Pro Sound News has announced its Best of Show Award winners for InfoComm 2019.
The Best of Show Awards are judged by a panel of engineers and industry experts from submitted nominations. Criteria include ease of installation and use/maintenance, performance, relevance, value/ROI, network friendliness, versatility, and reliability.
The following is an in-depth rundown (in alphabetical order) of Pro Sound News’ winning products, with text provided directly from the manufacturers themselves.
Ashly Audio mXa-1502 Mixer Amp
Ashly Audio’s new mXa-1502 Mixer Amp is an integrated product bringing four zones of mixing and DSP, plus 2 x 150W of power and programmable mic preamps and a complete DSP suite – all made simple in a single, compact, elegant rack-mountable unit.
The design highlights Ashly’s belief that integrated products – combined with simplicity in installation and use – is critical for contractors in today’s installation market.
The mXa-1502 is primed to help integrators win more clients among the small- and medium-sized business sectors of retail, hospitality, and house of worship. Integrators can easily perform system configuration and deliver long-term assistance thanks to the mixer amp’s built-in web server, which offers a web-based control platform. If an end user requires assistance, an integrator can first login to the controls remotely online before rolling a truck out to the site.
Further, the control system doesn’t require extensive tutorials or workshops to master. Ashly has put a focus on ensuring the most intuitive interface ever, with different levels of control for both the beginner user up to the integrator.”
Avid Pro Tools 2019
Avid Pro Tools 2019, the latest version of the industry-standard digital audio workstation, boosts power and performance for every level of user—from professional music creators and aspiring artists to top-echelon audio post professionals and engineers—enabling them to work faster and more creatively on the most complex projects. With this latest release, Avid is delivering on customer-voted features from its annual ACA (Avid Customer Association) Vote, including increased voices for native systems and an increased MIDI track count.
Pro Tools 2019 provides support for macOS Mojave and offers more power for working with high track-counts and demanding audio post productions.
For users working in high track-count environments, such as audio post production, Pro Tools | Ultimate delivers 50 percent more voices/audio tracks than previous versions. In addition to this base voice limit increase to 384, Pro Tools | Ultimate software and HD Native customers are able to further increase the number of available voices up to 768 per system—on par with a three-card Pro Tools | HDX system—with the addition of native Pro Tools | Ultimate Voice Packs. The ability to scale the number of voices in Pro Tools | Ultimate software enables a greater degree of flexibility and power to tackle the most demanding work and when working in tandem with high-powered HDX systems.
The latest version has enhanced playback features that enable more fluid creativity in the software. Users can perform seamless track and timeline interactions during playback—inserting plugins, adding or deleting tracks, changing routing, adjusting loop duration and more. This suite of playback features allows users to work quickly, and therefore more productively, without playback errors disrupting their flow.
In addition, Pro Tools | First users can now create and save an unlimited number of projects locally. Users can selectively sync up to three projects to their complimentary cloud storage for easy access anytime, anywhere.
For facilities and institutions, Avid also introduced Pro Tools Multiseat Network Site Licensing. Multiseat licensing enables easy administration of multiple Pro Tools seats from a single account and local server, eliminating the need for a multitude of physical iLok dongles and cumbersome site management.
Jonathan Wales is a long-time Pro Tools user, re-recording mixer and President of Satellite Post Production. Jonathan Wales says: “It’s amazing to think that our existing Pro Tools systems can inherit so much additional capability with a software update such as this one. These are the features we’ve been dreaming of and they were highly ranked in the Avid Customer Association’s annual vote. It’s extremely exciting to have them arrive. This is a huge release, because not only do we get a massive increase in power—with more voices in Pro Tools | Ultimate—but the speed is unbelievable. Not having the playback stop while inserting plugins or routing tracks is an incredible revelation and will only encourage creativity further.”
Bose Professional ArenaMatch Array & Utility Loudspeakers
ArenaMatch loudspeakers bring Bose sound quality, consistency, vocal clarity and flexibility to outdoor installations and what sets ArenaMatch apart is DeltaQ technology, which allows directivity, or “Q,” to vary in each array module to more precisely match coverage to audience area. ArenaMatch array modules are available with 10-, 20- or 40-degree vertical coverage and feature unique field changeable 60-, 80- or 100-degree horizontal waveguides to yield nine coverage pattern options. This flexibility allows asymmetrical coverage patterns, improved sightlines due to reduced module counts, reduced array weight and lower overall system costs compared to many conventional arrays.
