Thursday, November 16, 2017

AES - NYC 2017 Part 2

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!
By thursday, day two of the AES show, crowds were lining up at the on site Starbucks to prepare for another assault on the AES Exhibit Hall at the Javitz Center.

As I mentioned in the first of this series, NAB - NYC was in the space adjacent to the AES Exhibit Floor. Plenty to see. Next October, AES will be back at the Javitz, and will not be on the West Coast until the January NAMM show.

This year I was pleased to find a greater number of "so new we haven't even priced it yet" gear. The Triad-Orbit Starbird mic stand was one. This is a reversioning of the original George Starbird stand from the 1960s. Updated parts, new well-implemented ideas, bringing this stand into this millennium, not only for microphones but also for lights and cameras.

As demonstrated in the video below, this stand is designed with a pneumatic lift, so when you have heavier mics or other gear at the end of the boom, you just twist the clutch open on the mast and it slowly rises as a result of pneumatic pressure. Very useful and very cool.

Next is an accessory piece from Cloud Microphones. I reviewed and had some helpful design comments with their JRS34 a few years ago. Roger has a box that I'd heard about but hadn't had my hands on yet; The Cloud Lifter Zi. The Cloudlifter Zi is a phantom-powered box that incorporates variable impedance control into an active DI for low output balanced mics, guitar players, bass players, keyboard players. The Zi provides up to +25dB of gain for XLR microphones and lo-z sources and up to +15dB for 1/4” instruments and other hi-z sources, via the Neutrik combination dual-input connector and Hi-Z to Lo-Z CineMag instrument transformer. I'll let Roger tell you more about it.

Lectrosonics has been a major player in location sound for many years. Leave it to them to respond vigorously to the changes in technology and the market. One of their new systems is the M2R and M2T wireless in-ear monitor or IFB. Here's Lectro's Karl Winkler to tell you more about it. 

Now for something completely different. Still in Beta testing as of October 2017,  RackFX empowers you to hook up with a studio somewhere across the Internet and send them files to be processed by their equipment, then the files are sent back to you. This includes the idea of using a certain mic and a certain amplifier AND being able to move the mic in front of the amp to get the sound that makes your "happy light" turn on. Watch as David Jones of RackFx.Com walks me though this new concept.

Not for the faint of heart or shallow of pocket, The API Legacy AXS console begins at $200k. It's obviously for "grown up" recording facilities, or kids with way too much money. Listen, though, as Todd Humora walks us through the "High Cotton" of this great console.

From the "Ain't seen nothing quite like that" department, Here's Zaxcom's Glenn Sanders with the Zaxcom ZMT3-HH hard-wired, wireless mic that even has its own recorder. What!? A wireless hand-held mic with an XLR connector for hardwiring? Then, Glenn gives us a tour of what's new with the Zaxcom DEVA 24.  Glenn's mic was feeding a small amp and speaker in his booth and, unfortunately, you can hear some of the cancellation depending on where we were standing. (Sorry)

Zaxcom takes first and second place in the ASNQLT department with the new ZMT recording body mic. (below) So amazingly small, yet so feature packed.

Schoeps' ORTF-3D Outdoor Ambiance set up uses 8 supercardioid studio quality microphones: 4 * CCM 41 + 4 * CCM 41 in a rather amazing enclosure that creates a plug and play solution for capturing 3D ambience. Schoeps' Helmut Wittek gives a great explanation of this new array and demo files can be downloaded here.

Schoeps MiniCMIT
As I wrap up this report I need to mention a few items I saw that you should know about.

First is the Schoeps MiniCMIT miniature shotgun microphone. It runs on 12, 24 or 48 V DC Phantom Power. I haven't heard it yet but hope to soon. At $2K USD, you probably won't see many of them out there, but they may be just the ticket for some discriminating buyers with discriminating ears.

The TASCAM DR-701D is a four track recorder that also has two additional internal mix tracks plus SMPTE Time Code in and out.

It has four XLR/TRS inputs with Phantom Power, dual built-in omni mics, brackets on top and bottom for DSLR mounting. It records to SD, SDHC, or SDXC cards up to 128 GB and can be recorded at resolutions of up to 24-bit, 192kHz. 

In addition to the four XLR/TRS inputs, a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack input with optional plug-in power is provided for connecting an external stereo mic. DR-701D audio signal can be output to an external camera or recorder from the HDMI OUT or line output all for a ridiculous $449.99 USD!

sE RNR1 Ribbon Microphone
The sE booth was very interesting. This RNR1 ribbon microphone caught my eye. (How could it not!)

It's the first mic Rupert Neve has designed and will be part of the sE Rupert Neve Signature Series. It's a straightforward figure of eight pattern with a high-pass filter. It's touted as having a frequency response approximately 3 times wider than competing ribbon mics, giving it a performance similar to a condenser mic. Again, I did not hear this mic but would very much like to. By comparison, The Audio-Technica AT4080 ribbon microphone that came out several years ago has the sensitivity of an AKG C414 condenser microphone.

Taytrix Stackable Gobos

You don't think of Gobos until your ears tell you that you need them. Stackable Gobos by Taytrix just seemed to make a lot of sense. Every studio should have a few of these around to make your life easier and make your sound tighter. 

Taytrix Stackable Gobos
That's about it for me for AES 2017. As usual, it was a great show and I enjoyed meeting old friends, making new ones and learning once again that there's ALWAYS something new out there.

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