, although the presentations at the Project Studio Expo and Live Sound Expo were also popular attractions, along with the usual technical panels featuring world-class producers and studio engineers. However, with some 307 exhibitors/sponsors, there was still a good amount of gear slated towards the sound reinforcement market, and even a few surprises to be found on the show floor.

BIG NEWS AT AES? LIVE CONSOLES!

As expected, the emphasis at AES was on recording gear, with Solid State Logic (www.solid-state-logic.com) drawing crowds to see its new analog 24 x 8 studio console. Carrying a price of $19,999, XL-Desk is the company’s most affordable console to date, but takes a twist with its 18-slot built-in rack that accommodates popular 500-series API-format signal processing modules.

SSL Live L300 ConsoleOn the live console side, SSL snagged the spotlight with its new Live L300 console and a new V2.5 software release that significantly adds to SSL’s Live console platform. The L300 is a physically smaller, lower-cost version than the L500, but the L300 delivers the power and connectivity to handle large scale productions with up to 568 input/outputs, 128 processing paths (96 full, 32 dry), a 32 x 36 matrix, 36 VCA’s and 48 FX slots.

Both of SSL’s live mixers use the same Remote I/O, use identical 96k Hz audio conversion and internal audio engine. The differences between the two models center on physical size, available channel paths and available I/O. The full processing paths include four-band parametrics that are switchable between a precise constant-Q mode and “SSL Legacy EQ” with the well-known SSL tonal character, SSL dynamics, analog-style tube emulator, expander/gates, delay lines and cleverly configured all-pass filters. The console also features precision analysis tools such as the fixed point per octave spectrum analyzer and the popular Dialogue Automix system from SSL’s broadcast consoles. Initial L300 shipping is slated for November 2014, with pricing expected to be about 35% less than the flagship L500. Click here to see the video on FOH-TV!

The company also demoed its new SSL OffLine Setup Application (SOLSA), a free-download PC-based app for creating and editing SSL Live console showfiles. Nearly anything done on a Live console can be configured “offline” when access to a console is not possible. Functions include console configs, fader tile layer and bank setups, routings, scene creation and automation editing, channel processing and VCA assigns. Built-in user guides have tutorials to anyone wanting to learn console operations.

 

DiGiCo (www.digico.biz) was at AES touting the latest V685 software upgrade for its proprietary Stealth digital processing-based consoles, providing increased power and new functionality. V685 enhancements include: increased bus count (from 16 to 24 Flexi Buses) on the SD9; input channel count increases from 32 to 40 Flexi Channels on the SD11i/B; Optocore DD4MR, DD2FR, X6R and DD32R support; 32 stereo Waves racks for any SD5, SD8, SD9, SD10 or SD11 running Waves 9.5; aux sends now available on groups; D-Rack AES input card support; and additional tweaks for theatrical applications.

Yamaha Commercial Audio (www.yamahaca.com) announced its upcoming Version 3.0 update for its CL and QL digital consoles, with enhancements including a new 8-band parametric EQ and an RTA function. Also new: Buss Comp 369 (a VCM model of a well-known studio stereo bus compressor); enhanced user defined keys; DCA assignment selection for Scene Management; and the addition of 16 channels of Dan Dugan automatic mic mixing to the CL series. The free download should ship in early 2015.

Avid VENUE | S3L-X Avid (www.avid.com) was showing its new VENUE | S3L-X live sound system, which builds on the success of the popular S3L which came out a year ago and lets engineers easily mix and record live shows using Pro Tools software, while delivering expanded networking, control and processing, and twice the RAM of the S3L. Features include the ability to share I/O across multiple S3L-X Systems (with full automatic gain compensation); support for 64-bit AAX DSP plug-ins; EUCON and Ethernet AVB protocol support; and a scalable modular design from 16 to 64 mic preamps. Click here to see the video on FOH-TV!

