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PLASA 2010 preview

Jim Evans looks at the events and products set to make the headlines at Earls Court in September

Jim Evans looks at the events and products set to make the headlines at Earls Court in September (Main picture: Chris Toulmin)

This year’s PLASA show will welcome over 43 new exhibitors who weren’t at the show last year, including Ateïs, Baldwin Boxall, Bosch, Bose, EAW, Electro-Voice, Intertek, Korg, Lighthouse Technologies and Line 6.

The PLASA Innovation Gallery, which profiles all the products nominated for a PLASA Innovation Award, has also been improved and the show will see the ISCE and Springboard Pavilions radically expanded and new features introduced focusing on key industry developments.

There will be a strong showing from the pro-audio community at this year’s event. Alcons Audio will be exhibiting its pro-ribbon-based sound system programme. Rapidly making inroads in the installation market, the LR7 micro line-array system, which is just three CDs wide and 1.5 CDs high, will be on the stand, together with the LR7Bass system.

Allen & Heath will be displaying the latest developments in the iLive digital mixer family, including new I/O hardware, and audio networking plug-in cards for Dante and RockNet.

APEX is presenting a new version of its dBQ-zero EQ, building on the product’s success over the past three years. The new dBQ-zero matches the previous product in terms of its 30-band constant-Q graphic EQ section on each channel, plus a filter section consisting of high-pass filter, high and low shelving equalisers and two notch filters. APEX says it has focused on improving inter-channel crosstalk and THD+N figures, as well as load stability with the implementation of updated line driver circuitry.

Earls Court will provide the first major public showcase for Ateïs International’s new integrated PA/VA system, the IDA8. Combining digital audio signal processing, matrix control, message play-out and microphone capability, the unit is based on the successful IDA4, which is well established in the market. (For more on the IDA8, click here.)

Baldwin Boxall will focus on two new Class D amplifiers – the BV125D (dual 125W) and BV225 (225W) – and Unitouch, a touchscreen paging system which is becoming an increasingly popular method of control for complex or large voice alarm systems.

EAW will introduce two additions to the KF Series, along with three comprehensively integrated NT variants. The new offerings deliver a scalable solution for corporate AV events, small to medium-sized live sound reinforcement, performing arts venues and more, says the company.

The new KF and KFNT make up a series of ultra-compact, three-way loudspeakers that “deliver premium performance in designs that offer a lightweight solution”.

There will be a number of new products from Equipson’s WORK portfolio. BlueLine System is an integrated audio system controlled by DMX. This full solution is composed of four devices for an optimum control of audio and a reduction of cables in installations. The use of RJ-45 cables and IC 6 Pro A (self-powered ceiling speaker controlled by DMX) allows energy saving and cuts costs, says the company.
Flare Audio will be launching a selection of products at PLASA 2010 including the Stealth Array X4 system. Stealth Array is a new concept of loudspeaker system that combines the technologies of point source and line array into two compact and high-quality enclosures, says the company.

Line 6 will be showcasing its new XD-V digital wireless microphone systems. On display will be the XD-V30 and XD-V70 handheld wireless microphone systems, and XD-V30L and XD-V70L lavalier wireless microphone systems.
Martin Audio’s MLA Multicellular Loudspeaker Array will receive its UK exhibition debut. The show comes at the end of a busy two months which has seen the MLA system at work on the Fettes Brot tour (including the 15,000-seat Lanxess Arena in Cologne) and debut in London at the iTunes Festival at the Roundhouse.

OHM will feature its Ersa Major line array. Also on show will be the new series of Saturn full-range cabinets, coaxial stage monitors and a range of DSP controllers with a software platform common to all future OHM digital products.

Optocore has responded to market demand for multi-format signal transfer by developing a new AES3 (AES/EBU) I/O card for its X6R 16-channel converters. The new card provides 16 AES channels, with the ability to change the inputs or outputs in groups of eight. Complementing the existing Mic/Line conversion cards, the AES3 offers a number of new device options, providing flexibility way beyond the 64 AES/EBU channels offered by its primary DD32E network device.

Tannoy – jointly exhibiting with sister audio brands Lab.gruppen, Lake and TC Electronic – will be showing its fixed installation and live sound products, including the flagship VQ Series and smaller footprint, compact V-Series range of point-source loudspeakers.

Also featured will be the new System 6000 mk2 from Denmark’s TC Electronic, “bringing the System 6000 mastering and reverb DSP platform up to date for the 21st century with a host of features and new capabilities”.

