Volume 6, Issue 1 — January 30, 2017
|Agile Marketing for the AVL Industry|
By Anthony Coppedge
House of Worship Technology Consultant
Reaching the house of worship market with your marketing message requires a new set of marketing skills and tools that have been widely adopted by software technology companies, but relatively few that I’m aware of in the Audio, Video, Lighting (AVL) manufacturing and distribution firms. To take full advantage of the combination of social, search, print, trade show, publications and website marketing channels, the way your marketing team approaches creating content relative to various personas — including church buyers and influencers — has changed rapidly over the past few years.
For those of you building hardware and software, the methodology of Agile (such as Scrum or Kanban) is likely something either in place already or something you’ve considered (and should adopt). The principles are simple: Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to delivery that builds software/hardware/content incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end. It works by breaking projects down into little bits of user functionality called user stories, prioritizing them and then continuously delivering them in short delivery cycles called Sprints. The benefit of Agile is not only faster development, but better results through continuous improvement.
Agile Marketing applies this same approach to content creation and delivery, yielding better marketing pieces targeted at more specific personas to achieve a higher conversion rate of Marketing Qualified Leads for your sales teams.
As a marketer and communicator, I’ve found myself trying to balance the organizational needs of planning against the realities of responding to change in a timely fashion, only to realize that I seemingly could not find a way to do both well. Until Agile Marketing came along.
Over the years, I’ve worked with and around software developers and first appreciated, and then come to study and use their secret, to delivering code quickly and adapting just as fast to new features and bug fixes. They’ve made the development shift to Agile and I saw the huge benefits of faster shippable products with fewer defects and greater adoption and wondered how I could apply their success to marketing and communications.
Project Planning and The New Agile
To help quickly get started, here’s a very brief recap of they way things used to be versus how they are now in project planning:
- Software used to be fully considered, mapped out, documented and planned for a final finished release. This method, called Waterfall, was to do all of the pre-planning and documentation for everything the software would need to do in one, very large and complex project plan, complete with Gantt charts to estimate work over months and even years.
- Software-as-a-Service (software you use online, in an app, or in a browser, most frequently) changed the need for more iterative software changes that responded to demands and needs of users as quickly as possible – sometimes days or weeks.
- Agile is a belief that a collaborative team working in short durations together can deliver more often and change more rapidly to meet market demands.
- Scrum is a methodology for applying Agile that plans all work in chunks (2 to 4 weeks is common, and is called a ‘Sprint’) and follows ‘ceremonies’ that organize the work during the planned Sprint.
- Kanban is an Agile approach that visualizes work (a board with notes or cards), limits the work in progress (no multitasking allowed!) and focuses on workflow.
- Both Scrum and Kanban provide continuous improvement through measurement, discussion and learning.
When you’re about to roll out a new or updated solution at a major trade show, It’s hard to juggle the pre-planned work against the pressures of unplanned work due to necessary changes. Agile helps your marketing team prioritize the deliverables and the distribution channels so that major product announcements targeting your specific audience have the greatest chance of being seen, heard, and acted upon.
Marketing is always in a responsive mode given the nature of the work, so planning every detail out with rigid inflexibility is lunacy. Prioritizing the marketing effort is key to creating better conversion rates for AVL sales teams.
While it’s ideal for marketing and communication teams to plan some level of their work for coordination of deliverables around key dates using Editorial Calendars, being able to pivot as new, urgent unplanned work or changes due to external pressures happen, such as social media timeliness, a change in publication dates, a shift in deliverables, etc., your marketing will be timely and relevant to help stand out from the noise of your competitors.
The New Normal of Marketing & Comms
Allow me to illustrate how I lead my team in using Scrumban.
We plan our work into two-week Sprints (a term that describes a focused team effort for a limited duration) and spend several hours on the first Monday of a Sprint in a Sprint Planning session. To organize and prioritize our potential work for these two weeks, we first look at our Editorial Calendar to see what’s due next, and when we have to be ready to publish. Once all due dates and work related to these timelines is organized into Epics (over-arching projects) and Stories (tasks and dependencies) with fully detailed User Stories (a short Scope of Work), we then look at what else needs to be done that doesn’t necessarily have a hard deadline. To rank these, we discuss which of the Epics will realize the most value for the company. Finally, if there’s a dead tie between due dates and value, the tie-breaker is WSJF (Weighted Shortest Job First). This simply means that if all other things are equal, do the one that can be done fastest, first.
