Archives for July 2006

Cadac Will Launch Its First Digital Mixing Console in September

Live sound console maker Cadac Electronics has chosen the PLASA 2006 exhibition, coming up September 10-13 in London, to introduce the S-Digital Console, the company’s first digital mixer.

Well known and highly regarded for a full line-up of analog consoles for sound reinforcment applications, Cadac has also dabbled in the digital arena with ancillary rack-mount devices such as the D-16 Digital Mix Matrix, and the X16 MADI Merge Unit.

The S-Digital will be Cadac’s first full digital mixer.

The Cadac S-Digital is designed primarily for live theatre applications, building on the company’s 20-year history at the forefront of theatre sound. In a major departure from conventional paradigms in digital console design, the S-Digital is specifically conceived to reflect the surface architecture of Cadac’s industry standard J-Type analogue console.

By presenting the familiar profile and operating surface of an analog console, the S-Digital offers sound designers, producers and theatre owners a user-friendly digital alternative to the Cadac J-Type analog console, and sets a new benchmark in digital console design for live sound applications.

Cadac says the new digital mixer will also carry the top-notch build quality, sound, ease of operation, and reliability that are the hallmarks of a Cadac console.

The Cadac S-Digital is scheduled to enter production in October 2006, and its full specification and technical details, including pricing, will be announced at PLASA 2006.

Also on show at PLASA 2006 is Cadac’s 19″ Digital Series range, with the spotlight on the Digital Series Stage Rack. Combining the M16 Remote Controlled Microphone Amplifier and the X16 MADI Merge Unit, the Digital Series Stage Rack provides a unique solution to applications requiring a comprehensive multi-channel audio distribution system, across both analogue and digital domains, for live sound, TV and radio broadcast, fixed installations and recording applications.

The M16/X16 combination underlines its application flexibility by providing an alternative front-end option for remote and fixed recording systems. The X16 can also operate independently to provide up to four 1 in/2 out distribution amplifiers. This feature enables four independent optical MADI streams (of up to 64 channels each) to be made available on both an optical and coaxial output connector, and is an ideal choice for any installation that requires multiple MADI interface conversions or additional routing capability.

Cadac Web Site

Integra NVS-7.7 Is a Media Center PC Engineered For Custom Audio Installations

Media Center PCs have a troubled reputation as practical home entertainment devices. Installation, configuration, and chronic customer service issues have been common to open-platform PC-focused systems and software.

Integra has developed its new NVS-7.7 integrated media center and content server to tackle the issue head-on. It’s a purpose-built multimedia PC, engineered from the ground up for custom installers who want to avoid the hassles that have plagued the Media Center PC platform, in home theater and whole-house audio installations.

Integra’s designers worked with custom installers and programmers to make the NVS-7.7 much easier to set up, operate, and maintain in order to reduce the number of hours lost to customer support issues. The company says its new box provides a seamless, streamlined solution for the custom installation community. It retails for $3,000 (US).

The Integra NVS-7.7 provides a powerful suite of features for integration with home theater and audio installations. It offers 400 GB of storage for audio and video media, and proprietary Integra-designed audio circuitry. The electronics features Intel’s ViiV™ technology, plus high-end Wolfson DACs and the company’s acclaimed Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC).

“The power, flexibility, all-in-one capabilities, and high storage capacity of media center PCs have made them an essential tool for custom installers,” says Integra Marketing and Product Planning Manager Paul Wasek.”However, these systems are first and foremost PCs, with all the attendant configuration and support issues that can add up to a customer service nightmare for small to medium sized installers. Integra’s solution to this problem was to design a system that is first and foremost an AV component – it just happens to be built on a PC Platform.”

The Integra NVS-7.7 features Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition™ 2005 operating system running on a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 Dual 820 processor and 1 GB of DDR memory. A 400 GB hard drive is included for storage of a complete library of audio and video files. It includes Intel’s VIIV™ technology to capture, store, and distribute a complete range of media formats throughout the home, including WMV HD, MPEG -1/-2/-4, DivX, JPEG, WMA, MP3, AAC, and PCM.

For Audio reproduction, the NS-V7.7 features an exclusive Integra-designed audio card that includes high quality Wolfson 192kHz/24-bit DACs with the company’s acclaimed Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry (VLSC) for smoother and more detailed stereo analog output. It is also the world’s first media server product to include Dolby Master Studio technology suite for complete 7.1-channel surround sound processing, including Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Live, ProLogic IIx, Dolby Headphone, and Dolby Virtual Speaker processing.

“Our goal was to make it as easy to set up and use as any of our other AV components,” continues Wasek. “With the NVS-7.7, Integra tames the convoluted configuration and programming process, giving installers a complete product that delivers the most powerful source and integration features ever available, yet is no more difficult to set-up, install, and maintain than a high end A/V receiver. And with Integra’s acclaimed dealer support and training programs behind them, dealers can feel confident about specifying media servers into every job they do.”

The NSV-7.7 includes both digital ATSC and analog NTSC tuners for recording and playback of TV broadcasts, and an FM tuner for radio broadcasts. The front-loading DVD/CD tray can be used to capture video recorded on DVD, DVD +/-R/RW, CD-R/RW, VCD and data based optical discs. Additionally, a multi-format front-panel 8-in-1 card reader is included for use with portable storage media, including SD/MS, MS-Pro, and Smart/Flash memory cards. For further expansion and integration, there are four USB 2.0 ports, and high speed Serial ATA-II port for support of storage transfer speed up to 1.5 GB/second.