Lawo’s mc² 36 live audio console makes its U.S. debut at this month’s AES show.Lawo www.(lawo.com) made the USA debut of its long-awaited mc²36 audio live console – an all-in-one mixing desk, with a comprehensive feature set that covers broadcast, theater, house of worship, live and install applications. Available in 16/24/40-fader frames, the mc²36′s powerful DSP micro-core has an internal 512 x 512 port audio matrix, with integrated I/O to make it suited for permanent installs with limited space, as well as to rental companies. Click here to see the video on FOH-TV!

Standard mc²36 features include 21.5-inch HD touch screens, touch-sensitive color-illuminated rotary encoders and full RAVENNA/AES67 networking support. In addition to the mc²36′s extensive onboard I/O (32 mic/line inputs, 32 line outs, eight AES3 inputs, eight AES3 outputs and more), a MADI tie-line and three RAVENNA/AES67 audio-over-IP ports provide future-proof connectivity for up to 384 external inputs and outputs, offering a total capacity of 496 physical inputs and outputs.

PreSonus StudioLive Rackmount Digital Mixer Decidedly less pricey are the new StudioLive RM-series rackmount digital mixers from PreSonus (www.presonus.com), which are based on the company’s successful new StudioLive AI-series engine. Rather than a physical control surface, both the RM16 AI and RM32 AI feature remote-control software that runs on Mac and Windows computers, as well as iPad and Windows 8 touchscreens.

The three-rackspace RM16 AI provides 16 XLR inputs with recallable XMAX™ Class-A preamps, eight XLR line outs, and three main outs (left, right, and mono/center); 32 internal channels and 25 buses; a 52×34 FireWire 800 recording interface; 96 kHz operation; and extensive onboard signal processing. As its name suggests, the four-rackspace RM32 AI offers 32 inputs, also with recallable XMAX preamps and 16 line outputs but otherwise having the same features as the 16-input version. Both mixers offer individual +48V phantom power on all inputs.

Users will appreciate the StudioLive RM-series approach, where the main unit can be left onstage — no need for mic snakes — and the ability to tweak any mixer parameter wirelessly from a tablet or iPad from anywhere in the venue. This also includes monitor mixing as well and/or individual musicians can adjust their own stage mixes via an iPhone or iPad. The RM32 AI is $1,999/street, the RM16 AI is $1,399/street and included in the series pricing is integrated Capture recording software with true Virtual Soundcheck mode and the Studio One Artist recording/editing/mixing DAW app for Mac/Windows.  Click here to see the video on FOH-TV!

THE LISTENING POST

In a somewhat of reversal on recent years, this AES actually featured some new sound reinforcement speakers.

 

WorxAudio (www.worxaudio.com), now a division of PreSonus, unveiled its TrueLine X2i-P/D, X3i-P/D and X5i-P/D line array systems and X115i-P/D and X118i-P/D subs — all incorporating PreSonus Active Integration technology and Dante interfacing. An onboard CPU in each speaker enables advanced functions, with a USB Wi-Fi LAN module to connect to free SL Room Control Mac/PC/iPad software over a wireless network. This offers remote access of individual and grouped speaker control, including graphic and parametric EQ, notch filters, compressor, limiter, muting, soloing and level control, in addition to performance monitoring (over temperature, click detection, and excursions).

The two-way, powered WorxAudio X2i-P/D is a compact line array having two modules, each with a 1-inch-exit compression driver paired with dual, 8-inch transducers that provide a 45 Hz to 20 kHz response with side 160-degree dispersion. The X3i-P/D is a 3-module system with similarly broad dispersion, while the five-module X5i-P/D line array incorporating five modules five HF drivers and ten 8-inch MF/LF cone drivers. Complementary X115-P 1,600W (single-15) and 5,000W X118-P (single 18) subwoofers round out the series.

Eastern Acoustic Works (www.eaw.com) had a demo room to show off its Anya line arrays, which just came off the Tom Petty tour and the new OTTO powered double-18 subwoofers. Designed for flown or groundstacked applications and now shipping, the latter feature the company’s new DSP-driven Adaptive™ technology for creating omni, cardioid and hypercardioid LF patterns from just a single OTTO module or more complex directivity using multiple cabinets.

