There’s just no getting around the fact that the exhibit floor at the AES convention in NYC was small this year. Occupying only hall 3B in the Javits Center, there was a large amount of curtained-off unoccupied space – and Registration was located in the hall, too.
Diminutive footprint aside, the aisles were packed, the vibe was positive, there was a LOT of new gear to see. Many major manufacturers were conspicuously absent – Avid/Digidesign, Bosch, Meyer, EAW, Cakewalk, Alesis, Samson/Zoom to name a few – but most of these companies had staff at the show cruising the aisles and conducting business in the lobby. Also attending: representatives from most of the larger retailers, productions companies, and system integrators.
An auspicious beginning: I ran into these two fellows in the lobby before the show opened on Friday. BSW ball caps at AES! Thanks for your support, John and Peter. I hope you had a great show!
At the Sennheiser booth, Wolfgang Fraissinet, Jeff Alexander, and Dawn Birr were on hand to unveil the new TLM-102 from Neumann. Reputed to be available in the US in November with a street price of $700, I’ll bet this is an instant hit with voice-over talent.
New ribbon mics from Audio-Technica. The AT4080 ($999 street price), and AT4081 ($699 street price). Active electronics and new robust ribbon technology make these a “must-hear” for studio and stage applications.
Also from Audio-Technica: A new broadcast headset!! The BPHS1 has a cardioid, neodymium element mic optimized for broadcasters. It’s mounted on a flexible boom arm which can be positioned on the left or right side. The closed-back headphones provide isolation in noisy environment . The BPHS1 will have a street price of $199, and should be available in November.
Tascam is on fire! With 14 (!!!) new products in their booth, you’ll want to keep your eye on them. From the new VLM3 desktop sized active monitors (at $99), to the new HSP82, their new $4999 location recorder, Tascam is cranking out a steady stream in innovative products for a wide range of applications.
There was a lot of buzz about the new “Blackbox Recorder” From Joeco. Designed for “no-brainer” live recording, it offers 24 channels of low-latency, 24 bit/96khz recording for $2500 bucks!. You need to supply a USB disc drive, but they supply all the cables needed to hook it up to the insert points of a typical analog live sound console.
The new line of Shure headphones has been warmly received. And why not? Very neutral and musical sounding, built to withstand the rigors of everyday professional use (and built to be repaired easily, too!), and affordable. At the show, they debuted a new set of DJ cams – the SRH750DJ should have a street price around $149. Great isolation – with a slightly emphasized low end that will make them great for use in clubs.
Yamaha brought it’s spectacular new roving demo truck. It was packed full of goodies, and fully functioning demo stations. Definitely worth a spending some time there.
Broadcast maven, Neil Glassman hosted a broadcast industry gathering at his Greenwich Village flat on Friday evening. A few bottles of (really good) wine equipped those present for a thorough dissection of the current state of radio biz. This of course, devolved into a general raid on Neil’s music collection, where we found a gem. Yes, this is Neil posing with the jacket of his one and only album.