Volume 5, Issue 12 — December 30, 2016
|Trends and Data Point to Church Market Opportunities|
By Anthony Coppedge
House of Worship Technology Consultant
To prepare for the future trends in the house of worship market as it pertains to Audio/Video/Lighting (AVL) technology, one must glean insights from the past. There may be no better way to do that than to survey the technical staff of churches actively involved in AVL technical production, which was done earlier in 2016 by the Worship Facilities Magazine at their recent Worship Facilities Expo (WFX) conference, where 430 church tech staff responded to the survey. I find this particular data source compelling because, in full disclosure, I was one of the four founders of the progenesis of WFX and am a former advisory board member of this conference, the largest of its kind. It is with this healthy respect for WFX and the team at Worship Facilities Magazine that I share their survey data here and expound upon it to look towards future trends in the church market space.
As I’ve written about the HoW market here on rAVe for over four years, I’ve shared dozens of articles that include scientific research, survey results and personal anecdotal stories to help paint a picture for the 300,000+ Protestant churches (specifically, this group does more with AVL than all other religious institutions in the U.S. by an exponential margin) for the manufacturers, distributors, resellers and consultants wanting to serve this vertical market. The survey data from WFX church techs reinforces much of what I’ve written about, but also provides some key insights into how and why churches are shifting their AVL technology decisions.
To illustrate the veracity of the survey respondents and help you, the vendor, understand the credibility of these data points, it’s first important to point out that almost 30 percent of respondents have been with their current church for over ten years, while another 24 percent have been there for five to 10 years. These are not new, young guns with an over-eager viewpoint, but a consistent set of operators who have deep insight into their church AVL trends and pain points. Further, almost half of them are leading large teams of 10+ volunteers, with fully 6 percent leading 50 or more volunteers. In other words, this isn’t the sound guy at a small church sharing from a singular point of view. And, finally, over 38 percent of these respondents are at churches with a Typical Weekend Attendance (TWA) of over 1,000, while almost 37 percent have a TWA of between 251-999.
In short, this data is right up the alley of manufacturers and systems integrators wanting to learn about this unique market. In addition to the survey results from the WFX conference, I’ve pulled in some of my key research stats that I’ve shared in other articles here on rAVe, to help further provide context and illustrate the growth trends of this oft-misunderstood and underestimated AVL vertical market.
The growth of churches continues to increase while the AVL market hasn’t caught up to the increased demands that come from year-over-year growth. The opportunity is for vendors to enter into the high-growth world of churches heavily using AVL production and sell them the technology, training, and support they need to get in front of the growth curve.
Training, High Expectations and Multiple Services
Three themes are prevalent when reading through the data (see: WF, June 2016):
- Full-time, part-time and volunteer tech staff want and need ongoing training.
- Church staff have high expectations for near-flawless technical execution week in and week out.
- Multiple services (and multiple venues) are now the norm, not the exception.
Let’s break down each of these and see how vendors can provide the support these techies are requesting.
Every professional worth his salt continues to hone his skills outside of each gig. From pro touring front of house audio engineers, lighting directors and video directors on the road pulling off concerts and events, the down-time in between is often filled with research and training. So it goes for church techs, who simply don’t have to travel to have the equivalent lifestyle of turning around a production every few days. The biggest difference is that in the touring world, the events don’t change all that much and the show is usually scripted to some extent. For this group, set-up, execute and tear-down is the gig. But for churches, while the structure is similar every week, the content changes, the staging changes and the content creation is also on their plates. Training is harder to come by for church tech staff when they’re not just responsible for the weekend, but also in generating the content and production tech setup in preparation for the weekend.
Training can, and should, be sold to churches and positioned as a simple three-step process. First, these techs need mentoring in specific technical areas by a professional from your firm. Mentoring by a pro is the first step to sharpening the skills of church techs. By having a hired professional behind the console or in the booth, the opportunity to watch and train side-by-side helps with the real-world issues that happen with AVL technology in almost any venue. Second, use shadowing as the next phase of training. Guiding a church tech staff member through the process of honing a technical role, initiating her slowly through the ropes and giving her a lot of freedom to watch and observe your professional contractor allows the church tech to focus on learning and not on operating. By partnering your hired professional with the church tech staff members, the de-mystifying of tech and technique is a big part of breathing life and confidence into them. Your professionals have more experience in a wider variety of situations and venues to pour into these church tech leaders. Third, your professionals should then teach the church tech staff to ‘train the trainer’ so that the knowledge and helpful tips and best practices are codified and passed on to their other staff and volunteer base. In the classic ‘train the trainer’ scenario, your pros should be contractually required to spend time teaching the soft skills of how to teach, not just what to do.
A continued need is for training to be offered in more ways through more vendors than ever. It’s insufficient to host demos and teach a few sessions at trade shows. The need is immediate. The opportunity is imminent. How will you respond?
High Expectations & Multiple Services
It’s one thing to pull off a technically flawless church service; it’s quite another to do it multiple times per weekend. And yet, that’s exactly what’s required in almost 85 percent of the surveyed churches. In fact, this little bar graph visually represents that number of weekend services for these churches.
