NEWS April 2014

D&M Holdings has licensed the rights to the D&M Professional (Pro) product lines, which include Denon Professional, Marantz Professional and Denon DJ, to inMusic, the parent company for a family of music technology and consumer electronics brands that include Akai Professional, Numark, and M-Audio. InMusic is privately held and headquartered in Cumberland, Rhode Island.
‘We are pleased to have reached an agreement with inMusic to license the rights to the D&M Pro brands as this is another step in our strategy to continue focusing on our core consumer brands,’ said Jim Caudill, CEO at D&M Holdings. ‘We are confident that inMusic will bring the required focus and investments to accelerate the growth of these well respected brands.’
‘By adding Denon Professional, Marantz Professional, and Denon DJ to our family of brands, we’re strengthening our base of DJ assets while extending our footprint in the professional market to the commercial installation and contractor segments,’ said Jack O’Donnell, owner and CEO, inMusic. ‘We’re excited about the products and technologies developed by these established brands, and look forward to writing the next chapter in the D&M Pro story by creating new, innovative products for Denon Professional, Marantz Professional, and Denon DJ customers.’

RCF chairman Arturo Vicari has announced the formation of a new RCF Mixer Division and introduced his partner in the project, Umberto Zanghieri, founder of design house, ZP Engineering, which has now become part of the RCF Group. This enabled RCF to unveil its first batch of L-PAD mixers at Frankfurt Prolight + Sound.
Vicari explained that the move into the mixer market with the creation of a new dedicated division is an important strategic move resulting from considerable investment in R&D. Vicari said that the beginning of next year will herald the arrival of several innovative digital models.
‘To successfully enter a crowded market requires us to be able to offer advantages and a different approach,’ he said. ‘RCF will bring together all its extensive audio experience to create this new line, applying its own philosophy and optimising the performance throughout the entire signal chain.’
The first nine-strong RCF L-PAD series come with and without effects and are represented by 6, 8, 10, 12, 16 and 24-channel versions.
Models have compressors with a single knob that controls the threshold and compression ratio at the same time, internal multi-effects, ‘warm–sounding’ and transparent mic preamps, 3-band EQ on mono channels and the 2-band EQ on the stereo channels. RCF has also provided the facility to install an add-on board for the optional recording and playback of MP3 files. Files can be collected on a USB stick (up to 32Gb) and managed by a dedicated transport panel. A further optional Bluetooth card allows connection of devices such as smartphones or tablets to enable music to be played directly via the L-PAD mixer.

Calrec Audio has been acquired by Electra Partners and will become a sister company to Allen & Heath, which Electra acquired last year. ‘When we made our initial investment in the professional audio sector by supporting the buyout of Allen & Heath, Electra provided all of the new financing to ensure flexibility with respect to further acquisitions in the sector,’ said Alex Fortescue, chief investment partner of Electra Partners. ‘The acquisition of Calrec shows the benefits of this approach, and both companies are well-placed to accelerate growth as a result.’
‘Calrec has experienced rapid growth over the past few years. We have a very healthy product portfolio, and we look forward to working alongside Electra Partners as we continue to break new technological boundaries,’ said Calrec MD Roger Henderson.
‘We are delighted to have funded the acquisition of Calrec,’ said Charles Elkington, investment partner of Electra Partners. ‘Part of our investment strategy in the professional audio sector is to acquire additional businesses to create a group of market-leading professional audio brands. We look forward to working with Roger Henderson and his team to continue to invest in developing new products for Calrec's customers.’

Two years after reopening, Wisseloord Studios in Hillversum, Netherlands have expanded with a new mastering suite, a small vintage recording studio, and two additional mastering engineers.
Studio 4, known as the vintage room, is a one-room studio with the look and feel of a living room and facilities catering to smaller productions, tracking sessions, and collaborative songwriting. The space has a Neve 8014 desk with 1073 preamps and a 12-channel 1960s EMI console with recording to Pro Tools or 16-track and 8-track tape. Sander van der Heide and Pier-Durk Hogenterp have joined the mastering team while the new Mastering 2 room has an SPL console, Jochen Veith acoustics, and EgglestonWorks monitors powered by Krell.
‘The folks at Wisseloord would like to express their sincere thanks to the many artists, musicians, and music professionals who have helped them reach this two-year milepost,’ said Frederic Gervais, commercial manager of Wisseloord. ‘With the right combination of team, talent and technology, the future looks bright once again for this musical treasure.’