ArenaMatch loudspeakers and ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers combine to provide turnkey solutions for entire outdoor sound systems. ArenaMatch loudspeakers also interface perfectly with Bose PowerMatch amplifiers, ControlSpace DSPs and ControlSpace Designer software, and feature Dante connectivity, all combining to simplify setup and monitoring.
Each Bose ArenaMatch array module houses a 14-inch neodymium woofer and six Bose EMB2S titanium-diaphragm neodymium compression drivers. ArenaMatch DeltaQ modules achieve an IP55 weather rating by way of features that include a three-layer stainless steel grille, water-resistant woofer cone coating, industrial polyurea exterior coating and molded input cover. Enhancing adaptability, all ArenaMatch models ship standard with bi-amp capability, a passive crossover, and 70/100V transformer inputs. They also include M12 threaded inserts with internal steel link bars for use with Bose accessory mounting hardware or custom array frames.
Built for zone-fill coverage or high-SPL foreground music, four new Bose ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers use the same HF driver as ArenaMatch array modules for a similar tonal balance. The compact cabinets include a constant-directivity high-frequency horn that can be rotated for horizontal or vertical installation. ArenaMatch Utility modules mount with an included stainless-steel U-bracket.
Clair Brothers C10 Dual 10″ Line Array
C10-M is the latest innovation in line array technology. C10 is the only 15° vertical, dual 10” format line array available with Clair TrueFit technology – custom, continuously variable horizontal waveguides designed-to-order for theatre and auditorium-sized venues.
C10-M incorporates an advanced transducer technology for midrange and high frequency reproduction, both join a common waveguide. At least two amplifier channels are required, one for low freq, one for mid/hi which is coupled via an internal passive crossover network.
The centrally-located mid/hi section provides 15° vertical coverage and variable horizontal coverage. Horizontal pattern may be altered to optimize coverage for application context. Horizontal coverage angle may be defined symmetrically or asymmetrically by standard angles between 70° and 120° (10° increments) or may be custom configured with Clair TrueFit waveguides.
TrueFit systems reduce energy wasted on walls and extend the stereo image over a greater audience area. Tuning is faster and easier since the acoustical problem of geometric divergence shading is already solved with the TrueFit 3D acoustical solution.
Horn and waveguides are constructed, as all Clair waveguides are, with CNC machined Baltic birch plywood. This is symmetrically flanked by the C10-M low frequency sections. Each 10” low frequency driver is front loaded in its own tuned reflex chamber.
The C10-M speaker cabinet is designed to provide exceptional intelligibility and is capable of a frequency response of 50Hz–20kHz.
C10-M has one of the most versatile and easy to use rigging systems in the industry. Each enclosure is equipped with structurally integrated bimodal rigging to allow for quick coverage angle adjustments for multiple venue arrangements. Rear rigging hardware allows for angle adjustments between 0 and 15 degrees at 1 degree increments. The C10 cabinet shares the same width as the C8 (dual 8” array) and CS118 (18” subwoofer) allowing for simple systematic compatibility and minimal adaptation accessories.
As with all Clair Brothers products, C10 is constructed of the finest Baltic birch plywood and finished with a rugged exterior epoxy to withstand the most demanding conditions.
The speaker grille is constructed of high-grade 14 gauge perforated steel, finished with commercial grade powder coat.
Crestron Electronics UC Video Smart Soundbar & Camera
An all-in-one incredible front of room device, the Crestron® UC Video Conference Smart Soundbar & Camera (UC-SB1-CAM) eliminates the need to install additional microphones, speakers, or cameras. Mounted on the wall or placed on a credenza beneath the main room display(s), the smart soundbar looks great and sounds even better in any small to medium sized meeting space.
High powered stereo speakers, adaptive beamforming microphone, and advanced digital signal processing deliver exceptional full duplex speakerphone performance with highly intelligible, echo free voice clarity. A perfect view of the room is achieved through the built in conferencing camera featuring HD 1080p video resolution, ultra wide 150° diagonal field of view, and Genius Framing digital autozoom.1 Its compact, all in one design reduces clutter on the conference table, and even accommodates rooms with no table at all.
