Demo of the month: VUE Audiotechnik28 August 2015
VUE Audiotechnik has made quite an impression on Norway’s professional audio industry, therefore it was the ideal setting for the latest demo of the company’s loudspeaker portfolio.
VUE Europa, VUE Audiotechnik’s support arm for Norway, together with avon, the manufacturer’s exclusive distributor for the country, recently hosted two days of demo sessions at the Rommen Scene in Oslo. Visitors from across Europe enjoyed a comprehensive rundown of the VUE catalogue from compact full-range speakers up to scalable line arrays.
“We showed our existing product lines and introduced new products, which were unveiled in June at InfoComm Orlando in the US,” said Jim Sides, executive VP of VUE Audiotechnik. “VUE’s new products include Dante compatibility with VUE’s h-Class of active loudspeakers and compatibility through our V Series System Engines for all other product classes, as well as a new full version of our SystemVUE network monitoring and control software (3.8.0).”
The i-Class is a premium commercial loudspeaker series available as active or passive versions – and the smallest line showcased. Also in the demo were the a-Class, a series of advanced passive systems; the h-Class, VUE’s flagship range of powered loudspeakers; and the al-Class range of line arrays, which combines scalable acoustic elements with networked DSP technology.
Edgar Andraa Lien from avon set up the demo space, which was a small cinema room. The speakers were laid out with the i-Class on tables to the right of the stage, there was a stereo pair of each the four speaker models from the i-4.5 up to the i-8. On the floor in front were is-15a, is-18a and is-26 subwoofers. To the left of the stage was the a-Class: this included stereo sets of a-8, a-10, a-12 and a-15 speakers configured on stands pole-mounted to as-115, as-215 and as-418 subs.
Upstage there were two sets of the three h-Class full range speakers on stands flanked by two sets of al-4 line array elements pole-mounted with hs-28 and as-115 subs. To the far left the VUE V Series System Engines were housed. The line arrays were flown above the h-Class, the first positioned an al-4SB flying subwoofer on top of eight al-4 line arrays in stereo left and right hangs, the second had six al-8s flown above four al-4s. During the demo the line arrays were used with the two flown subs and also with groundstacked hs-25 and hs-28 subs in endfire and cardioid configurations. Throughout the demo avon’s Tor Erik Johansen and Edgar Andraa Lien were controlling the speakers from Yamaha CL-3 and QL1 consoles via cues from Jim Sides.
The early part of the demo involved Sides going through each speaker class from the smallest to the largest, before repeating the process with the addition of subwoofers. Following this the speaker ranges were put through their paces with a variety of music including a Boyz II Men vocal harmony cover of Yesterday by The Beatles, an unreleased track by The Beach Boys and some Brazilian samba music. To showcase the higher output levels of the a-Class and h-Class some dance music was selected with all loudspeakers and subs on; everyone present was encouraged to stand closer so they could feel as well as hear it. All the music was played in WAV file formats feeding the consoles via Dante using a Mac with Dante Virtual Soundcard, and after the scheduled tracks were played attendees could request songs or provide music of their own to serve as a point of reference.
As each range of speakers was highlighted, with and without subwoofers, what was immediately noticeable was the uniformity of sound. The speaker models within each class have been designed to sound the same, so while the bigger cabinets have higher SPL output and greater coverage, the sound remains true throughout each class. And as the SPL increases, the music physically resonates with the listener without distortion or compromising intelligibility. The al-Class line arrays create a ‘punchy’ quality, even when listeners sat quite a few rows back in the room, but also have excellent coverage and consistent level and tone throughout the demo space.
The company’s success in the Norwegian market is in part down to the work of avon, which in addition to distributing VUE in Norway is also an Oslo-based installer. avon has systematically installed more than 700 VUE speakers on audio upgrades in bars and restaurants around Oslo and Trondheim as a way of advertising the products through their performance in situ and by word of mouth from clients and customers.
Sides explained: “Just over two years ago, we launched VUE speakers in Norway with an initial sale. Since then, there has been significant progress in the Norwegian pro-audio market, such as a presence in sound stages (specifically on The Voice Norway), in live performance venues, historic theatres, as well as in clubs and municipal installations.
“Norway is proving to be a great showcase for VUE and what we offer to the industry as a whole. There is no doubt, due to the unwavering support of our Norwegian distributor avon, we are rapidly being viewed as the loudspeaker company that is well positioned to support the demands, growth and flexibility required in that marketplace.”