Dalet Digital Media Systems, a provider of Media Asset Management (MAM) solutions, software and services for broadcasters and content providers, has signed a definitive agreement with Advent Venture Partners to acquire Amberfin, the UK-based company that specialises in video ingest, complex media manipulation, transcoding and quality control solutions.
The acquisition broadens the Dalet product offerings, which are built around an open, IT-centric technology framework and creates an end-to-end solution that includes comprehensive MAM capabilities along with image processing, media transcoding and distribution.
‘This acquisition allows us to offer the industry the most advanced level of workflow options,’ said David Lasry, CEO of Dalet. ‘Amberfin has been at the forefront in mastering media, including transcoding and video quality control. The company has spearheaded many widely adopted industry standards such as MXF and AS-02. Its talent and expertise directly complement Dalet’s strengths in enterprise MAM-driven solutions.’

Privately owned company AEQ, SA has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Kroma Telecom SA and the rights to the brand name. The manufacturing and technical installations will move to AEQ’s headquarters together with the majority of Kroma’s personnel.
Through this merger, the continuity of the only Spanish manufacturer of TFT monitors and Intercom Systems for broadcast applications is said to be assured and, through the acquisition, AEQ adds to its portfolio with Broadcast Video Monitors and Digital Intercom Systems, starting at 16x16 cross-points up to systems with over 1000 x 1000 ports, offering a full range of intercom panels for these systems. Hybrid systems, wired and wireless belt-packs and WiFi base stations complete the product range.
The move will reinforce several areas of AEQ including R&D and sales; AEQ’s reseller network will be reinforced with Kroma’s dealers and distributors and its office in Mexico.

After twelve years working in stereo and surround mastering for Blu-ray, DVD and SACDs, Super Audio Mastering in Devon UK is now offering mixing in 5.1. They recently mixed and mastered the new Goldfrapp album, Tales of Us, in 5.1 which was mixed over five days with Will Gregory.
The 5.1 mix is on the DVD in the Special Edition box set and was also part of the Goldfrapp Live Cinema event which took place in March. The two-hour event included of a film made by Alison Goldfrapp and Lisa Gunning, which used the 5.1 mix completed at SAM, followed by a performance streamed live from Air Studios, London.

New Product Releases

Polaris Evolution components are connected via a standard Ethernet network and recombined with each other for projects. Polaris Evolution consists of the control surface Polaris Access, the multi-user capable audio processor Polaris Scala, and the touchscreen upgrade Polaris View. Almost any number of these modules can be combined within an IP network, irrespective of physical location, and can also be used in parallel simultaneously for different mixing projects. This enables the customer to select the appropriate audio processing power for each application with the required number of fader strips and controls.
A single Polaris Access has 16 faders and the same number of dual rotary encoders, 48 buttons and a display screen strip across the width of the console. The Polaris View touchscreen upgrade can be docked at an angle onto Polaris Evolution and provides a convenient user interface. Polaris Access provides remote control of the Polaris Scala audio processor in the new mixer concept. Polaris Scala is a 19-inch unit for 256 audio inputs and 256 buses. Units can be cascaded to achieve larger numbers of audio channels when required.
The On Air Flex console has a three-part structure in which its audio processing, user interface elements and control intelligence are separate components. By separating the control component the mixer logic becomes freely configurable and available to all. The mixing console configuration can be defined with MapCfg software.
Like On Air 24, On Air Flex is a modular mixing console system with processing power provided by a Nexus XCMC board. It can process 40 input channels when configured with 8 groups, 8 sums, 8 auxes and 8 mix-minus buses. A further configuration with up to 54 input channels without groups is also possible. The input and output connections are available through the Nexus network, which can range from a single, locally installed Base Device to a campus-wide audio network.

