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PL+S 2016: show preview

It’s a new-look Prolight + Sound show this year, as the show moves to the eastern halls in the Frankfurt Messe. Here are some of the highlights on and off the showfloor.

Prolight + Sound is ringing the changes for 2016. Not only is it running from Tuesday to Friday rather than Wednesday to Saturday, it has changed places within the Frankfurt Messe with Musikmesse, and will now occupy the eastern halls, to accommodate growth in the show. The new allocation of halls is as follows:

  • 3.0: Light and stage
  • 3.1: Sound and audio
  • 4.0: Light and multimedia
  • 4.1: Audio and AV systems
  • 5:0: Light and effects

A highlight of the conference programme is a keynote lecture by China’s leading stage designer, Guang Jian Gao, who is designer-in-chief and art director at the Chinese National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing. The keynote will cover his many years’ experience as a set designer and will feature his sector expertise. The lecture will be held in Forum.0 of Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre on Thursday 7 April at 15:30.

This is part of an expanded and restructured seminar programme, which this year features more than 70 expert lectures. As in previous years, the seminar programme will be split into the Prolight + Sound Conference for professional users, and the Eventplaza Conference for managers and organisers of events, congresses and conferences.

New this year is the Manufacturers’ Forum, at which companies present the latest trends from the world of event and AV media technology, illustrated by specific projects. Another innovation is the Future Talents Day on Tuesday 5 April. This is aimed to bring together students and technical trainees in the technical field, who want to find out about career opportunities in the sector, and relevant sector companies.


Among the technology on show at the Christie stand will be Version 5.9 of Pandoras Box. This now encodes files up to four times faster, delivers additional codec information through the file inspector, and includes a completely redesigned Patch-Tab and new templates that deliver faster workflow for remote control from a lighting desk. Users can create their own profiles, as well as export and import patch templates with exceptional ease. A Cues Tab has also been introduced for an overview of all cues, which can be used to navigate through the timeline and leave individual notes per cue.

Visitors will also be able to see ID tagging in action. The ID Tag Tracking is a smart and easy way to track people on stage to be followed by moving lights or to create trackable stage props for freely moving projection mapping.

Sharing a stand with MMT and SmartMetals Mounting Solutions, eyevis will show a number of brand new product innovations.

Two vertically mounted modules of the new EYE-TOLED-5500, the transparent 55in OLED display, is set to draw visitors to the booth. Wherever black image content is shown, the display becomes transparent, while the active pixels are self-luminous and put forward very brilliant colours.

Also on show will be bezel-free LED wall made up of modules from the new ePANEL product line, with a pixel pitch of 1.2 mm. The ePANEL product line is the result of a recently announced strategic partnership with Chinese LED manufacturer Unilumin.

Finally, a selection of professional displays from the eyeLCD series flagshipped by a 98in display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 will top off the product range being showcased at Prolight+Sound.


d&b audiotechnik will be introducing NoizCalc, a new software tool to predict the far field noise emission of open air events. Designed by d&b in collaboration with noise consulting and software development experts SoundPLAN, NoizCalc predicts sound propagation of multiple coherently emitting sources such as line arrays and subwoofer arrays. Using 3D terrain data the software accurately predicts the far field noise emission across the terrain, allowing system designers to predict any potential noise issues during the event planning stage.

DPA Microphones will be adding to its popular d:facto Handheld Microphone range by launching a new version of the d:facto Vocal Microphone. The new version has an extremely linear frequency response compared to the original d:facto Vocal Microphone, which has a 3dB soft boost at 12 kHz. Featuring a new capsule with an isolation-optimsed supercardioid polar pattern that is specifically designed to augment the human vocal range, the d:facto Linear Vocal Microphone combines the very best of cardioid and supercardioid directional characteristics, just as the original d:facto Vocal Mic. This ensures complete focus on the sound source with minimum bleed, thus delivering high separation, natural sound and SPL handling up to 160dB.

Fohhn will be showing the current models in its award-winning Linea Focus series, which are now equipped with an Optocore interface. (A corresponding Dante connectivity option is currently being planned). In future, all active Fohhn loudspeakers, amplifiers and controllers will be equipped with digital, transformer-balanced AES/EBU inputs, making them compatible with any digital audio network. Within this context, Fohhn is introducing the first models from to its new generation of even more powerful digital amplifiers. These are equipped with AES/EBU inputs and integrated DSP, with a power capability of 2 x 2000 W @ 4 ohm.

