AES Day One


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Ok, here's a rundown of my first day at AES.

Started out with a tour of CurrenTV as the runner up to the sold out Meyer Sound tour.

Although definitely not my expertise, it was an impressive and innovative facility that seems to be putting some really innovative content on the air, but most especially in a very innovative way.
Their master control is just two Macs that control the playlist for the show via some simple playlist control software for the content packages and, yes, itunes for the music. A couple of guys sit there and choose what music to play and control the content as well as watch the backhauls from cable and direct tv. Their music licensing doesn't allow them to synch music to content, so the control guys also choose whatever music to play right as content is airing. Their employees are all really young which gives the place a great vibe.

They have no programming schedule and shift content sometimes minutes before it airs. All content is rendered only 3 minutes prior to air. They have a very very integrated network and everything is very ad hoc.

They have 5 digidesign suites in house.

I was really impressed and it made me wish I had digital cable.

On to the important stuff: the exhibit.

There was no extraordinary theme this year, as everyones digital consoles have been out for awhile. Also, no real extraordinary products.

I took a look at the LS9, which I do like a whole lot. I put some info up on the LS9 thread, but it might be a little vague, so if there are more questions, do let me know.

To answer some specific questions:

Lectrosonic's SM transmitter is very verrrrry impressive. The rep had a little trouble getting the control device to talk to the transmitter when he was showing me how it worked, but it was a loud environment. It started working alright and it's programmable with the control unit from a good distace. For those that don't know, the control unit sends out an auditory control signal which can reprogram the body pack in the event it's on an actor and too difficult to get to. Very handy indeed. Plus, I was wooed with a t-shirt. It is sssspensive, but it seems just right for the features and size. Plus their rackmount control unit is nice. It's compact on both ends.
The smaller unit gets 4 hours on a supplied rechargable battery and their identical bigger unit that just takes another battery goes 9 hours.

Shure had nothing impressive, sadly. Is the KSM9 a new mic? If so, that was something new. Totally meaningless, though, without being able to hear it.

Other interesting stuff:

EAW's NT speakers with Gunness Focusing sure sounded really nice. Great phase response.

Harmon's Hi-Q net looks incredibly useful, for those that like to control a show huddled in a dark broom closet with their laptop. Everything they make networks on this protocol. It sure gives their group of companies a boost, having what looks like the most finite and robust protocol.
I would really have liked to see their VRX series of speakers, but they had nothing there. It was sad really, with all these companies integrated under Harmon Pro, none of them really got enough space to show off.

Soundcraft has a new line, the MPM, but there's nothing interesting about it. Even the info on their website is sort of lackluster. I guess just sort of reinvigorating their lower end consoles.

It was interesting to see all the digital consoles that weren't there the last time AES was in San Francisco. Each one has some sort of gimicky thing, but they're all basically the same as far as function goes. Not to say they have similar interfaces. I just think at this point, that's all they're marketing on: individual preference. Seems weird, but I guess it hasn't been any different with analog. I think in terms of usability, I like the Vi6. Maybe it's just how pretty it is.

Dan Dugan has a nice digitally controlled automixer unit. I'm not into that myself, but I sure appreciate the genius of such a unit.

I would have liked to see more/new monitors, especially because I'm in the market for some, but alas.

Other than that, not much to speak of. If I've left anything out, I'll remember it tomorrow or sunday. Hit me with questions, if you'd like.

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Ok, I did forget stuff (found my notes).

Sennheiser's Flash mic. Kinda neat, bus suspiciously cheap ($200). Nice potential backup, though, for some recording applications and definitely that sweet, sweet podcasting market.

I'm so bad with products, so forgive me if I accidently talk about something that's been around for 10 years and in every household.

A couple companies had UHF antennaes that I haven't noticed before. I know Sennheiser's was new, not sure about Shure's though. (ha..haha)

The Dolby Lake processor is a real beefy piece of equipment. My friend was like "isn't it just a driverack". My response: "yeah, but it's pretty." Obviously, it isn't like the driverack. Much more impressive interface via computer. Plus SMAART integration. That seems to be the new hot feature. Another popular feature among many of the products was modularity (real word?). The lake for example, digital snakes, rapco's regular snake system, mixers and their I/O cards yada yada.

Integration and modular..ness. Which i guess is just another way of saying it's a digital takeover.

Ok, that's really all for now.
Sennheiser's Flash mic. Kinda neat, bus suspiciously cheap ($200). Nice potential backup, though, for some recording applications and definitely that sweet, sweet podcasting market.
A couple companies had UHF antennaes that I haven't noticed before. I
That sounds like a price screw up. To me it sounds like the HHB FlashMic DRM85 which is priced around $1300 US. I would surmise that is card based and comes with a very small card, forcing you to buy a more expensive card(or cards) to do any serious recording.
Gosh I'm so sorry. You're right. It is the mic your referring to. Sennheiser ownd HHB, though, so that was my mix up.

It's weird, at that price point, there are much better recording systems. It just seems like they're trying to hit a consumer/prosumer market with this thing. Beyond that, the only market I can think of is radio production, but at that point, I'd be looking at other flash recorder or sony's stuff like their new minidisc or especially their PCM-D1.
Thanks for that.

Rather than flood the board with threads on this, I'll just thow in the second and third days here.

Day two:

Got up late and only made it to one event that I'd planned to see which was a seminar on "Live Sound for Mega Events" hosted by Wolfgang Neumann, Gary Hardesty and Dave Shadoan with David Sheirman from JBL touring. While not incredibly technically enlightening, it was very interesting to see some actual projects. And when they say mega, they mean really really mega. Like a million people to see the pope in Spain mega.
Dig this: 100 6-cab line array stacks, individually delayed. This was for a pope event. At another event, it was another 100 or so stacks over a 4km long area in this city.
For the olympics opening ceremony, there were something like 200 zones of output. Quite impressive. Yet these guys handle it like it aint' no thang.
Walked around more, looking for schwag and being disappointed by the abundance of free candy and stickers.

Day 3:

same sort of deal. Missed "touring system design", but luckily checked out "Theatrical Sound Design". This was a very good look at some of the bigger operations like Cirque and some broadway shows. It was mostly a non-technical overview, but it included enough info to be worthwhile. When you see this in context of a mostly concert oriented conference, it sure makes theatre sound look superior in challenges and difficulty. Plus it was good to know that sound designers everywhere are being thrown stuff like video and com.
Great info Thanks jbeutt with people like you we will need never buy magazines to find out about new gear coming onto the market
My pleasure. There was one more thing that had forgotten. I really should take better notes.

In addition to the LS9, yamaha has this DSP5D which is essentially just a stagebox and is a stand alone mixer. Think an LCS system. So you can mix on a PM5D over a cat5e cable and even cascade these stagebox units. Not really a new thing, but now it's open to a much broader market.

On a similar note, there was some info over at prosoundweb about a tour where there was just one console set up as monitor and FOH was run off it's own layer and controlled by a wireless notebook running yamahas control software.

I'd suggest going over to prosoundweb for more specific AES details. They have some info on less notable new products that I didn't notice or mention.

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