The UC-SB1-CAM comprises a high performance AEC enabled speakerphone and camera. It is also available and designed for integration with any computer running UC conferencing or web collaboration software, as well as for general presentation of computer based AV content. A single USB 3.0 connection provides a plug and play interface to a computer.
The UC-SB1-CAM behaves like any USB Audio or USB Video class device, enabling use as a speaker, microphone, and camera for all types of multimedia applications running on a computer. Even if you’re not on a call, you can use the smart soundbar to share content with everyone in the room, or make a professional recording of the meeting, with exceptional results.
The smart soundbar facilitates conversations with exceptional audio fidelity and pickup. Its integrated 180° far field microphone array faithfully captures voices throughout the room using adaptive beamforming technology. Its high powered, two-way stereo speakers produce full, rich and real sounding audio. High performance AEC technology achieves transparent full duplex performance free of distracting echo or noise. Additional digital signal processing assures optimal sound quality for an immersive experience.
The integrated Huddly IQ™ camera features an ultra-wide angle 150° diagonal field of view to capture an entire conference room in Full HD 1080p video resolution. High precision aspherical optics, 12 MP CMOS sensor, and advanced video processing ensure an immersive, crystal clear video image free from light or noise artifacts or optical aberrations.
Genius Framing digital autozoom intelligently detects the people in the room and frames them perfectly for an optimal view. With Genius Framing, there’s no need to control the camera manually or rely on stored presets. When conferencing, the camera image adjusts automatically to frame everyone in the shot.
Installation is a breeze using the integral hinged mounting bracket, which attaches easily to the wall and allows the soundbar to be tipped forward for full access to the rear panel connections. Once installed and connected, the soundbar is held upright magnetically for normal operation. The bracket allows for attachment to any wall surface using two screws. Alternately, the soundbar can be simply placed on a shelf or credenza.
Meyer Sound ULTRA-X40 Compact Loudspeaker
Designated ULTRA-X40, the new loudspeaker series features a concentric driver configuration, new amplifier and processor technologies drawn from the LEO® Family of line array loudspeakers, a rotatable horn, an extraordinary power-to-size/weight ratio, and a wide selection of versatile rigging options.
Drawing from the proven design approach of LEO Family loudspeakers, the ULTRA-X40 employs a concentric driver configuration with dual 8-inch neodymium magnet cone drivers coupled to a low-mid waveguide surrounding the single 3-inch diaphragm high-frequency compression driver. The 110° x 50° constant-Q HF horn is easily field rotatable and working in concert with the concentric design it ensures that the full bandwidth coverage pattern will be uniform with either horizontal or vertical orientation.
It also incorporates a newly designed and highly efficient 3-channel class D amplifier that produces a total peak output power of 1950 W with a maximum sustained current draw of only 1.3 A.
Preliminary performance specifications include an operating frequency range of 60 Hz to 18 kHz, with linear peak SPL of 130.5 dB measured with M-Noise and 128 dB with pink noise. Highly refined signal processing with advanced phase alignment circuits results in phase response of ± 45° from 100 Hz to 16 kHz. Another variant in the ULTRA-X40 family, the ULTRA-X40-2, offers the same performance but with the coverage pattern define by a narrower 60° x 50° constant-Q HF horn.
The rear-panel features a female XLR 3-pin input connector with a male loop output. The optional RMS™ remote system monitoring module provides comprehensive monitoring of loudspeaker parameters from a host computer running Compass® software. In addition, the optional XLR 5-pin connectors version of the input board accommodates both balanced audio and RMS signals. AC line power is furnished via loop-through powerCON20 connectors.
Housed in a premium multi-ply birch enclosure with textured finish, ULTRA-X40 loudspeakers measure 12.5 inches (317 mm) wide, 22.31 inches (567 mm) high and 14 inches (356 mm) deep.
Pliant Technologies MicroCom wireless intercom system
MicroCom is the newest digital wireless intercom system from Pliant Technologies. It is a multi-user, single channel, full-duplex professional wireless intercom solution for any size budget and is ideal for applications where high-quality audio, excellent range, and low-cost are essential.
MicroCom is an affordable wireless intercom solution for small events, single rooms, stage productions, or any other simple application where a small, yet robust intercom system needs to be deployed. MicroCom delivers the performance and price often needed for smaller houses of worship facilities, videographers, corporate events, schools, and more.
