AES Amsterdam

May 1, 2003 12:00 PM, By Rob Alexander


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From March 22-25, 2003, the Audio Engineering Society returned to Amsterdam — everybody's favorite city — for its 114th convention. Coming on the heels of the competing Frankfurt Musikmesse and NSCA shows earlier in the month, AES floor space was much smaller than previous years. However, in spite of this and the beginning of war in Iraq just two days before the show(!), attendance was surprisingly good, and AES executive director Roger Furness was “absolutely delighted” to see such a large turnout, helped in part by Amsterdam's sunny, mild spring weather.

The talk at the show was dominated by SSL's ( release of the all-new C200 digital console (reviewed on page 134) with multiple formats for audio, multimedia and broadcast applications. Along with SSL's new C100 compact broadcast console (previewed in last month's Mix), the C200 caused quite a stir. Other SSL highlights included the sale of its largest 9000 J XL console to date to SAE owner Tom Misner for the school's new world headquarters, currently being built in Byron Bay, Australia.

At the AMS-Neve ( booth, Misner continued his spending spree, purchasing a Neve 88R at the same time. The hot news at Neve was the DFC2 digital film console debut, incorporating the latest 3.0 Encore automation and a new dynamics section with 96kHz signal processing. The company also celebrated with Belgium's Galaxy Studios, which purchased the world's first large-format DSD console designed for Super Audio CD production.

Fellow British console manufacturer Calrec Audio ( demoed its Zeta 100 production mixer, offering broadcasters a full range of purpose-designed digital alternatives to its existing analog products. Sony ( announced that its range of Pro Tools TDM plug-ins now support both Mac OS X (Pro Tools 6) and Windows XP for the OXF-R3 digital console. Digidesign ( publicly demoed Pro Tools 6 for Windows XP for the first time, and it was due to begin shipping in April.

French company, InnovaSon ( unveiled its new Sy80 digital mixing console, featuring an entirely new DSP module and Sensoft 8, the company's real-time console software manager.

Steinberg ( debuted a new controller unit for its Nuendo system called ID: Steinberg Input Device. The company also announced that Nuendo Version 2.0 would ship by the end of April. Across the hall, Euphonix ( showed its integration between Euphonix control surfaces and Nuendo, with System 5 set up to control both the Nuendo DAW and Euphonix DSP.

Genex Audio ( introduced the GX9000, ultraprecision converters and multiformat digital multitrack recorder. Offering both PCM and DSD capabilities, the new range comprises the GX9000 8-track and the GX9048 48-track, with 192kHz PCM recording performance and up to 48 channels of DSD data.

Audio data-compression specialists APT ( announced the 5.1 TCP/IP WorldNet SkyLink, a direct result of collaborative work between APT engineers and audio experts at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in California. WorldNet SkyLink can offer 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 multichannel audio, plus SMPTE timecode and has been designed for remote director approvals. The unit can deliver content in real time or “Store 'n Forward,” depending on available data rates.

Neumann ( celebrated its 75th anniversary, with a cool Sound Engineering Contest 2003 (the winner received a chrome-plated pair of M149 tube or Solution-D digital mics) and debuted the BCM104 — the first in a line of broadcast mics — and the TLM127, a mid-price studio mic. Shipping this summer, the TLM127 is a low-noise (7dBa), large-diaphragm, multipattern condenser with an onboard switch for cardioid or omni and a remote-pattern switching option to be offered in the future.

No preamp required! ADK Microphones ( unveiled its Stealth Pro Audio line, featuring a studio mic with onboard Class-A, line-level output electronics. The first models are due later this year, with a 192kHz digital out version in early 2004.

England's Linn Products ( — renowned for its high-fidelity audio components and systems — made its first foray into the professional monitor market with the 328A fully active loudspeaker.

Another company celebrating a historic milestone at AES was Genelec ( Now 25 years old, Genelec showed what they rightfully called the “big daddy” of subwoofers: The new 7073A features four 12-inch woofers, providing an incredible 124dB sound pressure output, twice the output of the 7071A.

The 116th AES moves to Berlin, Germany, in May 2004; meanwhile, book those hotels soon for the 115th AES, October 10-13, 2003, in New York City.

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