IBC 2016: Wrap-Up of Audio Intros, Updates

Broadcast audio is nearing its next major inflection point, with object-based and immersive audio looming. The day-to-day tools of the business will bring these to fruition, even as they continue to make broadcast sound better today. Here are some day-to-day tools that were introduced at the recently concluded IBC 2016 in Amsterdam.

Avid
Audio-editing updates and new flexible options for accessing Avid’s flagship Pro Tools | HD toolset, part of the Avid Everywhere initiative, were highlighted. The updates, enabled by the Avid MediaCentral Platform, accelerate recording, editing, and mixing. Pro Tools 12.6 was showcased with new Clip Effects and layered-editing features, intended to enable users to accelerate production with automatic playlist creation and selection via shortcut keys. In addition, customers can now buy or subscribe to Pro Tools | HD software as a standalone product independent of Pro Tools | HD hardware bundles. Facilities can add seats for offline editing tasks that do not require high channel counts, DSP acceleration, or sync. www.avid.com

DiGiCo
Exhibiting for the first time at IBC, DiGiCo showed off its mixing consoles for broadcast applications. The SD7B handles up to 996 simultaneous optical, 224 MADI, 24 analog, and AES/EBU connections; 128 buses (each with full processing in mono, stereo, LCR, or 5.1 surround), 32 matrix buses, and 32 32-band graphic equalizers. Up to 100 physical faders can be accessed with the addition of EX-007 expander units. The SD10B’s price point brings advanced digital technology to a wider broadcast market. Many of the SD10B’s technologies are also to be found in the larger SD7B; the new Nitrous expansion significantly enhances its features and processing power. The SD11B is a compact 19-in. rack-mount or table-top mixer, delivering 16 microphone preamps, eight line outputs, and two mono AES I/O; it also offers the option to connect a DiGiCo D-Rack to the Cat 5E port. www.digico.biz/

Calrec Audio
The all-new Brio compact digital broadcast audio has a new companion: Br.IO. Launched at IBC 2016, Br.IO is a 4RU rack-mount box that doubles Brio’s on-board IO and offers both primary and secondary connections to a Hydra2 network for full redundancy. Users can connect either copper or fiber directly to the Hydra2 port on the rear of the console via the optional Hydra2 module. Combined with an H2Hub, which acts as a portable hub or switch point, multiple Br.IOs can be added to deliver greater flexibility quickly to support a variety of live productions. Br.IO mirrors the IO available on the rear of the main Brio console and provides an extra 24 mic/line, 16 analog out, eight AES3 digital in, and eight AES3 digital out. calrec.com/

DTS
The newly released DTS:X Encoder Suite was featured, along with Manzanita Systems software updates, broadcast-radio technologies, and new VR audio solutions for immersive audio. The DTS:X Encoder Suite includes the DTS:X Encoder and DTS:X MediaPlayer applications for Mac OS X. MediaPlayer provides the ability to test DTS audio against video prior to final multiplexing, authoring, or packaging. In addition, DTS showcased updates for two Manzanita products: MP2TSME V8.1 improves transport-stream multiplexing support for HEVC video, enhanced closed-caption and DVB subtitle handling, and more; MP4Mux V3 adds MP4 multiplexing support for HEVC, additional audio codecs including DTS:X technology, improved ability to repackage TS and MP4 files, encryption, timed text, and more. dts.com

Minnetonka Audio
Minnetonka Audio, a Telos Alliance company, announced release of AudioTools CLOUD On-Demand version 1.0, directly available in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace. The audio-processing solution for audio, video, and broadcast professionals provides loudness control, encoding, decoding, channel management, frame-rate conversion, quality control, and container management from an easy-to-use interface designed specifically for AWS. AudioTools CLOUD On-Demand is an online web service allowing on-demand, case-by-case use (OPEX) versus larger CAPEX-sized projects. www.minnetonkaaudio.com

NUGEN Audio
A significant upgrade to Halo Upmix enables multichannel-to-multichannel upmixing. Available in Avid AAX, VST, and AU formats, Halo Upmix automates creation of a stereo-to-surround, downmix-compatible upmix with unique center-channel management and spatial-density controls. The latest version of Halo Upmix adds a new set of algorithms for upmixing from multichannel audio (LCR, Quad [4.0], 5.0, 5.1, 7.0, and 7.1) to 5.1, 7.1, or 9.1 [7.1.2]). The multichannel-to-multichannel upmixing capability will be a free upgrade for existing Halo Upmix customers. www.nugenaudio.com/

Riedel Communications
Riedel’s new MediorNet Control App for the RSP-2318 SmartPanel multifunctional user interface has closed the loop between communications and real-time media routing. In addition to linking the SmartPanel directly into the Riedel MediorNet media network as a dedicated control panel, the new MediorNet Control App gives users simultaneous intercom functionality, enabling them to route, control, and communicate all at once using a single 1RU system. Equipping the SmartPanel with the new MediorNet Control App enables users effectively to consolidate two panels into one that provides full intercom and control functionality at all times. www.riedel.net/

Stage Tec
Stage Tec presented its new audio DSP unit for mixing consoles, the Platinum DSP. An AURUS console fully equipped with seven Platinum DSPs can process more than 800 audio channels at 48 kHz and more than 400 audio channels at 96 kHz. Both sample rates have access to 128 sum buses. Stage Tec also launched a new generation of NEXUS fiber-optic interfaces, or XFOC for short. The intelligent fiber-optic boards for NEXUS audio networks and mixing-console connectivity not only serve as an I/O transfer medium but also provide integrated routing functionality. Four independent ports are each capable of transporting 512 inputs and outputs via fiber to the NEXUS Base Device, Stage Tec’s standard audio router. In total, this creates a management and routing capacity of more than 2,000 signals per fiber-optic board. www.stagetec.com/en/

Studer
Studer by HARMAN introduced the new Studer Micro Series digital audio mixing and production system. Comprising the core unit, graphical user interface, and optional fader-control surface, it offers such features as AoIP, Lexicon effects processing, and proprietary VoiceMix automatic mixing. The core unit is a 3RU, fan-less, rack-mountable chassis housing the control system, DSP and integrated I/O, including AoIP via eight channels of Dante I/O. The LAN port and internal WiFi router enable connection with computers and tablets. Every function of the core unit can be controlled via the graphical user interface. Users connect via an HTML5-capable web browser on computer or tablet, no additional software required. For broadcasters that want tactile control, the optional fader module is a highly simplified six-fader surface that provides streamlined controls for quick level adjustments and multitasking during live operation. Two controllers can be attached for a maximum of 12 faders. www.studer.ch/

Yamaha
Yamaha announced that it will successively update Dante products to support the AES audio-over-IP interoperability standard, established by the Audio Engineering Society in September 2013. This will allow Yamaha products equipped with Dante networking capability to communicate with RAVENNA and other audio networks via AES67. Beginning with the CL Series digital mixing consoles introduced in 2012, Yamaha has included Audinate’s Dante audio-networking solution in digital mixers, signal processors, power amplifiers, and other pro-audio devices. As of this month, a total of 24 Yamaha products offer Dante-networking capability. Yamaha plans to successively update Dante-equipped products with device and Dante firmware updates that will add AES67 support, beginning with the CL/QL Series Digital Mixing Consoles and R Series I/O racks later this year. www.yamahaproaudio.com

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