So, to summarize: Agile Marketing keeps the accountability and transparency high while also adapting to the realities of change for marketing. The key is to find what works for your culture and marketing team’s workflow.
Is your marketing team consistently delivering the right content to the right channels to get the best conversion rates for your sales teams? Or are they still using the old method of putting out fires to respond to urgent requests and not bringing the best value to your firm’s marketing efforts? Share your views and opinions in the comments below.
Illustration 1: Sample concept of a Kanban board used in Scrumban. Note: this is a simplified mock-up for illustrative purposes only.
Illustration 2: Agile Marketing – ‘Scrumban’ Framework. Thanks to Innolution, LLC & Kenneth Rubin for the original Scrum diagram.Leave a Comment
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|Churches, IoT and Fully Integrated AVL|
By Anthony Coppedge
House of Worship Technology Consultant
In sales, your best client is likely the one who buys repeatedly and recommends you consistently. For a long time, I had two of my best clients fit this description while I was in sales; one was a large airline, the other was a large church. What these two organizations had in common was a need for fully integrated audio, video and lighting (AVL) in multiple venues. I submit that today with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), it should be easier to have more than just two best clients for any AVL systems integrator. I submit to you today that churches and the Internet of Things have a future together.
Integration Surpasses Box Sales
One of the systems integration firms I worked for years ago had one of the largest online box sales websites as another business unit. The online sales team had a nice sales pipeline of inbound leads pouring in through web forms and, most importantly, phone calls. The presence of a salesperson on a call helped to sell (and up-sell) more than the online order forms. In spite of the tremendous success of this ‘box sales’ model, the online ordering could never do what we did: integrate the AVL purchases.
You have have heard it said that online AVL sales are the future in a highly competitive and commoditized market space. Amazon may be the ultimate example of online vs. brick-and-mortar when it comes to consumer goods, but commercial level sales will always benefit from your greatest advantage: you. There’s room at the table for both online purchases and integration sales.
Once you’re highly competent in your craft, you can give away all that you know freely; for it is the way you know that can’t be duplicated.
Systems integration is about knowing how to bring their existing AVL tech stack into the future and knowing the best way to enable volunteer operation and future growth. How you know that is greater than a signal flow diagram. It is about understanding the pain points and desired outcomes church leaders have for interruption-free operation.
Sometimes, I see systems integrators advertising ‘free’ systems design with the purchase of equipment. This is a box-sales mentality that doesn’t offer the systems design as a value; it lowers it by making it free. As a dollar amount, free is terrific, but it actually lowers the value proposition by prioritizing price instead of elevating integration.
IoT Is a Game-Changer
Most of the fuss about the Internet of Things (IoT) has been focused around consumer home electronics. At it’s core IoT is about connecting things in simple, relevant and timely ways so that the user benefits from the power of connected automation (“smart appliances”). The genesis of this in the AVL industry has been automation control that made Crestron and AMX standards for integration. It is up to the manufacturers to build in the connectivity and narrow artificial intelligence (AI) to look for certain actions and behaviors to make their AVL gear ‘smart’ and connected in a way that benefits users currently do not expect. From pre-ordering (or at least notifying) consumables and self-diagnosing recurring issues through automation scripts to identifying usage patterns and presenting recommended energy savings, all of this can point to a unified mobile/desktop app to bridge the user experience for disparate technologies into a useful user interface with pre-emptive actions handled via automation.
Note that this is a departure from notification status alerts. Monitoring can only point to what’s already happened. Predictive analytics built into the systems themselves provides users with a new level of awareness to change the behaviors of old habits into new patterns of usage.
Consider the implications for multi-site churches managed by a technical director who could have the power of a unified AVL system that exceeds today’s power-up and power-down cycles as glorified touch panel on/off switches with a connected system that self-manages certain operational aspects and gives helpful suggestions resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy, and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention.
There is an impending need for a way to manage the large amounts of data from diverse locations with the consequent necessity for quick aggregation of the data and an increase in the need to index, store, and process such data more effectively. In my opinion, there is opportunity for a consortium of AVL industry leaders to present a unified architecture to link the existing technology infrastructures (DANTE, CobraNet, DMX, SMPTE, NetLinx, Cresnet, etc.) into a cross-communication, translation hub. Using the scalable infrastructure of something like Amazon Web Services, the growth potential and data aggregation and analysis is exponential.
