Industry & Product News

Bose Professional Introduces ArenaMatch Loudspeakers for Outdoor Installations
During NAMM 2019, Bose Professional introduced its new ArenaMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers and ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers for outdoor installations. ArenaMatch arrays incorporate DeltaQ technology to improve sound quality and flexibility to outdoor installations - sports stadiums, arenas, outdoor entertainment centers, and more. Featuring an IP55 weather rating, ArenaMatch DeltaQ modules make it easy to create reliable outdoor loudspeaker arrays that bring consistent, intelligible sound to listeners .    Read More

Genelec Launches Smart IP Audio Platform at ISE 2019
Leveraging the company's pioneering efforts with audio-over-IP and the introduction of the world's first AoIP-enabled monitors in 2016, Genelec will now unveil an unique open IP networking technology platform at ISE 2019. This platform is aimed specifically at the installation market and will deliver power, audio, and scalable loudspeaker system configuration, supervision, and calibration features via a single, standard CAT5 cable .    Read More

Audinate Announces Dante AV, Complete Integrated Audio and Video Networking Solution
Audinate, developer of the industry-leading Dante audio networking technology, has announced Dante AV, a first-of-its-kind integrated audio and video-over-IP solution for manufacturers. Dante AV is a complete integrated audio and video networking solution, bringing ease-of-use, unified control, and tight synchronization to distribution of audio and video over standard IP networks. Dante AV enables complete interoperability with more than 1600 Dante-enabled audio products already on the market .    Read More

Bluetooth Special Interest Group Introduces Location Services with Bluetooth 5.1 Specification
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced a new direction-finding feature that holds the potential to significantly enhance the performance of Bluetooth location services solutions, down to centimeter-level location accuracy. The new feature, included in version 5.1 of the Bluetooth Core Specification, allows devices to determine the direction of a Bluetooth signal, thereby enabling the development of Bluetooth proximity solutions that can understand device direction as well as Bluetooth positioning systems .   Read More

New Audio Amplifier Company LEA Professional Launches at NAMM 2019 
Founded on the premises that amplifier technology has headroom for innovation, that design has a prominent place in the rack, and that dealers want the ease of one-click digital commerce coupled with old-school partnership, LEA Professional launched at the Winter NAMM 2019 Show in Anaheim, CA. The company, led by Blake Augsburger and a team of proven executives, engineers, and sales/marketing experts from the pro audio community, promises to introduce a series of new amplifiers with advanced connectivity and bold, compelling design .    Read More

Powersoft Establishes New Benchmark for Professional Audio Applications with New T Series Networkable Amplifiers
On the first day of the NAMM Show 2019, Powersoft announced the release of its new T Series line, an ultra-reliable and efficient amplifier platform designed with the rental market in mind, and four models all available now. The new platform, officially unveiled during a NAMM 2019 press conference, builds upon the credits of the flagship X Series, but it represents much more for the Italian company. The T Series effectively combines unparalleled flexibility for small to mid-size reinforcement applications and benefits from an intense R&D effort .   Read More

Neumann.Berlin Expands Product Portfolio with First Studio Headphone
Headphones with the Neumann brand? They need to be something special, and that's precisely what the famous microphone brand is promising with its first studio headphone, the Neumann NDH 20. Neumann expanded its product scope to studio monitors many years ago, and in a way that's what the company is trying to do with headphones, offering a reference listening tool that can be used with confidence in studio operations or for mixing in location. The Neumann NDH 20 was unveiled at the 2019 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA .    Read More

Bold North Audio MS10-W Introduces Direct Replacement Mid-Woofer for Yamaha NS10 Studio Monitors
MISCO recently unveiled a new version of a legendary driver. The new MS10-W, will be marketed under the new MISCO brand, Bold North Audio, and it is effectively a direct replacement for the famous white driver on Yamaha's NS10 studio monitors! The MS10-W actually includes a lightweight white flat profile seamed paper cone with a white paper convex dust cap, and compliance is provided by a 12 mm wide coated cloth surround and a 3.25" diameter cupped cloth spider .   Read More

Editor's Desk
J. Martins

NAMM 2019 - First Impressions
Music Market Ready For Disruption

While still with loads of CES materials piled up on our desks, shortly a week from leaving Las Vegas, NV, I moved to the glorious California weather to attend another edition of the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim (January 24-27).

