NAB 2009 Show Report

Apr 28, 2009 11:50 AM, By the Mix Editors

Upsides and Downsides in a Tough Market


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photo of NAB 2009 South Hall

NAB 2009 Lower South Hall

NAB 2009 had a lot of the old feel from years past and some new things you’d expect from a down economy. For instance, the usual craziness of the South Lower hall was in evidence again this year with packed booths and lots of buzz around the more glitzy video-oriented demos and gear. Some audio companies—Tascam, Smartsound, MOTU, Fairlight, Samson and others—were spread throughout the SL hall basking in the overflow. Upstairs in SU it was less busy but still not as sleepy as the North and Central halls across East Desert Inn Road. Over there, traffic was down considerably, some estimating as much as 40 percent.

More than one vendor flatly chose to stay home. For example, Yamaha’s booth was flanked by two empty spaces left vacant by exhibitors who backed out at the last minute, choosing to lose their deposits rather than spend the extra it would take to bring their goods and staff to Las Vegas.

On the upside, hotels were blowing out rooms, with many attendees taking advantage of the bargain rates, while the airport, monorail and cab lines seemed lighter than usual. However, most manufacturers seemed unfazed by the economic situation, as there was no shortage of new gear debuts, most stressing cost-saving solutions for broadcast and post users.

photo of SSL C10 HD

Solid State Logic C10 HD digital audio console

Solid State Logic had a strong showing. Its C10 HD digital audio console comes in two frame sizes—24x8 and 32x8—with scalable DSP and I/O options. For mixing inside the box, SSL’s new MX4 combines three central system elements: high channel count/high quality audio interface, a versatile software mixer and DSP powered plug-ins that provide console-grade precision processing with legendary SSL audio characteristics. SSL also unveiled the X-Desk, a desktop/rackmount unit featuring 16 mixdown channels, 8 channel inserts, stereo and mono aux sends, talkback, two monitor outs, two stereo effects returns, inserts on the stereo bus and more.

New broadcast enhancements available for the Euphonix System 5-B/BP and Max Air Digital Audio Mixing Systems include the new SH624 router, which uses the ES-Switch Protocol to integrate those digital consoles with facility routers. The SH624 has 24 MADI ins and outs for a maximum of 1536x1536 signal paths at 48 kHz, doubling the size of the current SH612 router.

photo of Calrec Apollo console

Calrec Audio Apollo console

Calrec Audio unveiled the new Apollo console, which provides more than twice as much processing power as the company’s Alpha platform—a channel count that sets a new industry benchmark—and an all new, highly responsive, user-configurable control surface. Apollo relies on Bluefin2, which at 48 kHz, gives Apollo up to 1,020 channel processing paths, 128 program buses, 96 IFB/Track outputs and 48 auxiliaries. At 96 kHz, Apollo affords 510 channel processing paths, 64 program buses, 48 IFB/Track outputs and 24 auxiliaries.

Studer announced the availability of its new RELINK (Resource Linking) I/O sharing system. The new system extends audio capabilities and can link numerous consoles in various locations of a broadcast facility to allow audio source and control data sharing across a wide network.

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