Selling the Future
Of course, what I’ve described above doesn’t exist today. But don’t let that stop your integration firm from considering how to redefine your value proposition from connecting equipment to fully integrating systems for the scalability of church technology infrastructure and management. How you do that will largely depend upon how you can add a new layer of integration expertise into a unified user interface (UI), likely via AMX or Crestron, that goes beyond system control to system visibility.
Your best church clients would likely allocate budget today if they could have a holistic view of their audio, video, and lighting systems in one place; even better if it can help them operate in a more unified and consistent way with greater efficiency, easier operation and lower operating costs.
The shift towards this future begins with how firm markets and positions your business to churches. The changes are notable, such as focusing on what’s in it for the church when they fully integrate and automate more than operation (what most do today at some level) and shift into macro-level objective views of systems performance. This has the added effect of focusing on certain brand and technologies that support robust network connectivity, which further polarizes the online box-sales commodity model away from an integrated solution, forcing churches to consider the short-term gain of low-cost equipment against the long-term advantages of a unified system.
The future of ‘things,’ as it pertains to the AVL industry, is an inviting opportunity to add greater value to systems integration through intuitive automation and the analysis of data through an ever-increasing network of connected devices. Churches, like other vertical market clients, will benefit from the manufacturers and systems integrators that help them predict, analyze and visualize their AVL systems.
How do you see the Internet of Things affecting AVL systems in the HoW market? Share your views and opinions in the comments below.Leave a Comment
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|Service Recovery — Lessons Learned from an AV Guy|
By Tony Sprando
Commercial AV Designer
How do you fulfill service recovery when you are guilty of poor service? This a very viable topic even if you think you are perfect. Yeah, I was wrong once last year… I think. Right.
Seriously though, great customer service is a cornerstone for any successful business. I can be an expert in my industry, but if I am unable to make a connection with my customers, I misunderstand what they want and need. And then if I fail to exceed their expectations, I will lose those customers. So, what happens when I falter in any of those key areas?
Well, when the worst happens (it has and it will), I have learned that service recovery can be simple, but it’s frequently not easy for every business owner to do. According to Patricia Lotich from The Thriving Small Business website, “Service recovery is a theory that suggests that a customer who has a bad experience and receives a prompt, effective response to their issues will be a more loyal customer than a customer who had no bad experience at all.” And this experience does require some skill to recover that customer who received poor service from me. Here are a few I recommend you work on:
Read their body language. Notice their raised eye brow. Before the words even come out of their mouth, you can save some serious embarrassment. Quickly turn the conversation to “I am sorry,” and eat as much humble pie as possible.
Nothing is free, except an apology. We have all heard that nothing is truly free; there is always a catch. Well, actually one thing is free and though it may cost you some pride, no money will be deducted from your bank account. Simply take responsibility and apologize. Say something like, “I apologize, I am deeply sorry and I will do whatever I can to make this right.”
Act fast. Now, pick up the pieces. Do not sulk over your oversight. Get to work harder than you ever have before to remedy the issue quickly. To truly recover you must do all of the above quickly. Any delay implies that you do not truly care and that you are not honestly sorry. For example, get the new TV on its way ASAP. Don’t overanalyze the situation by questioning how it fell off the wall or the customer’s word on “who touched it last.” Just get the replacement on its way and start the RMA process, in that order. Don’t wait for the replacement RMA to come in. Buy a new one and deal with the RMA swap later. Trust me.
And then, communicate frequently. Keep your customer involved and updated with every step of the recovery process. A phone call is best, but at the very least, zip out an email confirming your problem-solving process is moving forward.
What happens next? In a Temkin Group report from March 2016 titled, “What Happens After a Good or Bad Experience,” statistics revealed that a strong service recovery process reduces customer losses from 63 percent to 24 percent. Bruce Temkin reports, “It’s undeniable that a good service recovery after a bad experience provides excellent results… If the service recovery is very good, there’s a 10x improvement in consumers who increase their spending…”
Bottom line: Do your best to avoid problems. But when they happen, do some serious service recovery.