For churches to be consistent, they need the persistence of training and the reliability of your gear to help them manage the complexities of AVL technology. What these buyers and end users want, though, is more than a limited warranty and a pat on the back after a brief hands-on training; they’re wanting (and needing) you to value and develop them as artists and technicians. They need your massive expertise and best practices to not only lower learning curves but to flatten out the obstacles on their path to professionalism. What the house of worship market is begging for is this: a brand that stands in front of a church and says ‘we stand behind the technology in this church, and we also stand at the front line, ensuring their staff has everything they need.’
Practically speaking, more training should be focused on how to identify the pain point of the user. This will have less to do with the technical issue and far more to do with the impact of the issue on that user. For example, an amp failing is not about the configuration, but on the impact from the needed outcome; in this case, services are interrupted until this is fixed. That’s a huge pain point, and the vendor (and manufacturer reps) need to be taught how to “hear” the client and not just listen to them. By identifying the pain of the user and articulating back to them the technical impact, the solution will not only remedy the solution, the attention to the customer’s personal needs and fears will likely keep the brand from reputation damage.
When you make the user the hero, your product wins. In turn, your brand wins. And when your brand wins, you win. That’s the power manufacturers and systems integrators have, and it should be brought to bear upon the HoW market. The opportunity to become a leading brand and voice in the church market is open to any vendor, regardless of company size or market share. This is a wide open field where those willing to learn the church space, engage with the church technical staff and empower church leaders with the opportunity for consistent and reliable services every weekend will grab more market share faster than ever before.
What trends do you see in the HoW market? Share your views and opinions in the comments below.
Data and graphs via Worship Facilities Magazine, June 2016 survey results from WFXLeave a Comment
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|Misaligned and Disarrayed|
By Frederick Ampel
President & Principal, Technology Visions Analytics
Suppose for a moment you were a line array loudspeaker product. Genetically speaking, your DNA could have come from more than 150 different manufacturers, which collectively produce over 350 products (including all passive and active systems sold as “line arrays”), based on a survey of the products listed for sale on the half-dozen primary on-line sources for pro-audio gear.
You could have been manufactured or assembled from — as the auto industry likes to say — “globally sourced parts” on almost every continent on this planet except perhaps Antarctica (and I’m not sure than won’t happen if somebody gets a government grant).
You could be active or passive, powered by almost every conceivable style and type of amplifier configuration and contain anything from simple passive LF/HF shading controls to extremely complex networkable DSP.
You could be connected to a complex multi-node high speed facility wide network or operate as a stand alone system connected to nothing except audio signal sources components.
You could have the mass of a small Steinway per element or be a micro-sized cabinet designed to almost disappear when properly painted and suspended.
You could also be a set of loudspeaker parts mislabeled by a marketing department as a line array, when your actual acoustical performance in no way resembles that of the actual coverage and response parameters of a “real” line array configuration.
At this point it should be obvious that there are a stupendous number of possible things you could be, some of which might actually resemble the acoustical physics definition of what a line array type source should be.
“Everybody makes one so our company should make one too.”
We have considerably more products in this category than could reasonably be supported by even an incredibly robust industry, and thus what we have ended up with is a large quantity of products that exist for no other reason than “everybody (whoever that might include) makes one so our company should make one too.” I think even a casual analysis of that product development rationale would yield a “why.”
(To be fair, there are a few companies that have not jumped into the pool on this product type, but they are most certainly the exception rather than the rule.)
With this humongous quantity of product across a sizeable price spread, it is almost inevitable that these products get deployed into far too many projects, simply because they are so heavily promoted and marketed given the level of competitive pressure in the market and the resources used to make them exist.
“Integrators are simply throwing product at a project.”
They are far too often presented as “the solution” — even if they are the wrong choice for the space, application and/or venue. Given the number of venues I have visited where these systems are used (and it is without question that they were not the right choice if any rational thought had been expended on the design consideration or requirements), it is painfully evident that integrators are simply throwing product at a project, because there are so many other similar projects that have used the same approach.
This thought process and rationale has no actual basis for support other than something like “all the other churches in town are using one” or some similar logical fallacy.
What has been lost in this rush to deploy a technology is the real work of analyzing the needs of the customer, the facility and the users. Instead of doing a logical and sensible examination of what the venue might really require or frankly need, we are reaching for a boilerplate answer because we have the designs and can capitalize on re-using the same already paid for work again and again.
It’s sort of like what has happened in too many instances within certain areas of medicine or surgery. Doctors and surgeons go for the easy answer or most promoted drug or therapy because it takes less time, is accepted by the insurance companies and requires little or no actual evaluation of what might be the correct solution. Thus it’s frankly cheaper, faster and easier — but not necessarily medically correct or necessary.
“Doctors continued to do the operations because insurers pay.”
If you don’t believe me, do a browser search on “unnecessary surgery” and see what comes up. For example, read this revealing article. In another similar study was this very revealing comment, from Dr. David Kallmes of the Mayo Clinic, which ties directly into the above statements about line array usage, “said he thought doctors continued to do the operations because insurers pay.” Sound familiar?
