One of my favorite field tools is a basic analog impedance meter. It can be used to troubleshoot a host of sound system problems, either stand-alone or with some additional gadgets. The TOA ZM-104A has been around for many years and many experienced audio people have one. Mine has served me well and has the scars to prove it. It will be the example meter used in this article, although in principle the tests can be conducted using any similar device. Here is an overview of the meter characteristics and some of the basic tests that it can run.
Radial Engineering has premiered its PhazeQ, a 500 series phase-adjustment tool that works as a phase-cancelling device and summing equalizer.
Company president Peter Janis explains: “The standalone Radial Phazer has become very popular for both live recording and studio use. It enables the engineer to quickly phase-align two signals to vastly improve stereo imaging such as with an X/Y mic stereo pair; to improve the transient attack of a snare or kick drum when using top and bottom or in/out mics; or to fatten up the sound of an electric guitar by combining a direct feed with a room mic. It’s such a useful tool we decided to produce a 500 series version to fit inside our Workhorse.
Just like light bounces off a mirror, sound waves travel around the room before reaching your ears (See figure 5). Some sound frequencies get reinforced, while others get suppressed, the result of which causes alteration in the sound’s overall character. Any boundary surface (back wall, side wall, ceiling, etc.) can cause problematic reflections, so you should think about the reflective properties of the room when setting up your monitors. You can greatly improve the accuracy of your monitoring system by neutralizing the strongest reflections in a room.
Fostex has begun shipping its HP-P1 headphone amp and DAC (digital-to-analog converter).
The company claims that the HP-P1 is the world’s first portable headphone amplifier with D/A conversion that receives digital audio signal directly from an iPhone/iPod, then converts to analog audio via high-resolution, 32-bit DAC. The analog signal is reportedly further enhanced via a precision, audiophile-quality headphone amplifier.
Additional features include a 3-step, gain-optimization switch to accommodate all types of headphones; built-in S/PDIF digital out; twin digital filters; and an aluminum alloy chassis.
QSC announces a new Android application for control and monitoring of cinema sound systems equipped with QSC’s DCP cinema processors. QSC goes beyond just control of the processor by also monitoring amplifier and loudspeaker status. Along with volume and audio preset control, the application turns DCA amps on/off and monitors the entire system for amplifier clipping/overheating, and open or shorted loudspeaker loads.
Stewart Audio’s new RVC-RS232-IR box will easily retrofit any amplifier with a Remote Volume Control (RVC) port to receive RS-232 or Infrared volume commands.
This easy-to-use accessory interfaces with any power amplifier equipped with a Remote Volume Control (RVC) Euro block connector to remotely manage volume. This handy interface brings increased accessibility and convenience to a multitude of sound reinforcement environments and enables consultants, system designers, and integrators to easily add a routinely asked for feature to both existing and forthcoming designs.
The Shure VP68 wireless mic capsule, introduced in June 2011, is sold as the model RPW124. The VP68 audio pick-up pattern is omnidirectional (“all directions”), so the mic can be held upside down, or sideways, and the talker will still be heard. This is a useful attribute when the mic is spoken into by a person that typically does not use a mic, e.g., an audience member asking a question, a family member giving a wedding toast, or a citizen addressing the city council. Continue Reading…