Tony, the AV guyLeave a Comment
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|An Announcement from QSC, the Death of Hardware and Where We Go Next|
By Leonard Suskin
Pixel and Ink-Stained Wretch
I’ve been writing for some time about how the days for dedicated hardware in the commercial AV realm might be numbered. We will always, of course, need edge devices: loudspeakers and amplifiers, microphones and audio digitizers. Video encoders, video decoders. Displays. Between all of these devices, however, live the entire world of AV switching, control, audio processing, video processing. These are, at their heart, collections of algorithms and instructions, with little need for a dedicated box. Where will this take us? A not-unexpected announcement from our friends at QSC is a clear waypoint along one path.
What QSC Is Doing
The announcement is a simple one: QSC is putting their software in a standard Dell server — the same kind of server that would run pretty much any other enterprise software. If I understand this correctly, that means no big grey box with the words “QSC” stamped on it. What’s more is that the QSC platform can be used as a control platform as well as an audio-processing platform. Even assuming that video transport isn’t coming soon (and I have every reason to suspect that it is), there’s no reason the Q-SYS software cannot be used to send control strings to a series of network-based video encoders and decoders.
Meanwhile Utelogy has been making inroads with their own software-based platform. The two firms have taken very different direction: The Q-SYS platform is built on the type of audio-processing environment with which we’ve been familiar for over a decade now; it’s an active and sophisticated system involving specialized configuration skill set. The Utelogy platform is a bit simpler and more closely resembles a unified communications platform such as Cisco Call Manager than it does a traditional AV control system. Q-SYS is, at its heart, an audio processing platform with control processing and video transport (currently via QSC’s IP cameras only, but I expect to see more added to it). The Utelogy platform is an enterprise communications and ID management system with AV control overlaid. The latter is probably better for handling various user-IDs and permission levels, while the former better lends itself to the “work” of an AV system, including audio processing.
As software grows, it will be interesting to see which approach gains the larger foothold.
What Does This Mean?
The superficial answer is that a specialized box will be replaced by a non-specialized box performing the same function. That is technically an answer, but a reductive and not terribly interesting one. A better question is that of what it means for our business and for how the AV integration world works. What IS an AV system? What does an AV professional actually do?
I wouldn’t be your pixel and ink-stained wretch if I didn’t answer in metaphor. For today’s metaphor, let’s look at IP telephony. While there are specialized firms to handle this kind of work, they do not design, build and configure an entire telephony system for a single space. What they create is an infrastructure on which a larger system or set of systems can be constructed. Can I see a future in which streamlined “conference room” modules in an instance of Q-SYS software could be implemented to add a huddle room with a USB microphone and IP camera to an existing configuration? I absolutely can. In such a world, a new room could be brought online in less than an hour and tear-down could be just as quick.
Where Does That Leave Us?
It leaves us with our core competencies — in understanding audio, in understanding sight-lines and in helping our clients build the infrastructure on which they can build. It’s understanding microphones and loudspeakers. It’s forging relationships, including on-going service and support contracts to keep the systems working and help add to them.
It’s leading the discussion on what is possible in an ever-changing and ever-evolving world.
If we insist that it’s our role to sell boxes, then the death of the box WILL be our death as well. If we remain smart and adaptable, we’ll find more chances to do what we do well and to fit into a whole new world.Leave a Comment
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|Crestron Ships Two New Modular Amplifiers|
Crestron is now shipping new modular utility amplifiers. The new AMP-1200 and AMP-2100 are designed for easy installation, with no need for rack shelves, terminating power connectors or external power supplies. Crestron modular amplifiers amps are also Energy Star certified — they intelligently power down when not in use and feature “fast on” power up, so not a single syllable of speech or program audio is clipped.
All of the hardware needed comes in the box. Integrators do not need to research, order or keep track of separate rack ears, shelves, spacer kits or any other extra installation hardware. The slide-lock design provides secure, professional 1U mounting without a shelf for single-amp and gang configurations. They also have an internal power supply.
AMP-1200 and AMP-2100 are part of Crestron’s new line of single and two-channel modular amps. Crestron says additional models will be available soon.
To see complete specs on the AMP-1200, go here and on the AMP-2100, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Mackie Adds Monitor Controller to Big Knob Line|
Mackie has announced the expansion of the Big Knob monitor controller lineup, adding models with high-resolution USB recording and playback. The all-new Big Knob Series features three models: Big Knob Passive, Big Knob Studio and Big Knob Studio+.
Now with three products in the Big Knob lineup, studios of any size will benefit from the professional source/monitor selection and precise level control that made the original such a popular choice. Plus, with the addition of high-resolution Onyx USB recording and playback, studios get a powerful, hybrid solution that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Both the Big Knob Studio and Big Knob Studio+ offer high-resolution USB interfacing, featuring dual Onyx mic preamps, delivering an ultra-wide 60dB of gain range and award-winning sound quality.