SSL’s C100 HD Plus and C10 HD Plus digital broadcast consoles bring together new features and added value consolidation of SSL Production Assistant software to offer users ‘the most powerful and flexible systems SSL has ever produced’.
The C100 HD Plus large format console is designed to offer a complete production solution for News and Sports in a standard high power configuration. Redundant Blackrock Processor cards in a 2U rack process 588 audio mix paths, with 256 channels of 6-Band EQ, and 284 channels of Dynamics with 512 channels of integrated MADI I-O.
The C10 HD Plus has sizes from 16 to 48 faders and the self-contained fanless console is said to be ideal for all-round production demands in mid-scale broadcast facilities. The simple, button-driven surface is easy for new operators while the Blackrock Processor card offers 216 audio paths, with 160 channels of 6-Band EQ, and 188 channels of Dynamics with 512 channels of integrated MADI I-O. It also features a redesigned fader panel colour scheme.
SSL has a Network I-O broadcast audio interface range consisting of MADI-Bridge, providing 64 bidirectional channels of redundant MADI-to-network bridging with front panel confidence headphone monitoring; SDI bridging eight 3G-SDI embedders and eight de-embedders to the network or MADI with internal per channel routing; and Stagebox, which provides eight channels of mic/line I-O (using SSL SuperAnalogue mic pres) with redundant network connectivity. SSL demonstrated the networking at NAB with four SSL consoles networked with third-party devices from Shure and Sound Devices and also featuring LMS-16 Loudness Monitoring connected directly to the network.

Zen Studio features 38 simultaneous input and 32 output channels in a sleek, easy to carry ergonomic box. It includes 12 mic pres, Antelope's signature clocking, on-board DSP effects with multiple monitor mixers and the proprietary low-latency USB connectivity. Antelope Audio Acoustically Focused Clocking provides A-D and D-A conversion and the custom USB technology implemented in Zen are identical to the ones in the 32-channel Orion interface.
DSP, based on a custom FPGA device, makes the DSP chip in Zen Studio eight times more powerful than the ones used in similar devices. This allows fast and easy simultaneous processing of multiple effects. All audio I-O is available simultaneously for a total of 38 possible input and 32 output channels, plus 24 simultaneous I-O channels via custom USB, supporting 24-bit, 192kHz. Users can create up to four independent zero-latency mixes assignable to any outputs, including the two independent headphone outputs and monitor outputs. The unit is controllable using a desktop application on PC and Mac.
Zen Studio delivers a breakthrough number of mic pres and DI instrument inputs for a mobile-sized interface, along with monitoring and tracking DSP capabilities to be used on-the-go.

Montone.42 provides integration of network audio with existing infrastructures. Based on Ravenna and MADI (AES10) it serves as a versatile link for broadcast, live-sound and studio applications.
Montone.42 is equipped with four MADI and two gigabit network ports. Up to eight streams can be assembled with an individual number of audio channels from the MADI inputs, using the internal routing matrix -- 64 audio channels are supported even at 2Fs (88.2/96kHz).
The device can be synchronised to MADI input, Word clock, video input (black burst), network (PTP) or internal clock. When set to internal clock, it may also serve as a network grandmaster. An AES67 compatible profile is available in Montone.42 to ensure interoperability with other audio-over-IP devices.
Kyra is a 1U monitoring device for signal control in MADI environments. Up to four mono or stereo channels from a MADI stream can be summed with individual levels onto a main mix. Each source is equipped with individual bargraphs for input and mix level, a seven segment display and two encoders for fast channel selection and level adjustment. Integrated speakers or a headphones output are employed to output the mix at the front panel.

Lawo’s CrystalClear virtual radio mixing console optimises radio workflows by a smart console interface that is always aware of context, adapting to the skills of the user and the type of sources being used. Its control surface is software, driven by a multitouch interface on a high-resolution computer display. Without physical knobs, buttons and faders, the virtual console presents the user with only relevant controls and information.
The console can be reconfigured by recalling a Scene or Preset so different shows and different users are easily accommodated. It’s as easy to drive as a tablet PC, while powerful enough to manage complex workflows for fast-paced broadcasting environments.

