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Prolight + Sound 2013 preview: Spring to Frankfurt

More than 40,000 visitors are set to head to Frankfurt Messe on 10-13 April – we take a look at what they can expect to find.

With an expected 876 exhibitors, Prolight + Sound is one of the industry’s largest trade fairs. Once again, a host of major product launches are expected along with a strong conference programme.

For 2013, all information events have been grouped under the Prolight + Sound Conference banner. This will combine Media Systems Congress and Prolight + Sound Forum in one area (Hall 9.1 and the Cosmopolitan Lounge in Hall 9.T). It is free of charge to visitors and runs from 10-12 April.

The Prolight + Sound Conference is comprised of three main sections:
Prolight + Sound Forum, which will focus on safety in the event sector, the legal and regulatory framework, and training opportunities;
Media Systems, which provides an opportunity for manufacturers to present technologies, processes and solutions from the fields of AV media technology and systems integration; and
The VDT Academy, which is hosted by the Association of German Sound Engineers and offers lectures, insight and industry trends.

To help attendees plan their visit and find their way around Frankfurt Messe, a free mobile app, Prolight + Sound Navigator, is available for Apple and Android devices. This contains information about exhibitors and events, as well as maps, show news and more. Free WiFi is provided at the Messe, although some functionality, such as the exhibitor search, does not require an internet connection.


The Frankfurt show is always an important forum for product launches, and this year is no different.

Clear-Com will unveil version 1.1 of the HelixNet Partyline Intercom System. Expanded functionality includes the ability to link up to five HMS-4X main stations via Ethernet and support up to 100 HBP-2X digital beltpacks to build larger and more sophisticated partyline intercom systems. With the linking function, users expand the channel count on their intercoms. Up to five main stations are connected via the new HLI-ET2 Ethernet Module in HelixNet’s station-to-station networking – they can connect directly over fibre or via a LAN using standard IT switches. A new HLI-FBS Fiber Module is also available for linking stations over long distances. This has two fibre ports using SFP modules for simple exchange of fibre transceivers. It also allows linking to four other main stations in a fibre daisy-chain.

d&b audiotechnik will be showcasing the latest loudspeakers from its V-Series – the Vi models. Consisting of the Vi8, Vi12 and Vi-SUB, the new installation variants will receive their first public outing in Germany. Elsewhere, loudspeakers from both the White and Black ranges will be displayed along with d&b’s D6 and D12 amplifiers.

Alongside Dynacord’s recently launched products such as A-Line systems and the CMS 600-3 console, Bosch Communications Systems will be celebrating the European launch of a new Electro-Voice speaker series and will be able to offer visitors the opportunity to experience their performance in a sound cabin. The company will also discuss its media networking architecture OMNEO and how it is being integrated into the market.

German loudspeaker manufacturer Fohhn Audio continues its 2013 focus on…

German loudspeaker manufacturer Fohhn Audio continues its 2013 focus on…beam steering technology at Prolight + Sound. On show are Fohhn’s Focus Modular and Linea Focus ranges of electronically steerable line arrays. The systems are complemented by Fohhn’s latest developments in beam steering technology, Focus Sub Arrays. This technology enables the set-up and real-time control in 0.1 increments, via software, of powerful subwoofer arrays.
Also on show will be the LX-220 loudspeaker – the latest addition to Fohhn’s Linea LX series. The 2.2m four-way, passive hybrid line source system has been developed to provide powerful, direct and consistent levels of sound coverage in larger rooms with challenging acoustics.

Funktion-One will launch its BR range of bass reflex enclosures at Frankfurt. Aimed at applications requiring deep, strong bass at close range, these speakers boast a relatively compact size but more definition than is usually available from this type of enclosure. BR models include the high-power double 18in BR218, double 21in BR221 and the single 15in BR115 and single 18in BR118. Also on show will be Funktion-One’s MST (Modular Stadium Technology), which was previewed at ISE in January. Targeted at stadiums and arenas, MST series large-format loudspeaker horns are said to deliver excellent low-frequency dispersion control – enabling sound to be focused without unnecessarily exciting the reverberant space.