Lab.gruppen will be exhibiting directly at the show for the fifth year running. On its stand will be the C Series range of installation-dedicated power amplifiers, FP+ Series and the new PLM 20000Q 4-channel Powered Loudspeaker Management System featuring onboard Lake Processing and 5K per channel output.

TOA Europe has a host of products to demonstrate, including the Type H line array, which a year after its release is finding favour in large, reflective public spaces where intelligibility is difficult to achieve and hanging space is at a premium. Also on display is TOA’s modular audio-mixing system, the D-2000, which can be expanded up to a 128 input/output configuration, making it suitable for venues such as hotels and convention centres.

Trantec comes to the show as the first company to offer UHF wireless systems compatible with the new Channel 38. It is already shipping a Channel 38-compliant version of the company’s S4.16 16-channel system. Also on display will be the successful S5.3 12-channel system and its newer, ‘big brother’ variant, the 24-channel S5.5.
Chauvet will debut two new fixtures at PLASA 2010: COLORdash Accent UV and COLORdash Accent VW. These complement the existing COLORdash Accent fixture creating a family of high-powered LED lights.

“The COLORdash Accent has been massively well received,” says Michael Brooksbank, sales manager for Chauvet UK. “They’re perfect for shop displays, museums, restaurants – the possibilities are nearly endless.”

GDS will showcase the newest addition to the LiteWare range, LiteWare HO (High Output). Following the success of the LiteWare wireless RGB uplighter, launched in 2009, LiteWare HO is a high-output version offering 80W of LED power. Designed to be completely compatible with the existing LiteWare range, the LiteWare HO product is the same footprint as the standard version and is calibrated to deliver colour-matched output.

Lightfactor will feature the latest products from its raft of high-profile international brands – including DTS, LDR and Novalight from Italy, LightProcessor and Cogent from the UK, SFAT from France and VXCO from Switzerland.
New from DTS is the XR3000 Spot moving-light fixture which uses Philips’ 1,200W fast-fit lamp and features full continuous pan/rotation among many other features. Also new from DTS is the FOS 100, a modular LED batten with 15 addressable lightsources. These can be racked up in multiples and used to display low-res video content and graphics to great effect.

New from Cogent is an additional unit in its wall mounting colour-changing RGB series, which is also available as an in-ground fitting and an up- or down-lighter. The DL11 is a similar size to a standard MR16 downlight, but brighter than a 50W halogen lightsource.

Multiform will be displaying its latest products on the stand of US distributor Apollo Design Technology. The MultiSpot HP uses an array of nine pieces of the new 3W MulTriCell LED devices, it delivers 27W of solid-state lighting power, while “perfecting Multiform’s UCO (uniform colour output) approach, leaving the days of visible red, green and blue LEDs behind”.

The MultiBeam HP marks Multiform’s top-of the-line model for indoor LED lighting fixtures. By using an array of 18 pieces of 3W MulTriCell LED devices, it delivers 54W of solid-state lighting power, using Multiform’s UCO.

Pixled will launch Pixled F-6. This mega-bright, lightweight surface is billed as the first 6mm LED display that is curvable in all directions. The convex and concave curvability can be on both horizontal and vertical planes.

The F-6’s 4000 NIT brightness has high impact, and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, says the company.
PRG Distribution will feature new and key products from partners including Vari-Lite, Lycian, Seachanger, Pathway, City Theatrical, GDS, Gekko and NILA. The new OHM Light from PRG will also receive its European premiere, demonstrating the powerful capabilities of LED technology as a replacement for space lights in the film and television market.
Control and connectivity
ETC’s range of lighting, dimming and control products continues to expand and evolve with an impressive number of software and product updates set to be shown at the event. The company’s complete range of control desks will be available for demonstration, along with the award-winning Selador LED fixture line, Unison Paradigm building control system and SmartSolutions portable dimming.

Harting will demonstrate its range of connectivity solutions specially tailored to communication and control applications in lighting, sound and automation systems for the theatre, concert and indoor/outdoor event sectors. As well as new additions to its industrial connector family, Harting is also featuring a new Ethernet-based switching technology known as Fast Track Switching.

Ikon AVS will offer two new classroom and training room audiovisual control systems. The SC-Amp combines projector control, a power amplifier and convenient laptop connection points in a robust metal panel. Featuring automatic shutdown to save power and panel lock-out to prevent unauthorised use, the amplifier can also be used on its own when the projector isn’t required. The Academy One Bundle is an audio-video package for classrooms that provides control of projectors and motorised screens.