The Audio Engineering Society (AES) holds 2 main conventions each year. AES New York, now always held in New York in October and a convention held in Europe and this year it was held in the Dublin Convention Centre. As with the regular AES Conventions it was a mix of a trade show and seminars, workshops, and presentations of technical papers. In this article I am going to share products that stood out for me in the Product Showcase hall.
Rupert Neve Designs RMP-D8 Dante 8 Channel Mic Preamp
As I arrived at the Rupert Neve Design stand I spotted this unit in the rack and it immediately caught my attention. It was clearly an Audio over IP device that had redundant power supplies with the Primary and Secondary Network and A & B PSU indicators. Looking at the display it looked like a mic preamp with a wide range of sample rates supported right up to 192 KHz sample rates. I was pretty well on the mark as the feature list for the Rupert Neve Designs RMP-D8 shows…
8 mic / line inputs with 48V phantom power, polarity reverse, input pad & high-pass filter controls
1dB-stepped class-A mic preamplifiers with 60dB gain and remote control capability
Custom Rupert Neve Designs transformers for the larger-than-life tone of Rupert’s classic modules
24-bit / 192kHz Mastering-Grade Converters with precision-controlled internal clocking and enhanced jitter reduction
Ultra-reliable, redundant power supplies capable of operating anywhere in the world
Dante integration with redundant network ports for reliability
Gain-compensated secondary output
4 dual-channel AES outputs on XLR connectors
Large OLED display with full local control,· accurate and easy-to-read meters
Compatible with Dante Virtual Soundcard and Dante Via for direct computer integration
Reinforced steel chassis for enhanced RF shielding and rugged touring use in challenging environments
There is no doubt that this is a high end 8 channel mic preamp aimed at the live sound and live broadcast markets with its AES and Dante outputs. We understand that they are currently working with Avid to enable it to be controlled from within Pro Tools like the Avid Pre.
Price And Availability
The price is £4,749.17 here in the UK or $5995 in the US. Some dealers are showing it as being in stock whilst others have ii listed as available to pre-order.
Second Sound Show A Chip That Can Offer Real Time Pitch And Envelope CV Audio To MIDI Conversion
Second Sound were in the Product Showcase section demonstrating a prototype board which had a chip on it that converts analog audio into pitch and envelope CV signals to control analog synths or convert the pitch information via a digital bitstream for MIDI pitch on/off and pitch bend commands.
The aim with this new chip is to enable users to be able to control any digital synth or other devices using audio sources…
Pitch to CV - Play a classic analog synth using a guitar, voice or other audio source
Pitch to MIDI - Use a vocalist to control any MIDI synth accurately and low enough latency for live performance.
Automatic scoring - Be able to perform live transcription of notes played on any instrument
Modular synth interface - Add an instrument interface for Eurorack products
Second Sound were at AES in Dublin to present a paper on the fundamental frequency tracking circuit used in the chip as part of the Music Information Retrieval session as well as looking for leads to find manufacturing partners who would like to design products using their new technology.
I was blown away by the demos of a bass guitarist being able to play a range of devices, with perhaps the most impressive demo being the bass guitarist ‘playing’ a strings synth and being able to bend the notes and play a very convincing strings line using a bass guitar.
Sound Particles V2.0
This was my first opportunity to experience the latest version of Sound Particles. You may remember that I was very impressed with the previous version at AES New York last October.
In case you haven’t come across Sound Particles before, it is an immersive 3D CGI-like application for film, TV, VR, music and game audio production. It has been used on many feature film releases (including Aquaman, Ready Player One, Batman vs Superman, among many others). Since its release just over three years ago, the latest version, Sound Particles 2.0 added binaural monitoring, Windows support, Ambisonics file import, CGI file integration and real-time rendering, along with many more significant feature updates.
To be able to import native CGI animations, such as Autodesk’s .fbx files as well as tag graphical components and automatically track keyframes, saving time by streamlining workflows for dynamic objects makes it even easier to use. the addition of Windows support also means Sound Particles is one less post production related tool that can only be used on a Mac system.
Being able to monitor and audition immersive audio creations in binaural on headphones, means you can audition immersive sound designs without the need to have a full Dolby Amos monitoring system, making it easier to use in track-lay suites that tend not to have full Dolby Atmos monitoring. Finally Ambisonic support all the way up to 6th order files further strengthens the immersive feature set for Sound Particles.
Grace Designs M908 Monitor Controller
The final product that caught my eye was the Grace Designs M908 monitor controller which was a late addition to our Roundup Of Monitor Controller Systems That Support Immersive Audio Formats Like 7.1 And Dolby Atmos. The M908 actually supports all the way up to 22.2 for NHK and this was the first time I saw one in the flesh and was able to play with it.
The m908 is all new, from the ground up system architecture with powerful DSP functionality, their latest generation AD/DA converters, and intuitive control platform, the m908 is being designed to provide an all in one monitoring solution for an array of formats and workflows and is expected to be released in the 2nd quarter of 2018. Feature highlights include…
24 channel AES3 digital I/O / 16 channel analog outputs
16 channel ADAT Lightpipe in / USB 24 channel inputs
AES3, S/PDIF, and TOSLINK stereo inputs
Optional Dante™ or DigiLink™ module for an additional 32 channels of I/O
Powerful room correction EQ
Complete bass management capability
Channel level and delay calibration
Comprehensive downmix control
Built in SPL meter and pink noise source
Dual redundant external power supply
Reference quality headphone amplifier with cross-feed for a more speaker like headphone listening experience
Flexible talkback system with built-in mic on remote control and mic input for external talkback mics
Up to 8 stereo CUE paths
4 General Purpose Input and Output pins for interfacing to external systems
Overall there were a select number of brands presenting their products in the Showcase hall. The AES has reported that there were 968 attendees, with 117 speakers across 121 sessions and was supported by 87 sponsors.
In a partner article I am going to be sharing my highlights from the 121 sessions presented at AES Dublin 2019.