Visitors to the L-Acoustics stand will have the opportunity to explore the LA4X amplified controller. Features include 4-in/4-out architecture, new green switched-mode power supply with Power Factor Correction, high power underpinned by 10 times the usual hold times, AES/EBU inputs as standard and new firmware with ultra-fast boot time. Also new for Frankfurt will be the 5XT ultra-compact coaxial enclosure, ARCS Wide and Focus constant curvature line sources and the SB15m subwoofer for KIVA variable curvature line sources and XT Series.

MC2 is majoring on installation amplification with live demo systems of Ti Series components offering network audio output (Dante and CobraNet compatible) and signal processing, all controlled from the company’s bespoke installation software application, iCore.

The emphasis on the Merging Technologies stand will be on promoting the success of the Ovation Media Server and Sequencer in the live and events sector. New features in Ovation 4.0 include audio recoding to Cue, auto-import from removable devices, marker rule improvements and Dataton Watchout synchronisation.

The MUSIC Group booth will showcase products from Midas, Klark Teknik and Behringer, including the latter’s EUROCOM installed sound products. With the main focus on digital mixing, Behringer will present the latest additions to its growing X32 product family plus the new iX16 iPad mixer, while Midas will display its full PRO line and XL8 consoles.

Powersoft will be showing three new additions to its Ottocanali Series. Launched at ISE in January, the Ottocanali 4K4, 8K4 and 12K4 have been designed to work at low or high impedance, can run at 2 ohms as a standard operational parameter and can power 70V and 100V distributed lines without the need for external transformers. Also new at Frankfurt is DEVA, a multimedia device that integrates solar power, bidirectional wireless AV communication, lighting and an efficient Class D amplifier in a compact, weatherproof enclosure. It is a multifunctional device that enables audio messaging and video capture for a wide range of applications.

Taiden will be showing two new products developed for the United Nations Headquarters project. In the area of room combining and interpreter booth sharing, the HCS-8300MX/F Booth Combiner and the HCS-8302MX/24 General Controller for Booth Combiner enable all the conference systems in a building to be united into a larger networked system. Within this large system, every node (conference room/interpreter booth) can be combined into multiple virtual sub networked systems (one sub networked system would be one conference system with SI feature). With this Taiden-originated technology, up to 24 rooms can be merged and 192 booths can be shared.
Also new is the HCS-1030U Electronic Nameplate, which has a dedicated screen with large width-to-height ratio. Power consumption for the double-sided electronic nameplate is just 2.5W. Taiden has also developed a software kit to make the management and operation of conference rooms more efficient. With the new system, display of delegates’ seats can be distributed via the control PC in the control room. During a conference, if a delegate wishes to speak, he or she simply presses the Mic On/Off button on the delegate unit; the electronic nameplate will blink to notify the chairman, instead of the delegate having to raise their nameplate.

Tannoy, Lab.gruppen, Lake, TC Electronic and TC Helicon will be exhibiting together under the TC Group umbrella for the first time. Lab.gruppen is keeping tight-lipped about the launch at the show of a new product for the live sector – but some hints can be found online at

Visitors to the TOA stand will have the first chance to see the company’s new active line-array system, the SR-D8. As well as processing both analogue and digital audio input, the speaker harnesses a built-in digital amplifier to project sound waves to targeted areas with greater precision than is possible with conventional speakers. By digitally shaping the width and angle of acoustic beams, it can steer sound precisely to desired areas without requiring a change of installation location. The SR-D8 also enables 16 speakers (in up to four stacks) to be controlled as a single unit via CobraNet.

Void Acoustics will be showcasing its new install-specific…
Void Acoustics will be showcasing its new install-specific Venu range and the latest additions to its boutique speakers, the Nexus 6 and Tri Motion. The company will also be taking part in the outdoor Portable Sound Area for the first time. This will allow customers to hear Void’s medium-format line array, the Arcline 12, coupled with the Psyco X bass array.

The flexibility of the CL series’ Dante networking will be a key focus of Yamaha’s presence at Prolight + Sound. The CL5, CL3 and CL1 consoles will be on display with the expanding range of I/O options, including the Rio3224-D, Rio1608-D, Ri8-D and Ro8-D. Yamaha M7CLs and LS9s will be included on the network, showing the integration provided by the Dante-MY16-AUD interface card, as well as Yamaha’s power amplifiers and the
DSR, DXR and DXS series loudspeakers.