JBL EON 206P Portable PA JBL Professional (www.jblpro.com) went more downmarket this time, with the new EON 206P, an ultra portable, 25-pound system designed for small band/solo acts, schools, worship events, seminars and more. Each pole-mountable speaker has two 6.5-inch woofers and a 1-inch dome tweeter driven with 160-watt (80W/ch) amplification in the main unit. Maximum output is 113 dB. An integrated mixer has two mic/line channels with reverb effect; two stereo line inputs; and two 1/8-inch TRS stereo inputs. A stereo monitor out can drive stage monitors or an external sub.

Known for its beautifully crafted, high-performance studio mics, Blue Microphones broke new ground with its new Mo-Fi (www.mofiheadphones.com). The first headphone featuring a built-in 240-milliwatt audiophile amplifier matched to precision ear drivers, Mo-Fi was designed mainly for the portable laptops/tablet/phone market, but would be an ideal solution in live sound FOH and monitor situations, where the clean and loud amplification (and well-isolated earcups) could provide precision hearing in difficult environments. Onboard batteries recharge via micro USB for 12 to 14 hours of play time. MSRP is $349.

Having acquired the Hafler brand a few months ago, Radial Engineering (www.radialeng.com) was showing some new Hafler items, beginning with some small box items such as three flavors of phono preamps and two headphone amplifiers. The latter includes the solid-state Hafler HA15 and the “Tube Head” HA75, a discrete design that incorporates a 12AX7 tube unique feedback control. Radial president Peter Janis also said that plans are in the works to re-release a select number of popular power amplifiers from the Hafler lineup, sometime in 2015.

Shure PSM 300 Stereo Personal Monitor SystemShure (www.shure.com) launched the latest addition to its successful line of PSM personal monitor systems, the PSM 300 Stereo Personal Monitor System, which brings in-ear monitoring rigs down to more affordable levels (retails prices start at $699) — great news for bands, solo performers and house of worship musicians.

The PSM 300 system consists of a half-rack sized stereo transmitter and either an “entry level” or “pro” beltpack receiver, which can accept the included earphones or any earpiece with a standard 1/8-inch stereo plug. Each model delivers detailed 24-bit digital audio performance with reliable wireless coverage that extends up to 300 feet while a one-touch frequency scan and IR sync features allow users to quickly find and assign a clean wireless channel. Click here to see the video on FOH-TV!

RECORDERS FOR LIVE!

Yeah, AES is mainly a recording show, but still, I was surprised by the number of new recording products intended for live users. Waves Audio (www.waves.com) previewed its Waves Tracks Live recording software designed for capturing live performances of all kinds, with simultaneous multi-track and master bus recording, so a quick stereo mix recording of a performance is always instantly available. The PC/Mac compatible software is ASIO/Core Audio compatible, supports up to 512 I/O’s at up to 192 kHz and has multichannel and stereo out automatic re-routing, for simple toggle back/forth toggling between recording and virtual sound check playback. A meter bridge view for easy monitoring and captured tracks are compatible with all pro DAWs.

Cymatic Audio (www.cymaticaudio.com) is just now beginning shipments of its uTrack 24, a single-rackspace recorder/player that lets users capture or playback 24 channels of balanced analog audio thru D-sub connectors as 44.1/48 kHz WAV files, direct to an off-the-shelf USB hard disk. Two units can be cascaded for 48 tracks and the uTrack24 can also double as a 24/96 audio interface to iPad/Mac/PC. An onboard DSP mixer lets users create and/or monitor a stereo mix of all 24 captured inputs via an headphone output with control of level, panning, mute, and solo for all 24-inputs. Street price is $999.

JoeCo‘s (www.joeco.co.uk) BlackBox BBR1MP has begun shipping worldwide. The unit puts a 24-track, 24-bit/96kHz recorder with onboard mic/line preamps into a single-rack chassis. Mics connect via rear panel D-Sub connectors; an optional 2U XLR breakout panel is also offered. In addition to multi-tracking, the system can also create a simultaneous stereo mixdown, with access to all parameters via an iPad app. User-installable Dante and MADI interface cards are optional, adding 24 channels of Dante or MADI I/O to the unit.