Integra has designed the NVS-7.7 to be fully compatible with RS-232 and IP-based control systems, making it much easier for installers to offer media PC integration with their whole-house system installations. The NSV-7.7 includes DVI, VGA and component video outputs that are compatible with high definition video. There are also S-Video, and composite video outputs for connection to complete range of video displays. For network distribution, the media center is compatible with all Integra Net-Tune Clients for streaming audio, and content can be shared with other Windows MCE platform devices via a standard Ethernet network.

Integra Web Site

Multiroom Audio and Home Theater Systems Installation Business is Booming

Residential Sales through Home Systems Integrators/Installers Grew 18% in 2005

Sales of Multiroom Audio and Home Theater Systems surpassed dealer expectations during 2005, according to the 1st Quarter 2006 Installing Dealer Survey released today by Parks Associates.

Consumer demand for multiroom audio, home theater, and associated control systems was largely responsible for the strong growth in business for the Installing Dealers channel. Audio systems were the single largest product category is 2005, generating more than $2.1 billion in residential sales, with Russound and Denon as the top brands for audio components and SpeakerCraft as the most popular brand of speakers.

Installing dealers had total sales of $7.3 billion to residential customers in 2005, an 18% increase over 2004’s $6.2 billion, according to Parks Associates’ 1Q06 Installing Dealer Survey.

“Multiroom audio exceeded our estimates by nearly 9%, and home theater sales beat expectations by about 8%,” said Bill Ablondi, director of home systems research at Parks Associates. “There are several factors driving this demand. More affordable systems are broadening the market to include more midrange homes, more builders are aggressively marketing entertainment amenities, and, most importantly, more home buyers want to incorporate entertainment systems into the infrastructure of their home.”

Installing dealers are also optimistic about the potential for growth in 2006, according to 1Q06 Installing Dealer Survey. Nearly 40% of dealers expect to see their businesses grow by more than 20% in 2006, and 30% project growth of 11-20%. Only 4% expect to see a decline in business in 2006.

“The installing dealer channel is expanding, both in numbers of integrators/installers and in the sales each firm generates annually,” Ablondi said. “We’re seeing the evolution from a custom-only channel to one which is beginning to embrace pre-packaged systems in an effort to expand its reach in the market.”

The 1Q06 Installing Dealer Survey is part of Parks Associates’ Installing Dealer ePanel Program, which collects regular feedback from electronic systems integrators, designers, and installing dealers across the U.S. Surveys are conducted online, and each client assists in developing the questionnaire. The ePanel program is an affordable, efficient, and accurate way to increase understanding of the installing dealer channel.

Focusrite’s Liquid Mix Flows Into Stores

The Mac OSX version of Liquid Mix, Focusrite’s hot new bundle of EQ and compressor plug-in software emulations with dedicated DSP hardware co-processor, is now shipping worldwide. Focusrite says delivery of the PC version is set for later in 2006. The final list of 40 compressor and 20 EQ emulations is now online at The package includes emulations of classic outboard gear such as Neve 1073 and Pultec EQP1 equalizers, and Fairchild 670 and Manley SLAM compressors.

The Liquid Mix emulations have been under construction for over two years, with some emulations requiring more than 8,000 separate sampling sequences taken over a period of months to ensure genuine emulation. Liquid Mix’s immensely powerful onboard DSP can easily handle such complex emulations, though, and is able to drive up to 32 Liquid Mix compressors and 32 EQs simultaneously.

Plans for additional emulations are already well advanced, as well as presets to be made available online for those desiring to quickly get the most out of vintage and classic compression and EQ.

The Liquid Mix GUI has also undergone some final cosmetic tweaks as well as extensive beta testing of both software and hardware on a plethora of different setups and sequencers. As the software continues to evolve, so all new versions will immediately be made available for download from the Liquid downloads page, listed above.

From the outset, Liquid Mix will now ship with a Liquid Mix FXpansion VST to RTAS wrapper, ensuring it works fluidly with both Pro Tools HD and LE at no extra cost*.

Liquid Mix is available now in the UK from all good pro audio stores for just £499 inc. VAT. For pricing outside of the UK, please refer to your local distributor, details of which can be found on the ‘where to buy’ section of the website.

* requires Pro Tools 7.0. Operation with earlier versions will require the full FXpansion VST toRTAS wrapper software, available online from

Focusrite Web Site

Solid State Logic Buys Sydec Audio Engineering to Beef Up Digital Audio Workstation Development

Solid State Logic (SSL) has deepened its support for workstation users with the purchase of Sydec Audio Engineering NV, developers of the Soundscape range of workstation partner products.  SSL says the acquisition of the Soundscape team and technology will allow SSL to develop exciting new tools for existing and new applications.

SSL’s existing investment in workstation production tools has grown in the past twelve months to encompass controllers, analog and digital rack processors and software plug-ins.

The Soundscape team brings significant PC platform development experience to SSL. The relationship also opens new commercial channels and allows a broader range of SSL and Soundscape products to be distributed around the world, delivering SSL’s established brand values to a wider range of users.

SSL’s recent investments in renewing the hardware and software of its manufacturing technology and updating its manufacturing processes will also bring significant benefits to both companies. This will ensure that high standards of quality and delivery are maintained as volumes are increased.

Sydec’s General Manager Erik Wijnen is enthusiastic about working with Solid State Logic: “It’s amazing to have access to the full range of resources of a great company like SSL. This will allow us to work with the SSL team to focus on new ideas for products and expand the team here at Sint-Niklaas in Belgium.”

Commenting on the acquisition, SSL’s Managing Director Antony David said, “This is an excellent fit for SSL and supports our concept of providing quality tools for the DAW environment. We’re committed to working with a range of companies to improve and democratize the creative process and this gives us a great opportunity to accelerate our involvement.”

Solid State Logic Web Site

Sydec Audio Engineering Web Site