IBC closes, leaves behind some good stuff for sound

By Dan Daley, Audio Editor, SVG Europe

IBC2012, which closed today in Amsterdam, offered some useful new broadcast-audio products and systems, reflecting a mix of hardware and software. Here is a look at several of them.

Allen & Heath
The ultra-compact XB-10 offers radio-friendly tools, including a telephone communication (telco) channel, mic-channel ON-switch sensing, stereo-channel start/cue outputs for CD-deck transport control, and automatic muting of speaker outputs. A separate monitor mix can be created for operator and guest or presenter, and the operator can speak off-air to the studio or telephone callers using the Talk feature. XB-10’s preamps use low-noise discrete transistor circuitry to achieve high gain and linearity. The plug-and-play USB connection can be used for VoIP telephone calls, recording program material, playing jingles, and more. www.allen-heath.com/

DHD Audio’s new 52/XC Dante IP audio interface is integrated with Audinate’s Dante networking technology. It distributes audio signals from a DHD console to any other Dante-enabled DHD device, third-party device, PC, or Mac. This will allow monitoring, talkback, and connection of remote facilities to the studio via the network. With a Dante-enabled DHD routing matrix, users can create talkback systems as well as complex on-air switching systems. www.audinate.com

Nugen Audio
ISL inter-sample true-peak limiter gives complete control over peak levels in audio signals from mono to 5.1 surround sound. Measuring inter-sample peaks, it allows the user to set the true-peak limit, in place of the traditional threshold at which limiting begins. By measuring and correcting for inter-sample levels, ISL protects against distortion that can be introduced when codecs such as MP3 and AAC are applied downstream. www.nugenaudio.com

The new TouchMonitor TM3-3G allows the TM3’s current hardware and software design to visualize, convert, and replay 3G SDI signals in TV and video production and postproduction. The compact yet versatile solution for metering, de-embedding, and monitoring 3G-SDI audio features a 4.3-in. touchscreen for horizontal as well as vertical orientation. Able to display any of the eight audio channels contained in a 3G-SDI stream, the TM3-3G also includes a large number of graphic and numerical instruments showing single-channel and summing loudness bar graphs, PPM, true peak, SPL, loudness range (LRA), dialnorm, and correlation. The TM3 offers comprehensive loudness metering in compliance with all globally relevant standards (EBU R128, ITU BS.1770-2/1771, ATSC A/85, and ARIB). It also features the Magic LRA mode, specially designed by RTW, for intuitive visualization of the loudness range and integrated-loudness parameters. www.rtw.de

The new Digital 9000 wireless system can transmit uncompressed, artifact-free audio. It comprises the EM 9046 receiver, SKM 9000 handheld and SK 9000 bodypack transmitters, and a comprehensive suite of accessories. The system has two transmission modes: the High Definition (HD) mode transmits entirely uncompressed, artifact-free audio; the Long Range (LR) mode has been designed for difficult transmission environments with many sources of interference. It ensures maximum range with a proprietary Sennheiser digital audio codec. sennheiserusa.com/

Sound Devices
The 664 production mixer, the newest addition to the Sound Devices line of field and production mixers, builds on features of the 552 production mixer and offers expanded input/output connectivity and recording capabilities, along with greater flexibility and ease of use. Six input channels have dedicated controls for trim, fader, pan, and PFL. The inputs and four output buses are all recordable, for a total of 10 tracks of recording, using 16- or 24-bit broadcast WAV files to SD and/or CompactFlash cards. Sound Devices’ 664 contains six low-noise, high-dynamic–range transformer-less preamps that accept mic- or line-level signals and include analog peak limiters, high-pass filters, input trim control, and direct outputs on every channel. The 664 also has numerous digital capabilities: inputs one and six can be selected as AES3 or AES42 inputs for digital microphones, each with its own SRC for simplicity in system clocking. Sound Devices also introduced a companion accessory: the CL-6 expander is specifically designed to add six analog line-level inputs to the 664 production mixer. With the CL-6 attached, the direct-output connectors are available as recordable inputs, controlled by faders located on the CL-6 front panel. With the 664 production mixer connected to the CL-6 expander, users can record up to 12 input channels and four outputs, for a total of 16 tracks. www.sounddevices.com

VistaMix automatic microphone mixing, a software upgrade for Studer’s Vista digital mixing consoles, removes the need for an operator to manually adjust all the faders all the time, leaving the microphones of talking participants open while closing those of silent participants to reduce spill and background noise. VistaMix mimics the action of a human operator, increasing gain for talking mics and reducing gain for all others but doing it very quickly and keeping the amount of total gain constant to create a clean live mix. Each source channel has a hierarchical-type control feature that allows the desk operator to prioritize the main presenter, who can talk over the guests or commentators if necessary, and also allows the desk operator to give more gain in the mix to contributors who have weak voices or are too far from their microphones. www.harman.com

Wohler Technologies
The Wohler ContentProbe compliance recorder uses dedicated, purpose-built hardware and software to provide cost-effective monitoring and fault tracking for audio, video, and subtitles/captions. It is designed to provide best-in-class performance with RealSync accurate playback of audio and video, automated alarming, and extensive search, as well as review and reporting capabilities. A Silverlight Web interface supports frame-accurate cueing and export of marked clips for external users. Up to four video channels and 16 audio channels, combined with up to 90 days per channel of RAID 5 hot-swappable storage and dual power supplies, are contained in a single 1RU enclosure. In addition, the company announced the availability of options for loudness-compliance monitoring as well as MPEG/ASI content monitoring, both slated for availability in first quarter 2013. www.wohler.com

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