ISE 2024

18 Mar 2024

AROUND THE GROUNDS at ISE 2024

by Jason Allen

To paraphrase Douglas Adams, ISE is big, really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. OK, try this for size – the exhibition space and stands occupy the equivalent of 9.3 MCG ovals. It dwarfs every other tradeshow I have ever visited. As such, seeing it all is now impossible. You have to go in with a clear strategy, accept that you’re going to miss things, and wear sensible shoes. Pre-show training in the form of jogging or brisk walking is also a good idea.

Bearing that in mind, and in no particular order, here’s a few products that grabbed my attention as I made my way from one end of the show to the other to make appointments that couldn’t be organised in any kind of sensible or physically logical progression.

Shure’s Stuart Stephens with the new Shure ADX3

Shure Things

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You know a stand has hot products when it’s more or less impossible to move around it due to the sheer mass of humanity. Shure’s huge range of solutions now include the Axient Digital Plug-On Transmitter with ShowLink, or ADX3 as it’s more pithily known. Designed for broadcast and TV, plug it on to any mic and you have total control of transmitter parameters wherever you’re sitting.

The new MXW neXt2 could be an absolute category killer for hybrid classrooms, training rooms, and lecture halls, providing superior audio for conferencing and presentations at the same time. It’s idiot proof while being clever, runs in the DECT range, and is totally remotely controllable.

Fourier Audio transform.engine

Plug Me In

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Housed in a 2U touring-grade chassis with dual redundant power supplies, the new transform.engine is a Dante-connected server designed to run all VST3-native software plugins in a live environment, bringing premium studio software to live sound and broadcast applications. Fully compatible with any VST3 plugin that can run on Windows, the new device gives engineers and creatives access to the very best studio-grade processing on a robust platform that is specifically designed for the rigours and complexities of live productions.

Infiled WT Series

Wow Factor

At a show with more LED than you ever thought imaginable, with ever decreasing pixel pitches, the always impressive Infiled stand stood out. Its stunning WT Series has three pitches and goes down to 0.78 mm, making it the finest pitch I saw at the show. With 3840Hz refresh rate and 15-bit greyscale, I did not see a better screen at ISE.

Luminex GigaCore 10t

Networking Opportunity

The ever-reliable backbone of show networking, Luminex, released the GigaCore 10t, an eight Ethernet, two fibre port switch with 10GB capacity and PoE++ on every copper port. Setup and management via their Araneo software couldn’t be simpler or more beautiful, giving you maps of your whole network and warning you if you patch something the wrong way. It couldn’t be easier.

MediaMatrix Scion

SCION-tology

SCION is descended from MediaMatrix’s NION, running an ADI SHARC dual core Digital Signal Processor with ARM Cortex Processing Unit. It’s five times more powerful than its predecessor and has optional dual DSP-CPU boards. SCION can handle up to 32 channels of local analog I/O plus 64 channels via an audio network card slot, and an enormous 512 x 512 channels utilising MediaMatrix sNET, an AES67 streaming audio protocol, via an optional factory installed sNET card and built-in dual redundant IEEE 802.3 compliant Gigabit managed switch network ports.

Optimal Audio Best in Show

The Winner’s Zone

Optimal Audio’s no-nonsense Zone is a series of simple yet powerful zone audio controllers. With onboard DSP, highly flexible signal routing and HDMI connectivity, Zone provides everything required in a single compact unit to deliver high-quality multi-zoned commercial sound systems. The real genius is in its browser based WebApp, which can run on anything, and allows deep system configuration plus extremely simple GUI creation for non-audio staff who need to control volumes and so on. ISE was so impressed that it won a Best in Show award in the Audio category.

Biamp Voltera

Amps with a Pedigree

Biamp have recruited some deep technical knowledge for the creation of their Voltera D amplifier series. They include alumni of both Lab Gruppen and Powersoft. Voltera D are networked amplified loudspeaker controllers (ALCs) with powerful onboard DSP, sophisticated tools for tuning rooms, and a host of other one-of-a-kind features.

Voltera D ALCs are available in 1200-watt or 2400-watt configurations across four or eight channels. Voltera D is one of the very few ALCs in the market to feature redundant network audio, support of failover between mains power and backup generators without a reboot, and group-controlled raised cosine EQ, making it attractive for large systems.

Clear-Com Equip

Do You Want Fries with That?

In the “I didn’t know they did that” department is Clear-Com Equip, an industrial/retail comms solution designed to be simple to use and workable in hostile RF environments. It’s aimed squarely at fast food restaurants, warehouses, factories, and other industrial applications. With two channels of full- duplex comms, up to 40 wireless headsets can be supported by transceivers placed wherever wireless coverage is needed. Headsets are easily paired to the system using NFC communication and have voice alerts with status details. Set-up, configuration, and monitoring are via a simple touch screen.

Anders Wisbøl Blaze Audio

Blazing a Trail

Who are Blaze Audio? They are the people who have likely been making the amplifiers in whatever you’ve been using the whole time. They are the in-house brand of famous OEM manufacturer Pascal Audio and took out a Best in Show award in the Installation category for their PowerZone Connect 508, 1008, 4008, and 6008 amps. Technical Sales Manager Anders Wisbøl gave me a personal tour of their simple and solid offerings, distributed now in Australia by Jands.

Fohhn custom finishes

Shiny Things

Fohhn Audio not only make beautiful sounding loudspeakers, they also make them beautiful to look at. Fohhn recently went on a hiring spree and recruited passionate staff expert in paint finishes from the automotive industry and have started applying it to speakers. The results are gorgeous, and they can customise high-quality finishes in just about any way possible.

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