A further stand highlight will be Fohhn Texture Design, a new and exclusive printing process that enables Fohhn to achieve optimal visual integration of its loudspeaker systems: In addition to the full range of RAL colours and gloss levels, an extensive selection of photorealistic finishes – from wood to marble – will now be available (for speakers with aluminium housings and a maximum length of 1.5 m).

Funktion-One will be launching Vero – a new, large format touring sound system. The Vero speaker range features six highly efficient, low distortion horn-loaded loudspeakers – the V60 mid-high, V90 mid-high and V315 mid-bass with a choice of V221, V124 or V132 bass. The V60s, V90s and V315s all have identical dimensions, enabling them to be flown in the same vertical array. The ground stacked V221, V124 or V132 bass enclosures offer a choice of size and low frequency extension.

The company will also debut the Evo 7T Touring loudspeaker and F132 bass enclosure at the show.

Martin Audio will be announcing its CDD-LIVE! Series of loudspeakers. The range will build upon the company’s highly successful Coaxial Differential Dispersion technology, and will primarily be targeting the live sound community.

Dom Harter, recently appointed managing director, says: “This new product range will build upon our patented technology that will further Martin Audio’s credentials as the true innovator in the marketplace and will deliver our customers a clear competitive advantage. We are extremely excited to unveil this new series at Prolight+Sound, where we have a multitude of activity planned.”

Proel will launch its new compact line array system at Prolight+Sound. Featuring two 8in LF drivers and a 1.4in HF compression driver in a lightweight moulded polypropylene enclosure, the two-way AX800A is said to be ideal for is ideal for theatre, houses of worship, live music venues and small clubs, theme parks, leisure and sports facilities, and retail spaces.

The Class D amplifier is a tried and tested DA series module used in many of the other powered Axiom loudspeaker products, and in this configuration it is optimised to deliver 900W to both LF drivers and 200W to the compression driver.

The AX800A delivers 132dB maximum SPL, with a frequency range of 85Hz to 16.8kHz over a horizontal coverage angle of 110°, and is designed to partner with the matching dual 18in powered manifolded bandpass SW1800A in both portable and permanently installed applications.


Avolites will launch its new Titan V10 and Ai V9 software. Among the wealth of new features in Titan V10 OS, one of the most striking is the full 3D visualiser powered by the Capture engine, which allows the user to create and edit shows right inside the Titan interface and lay out fixtures in the space using the console’s encoder wheels. V10 also allows the user to view intensity values in one place via the Intensity Grid.

Ai V9 features an all-new Audio Engine, a Dynamic Content Page, a new User Interface, and 58 new and updated effects.

Also on show will be the Ai R Series, launched at ISE, which is Avolites’ most powerful range of media servers to date, comprising a range of four- and eight-output media servers. All servers in the range take advantage of the increased speed and power of the latest processors, solid-state drives and AMD graphics cards.

Philips Entertainment Lighting will be unveiling a broad portfolio of creative tools for lighting designers. From Philips Showline comes the SL HYDRUS 350, which will be launching at the show. The first Platinum lamp-based luminaire in the originally LED product line, the SL HYDRUS 350 is a super bright hybrid moving light that is ideal for the live event and TV market because of its small size and speed. Feature-packed with a wide zoom range in each mode, the SL HYDRUS 350 offers a vibrant colour pallet and is loaded with all the tools a designer needs to create mid-air effects, clear and precise projection as well as seamless blended animated washes.

Also on the stand will be a brand new addition to the refreshed Philips Selecon PLprofile series, the PLprofile4 MK II. Much like the improved PLprofile1 series, the PLprofile4 MK II now offers boosted light output, superior colour consistency and brilliant beam quality.

The Philips Entertainment team will also be showcasing the latest additions to the Philips Vari-Lite product line – the VL4000 Spot and VL4000 BeamWash. Meanwhile Philips Strand Lighting will show the complete NEO Lighting Control system, with its new wings and 19in rackmounted playback unit.

Zero 88 will show its FLX and FLX8 lighting consoles, with demonstrators highlighting the latest ZerOS 7.9 software and the online universe upgrade program for FLX.

Sitting alongside the FLX will be the new ZerOS Wing, allowing the expansion of FLX to increase the number of playback faders.

A number of configurations will be shown to demonstrate the versatility of the ZerOS Wing package.

Also showcased will be new Remote and Monitor apps for all ZerOS consoles on iOS and Android. These new free apps deliver more accessible remote operation of ZerOS consoles via mobile devices.