The most compact and affordable, Big Knob Passive allows users to choose between two sources, two monitors and control it all with one Big Knob. Its no-power-required passive design ensures pristine sonic integrity for any home studio application or for integration into a large studio or group of editing suites. Big Knob Studio adds USB recording/playback and expands on the I/O, offering a routing choice between three sources and two monitor pairs. It includes studio features such as integrated talkback and dual headphone outs. Big Knob Studio+ adds more features, offering the right I/O for flexible integration into professional studios. The 4×3 routing delivers choice, including a USB playback from a DAW with 192kHz / 24-bit audio conversion. It also has a dedicated, amp-driven studio out for a headphone distribution system.
The Mackie Big Knob Series will list at $89.99 and the Big Knob Studio+ will list for $389.99. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|PreSonus Unveils Third-Generation StudioLive Series III ConsolesPreSonus’ new third-generation StudioLive Series III digital console/recorders launches with two models: the 16-channel StudioLive 16, with 17 touch-sensitive, motorized faders and 17 recallable XMAX preamps and the flagship StudioLive 32, with 33 touch-sensitive, motorized faders and 33 recallable XMAX preamps. The new 24- and 40-input consoles further improve on the StudioLive’s legendary ease of use while letting you customize workflow and operations to fit the way you work.
PreSonus Capture multitrack recording software with virtual soundcheck is installed directly into StudioLive Series III consoles so you can leave your laptop at home. With just one touch, Capture records up to 34 tracks to the StudioLive’s onboard SD recorder. When finished recording, open your Capture session in Studio One for Mac and Windows (included), and the entire mix scene will transfer to your Studio One session, including fader levels and Fat Channel settings.
The StudioLive Series III’s distinctive Fat Channel processing section has received a major overhaul, including a plug-in-style workflow that features vintage-style EQ and compression options on every channel, from classic tube limiters to passive EQs. In addition to channel processing, StudioLive Series III consoles offer six-band, fully parametric EQ on all mix outputs.
StudioLive Series III goes above and beyond in providing ways to customize things to best fit the way you work. User layers for the channel faders let you place any channel or bus fader anywhere you want — and they’re easy to set up. You also can customize your Fat Channel layout, putting the parameters you care about most right at your fingertips, and there are several workflow options to personalize your mixing experience.
With StudioLive Series III consoles, you can customize scenes more precisely than with previous models. You could always decide which settings would be recalled in a global StudioLive scene change. Now, with Scene Safe, a scene change won’t alter the settings on designated “safe” channels. Similarly, Fat Channel presets have, for practical purposes, become like scenes for individual channels, not only saving input and Fat Channel settings but also aux send and bus assignments. Of course you can also use preset filters to choose what you want to recall.
Sixteen FlexMixes can be individually designated as aux, subgroup or matrix mixes. These are in addition to the four fixed subgroups giving you a total of 20 mix buses, not counting the main mix, effects mixes and solo buses. And with 24 DCAs, you can more easily and flexibly control groups of channels. You can also choose between one-to-one or split-layer workflows: Assign all channels to the top layer, with one fader per input channel or split the faders between inputs and outputs, including DCAs and aux outputs.
An AVB Ethernet connection enables you to network compatible computers and stream up to 55 channels of audio to and from a Mac or Windows PC. (AVB networked solutions, including stageboxes, personal monitor mixers, and increased third-party AVB interoperability, are coming later in 2017.) You also get 38×38 recording via USB 2.0, giving you a choice of computer recording methods. In addition to the AVB recording connection, StudioLive 32 consoles sport a 1 Gb Ethernet port that can connect to a wireless router or directly to a computer, providing remote control of virtually all features via a wired or wireless connection.
Mix wirelessly or over a wired network from anywhere using free UC Surface touch-control software for Mac, Windows, and iPad. Even add a second — or third, or even fourth — screen for fast workflow. Remote control the mixer’s recallable XMAX preamps and Fat Channel processing with Studio One (included) for low-latency recording with effects. Completely automate virtual soundchecks and record shows with Capture for Mac and Windows (included) — or record with Studio One or with any software that supports ASIO or Core Audio. The StudioLive 16 comes with Studio One Artist, while StudioLive 32 customers can enjoy the full power of Studio One Professional. Musicians can control their monitor mixes onstage with free QMix-UC for iPhone, iPod touch or Android device without the need for large monitor networks.