As an industry we need to back up and re-think this whole process and get back to what we know is right, professionally correct and ethically sound. Every project, venue, and client deserves the benefit of our hard-won expertise and knowledge in determining what the BEST and most practical solution to their sound reinforcement needs is, not the easy way out!
There are absolutely situations in which a line array solution is the best answer, but there are just as many in which it’s not. Just because we have an enormous variety of such products to pick from does not mean it is or should be the first choice. We owe it to our clients to provide the appropriate answer to their needs, and we have a responsibility to explain why we have chosen a particular solution and demonstrate how it best solves their problem in a fiscally responsible way.
It is increasingly obvious that too many members of our industry have forgotten this creed.
“STOP! Think about the real needs of the client.”
The next time you are tempted to reach for the last design you deployed in a particular style of venue or system, STOP! Think about what the real needs of the client are and what they are paying you for — your expertise and your knowledge of how to correctly and efficiently solve their specific problem.
“Maybe the correct solution is a line array.”
Maybe the correct solution is a line array — but I’ll wager that it’s probably not.Leave a Comment
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|Top House of Worship Market Ads of 2016|
By Anthony Coppedge
House of Worship Technology Consultant
In the third year of this round up of my pick for the Top House of Worship Ads, 2016’s contenders were few and set far apart from the white noise of bland and ineffective advertising that continues to saturate the church technology vertical market. If anything, it seemed to me that there might have been more ads than in previous years, but with the vast majority using outdated marketing schlock to pitch products with little to no regards for the church buyer/influencer demographic.
A slight change to this year’s list is the inclusion of one ad that stood out — for all of the wrong reasons. I included it not to shame the manufacturer (I blurred out their name, model number and website URL), but to describe instead how this ad misses all of the marks. All. The. Marks.
It is worth noting that the ads included below were chosen by the three criteria of creativity, copywriting and memorability, but, in order to be chosen, each of them needed to clearly identify the value to the House of Worship (HoW) buyer/influencer.
Top House of Worship Market Ads of 2016
ETC – ColorSource PAR
Creativity – 3 stars
Copywriting – 5 stars
Memorability – 4 stars
ETC won again in 2016 with this new half-page (vertical) ad in various HoW trade publications. As a company, they’ve long been selling into this market segment and are one of the leaders — if not THE leader — in the church lighting category. Still, it’s worth noting that they’ve got a good understanding of the HoW market and are a good example for other vendors to learn from and follow.
For two years in a row, ETC understands that “less is more” with a minimalist design and a no-frills, high-focus on a single product. This ad includes a definitive statement and a qualified value, something missing from most ads aimed at churches. “Quality comes with a small price tag,” is a clever way not to focus on price, but rather on quality while still hinting at the price wars that continue to rage online. In fact, they don’t list the price at all; they only leave the reader with the understanding that the price is small, which makes a subjective statement sound objective. The emphasis is on quality and the copywriting in the ad drives this home in a focused, crisp and succinct way.
The product shot is, frankly, perfect, and instantly identifies with readers looking to update their lighting with LED technology to reduce heat, save on costs and extend the life of their lighting instruments.
However, once again, just like last year (are you listening ETC?), the only potential improvements are for a stronger call-to-action and a specific landing page URL for their marketing and sales teams to track the click-through and response rates to the ad. Otherwise, this ad is a clear winner.
Elite Screens – QuickStand Portable, ATA-rated Projection Screens
Creativity – 4 stars
Copywriting – 4 stars
Memorability – 5 stars
A new entrant for 2016, Elite Screens did something clever and familiar at the same time: It used the visual representation of projection used in dozens of other ads, but made sure to highlight the uniqueness of its product with the product shot include a distinct view of the company’s ATA-rated cases. Though many churches use portable projection screens, the market segment that benefits the most is the portable church market, where wear-and-tear on screens is high.
The brilliance of the ad is in the title, where it states “QuickStand 5-Second Large Venue Portable Projection Screen” — and makes for a must-read hook. From a marketing perspective, there’s a lot to admire in this: the name of the product is clear and self-explanatory, the five-second time reference intimates easy of use, the large venue language fits a number of church room types and the portability of the screen is a key factor in the decision-making purchase process. Frankly, this title alone with the product shots is effective enough to motivate a church buyer to head to the website.
A controversial option was the inclusion of a QR code that promised video of the screens in action. Some folks love QR codes, but others hate them, so this is subjective to begin with. However, while the QR code does show video of the product in question, it packs a lot of information about the product in a wide variety of venues. This is a slight ding on the effectiveness of the ad because it doesn’t create a HoW exclusive focus. Still, it’s a smart move that simply needs to be better executed in the future.
Though they used the QR code, I’m still a big believer in either sub-domains (verticalmarket.vendor.com) or landing pages (vendor.com/verticalmarket) for easy tracking and more importantly, targeted persona messaging.
Teradek – Streaming Devices
Creativity – 5 stars
Copywriting – 4 stars
Memorability – 5 stars
This is my favorite ad of the group because it does so much with so little. The use of simple and clear icons, the easy logic and the Facebook color-matching blue and white make this an attention-grabbing ad that will easily resonate with a vast number (most?) of churches wanting to use the unparalleled reach of Facebook. This may be the most perfectly-targeted HoW ad of the year.