Also shipping is TASCAM‘s (www.tascam.com) handheld/standmount DR-44WL 4-track recorder with built-in X/Y stereo condenser microphones, two XLR inputs for adding two other mics or line sources, 96 kHz/24-bit converters, SD card storage and Wi-Fi connectivity for uploading or emailing files. A free app for iOS and Android controls the transport, transfers files, and streams audio from the device. Street price is $299.

Ideal for grab-and-go direct to computer recording, Lewitt Audio‘s (www.lewitt-audio.com) 24-bit DGT 650 digital USB microphone is a $399/street unit takes the USB mic market to a new level, with a built-in lithium-ion battery and ASIO for Windows and OS X Core Audio support as well as mobile devices. In stereo mode, the DGT 650′s two condenser capsules provide 90-degree XY stereo signal. A mono cardioid mode is intended for recording speech or singing. In Singer/Songwriter mode, the DGT 650 can simultaneously put out both a mono signal and a line signal. It also provides a stereo line-in mode with a stereo input that makes possible two-channel recording from a mixer or other line source. Each mode also allow the additional inclusion of MIDI data.

AUDIO ESSENTIALS

DirectOut's ANNA-LISA MADI AnalyzerDirectOut (www.directout.eu) was showing the ANNA-LISA, a handheld MADI analyzer/signal generator equipped with SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) optical and BNC MADI I/Os providing straightforward, immediate analysis of any MADI input. Signal condition, input level and jitter can be monitored directly at the device. More detailed info — such as protocol and user bit checks — is accessible through an external app via USB and Bluetooth. The device is powered by an integrated battery and chargeable via USB. And the integrated signal generator, combined with the analysis/test functions, the ANNA-LISA is a convenient, all-round tool for any MADI environment. Click here to see the video on FOH-TV!

 

Pivitec e64i/o-MADI 64-channel AVB network interface In a concerted initiative to secure global peace for the worlds of networked audio, Pivitec (www.pivitec.com) has furthered its efforts with the deliveries of its e64i/o-MADI unit, a compact 64-channel MADI-to-AVB interface. Said to be to be the “world’s first” AVB to MADI bridge, the Pivitec e64i/o-MADI is a bi-directional interface that utilizes both BNC and SC Multi-Mode Fiber Optic connectors to easily connect mixing consoles or any other MADI devices.

The unit is also compatible with other AVB network interfaces, such as Pivitec’s analog, ADAT and Yamaha MY Card products. The e64i/o-MADI can also be used as a network-recording interface for AVB enabled computers and/or work with Pivitec’s V2Mix Pro control application for iOS to create a powerful, flexible networked personal monitor system, providing wireless control of 32 discrete channels of audio at the musician’s fingertips.

Speaking of iOS devices, the iPrecisionMic from Studio Six Digital (www.studiosixdigital.com) is the only Type-1 certified measurement mic that’s also an iOS direct-connect Lightning accessory and is calibrated to ±0.1 dB accuracy. Calibration offsets in the mic’s nonvolatile memory are transferred automatically to an iOS device running the company’s AudioTools app. Built into the omnidirectional mic’s body is a precision 24-bit ADC and a digital audio link for communicating directly with Apple devices, so the mic bypasses the iOS unit’s analog electronics. Price is $1,099.

Besides all this test and interface gear you gotta have some fun along the way, and the ISO-Q2 from SBS Designs (www.sbsdesigns.com) is all that. A very analog (100 kHz bandwidth), single rack unit, the ISO-Q2 is a deceptively simple 3-band isolator/3-band program equalizer with sweepable LF/HF bands and up to 15 dB of boost in its bass, mid and high bands. It can be used as an effects loop insert or inline after the main L/R out of any console, but it’s fast and easy to use. The sound is sweet and smooth, but unfortunately, the ISO-Q2 also addicting — once you use it, you probably won’t ever want to take it out of your house feed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

More to Come

AES 2015 returns to New York City for next fall’s show, although the exact dates were unconfirmed as of press time. For further information on the Audio Engineering Society, visit www.aes.org.

 

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