StudioLive 32 digital console/recorders list for $2,999 and here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Introduces New SoundField XD Two-Way Ceiling Speaker|
Extron introduced new SoundField XD model SF 26CT, a 6.5″ two-way ceiling speaker featuring an 8″ (20.3 cm) deep composite backcan for use in plenum rated ceiling environments. The driver complement includes a 6.5″ (16.5 cm) woofer coupled to a 3/4″ (1.9 cm) ferrofluid-cooled dome tweeter. With a UL 2043 listed composite speaker enclosure, the SF 26CT meets UL requirements for smoke and heat release in plenum air spaces. A magnetically attached grille with a thin-edged bezel gives the SF 26CT a refined appearance on the ceiling. The SF 26CT offers both direct 8 ohm and 70/100 volt operation with a behind-the-grille, six position power selector switch. With 70/100 volt taps at 8, 16, 32, and 64 watts, the SF 26CT can be used in applications where a high power distributed speaker system is needed.
Designed with the integrator in mind, SoundField XD speakers are constructed using a two-piece modular design with a separable back can and baffle, which simplifies installation in both single-trade and division of labor installations. These speakers include a cable/conduit access plate that can be oriented as side mount, for low clearance ceilings, or as top mount for blind-mounting into drywall ceilings. Extron’s Opti-Torque indicator rings provide a visual indication when the locking arm screws have been sufficiently tightened, preventing damage to the speaker caused by over-torqueing.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|New Sennheiser XS Wireless Microphone Systems Debuts|
Sennheiser is debuting a new radio microphone series: XS Wireless 1 and – in a preview – XS Wireless 2.
The series uses the Sennheiser evolution capsules, and employs antenna switching diversity for reliable reception. The individual sets provide up to ten compatible, preset channels in eight frequency banks, and are available in a number of ranges across the UHF spectrum — A: 548-572 MHz, GB: 606-630 MHz, B: 614- 638 MHz, C: 766-790 MHz, D: 794-806 MHz, E: 821-832 MHz + 863-865 MHz, K: 925-937.5 MHz. The receiver provides balanced XLR and unbalanced jack outputs.
All XS Wireless 1 sets come complete with receiver, transmitter, microphone capsule or instrument cable, power supply unit and batteries. Two XS Wireless 1 Vocal Sets give a choice of two different microphone capsules, the e 825 cardioid capsule or the superior capsule of the e835, also with a cardioid pick-up pattern. Also included is a microphone clamp. The XS Wireless 1 Headmic Set with ME 3-II headworn microphone is an ideal solution for any live sound application where users need to have their hands free when singing or presenting.
The Lavalier Mic Set includes the unobtrusive ME 2-2 lavalier microphone with mic clip.
The upcoming XS Wireless 2 series, which will become available in April 2017 and that takes the benefits of XSW 1 even further. XS Wireless 2 has been designed for users who need greater flexibility and control. Consequently, XSW 2 has up to 12 compatible, tunable channels in its eight frequency banks, and an LCD display that shows the transmission frequency, AF and RF levels and battery status.
The XS Wireless 2 series includes two Vocal Sets with either a cardioid e835 dynamic capsule or a super-cardioid e 865 pre-polarised condenser capsule, a Headmic Set, a Lavalier Set, and an Instrument Set. All XSW sets are compatible with each other.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|AKG by HARMAN Unveils The C636 Master Reference Handheld Condenser Microphone|
AKG by HARMAN today announced the new AKG C636 master reference handheld condenser microphone. In addition to a custom-tuned capsule with hand-selected components, the C636 is engineered to reject feedback, handling noise and pop noise so vocalists can fully focus on their performance.
The AKG C636 features three proprietary technologies that are designed to address several common problems singers face on stage, including feedback, handling noise and pop noise:
- The C636 essentially eliminates feedback by combining a uniform cardioid polar pattern throughout the entire frequency spectrum with a specially designed suspension and grille for the capsule. This unique approach to housing the capsule avoids unwanted sound reflections on the back of the capsule, ensuring feedback and spill over rejection.
- The C636 innovates by integrating the world’s first double shock suspension system, greatly reducing unwanted handling noise. The capsule sits on a highly absorbent rubber bearing that eliminates any structure-based noise, while an adjustable balancing network cancels vibrations over a wide frequency range.