Streaming is a hot topic for churches because it’s at the intersection of social media and online church services. Realizing this, Teradek ingeniously leveraged the ubiquitous Facebook colors, famous logo and clever ‘like’ icon to help the reader arrive at the obvious conclusion that this has instant and important value for them as church technology buyers. It’s all of the technical verbiage that’s not in the ad — no bandwidth, no codecs, no hardware compatibility — that makes this compelling for churches to want to learn more without needing to know tech specs or product shots.
Unlike the other winners, this ad does use a sub-domain URL to track where viewers originated from on their website. This helps provide marketing with insanely valuable data and, with a form submission, contact information for leads. This is the way it should be done, folks.
Creativity – 3 stars
Copywriting – 4 stars
Memorability – 4 stars
This ad from Renkus-Heinz uses a profile view of audience members to reinforce the point of the message for churches: Reach your audience. It’s subtle and effective, with a particularly well-chosen shot of two people in focus and listening intently. You can see it in the eyes and in the body language and this is something every church audio guy and gal — not to mention the pastor! — wants to see happen in their churches.
Targeted at the audio technician, the ad uses language about steerable sound, a hot topic for years now and one that is hotly debated at tradeshows and in trade publications — both secular and religious. Because the ad highlights not only the technology, but addresses the debate surrounding steerable sound (line arrays, in particular) with the statement “steerable sound isn’t just about being heard, it’s about being understood,” the reader is instantly aware that the manufacturer is making an implied claim about speech intelligibility, which is a critical point in the HoW market.
The brand of the speaker is highlighted, but could have been less prominent since the ad already had the user interested in the meta-conversation: speech intelligibility. Driving home the name of the product here is less important than delivering the message (no pun intended), which was done particularly well in the copy at the bottom of the ad. A slight swing-and-a-miss in the copy, however, was the call-to-action pointing to the generic manufacturer website instead of to a specific landing page (tracking matters, people!) or sub-domain.
Note that the blue URL text at the bottom right is, in fact, to the product page, which is an improvement over simply the website URL. Still, a product page isn’t specific enough for a HoW user, and this could have been a 5 out of 5 review had it gone to a church venue specific landing page that helped the church buyer with additional qualifying information about this new speaker in their type of venue.
Un-named Vendor – Un-named Product
Creativity – 1 star
Copywriting – 1 star
Memorability – 1 star
For the first time, I’ve included an example of what not to do when it comes to HoW market advertising. I’m not naming the vendor or their product because my point is not to embarrass or harass them. My point is to highlight how so much can go so very, very wrong in an ad.
The text is interesting. Control. Communicate. These are understood terms to church techies and important ones at that within the technology space. But this ad goes beyond a metaphor and exceeds the abstract when it shows a 1 RU (Rack Unit) rack-mount comms box with gooseneck microphone inexplicably being held by a child in a grassy yard with an RC-controlled car in the background. To further warp the minds of the readers, the bottom half depicts a grandmotherly-looking woman holding another 1 RU rack-mount device to her ear as if it’s a ginormous, misplaced technology shot from an ’80s-era cellular phone provider trying to showcase the lean aesthetic of a 19” long device held to the ear instead of a brick-phone with external power supply. The reader is left to scan up-and-down repeatedly in futile attempts to apply meaning, much less logical association, with the technology and the dimension-warping photography. There’s abstract and then there’s absurd. This is, sadly, the latter.
However, the befuddlement continues with the baffling complexity of a made up compound word-phrase of “intercomandmediornetcontrol” to somehow try and bring meaning to the senseless imagery above, only to add considerably to the paradox within what is already a mystery. I mean, in a warped way it is rather impressive that this all-caps spelling of indeterminate meaning makes the mind-bending imagery above seem merely silly and not outright incomprehensible.
The summation text of “together in one device” tries to pair the inexplicable with the preposterous, as if telling us that putting two out of place things together somehow makes this painful visual experience less uncomfortable. One has to decide to tough it out and plow on ahead to the final paragraph, which reveals this is some kind of new intercom system for users of another dimension.
Then, as this ad is in print, the marketing team went ahead and cleverly added the social sharing icons for Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram at the bottom of the ad, just in case you wanted to see these fine logos in print with no possible way to go to the vendor’s social sites.
You can’t make this stuff up. But it should also point out that the key marketing principle of ‘know thy audience’ is one that every advertiser would do well to understand and apply to their church market advertisements.
I challenge your firm to compare these ads to what your firm and others are doing. What the HoW market needs is specificity, target copywriting, high-quality imagery and focused landing pages/sub-domains so that you can help church market buyers find value in your offerings.