MicroCom is designed with advanced RF technology and its software is tailored for professional use. It features Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Technology (FHSS) with low latency (less than 35ms). While intended for professional use, the system is very simple to set-up and easy-to-use, which is an added benefit for a facility or event that is working with less-technical staff and volunteers. In addition, MicroCom offers exceptional sound and range in comparison to other intercom systems at this price point, providing more features and performance to users with smaller budgets.
MicroCom has the ability to have up to five full duplex users. Another advantage of MicroCom is that it has the capability to provide unlimited listeners without the need for basestations, providing a great deal of flexibility.
The system features small, water-resistant lightweight beltpacks that measure 3.9 x1.9-inches and weighs only 3.1-ounces, and is designed with a 7-segment LCD display. It provides excellent audio quality and a long-life 10-hour fixed lithium ion battery, making MicroCom ideal for long-form events and productions. It also comes with a belt clip holster.
In addition, MicroCom is compatible with a wide range of professional headsets. The SmartBoom series of Pliant headsets has now been expanded to include versions for use with MicroCom beltpacks. For those applications where budget and quality are critical, MicroCom, paired with a SmartBoom headset, is an extremely effective solution. Pliant can now provide an intercom solution for even the smallest wireless intercom requirements and serve the needs of customers that have been looking for a product with the quality, features, and price of MicroCom.
Renkus-Heinz IC Live X Steerable Array Loudspeakers
The new ICL-X Series delivers an unprecedented level of flexibility, giving integrators, contractors, and production and rental companies the power to provide the best solution for any application, anytime.
ICL-X is a complete, integrated system, offering two combinable steered-array modules, the ICL-X and ICL-XL, and two matching subwoofers, the ICL-XS and ICL-X-118S. ICL-X Series are compact, high-output, high fidelity steerable array modules that deliver concert-level performance and musicality. Units can be combined in arrays up to 12 modules tall to create highly directional arrays that deliver high-impact, high-performance sound to the most challenging reverberant spaces, without compromising musicality or intelligibility.
The ICL-X Series incorporates Renkus-Heinz’s exclusive Acoustic Source Multiplier (ASM) waveguide, enabling the HF section to be coaxially mounted in front of the LF section. This coaxial design delivers unparalleled consistency in high and low frequencies across the entire length of the array, enabling system designers to choose virtually any acoustic center. The ASM waveguide also dramatically reduces inter-driver spacing, ensuring gradient lobe-free performance to the highest audible frequencies.
Units can be deployed in arrays up to 12 modules tall to create a powerful, ultra-high-directivity system with steerability down to 100 Hz or lower — ideal for theaters, performing arts centers, corporate venues, and houses of worship.
Wireless Mic Belts RF Rac Wireless Equipment Storage
The RF Rac from Wireless Mic Belts is a modular storage rack for organizing wireless equipment and accessories. Built to satisfy the need for on-site wireless accessibility, the RF Rac is designed to be versatile and function in any event or performance space.
The RF Rac uses durable, see-through netting to create sturdy pockets for storing wireless equipment and accessories. The Standard model RF Rac has Small and Tall sizes available to ensure that equipment storage is optimized for every production. The Small size is designed to fit wireless equipment under 3” tall and the Tall size fits equipment up to 7.5”, including most wireless handheld transmitters. The Touring model RF Rac is also available in Small and Tall sizes and is built to travel, with Velco closures over each pocket.
The RF Rac has secure grommets for installing the rack in a dressing room or backstage area. The RF Rac can also be directly integrated into a wireless road case and has an industry standard width, so it can be stored flat in a rack drawer.
For use in a temporary location, the RF Rac is designed to be setup quickly, with no additional hardware required. Using the built-in Velcro pieces, the RF Rac can wrap around a clothes hanger or mic stand boom arm for access to wireless equipment wherever it’s needed. Up to four RF Racs of any model or size can be attached interchangeably and secured with the included S-Biner clips.
The RF Rac includes four writable WMB Labels that can be attached to the loop surface on the top and bottom for clearly marked wireless access. Additional Labels and other accessories, such as WMB Belts and Cable Discs, can also be attached to the loop surface for complete wireless equipment organization.
Wireless Mic Belts is a company focused on the needs of live performance professionals. We design products that provide secure, comfortable, and reliable use of wireless transmitters and receivers in any performance situation. Our WMB Belt Pac continues to provide professional solutions for live events, with new custom-fit designs for recently released wireless equipment from Shure, Sennheiser, and Lectrosonics.