Industry & Product News
Smart Speaker Ownership Reaches 60 Million U.S. Adults
New data from the latest installment of "The Smart Audio Report" from NPR and Edison Research confirms that smart speaker adoption continues to grow in the US with 60 million adults age 18+ (24% of the population) now owning a smart speaker. And with spoken word audio listening up 20% from 2014, cutting into time spent with music, it's clear the audio landscape is changing dramatically - driven by technology advancements and content preferences alike .   Read More
IsoAcoustics and PSB Speakers Announce Collaboration Ahead of Integrated Systems Europe 2020
IsoAcoustics, the manufacturer of acoustic isolation products for home and professional speakers, and PSB Speakers, the loudspeaker manufacturer recognized around the globe as a leader in high-quality speakers, are joining forces in 2020 to offer a new line of PSB Speakers featuring IsoAcoustics award-winning isolation technology, the first of which is integrated into the PSB CustomSound In-Room Sub (CSIR Sub) to be introduced at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2020, in Amsterdam .    Read More  

Sennheiser Reintroduces HD 25 Headphones with New Redesigned Headband
For more than 30 years, the Sennheiser HD 25 headphones have been the professionals' choice for monitoring, field recording, and DJing - as well as the favorite "light" headphones for many music enthusiasts. Now Sennheiser is launching an all-new HD 25 LIGHT model, which for the first time combines the sound signature of the original with a simpler headband design. By offering the same sought-after sound performance as the iconic classic, the new model provides an attractive entry into the HD 25 world .    Read More

TDK Announces First MIPI Standard SoundWire MEMS Microphone
Among the many interesting demonstrations of new audio solutions for developers presented by TDK at CES 2020, the T5808 MIPI standard SoundWire microphone stands out as a "world's first," using the MIPI Alliance SoundWire-compliant digital interface, which allows bi-directional data flow. The T5808 is a multi-mode, low-noise digital MEMS microphone in a small package, consisting of a MEMS microphone element and an impedance converter amplifier followed by a fourth-order sigma delta modulator .    Read More  

DiGiCo Reveals Latest Generation Quantum Consoles at NAMM 2020
The 2020 NAMM Show provided an opportunity for DiGiCo to reveal the latest in its new generation of Quantum digital consoles, the expanded Quantum 5 and the all-new Quantum 338. Like the Quantum 7, the new consoles represent a dramatic leap forward in power and connectivity, with impressive new design features and enhancements. DiGiCo also announced the new DMI-KLANG at NAMM 2020, an immersive in-ear mixing expansion that can be mounted directly into DiGiCo consoles, equipped with DMI slots .    Read More  

MIPI I3C v1.1 Update for I2C Implementers Simplifies Development for Wearables and Connected Devices
The MIPI Alliance, the international organization that develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries, announced MIPI I3C v1.1, the first update to the interface that eliminates the historical pain points of I 2 C development. MIPI I3C v1.1, available now to MIPI members, is a scalable, medium-speed, utility and control bus that connects peripherals to an application processor, streamlining integration and improving cost efficiencies in the development of smartphones, wearables, high-performance servers, automotive applications, and more .    Read More  
Universal Audio Steals the NAMM Show with New LUNA Audio Recording System
Universal Audio was the center of attention for musicians, composers, sound designers, producers and audio engineers visiting NAMM 2020, with the introduction of the all - New LUNA Recording System, basically expanding all the massive power of the company's existing Apollo Thunderbolt UAD recording interfaces. The new LUNA software uses all the UAD hardware power to create a powerful multitrack recording system and to run virtual instruments, truly leveraging the best of both worlds.    Read More

3DME Introduces New IEM Concept with Active Ambience, EQ, and Limiting
A new pro audio company, ASI Audio x Sensaphonics, announced the introduction of 3D Music Enhancement (3DME) at NAMM 2020. The solution, which the company believes to be "the world's most innovative and powerful in-ear monitoring system," combines an all-new universal-fit Active Ambient IEM design with built-in MEMS microphones, with a sub-compact bodypack mixer and smartphone app with EQ and limiter, allowing musicians to create a truly personalized monitoring experience.    Read More  

Editor's Desk
J. Martins

NAMM 2020 First Impressions
The Right Balance of Music and Business
The NAMM Show is now the most important trade show for music, pro audio, and live sound technologies. Last week's Anaheim, CA marathon (it felt like one for me) was certainly a rewarding experience, and the show was one of the best I attended. Every company that matters in the studio, music production, and live entertainment side of the industry was represented and there were a lot of new products to see - which is always a good sign.

The four halls in the convention center dedicated to musical instruments and creation tools were vibrant with activity. The booths were close enough, there was no embarrassing empty spaces or filler structures, and the aisles were just the right size. The visitor flow was perfect, the progression of exhibits for different instrument classes worked extremely well, and it was refreshing to see some great companies - Roland being one of the best examples - anchoring those halls and once again adding to the excitement in the main show floor.

In fact, the musical instrument halls at this year's NAMM were so full of life that it felt like those companies exhibiting in the upper levels were missing out. Only on the last day did I remember to visit those floors, with Gibson being the main reason why I was reminded to go there. And Gibson did a great job for the second year, with a room full of music, the clear message that the company has completely refocused on its core values, and most importantly, allowing the guitars to take center stage again. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if some companies and brands that have no reason to be hiding inside those rooms would rethink their strategy next year and make a comeback to the main Halls. 

Music or pro audio, the NAMM Show combines the right amount of product excitement and business.