Two shows, two completely different realities and visions of the audio industry complementing each other. It was slightly strange to change from the consumer electronics focus, where voice interfaces, hearables, and wearables were all the rage, directly to the music-oriented, content production, and live entertainment focus of the National Association of Music Merchants annual gathering. Suddenly I was missing the "Alexa! Play my happy playlist" demos and thought it was strange that there were no solar-powered speakers in sight!

Click for all NAMM 2019 related stories

NAMM 2019 was an extremely well-organized show, with the promoters implementing some changes exactly as required by last year's opening of the two new AAC North halls. In those two large halls we found the right match of professional audio exhibitors, with the lower level more focused on studio and recording technology and the upper level more oriented toward live performance. This, while other musical instruments manufacturers - such as Roland - could now occupy the prime space left available in Halls A and B, where many new lighting and DJ companies have also helped to create a completely new and more dynamic atmosphere. The cooperation with the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has also attracted a series of new stage technology companies, which have gathered at the end of Hall A - and I have no doubt will expand in the future. Another excellent decision was to move the drums and percussion areas to Hall C, while the always traffic-inducing guitar exhibits moved to Hall D, generating a well-distributed flow of visitors during all days. And notably, there were nearly no empty areas!

Outside, in the open-air spaces of the Anaheim Convention Center and the Grand Plaza, in front of the Hilton and Marriott hotels, there were more activities and stages than ever. The security checkpoints were moved to those outside areas, allowing for a perfect flow between the different areas and making the access to the Hilton and Marriott activities, including the AES@NAMM sessions, much faster. This new layout also allowed for the creation of new outdoor food courts and seating areas, which is definitely one of the aspects that needed improvement and can still be improved in the future. With the beautiful sunny weather that blessed all four NAMM days, those were always very popular spaces.

NAMM 2019 crowds. Every day was a celebration. This year there was a much better flow of visitors and better access to the different areas. Well done NAMM!

There's no doubt that NAMM is clearly more focused on the North American market, while CES is a much more international event with global impact. But that only makes the positive expansion of the NAMM Show much more impressive. As I've noted in previous years, if the NAMM really wanted to grow the attendance figures artificially, they could easily do it by "opening the gates" to eager music fans. Instead, the NAMM Association has been working toward increasing the trade-only aspects of the show and attract more exhibitors, which currently take almost all the available spaces. According to the official 2019 NAMM Show report, during the course of four days there were 115,301 registered industry professionals attending - practically the same number of attendees as last year (115,085), and a year-over-year increase of 14% in international participants.

This is impressive, given that the music products, pro audio, and event technology industries are not exactly living their strongest moment (particularly when compared to CES, serving multiple high-growth industries). As Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO stated: "if you take a look around The NAMM Show, one could find many reasons to feel quite comfortable about the importance of music around the world and the future of the music products industry." We agree. But there's more to it.

Nice examples of MI companies attending NAMM with focused product ranges and standout exhibits, NAMM needs more companies like this.

Even though the industry seems to recognize the global importance of The NAMM Show, and the strong turnout of domestic and international buyers and distributors, the substance in the product introductions and the technology presentations is somewhat contrasted between a new generation of brands and companies that seem to understand the changing landscape of the industry, and many others that are lagging behind. While we could see many brands positively reinforcing their market strategies, there were also many examples of stagnant product portfolios, both among larger and smaller companies.

There are companies such as Yamaha, who continue to invest in new technologies and always have a strong showing, this year reinforced with a new booth in the AAC North Hall, dedicated to Yamaha and Nexo Commercial Audio solutions. With the musical instruments, it was good to see Gibson grabbing the spotlight from rival Fender and taking a larger space totally dedicated to its guitars - with classic and new models - clearly trying to reconnect to its core market and brand values. Just two positive examples.

The NAMM 2019 also reflected market changes, with the first event on the press schedule taken for the presentation of a brand new company headed by Blake Augsburger and a team of former ex-Harman Professional and Crown employees. LEA Professional, the name of the new venture (according to Augsburger the name stands for "loud enough amplifiers"), will be focused on its know-how, retaking a product segment that they consider to be full of opportunity. As Augsburger described, the amplifier market is segmented with a complex high-end, and a commoditized low-end. "At the high-end you see expensive, highly sophisticated, networked professional audio technology and at the low-end, inexpensive, undifferentiated prosumer-grade audio technology. We see an opportunity in the middle," he stated. I think LEA's message applies to many other product segments.

L-Acoustics continues to positively surprise with L-ISA presentations. Virtually everyone left the sessions energized and with the conviction that we witnessed something so much better for the future of live and recorded productions.