As always, here’s my helpful advice for marketing to this massive vertical market:
- Define your personas
- Sell your value proposition over your product’s features and benefits
- Identify felt needs
- Connect with the user’s pain points
- Provide a solution, not just a product
- Don’t talk at the reader; talk to your prospects
- Learn which images and photographs server your best target demographic in the HoW space
- Use compelling landing pages that invite the prospect to learn more with a non-existent barrier to entry
- Track your marketing efforts and measure what’s working — and why
The HoW market is over 300,000 unique churches in North America alone. Add to that the crazy growth of multi-site and multi-venue church campuses and the obvious intersection of your products and churches should be crystal clear.
What do you think — are these the best ads of 2016 or do you have another you’d like to have seen listed above? Share your views and links in the comments below.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Shows New Audio Control Panels for Use with DMP 128 Plus Audio Processors|
Extron has just introduced the ACP Series of configurable audio control panels that interface directly with the DMP 128 Plus audio processors. Four models in the series provide volume adjustments for mixing and zone control, plus preset or macro recall for room configuration. Multiple ACP Series control panels can be installed around a meeting space and linked together. Each panel can be used for independent control of a specific area or to adjust audio settings for the entire combined space. The ACP Series is ideal for use in applications that require a simple and cost-effective means to control basic audio functions. Used with or without a control system, the ACP Series button panels can be configured using Extron DSP Configurator Software.
Four models are available: The two-gang ACP 100 features six dual-colored backlit buttons for easy operation in low-light environments with a volume knob for smooth, precise volume adjustments. Three additional models feature six customizable, backlit soft-touch buttons: The one-gang ACP 106 D Decora wallplate, the one-gang ACP 106 MK for MK boxes and enclosures used in the UK, Middle East, Singapore and other regions using MK-type enclosures, and the one-gang ACP 106 EU compatible with Flex55 modules, mounting kits and enclosures, as well as EU junction boxes.
Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|Matrox Updates Monarch LCSMatrox Video today announced a firmware update for the H.264 based Matrox Monarch LCS lecture capture appliance that adds a new scheduler function. That schedule now lets the Monarch LCS to be set to start automatically before an event (e.g. lectures, corporate presentations, religious services) without any human intervention required. The Monarch LCS scheduler supports the iCalendar (.ics) standard, which can be generated by a variety of scheduling applications including Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. Allowing identification of multiple devices on a single master calendar, when the schedule is imported to a Monarch LCS appliance, it will automatically start and stop streaming and recording events at times corresponding to that individual device.
The Monarch LCS’s updated ability to record files locally to an SD card or attached USB drive, and then transfer the data to network-mapped drives at a later time, is a helpful feature for IT administrators as it reduces the demand on the network during peak times. It could also avoids data loss during peak-hour transfers due to errors or connectivity issues. Transfers can be triggered manually or preprogrammed to occur at a preset time each day. The Monarch LCS tracks successful file transfers and avoids retransferring unless it is specifically requested. Failed or incomplete transfers are also tracked and tagged for future retransfer.
Here are details on the LCS.Leave a Comment
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|Waves Audio Ships Their Primary Source Expander PluginWaves Audio is now shipping the Waves Primary Source Expander (PSE) plugin. PSE lets users reduce stage bleed and sensitivity to feedback when a mic is idle by automatically lowering mic levels between musical phrases — designed for live sound and for mixing live recordings.
PSE works like a fader that smoothly attenuates the channel’s level when the source goes below the threshold that’s been set. The user determines both the threshold and the amount of attenuation. Reducing stage noise leakage when microphones are idle will help users get an overall mix that is more coherent, more focused, and has better phase relations.
PSE also provides advanced sidechain and ducking controls for greater consistency and precision when treating complex live scenarios. Whether mixing FOH or monitors in a live venue or working on a live recording in the studio, PSE will ensure that mics are as loud and clean as they can be, while preserving the source’s original tone and the natural ambience of the location.
Waves Primary Source Expander plugin features:
- Reduces stage bleed and sensitivity to feedback when mics are idle
- Smoothly attenuates levels when source drops below the threshold defined
- User-friendly GUI for quick operation – set and forget
- Internal and external sidechain with HP/LP filters
- Ducking mode for added precision in complex live scenarios
- Release time presets
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Intros More Powerful DMP 128 Plus Series Digital Matrix Processors with VoIP|
Extron just launched the new DMP 128 Plus Series, which is what the company is calling its next generation of Digital Matrix Processors featuring Extron ProDSP 64-bit “floating point” technology. DMP 128 Plus Series processors are equipped with 12 analog mic/line inputs, eight analog outputs, up to four channels of digital audio input and output via USB, up to eight audio file players, and new configurable multi-device macros. An ACP bus makes it easy to connect one or more ACP Series audio control panels, offering an economical solution for audio system control. DMP 128 Plus V models also include eight independent channels of VoIP, supporting Session Initiation Protocol – SIP 2.0. The DMP 128 Plus AT models provide Dante audio networking technology with connectivity for up to 48 digital audio inputs and 24 digital audio outputs. Configurable using Extron DSP Configurator Software, the DMP 128 Plus Series processors feature an expanded mix matrix, up to 84×48. DMP 128 Plus Series processors can be used anywhere from a credenza-based system to a large multi-rack system, and even in a large, complex, decentralized multi-building system.