Merging’s Hapi networked audio convertor uses Ravenna Audio over IP networking technology. Hapi uses the same analogue I-O option cards as Horus but in a compact 1U chassis with two card slots. This reduction in size and cost make Hapi the perfect partner to Horus where fewer inputs or outputs are required and it provides a low cost entry point into the Ravenna/AES67 world. The standard chassis has the following features as standard: 8 AES-EBU I-O (on DSub 25); 8 ADAT or 2 SPDIF I-O (on Toslink), Ravenna/AES67 I-O (on RJ45); Word clock Input and Output (on BNC); SYNC – LTC/MTC/Video ref/(requires CON-D15-VTC Cable); two Option slots for AD8D/AD8DP, DA8/DA8P and MADI option cards;  AC and DC power connections; and a web browser control interface.
The long-awaited CoreAudio Virtual Sound Driver joins the ASIO option. Any DAW or workstation can now connect to Hapi or Horus and enjoy the benefits of remote control from a web browser that can control the mic inputs and manage the MADI, AES-EBU and Ravenna streams via a Cat 5e cable.
Meanwhile, 64-bit versions of Pyramix, Ovation and VCube are available. Apart from offering significantly enhanced performance with MassCore options, V9.0 Pyramix sees a completely revised mixer UI and a number of serious feature improvements aimed at the postproduction user.

Analoguetube has a 12-tube mono compressor -- the all-tube AT-1 has several passive additions to the original circuit of the Fairchild 660 that builds more functionality and flexibility into a classic compressor design. Many of the features in its bigger stereo brother have also been included in these models as standard, with a stepped AC threshold control, a latching bypass button and the ability to stereo link other AT-1 units together. All variable controls are non inductive, hot-moulded composition types. All switches are Grayhill.
Other features include a selectable audio sidechain input that allows the user to electrically split the compressor and AC Threshold in two for external sidechain control. This input is transformer balanced and great for de-essing vocals.
The compressor has a four-tube power supply complete with cold cathode regulation, four-tube AC Threshold for high voltage sidechain control, and four 6386 tubes for the gain reduction.

Audio-Technica has reintroduction the AT4060a tube microphone, which combines warm, round vintage tone with a wide dynamic range. The new version of the microphone benefits from a redesigned power supply (AT8560), engineered for improved performance and lower noise.
The AT4060’s two-micron, vapour-deposited gold diaphragms undergo a five-step aging process. Featuring a hand-selected, individually tested and aged Sovtek 6922 tube, it ships with the AT8560 power supply, rackmount adaptors, AT8447 shock mount, 10m cable with 6-pin XLR-type connectors for use between microphone and power supply and protective mic carrying case.

  • AES, Berlin, 26-29 April
  • KOBA, Seoul, 20-23 May
  • BroadcastAsia, Singapore, 17-20 June
  • Infocomm, Las Vegas, 18-20 June
  • BIRTV, Beijing, 27-30 August
  • IBC, Amsterdam, 12-16 September
  • Prolight + Sound, Moscow, 18-21 September
  • Plasa, London, 5-8 October
  • Prolight + Sound, Shanghai, 8-11 October
  • AES, Los Angeles, 9-12 October
  • BroadcastIndia, Mumbai, 15-17 October
  • Interbee, Tokyo, 19-21 November
  • NatExpo, Moscow, 19-21 November
  • Tonmeistertagung, Cologne, 20-23 November
  • NAMM, Anaheim, 22-25 January 2015
  • ISE, Amsterdam, 10–12 February
  • BVE, London, 24-26 February
  • CabSat, Dubai, 10-12 March
  • NAB, Las Vegas, 11-16 April
  • Prolight + Sound, Frankfurt, 15-18 April
In Resolution
  • The Catherine Marks interview
  • Winter Games Special
  • Meet your maker: Steinberg at 30
  • The film industry gets its Napster moment
  • Recording the cello
  • The promise and reality of AES67

Columns from Dan Daley, Dennis Baxter and John Watkinson plus reviews of the Studer Infinity and Vista X, Waves/Abbey Road Reel ADT, Vertigo Sound VSP-2, LimitEar HDM Pro, Harrison Lineage & 832c, and Avantone Pro Active Mixcube.