In Hall A, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) did a much better job with its section of exhibits, and the companies focused on lighting and stage technology created a vibrant space, always full of visitors. It seems that side of the business finally got a strong foothold at NAMM and is bound to expand. The combination of those exhibits with the synthesizers, music production and some studio companies in the front of the Hall worked fine, but it seems obvious that Hall A is bound to change and expand into the Anaheim Arena, where the Loudspeaker System Showcase took place once again. There is a lot of available space there that would better benefit the ESTA companies.

In the area between Hall A and the Arena, Universal Audio basically used its traditional location and expanded the booth to signal the launch of its all - new LUNA Recording System, one of the company's most important product launches, and the most exciting announcement made at NAMM 2020. As we wrote on our website, basically the California company "stole the show" with the new software and its strategic expansion.

Judging by the amount of famous musicians and music producers that constantly visited the booth, it seems Universal Audio got it right. The fact that the company opted to remain in its traditional location at the NAMM, while its biggest competitors moved to the new ACC North Halls, and still managed to attract non-stop crowds during the four days, speaks for itself.

Access to the new ACC North Halls from the main convention center atrium. The flow of visitors at the expanded Anaheim convention center was excellent.

At the ACC North Hall, Level 1, as in previous years, it was as if the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention had returned to the West Coast, with more and bigger exhibits. Around the main central booths, mostly featuring the larger microphone companies and the larger audio conglomerates, there was a world of smaller booths, where many companies and brands shared the same space. Again, many boutique microphone companies, and boutique studio processing equipment dominated, but it was great to see some software companies again well represented, side by side with the studio monitor companies. No surprise, this was again one of the most visited areas of the show during the four days.

In the upper ACC North Hall, Level 2 space, the sound reinforcement, mixing console, and loudspeaker companies, including all the main driver manufacturers, once again created a "mini Prolight+Sound" sort of space. The visitors were notoriously different here, with more trade professionals, agents, consultants, and the large rental and touring companies walking the show. Maybe the business levels are not yet as strong in this segment, but when we asked, no one complained about visitors or the contacts made this year. More important, we noticed a lot of familiar faces from companies that until now did not exhibited at NAMM, exploring for the next year.

And this brings us to the main question about NAMM. With the expansion to the new ACC Halls having created a successful and much needed expansion into the professional audio segments, with many new segments of the entertainment industry clearly interested to support and participate in the annual event, how will NAMM manage growth?

Business was at the top of mind at NAMM. Visitors were a mix of domestic and international retail and distribution buyers, entertainment tech and pro audio buyers and professionals, media, artists, students, and educators.

Representing two publications that focus on the audio developers community and the OEM/ODM segments of the industry, we found ourselves this year spending considerable time in the access areas of the ACC North Halls - where companies such as ICEpower, Pascal, Analog Devices, Eminence, and other industry suppliers had strategic meeting booths. We also visited companies at the nearby hotels, where early demonstrations of new technologies not yet ready to be disclosed publicly were being introduced. This is a clear sign that the Anaheim NAMM Show is on the map for all the major industry players.

The challenge, will be to manage that growth in upcoming years, using the available space and facilities - which are now already again under pressure - and creating the right conditions for business to flourish, expanding the delicate balance of being at the crossroads of music products, pro audio and sound, and live event technology industries. All are needed at NAMM.

Companies have made major product announcements at NAMM 2020. Pro audio is now firmly established as part of NAMM.

As Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO, rightfully commented, "The NAMM Show campus served as a living, breathing snapshot of the current global marketplace and I truly believe that our attendees who made the commitment and investment to be there have increased their competitive advantage for success in the year ahead."

At this year's NAMM Show, there was a slight increase of the right kind of visitors (we all know how easy it is for NAMM to flood the show with the general public, if they wanted). With business at the top of mind, the NAMM Show welcomed more than 2,000 exhibitors, representing 7,000 brands. "Of the 115,888 NAMM members and invited registrants, international members accounted for nearly 20% percent growth over two years, with realigned member badge allocations to ensure an enhanced professional attendance that resulted in a more focused business experience with a slight increase in attendees," the association stated.

The 2021 NAMM Show returns January 21-24 to Anaheim, California.
Speaker Builder
Back EMF Phase Relationships in Moving-Coil Loudspeakers - Part 4
By  Andy Lewis
In this final article of the four-part series, Andy Lewis expands upon the Back EMF concepts hinted at in the previous three articles in this series. This article explores the Electrical and Newtonian filters and their intersections, observations on reactive parallel filters as pertains to Back EMF and energy losses. The theories can be applied to virtually all areas of loudspeaker design. This article was originally published in audioXpress, November 2018 .    Read the Full Article Now Available Here

Voice Coil  Spotlight
A Novel Constant Directivity Horn
By  Dario Cinanni
In this Voice Coil Spotlight, Italian loudspeaker engineer Dario Cinanni contributes a great article, of great interest to all Voice Coil readers. Titled "A Novel Constant Directivity Horn," the article is based on an acoustic simulation study the author presented at the Comsol Conference, Grenoble (France) in 2015. In that research, a new simulation method was presented about high-frequency horn driver transducers, combining a horn simulation and a driver plane wave tube measurement. Combining only this data, using a novel equation that correlates the matrix of the virtual horn and the real compression driver pressure, it is possible to easily predict the absolute sound pressure level (SPL) of the real horn driver frequency response. The results showed a good match between simulations and measurements up to 15 kHz and the author expands on the potential applications and limitations to consider. This article was originally published in Voice Coil, December 2019 .    Read the Full Article Now Available Here

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