November 02, 2010

Best in show: Audio

The editorial teams of TVB Europe and the IBC Daily highlight the best new products at IBC every year, in every hall and every category. These are all written up (by me) for the October issue (downloadable in full as PDFs or readable online by clicking the top right of the TVB home page).

You can also view the full list of winners for Audio products, with more information on each product, but here is that list in brief.

ALC NetworX – Ravenna - open standard for real-time distribution of audio and other content over IP-based networks supported by loits of manufacturers.

EBU – Loudness recommendation R128 - viewers hate having to constantly alter audio levels when they switch between channels, or when commercials come on. This new recommendation is being built into audio equipment from more than 20 manufacturers and should put an end to it (picture top).

J√ľnger – T*AP audioprocessor - can handle all requirements for 5.1 audio + conditioning on the station output, including loudness control (to Rec 128), Dolby decoding and encoding including metadata verification, and embedded 3Gbps audio.

Lawo – Sapphire - production console aimed primarily at OB and small studio use; can have from 4 to 40 faders, but can handle up to 384 I/O, and you can assign any input to any fader; compatible with Ravenna audio-over-IP networking.

Sennheiser – Frequency Finder - useful, free iPhone app (covering BeNeLux area initially, adding other countries soon), shows what frequencies can be used for wireless equipment (including what presets are usable with specific Sennheiser models). It uses the phone's GPS to show what's available where you are. The information is also available on its web site, covering the whole world, but the iPhone app (pictured above) doesn't need internet access.

Sound Devices – USBPre 2 - "substantial upgrade" to its $650 high-resolution audio interface for computer recording takes it to 114dB of dynamic range (up from 103dB), and adds numerous features. "It can also operate as a stand-alone pre amp, or A/D or D/A converter, just plug in any USB power source," said international sales manager Ed Capp (pictured right).

SSL – MADI-X8 + SDI-MADI - a router/splitter/aggregator and SDI-MADI de-embedder.

Zaxcom – TRX900LTS - small, wearable wireless transmitter with two microphone inputs and allows independent digital transmission of two isolated audio channels on a single RF carrier, giving a stereo image from the talent. It also has an internal timecode-referenced back-up recorder.

By David Fox

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