Video and lighting

ArKaos will announce the formation of a new division: ArKaos Pro, which will focus on the professional lighting market and customers with large-scale, professional-level shows and projects.
The ArKaos Stadium server will also be launched; it will feature 6+1 EDID managed Full HD outputs using state-of-the-art components. Finally, the first major revision of the ArKaos video mapper will be presented.

Chromlech will be exhibiting with its new German distributor, Lightpower, in the Lightpower Village. It will be showing Elidy, the world’s first LED matrix fixture that can project beams of light. Elidy has a modular construction, based around a panel of 5 x 5 high-power LEDs, and can be arranged to create screens, columns, or even angled forms. Its surface can be customised using magnetic printed or textured covers.

D3 Technologies will release its d3 Release 11 software. Packed with new features designed for complex multi-projector shows, d3 R11 will help users reduce on-site set-up times, and deliver a faster, smoother workflow from start to finish.

A new lighting control desk will take pride of place on ETC’s stand; also, the latest addition to the ES Series of dimmers will be launched. The ES1 dimmer can be attached to any brand of incandescent fixture to distribute power control noiselessly. It powers loads of up to 1,500W at 230V, or can be set to power 750W loads at 120V, offering higher light output in 230V markets. As an RDM device, the ES1 Dimmer can be operated and managed remotely so that DMX addressing, dimmer curve changes and status information can be found at the lighting desk or computer.
Visitors to Prolight + Sound can also enjoy regular live presentations from ETC’s Layers of Light theatre, including discussions on how to design for today’s hybrid lighting theatres, managing the transition to solid state lighting, and how features such as RDM help to get the rig set up more quickly.

For this year’s show eyevis will again partner with Amptown System Company to showcase its 80in Edge-LED LCD monitors and squareTILES (quadrilateral LCDs) and omniSHAPES for creative videowall installations. The large-format LCDs and 28 squareTILES will be integrated in the stand design. squareTILES are LCD screens with a 1:1 aspect ratio for creative applications. They can be installed in an offset pattern, or mounted round a corner, in order to achieve an eye-catching image effect. The built-in scaler and matrix functionality enable it to realise such unusual arrangements.

Philips Entertainment will be promoting all four of its entertainment technology brands at this year’s Prolight + Sound, with Selecon, Vari-Lite, Strand Lighting and Showline each displaying the latest in lighting technology.
Philips will debut Showline, a complete range of efficient, feature-rich, professional entertainment LED luminaires; the Showline SL BAR 640 and 660, SL BAR 520, SL PAR 150 ZOOM, and the all-new SL BAND 310 will be on display.
Available from Selecon will be the PLCyc 2, which offers twin single source RGBW LED chips, allowing for inventive colour mixing. Also on the stand will be the PL1 family, consisting of profile, fresnel and cyc fixtures.
Strand Lighting will be playing a strong hand with the Palette VL console, system designer and the compact N21 ShowNet Nodes.
Vari-Lite will show off the features of the Series 3000 luminaires via its three latest models, the VL3015, VL3015LT and VL3515. All benefit from the extra power of a 1,500W lamp, which provides a bright output and uniform field. All three are full-featured colour-mixing spot luminaires, with the VL3515 offering precision framing shutters. The all-new VL3015LT Spot luminaire provides 42,000 lumens of output and offers a 10:1 zoom optics system.

Prolight & Sound will see the official launch of Robert Juliat’s Tibo range of modular fixtures. The Tibo range offers a ‘mix and match’ choice of light source (LED, tungsten halogen or discharge), lens type (fresnel or profile) and body colours to present designers with a wide selection of options to suit any lighting application.
Also receiving its official launch is the 150W ZEP 340LF LED Fresnel, designed to complement the ZEP 640 profile spot.

Visual Productions is introducing two products, CueluxPro lighting control software and B-station button station interface. CueluxPro is a scalable lighting control application designed to control medium to large lighting installations, for architectural and live entertainment applications. It works in combination with the CueCore as its DMX interface. It is cross-platform, uses an industry-standard Cuelist system and is 100% touchscreen compatible.
The B-Station is a wall-mount button panel with six pushbuttons that can remote control any function within the CueCore. The buttons are backlit, providing visual feedback such as indicating the selected cue or active show.
Multiple B-Stations can be networked together. The button station supports open protocols, including OSC, UDP and Art-Net. This allows it to be integrated with other audio, video or show-control systems. 

Picture: Messe Frankfurt Exhbition GmbH