- A multilayer protection system prevents unwanted pop noises. The protection system consists of the grille, a foam layer behind the grille and a magnetically attached computer-modeled mesh layer on top of the capsule — providing singers with a clear, plosive-free vocal performance. This three-layer protection system is virtually unique to AKG and sets the new standard for pop noise suppression in the market.
The AKG C636 will be available in April 2017 and all the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|TASCAM Announces Additions to Professional Rackmount Line|
TASCAM today introduced a number of new rackmount products designed for the professional installation, sound reinforcement and house of worship markets, including the new SS-R250N solid-state recorder and SS-CDR250N solid-state/CD recorder, as well as the RC-SS150 controller, IF-DA2 Dante card and the CD-A580 Cassette/CD/USB Player recorder.
The SSR250N and SS-CDR250N have features like networking, scheduled recording, and optional Dante support via the IF-DA2 Dante card. These units have also been designed to pair with and power the innovative RC-SS150 Flash Remote controller and the RC-SS150 features a full color LCD screen, Start and Stop control and 12 flash play buttons.
The new range of TASCAM Professional Rackmount product expected to ship next month and here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Renkus-Heinz Introduces New C Series Loudspeakers|
Renkus-Heinz introduced the new C Series of professional loudspeakers for installed sound applications today. The C Series is designed for permanent installed applications and are being promoted as a “cost-effective” solution for theaters and performing arts spaces, houses of worship, multi-use venues, public spaces and any project where quality sound, high performance and superior pattern control are essential.
The new C Series loudspeakers incorporate the latest generation of Complex Conic Horns, with updated drivers to provide what Renkus-Heinz calls “clean, natural sound” and tighter pattern control. Unlike conventional loudspeaker designs, Complex Conic horns provide consistent beamwidth over a wider frequency range, with the natural, transparent sound that Renkus-Heinz is known for.
C Series models will be available in amplified (CA Series) and passive (CX Series) models, in black or white finish. The CX42 stairstep loudspeaker, an updated version of the CFX41, will only be available in a passive design. C Series will be shipping in Spring 2017. Here are all the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Dan Dugan Sound Design Announces New Automixer at ISE|
Dan Dugan Sound Design has introduced the Model E-3A, an automatic microphone mixing controller with AES digital I/O. The E-3A is designed to connect to standard mixing consoles via insert points, making it a versatile and useful tool for sound engineers who frequently manage multiple microphones at live events such as corporate meetings or governmental sessions.
The Model E-3A replaces the prior Model E-3. The new version incorporates a bright OLED front panel which is used for automix gain display, management of six matrix mixing buses, and other control functions. The E-3A accommodates 16 channels of AES I/O at 48kHz or 96kHz, and may be easily linked to other Dugan digital mixers for system expansion. Alternatively, users may utilize AES and ADAT I/O simultaneously for a maximum of 32 channels at 48kHz.
As with all other Dugan automixers, the Model E-3A may be controlled from the product’s front panel, the Dugan Control Panel for Java (supplied free), the updated Dugan Control Panel for iPad, and/or the Dugan Model K Control Surface. The front panel version of the Dugan Control Panel is operated by navigation keys and a rotary encoder for setting values.
Dan Dugan is the inventor of the automatic microphone mixer. His gain-sharing technology is widely recognized throughout the professional audio and broadcast industries for creating the best possible mix of live microphones. The Dugan Speech System provides fast, transparent cross-fades without upcutting, choppy sound or shifts in background noise. Transitions between talkers are smooth and consistent, no matter how many mics are open.
More information will be here once the product is posted on Dan Dugan’s website.Back to Top
|Christie Expands Laser-Phosphor Projector Lineup|
Christie just announced the availability of two new additions to the Christie GS Series of 1-chip DLP laser-phosphor projectors. Both new models feature improved color performance and are spec’d to provide 20,000 hours of operation. The Christie DHD599-GS and DWU599-GS are professional-grade projectors aimed at conference rooms, higher education, houses of worship and similar small-venue applications. Christie DHD599-GS includes HD resolution (1920×1080) and 5,625 ISO lumens while the DWU599-GS offers WUXGA resolution (1920×1200) and 6,065 ISO lumens. Both projectors are specified at 1.5 million:1 contrast ratio.