The DMP 128 Plus C, DMP 128 Plus C AT, DMP 128 Plus C V and DMP 128 Plus C V AT models include Extron AEC for conferencing applications. AEC is essential for effective remote room-to-room conversations, ensuring clear, natural communication for all participants. These models include eight independent channels of high performance AEC, as well as selectable noise cancellation. Typical AEC processing can be challenged by conditions such as double-talk, when talkers from both ends are speaking simultaneously, and when near end talkers use wireless microphones. Extron AEC features advanced algorithms that deliver fast echo canceler convergence for optimal intelligibility, even in challenging conditions.
DMP 128 Plus AT models are equipped with Dante audio networking technology and provide scalable audio transport over a local area network using standard Internet protocols. Each DMP 128 Plus AT sends out 24 channels of digital audio and can receive 48 channels over the network. Dante technology can support up to 512×512 audio channels at 24-bit/48 kHz over a single Gigabit Ethernet link, or 48×48 audio channels at 24-bit/48 kHz over a single 100 Mbps Ethernet link with extremely low latency. Additionally, the DMP 128 Plus AT can be configured to support primary and redundant Dante audio networks.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Delvcam Unveils a New Compact 5.5-Inch HDMI/SDI Monitor|
Delvcam just announced new 5.5 inch DELV-HSW5-CC camera top LCD video monitor featuring HDMI/SDI cross conversion and waveform and vector scope displays.
The Delvcam camera-top DELV-HSW5-CC 5.5-inch LCD monitor integrates waveform, vector scope, time code and histogram displays and 3G-SDI and HDMI cross-conversion output into a single unit. Designed for camera operators, directors and cinematographers, this monitor features a 16:9 panel, 1920×1080 resolution and a high contrast ratio of 1000:1.
The super-compact portable design, rugged metal housing in a protective silicon case and a removable sunshade make the DELV-HSW5-CC ideal for outdoor use.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|PK Sound Debuts Gravity 30, a 30″ SubwooferThe Gravity 30 by PK Sound is its largest subwoofer and the first product released in the Gravity family. The 30” Gravity 30 claims to set a new standard for low frequency reproduction with unprecedented output capability and exceptional transient accuracy. With a very high output-to-size ratio, PK Sound says the Gravity 30 replaces three conventional dual 18” subwoofers, significantly reducing truck pack and weight.
A 15,000-watt class-D amplifier with differential pressure loop technology provides efficient, high output power to the 30” moving magnet linear motor M-Force transducer. The dual reflex bandpass enclosure provides high, symmetric loading to the cone increasing efficiency, dramatically improving transient response, reducing distortion and maximizing low frequency extension. A precision-engineered steel alloy motor mount provides a rigid connecting assembly which acts as large heatsink for the transducer and as a grill for the high frequency chamber, additional cooling dramatically increases power handling and reduces power compression.
The Gravity 30 is cardioid arrayable, providing the maximum amount of flexibility when creating large subwoofer arrays especially when a high amount of directionality is required. The subwoofer is available in both touring and installation versions. Both models integrate seamlessly with PK’s Kontrol software providing access to key DSP features and real time monitoring. The touring (for live events) model incorporates an integrated rigging assembly, allowing up to 12 cabinets to be suspended, and features automatic array detection allowing quick and seamless set up of subwoofer arrays.
The Gravity 30 and Gravity family of products are here.Leave a Comment
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|Behringer Releases TUBE ULTRAGAIN MIC500USBBetting that audiophiles will appreciate a tube-based amplifier again, Behringer has launched a small tube preamplifier in the form of the TUBE ULTRAGAIN MIC500USB. Although transistors have succeeded the tube-based amplifier market of the 70’s, many musicians agree that tubes deliver a far superior sound. The TUBE ULTRAGAIN MIC500USB’s hand-selected 12AX7 vacuum tube gives everything from microphones to acoustic or bass guitars that vintage tube vibe — in a dependable and ultra-affordable package, says Behringer.
The MIC500USB is designed for studio and live applications. Using balanced XLR and 1⁄4″ TRS inputs, it’s designed for use with standard digital recorders and sound cards, imbuing signals with the “warmth,” presence and classic tube-compression that will bring your digital tracks to life. The MIC500USB’s controls consist of: switches for +48 V phantom power, 20 dB pad, Phase Reverse and Limiter, plus vintage-style gain and output knobs. An eight-segment LED meter provides accurate monitoring of output levels. And it can be used as a high-end DI (Direct Injection) box in the studio or on the stage.
Here are all the specs [PDF].Leave a Comment
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|Extron Debuts New AXI Series Dante Audio Interfaces|
Extron has introduced two new products in the Extron AXI family of Dante audio interfaces. The AXI 22 AT and the AXI 44 AT analog audio to Dante interfaces feature two inputs / two outputs, or four inputs / four outputs. The compact quarter rack width units integrate two or four mic or line sources onto a Dante-enabled audio system and feature switchable 48 volt phantom power. The AXI 22 AT offers two line level outputs, while the AXI 44 AT features four line level outputs for routing Dante channels from the network to an audio system. Level select, gain, and phantom power settings are controllable from the front panel, via DSP Configurator Software, or by using SIS commands via the LAN and USB ports. Both models interface with any Dante-equipped audio processor, such as an Extron DMP 128 Plus AT, over a standard local area network, and can be powered through PoE. This allows a single network cable connection for bidirectional audio and power from a central equipment rack.