Effectively, this could be illustrated by the strength that's shown by big professional audio companies such as d&b audiotechnik, L-Acoustics, Bose Professional, the new challenger VUE audiotechnik, and several other pro audio speaker companies, currently grabbing a large share of the touring, live performance, and installation application markets. At NAMM 2019, d&b audiotechnik and L-Acoustics stood out with impressive demonstrations of their new visions for sound with multi arrays, spatial audio, immersive sound, object-based mixing, active acoustics, room emulation, and many other important technology approaches to completely transform the industry.

A vision that is shared by companies such as Astro Spatial Audio (this year demonstrating its magic in cooperation with Clair Bros), or Sennheiser, also taking its AMBEO 3D Sound experiences and products to NAMM in a big way. It is clear that these companies have an eye on the future and are taking their products to every forum available, from CES to NAMM and the installation markets as we've seen already at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) and InfoComm (and we expect to see again this year).

This, in a way, contrasts with what we can see among many recording and studio technology companies, which seem to have lost touch with the market. In many booths, we saw plenty of me-too products, completely redundant and unappealing USB 2.0 interfaces, and sometimes good sounding products, hampered simply by poor design and outdated technology options. In one case, there was even a company introducing a Thunderbolt 2 recording interface. Either the product was delayed three years in the warehouse, or they bought some Thunderbolt 2 boards on sale and thought they could get away with it!

Great to see Gibson attending the NAMM Show in full strength with nothing but great guitars in sight. The "Gibson hall" was energized by a live performance stage and ongoing luthier demonstrations.

In many of the talks we attended with music producers and in particular the "A3E: The Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange" sessions dedicated to the future of advanced audio applications and new music technologies, there were multiple references to new generations of creative tools using Artificial Intelligence (AI), and presenters were quick to highlight both the value of advanced networking technologies and the benefits of low-latency high-bandwidth modern interfaces such as Thunderbolt 3 and AoIP options. Also, across the show, new solutions based on Audinate's Dante audio networking technology dominated and it seemed clear that there is already a new generation of musicians and creators getting familiarized and comfortable with the audio networking concept. And it was simply refreshing to see the many proposals for cloud collaboration platforms attracting thousands of eager enthusiasts, clearly indicating that there is a new way of doing things.

And as we continue to work on the CES and NAMM coverage, we were once again reminded how the audio industry is already preparing for a new wave of product announcements at the ISE show in Amsterdam next week. Now packing for colder weather in The Netherlands!

The 2020 NAMM Show will return to Anaheim, CA, January 16-19 - much earlier in the month and terribly close to CES 2020 (January 7-10)!

Sound Control
Predictive Acoustics and Acoustical Modeling Software
By  Richard Honeycutt
From March to August 2014, in his Sound Control column dedicated to acoustics, Richard Honeycutt reviewed and wrote a series of articles on the evolution of predictive acoustics and acoustical modeling software, including a review of some of the available tools. In this series for audioXpress, Honeycutt revisits Sabine's reverberation time equation, based on a statistical approach involving the mean free path of a sound wave between reflections and the average acoustical absorption of the room boundaries, all the way to the use of impulse responses and ray-tracing and convolution auralization techniques using modern computers. This article was originally published in audioxpress, March 2014 .   Read the Article Now Available Here

Voice  Coil Test Bench
Dayton Audio RS180P-8 7" Reference Series Midwoofer
By Vance Dickason
The 7" RS180P-8 Reference Series midwoofer from Dayton Audio uses a nice six-spoke cast-aluminum frame with narrow 10-mm wide spokes to minimize reflections back into the cone. The cone assembly is composed of a three-part lightweight paper cone that combines Kevlar and glass fiber with the paper slurry. Compliance is provided by a nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) surround and a 3.5" diameter elevated cloth spider. The Dayton RS180-8's motor design is rather sophisticated and incorporates a copper shorting ring (Faraday shield), a T-shaped pole piece, and an aluminum phase plug. The ferrite magnet motor is finite element analysis (FEA) designed using a 1.5" (38 mm) diameter voice coil wound with round copper wire on an aluminum former. The motor parts, the T-yoke, the front plate, and the bullet phase plug (which also partially acts as an inductive shorting device) have a black heat-emissive coating for improved cooling. No other vents including pole, peripheral, backplate, or vents below the spider mounting shelf are used. Last, the voice coil is terminated to a pair of gold-plated terminals. Cosmetically speaking, this is very good looking driver. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, May 2014 .   Check it out here!

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