The The Christie DHD599-GS is here and the DWU599-GS is here.Leave a Comment
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|Renkus-Heinz Introduces New T Series Loudspeakers|
Renkus-Heinz just introduced the new T Series of professional loudspeakers for installed and live sound applications. The next generation of the company’s TRX Series, the T Series is designed for installed sound applications, including houses of worship, performing arts centers, transportation hubs, museums and other public spaces. The all-new T Series incorporates redesigned HF and LF drivers for better performance and even more transparent sound.
Available in both powered (TA Series) and passive (TX Series) models, T Series loudspeakers will be built to order with a variety of horn pattern for optimal coverage control, and will be fully customizable, with Renkus-Heinz’s custom color matching and weather resistant options.
All T Series models incorporate the latest generation of Complex Conic Horns, with optimized drivers to provide clean, natural sound and tight pattern control. Unlike conventional loudspeaker designs, Complex Conic horns provide consistent beamwidth over a wider frequency range, with what Renkuz-Heinz says is a natural, transparent sound.
Renkus-Heinz T Series loudspeakers will be shipping in spring of 2017. The company will be previewing the T Series at ISE 2017 in Hall 7, Stand X-185 at Amsterdam’s RAI Center from February 7-10, 2017. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Mackie AXIS Digital Mixing System ShipsNow available and shipping worldwide, the modular Mackie AXIS Digital Mixing System combines the power of the 32-channel DL32R digital mixer with a DC16 control surface. With 32 remote-controllable Onyx+ mic preamps and 16 outputs paired with a built-in DSP, the system is aimed at medium and large channel count live sound production and system integration applications. The system relies on Dante for communication between the DL32R mixer and DC16 control surface, enabling additional networking capability for professional applications.
AXIS delivers a tactile mixing experience with the DC16 control surface, with features, according to Mackie, that set it apart from mixers costing twice as much or more. The AXIS design provides a unique surface-to-wireless workflow, allowing users to seamlessly switch between DC16’s hardware controls and comprehensive wireless mixing. This is possible via the integrated SmartBridge, which can house up to three iPad devices, delivering simultaneous control over multiple channels and innovative smart sensing that knows when an iPad is in place. SmartBridge provides customization over each iPad view with both a fixed and history mode that creates workflow flexibility.
The Mackie AXIS system includes the DL32R Rackmount Digital Mixer, the DL Dante Expansion Card and the DC16 Digital Control Surface. Touring and install packages are available, including accessories like an 80m Cat5e reel, DC16 road case and more, depending on the package.
Here are more details.Leave a Comment
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|Apogee Ships Control Hardware Remote for Element Series and Symphony I/O Mk II Interfaces|
Apogee Electronics is shipping the Apogee Control, a hardware remote control accessory designed for their Symphony I/O Mk II and Element Series Thunderbolt interfaces. With Apogee Control, you gain lightning access to input and output levels using the large Symphony-inspired Control knob and three control knob focus buttons, plus immediate access to a wide range of functions using the eight user-configurable buttons.
Apogee Control Hardware Remote connects directly to your Mac using a simple USB cable. Apogee Control is sold as a separate accessory and is now available for $195.
Apogee’s Element 24, 46 and 88 are Thunderbolt audio I/O boxes for Mac. The Element Series takes Apogee gear like Symphony I/O Mk II, Ensemble Thunderbolt and Groove and puts it into simple form factors. Symphony I/O Mk II is a multi-channel audio interface featuring Apogee’s newest flagship AD/DA conversion, modular I/O (up to 32 inputs and outputs), touchscreen display and optional microphone preamps.
The new Symphony I/O Mk II comes with direct connectivity to one of three different platforms – Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD or Waves SoundGrid network. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Denon Ships Split Mix 6|
Denon’s Split Mix 6 is a one-rack space routing device that can be utilized as a six-channel mixer or a splitter with up to eight outputs. In Splitter Mode, a stereo input signal can be sent to up to eight discreet outputs. In Mixer Mode, a stereo input signal can be mixed with up to six mono signals — and at the same time, have separate direct outs for the mono inputs.
- Perfect for sending a stereo program to separate zones or amplified speaker systems
- Create custom mixes utilizing mixed and separate audio feeds
- Balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs (XLR and TRS)
- Balance / Pan and level controls with six-segment LED meters on each mono input channel
- Main Link function allows routing the main input signal to the main output
- Main input and output level controls with six-segment LED meters for each
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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