The AXI 22 AT and AXI 44 AT accept analog mic and line sources, which are converted at 24-bit with selectable sampling rates from 44.1 to 96 kHz, for output via Dante. The interfaces are connected into a Dante network over Ethernet using standard IP networking protocols. This avoids the effort and expense of pulling multiple lines of long cables back to the AV rack. With their small, quarter rack form factor, the AXI 22 AT and AXI 44 AT can be easily mounted under a desk, in a lectern, or in millwork, as well as in a rack. The family of Dante-enabled products from Extron work together as part of a complete networked audio system solution and integrate with other Dante-enabled products to create efficient, scalable system designs.
All the details on the AXI 22 AT and AXI 44 AT are here.Leave a Comment
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|Denon Debuts Six-Channel Mixer and 120-Watt Power Amp in DN-306XADenon Pro says it’s getting serious about fixed install. The new DN-306XA is a six-channel mixer with a built-in, single-channel 120W Class-D amplifier in one rack space. It features combo XLR/TRS input jacks with switchable MIC, LINE, and phantom power. In addition to the amplified output on Euroblock speaker connectors, two XLR line outputs are included. The speaker output options are 4 ohm or 70/100V line. Added features include mic one priority and a three-band equalizer on the output. The DN-306XA is compact, versatile and ready to solve any number of audio installation challenges.
The audio specs are:
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 94dB
- Max Line Output Level: +24dBu
- Phantom Power: 48VDC
- Maximum Voltage Gain: 60dB
- Class-D Amplifier Output: 120W @ 4Ω or 70V/100V
- Inputs: Six combo XLR/TRS
- Max Input Level: -20dBu
- Sensitivity: -40dBu
- Impedance: 1.4kΩ
- Max Input Level: +24dBu
- Impedance: 10kΩ
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|Behringer Ships New EUROPOWER PMP500MP3Marketing it as the ultimate all-in-one portable PA mixer, Behringer says the EUROPOWER PMP500MP3 (at only 3 kg / 6.6 lbs) is an 8-channel, 500-watt powered mixer with an on-board mp3 player, reverb and wireless microphone connectivity. The vertical-standing mixer includes:
- A studio-grade stereo reverb
- “Wireless-ready” for high-quality BEHRINGER digital wireless system
- Broadcast-like Voice-Over-Priority Function dims music when microphones are used
- An 8-channel mixer section features 4 mic/line and 2 stereo channels
- Four high-quality mic preamps with switchable +48 V phantom power for condenser microphones
- 2-band EQ on all channels
- Music/Speech switch to set overall system equalization
- Auto limiter prevents overload damage to power ampli er and speakers
- Mic stand adapter ts standard 5/8″ and 3/8″ European threads (included)
- Switching power supply
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|Bose Professional Ships ShowMatch DeltaQ Array LoudspeakersBose Professional is now shipping new ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers for both installation and portable applications, with field-changeable waveguides that help provide the best possible sound quality throughout the audience area. ShowMatch DeltaQ arrays provide significant advantages over conventional line array loudspeakers.
DeltaQ array technology improves sound quality and vocal clarity by providing selectable coverage patterns that direct more sound energy to the audience by allowing directivity, or “Q,” to vary with each array module. Traditional line arrays typically have significantly less pattern control. ShowMatch full-range array loudspeakers are available with 5-degree, 10-degree or 20-degree vertical coverage with class-leading versatility that allows J-array, constant-curvature, or DeltaQ array configurations. Conventional line arrays can require up to twice the box count compared to DeltaQ arrays to achieve comparable vertical coverage. DeltaQ arrays can improve sight lines, reduce rigging weight and lower system costs.
New ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeakers provide the highest full-range output for their size class, with 145 dB peak array output levels generated from four Bose EMB2S neodymium compression drivers and two 8-inch neodymium woofers with more usable low-frequency output in smaller arrays.
ShowMatch loudspeakers feature field-changeable waveguides that vary horizontal coverage to better match audience coverage needs and can form asymmetrical patterns for improved acoustic performance in left/right arrays. Modules ship with both 70-degree and 100-degree waveguides, with optional 55-degree and 120-degree kits available. Compact, road-ready enclosures with removable side caps optimize design for both installed and portable applications – from small clubs and houses of worship, to the largest performing arts centers and concert-sound amphitheaters. Integrated rigging allows up to 24-box arrays.
A matching-width 18-inch ShowMatch DeltaQ subwoofer provides low-frequency extension down to 30 Hz. Integrated rigging allows mixed arrays with full-range modules, or subwoofer arrays including cardioid and ground-stack configurations. The subwoofer measures 21.2×30.1×30.5″ (540x765x775 millimeters) and weighs 136.5 pounds (61.9 kg).
Bose ShowMatch DeltaQ full-range module specifications:
- SM5 measures 10.6″ H x 31.2″ W x 18.4″ D (270 x 793 x 467 mm) and weighs 67.5 lbs (30.6 kg)
- SM10 measures 11.1″ x 31.2″ x 18.3″ (282 x 793 x 465 mm) and weighs 65.5 lbs (29.7 kg)
- SM20 measures 11.9″ x 31.2″ x 18.1″ (303 x 793 x 461 mm) and weighs 64.0 lbs (29.0 kg)
- Frequency response of the full range models is 59-18,000 Hz (-10 dB)
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|Studio Technologies Announces Model 5414 Mic/Line Input & Line Output Interface|
Studio Technologies has introduced the Model 5414 Mic/Line Input & Line Output Interface that allows four microphone or line-level sources to be connected to the unit for conversion to digital and then output via Dante. Gain, high-pass filtering and P48 phantom power can be selected as required to optimize audio performance. Four signals arriving by way of Dante can be converted to analog and then output as balanced line-level signals. A monitor section allows the input and output signals to be selectively observed using meters and a headphone output.
The Model 5414 is designed for use in demanding on-air broadcast and live-event applications that require both excellent audio performance and reliable operation. The rack-mounted unit is appropriate for installation in fixed locations, while its lightweight enclosure also makes it suitable for mobile and field uses.
The unit has applications in a variety of facilities and networks. It can serve as an “edge” device for a Dante network implementation, providing high-performance input, output and monitor resources for applications that need a limited number of channels. It can also serve as a general-purpose “tool” to help expand Dante capabilities to facilities and applications that were initially implemented to support signals in the analog domain.
The Model 5414 features an optimized set of controls and indicators that make it simple and intuitive to use. With the unit’s metering and monitoring resources, it’s easy for operators to obtain excellent performance. By providing standard connectors for all inputs and outputs, along with direct AC mains powering, setup can be completed in just a few minutes.
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|Ferrofish Announces Debut of the Ferrofish A32 AD / DA Converter With Dante Support|
Ferrofish has launched the Ferrofish A32 AD / DA converter with support for Dante audio networking. The new Ferrofish A32 Dante supports nearly every audio format and handles 64 channels of MADI I/O, 32 channels of ADAT optical I/O and 32 channels of analog I/O. Additionally, any ADAT optical connector can be used alternatively as an S/PDIF or AES/EBU interface.Audio can be freely routed (in groups of 8) between all interfaces. As an example, it is possible to use the first 32 Dante channels for converting to analog while using the remaining 32 Dante channels to connect the A32 Dante with ADAT equipment.
The new A32 Dante employs 24-bit 192 kHz converters with analog gain switches. The gains of each channel can be separately adjusted in 0.5 dB steps, and the standard levels (+4 dBu, +13 dBu und +20 dBu) are switched in the analog domain, ensuring the full analog performance of the converter is preserved. Any input signal (in groups of 8) can be routed to any output signal. And, in addition to remote operation via Dante, MIDI or USB, the system also supports MIDI over MADI. This capability provides remote control of the A32 Dante via the same MADI cable carrying audio signal.
The new Ferrofish A32 Dante lists for $3.799 and it will be available Q1 2017. It’s being distributed in the Americas through Synthax. Here are the specs.Leave a Comment
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|RME and Synthax Announce ADI-2 Pro AD/DA Converter|
Syntax, distributor for RME, announced the introduction of the ADI-2 Pro high-end AD/DA converter. The ADI-2 Pro is designed for mastering and measurement applications, plus hi-res audio playback — making it well suited to studio applications as well as use in theaters and performing arts venues. Based on the connections being made, the ADI-2 Pro will automatically switch to AD/DA converter, USB interface or analog preamp mode. A specific mode can be set if required.
The ADI-2 Pro converter includes two servo-balanced analog inputs on combo XLR/ TRS jacks, two separate balanced and unbalanced outputs on XLR and TRS connectors, two individual stereo ‘Extreme Power’ headphone outputs on the front, an optical SPDIF I/O that also recognizes the ADAT format, plus coaxial SPDIF (RCA) and AES I/O (XLR) via an included breakout cable. This universal set of I/O options enables the ADI-2 Pro to offer quality and flexible connectivity to those who take a no-compromise approach to audio.
The ADI-2 Pro’s USB 2.0 port is fully Class Compliant (UAC 2) for connection with compatible iOS devices and Mac OS computers. Windows 7 or up is also supported with WDM and ASIO by RME’s own driver. With the included external switched power supply with lockable connector, the ADI-2 Pro can be easily powered via battery, opening up mobile applications.
The ADI-2 Pro claims high-end AD/DA conversion, in both PCM and DSD mode. Utilizing SteadyClock III, RME’s unique jitter suppression technology that guarantees perfect sound quality, the unit supports sampling frequencies of up to 768 kHz and DSD256. Equally notable, the ADI-2 Pro provides an exceptional 5-band parametric EQ per channel and for all analog I/Os, offering efficient frequency correction of headphones and speakers.
The new RME ADI-2 Pro High-end AD/DA converter lists for $2,299. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HOW out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
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